Math

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

April 2024

  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer was the Keynote speaker at the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Regional Math Alliance Conference. Her talk was titled “I am not a Mathematician” and contained a guide to current issues in the field of mathematics, current issues in academia, recent student arrests on US campuses at protests, and some advice for faculty who want to do better. The talk was intended to guide some discussion and goals of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Math Alliance.





  • From a pool of more than 5,000 applicants, biochemistry/mathematics junior and Dixon Scholar Brian Armijo ’25 was selected as a 2024 Goldwater scholar - SU’s first ever! The Goldwater Scholarship Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics in the United States, seeks to identify, encourage, and financially support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields.





  • Four Mathematics faculty and five students participated in the 2024 Meeting of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), held March 22-23 in San Marcos, TX. Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton presented “Mathematical Modeling Projects.” Shelton also performed administrative duties as past Representative of the Texas MAA to the association level MAA Congress, and she served as the Department Liaison. Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross participated in Project NeXT sessions. Professor and Garey Chair of Mathematics Alison Marr and Professor and Lord Chair of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura attended. Alley Koenig ’24 presented “Subtractive Edge Magic Labelings” resulting from the capstone project supervised by Marr, and Kathryn Altman ’24 presented “​​Difference Distance Magic Oriented Graphs,” also supervised by Marr. ​​Amanda Mejia ’27, Camille James ’27, and Kate Dennis ’27 participated in the Calculus Bowl. 





  • Professor and Garey Chair of Mathematics Alison Marr and Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bryan Freyberg published the paper “Neighborhood Balanced Colorings of Graphs” in Graphs and Combinatorics. The article can be read here.





March 2024

  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer recently published a review in Nature of the documentary Journeys of Black Mathematicians: Forging Resilience. The review can be read here.





February 2024

  • Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr attended the Joint Mathematics Meetings in January in San Francisco, where she spoke about the Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Summer program as an invited panelist in the AMS Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Panel Discussion: Successful Programs that Support Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.





  • Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr gave the keynote address titled “The Edges of my Mathematical Life” at the Yellowhammer Network of Women in the Mathematical Sciences Workshop at the University of Alabama.





  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer gave two invited talks in February. On February 7th, she spoke at the University of Illinois Chicago about geodesic currents and how to use them as a tool. On February 12, she spoke at the University of Wisconsin-Madison about a work in progress with her collaborators on statistical properties of CAT(0) spaces.





  • Kathryn Altman ’24 and Alleen Koenig ’24 gave a poster presentation at the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics (NCUWM). Their poster was on the summer research they performed in which they used mathematical modeling to study the effects of gravitropism on the structure of tomato plant root system architectures.





  • Assistant Professor of Math Noelle Sawyer is a Mathematically Gifted and Black 2024 Black History Month honoree. You can find the profile here.





January 2024

  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer was featured in a video interview in the Meet a Mathematician series on December 30th, 2023. The mission of Meet a Mathematician is to share stories of mathematicians from different backgrounds, especially from historically excluded groups, with the aim of introducing students to role models and fostering a sense of community. Watch the video here.





December 2023

  • Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura wrote a grant proposal on behalf of the Japan-America Society of Greater Austin (JASGA) for the Japan Foundation’s Japan-America Society Capacity Building Grant Program. She currently serves as a board member of JASGA, a non-profit organization that provides Japanese classes, cultural programming, and events in the Austin area. She learned a great deal about grant writing through this process and valuable conversations with the associate program director. The proposal was accepted, and JASGA received $26,625 to support its programs and staff.





November 2023

  • Five students presented four talks at the Texas Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (TUMC), and four more students attended. The conference was held at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, on October 27-28, 2023. Adrianna Flores-Vivas ’24 presented “Wolf Reintegration in Yellowstone National Park.” Ashley Odell ’24 and Madison Williams ’24 presented “Does Money Really Buy Happiness?”. Blue Goodson ’24 presented “The Mathematical Artistry of Portrait Making.” Johanna Campbell ’24 presented “To the Heart of the Milky Way.” The speakers gave preliminary presentations of their mathematics capstone projects under the supervision of Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton. Associate Professor of Physics Mark Bottorf co-supervised Cambell’s. Shelton also moderated two sessions of student talks. Zoe Kincaid ’24 attended, and first-year S-STEM/EQUIP students Amanda Mejia ’27, Juliana Elizondo ’27, and Alyanna Martinez ’27 also attended. The TUMC is partially supported by the National Science Foundation grant DMS-2226539. The Atkin Junior Professorship in Mathematics for Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer provided funding.





