Holy Cross to Host 350 Math Scholars in Two-Day Meeting

Faculty and students from Holy Cross to present research
March 29th, 2011 by 


Photo by: Greg Hren

More than 350 scholars in the field of mathematics from higher education institutions across the globe will gather on the Holy Cross campus for the Spring Eastern Sectional Meeting of the American Mathematical Society on April 9 and 10. Four meetings are held each spring and fall (one in each of the four geographic regions of the country). Usually held at universities, Holy Cross is the only undergraduate college in the country to host a sectional meeting this spring.

“I think this reflects our engagement with the profession and our willingness to take on significant service-to-the-profession responsibility,” says David Damiano, associate professor of mathematics, who applied to have Holy Cross host the conference.

The meeting will have 22 concurrent special sessions devoted to sub-areas of mathematics. Each special session has a committee of organizers and between 10 and 20 speakers, each of whom are allotted 20 minutes to give a presentation and answer questions.

Numerous Holy Cross faculty and students are involved in the two-day meeting, including participating in four sessions on undergraduate research.

“Our desire to organize the session is indicative of our emphasis on student research and its centrality to our teaching,” Damiano says. “Students’ participation speaks to the quality of their work and their engagement.”

Seven Holy Cross faculty members are on organizing committees. In addition to Damiano, faculty in the mathematics and computer science department involved in sessions include: John Anderson, Cristina Ballantine, Sharon Frechette, Rafe Jones, Steve Levandosky, Keith Ouellette, Catherine Roberts, Gareth Roberts, and Sarah Wright.

Catherine Roberts, associate professor and chair of mathematics and computer science, is co-organizing a session on “Mathematics and Climate,” which will include presentations by a number of nationally known experts on the mathematics of climate change. In addition, the work of four Holy Cross faculty members, including Danuta Bukatko, Joseph H. Maguire ’58 Professor in Education, professor of psychology and chair of the department of education at Holy Cross, and Rosario Esparza ’12, a mathematics major from Wichita Falls, Texas, is featured in a presentation on “Foundational Mathematics Concepts for the High School to College Transition” in a session on “New Trends in College and University Faculty Engagement in K–12 Education.”

Five Holy Cross students will present their work: Maria Cavicchi ’11, a mathematics major in the health professions advisory program from Plymouth, Mass., Robert Nazarian ’12, a physics and mathematics double major from North Providence, R.I., Ryan Elizabeth Prendergast ’11, a mathematics major with a biological psychology concentration in the health professions advisory program from Walpole, Mass., Deirdre Scully ’11, a mathematics major from Fanwood, N.J., and Marisa Zemsky ’11, from a mathematics major from West Nyack, N.Y.

For the complete schedule and details, visit the 2011 Spring Eastern Sectional Meeting website.

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