Friends and Colleagues,
For the past 24 years, student from YSU have been giving talks at MathFest, the annual joint summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of American (MAA) and Pi Mu Epsilon, the National Mathematics Honorary Society. In 1998 these organizations began giving awards for outstanding talks, which are generally awarded to about 15%
of those presenting. Prior to the meeting in Albuquerque this past week, no school had more than three students win awards at a single meeting. This had happened five times, and of these, four of the times YSU students were the recipients.
This past week YSU had seven student presenters at MathFest:
Tom Cochran, David Gohlke, and Nicole Casacchia gave presentations on the work they did with the SURE program at YSU, which is a joint research program between mathematics and biology.
David Martin, who has just finished his freshman year, discussed a new method of proving a formula of Euler.
Maria Salcedo gave a presentation of work she has done during an NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates in California.
Joe Kolenick gave a presentation on a problem he solved that was published in the American Mathematical Monthly.
Ted Stadnik gave a presentation on research he had done on his senior project.
Five of these students won awards for their presentations. Gohlke, Martin, and Salcedo were presented with outstanding awards by Pi Mu Epsilon. Kolenick won one of the outstanding awards from the MAA, and Cassacia was given the award for the best mathematical modeling presentation by SIAM, the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. As an aside, I attended the talks of Cochran and Stadnik and felt that
they were two of the best talks I heard at the meeting.
It is difficult for me to describe how impressed the members of the audience were with the number of award presentations given to the YSU students. I wish you had the opportunity to see the high regard in which our students are held by the mathematicians that attend the summer MathFest.
Although awards are not given to the faculty who advise the students, encourage them to present, and help them prepare their talks, it is clear that without superb faculty supervision this degree of success would not be attained. Much of the credit for the success of the students should go to Drs Angela Spalsbury and George Yates, who worked with and accompanied the students to the MathFest.