Math Students Offer Summer Research

Dr. Dave Hunter and Senior Emma Donelson

Dr. David Hunter and Senior Emma Donelson

A Westmont student has won a national science research award and six students presented their research from last summer to a regional section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).

Westmont senior Samuel Muthiah, a mathematics and English double major from Altadena, Calif., won a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Award. His program, “Algebraic Methods of Computational Biology,” is at Texas A&M University. Muthiah, a full-tuition Monroe Scholar, is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Tau Delta Honor Societies.

Bethany Le and Emma Donelson

Bethany Le and Emma Donelson

The research students of David Hunter, Westmont professor of mathematics, presented their work at the Southern California-Nevada Section Meeting of the MAA at CSU Northridge. Junior Kalie Drown, senior Emma Donelson and junior Bethany Le presented their research on new statistical techniques to analyze data on orientations in three-space and income inequality, funded in part by the MAA’s Tensor Foundation Women in Mathematics Grant. Drown gave a talk, “Smoothing Binned Data by Recursive Subdivision: Estimating Income Inequality,” while Donelson and Le presented a poster on “Using Quaternions to Improve Statistical Analysis in SO(3): A New Two-Sample Hypothesis Test for Orientation Data.”

Junior Kalie Drown

Junior Kalie Drown

Senior David Kyle, a student of Russell Howell, Westmont professor of mathematics, presented his complex analysis research, “The Count of Monte Disco,” which produced a formula for counting the number of interior roots of certain types of trinomials. He gave a similar presentation at the Joint Mathematics Meeting last January in Atlanta. Senior Kyle Hansen and Muthiah presented posters on their work in this semester’s Problem Solving Seminar.