Therese Shelton

Three faculty members and a student joined over five thousand mathematicians at the largest math gathering in the world, Joint Mathematics Meetings, in Boston, MA, January 4-7, 2023. The American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the undergraduate mathematics honor society Pi Mu Epsilon (PME) were among the fifteen partner professional organizations. Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross presented “Isoperimetric solutions to a 1-dimensional problem within regions and log-concave density” in the AMS Contributed Paper Session on Topics in Analysis and Control Theory. Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura co-led a four-hour Professional Enhancement Program, “Visualizing Projective Geometry Through Photographs and Perspective Drawings,” with Annalisa Crannell of Franklin & Marshall College. Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr presented “Distance Magic Labelings of Directed Graphs” in the AMS Special Session on The Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education Program (EDGE): Pure and Applied Talks by Women Math Warriors. She also participated in multiple events in her capacity as Co-director of EDGE. Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton presented “Cars, Competition, and Cholera” in the AMS Special Session on Stimulating Student Engagement in Differential Equations through Modeling Activities. Oliver Johnson ’24 presented “Perspective Analysis of Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait” in the PME Contributed Session on Research by Undergraduates. This research was supervised by Futamura.

—January 2023

A wonderful interdisciplinary group from Southwestern participated in the 17th Annual Texas Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (TUMC), held this year at the University of Texas at Austin on October 29. Carson Vogel ’23 presented “Modeling Heat Transfer.” This project is a continuation of the 2021 and 2022 SCOPE projects under the supervision of Professor of Physics Steven Alexander and Associate Professor of Physics Mark Bottorf. This work is part of ongoing efforts for the eventual development of a solar energy storage cell; a problem brought to Southwestern by Coordinator of Science Facilities and Equipment Oscar Lee Fellows. Melanie Richey ’23 presented “Rats on the Run: Modeling of Hippocampal Cell Activity Using Plasticity.” Her project is a continuation of a 2022 Research Experience for Undergraduates at Southern Methodist University under the supervision of Dr. Katie Hedrick in collaboration with Dr. Brad E. Pfeiffer, Department of Neuroscience, UT Southwestern Medical Center. Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr and Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton also attended the conference. Marr chaired a student presentation session. Shelton supervised Vogel’s and Richey’s current work, preliminary results for their mathematics capstone projects. Jillian Reese ’23 and Emma Lewis ’23 joined with their counterparts from the University of North Texas-Denton in research with Shelton and Dr. Joe Iaia, funded through the Council for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics. Other students also attended: Oliver Johnson ’23, Jess Kazmir ’23, Lauren Calzado ’23, Rowan Via ’23, Kathryn Altman ’24, and Aidan Bujanda-Moore ’23. Majors and minors among our student attendees included Mathematics, Computational Mathematics, Physics, Economics, Education, Spanish, and Political Science.

—December 2022

Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton, with co-authors Bonnie Henderson ’18 and Michael Gebhardt ’16, published a chapter, “Acrobatics in a Parametric Arena,” in Mathematics Research for the Beginning Student. The volume is part of the book series, Foundation for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics (FURM), which is devoted to increasing access to undergraduate research opportunities. Parts of Gebhardt’s and Henderson’s Mathematics capstone projects supervised by Shelton were included in this chapter. Professor of Kinesiology Scott McLean aided in data collection from video capture software generated by Henderson’s juggling of flower sticks in the fall of 2017. Research Assistants for this project included E. Wilson Cook ’22, Audrey Schumacher ’23, and Emily Thompson ’22.

—December 2022

Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton co-led a four-day virtual workshop, “Modeling Inspiration for Differential Equations,” for 25 faculty participants through the Mathematical Association of America’s Online Professional Enhancement and Capacity Building for Instructional Practices in Undergraduate Mathematics (OPEN Math) program, which is funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF). The group was invited to apply to organize a workshop based on its previous work in an NSF grant. 

—July 2022

Members of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science attended the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America (Texas MAA), held March 31–April 2 at the University of North Texas, the first in-person Texas MAA meeting since 2019. 

  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross presented “An n-bubble Result on a Dense Number Line.” Ross also participated in the professional development program of the Texas New Experiences in Teaching (NExT), held in conjunction with the Texas MAA meeting. 
  • Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton presented “From Cars to Competition to Cholera: Math Models in Differential Equations.” As section representative to the national governing body, the MAA Congress, Shelton also led events at the executive committee meeting, the business meeting, and more.
  • Emily Thompson ’22 presented “Using Neural Ordinary Differential Equations (NODEs) to Create Models of Complex Curves,” which was the result of her mathematics capstone from fall 2022, supervised by Shelton. 
  • Mel Richey ’23 and Kevan Kennedy ’24 attended the conference. 
—April 2022