This required a proposal about what each professor would teach and why it was important to students in China. About 100 professors from 25 different countries were chosen to teach this summer.

The professors who taught in China this summer were:

- Babur Mirza, assistant professor of biology
- Patrick Sullivan, assistant professor of mathematics
- Sanjay Tewari, assistant teaching professor of engineering
- Stephanie Thomas, instructor of engineering

Tewari taught water and wastewater engineering over the summer to master’s and PhD students, as well as some Chinese faculty.

“Meeting with local faculty, getting to know about their research and visiting research labs were some of the things that I really enjoyed academically,” Tewari said.

Sullivan also enjoyed teaching students in his introductory probability and statistics course.

“The students were wonderful. I have never received an ovation at the end of a lesson,” Sullivan said.

This was Tewari and Sullivan’s first trip to China. Each were surprised and impressed by the school and their experiences.

“Interacting with local students and faculty in and outside of the classes was a good experience,” Tewari said. “They introduced me to the local culture and various fun activities that locals do on a daily basis.”

Tewari was also grateful for the accommodations his hosts made for his vegetarian diet.

One thing Sullivan and Tewari noted was the language barrier.

“I have much greater empathy for students coming to the United States with English as their second language,” Sullivan said. “I am much more sensitive to the barriers they face.”

]]>From June 3-July 26, Haller worked with professors, other mathematics educators and high school students at a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU).

There were five teams at the REU that worked with different mathematics problems for about seven weeks.

Haller and her team worked on a graph they called “H.” They solved the spectrum problem for a three-uniform, two-regular hypergraph. The graph Haller worked on had three vertices on each edge.

Haller hopes to present the research later this year.

Haller also helped plan and execute a week-long math camp for high school students across Chicago.

Haller got to teach mini sessions, run the camp and work with students as a table monitor. Each high school student worked on his/her own research and presented it at the end of the week.

“It was fascinating to see how students who were unsure about their math skills at the beginning of the camp were the most enthusiastic about their findings by the end,” Haller said. “Many, if not all, of the students didn’t want to leave at the end of the week. Most were thrilled that they had found this new love of mathematics.”

Haller worked with three professors at Illinois State:

- Dr Saad El-Zanati, distinguished professor of mathematics
- Ryan Bunge, instructional assistant professor of mathematics
- David Barker, associate professor of mathematics

Dr. Patrick Sullivan, assistant professor in mathematics, is her Missouri State adviser.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds universities to work with undergraduate research in mathematics.

REUs let faculty mentors bring in 12 students from around the United States to mentor and work on research for eight weeks during the summer. These students are among the best math majors in the country.

]]>Abstract:

Many fundamental operators arising in analysis are governed by sets of directions that they are naturally associated with. What are some of these operators? Why are they important? How do direction sets affect their behavior? This talk will survey a few representative results in this area, and report on some new developments.

]]>This conference focused on how much women could do in a male-dominated field.

Klement learned from both students and professors that presented.

It also gave Klement new ideas on research.

“Seeing examples of possible research topics and how they were structured was beneficial,” Klement said. “I was introduced to a lot of higher-level math concepts that I am excited to continue to explore.”

Klement is mistaken for being a mathematics education student instead of an applied mathematics major with minors in computer science and Spanish.

Though it’s annoying, Klement thinks it’s worth it to stay in mathematics.

“It’s important for women to be in STEM fields because diverse perspectives are crucial to effective problem solving,” Klement said.

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Abstract:

We will discuss the Dirichlet problem for the Laplace-Beltrami operator acting on scalar functions in regular Semmes-Kenig-Toro subdomains of a Riemannian manifold M. When all objects and structures involved are smooth the standard elliptic theory based on pseudodifferential operator methods applies. In our work we consider rough subdomains of M, a setting which renders the latter approach ill-suited. As an alternative, we resort to the theory of singular integral operators with variable coefficient kernels on uniformly rectifiable sets which we further refine and adapt to the present framework.

]]>With advancement comes new snags and problems to address and fix.

Dr. Xingping Sun, professor of mathematics, studies the combination of his first love, mathematics and his second, computer science.

Hand in hand, Sun explores the effects they have on each other.

Learn more about Sun’s research

The Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, invited Sun to a colloquium Feb. 1.

Dr. Greg Fasshauer, head of the applied mathematics and statistics department at Colorado School of Mines, asked Sun to speak.

Sun and Fasshauer are currently collaborating on a paper.

Sun’s presentation, “Kernel based Monte Carlo approximation methods,” looks at an important problem in machine learning.

The Monte Carlo method is using randomness to predict something. A kernel-based Monte Carlo is an algorithm that adapts a realistic model.

“For example, scientists in weather forecasting use limited data obtained at scattered sites to establish different models needed for predicting weather phenomena,” Sun said.

Sun’s presentation was in two parts.

In phase one, he used approximation methods. In the second phase, he used the Monte Carlo method.

Combined, they open up discussion on machine learning and how to better it.

]]>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.”

]]>Dr. Xingping Sun, math professor at Missouri State University, says this will change.

According to Sun’s research, the computer wouldn’t work to keep up with the player’s choices. Instead, the game could predict what the player would do next. Rather than keep up, it would be leading the way.

He likens it to a passion of his: the ancient board game Go. It is estimated to have more possibilities for moves than atoms in the whole universe.

Working through all of the possible moves, which traditional artificial intelligence does, is a “hopeless way to play the game, even for the fastest computers in the world,” Sun said.

That’s what he thought. But in March 2016, AlphaGo – a program built by Google – beat all the best human Go players for the first time.

Intrigued by the algorithm that let AlphaGo drastically narrow down the possibilities, Sun now employs similar methods to model real-world problems – like weather phenomena and early diagnoses of incurable diseases.

With this same knowledge, video games will continue to evolve.

]]>https://science.missouristate.edu/scholarship-recipients.htm

]]>Abstract:

The golden ratio, also called by different authors the golden section, golden number, golden mean, divine proportion, and division in extreme and mean ratios, has captured the popular imagination and is discussed in many books and articles. Generally, the mathematical properties of the golden ratio are correctly stated, but much of what is presented about the golden ratio in art, architecture, literature, and esthetics is false or seriously misleading. Unfortunately, these statements about the golden ratio have achieved the status of common knowledge and are widely repeated. Even current high school geometry textbooks make many incorrect statements about the golden ratio. This talk will set the record straight about the golden ratio. It will discuss its mathematical significance as well as some of the most commonly repeated falsehoods about it.

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