Notable Faculty & Student Achievements
In June, recent graduate Will Price ’19 and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum attended the Congress on Evolutionary Computation in Wellington, New Zealand.
- Price presented research on his coauthored paper with Schrum, “Neuroevolution of Multimodal Ms. Pac-ManControllers under Partially Observable Conditions,” based on his SCOPE 2018 research, which resulted in a first-place entry in the Ms. Pac-Man vs. Ghost Team Competition.
- Schrum presented a paper coauthored with SCOPE 2018 student Bryan Hollingsworth ’20 titled “Infinite Art Gallery: A Game World of Interactively Evolved Artwork.”
Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony was a participant in the WeTeach_CS Summit 2019, a three-day event that educates, empowers, and inspires K–12 computer science teachers, advocates, administrators, professional-development providers, university instructors, and policy makers to advance the goal of computer science for all in Texas and beyond.
Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony was participated in the 2019 Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution & Design (SEED) workshops at Syracuse University, training faculty to use SEED labs to demonstrate cybersecurity exploits and countermeasures. She can be seen in the local video coverage here.
Professor of Mathematics Kendall Richards recently published an article titled “A Note on Inequalities for the Ratio of Zero-Balanced Hypergeometric Functions” in the Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society (series B, vol. 6, May 2019).
Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum attended the Summit of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), in Nashville, TN, May 14–16, as part of their ongoing work with NCWIT’s Extension Services Learning Circles. In keeping with the theme of the summit, “Where Conversations Lead to Change,” they met with change leaders at other schools, participated in interactive workshops designed to help interrupt bias, and heard from plenary speakers from multiple disciplinary backgrounds on improving diversity and inclusion in computing.
Computer science major Adina Friedman ’19 and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum have had a peer-reviewed publication accepted to the IEEE Conference on Games, to take place in London, U.K., August 20–23. The publication, “Desirable Behaviors for Companion Bots in First-Person Shooters,” describes research that began as part of SCOPE in summer 2018 and was followed up in fall 2018 with a human-subject study involving 30 members of the SU community. The videos, code, and other content associated with the study are available online.
Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr received a $6,000 Mathematical Association of America’s Tensor Program for Women and Mathematics grant that will fund the Hidden No More lecture series for the 2019–2020 academic year. This grant (and some support from the Mathematics and Computer Science Department) will bring six women from underrepresented groups with doctorates in mathematics and computer science to campus over the academic year for a lecture series in which each speaker will tell her journey to math or computer science and also share the type of research she does.
Computer science major Adanna Court ’19 was selected and funded by Facebook to attend their 2019 Data Challenge on May 3–4, in Menlo Park, CA. Ten teams of three to four participants each were tasked with determining the optimal location and type of business for San Francisco based on the data set provided. Using R and Python , they were able to manipulate the data and create graphs to support the recommendations they provided, which they presented to the judges. In addition, teams made recommendations to Facebook about how to use that data set to improve one of their products. Court’s team focused on WhatsApp.
Sara Boyd ’20, Devon Fulcher ’19, and Daniel Maldonado ’19 received an honorable mention for their submission in the 35th annual COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling, advised by Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony. During the contest, they spent five days working on a problem that required them to elect, configure, optimally pack, geoposition, deploy and operate a set of midsize unmanned aerial vehicles that would supplement existing relief medical supply chains on Puerto Rico. Their honorable mention designation put them in the top quarter of the 14,108 teams that participated. Learn more .
Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton has been elected as representative of the Texas Section of the Congress of the Mathematical Association of America. This three-year national leadership position will begin in July 2019.
A paper coauthored by Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton, Associate Professor of Education Sherry Adrian, and Emma Kathryn Groves ’17, titled “A Model of the Transmission of Cholera in a Population with Contaminated Water,” which was accepted for publication in November 2018, has been published in the CODEE Journal, vol. 12. The article was downloaded across 15 countries in its first 25 days of online availability.
Lauren Gillespie ’19 has been awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship that will finance three years’ worth of graduate school attendance. Gillespie will be using the funds to seek a Ph.D. in computer science at Stanford University.
