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Pacific Hosts Northern California Undergraduate Mathematics Conference

Apr 30, 2011

Students give presentations and learn about math-related careers.

On Saturday, April 16, 2011, University of the Pacific hosted the seventh annual Northern California Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at the Biological Sciences Center on campus. 

The main focus of this conference is to showcase the achievements of undergraduate students in mathematics and to give these aspiring mathematicians an opportunity to present their work to undergraduates and faculty in a supportive environment.

Attendees enjoy lunch on the lawn at Pacific.
Attendees enjoy lunch on the lawn at Pacific.

Attendees heard opening remarks by Provost Maria Pallavicini, and were welcomed by Dennis Parker, chair of Pacific's Mathematics department.  Then, after a set of talks, attendees regrouped for the Career Panel, which featured four Pacific math alumni pursuing different careers in mathematically related disciplines: Kelly Mugerditchian ('08), Dustin Stewart ('01, via Skype), Rose Barrett ('86), and Michelle Amaral ('98, and current faculty member in Economics).

After lunch on the lawn and more talks, attendees came together to hear the keynote address by renowned mathematics educator Deborah Hughes-Hallett (University of Arizona and the Harvard Kennedy School). 

Dr. Deborah Hughes-Hallett (University of Arizona and the Harvard Kennedy School) gives the keynote address.
Dr. Deborah Hughes-Hallett (University of Arizona and the Harvard Kennedy School) gives the keynote address.

Her talk, "Where Can Mathematics Take You?  All Over the World!" examined different ways mathematics can be applied to problems on a global scale, from using differential equations to model outbreaks of contagious disease to the role of statistics in finding correlations between climate change and civil war.

All told, about a hundred students and faculty attended for all or part of the day, from Chico State to UC Merced, from Stanford to Sacramento State.  There were 16 presentations by undergraduates, in two parallel sessions.  Five presentations were given by Pacific's own students:

Name

Title

Michael Abram

Sharing Secrets with Elliptic Curve Cryptography

Lauren Elward

Copenhagen Consensus and Operations Research

Kyumin (Joseph) Kim

Galois Theory for Differential Equations

Yeoil (Steve) Yun

k1,2(NC7) > 1

Youa Yang

Outset Coloring

The Northern California Undergraduate Mathematics Conference was sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America (through an NSF grant), the College of the Pacific (through a Pacific Fund grant), and Pacific's Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

More information can be found at the conference website: https://sites.google.com/site/nocalumc