Colorado College News: Mathematics & Computer Science
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Steven Janke Publishes New BookThu, 16 Oct 2014 16:30:00 MDT
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<p>The book presents an accessible and intuitive approach to the mathematical ideas and techniques necessary for two- and three-dimensional computer graphics. Focusing on the significant mathematical results, “Mathematical Structures for Computer Graphics” establishes key algorithms used to build complex graphics scenes.</p>
<p><img src="/dotAsset/8ecbf1be-b31c-41ba-ac66-c5649edad7fb.jpg" width="250" alt="Janke book cover" class="photo inline-right" />Written for readers with various levels of mathematical background, the book develops a solid foundation for graphics techniques and fills in relevant graphics details often overlooked in the literature. Rather than use a rigid theorem/proof approach, the book provides a flexible discussion that moves from vector geometry through transformations, curve modeling, visibility, and lighting models. <br /> <br /> The text grew out of notes created for a computer graphics course taught regularly at the college during the last 20 years. It emphasizes how mathematical abstractions offer a unifying theme for theoretical computer graphics and offers practical approaches to efficient algorithms. There is unique coverage of topics such as homogeneous coordinate calculations, computational geometry, curve descriptions, and L-systems.</p>Kaleb Roush ’14 Named to Academic All-America TeamTue, 03 Jun 2014 11:07:00 MDT
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http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/kaleb-roush-14-named-to-academic-all-america-team <p><strong>Kaleb Roush ’14</strong> capped his impressive collegiate career by earning a place on the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Roush is the second member of CC’s men’s swimming and diving program to receive the highly competitive national award since it began in 1952. He joins former teammate <strong>Jordan DeGayner</strong> <strong>’12 </strong>who was honored in 2011 and 2012.<br /><br />Roush also received another honor: The SCAC voted him the 2014 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference <a href="http://cctigers.com/news/2014/6/6/MSD_0606141956.aspx">Man of the Year.<br /></a><br />Roush, of Windsor, Colo., graduated May 19 with a 3.99 grade-point average and a degree in biochemistry and a minor in mathematics. He was named the college’s outstanding senior in biochemistry, and has served as a research and laboratory assistant in the college’s biology and physics departments.<br /><br />He started as a learning assistant and FYE mentor in the fall of 2012. More recently his duties have included directing and supervising student usage of the college’s atomic force microscope, as well as analyzing the quality and utility of the data generated by students.<br /><br />Roush’s research included investigating the morphological and physiological roles of five different genes expressed during long-term stationary phase in Acinetobacter baylyi through atomic force microscopy, fluorescent microscopy, and the generation of growth curves.<br /><br />In 2012 Roush assisted in a summer research project with Associate Chemistry Professor Murphy Brasuel. The following year, he worked alongside Stephen Dewhurst, professor in the Microbiology and Immunology Department at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, researching HIV vaccine development using nano particles.<br /><br />Roush also had an outstanding career in the pool.The co-captain posted three podium finishes and scored points in four events at the 2014 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships. He finished 6th in 400-yard individual medley, 8th in 200 breaststroke and 12th in 200 IM.<br /><br />At the 2013 conference meet, Roush set the school record in the preliminaries of the 400 IM and finished third in the championship final. He also took 5th in the 200 IM and 6th in the 200 butterfly.<br /><br />Roush was named to the SCAC Academic Honor Roll each of his first three seasons. The list of this year’s honorees will be announced later this month.<br /><br />To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a 4.0 scale, and have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her current institution.</p>Gautam Webb '15 Receives Goldwater Honorable MentionWed, 07 May 2014 17:27:00 MDT
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http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/gautam-webb <p><strong>Gautam Webb '15,</strong> a math major from Golden, Colo., has received a Goldwater Honorable Mention. The Goldwater Scholarship is very competitive and is considered by many to be the top scholarship for students pursuing a career in research science. Webb conducted research on avalanche polynomials in the abelian sandpile model last summer at the PURE Math Research Experience for Undergraduates in Hilo, Hawaii. He plans on attending a second REU this summer, this time at San Diego State University.<br /><br />The abelian sandpile model is a mathematical illustration of self-organized criticality. The term “self-organized criticality” refers to the property of a system being naturally driven to a critical state, from which a disturbance produces fluctuations of a wide range of magnitudes, Webb said. In the model, such fluctuations are called avalanches. The avalanche polynomial of a graph is defined in order to study the distribution of avalanche sizes. “My research focuses on the results of a large computational experiment in Sage that has led us to conjecture formulas for the avalanche polynomials of some well-known graph families.<br /><br />“I love math and I enjoy doing research in this field,” Webb said.<br /><br />“Gautam has proved himself both through his course work and his research to be deserving of this honor,” said Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Amelia Taylor, his advisor. “He has that rare combination of being both creative in his mathematical thinking and the ability to crank through detailed computations and understands the value of both in the process of mathematics. I am always amazed at the enthusiasm with which Gautam pursues mathematical research and am excited to see the results of his research in the coming year.”<br /><br />Webb, who lived in Sydney, Australia, the first six years of his life, and in New Paltz, N.Y., the next six, attended Waldorf schools throughout, which also follow a Block Plan. “When I was looking at colleges, this was a big factor, so CC was a natural choice for me,” he said. After graduation, Webb plans to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics, conduct research in pure mathematics, and teach at the university level.<br /><br />The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by the United States Congress in 1986. The purpose of the foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue research careers in these fields.</p>CC Students Win Prestigious Math PrizeMon, 08 Apr 2013 14:51:00 MDT