  • In her role as co-director of the EDGE summer program, Professor and Garey Chair of Mathematics Alison Marr attended and co-organized EDGE25: Mobilizing the Power of Diversity at Bryn Mawr College from October 12-14. She co-MCed the Thursday night reunion of over 150 EDGE alumna. One of the tasks involved in this role was creating a slideshow of 25 years of EDGE photos and a 20-minute video compilation of 25 years of EDGE talent shows. She also MC-ed the closing session on Saturday, introducing the final three talks of the conference. SU and EDGE alumna Elyssa Sliheet ’19 and Daniela Beckelhymer ’20 were also in attendance. The full schedule of dynamic speakers across multiple disciplines can be found here.





October 2023

  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer accepted an invitation to join the Human Resources Board of the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM). The board advises AIM in supporting its goals of increasing the participation of traditionally under-represented groups in mathematics and junior researchers and researchers at primarily undergraduate institutions in AIM programming.





September 2023

  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross has had a paper accepted for publication in the Annals of Global Analysis and Geometry. The paper, “Solution to the n-bubble problem on R with log-concave density,” extends the results of his work with his SCOPE students (mentioned above) in two meaningful ways: it allows for configurations of any number of bubbles (not just 3 or 4), and it relaxes the restrictions on the density function being considered





  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross, in collaboration with students Emily Burns ’21, Zariah Whyte ’21, Jesse Stovall ’22, and Evan Alexander ’22, now Coordinator of Student Activities, published an article titled “Isoperimetric 3- and 4-Bubble Results on R With Density |x|.” The paper looks at a mathematical space called a dense number line and explores the geometry of 3- or 4-bubble configurations in this space. The results presented in this article are the result of SCOPE summer research in the summers of 2020 and 2021 and is published in the PUMP Journal of Undergraduate Research.





  • Professor of Mathematics and Garey Chair of Mathematics Alison Marr published an article, “Collaboratively Re-envisioning Calculus for the Modern Student,” with co-authors Joel Kilty and Alex McAllister from Centre College in the MAA Notes series “Justice Through the Lens of Calculus: Framing New Possibilities for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.” The article discusses the collaborative work Southwestern and Centre’s mathematics faculty did in creating our new Modern Calculus sequence. Read the article here.





August 2023

  • Three faculty members presented at MathFest, the national meeting of the Mathematical Association of America, on August 2-7, 2023, in Tampa, FL. Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross presented “Using R Projects to Explore Regression” in the Contributed Paper Session on Activities in Statistics and Data Science. 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. Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton presented “Resources for Faculty and Students” in the Contributed Paper Session on Teaching and Learning of Differential Equations.





June 2023

  • Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton co-led an intense four-day virtual workshop, “Active Learning in Differential Equations Inspired by Modeling,” in June 2023 for 26 faculty participants from diverse institutions and backgrounds. In its second year, this workshop is part of the Online Professional Enhancement and Capacity Building for Instructional Practices in Undergraduate Mathematics (OPEN Math) program. OPEN Math is a collaborative project between the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU-B). Support for OPEN Math is provided by the National Science Foundation: MAA Award DUE-2111260 and CU-B Award DUE-2111273.





