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Students present at Texas Undergraduate Math Conference

Several Lamar University students recently attended the 11th annual Texas Undergraduate Math Conference hosted by the University of Texas at Tyler. The conference brings educators, students and professionals from across the state and allows students to present their mathematics research to an audience of their peers

The talks spanned a wide variety of subjects, ranging from representations of fractals using JAVA graphics, to modeling blue crab populations, to use of the Hungarian method to analyze the effectiveness of cricket teams.

Two Lamar students presented their research at the conference. Jonathan Hodges, a member of Math STAIRSTEP and a senior computer science/mathematics major from Beaumont, presented a talk titled "Graph Theory and Procedurial Content Generation in Video Games." Chris York, a junior mathematics major from Beaumont, presented a talk on the subject of Enumerating kth Roots in the Symmetric Inverse Monoid and the Symmetric Group.”

In addition to student talks, two invited speakers gave presentations and answered audience questions. Tim Chartier, an associate professor at Davidson College, Davidson, NC, presented his experiences in teaching and participating in sport analytics. Adam McCaffery, who works for the National Security Agency, presented a talk on the history of cryptography.  “Both were easily approachable and available for questions after their talks,” said math STAIRSTEP members and senior computer science majors Jason Miller from Beaumont, and Tera Benoit of Vidor.

The annual TUMC conference offers a unique opportunity for students to mingle and network with their peers in mathematics and to directly approach professionals in the field for questions and discussion, said Jennifer Daniel, associate professor of mathematics at LU.  Students can apply to present their own research, but the conference offers many opportunities and interesting talks even if one does not present, Daniel said.