MEC hosts NAMM Mathfest XXVII

Fri. September 30, 2017

NAM’s Undergraduate MATHFest XXVII was held from September 29 - October 1, 2017 at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, NY. Terrence Blackman, Dean (Interim) of the School of Science, Health and Technology at Medgar Evers, was the local organizer. Helen Grundman, Director of the Office for Education and Diversity at the American Mathematical Society (AMS), sponsored prizes for the participants.

This three-day conference hosted nearly 40 participants from the American Mathematical Society, Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, the CUNY Graduate Center, Florida A&M University, Medgar Evers College, Morehouse College, Mount Sinai, Northeastern University, Purdue University, Queens College, Queensborough Community College, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Iowa, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Pennsylvania.  The conference consisted five activities:

Throughout Saturday and Sunday, there were five 30-minute Student Talks:
1. William Dula (Morehouse College) spoke on "Detecting Bovine Lameness Using Three-Dimensional Limb Movement Variable Analysis to Achieve High Sensitivity and Specificity”. The AMS presented Mr. Dula with the book "Game Theory: A Playful Introduction” by Matt DeVos and Deborah A. Kent.

2. Harold Jimenez-Polo (University of California at Berkeley) spoke on "On the Roots of Lower Binomials”. NAM presented Mr. Polo with a $40 cash prize.

3. Trajan Hammonds (Carnegie Mellon University) spoke on "Counting The Roots of Polynomials Modulo p^2”. NAM presented Mr. Hammonds with an autographed copy of the book "The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe” as signed by Stephon Alexander.

4. Jeshu Dastidar (Queens College) spoke on "On the Maximal Number of Roots of a Trinomial Over a Prime Field”. The AMS presented Mr. Dastidar with the book "From Groups to Geometry and Back” by Vaughn Climenhaga and Anatole Katok.

5. Joshua Sparks (Morehouse College) spoke on “The Mathematics TEU Program at Brown University”. NAM presented Mr. Sparks with the book “Beyond Banneker: Black Mathematicians and the Paths to Excellence” by Erica Walker.

On Saturday afternoon there were Poster Presentations during the Graduate Fair. Three schools had tables at the Fair: Mount Sinai, MSRI-UP, and the University of Iowa. However, only one student, Carlos Samuels (Medgar Evers College), presented a poster.

Throughout Saturday and Sunday, we hosted "Problem Time with Dr. Cooper”. Duane Cooper (Morehouse College) presented six different challenge problems for the students to answer. Both Trajan Hammonds and Harold Jimenez-Polo received special prizes (See above) for their correct solutions.

On Friday afternoon, Stephon Alexander (Brown University) gave the J. Ernest Wilkins Lecture. This hour-long talk is given by an established researcher to motivate undergraduates to continue to pursue research in the mathematical sciences. Alexander spoke on “A Meditation on Jazz, Mathematics and Cosmology”.