Mathematics & Computer Science


Mathematics & CS News

'13 Fall Semester

On November 16-17, Andrew Tullo '14, Chris Zumberge '14, Sam Tolkin '14, Holly Bertolet '15, Mike Filippone '15 and David Reinert '16 participated in the 2nd Annual Lehigh Valley Startup Weekend at Ben Franklin Techventures at Lehigh University.

On November 13, Dr. WIlliam Dunham, Koehler Professor of Mathematics at Muhlenberg College, closed out the fall colloquium series with, "Lunchtime with Euler." Dr. Dunham notes that, "Among history’s greatest mathematicians is Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), the Swiss genius who produced an astonishing 25,000 pages of pure and applied mathematics of the very highest quality. In this talk, we sketch Euler’s life and describe a few of his contributions to number theory, algebra, and other branches of mathematics."

On November 3, Dr. Elyn Rykken, Dr. Dan File, and three Mathematics Majors: Jarrett Felix '14, Bryan McComb '14, and Benjamin Nassau '15, of Muhlenberg College, attended the 23rd Annual Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) Mathematics Competition held this year at Lafayette College. The contest consists of a three-hour test where students need to work together as a team to solve the problems. It is open to students from Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Lafayette, Lehigh University, Moravian, and Muhlenberg College.

On October 23, Dr. Florence Appel or Saint Xavier University presented a colloquium on "Teaching Computer Ethics Issues" to the campus. She noted that, "Society's widespread use of and reliance on digital technology has brought a number of interesting and challenging ethical issues to the attention of computer science educators and their students. From practices that threaten personal privacy and security, to thorny issues surrounding the protection of intellectual property, issues abound and pose a minefield for students who are future professionals in a number of fields that involve regular implementation of computers and digital communication technology. Educators have a responsibility to prepare students for this reality. We will explore several serious computer ethics issues, identify resources and try our hand at various pedagogies that may encourage our students to address these issues critically and creatively."

On October 8, Dr. Elizabeth McMahon of Lafayette College presented a Colloquium on "Mathematics and the Game of SET." The card game of SET is played with a deck of 81 cards, and quite a lot of mathematics can be explored using the game. The presentation covered questions in combinatorics, probability, linear algebra, and especially geometry using the Game of SET. As Dr. McMahon notes, "The deck is an excellent model for the finite affine geometry, and provides an entry to surprisingly beautiful structure theorems for that geometry."

On September 27, student researcher(s) present and discuss their summer research experiences during the Summer Research Poster Session.

On September 19, William Dunham, Koehler Professor of Mathematics, spoke at the Mathematics Colloquium at West Chester University. His title was "An Afternoon with Euler."

On September 18, How I Spent My Summer Vacation… Summer Research Done by Math and Computer Science Students with Macauley Breault '15, Jarrett Felix '14, Bryan McComb '14 and Erica Wenzel '14.

On September 10, Dr. Kimball Martin of the University of Oklahoma opened the fall colloquium series with "How often should you clean your room?" Or how to mathematically quantify the notion of how often you should clean your room, which means how to optimally balance the time you spend searching for things and the time you spend putting things back.

'13 Spring Semester

On April 13, Courtney Hunsberger '15 and Melanie Panosian '13 gave talks entitled "Loss Aversion and Baseball" and "Penny Auctions and Prospect Theory," respectively, at the Garden State Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at Felician College in Lodi, NJ. For more information about their projects click here.

On April 11, Bryan McComb presented the paper "Traveling on the O.R Express: An Excursion in Commuter Rail Design" at the 2013 National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. This paper stems from two semesters of independent research with Dr. Linda McGuire. For more information about this project click here.

On April 6, Andrew Tullo '14 and Mike Borowsky '16 won first place in the programming contest at the Lehigh Valley Computer Science Celebration. Lindsay Coburn '14 and Tim Gee '14 also attended and competed.

On Feb 22, Muhlenberg College Department of Mathematics and Computer Science hosted the 2013 Annual High School Mathematics Competition. The winner of the Competition was Parkland High School, and runner up was Moravain Academy. For information and pictures about the Competition click here.

On January 25-27, Erica Wenzel and Abigail Stryker attended the 2013 Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

On January 9-12, Nicole Fiorentino and Melanie Panosian presented posters of their REU projects to the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. For more information about their REUs click here. For pictures of event click here.

'12 Fall Semester

On Nov 15, Dr. Byungchul Cha, presented "It's Easy as ABC," a guided tour for some interesting number theory problems, easy to understand, but hard to solve.

On Nov 3, Scott Goldstein '13, Sam Tolkin '14 and Macauley Breault '15 were "Tournament Finalists" in the VEX Robotics competition held at the College of Southern Maryland. They received a trophy for their efforts.

