Five students took the Putnam exam Dec. 7 from 10am to 6pm, with a lunch break in between. The exam had 5 questions in each section.
This year’s competitors were:
Nine of our students competed this year in the Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Competition.
Dr. Joseph Cutrone was the organizer for the Goucher College students who gave up their Saturday to take this difficult math exam. The participants of the Goucher competitive math team were:
This year, 117 college and universities throughout the east coast and great lakes region of the US took the exam. The exam started in 1979 and is now in its 35th year. Contestants at each participating school take the two and one-half hour exam on their own campus under the supervision of one of their own faculty members. Individuals compete for $750 in regional prizes for which any contestant is eligible.
Where are they four months after graduation?
Avery Erwin-McGuire has joined ASML, doing development work for laser-assisted silicon wafer alignment. ASML is the largest supplier in the world of photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry. 70 percent of the world’s supply of semiconductor parts are produced using ASML equipment. ASML’s customers include Intel and IBM.
Owen Lehmer has joined ViaSat as a software engineer working on ground control and satellite software. ViaSat specializes in innovative satellite products enabling fast, secure, and efficient communications to any location. ViaSat serves over 400,000 customers in the contiguous Unites States and counts DirecTV, DISH Network, and AT&T among its reseller partners. ViaSat is one of Forbes “200 Best Small Companies in America.”
Hugh Geller inaugurated the wall whiteboard in the Julia Rogers Lobby. We are well and truly moved into our new space now.
Keeping up the tradition, the Theory of Computation class spent part of reading day making a delicious Turing machine from cupcakes.
Avery Erwin-McGuire won the 2013 Phi Beta Kappa Nancy Engelhardt Memorial Prize in the Sciences for her independent study work “Robotic Tic-Tac-Toe: Teaching an Industrial Robot Arm to Play Intelligently”.
Robyn Edwards was awarded the Robert E. Lewand Prize for her work “Are you Complete?”
The prize is awarded annually to the student who provides the most innovative, creative display of the beauty of mathematics as it occurs in nature and the universe. The display can be artistic, musical, or written, and should convey a mathematical concept or truth in a manner that can be appreciated by the entire community, and not exclusively those whose area of study strongly intersects the mathematical sciences.
Welcome, new faculty member, Professor Justin Brody.
Justin Brody has been guided by twin passions in his academic life: the beauty of mathematics and the mysteries of the human mind. As an undergraduate mathematics and computer science student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County he was drawn to the field of artificial intelligence which attempts to model mental phenomena mathematically. Afterward he spent some time as a Buddhist monk at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia. Then, he earned his doctorate in mathematics at the University of Maryland where he studied model theory (the interaction between mathematical statements and the structures they describe). While there, he continued to pursue his interest in the mind through courses in philosophy and cognitive science and also touched upon the field of mathematical education, where human cognition and mathematics are jointly examined from a different angle. He comes to Goucher after a three-year appointment at Franklin and Marshall College and a summer program at Nanjing University in China. While here, teaching both mathematics and computer science, he plans on continuing his model theory research, as well as returning to the computational explorations of cognition which has always fascinated him.
At the April 14 meeting of the Maryland-Virginia-DC Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) held at the Owings Mills campus of Stevenson University, a team of four Goucher students (Robyn Edwards, Tamiro Villazon Schöler, Hugh Geller, and Yan Zhuang) competed in the Rapid Dash competition. Rapid Dash can best be described as “Mathematics meets The Amazing Race.” The nine entered teams were presented with a series of mathematical challenges of increasing difficulty. Halfway through the competition, the Goucher team found itself in fifth place, squarely in the middle of the pack. By the time the challenges were complete, Goucher finished in second place, closely behind the Roanoke College team, and winning recognition before the entire assembly of the meeting’s participants.
Earlier in the day, Villazon Schöler, Geller, and Zhuang competed against five other teams in a Mathematics Jeopardy contest. Off to a slow start, the Goucher team found itself in second place after the Jeopardy round. By the time Double Jeopardy had ended, Goucher was tied for first with the team from Hampden-Sydney. So it all came down to Final Jeopardy. This was the clue: ”During a certain span of days, it was observed that when it rained during the afternoon, it had been clear in the morning, and when it rained in the morning, it was clear in the afternoon. It rained on 9 days and was clear on 6 afternoons and 7 mornings. This is the number of days in the span.” The Goucher team wagered its entire assets and answered the question correctly (“What is 11?”). Hampden-Sydney answered the question incorrectly. So, Goucher won the Jeopardy competition by a very comfortable margin.