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http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/cc-students-win-prestigious-math-prize <p>A team of Colorado College students was one of only 11 “Outstanding Winners” of a worldwide mathematical modeling contest that drew 5,636 team entries.<br /><br />The students — <strong>Yukiko Iwasaki ’13,</strong> <strong>Namgyal Angmo ’14, </strong>and <strong>Aradhya Sood ’14</strong> (left to right in photo) — wrote a paper, “Water, Water Everywhere: Meeting the Demands of Saudi Arabia’s Water Needs,” that also received the Frank R. Giordano Award. The award, named after Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Frank R. Giordano who directed the Mathematical Contest in Modeling for many years, goes to a paper that demonstrates true excellence in the execution of the modeling process.<br /><br />“The team. . . wrote a killer paper,” said Andrea Bruder, the team’s advisor and assistant professor of mathematics.<br /><br />The students built a model for determining an “effective, feasible, and cost-efficient water strategy” for 2013 to meet the projected water needs of Saudi Arabia in 2025. They were required to address storage, movement, desalinization, and conservation, and to identify the best water strategy, taking into account environmental, economic, and physical implications of the strategy. They then were asked to write a non-technical position paper that government leaders could use.<br /><br />The second team of <strong>Jenna Griffith ’15, Minqi Liu ’15</strong>, and <strong>Hannah Kim ’15</strong>, also entered the contest and received the designation of “successful participants.” The contest drew 375 U.S. teams and 5,261 non-U.S. teams.<br /><br />The winning papers will be featured in “The UMAP Journal,” a publication of the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving mathematics education.</p>Marlow Anderson Receives Award for Excellence in Teaching MathematicsMon, 04 Mar 2013 16:27:00 MST
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<p>CC Professor of Mathematics Marlow Anderson has received the 2013 Burton W. Jones Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics.<br /><br />The annual award from the Rocky Mountain Section of the Mathematics Association of America recognizes extraordinarily successful teachers of mathematics. The MAA is the premier national organization dedicated to college math education, and the Rocky Mountain Section contains 50 colleges and universities. <br /><br />“I am surprised and honored by this recognition from our MAA Section. It would not have been possible without the wonderful colleagues I have in the department here at CC, and most of all, without the great students I have had the privilege of teaching over the last 30 years,” Anderson said.</p>
<p>As the award recipient, Anderson will receive a check for $271.82. These are, of course, the first five digits of the mathematically significant number e, sometimes called Euler's number, which is an important mathematical constant.<br /><br />Anderson is a graduate of Whitman College and received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, writing a dissertation on Lattice-ordered groups. Over the years, his scholarly interests have changed, with a primary emphasis on mathematical exposition and the history of mathematics. He enjoys teaching calculus, linear algebra, number theory, real and complex analysis, and of course abstract algebra, which he teaches out of a text he co-authored. Anderson also is the author of “The Physics of Scuba Diving.”<br /><em><br /></em>The Board of Governors of the Mathematical Association of America established Section Awards for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics In 1991. CC Mathematics Professor Steven Janke received the award in 2008. </p>Get to Know...Matthew Whitehead, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer ScienceMon, 24 Sep 2012 10:37:00 MDT
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http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/get-to-know-matthew-whitehead-assistant-professor-of-mathematics-and-computer-science <p>Matthew Whitehead holds a B.A. in mathematics from Willamette University, an M. S. in computer science from Washington State University, and a Ph.D. in computer science from Indiana University (2010).<br /><br />His dissertation work focused on machine learning through dataset preprocessing, and his research interests include data-mining, information retrieval, artificial intelligence, cryptography, and computer security, among other topics.<br /><br />After earning his degrees, Whitehead began teaching as a visiting assistant professor in the mathematics and computer science department at Colorado College. In addition to his research and teaching experience, he has worked as a software engineer at several organizations including Google, Inc. and Apple, Inc.<br /><br />At Colorado College Whitehead plans to continue his research in applied machine learning and data mining.<br /><br />He recently has been working on automatically generating natural language summaries from structured statistical data. He also plans to work on various techniques for improving Web search results by clustering pages of results into distinct semantic groups.<br /><br />Whitehead is especially excited to work on projects in artificial intelligence with students throughout the college, as well as those in the math and computer science department. He hopes to encourage students to think about solving problems from all areas in a more computational way.</p>Beth Malmskog joins Math Department in the FallTue, 08 May 2012 09:14:00 MDT
