April 25, 2014

UMW Showcases STEM Activities

Small drones buzzed overhead as more than 600 people viewed the latest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the Anderson Center at the University of Mary Washington on March 29 during the third annual  STEM Summit 16.

Click to view slideshow.

Showcasing the achievements of the region’s students, educators and businesses, the event featured more than 50 booths, including the UMW departments of biology, chemistry, computer science, earth and environmental science, geography, mathematics, physics and the admissions office. Germanna Community College, the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren and a variety of regional schools also showcased 3-D printers, experiments and robotics among other STEM-related technologies.

Missy Cummings, director of the Humans and Autonomy Lab and associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke University, delivered the keynote address. One of the U.S. Navy’s first female fighter pilots, Cummings discussed drone technologies and human-machine collaboration.

The Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual event is sponsored by Central Rappahannock Regional Library (FredTech) and Lockheed Martin.

A few steps away in the Goolrick pool, five local school teams – from elementary to high school – competed in the regional SeaPerch competition. The SeaPerch program, funded by the Office of Naval Research, is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).

Teams guided their remote-controlled submersibles through a series of tasks, including navigating an underwater obstacle course and retrieving weights. Teams also presented to a panel of judges about the overall projects. Two teams, both from the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity Dahlgren School, won the competition and will go on to a national SeaPerch competition in Mississippi.

A different buzz could be heard further down Campus Walk during the 8th Annual UMW High School Calculus Tournament. Six local high school teams, consisting of 23 students, competed in a jeopardy-style competition and used individual buzzers to signal the correct answers.

The Paul VI High School team from Fairfax took home the championship title with team members Christina Wulff, Stephanie Ibanez and Stephanie Keener. The Mountain View High School team from Stafford finished second. Thomas Sheehan, also from Paul VI High School, earned the top individual score of the tournament. More than $600 in prizes were awarded to the student winners as well as the schools represented by the top two teams. The event was sponsored by Dynovis.

Janusz Konieczny Publishes in Asian-European Journal of Mathematics

Janusz Konieczny, professor of mathematics, published a research article, Automorphism groups of endomorphism monoids of free G_sets, in the Asian-European Journal of Mathematics.

Janusz Konieczny Publishes in the Journal of Algebra

Janusz Konieczny, professor of mathematics, co-authored a research article, Conjugation in semigroups, which was published in the Journal of Algebra.

Janusz Konieczny Leads Seminar at VCU

Janusz Konieczny, professor of mathematics, gave an invited talk, “The Commuting Graph of the Symmetric Inverse Semigroup,” at the Analysis, Logic and Physics Seminar at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Keith Mellinger Publishes Research Article

Keith Mellinger, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Mathematics, recently saw his co-authored research article Embedding cycles in finite planes published in the Electronic Journal of Combinatorics.  The article addresses graph cycles in planes, a topic that has been connected to certain soft-decision decoding algorithms for error-correcting codes.

Leo Lee Presents at US-Korea Conference

Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Jangwoon “Leo” Lee, recently presented “Domain Decomposition Methods for Solving Stochastic PDEs” at the annual US-Korea Conference (UKC 2013) in New Jersey.  In addition to attending many research talks at the conference, Dr. Lee chaired an applied mathematics session.

Mathematical Predictions

Student develops computer program to predict progress of medical epidemics.

Keith Mellinger Presents at Meetings

Mellinger, Keith10Keith Mellinger, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Mathematics, recently traveled to two conferences to present various results of his research.  First, was the 2nd Annual Conference for the Exchange of Mathematical Ideas, a conference he helped to organize, held at the University of Northern Iowa.  There he spoke about Blocking Semiovals and Their Applications to Cryptography.  He also traveled to London, England, for the 24th British Combinatorial Conference where he delivered the presentation titled Minimal Kakeya Sets.

Flipping the Classroom

Passion plus creativity equals great teaching for one UMW grad.

Leo Lee Presents Research at Regional Conference

Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Jangwoon “Leo” Lee, traveled to Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, last weekend to deliver an invited talk at the Spring Central Sectional Meeting of the American Mathematical Society. His talk was titled Discretization of Stochastic Optimal Control Problems by the h x p Version of the Stochastic Galerkin FEM.