Mar 19, 2010
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2010 Writing Prize in Mathematics

Solve this problem:

There were 11 women and n men in a group hunting for mushrooms. Each of them found the same number of mushrooms, a total of n2 + 9n – 2 mushrooms. Which was greater, the number of women or the number of men in the group?

Any Goucher student is eligible. Deadline for submission is March 26 at 11:30 AM. Deliver entry to the office of Professor Robert Lewand (Hoffberger 130).

The purpose of the award is to foster good mathematical writing style. The prize will be awarded to the student whose solution is best written. Judges will be looking for correctness (mathematical and grammatical), neatness, and clarity of exposition. You may discuss the problem with other students but the written report must be original. You may refer to books, journals, or on-line resources. Write your name on a cover sheet but nowhere else on the paper. Enjoy!

Nov 9, 2009
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Mid-Atlantic Regional ACM Programming Contest

Three Goucher computer science majors, senior Jon Simon, and juniors Russ Smith and A. J. Wax, participated in the Mid-Atlantic Regional of the ACM’s International Collegiate Programming Contest on Saturday, Nov. 8.  They enjoyed the spirit of the competition and had a great time.

Sep 3, 2009
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Prof Koch awarded Grant

The Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics (CURM) awarded a mini-grant in the amount of $11,850 to Dr. Koch in April 2009.  This grant provides a stipend of $3300 each to Jennifer Jordan and Ariel Kramer to work as a team during the summer and fall.  In addition to working full-time this past summer, Jennifer and Ariel will work for ten hours a week during the semester and present their work at the CURM Spring Research Conference at Brigham Young University.  Additionally, the grant provides support for Dr. Koch to receive a course release and to travel to Utah for a summer workshop with other CURM mini-grant recipients as well as to the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Francisco.  The grant will allow Ariel and Jennifer to experience collaborative, interdisciplinary research in a way that reflects how applied mathematicians actually do research.  With an acceptance rate of approximately twenty percent, it is an honor for members of the Goucher community to receive CURM’s support. 

Sep 3, 2009
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Jennifer Jordan wins award at MathFest

Jennifer Jordan received an American Mathematical Society/American Statistical Association award for her presentation at MathFest.  This project is a continuation of the work completed Jordan Yoder ‘09 during the summer of 2007, for which he won the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics Award for Applied Mathematics Award.  Jordan and Jennifer collaborated on the project during the spring 2009 semester as an independent study.  The presentation of national awards to two mathematics majors for an original research project serves as a tribute to the talented students that participate in Goucher College’s Summer Science Research Program.

Sep 3, 2009
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Students Present work at MathFest

On August 6 and 7, 2009, Jennifer Jordan ‘11 and Ariel Kramer ‘11 presented their work entitled “Follow the Food Feeding Function: A Biomathematical Study of Gastric Emptying” at MathFest, the national summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of America in Portland, Oregon.  Ariel and Jennifer conducted the research under the guidance of Dr. Gretchen A. Koch, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science.  Ariel presented the first part of the talk in the MAA Student Paper Sessions, while Jennifer’s presentation occurred as part of the Pi Mu Epsilon Student Paper Sessions.  Both women previously presented their work during the Summer Science Program presentations at Goucher College and at the Landmark Conference at Susquehanna University.  The abstract for their talks is:

Through an examination of the mechanisms driving gastric motility, absorption, and transit, and using differential equations, we created a compartmental model of the digestion system.  Specifically, we seek to understand the process of gastric emptying by modeling the interactions between ingested solids, liquids, and chyme.  To make the model accurate biologically, we introduced randomness into the system; additionally, the nonlinearity and number of the parameters in the model make finding analytical solutions impractical.  Thus, we created numerical simulations of the model.  As this research is at the crossroads of biology and mathematics, both quantitative and qualitative analyses of the simulations will be discussed.

Aug 17, 2009
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“When will I use Math?” website

Check out a new website “When will I use Math?”


Oct 28, 2008
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Goucher Competes in IBM’s “Battle of the Brains”

A team of three Goucher students are competing on Saturday, October 25, in IBM’s 33rd Annual Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest, known colloquially as the “Battle of the Brains,” at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Under the leadership of Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Thomas Kelliher, Goucher students Dave Gage, Melissa Mento, and Jon Simon will have to solve eight complex programming problems on one computer in five hours.

The teammates will collaborate to rank the difficulty of the problems, deduce the requirements, design test beds, and build software systems that solve the problems with little guidance from the judges.

Goucher’s team will compete against teams from five other schools in the region, including Johns Hopkins and Virginia Commonwealth University.

The team that solves the most problems correctly in the least amount of time will win a spot to compete in the world finals in Stockholm, Sweden.

Goucher has participated in the competition for more than 12 years and has won several honorable mentions.

For more information about the regional competitions, go online to To learn more about the contest, visit Check out podcasts about the competitions at

Sep 8, 2008
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New faculty member – Micah Webster

Please welcome our new faculty member Micah Webster.  Micah has a B.S. in Mathematics from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and both M.S. and Ph.D in Mathematics from University of California, Irvine


An introduction from Micah:

“At 17, I became fascinated with mathematics. From studying the accident in our high school parking lot to looking at the effectiveness of aspirin, calculus left me wanting more. As an undergraduate student, I was exposed to not only the many applications of mathematics, but also its ability to instill critical thinking and problem solving skills in its students. As a math teacher, I focus on intuition, critical thinking, problem solving and of course applications!

My research area is nonlinear diffusions. I enjoy considering both theoretical and numerical questions. Coding models on a computer is a great way to gain intuition for theoretical results and to see your model in action. For example as a graduate student, I studied a model that describes how a chemical will travel through a polymer. The numerical results I produced on the computer gave me the insight I needed to go on and prove theoretical results. The main application of this work is in pharmaceuticals. My current research interest is image processing.”





Feb 21, 2008
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Winter 2008 Newsletter

The winter department newsletter is now available. If you are interested in receiving this newsletter for our former majors and minors, please send an email to span.macs AT and provide us with your name, Goucher name (if different), major, and year of graduation. We would love to hear from all our former students!

Oct 1, 2007
Comments Off on Jordan Yoder Wins Award at MathFest

Jordan Yoder Wins Award at MathFest

Jordan Yoder won the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics Award for his talk at MathFest in San Jose this past August. His talk on his summer research was entitled “What do monosaccharides, lipids, and amino acids have to do with mathematics?”. The SIAM award is presented to students who give outstanding talks about applied mathematics.

Congratulations Jordan!