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.
Professor Mark McKibben was honored at the meeting of the Maryland-Virginia-DC Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) held at the Owings Mills campus of Stevenson University on April 14 by being named recipient of the MAA Section’s 2012 John M. Smith Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching in Mathematics. This honor carries with it a certificate, a handsome plaque, a monetary award, and a place in the history of the MAA. This was the twenty-first time this prize has been awarded, and the second time it was claimed by a Goucher mathematician.
On Saturday, October 1, five computer science majors (Ari Bornstein, captain; Avery Erwin-McGuire, alternate captain; Owen Lehmer; Tony Huckestein; and Anna Bialek) competed against other Maryland college teams in the second round of the inaugural Maryland Cyber Challenge Competition, hosted by UMBC. The team’s task in this round was to perform a “crime scene” forensic analysis of a computer that had been compromised, determining what had happened to the computer, who had mounted the attack against the computer, and what the attackers had done once they had circumvented the computer’s defenses. In addition, the team had to solve several “challenge” problems by finding and decrypting the scrambled contents of several files on the computer.
Goucher’s team is one of eight that has advanced to the final round, to be held at the Baltimore Convention Center on October 22 during the MDC3 Conference. The team will be competing against teams from Capitol College, UMBC, University of Maryland, Towson University, and University of Maryland University College in a “capture-the-flag” competition in which the team will attempt to infiltrate a target system, plant a virtual “flag” and perform remote system forensics to identify system artifacts confirming a successful infiltration.
The National Security Agency is providing $86,000 in scholarship money to help promote the competition. Each member of the winning team will receive $5,000 in scholarship money, while members of the second place team will each receive $2,000 in scholarship money. Members of the winning team will also have internship and full-time job opportunities with SAIC.
MDC3 Cyber Challenge Competition: http://www.mdc3.org/challenge.html
NSA Kicks in Scholarship Funds to Boost Cyber Challenge: http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=239&sid=2580724
Tomorrow’s Cyberdefenders: http://mdmorn.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/923111/
For six hours on Sunday, Sept. 11, five computer science majors (Ari Bornstein, captain; Avery Erwin-McGuire, alternate captain; Owen Lehmer; Tony Huckestein; and Jeremy Schatten) competed against other Maryland college teams in the first round of the inaugural Maryland Cyber Challenge Competition, hosted by UMBC. The team’s task was to eliminate as many weaknesses as possible from two completely different computer systems — one running Windows 2000 and providing file service, and the other running Ubuntu Linux and providing the WordPress blogging service. These weaknesses were not disclosed to the team, which had to use its sleuthing skills to locate the weaknesses and eliminate them.
The team performed extremely well, comfortably making it into the second round of the competition, which will be held on Oct. 1. Eight college teams will emerge from the second round to compete against each other in the finals, which will be held on Oct. 22 at the Baltimore Convention Center.