Math Council
  Nebraska Conference
  Poster Presentations
  Mathematical Seminars



Welcome to the Bates College Mathematics Department Newsletter!

Math Council   photos courtesy of Meredith Greer

Math Council hosted several great events this year!

  • In October, we had an Ice Cream Social. Math enthusiasts gathered to meet new Batesies while enjoying a tasty dessert.
  • In February and March, Math Council hosted two sessions, pizza included, to help not-yet-seniors learn about capstone options. The first session gave students the faculty scoop. The second session was students only - no faculty allowed! - for another perspective.
  • Also in March, Math Council brought a fantastic group of alums in for an Alumni Panel. Five Batesies, in fields ranging from finance to education to law to information services, reminisced about their time at Bates and gave valuable advice to students thinking ahead about careers.
  • We rounded out the year with dinner at the newly-relocated Margaritas in Auburn.

Many thanks to the students running Math Council this year!

Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics   article courtesy of Kerry Glavin and Becca Kunzendorf

This past February, we had the amazing opportunity to attend the Tenth Annual Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics (NCUWM). Our journey began with an eye-opening plane ride over the impressively flat terrain of Nebraska. Upon landing, we took a shuttle to our home for the weekend, the Downtown Lincoln Holiday Inn. The next morning, we spent our free time before registration exploring downtown Lincoln. After grabbing a bite to eat at Mom & Pop's diner, we ventured over to the University of Nebraska campus and began our weekend of mathe-magical fun.

The conference began with opening remarks from one of the conference's founders, University of Nebraska professor Judy Walker. In her remarks, she enthusiastically pointed out the wide geographic representation of the 241 conference participants, including a personal acknowledgment of yours truly from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine! After her comments, the three keynote speakers addressed the eager audience. Two of the women currently are professors and the third works for the National Security Agency. The first day of the conference ended with a delicious sit-down dinner where we had the opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow undergraduate students, mathematics professors, and graduate program representatives.

Saturday began bright and early with a morning full of student talks. Becca discussed her thesis research in a talk titled "Vaccination for the Human Papilloma Virus Using Game Theoretic and Epidemiologic Models." The knowledgeable audience was very receptive to Becca's captivating presentation. Following a lunch break, the conference participants attended a poster session in which Kerry presented a poster on her graph theory coursework titled "Beyond Prim and Kruskal: An Algorithm for Minimum Spanning Trees." After the poster session, conference participants had the opportunity to attend two break-out sessions of their choice. The first session focused on the challenges women face in balancing career and family, also known as the "Two-body problem." In the safe space of the conference, the women felt free to open up and genuinely asked for advice from their peers. The experience was impressive and moving. The second discussion talked about what to do with a degree in mathematics. Saturday ended with a casual pizza dinner and the opportunity to chat with conference participants.

On Sunday, we began our final day listening to undergraduate students present their research in more student talks. In the final panel, we heard about possible careers in mathematics. The end of the conference was bittersweet; we were sad to say goodbye to our new friends but happy to return to Bates. As we flew over the Nebraska cornfields, we both agreed that the conference was an amazing opportunity to present our work and meet fellow students and professionals. We also came away with some great Cornhusker souvenirs.

Poster Presentations   photos courtesy of Georgette Dumais

Math Seniors this year presented exciting posters at the Mt. David Summit!

Halley with advisor Bonnie Shulman        Mike with advisor Chip Ross
Kerry with advisor Pallavi Jayawant        Cassandra with advisor Peter Wong
  • Halley Elliott presented her senior thesis research, "Game Theory and the eBay Auction".
  • Mike Detweiler presented his senior thesis research, "Complexity and Cryptology".
  • Kerry Glavin presented her work from the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics, "Beyond Prim and Kruskal: An Algorithm for Minimum Spanning Trees".
  • Cassandra Kirkland presented her senior thesis research, "A Technical Analysis of the Hammer Throw", which she completed jointly with the Mathematics and Physics departments.
Mathematical Seminars  

This was a jam-packed year for lectures, as two different mathematically oriented groups were awarded Mellon grants to foster connections among CBB faculty. Both a Bio/Math Seminar Series and an Algebra-Topology Colloquium Series brought together CBB faculty and outside speakers for fascinating scholarship and potential new collaborations. Each series has its own webpage:    Bio/Math     Algebra-Topology.

In addition, we had our usual round of CBB seminars, our annual Sampson Lecture, and regular departmental seminars. (Whew, and hurray!) These are listed below.

September 27

Raina Robeva of Sweet Briar College: "Interdisciplinary Collaborations in Biomathematics: Rewards and Challenges" AND "Modeling of Hormone Feedback Networks: Understanding Endocrine Oscillations"

October 4

Sergey Lvin of The University of Maine, Orono: "From X-ray pictures to thermo-acoustic tomography (the triumph of the unity of pure and applied mathematics)"

October 31

Chip Ross: "Ghost Curves in the Orbit and Bifurcation Diagrams"

November 6

Caleb Shor: "Error-correcting codes, lattices, and theta functions", the CBB seminar talk, held Fall semester at Bowdoin

November 14

David Haines: "Mathematics in a Forgotten Refugee Camp: Dadaab Kenya"

March 14

Ruth Charney of Brandeis University, our Sampson Lecturer this year: "The Large Scale Geometry of Groups" AND "From Robotics to Geometry: Building Models with Cubes"

April 28

Helen Wong of Bowdoin College: "Quantum invariants for three-manifolds", the CBB seminar talk, held Winter semester at Colby

May 12

Janet Barnett of Colorado State University - Pueblo: "Enter, Stage Center: the Early Drama of Hyperbolic Functions", co-hosted by SWIMS and Sigma Xi

This page was last updated May 22, 2008. Email the current editor if you have comments, suggestions ... or a submission for the next issue!