March 2023

  • Southwestern had a great showing at the 2023 Meeting of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America, held March 24-26 in Stephenville, TX. Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr received the 2023 Ron Barnes Distinguished Service to Students Award, given in recognition of faculty who have distinguished themselves through service and support of undergraduate students within the Texas Section. Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton received the 2023 Distinguished Service Award in recognition of faculty who have demonstrated exceptional service to the Texas Section. Shelton also served as Departmental Liaison and participated in the Business Meeting. Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross participated in the Project NeXT session. President Emeritus of Southwestern University and Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Edward Burger presented an invited plenary talk, “Paper folding for the organically challenged: Uncovering beauty and structure through effective thinking.” We had eight student presentations, one of which won an award, by 13 students and one alum. This was the most student presentations by far of any institution besides the host institution. Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura supervised the following student talks: Zek McCormick ’24: “Applying Linear Algebra to Penrose Tilings” won an award for Best Student Paper Within a Session, Oliver Johnson ’24: “How accurately did Van Eyck paint the chandelier in the Arnolfini Portrait? A geometric analysis contributing to a decades-old debate,” and Isabella Robinson ’25, Oliver Johnson ’24: “Solving Sudoku Puzzles Through Linear Algebra.” Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr supervised the following student talks: Anderson Johnson ’24, Paige Thompson ’26, Kyla Gorman ’21: “Domino Antimagic Configurations,” Alley Koenig ’24, Casandra Nunez ’26: “Subtractive Edge Magic Labelings,” Kathryn Altman ’24, Lauren Calzado ’23: “An Exploration of Difference Distance Magic Graph Labelings,” and Aaron Garza ’26, Kaiden Salaz ’26: “What is the smallest area? A parabolic parable.” Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton supervised the following student talk: Emma Lewis ’23, Jillian Reese ’23: “An ODD Look at Theorems in Differential Equations.” This work was funded with a grant from the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics, collaborating with a student team at the University of North Texas-Denton, supervised by Joe Iaia. A team of four students competed in the Math Bowl: Altman, Calzado, Koenig, and Jess Kazmir ’23, Yasmine Soto ’25, and Adrianna Flores-Vivas ’24 also attended the meeting.





  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer was the invited faculty speaker at the Underrepresented Students in Topology and Algebra Research Symposium (USTARS) on March 18-19. She gave a presentation called “Rigidity in Math and Mathematicians,” covering her work in marked length spectrum rigidity and the rigidity mathematicians force upon each other to conform to the field’s norms.





  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer gave two invited talks on her work, “Unique Equilibrium States for Geodesic Flows on Translation Surfaces,” last week. Once at a conference called A Dynamical Weekend at Wesleyan on March 4 and once at the University of Houston’s Dynamics Seminar on March 9.





January 2023

  • 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





  • 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.





  • Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura, along with students Sarah Friday ’21, Jordan Smith ’21, and Aaron Waclawczyk ’21, published a peer-reviewed article in the journal Linear Algebra and its Applications. The paper “Powers of Defective Matrices From Diagonalizable Dilations” resulted from research started during SCOPE in the summer of 2019. The article can be found here.





  • 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.





  • Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura, along with students Sarah Friday ’21, Jordan Smith ’21, and Aaron Waclawczyk ’21, published a peer-reviewed article in the journal Linear Algebra and its Applications. The paper “Powers of Defective Matrices From Diagonalizable Dilations” resulted from research started during SCOPE in the summer of 2019. The article can be found here.





December 2022

  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer and Benjamin Call (University of Illinois Chicago) applied for and won funding from the American Institute of Mathematics to organize a research community called Big Ideas in Dynamics in 2023. They will have 3-5 experts in dynamical systems give talks on one of the “big ideas” that underlies one of their papers. These talks will serve as jumping-off points for graduate student reading groups centered on the associated papers. Each paper will have an assigned mentor for graduate students to reach out to. Sawyer and Call hope to have the reading groups culminate in graduate students giving expository talks at a conference on the details of the paper and discussing related open problems.





  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer and Benjamin Call (University of Illinois Chicago) applied for and won funding from the American Institute of Mathematics to organize a research community called Big Ideas in Dynamics in 2023. They will have 3-5 experts in dynamical systems give talks on one of the “big ideas” that underlies one of their papers. These talks will serve as jumping-off points for graduate student reading groups centered on the associated papers. Each paper will have an assigned mentor for graduate students to reach out to. Sawyer and Call hope to have the reading groups culminate in graduate students giving expository talks at a conference on the details of the paper and discussing related open problems.





  • 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.





  • 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.





November 2022

  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer gave an invited talk titled “Geodesic Currents and the Boundary at Infinity” in the Geometry Seminar at George Mason University on Monday, November 14th.





October 2022

  • 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.





  • On October 20th, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer was the speaker at the  University of Toronto’s Department of Mathematics Equity Forum in a talk she called “Abstracting  People out of Mathematics.” The goal of the Equity Forum is to create a space and time that  invites people to think about underserved students, marginalized colleagues, and postdocs, take  a serious look at the mathematical culture we promote and propagate to math majors, graduate  students, and colleagues. In particular, Sawyer spoke about how math culture and community are  harmful to us and the ways that we are still perpetuating the harm that was done to us. The  conversation focused on and reminded the audience that people will always be more important  than math.





