A Fortnightly Electronic Newsletter from the Hope College
Department of Mathematics
January 29, 2003
Vol. 1, No. 8
Michael Rininger selected to study in Budapest
Michael Rininger, a Hope College sophomore majoring in mathematics,
has been selected to attend the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Program
for both the Fall 2003 and Spring 2004 terms. The Budapest Semesters
in Mathematics provides a unique opportunity for North American undergraduates.
Through this program, mathematics and computer science majors in their
junior/senior years may spend one or two semesters in Budapest and study
under the tutelage of eminent Hungarian scholar-teachers. The instructors
of Budapest Semesters in Mathematics are members of Eötvös University
and the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the
two institutions known for having educated more than half of Hungary's
highly acclaimed mathematicians. Most instructors have had teaching experience
in North America and are familiar with the cultural differences. All courses
are taught in English and credits are transferable to North American colleges
and universities. For more information about this program visit
Erika Camacho to speak on applications of differential equations
to biological systems
Differential equations can be used to describe systems that change
in time. Although these systems are traditionally physics-based, Erika
Camacho from the Cornell University Center for Applied Mathematics will
talk about applications of differential equations to biological systems.
This colloquium is scheduled for Thursday, January 30 at 4:00 PM
in VanderWerf 238. In this talk, she will use nonlinear differential
equations to examine the behavior of some biological systems including those
describing population dynamics and the defense mechanism of the bombardier
beetle. Students need only a knowledge of integral calculus to understand
Heart attacks can give you mathematics!
Heart attacks kill hundreds of people daily in the United States -
many more than are killed by math anxiety! Mathematics, however,
is helping researchers better understand heart attacks. A joint mathematics
and biology colloquium titled "Heart attacks can give you mathematics" is
scheduled for 3:00 PM on Friday, February 7 in Peale B50. The presenter
of this colloquium is Jim Keener from the University of Utah. In
this talk, he will give an overview of some of the ways that mathematics
can help our understanding of cardiac arrhythmias, how they occur, what
they are, and how they might be eliminated or prevented. The main emphasis
will be on how mathematics can be used to give us insight that could not
be found without mathematics. This is a great talk and suitable for
all levels of mathematics students. There will also time for Dr. Keener
to meet with faculty and/or students from both mathematics and biology
on either Thursday or Friday next week. Please let Prof. Janet Andersen
know if you are interested.
An additional colloquium is scheduled for next week
Mark Pearson from Northwestern University is tentatively scheduled to
give a colloquium at 4:00 PM next Wednesday, February 5 in VWF 104. Watch
for additional details soon.
Mathematical Contest in Modeling to take place next week
The Mathematical Contest in Modeling is an international competition
in which teams of two or three students produce a solution to an open-ended,
real world, mathematical modeling problem. The competition takes place
over a long weekend. The problems are announced on a Thursday evening,
and the completed solution is due on the following Monday evening. Over
the course of the weekend, the competitors pick one of the three announced
problems, then research the situation and prepare a solution. For students
interested in applied mathematics, this is a great opportunity to see what
mathematical modeling is like.
Traditionally, students from small liberal arts colleges, such as Hope,
have done well in this competition. The reason for this is that, in addition
to doing the mathematics, each problem requires the solution to communicate
the findings to a non-mathematical audience in some way. More information
is available at http://www.comap.com/undergraduate/contests/mcm/.
This year the competition will take place from 8 p.m. on Thursday, February
6 through 8 p.m. on Monday, February 10. If you are interested in getting
more information or competing, please contact Prof. Cinzori (email@example.com.)
The deadline for applications is Wednesday, February 5.
Summer opportunities for research or internships should be investigated
As mentioned in the last newsletter, the Department of Mathematics has
recently received word that its NSF-REU Summer Research Grant Proposal
has been funded. This coming summer, professors Aaron Cinzori, Tim
Pennings, and Darin Stephenson will be the research mentors. Although
students apply from all over the country, Hope students are given special
consideration. So if you are interested, see the web site at http://www.math.hope.edu/reu.html
for more details. If you are interested in doing summer research,
but not at Hope, check out the other REU sites around the country. A
list of these can be found at http://www.maa.org/students/reustuff/pages/REU.html.
Since the deadlines for these are fast approaching, if you are interested
you should apply soon.
Besides research, there are also internships available. For information
about these, check out the links under "Careers, Internships, Summer Research
and Off-Campus Study Opportunities" located at http://www.math.hope.edu/links.html.
If you have questions, see Prof. Andersen soon.
Surfing the Web
During World Mathematical Year 2000, posters designed at the Isaac Newton
Institute for Mathematical Sciences were displayed month by month in the
trains of the London Underground. The posters contained topics such as
graph theory, cryptography, and probability. The site, located at
shows the twelve poster designs, further information on some of the poster
topics, and links to other mathematical sites.