Southwestern had strong representation at the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges South Central Conference at the University of Texas at Dallas on April 5. Students presented the following posters:
- “Voluntunity: Building a Volunteer Opportunity Website with Django” by TaylorAxtell ’19, SaraBoyd ’20, LaurenGillespie ’19, Danielle Orbach ’19, and Colin Scruggs ’19, part of their computer-science capstone work with Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony.
- “Creating a User-Friendly System to Facilitate Tracking and Entry of Internship Hours” by Adina Friedman ’19, William Price ’19, Elyssa Sliheet ’19, Isabel Tweraser ’19, and Jacob Yager ’20, also part of the computer-science capstone.
- “Verification of Welfare Transactions on the Blockchain” by Adanna Court ’19, Devon Fulcher ‘19, Bobby Garza ‘19, Alexander Hoffman ‘20, and Daniel Maldonado ‘19, also part of the computer-science capstone.
- “Project Pen and Paper: Operations Research for Prospective Students” by Katie Dyo ‘19, Devon Fulcher ‘19, Alexander Hoffman ‘20, Daniel Maldonado ‘19, and Greg O’Brien ‘19, work that originated in the Operations Research course in Fall 2018 taught by Anthony.
- “Desirable Behaviors for Companion Bots in First-Person Shooters” by Adina Friedman ‘19, based on her SCOPE 2018 summer research with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum.
- “Evolving Custom Convolutional Neural Network Architectures in SZ-Tetris” by Devon Fulcher ‘19, also based on SCOPE 2018 research with Schrum. This poster won fourth place in the undergraduate poster competition.
- “Infinite Art Gallery: A Game World of Interactively Evolved Artwork” by Bryan Hollingsworth ‘20, also based on SCOPE 2018 research with Schrum. This poster won third place in the undergraduate poster competition.
Students Boyd, Court, Friedman, Fulcher, Garza, Hoffman, Hollingsworth, and Orbach, as well as Schrum, attended the conference.
Southwestern University had a strong showing at the 2019 Texas Section Meeting of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), held March 28–30 at Tarleton State University, in Stephenville, TX.
- Katie Dyo ’20 presented “Women’s Golf: An NCAA Comparison Using Mathematical Modeling,” preliminary results from her signature work with Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton. Dyo is a mathematics major and data-science minor, and she is a member of the SU Women’s Golf Team.
- Claire Harding ’19 and Madison Godleski ’19 presented “Rocket Projections,” supervised by Associate Professor of Physics Mark Bottorff. Harding is a physics major, and Godleski is a physics major with a mathematics minor.
- Daniela Beckelhymer ’20, Charlie Ellison ’20, Hannah Freeman ’20, and Gerardo Gonzalez also attended the meeting.
- President and Professor of Mathematics Edward Burger gave the invited address, “Making up Your Own Mind through Practices of (Mathematical) Effective Thinking.”
- Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr co-led and participated in the Mathematics Learning by Inquiry organizational meetings, held in conjunction with the Texas MAA meeting.
- Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross attended the professional-development program of Texas New Experiences in Teaching (NExT), held in conjunction with the Texas MAA meeting. Ross also supported the student attendees.
- Professor of Mathematics Kendall Richards and Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Osborne participated in the Texas MAA meeting.
Student lodging, registration, and meals were provided by the Fleming Student Travel Fund and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Southwestern students accounted for five of the 57 presentations, along with 20 other colleges and universities.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross was invited to speak at Trinity University’s mathematics seminar on March 19, 2019. His talk, “Isoperimetry and Geometric Optimization,” discussed recent research as well as general strategies for solving geometric optimization problems using the calculus of variations.
Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum has had two peer-reviewed publications accepted to appear in the 2019 Congress on Evolutionary Computation, each with student coauthors. Will Price ’19 is the primary author on “Neuroevolution of Multimodal Ms. Pac-Man Controllers Under Partially Observable Conditions,” which describes his first place entry in the international Ms. Pac-Man vs. Ghost Team Competition in 2018. Bryan Hollingsworth ’20 is the primary author on “Infinite Art Gallery: A Game World of Interactively Evolved Artwork,” which describes a game that was part of a human-subject study at Southwestern last fall.
Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony , Christine Harbour ‘16, and Jordan King ‘15 published an article in the February 2019 issue of Journal of Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing titled “Greedy Is Good: An Empirical Evaluation of Three Algorithms for Online Bottleneck Matching.” This paper is a culmination of work that was begun in 2014–15 with support from the Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates program of CRA-W, the Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research.
Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony and Associate Professor Emeritus of Computer Science Barbara Owens attended the 50th SIGCSE, the ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, in Minneapolis, MN, Feb. 27–March 2, 2019. Anthony was a discussion leader for a birds-of-a-feather session on “Modernizing the Mathematics Taught in Computer Science,” an associate program chair, and the chair of a session on physical computing. Owens presented “The SIGCSE Story: Getting the Scoop,” about the ACM History Committee, as well as the Computing Educators Oral History Project.
Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton coauthored a paper, “Pharmacokinetic Models for Active Learning of Differential Equations,” which was published online by the journal PRIMUS. Shelton’s coauthors are Beulah Agyemang-Barimah ’17, currently a graduate student in computational biology at Cornell University, and Theresa Laurent, of St. Louis College of Pharmacy. This peer-reviewed paper will appear in a print version of a special issue on modeling in differential-equations courses. Some of the work that led to this paper was funded by Southwestern’s grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation.
Professors of Mathematics Alison Marr and Fumiko Futamura coauthored and published a paper titled “Taking Mathematics Abroad: A How-to Guide” in the journal PRIMUS. This paper fills a gap in the literature on developing and teaching mathematics abroad, with examples and advice from the authors’ experiences teaching a variety of interdisciplinary courses in the SU London semester program.
Computer science and chemistry double major Lauren Gillespie ’19 has been awarded an Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher award from the Computing Research Association. Only students in North American universities may compete for the award, and only four such awards were given, with other awardees coming from such prestigious universities as Columbia, Harvard, and Yale. Gillespie’s award recognizes work she has done in the field of evolutionary computation since 2016, first as a SCOPE student under Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum and most recently as part of a Research Experience for Undergraduates at Michigan State University under Dr. Charles Ofria. In addition to the recognition, this award will provide Gillespie with $1,500 to attend a research conference of her choice.
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science was active at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, with national meetings of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the American Mathematical Society (AMS), the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), and more. It is the largest meeting of mathematicians in the world. The meetings were held in Baltimore, MD, Jan. 16–19, 2019.
- Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton copresented “Building Community through Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations (SIMIODE)” in the MAA Poster Session on Projects Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Undergraduate Education. The coauthors were the coprincipal investigators of their National Science Foundation (NSF) grant: Brian Winkel, SIMIODE and emeritus professor from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; Richard C. Harwood, Newberg University; Audrey Malagon, Virginia Wesleyan University; and Patrice Tiffany, Manhattan College. The NSF grant partly funded Shelton’s attendance.
- Shelton participated in the meeting of the MAA Committee on Sessions of Contributed Papers.
- Shelton served on the SIMIODE Board of Contributing Advisors and participated in a meeting of her NSF grant coprincipal investigators.
- Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura presented “Factoring Homographies to Analyze Perspective Distortions” based on a recent paper coauthored with Marc Frantz of Indiana University Bloomington and Annalisa Crannell of Franklin and Marshall College in the MAA Contributed Paper Session on Mathematics and the Arts.
- Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross presented “Exploring Big Ideas in Calculus 1 through Bite-Sized IBL Lessons” in the MAA Contributed Paper Session on Inquiry-Based Learning and Teaching.
- Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Osborn presented “Peaks and Valleys of First-Time Implementation of IBL Methods in Calculus III and Intro to Statistics Classes” in the MAA Contributed Paper Session on Inquiry-Based Learning and Teaching.
- Mercedes Gonzalez ’21 presented “Restrictions on Homflypt and Kauffman Polynomials Arising from Local Moves” in the AMS Special Session on Not KNerds: A Community for Knot Theory. The talk was based on a 2018 NSF REU and coauthored by Sandy Ganzell, St. Mary’s College of Maryland; Chloe Marcum, Marshall University; Nina Ryalls, University of Dallas; and Mariel Santos, St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Gonzalez received partial funding from the REU, the Fleming Student Travel Fund, and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.