September 2022

  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer coauthored a paper titled “Unique Equilibrium States for Geodesic Flows on Flat Surfaces with Singularities” that has been accepted for publication by International Mathematics Research Notices.  The paper, written with Dave Constantine of Wesleyan University, Benjamin Call of the University of Illinois Chicago , Alena Erchenko of the University of Chicago , and Grace Work of the University of Illinois, is the result of three years of work that was partly sponsored by the American Institute of Mathematics.





August 2022

  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross presented research titled “The Isoperimetric Problem on the Number Line with a Log-Concave Density” at MathFest, a conference hosted by the Mathematical Association of America, held August 3–6 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.





April 2022

  • Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura  gave a talk titled “Curious Invariants in Projective Geometry, and Where to Find them in Art and Music” at the Rice University Undergraduate Colloquium in Houston, Texas, on April 5. 





  • 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. 




December 2021

  • Professor and Garey Chair of Mathematics Alison Marr coauthored an article titled “D-Magic Oriented Graphs” that was published in a special edition of the journal Symmetry, Graph Labelings and Their Applications.” The paper was written with Rino Simanjuntak from the Bandung Institute of Technology.





October 2021

  • Senior computational mathematics major Emily Thompson’22 presented “Using Neural Ordinary Differential Equations (NODEs) to Create Models of Complex Curves” at the 16th Annual Texas Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, held virtually October 30. The work is from her ongoing mathematics capstone project supervised by Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton.





August 2021

July 2021

  • Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura cotaught a virtual minicourse for instructors along with her colleagues Annalisa Crannell (Franklin & Marshall College) and Marc Frantz (Indiana University). The minicourse, titled Gaining Perspective on Geometry: IBL Activities That Use Art in Projective Geometry, ran June 8, 15, 22, and 29 through the Mathematical Association of America virtual programming and covered perspective drawing, Desargues’s Theorem, the cross ratio, and perspective collineations.





  • Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton led a week-long virtual workshop, Model Instructors in Differential Equations (MINDE), with coleaders Rosemary Farley and Patrice Tiffany (Manhattan College) and Brian Winkel (SIMIODE). This work was supported by a grant (#1940532) from the National Science Foundation.





April 2021

  • Physics and mathematics major Gerardo Gonzalez ’22 gave a talk at the 2021 spring meeting of the American Physical Society (Texas Section) titled “Transition Probabilities for a Relativistic One-Electron Atom.” Most of the research presented during this talk resulted from a 2019 SCOPE project that Gonzalez completed with Professor of Physics Steven Alexander. They are currently working on a paper that will describe their calculations.





  • Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton has a peer-reviewed paper, “Mathematical Modeling Projects: Success For All Students,” published in the journal PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies. DOI: 10.1080/10511970.2016.124932. The paper appeared online in February 2017 and will appear in the April 2018 print issue (Volume 28, Number 4).





  • Associate Professor of Math and Computer Science Jacob Schrum has had two peer-reviewed submissions accepted to the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, which will be held virtually in July 2021. Both submissions were written by undergraduate coauthors who participated in SCOPE during the summer of 2020: Benjamin Capps ’23 had a full paper, titled “Using Multiple Generative Adversarial Networks to Build Better-Connected Levels for Mega Man,” accepted for publication in the proceedings and will present the paper orally at the conference. Kirby Steckel ’21 had a poster paper accepted to the conference. A two-page extended abstract of his paper, “Illuminating the Space of Beatable Lode Runner Levels Produced by Various Generative Adversarial Networks,” will appear in the companion to the proceedings and will be presented at the conference’s virtual poster session.





March 2021

  • Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton and Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross had a peer-reviewed paper, “Supermarkets, Highways, and Natural Gas Production: Statistics and Social Justice,” published in the journal PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies. This work began with a 2016 ACS Workshop on Math for Social Justice.





  • Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton is a co-principal investigator with a newly awarded three-year grant from the National Science Foundation. This will support the mission of the mathematical community SIMIODE to encourage and support faculty in using modeling to motivate learning of differential equations in context. The award will fund faculty development, practitioner workshops, and more.





  • Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony was a faculty scholar at the National Science Foundation RESET (Re-Enter STEM through Emerging Technology) 2021 Conference March 46, 2021. The conference focused on supporting the re-entry of women in STEM, especially in emerging technology fields, such as cybersecurity, data science, mobile development, and cloud computing.





Feburary 2021

  • Miryam Galvez ’23 presented at the 124th annual meeting of the Texas Academy of Sciences, which was held virtually February 26–27, 2021. The poster in the Mathematics and Computer Science section, titled “Using Python to Question Sincerity in Doodle Polls,” is the result of collaborative work with Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony and Chris Ojonta ’23 and was made possible by Southwestern’s Research Assistant funds and Sam Taylor Fellowship funds. A video describing the poster can be found here.





  • Elyssa Sliheet , class of 2019, won an award for an Outstanding Poster in the Student Poster Session of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM) in San Diego, Calif. Jan. 9–13, 2018. Her work, “Shift Operators on Directed Infinite Graphs,” was conducted at an NSF-funded summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) with several other undergraduates under advisor Ruben Martinez-Avendao of Universidad Autónoma Del Estado De Hidalgo. There were over 500 posters in 16 topical categories at the JMM poster session. Awards were given for the top 15% in each category. Her travel was funded by the Southwestern Student Travel Fund, the MAA Student Travel Fund, and the NSF.





  • President Edward Burger was an invited speaker at an American Mathematical Society Special Session on Diophantine Approximation and Analytic Number Theory in Honor of Jeffrey Vaaler on Jan. 12 at the national Joint Mathematics Meetings held in San Diego, Calif. There he spoke on “Applications of orthogonality within non-archimedean and human contexts.” On Jan. 23, he delivered a public address on the future of undergraduate education at Johns Hopkins University as well as met with their president and engaged with their Commission on Education to assess their plans for the future.





January 2021

  • Members of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science joined the virtual 2021 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:

      • Zariah Whyte ’21 and Evan Alexander ’22 presented the poster “Isoperimetric Problems on the Real Number Line with Prescribed Density” in the MAA Student Poster Session on Geometry. The presentation was based on work with Assistant Professor of Mathematics John D. Ross in SCOPE 2020.  
      • Assistant Professor of Mathematics John D. Ross presented “On Curves That Generate Symmetric Lambda-Hypersurfaces” in the AMS Special Session on Analysis and Differential Equations at Undergraduate Institutions. 
      • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer presented “Marked Length Spectrum Rigidity with Partial Data” in the AMS–AWM Special Session on Women of Color in Topology and Algebra.
      • Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton presented “Student Engagement in Modeling Drugs, Disease, and More.” 
      • Shelton co-organized the AMS Special Session on Adopt, Adapt, Assign Modeling Activities in Differential Equations.
      • Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr also attended.




November 2020

  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Noelle Sawyer co-organized Black in Math Week, November 813, a social-media event to promote visibility and community among Black mathematicians. In one of the events for the week, Sawyer cohosted an episode of the podcast Relatively Prime about Black math educators. Black in Math Week is a part of a series of ‘Black in X’ weeks, which began with Black Birders Week to normalize Black people as a part of science communities after someone called 911 to report a Black birdwatcher in Central Park. You can find the Twitter account here and the podcast episode here.





October 2020

  • Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony and Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr presented their paper “Directed Zagreb Indices” at the (virtual) 18th Cologne–Twente Workshop on Graphs and Combinatorial Optimization (CTW 2020). The presentation and slides are available here . Their paper will be published in the AIRO Springer Series  CTW 2020 Proceedings  in March. 





September 2020

  • Professor of Mathematics Kendall Richards and Jordan Smith  ’20 coauthored the article “A Concavity Property of Generalized Complete Elliptic Integrals,” which has been accepted for publication in the journal Integral Transforms and Special Functions.  This collaboration began in an independent study last spring and continued into the summer. This fall, Smith began his graduate studies in mathematics at Baylor University.





  • Garey Chair and Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr has been named the codirector of the Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Summer Program. EDGE was founded in 1998 and is a program for women about to enter Ph.D. programs in mathematics; it has now supported more than 100 women in earning their Ph.D.s. Marr is a proud member of EDGE 2002 and will codirect the program with fellow EDGE 2002 member Raegan Higgins, from Texas Tech University. Learn more here.





