Math Students & Faculty Attend MathFest in PA

Converse math degree

Angela Brobson ’23, (Nisbet Honors), Ryleigh Henderson ‘24 (Nisbet Honors), Jovana Mitic ’23 (Nisbet Honors), Neely Vander Ploeg ’24 (Nisbet Honors), and Sydney Wilson ’23, joined Dr. Joe Barrera, Dr. Amanda Mangum, and Dr. Jessica Sorrells in Philadelphia, PA for the Mathematical Association of America’s national mathematics conference, MathFest.

Angela Brobson ’23 and Neely Vander Ploeg ’24 presented a talk entitled Procuring Aid for a Local Nonprofit through Data-Driven Analyses. 

Ryleigh Henderson ’24, Jovana Mitic ’23, and Sydney Wilson ’23 presented a poster entitled Using Machine Learning to Predict the Number of Times Aid is Requested from a Local Nonprofit Agency. 

These presentations detailed the students’ work in Dr. Mangum’s Quantitative Consulting course, serving as consultants to the Upstate Family Resource Center.

While at the conference, Converse students were able to meet and network with other students who completed the PIC Math program, hear from industry professionals, see a glimpse of the scope of undergraduate research through the Research in Motion Undergraduate Poster Session, learn about faculty research, and hear from leaders in the field of mathematics during plenary sessions.

Ryleigh Henderson ’24 said, “When beginning this course, I was unaware of what a career in mathematics could look like. This class exposed me to real-world experiences and helped me realize my passion for math. I have since altered my future education and career plans. I also was able to travel, meet new people, and make connections for my future. I am grateful for everything PicMath and Dr. Mangum made possible for our class.”

Drs. Barrera, Mangum, and Sorrells also presented at the conference. Dr. Mangum presented Providing Data-Driven Solutions in a Local Nonprofit Context with PIC Math. This talk was also given in the MAA Session on Mathematical Experiences and Projects in Business, Industry, and Government (BIG). It provided an overview of the structure of the course, the UFRC, and the types of aid and direction Dr. Mangum provided the students with as they researched data-driven solutions together.

Faculty presentations included:

  • Dr. Mangum delivered her presentation Providing Data-Driven Solutions in a Local Nonprofit Context with PIC Math
  • Dr. Barrera presented a poster, On the Asymptotics of Some Strongly Damped Beam Equations with Structural Damping. The poster detailed research he recently completed for an accepted upcoming publication.
  • Dr. Sorrells delivered her presentation Numbers, Infinity, and Reality: An Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Philosophy of Mathematics Course, which discussed the success of a course co-taught with the Department of Religion and Philosophy Chair Dr. Kevin DeLapp.
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