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Summer REU Students Win Awards
For the third time, the Department hosted a Natural Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Mathematics in the summer of 2021. Ten students came from colleges and universities around the country to live and work on our campus for nine weeks. The students experienced researching closely with a faculty member and a team of peers, practiced and honed their mathematical writing and presenting skills, participated in a colloquium series of invited speakers, and traveled to graduate schools (Cornell and the Rochester Institute of Technology) to learn about specific programs and the graduate experience in mathematics more generally. This summer the students worked with Prof. Jennifer Biermann in algebraic combinatorics, Prof. Jonathan Forde in mathematical virology, Prof. Yan Hao in neuron networks, and Prof. Erika L.C. King in graph theory.
At the end of the nine weeks, the students remained on campus to attend the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) conference MathFest, which was held virtually. Each of the four research groups gave a virtual talk. Their talks were among nearly one hundred undergraduate talks at the conference. Both Prof. Hao and Prof. Biermann’s groups won MAA Outstanding Student Paper Session Presentation Awards, and Prof. Forde’s group won The Andersen Prize, awarded in memory of Janet Andersen by the Special Interest Group of the MAA for Mathematical and Computational Biology, and recognizing an outstanding presentation and work in areas related to mathematical biology.
Pictured here are Professors Biermann, Forde, King, and Hao, in the front row, with their students at their end-of-the-program celebration at Seneca Lake.
Posted 31 August 2021
It is just over a year since the pandemic forced the Colleges to switch to fully remote learning in the middle of the Spring 2020 semester. It has been a long and in many ways difficult year. A lot has happened, but no news about the 2020–21 academic year has made it onto this web site.
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, like the rest of the Colleges, has been offering a mix of in-person, remote, and hybrid courses this year. With no Winter Break or Spring Break, the semesters have seemed long, and many of us — students and faculty alike — are feeling at least a little burnt out. However, we are encouraged by the rollout of Covid vaccines, and we hope that things will be mostly back to normal next Fall.
The department was joined this year by a new Visiting Professor of Computer Science, Hanqing Hu. Professors Alden Gassert and William Simmons continued as visiting professors (Professor Simmons for the Fall semester only). Professors Gassert and Hu will return as visiting professors next year. The Math Intern for the year was Hadley DeBrine WS'20.
The REU that was canceled last summer will go forward this year. Unfortunately, both the Department's Fall picnic and its Spring dinner were canceled this year, but we look forward to resuming both events next year.
Posted 4 April 2021
Department Student Prizes, 2020
- The Robert Beinert Prize, awarded to a a graduating Senior for excellence in Mathematics, to Hugh (Nick) Mckenny and Kaitlyn Geraghty.
- The John S. Klein Prize, awarded to a graduating Senior to recognize excellence in Computer Science, to Max Brodheim.
- The Catherine Adele Rippey '35 Prize, awarded to a William Smith Senior to recognize excellence in Mathematics, to Kaitlyn Geraghty.
- The Glenn M. Lee Prize, awarded to the Hobart Senior who has been most proficient in mathematics and athletics, to Andrew Koonz and Peter Thibodeau.
- The Abigail Mosey Book Prize, awarded to a Hobart or William Smith Senior for generosity in helping others to learn and appreciate mathematical ideas, to Hugh (Nick) Mckenny, and Cody Roberts.
- The William Ross Proctor Prize, awarded to the William Smith Sophomore who has achieved the highest rank in mathematics in her first two years at the Colleges, to Julia Bellamy, and Colleen Boucher.
- The Irving Bentsen Prize, awarded to the second year student at Hobart College who has the most outstanding record in mathematics and computer science, to Dimosthenis Chrysochoou.
In addition to the departmental prizes, several graduating mathematics students were elected to the national honor society, Phi Beta Kappa, by the local chapter of that organization: Math major Jesse Maltese and math minors Kelsey Pierce and Angus Pratt. Nick Mckenny was elected last year as a Junior.
Posted 9 May 2020
Math REU, Summer 2020
Update: Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 REU has been canceled. However, an REU is planned for summer 20201.
The Department will host a Natural Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Mathematics in Summer 2020. The National Science Foundation funds REUs at colleges and universities around the country. This will be the third year that the program has been offered at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Ten students will take part in the REU. Most of the students come from other colleges, but for each of the past two summers, one HWS student has participated: Nick Mckenny H'20 in Summer 2018 and Connor Parrow WS'21 in Summer 2019.
Topics this summer will include algebra with Professor Biermann, graph theory with Professor King, Neural Networks with Professor Hao, and mathematical virology with Professor Forde.
Applications are due by February 14. Visit http://math.hws.edu/REU/index.html for more information.
Posted 2 February 2020
Math Intern for 2019–20: Sam LeGro
Posted 30 September 2019
Professor David Eck Earns Faculty Teaching Prize
Posted 2 July 2019
Professors Bring REU Program to HWS
Posted 2 July 2019
DeBrine Earns AMS Trjitzinsky Award
Posted 5 June 2019
Student Prizes for 2019
- The Robert Beinert Prize, awarded to a a graduating Senior for excellence in Mathematics, to Qingyi Lu.
- The John S. Klein Prize, awarded to a graduating Senior to recognize excellence in Computer Science, to Erika Cardenas and Camera Finn.
- The Catherine Adele Rippey '35 Prize, awarded to a William Smith Senior to recognize excellence in Mathematics, to Qingyi Lu.
- The Glenn M. Lee Prize, awarded to the Hobart Senior who has been most proficient in mathematics and athletics, to Russell Merchant.
- The Abigail Mosey Book Prize, awarded to a Hobart or William Smith Senior for generosity in helping others to learn and appreciate mathematical ideas, to Read Bohanan, Taylor Mancini, and Joon (Philip) Yoo.
- The William Ross Proctor Prize, awarded to the William Smith Sophomore who has achieved the highest rank in mathematics in her first two years at the Colleges, to Alexandra Low, Connor Parrow, and Margaret Wagner.
- The Irving Bentsen Prize, awarded to the second year student at Hobart College who has the most outstanding record in mathematics and computer science, to Collin Urie.
For more about student prizes in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, including lists of past recipients, visit our department prizes page.
Posted 8 May 2019
Qingyi Lu Completes Honors Project
An Honors project is a year-long independent project, usually undertaken in a student's senior year, culminating in substantial Honors theses and an oral examination by a panel of three examiners. Lu's project looked for ways of improving classification of organisms into phylogenetic trees. According to her abstract, "Phylogenetics studies the evolutionary history among a set of individuals, genes or species, which plays an important role in biology. Because past evolutionary events cannot be directly observed, statistical models are needed to estimate the phylogenetic trees. Consequently, accurate estimations of phylogenetic trees could provide effective evidence for studies in biology." In the project, Lu approached the problem by implementing "four machine learning techniques (K-Nearest Neighbors, Support Vector Machine, Random Forest and Neural Network)."
Posted 7 May 2019