July 2020

  • Eric Oden ’16 and coauthors Sanaz Aliari Kardehdeh, Bruce Golden, and Eric Oden received the Trevor Evans Award of the Mathematical Association of America for their article “ Experimental Graph Theory, ” which is accessible to undergraduates and was published during the preceding year in the journal Math Horizons  (2019). Oden majored in mathematics and physics at Southwestern and is currently in the Ph.D. program in applied mathematics at the University of Maryland, College Park.





  • Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton, with coauthor Brian Winkel, professor emeritus of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, developed a peer-reviewed classroom module, published by SIMIODE. The module implements mathematical modeling in differential equations. “3-034-S-CarSuspensions” is the student version, and “3-034-T-CarSuspensions” is the teacher version. This work was supported by National Science Foundation grant #1940532.





  • Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr coauthored a paper with colleagues from India, Slovakia, and Indonesia that is now online as part of the Journal of Discrete Mathematical Sciences and Cryptography. The article, “Note on In-Antimagicness and Out-Antimagicness of Digraphs,” was written at the 2014 International Workshop on Graph Labeling in India.





May 2020

  • Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthon coauthored a paper with Christine Chung from Connecticut College that will appear in a June 2020 volume of Theoretical Computer Science . The article, “ Equilibria in Doodle Polls under Three Tie-Breaking Rules ,” considers price of anarchy and price of stability in approval voting scenarios such as Doodle polls.





April 2020

  • Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton has joined the editorial board for the CODEE Journal. The CODEE Journal is a peer-reviewed, open-access publication distributed by the CODEE (Community of Ordinary Differential Equations Educators) and published by the Claremont Colleges Library. It features original materials that promote the teaching and learning of ordinary differential equations.





  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross has joined the editorial board for the MAA Reviews. This outlet publishes reviews of undergraduate and graduate texts in mathematics and is hosted by the Mathematical Association of America. Ross joins the board as an associate editor of analysis.





March 2020

  • Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony had a poster accepted to the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE ’20). While the March 2020 presentation in Portland, OR, was cancelled day-of because of COVID-19, the poster is now displayed in the revised virtual conference. The peer-reviewed work on “Introducing Parallelism to First-Year CS Majors” (with coauthors D. Cenk Erdil, Sacred Heart University; Olga Glebova, Georgia State University; and Robert Montante, Bloomsburg University) resulted from work begun at a weeklong training in August 2019 by the National Science Foundation–supported Center for Parallel and Distributed Computing Curriculum Development and Educational Resources.





  • Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum has had two peer-reviewed papers accepted to appear in the proceedings of the 2020 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference. Both papers were sparked by research collaborations with coauthors that began at the 2017 Dagstuhl Seminar on AI-Driven Game Design . SU computer science major Jake Gutierrez  ’22 later contributed to this line of research as part of SCOPE 2019, and major work finalizing the projects occurred as part of the 2019 Dagstuhl Seminar on Revolutions in Computational Game AI .

    • “Interactive Evolution and Exploration within Latent Level–Design Space of Generative Adversarial Networks” was written along with Gutierrez and four other collaborators: Vanessa Volz, Jialin Liu, Simon Lucas, and Sebastian Risi. It presents a method for interactively designing video-game levels for Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda  using techniques that emulate the style of levels from the original games.
    • “CPPN2GAN: Combining Compositional Pattern–Producing Networks and GANs for Large-Scale Pattern Generation” was written with Vanessa Volz and Sebastian Risi and focuses on a way of scaling up the levels generated by our method to very large spaces. This particular approach to encoding game levels still emulates levels from Mario and Zelda but can generate content of arbitrary size that is connected in a cohesive way.




  • Computer science major Jake Gutierrez ’22 and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum have had their peer-reviewed paper “Generative Adversarial Network Rooms in Generative Graph Grammar Dungeons for The Legend of Zelda” accepted for publication in the proceedings of the 2020 IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Congress on Evolutionary Computation, which will be part of this year’s World Congress on Computational Intelligence. This research started as part of SCOPE 2019 and continued into fall 2019 with a human-subject study, which involved members of the SU community evaluating video-game dungeons created by the artificial-intelligence methods developed for the paper.





