NSF Awards SMCM Math Dept. Grant for Summer Research - Southern Maryland Headline News

NSF Awards SMCM Math Dept. Grant for Summer Research


Stems from Success of Existing Student Research Program

Anika Green ’12, Bethany Townsend ’12, and Thaise Brower ’12 solve math problems on the board at this year’s summer research experience at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Stemming from the success of the current summer research experience, the mathematics and computer science department was recently awarded a $265,000 grant by the National Science Foundation to establish a Research Experience for Undergraduates. The program will begin in 2011 and will bring talented underrepresented mathematics undergraduates from across the country to St. Mary’s College to give them research opportunities that will help them succeed in mathematics classes and prepare them for degrees in mathematics or other science fields. (Submitted photo)
Anika Green ’12, Bethany Townsend ’12, and Thaise Brower ’12 solve math problems on the board at this year’s summer research experience at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Stemming from the success of the current summer research experience, the mathematics and computer science department was recently awarded a $265,000 grant by the National Science Foundation to establish a Research Experience for Undergraduates. The program will begin in 2011 and will bring talented underrepresented mathematics undergraduates from across the country to St. Mary’s College to give them research opportunities that will help them succeed in mathematics classes and prepare them for degrees in mathematics or other science fields. (Submitted photo)

ST. MARY’S CITY, Md. (June 26, 2010) — The mathematics and computer science department at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) was awarded a $265,000 grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). The Emerging Scholars REU will bring talented underrepresented mathematics undergraduates from across the country to St. Mary’s College to give them research opportunities that will help them succeed in mathematics classes and prepare them for degrees in mathematics or other science fields.

The six-week summer program will be held at SMCM starting in 2011 for three years and aims to promote minority student enrollment and success in math classes, the math major, and graduate school in mathematics and math-related fields. The program will host 12 students, from SMCM and around the country, who have excelled in the first two semesters of calculus. Participants will attend morning seminars, with professor Susan Goldstine, that prepare them for proof-based advanced mathematics courses. Their afternoons will be spent examining research questions in game theory, knot theory, and graph theory, led by professors Alex Meadows, Sandy Ganzell, and Alan Jamieson. They will also attend seminars and sessions on scientific writing, presenting, and applying to graduate school.

The project stems from the success of the department’s Emerging Scholars Program and an existing summer research experience already funded by the NSF that has been held at St. Mary’s College for the past five summers. Many of the underrepresented students that have participated in these programs have furthered their studies in mathematics. “Of the 19 students we’ve worked with during the summer, nine have gone on to major in mathematics or computer science, and seven others have completed mathematics minors,” said David Kung, associate professor of mathematics and department chair. “Without these programs, historical and national trends suggest that only a couple of these students would have successfully completed calculus and at most one would have completed a mathematics degree. We’re incredibly proud of our students’ record of success and our faculty’s ability to provide an environment in which students excel.”

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