YSU students excel at national MathFest

Youngstown State University students represented well again at the Annual Summer Meeting of the Mathematical Association of America and Pi Mu Epsilon.

The meeting, commonly known as MathFest, was in Madison, Wis., earlier this month. In all 10 undergraduate students in the YSU Department of Mathematics and Statistics attended the event and gave presentations.

Three students won awards for their presentations:

Student in YSU's STEM college and mathematics program were honored at MathFest again this year.

YSU students participating in MathFest in Madison, Wis., are, from the left (standing) Matt Pierson, Bradley Slabe, Mario Sracic, Tim Shaffer, Estee George, Megan Chambers and Sarah Ritchey, and (kneeling) James Munyon, Dan Catello and Danielle DeChellis.

  • Mario Sracic of Hermitage, Pa., received an award of excellence in student exposition and research from the American Mathematical Society and the American Statistical Association for his presentation on the “Outer Automorphisms of S­6.”
  • Estee George of Boardman presented “Mathematical Model for Butanol Fermentation” and received the Janet L. Andersen Award for outstanding exposition and research in mathematical or Computational Biology from the Mathematical Association of America Special Interest Group in Mathematical Biology.
  • Tim Shaffer of Sharpsville, Pa., received the award for excellence in student exposition and research sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America for his presentation on “Determining the Primality of an Integer.”

YSU students have now won 30 awards in the last eight years of MathFest competitions.  It is also the second successive year that a YSU student won the Janet L. Anderson Award.

Other students attending and the titles of their presentations:

  • Matthew Pierson of Youngstown, “Mathematical Modeling of Selenium Matabolism.”
  • Danielle DeChellis of Youngstown, “Coloring the Platonic Solids.”
  • Daniel Catello of Youngstown, “Goursat’s ‘Other’ Theorem.”
  • Bradley Slave of Youngstown, “Proofs Using Complex Numbers.”
  • Sarah Ritchey of Sharon, Pa., “Points on a Circle with Integer Distances.”
  • James Munyon of Columbiana, “Discrete Markov Chains and Candy Land.”
  • Megan Chambers of Boardman, “The ‘Bigger Half’: Examining Fair Division.”

“The real value of participating in this and other conferences is to expose our students to the variety of mathematics that occurs throughout society and to encourage interactions with students and faculty from other universities,” said George Yates, YSU associate professor of Mathematics and Statistics. “Another goal is to excite students about mathematics and involve them in professional activities that lead to a lifetime of learning.”

YSU mathematics faculty attending the MathFest event included Yates, Angela Spalsbury and Tom Wakefield. Faculty who advised students on their projects included Yates, Wakefield, Spalsbury, Tom Smotzer, Nathan Ritchey, Neil Flowers and Jacek Fabrykowski.

The MathFest trip was supported the YSU College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, the YSU Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics, Pi Mu Epsilon, Mathematical Association of America and a grant from the National Science Foundation.