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<p>In the Fall, the Math and Computer Science department will be welcoming Dr. Beth Malmskog as our Visiting Assistant Professor. </p>Trevor Barron '15 on pace for an Olympic medalTue, 24 Apr 2012 10:40:00 MDT
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<p>Colorado College’s Trevor Barron ’15 is considered the United States’ best hope for a race walking medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He will get an opportunity to qualify for London at the U.S. trials on June 30 and July 1.</p>
<p>The 19-year-old from Pittsburgh recorded the second-best American time ever in the 20-kilometer (12-mile) race on April 1. Barron beat the Olympic qualifying standard by 17 seconds and was only 11 seconds behind the U.S. record – which is held by his coach.</p>
<p>Barron’s feat is even more remarkable considering he is a full-time student, juggling an intensive academic schedule while training. A typical day begins with a 7 a.m. workout, then breakfast, class, and lunch. The likely computer science or mathematics major attends afternoon events about robotics, Russia, or math followed by one or two hours of training, then dinner and studying. Saturdays involve more training. He has friends who travel to nearby races to cheer him on, a rarity in the little-known sport.</p>
<p>However, having been struck with epilepsy at age 8 puts all the effort in perspective for Barron. The seizures spoiled his hope of being a swimmer, so he took up race walking to be around his standout hurdler sister.</p>
<p>By age 12, Barron was taking adult-sized doses to control his epilepsy, prompting surgery. After pinpointing the problem area, surgeons removed a 1-by-3-centimeter piece of his brain. Daily medication has kept him symptom-free since September 2006.</p>
<p>Race walking requires perfect form and differs from running in that one foot must appear to be touching the ground at all times. This forces a short stride and what appears to be an exaggerated hip swivel. Three violations disqualify a competitor from a race. </p>
<p>Barron, the 2011 U.S. national race walking champion, is not worried about garnering the United States’ first medal since 1972. He just hopes to savor the experience.</p>
<p>“I do want to make it to London, but I do not place a huge emphasis on awards and medals,” he said. “I am more excited about the prospect of going to the Olympics and meeting people from around the world.”</p>Amelia Taylor awarded grant for research in New ZealandFri, 24 Feb 2012 10:34:00 MST
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<p>Amelia Taylor, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science, has been awarded a $7,500 grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Taylor will travel to New Zealand, where she has been invited to work with the director of the Biomathematics Research Centre at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.</p>
<p>Researchers at the Biomathematics Research Centre (BRC) explore the application of mathematics, statistics, and computer science to contemporary problems in biology. They constitute one of the top research groups in the world working at the interface of algebra, combinatorics, and biology. Taylor will travel to New Zealand during her Spring 2013 sabbatical.</p>
<p>A classically trained algebraist, Taylor began research in 2009 that utilizes algebra and algebraic geometry (the algebraic study of solutions to systems of polynomial equations) to provide a stronger theoretical foundation for using statistical models to build phylogenetic trees in the study of evolutionary relationships between species. This work has culminated in a co-authored paper now in preparation, titled “A Semi-Algebraic Description of the General Markov Model on Phylogenetic Trees.”</p>Three Colorado College Math Majors Receive NSF Research FellowshipsMon, 25 Apr 2011 12:00:00 MDT
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http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/three-colorado-college-math-majors-receive-nsf-research-fellowships <p><span>A current student and two recent Colorado College graduates have received National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p><span>Lauren Shoemaker ’11, a double major in mathematics and biology, will embark on a Ph.D. program in ecology at the University of Colorado in the fall. Shoemaker </span><span>carried out her senior thesis research on the sustainable management of reef fish at the National Marine Fisheries Service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.</span><span><span> </span>Sarah Wolff ’10, who graduated magna cum laude with a mathematics degree, is a first-year graduate student in math at Dartmouth College. Jess Coyle ’08, who graduated magna cum laude with degrees in biology and mathematics, is a first-year graduate student in ecology at the University of North Carolina.</span><span> She spent a year before graduate school teaching at a school for HIV orphans in Malawi.</span><span><o:p></o:p></span></p><p><span>“These </span><span>NSF fellowships are very prestigious, so for three students from a small college to get them in one year is a really amazing accomplishment,” said David Brown, associate math professor.</span><span> </span><span><span>“</span></span><span><span>It is a real testament to the talent of our students and to the educational opportunities available at Colorado College. It is a privilege to work with bright young scientists like these, and we couldn't be prouder of them.</span></span><span><o:p></o:p></span></p><p><span>The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters’ and doctoral degrees. </span><span><span>Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Google founder Sergey Brin and “</span></span><span>Freakonomics</span><span><span>” co-author Steven Levitt. </span></span><span><o:p></o:p></span></p>