December 13, 2016
Math Majors Spend Fall Semester Competing
When one thinks of competition, sporting events usually come to mind. To some, that means football, basketball, and baseball; to others, that means mathematics. Several math majors at West Virginia Wesleyan College have been busy this fall semester traveling to different conferences to improve their skills.
On September 24, several majors attended the Shenandoah Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics Conference at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. Attendees included junior Zach Abbott of Carmel, IN; senior Stacie Baumann of Gahanna, OH; senior Jacob Coleman of Belington, WV; senior Isaac Johnson of Buckhannon, WV; senior Mark Leadingham of Sharpsburg, MD; senior Daniel Plaugher of Salem, WV; senior Olivia Rycroft of Elkins, WV; and senior Trever Williams of Buckhannon, WV.
Baumann and Coleman presented 15-minute talks and posters of their summer research project; Baumann won best poster presentation.
On November 11-12, another cohort attended the 12th Annual University of North Carolina Greensboro Regional Mathematics and Statistics Conference at UNC-Greensboro. Attendees included Abbott; Coleman; sophomore Rebecca Davis of Blakeslee, PA; Johnson; junior Andrew Kinkaid of Stuarts Draft, VA; Leadingham; junior Jericho Norris of Vienna, WV; Plaugher; Rycroft; and Williams.
Coleman, Leadingham, Plaugher, and Williams presented 15-minute talks of their research projects. Leadingham won for best presentation. Students also completed a small mathematics competition on the evening of November 11, and Coleman and Leadingham were both members of the top-three finishing teams.
On December 3, students participated in the William Lowell Putman Competition, a 12-question exam completed during two three-hour sessions. The problems are particularly challenging, and the solutions submitted must be technically sound in order to receive consideration for credit. Owing to the difficulty of the problems and to the grading scheme, the median score on the 120-point test is typically a 0. Official scores for the Putnam examination will be announced in the spring. Students who pass the exam are named Putnam Fellows.
The following students completed in the Putnam Competition: Abbott, Baumann, Coleman, Davis, Kinkaid, Leadingham, Norris, Plaugher, and Williams.
Cutline: Students who attended the Shenandoah Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics Conference at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.
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