Feburary 2020

  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Ross and Professor of Mathematics Kendall Richards ’ book Introductory Analysis: An Inquiry Approach  was released by Taylor & Francis–CRC Press. The text is an inquiry-based exploration of the real number line, seriously examining fundamental topics in the field of real analysis. Beyond the main content, the text features an extended prologue that introduces readers to inquiry-based proof writing, as well as a suite of extended explorations into advanced special topics in the field. An early version of this text was read by SU math majors Morgan Engle  ’18 and Elyssa Sliheet  ’19, and improvements were made based on their suggestions.





January 2020

  • 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 Denver, CO, January 15–18, 2020.

    • Sarah Friday ’21 and Jordan Smith ’20 presented “Diagonalizing the Undiagonalizable,” research based and expanding on a 2019 SCOPE project with Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura. Aaron Waclawczyk ’21 was a coauthor who helped extend the SCOPE work. The presentation was in the AMS contributed-paper session on algebra and algebraic geometry.
    • Daniela Beckelhymer ’20 presented her mathematics capstone project titled “The Costs and Rewards of Pursuing Different Postsecondary Degrees“ as part of the undergraduate poster session. Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr supervised the project.
    • Marr presented “Choose Your Own Adventure: An Analysis of Interactive Gamebooks Using Graph Theory” in the MAA contributed-paper session “Tell Me a Story: Connections between Mathematics and Performed or Print Narrative.” D’Andre Adams ’21 and Beckelhymer are coauthors.  The presentation was based on their 2017 SCOPE research and their subsequent publication.
    • Marr  coorganized the MAA contributed-paper session on re-envisioning the calculus sequence with coorganizers Robin Cruz, College of Idaho; Tom Halverson, Macalester College; Joel Kilty, Centre College; Alex M. McAllister, Centre College; and Chad Topaz, Williams College.
    • Marr  was a coauthor of the talk “Calculus: Origins, Reforms, and New Directions” with Robin Cruz, College of Idaho; Tom Halverson, Macalester College; Joel Kilty, Centre College; Alex M. McAllister, Centre College; and Chad Topaz, Williams College.
    • Marr and Assistant Professor of Mathematics John D. Ross presented the preliminary report “A Re-Envisioning of the Calculus Sequence for the Modern Student” with coauthors Joel Kilty, Centre College, and Alex M. McAllister, Centre College.
    • 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.
    • 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. Her coauthors were the coprincipal investigators of their 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 served on the SIMIODE Board of Contributing Advisors, as well as participated in a meeting of her NSF grant coprincipal investigators.
    • Shelton  coorganized the AMS special session “Wall-to-all Modeling Activities in Differential Equations Courses.” Her coorganizers were Janet Fierson, La Salle University, and Brian Winkel, SIMIODE.
    • Shelton  participated in the meeting of the national MAA Committee on Sessions of Contributed Papers.
    • Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics Safia Chettih presented the preliminary report “A Combinatorial Model for an Honest ∞-Operad” in the AMS special session on computational and categorical methods in homotopy theory. Her coauthors were L. Bonatto, University of Oxford; A. Linton, University of Southampton; S. Raynor, Macquarie University; M. Roberston, University of Melbourne; and N. Wahl, University of Copenhagen.
    • Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics John M. Osborn also attended.




  • Computer science majors Anna Krolikowski ’20, Sarah Friday ’20, and Alice Quintanilla ’20 coauthored a peer-reviewed paper with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum that was accepted to the EvoMUSART: International Conference on Computational Intelligence in Music, Sound, Art, and Design. Their paper, “Quantum Zentanglement: Combining Picbreeder and Wave Function Collapse to Create Zentangles,” presents a computational approach to generating art reminiscent of Zentangles. Examples of generated art are available here.





  • Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura coauthored an IBL-style textbook titled Perspective and Projective Geometry  (Princeton University Press, 2019), with her colleagues Annalisa Crannell, of Franklin & Marshall College, and Marc Frantz, of Indiana University. The textbook introduces students to geometry through perspective drawing, leading students to discover ideas through hands-on activities, including drawing, analyzing Renaissance paintings and photographs, and GeoGebra constructions. The textbook also guides students to develop rigorous proofs for their conjectures and can be used as an introduction to proofs course for undergraduate math majors.





  • Computer science major Sara Boyd ’20 has been selected as a finalist of the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award for 2020. This award program recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding potential in an area of computing research. Boyd’s award recognizes published work she has done with Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony, an REU at the University of Texas at Arlington, as well as project work in several computer science courses.