Centre College mathematics majors Cate Heine ’18 and Marissa Hartsoe ’18 recently participated in the American Mathematical Society joint meeting in San Diego, the largest mathematics meeting in the world. The January event provided an opportunity for mathematics professors and students from around the United States to present research findings. Heine’s poster was selected as part of the top 15 percent of presentations submitted by undergraduates in the applied math category.
Heine and Hartsoe were introduced to the conference through Assistant Professor of Mathematics Ellen Swanson, who helped them prepare and submit application materials. Swanson says she encouraged Cate and Marissa to attend so that they could realize how vast the field of mathematics is.
“The undergraduate curriculum only exposes students to a tiny sliver,” she added.
Heine and Hartsoe also received help and encouragement from Stodghill Professor of Mathematics John Wilson and Associate Professor of Mathematics Joel Kilty, who attended the conference with the students during CentreTerm 2018. Assistant Professor of Mathematics Michael Lamar acted as Heine’s research adviser.
Heine’s project used statistics to understand the correlation between city growth and rise in average income while Hartsoe presented research completed during Swanson’s Industrial Mathematics course. Both students took the course and credit research and presentation skills to Swanson.
“The Industrial Mathematics course placed a really big focus on communicating science ideas to a non-scientific audience,” Heine explained.
Hartsoe said individual attention from professors helped develop her interests in mathematics and economics. Additionally, she participated in an independent study during the fall 2017 term, an opportunity that she said allowed her to take her work from the classroom setting “to the next level.”
Heine also explained that her summer internships, funded through Centre’s Brown Fellows Program, helped her develop mathematical research skills and inform her career goals.
Both students plan to attend graduate school in mathematics or economics upon graduation in May.
By Carbery Campbell ’19
February 16, 2018
Photo by Kate Awtrey, Atlanta Convention Photography