Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science & Mathematics

Department of Mathematics

Undergraduate Student Research

2014 Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Research Conference

April 12, 2014
Department of Mathematics
Towson University

The Undergraduate Mathematics Research Conference at Towson was a one-day meeting designed to promote undergraduate research in mathematics by showcasing completed original research, selected expository presentations, as well as research projects in progress. If you are an undergraduate student or a high-school student, you were welcome to attend the conference (with or without a talk). If you have participated in an original research project, you were invited to give a presentation about your research. The web page Advice for Presenters offers information about the length of the talk, the physical facilities, and some links to website for helpful hints in preparing your presentation.

In addition to student presentations, the conference featured two invited faculty talks and a panel on career opportunities in government, industry, and academia.

The first invited talk was given by Dr. Dan Kalman, Professor of Mathematics at American University.

Provincial Polynomia: Uncommon Excursions for the Seasoned Visitor

Abstract:  This talk is for long time friends of Polynomia, who have wandered its pathways many times. I will guide the audience to some out of the way destinations that are easily accessible from the most well traveled and familiar thoroughfares of the realm. Such  destinations show that Polynomia still has much to surprise, delight, and intrigue even the most seasoned visitors. The itinerary includes Horner evaluation, Lill's method, the curly-root function, and Marden's Theorem.

Brief biography: Dr. Dan Kalman has been writing about and teaching mathematics for 35 years. A graduate of Harvey Mudd College (BS, 1974) and the University of Wisconsin (PhD, 1980) he is a Professor of Mathematics at American University, Washington, DC. He previously held faculty positions at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, and Augustana College, Sioux Falls, among other institutions, and worked for several years as an applied mathematician at the Aerospace Corporation. He also served the MAA in various roles, including as an Associate Executive Director, a member of the MAA Board of Governors, and a section officer. Dr. Kalman has been an invited speaker at numerous national and regional mathematics conferences, and has spoken to student organizations and at student conferences many times. His mathematical writing has been recognized with multiple MAA writing awards: Allendoerfer Awards in 1998 and 2002, Polya Awards in 1994 and 2002, Evans Awards in 1997 and 2012, and Ford Awards in 2009 and 2013. His book, Uncommon Mathematical Excursions: Polynomia and Related Realms, received the MAA's Beckenbach Book Prize in 2012.

The second invited talk was given by Dr. Kathleen Hoffman, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

From Classic Results to Recent Advances:
The Lotka-Volterra Model of the Predator-Prey Cycle

Abstract:  Lotka and Volterra profoundly impacted mathematical ecology with their development of a set of differential equations that successfully predicted the rise and fall of  predator and prey populations. The classic data set of lynx and hare from the Hudson Bay trading company spanning over 100 years exhibits the behavior predicted the the Lotka-Volterra model. In this talk I will discuss two recent developments. The first describes the dynamics of the food chain with an additional scavenger added to the classical predator-prey model. The second provides a mathematical description of the Hairston, Smith and Slobodkin conjecture in ecology that describes how top-down and bottom-up forces in a food chain effect the dynamics of the food chain.

A brief biography of Dr. Kathleen Hoffman can be found here.

Support for this conference was provided by National Science Foundation grant DMS-0846477 through the Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conferences program of the Mathematical Association of America. Additional support is provided by the Fisher Endowment Fund of Towson University, Department of Mathematics at Towson University, and the Mathematics Club at TU.


2014 Undergraduate Mathematics Research Conference
Conference Poster




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