Every November, Missouri State University hosts one of few undergraduate mathematics conferences.
MAKO, or Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma, is designed for students from all four states to share their research.
Originally started as a National Science Foundation grant in 2005, it has grown into something much bigger.
It started with five schools: MSU, College of the Ozarks, Southwest Baptist University, Drury and Evangel.
Though it is held at MSU each year, the other universities help co-host the program.
Each year, the conference gets a little bigger.
This year, the conference featured about 60 faculty and students from 10 colleges and universities.
About 12 students presented.
Dr. Yungchen Cheng, the originator of the conference, likes the more laidback atmosphere of MAKO. Cheng has been director of the conference since its inception. He stepped down last year.
Dr. Les Reid, professor of mathematics, led it this year.
“The best part is that it allows attending students to gain an idea about what undergraduate research in mathematics could be like and a sense that it is not as intimidating as they might have felt before,” said Cheng, faculty emeritus.
This one-day conference focuses on student presentations with a guest speaker starting the day off.
“The conference gives presenters a friendly forum to share their research findings,” Cheng said. “It’s less intimidating than general conferences hosted by mathematical professional organizations. It’s fun and satisfying for students to talk about their research.”