- Elyssa Sliheet ’19 presented “Mathematical Models Linking within-Host to between-Host HIV Dynamics” in the AMS Contributed Paper Session on Dynamical Systems and Ergodic Theory. The talk was based on a 2018 NSF REU. Sliheet received partial funding from the REU, the Fleming Student Travel Fund, and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.
- Our students each presented in a faculty session rather than a session for undergraduate presentations.
Art generated by the interactive evolution system AnimationBreeder was featured on the cover of SIGEVOlution (volume 11, issue 4) , the newsletter of the Special Interest Group on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation. AnimationBreeder is a system developed by Southwestern University students Isabel Tweraser ’19 and Lauren Gillespie ’19 as part of SCOPE summer research supervised by Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum. Also in the newsletter is a short description of the art, as well as a reference to the publication describing this research , which was cowritten by Tweraser, Gillespie, and Schrum.
Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony presented a paper on the “Inefficiency of Equilibria in Doodle Polls,” coauthored with Christine Chung of Connecticut College, at the 12th Conference on Combinatorial Optimization and Applications. She also chaired a session on combinatorial optimization at the conference.
President Edward Burgerand Professor of Art Victoria Star Varner presented an invited joint lecture in the Bridges Lecture Series at the University of Waterloo, Canada, on the connections between their original research in math and art on Nov. 21. The Bridges Lecture Series “aims to rediscover points of affinity among academic disciplines…and to bring them back into productive dialogue; to raise questions that are essential to scholars in Arts, Science, and Mathematics; and to provide specialists and non-specialists alike with compelling and enriching information that uncovers the possibilities and opportunities that exist on the bridge between disciplines. Our guiding goal is to coax audiences out of their intellectual comfort zones, and to transcend narrow discipline-specific avenues of academic inquiry.”
Computer science majors Bobby Garza, class of 2019, and Sabin Oza and Matt Sanford, both class of 2020, competed in the 2018 ACM ICPC South Central USA Regional Programming Contest at Baylor University. In this competition, students work together in teams of three to solve challenging programming puzzles for five hours. Though the team did not advance to the World Finals, they are proud of their performance. Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony was the coach for the team.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross participated in the professional-development program of the Texas New Experiences in Teaching (NExT) project, held at Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, TX, Nov. 2–3, 2018. Texas NExT is sponsored by the Texas section of the Mathematical Association of America.
Five math majors presented at the Texas Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (TUMC), held at Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, TX, Nov. 2 – 3, 2018.
- Aiden Steinle, class of 2020, presented “Staying in Shape with Real-World Mappings.” Steinle’s work was supervised by Professor of Mathematics and Chair of Mathematics and Computer Science Fumiko Futamura.
- Gillian Glover , class of 2019, presented “Make Money with Linear Algebra: A Model of Portfolio Analysis.” Glover’s math capstone is an extension of work supervised by Dr. Futamura.
- Stan Kannegieter , class of 2019, presented “The Kissing Disease and Differential Equations.”
- Will Price, class of 2019, presented “Ms. Pac-Man Eats AI for Breakfast.” Price’s math capstone is an extension of his SCOPE 2018 research under Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum.
- Mercedes Gonzalez, class of 2021, presented “Restrictions on HOMFLYPT and Kauffman Polynomials Arising from Local Moves.” Gonzalez presented work from a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program, supervised by Dr. Sandy Ganzell from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
- Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton supervised the math capstone work of Glover, Kannegieter, and Price, and she moderated a session of presentations at the TUMC.
- Other attendees included Zariah Whyte, class of 2021, and Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross.
- Student lodging, registration, and meals was provided by National Science Foundation award no. DMS-1834888 for 2018. Additional funding was provided by a Faculty–Student Project award, the Fleming Student Travel Fund, and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Southwestern students accounted for five of the 57 presentations given by students representing 21 colleges and universities.
Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr presented a talk titled “Envisioning a New Calculus Sequence” in the “Innovation/Ideation” session at the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference, held Nov. 8–10, in Atlanta, GA. This talk was based on work that has taken place over the last year as part of an ACS grant titled “Supporting Diversity and Inclusion in Mathematics and the STEM Disciplines,” which is a joint project with Joel Kilty and Alex McAllister at Centre College.
