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Holy Cross Students Share Research at Largest Mathematics Meeting in the World

February 5th, 2015 by 
Student participants at math conference

Six seniors presented posters of their work at the Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM), the largest mathematics meeting in the world, in San Antonio on Jan. 10-13. The meeting was co-hosted by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the American Mathematical Society (AMS).

The students in attendance were William Hallahan ‘15, Marcus Antonellis ’15, Kenneth Goettler ’15, Melissa McGuirl ’15, Gopal Yalla ’15, and Jessie Delacruz ’15.

Goettler, who took part in the 2014 Summer Research Program at the College of the Holy Cross along with Hallahan and Antonellis, shares his experience of presenting research: “I presented a project I’m working on which uses differential equations to model chronic activation of the immune system in HIV-1 infection. It’s great to go to a conference like the JMM and find so many people interested in the same types of projects as me. Being able to share ideas with them, and be challenged by them, is really an invaluable experience.”

McGuirl gave an oral presentation of her research with David Damiano, professor of mathematics at Holy Cross, in the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Session on mathematical biology. This work will form part of her college honors thesis.

“This research focuses on utilizing topological techniques to detect tumor features across a time series of SPECT images of soft tissue murine tumors. Additionally, at the Undergraduate Poster Session I presented a poster on separate research work that I conducted through an REU at Brown University this past summer. This research involved modeling traffic flow in dynamic settings and it was funded through a Research Training Grant on ‘Integrating Dynamics and Stochastics,’” says McGuirl.

Yalla also reported on his work in a separate National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored summer program in the Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown University. In addition, Yalla gave an oral presentation of his research with Edward Soares, associate professor of mathematics at Holy Cross, in an AMS session on statistics. This project is a collaboration the department of mathematics, computer science, and chemistry at the College and will form part of his mathematics honors thesis.

“I was also able to meet many graduate directors and leading professors from several graduate programs I applied to,” says Yalla of his conference experience.

Delacruz reported on his work at an NSF sponsored REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) at the North Carolina State University and gave an oral presentation on his work in an AMS session on NSF sponsored summer research. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Delacruz also gave an oral presentation on his work in an AMS session on NSF sponsored summer research.

The conference also hosted sessions by the Association for Symbolic Logic (ASL), the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), the National Association for Mathematicians (NAM), and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

Holy Cross Summer Research Program will fund a number of student researchers and provide associated programming using funds from various institutional grants. Student research projects eligible for this program are in the natural sciences, including

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