YSU Student Math Group Receives Award

On Friday, July 28, the YSU Association for Women in Mathematics Student Chapter was awarded the AWM Award for Professional Development at the MathFest Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The chapter was presented with a certificate and a $100 honorarium. The following students attended the event: Monica Busser, Julie Phillis, Alanis Chew, Sarah Elizabeth Odidika, Mirella Boulus, Hannah Haynie, Jacqueline Chapman, Ashley Amendol, Lexi Rager, Christine Langer, and Nathalie Halavick.

The purpose of the award was to reward a student chapter for its recruitment and development of students’ professional involvement in mathematics.

Alanis Chew, a junior Business Economics and Mathematics major, is the Secretary of YSU’s AWM Student Chapter. Speaking of the AWM Award for Professional Development, Alanis explained that “our chapter received this award because of our former president, Monica Busser, who started the AWM Bigs and Littles program.”

She also mentioned that Busser organized several events to promote women in STEM. A few of the events that YSU’s AWM was recognized for were pursuing an event that provided a more inclusive environment in STEM, the Women’s History Month Colloquium, and the Women in Math Trivia Day.

Each member that attended the conference also presented research they have worked on for the past year. Some of the research topics include Konstant’s Partition Function, Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematics, infinite series, bones, and muscles.

President Julie Phillis began her research in April with the assistance of a special computer system. “We were continuing the research done by Gabrielle Van Scoy, who graduated this past spring with her math degree and is now pursuing her PhD at the University of Kentucky,” said Phillis. “Gabbie succeeded in creating a mathematical simulation that accurately mimics how bone cells form bone in nature.”

Researcher Lexi Rager and her group found uses for recommender systems. “Our research uses recommender systems in the academic sphere,” said Rager. “We’ve created a program that recommends classes and professors to students based on classes and professors a student has already had and liked.”

AWM strives to promote and encourage women to be more involved in a math community. Chew said that the chapter “wants everyone to know how amazing female mathematicians are and how much fun math can be!”

AWM also helps with many events that the math department hosts like movie nights and pancake dinner nights.

“There are no qualifications to join AWM, you just have to be open to making a lot of new friends,” said Chew.

Any students that are interested in joining AWM can email Alanis Chew at ajchew@student.ysu.edu or the President of AWM, Julie Phillis at japhillis@student.ysu.edu. You can also find the organization on Facebook.

Student Organization Spotlight: The Association for Women in Mathematics

female math studentsThe Youngstown State University Student Chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics is dedicated to encouraging young women in sciences.

Monica Busser, president of the student organization, says it’s really all about making women feel comfortable in their STEM majors.

“The Association for Women in Math focuses on empowering women and girls to pursue careers in math and science and to feel comfortable pursuing those careers, especially in a male dominated field,” said Monica.

The group emphasizes both math and professional women. They have helped to promote the Math Assistance Center, they talk to schoolchildren about careers in math, and they also plan to take on an active role for Women’s History Month.

”We have our first Association for Women in Mathematics Colloquium,” said Monica. “Dr. Pamela Harris is an algebraist, and she’s going to talk to us about her research, which will be really cool.”

Dr. Harris will give her talk on Abstract Algebra on March 25 at 3:00 p.m. in the Cafaro Suite in Lincoln. Afterward in the Cafaro Suite, there will be History of Women in Mathematics Trivia where participants can compete for a gift card prize.

The group also participated in YSU’s Women in STEM Day to encourage local middle school and high school students to pursue STEM majors and careers. This event also included many professionals in STEM fields to interact with the girls and answer questions.

At the end of January, six of YSU’s female math majors (pictured above with Dr. Spalsbury) attended the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics where they presented research in the company of fellow math women. This is what each of them presented:

Unique Hamiltonicity and Computational Algebraic Geometry by Monica Busser

The Fifteen Schoolgirl Problem by Sheri Cope

Developing an Educational Sudoku Solver by Emily Hoopes

Numerical Results for the IVP to the Burgers Equation with External Forces by Crystal Mackey

A Study of Youngstown Public Housing Program Participants’ Preferences by Ashley Orr

A Bone Eat Bone World: Math Models of Bone Metabolism by Gabrielle Van Scoy

Any students interested in the Association for Women in Mathematics, any gender or major, can contact Monica Busser at mebusser@student.ysu.edu.