Computer Science and Chemistry double major Lauren Gillespie, class of 2019, received a Student Presentation Award for her poster “Comparing Direct and Indirect Encodings Using Both Raw and Hand-Designed Features in Tetris” at the 2018 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM conference organized by the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science. The poster was based on SCOPE research with Gabriela Gonzalez ’16 and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum.
Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton led two sessions at the Student Contest Using Differential Equations Modeling (SCUDEM) on Oct. 27, 2018, at the local host site for this international competition, the Highland Campus of Austin Community College. Shelton supervised all participants in inquiry-oriented learning with a modeling scenario that she recently had published in the repository at Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations (SIMIODE). She gave a faculty development session for the coaches, sharing two more of her published modules.
Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton, Associate Professor of Education Sherry Adrian, and Emma Kathryn Groves’s ’17 coauthored paper, “A Model of the Transmission of Cholera in a Population with Contaminated Water,” has been accepted for publication in the special issue Linking Differential Equations to Social Justice and Environmental Concernsof the Journal of the Community of Differential Equations Educators(CODEE). Groves and Shelton worked on the mathematical model in SCOPE 2015. Adrian and Shelton worked on the connections with social justice.
Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony presented a paper coauthored with Valentin Cantu Jr. ’18 at the 27th Annual Rocky Mountain Conference of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges held Oct. 12–13, 2018, in Socorro, NM. The paper, “Modernizing the Mythical Man-Month,” provides an alternative way of presenting concepts from a classical reading in the field: while the software engineering ideas are still relevant, the authors suggest using language that is more inclusive and examples that are more relatable to students in the 21st century. It will be published in the December 2018 issue of the Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges.
Computer Science major Adina Friedman, class of 2019, attended the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) Symposium for Texas Researchers (TACCSTER) at the Pickle Research Campus in Austin, Texas, Sept 20–21. TACC is home to four supercomputer clusters, including Stampede2m, the most powerful supercomputer at any U.S. university. TACC collaborates with thousands of researchers across the country using applied high-performance computing to enable scientific discovery. Friedman was exposed to talks, panels, and posters from researchers currently using TACC resources in the areas of machine learning, cloud computing, and others.
Elyssa Sliheet, class of 2019, and Sara Boyd, class of 2020, attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Houston, Texas, Sept. 26–28. The Grace Hopper Conference is the largest meeting of women technologists in the world. The program included inspiring talks by female leaders in industry as well as talks by academic researchers and educators. There was also a massive Career Fair allowing women to seek jobs with tech companies, including some of the biggest names in industry (e.g., Google, Microsoft, and Amazon). Both students had all travel expenses funded by competitive travel scholarships. Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum also attended the conference, as did alumna Kathryn Reagan ’16.
Current Math and Computer Science double-major Elyssa Sliheet, class of 2019, attended the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing in Orlando, Fla., Sept. 19–22. Sliheet attended several sessions on topics such as the importance of diversity and inclusion in the field of computer science and ethics in the applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Sliheet’s travel was funded by a competitive travel scholarship.
Computer Science and Chemistry major Lauren Gillespie, class of 2019, was awarded a $2500 Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) Executive Council Award. UPE is a computer-science honor society. Applications are considered based on the member’s long-term plans in the computing profession, their contributions to their respective UPE chapters, and related student activities at their college.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth, serving as President of the South Texas Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German, hosted the Association’s annual convention at Southwestern University on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. Collaborating with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum, she taught hands-on workshops on integrating STEM and German. Welcoming high school and college German teachers from the region to SU’s campus is a community outreach initiative that supports articulated curricular development, mentoring, and resource sharing while increasing the visibility of our campus and our programs in Modern Languages and Literatures. Recognized for her outreach initiatives and appointed as an Ortslektorin (local lecturer) for Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD, German Academic Exchange Service), a professional network of 850 members worldwide, Berroth recently received a $600 resource grant from the DAAD and the German government to build a collection of contemporary German literature.
Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton published three peer-reviewed classroom modules with coauthors Theresa Laurent of St. Louis College of Pharmacy and Beulah Agyemang-Barimah ’17. The modeling scenarios are differential equations models of absorption and elimination of aspirin, caffeine, and digoxin in the human body. Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations (SIMIODE) published teacher and student versions for each of the three models.
Sara Boyd, class of 2020, Bobby Garza, class of 2019, Alexander Hoffman, class of 2020, Stan Kannegieter, class of 2019, Daniel Merritt, class of 2020, and faculty sponsor Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony participated in the Binance Dexathon decentralized exchange coding competition to improve on Binance’s current blockchain implementation this summer. Along with learning more about the blockchain and practicing their software skills, the students also gained valuable experience in project management and working with teammates in remote locations. For their submission, Binance awarded the team a 10,000 BNB grant.
Though not in attendance, Southwestern faculty and students won two awards at the 2018 Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games held August 14 – 17 in Maastricht, The Netherlands.
- Computer Science and Math double-major Will Price, class of 2019, won 1st place in the Ms. Pac-Man track of the Ms. Pac-Man Vs. Ghost Team Competition. This competition allows individuals to program controllers for both Ms. Pac-Man and the Ghosts in a challenging, partially observable version of the classic video game. Price’s winning Ms. Pac-Man entry was developed as part of SCOPE 2018 under the supervision of Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum, and is an extension of Dr. Schrum’s own dissertation research on Ms. Pac-Man.
- Schrum and collaborators from around the world won 1st place in the Short Video Competition for their video describing work on their recent paper, “Evolving Mario Levels in the Latent Space of a Deep Convolutional Generative Adversarial Network.” The purpose of the competition is to describe interesting research relevant to the conference in an informative and watchable manner.
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science was active at MathFest, a national meeting of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) in Denver, Colo., Aug. 1 – 4, 2018.
- President and Professor of Mathematics Edward Burger gave the invited plenary talk, “Think. Create. Connect: To Make Meaning and Make a Difference” to Project NExT, New Experiences in Teaching, a professional-development program for new or recent Ph.D.s in the mathematical sciences.
- Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura and Robert Lehr ’15 received the Carl B. Allendoerfer Award for expository excellence for their article “A New Perspective on Finding the Viewpoint,” published in the October 2017 issue of Mathematics Magazine.
- Lehr won an award for his presentation “Perspective Drawing: How to Find the Immersion Point,” in the Pi Mu Epsilon (PME) student session. He will begin his first year at the University of Texas School of Architecture this August. PME funded his attendance at the meeting.
- Futamura copresented an expert class, the MAA Minicourse “Visualizing Projective Geometry Through Photographs and Perspective Drawings,” with Annalisa Crannell of Franklin & Marshall College.
- Futamura was a panelist for the Project NExT panel discussion on “Building a Diverse and Inclusive Mathematics Major.” She discussed the EQUIP program and shared her experiences in cobuilding and coteaching in the program.
- Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr presented “Hidden No More Lecture Series,” based on her minigrant from the National Science Foundation.
- Marr coauthored “Re-Envisioning the Calculus Sequence,” based on her grant from the Associated Colleges of the South with Alex M. McAllister, of Centre College, and Joel Kilty, of Centre College.
- Marr served as a moderator for the Town Hall “Shaping and Fostering an Equitable Community in Our Departments.” The results of this Town Hall discussion will be published in the Association for Women in Mathematics Newsletter, MAA FOCUS, and Notices of the American Mathematical Society.
- Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton and Emma Kathryn Groves ’17 copresented “Incorporating Biology Topics Into Mathematics Undergraduate Experiences.” Groves just completed her first year in the Mathematics graduate program at North Carolina State University. She began work on mathematical models of cholera during her HHMI-funded SCOPE in 2016 with Yinlin Dai ’16, supervised by Shelton. Shelton also shared some of her work funded under the W. M. Keck grant at Southwestern.
- Shelton participated in a Data Science Workshop and joined a focus group of the MAA Committee on Faculty and Departments by invitation.
- Shelton participated in events for SIMIODE, including a meeting of the coprincipal investigators of their grant from the National Science Foundation, which partly funded Shelton’s attendance.
- Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross presented “Implementing Mastery-Based Quizzes and Tests in a Calculus Course.”