On Oct 2, Dr. Kevin Hartshore, Professor of Mathematics at Moravian College, presented "Game, Set, Math!" The elegance of the game Set is found in the connection between simple game play and deep mathematical ideas. He explored some of the interesting properties of the game and shared the results of his study. This explored topics in discrete mathematics, linear algebra, geometry, and group theory.

On Sept 20, Katie Casty '14, Nicole Fiorentino '13, and Melanie Panosian '13 presented "A Summer of Mathematics." Each speaker gave a brief description of the REU they completed over the summer and answered questions about their experiences.

On Aug 14, Clif Kussmaul, Associate Professor of Computer Science, led a workshop on Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) at "Reboot, Renew, Retreat", a conference for K-12 computing teachershosted at Villanova University.

From July 4-5, William Dunham, Koehler Professor of Mathematics, presented "Meet Uncle Isaac," a pair of lectures on the mathematics of Isaac Newton, presented for the students of MathPath, Mount Holyoke College (MA).

On June 1, Associate Professor Clif Kussmaul and students Tim Gee '14, Mike Walsh '14, and Laurainne Ojo-Ohikuare '14 organized a 1-day workshop at Muhlenberg on Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL), which was attended by faculty, staff, and students from a range of disciplines and institutions. The workshop was supported by a NSF TUES grant.

'12 Spring Semester

On April 28, members of the Muhlenberg Percussion Ensemble performed composed by Jacob Abrams for instrument designed and built by Abby Stryker '14, Erica Wenzel '14, and Ryan Gross '15, and supervised by Clif Kussmaul.

From Apr 27-28, Clif Kussmaul, Associate Professor of Computer Science, and Tim Gee '14 attended the Consortium for Computing Sciences Northeastern Meeting at Quinnipiac University. Clif lead a workshop on "Learning FOSS collaboration tools & techniques through guided inquiry activities" and Tim presented a poster on "POGIL activities for Arduino".

On Apr 24, teams competed in the 2012 Muhlenberg Innovation Challenge. First place went to bacCheck: A Smartphone Sobriety Test, developed and presented by Matthew Horn '14 , Averill Morash '14 and Timothy McClung '12. Third place went to Solar Cell Case: A solar powered cell phone charger,developed and presented by Trevor Cardo '15 , Mike Filippone '15 , Ben Burwell '15 , and Cora Wallace '15.

On April 14, William Dunham, Koehler Professor of Mathematics, presented "Two (More) Morsels from Euler," an address before the Spring Meeting of the MAA's Seaway Section, Hamilton College (NY).

On April 14, computer science students & faculty attended an LVAIC CS meeting at Moravian College. Tim Gee '14 and Colin Zelin '15 presented posters on current CS projects. Matt Horn '14 and Andrew Trautman '15 placed first in the team programming contest by being the only team to solve all 6 problems.

On April 6, William Dunham, Koehler Professor of Mathematics, presented "A Celebration of Euler," an invited lecture recognizing the retirement of Professor William Priestley of the University of the South, Sewanee, TN.

On March 4, Byungchul Cha, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, presented a lecture at the Algebra and Representation Theory Seminar at the University of Oklahoma. The title of his talk was “Prime number races in function fields”

In Feburary, Clif Kussmaul, Associate Professor of Computer Science, attended the ACM SIGCSE Conference in Raleigh, NC. His CS-POGIL grant project was highlighted in the NSF Project Showcase. He presented a paper and co-organized a special session on POGIL in CS, and he co-presented a poster on ways students and faculty can contribute to free & open source software.

On Feburary 25, The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science hosted the 34th annual high school math competition. Schools competing included Parkland,Moravian Academy, Freedom, Southern Lehigh, Wetherley, Northampton, Emmaus, Whitehall and Liberty.

On January 5, Penny Dunham, Professor of Mathematics, attended the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston, where she presented a paper titled “Food for (Mathematical) Thought” and participated in a mini-course, “Identifying and Addressing Difficult Concepts for Students in the Introductory Statistics Course”

On January 4, William Dunham, Koehler Professor of Mathematics, delivered the 2012 Keynote Address “Heron, Newton, Euler, and Barney” before the Special Interest Group on the History of Mathematics as part of the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston.


On November 18, 2011, Muhlenberg Students Scott Goldstein '13, Tim Gee '14, Jon-Frederick Landrigan '13, Jeremey Borut '14, Alex Isinhue '13, and Kyle Houston '13 competed in the VEX Robotics competition held at California University of PA.

From April 15 - 16, 2011, Ben Heilman '11 and Clif Kussmaul attended the Consortium for Computing Sciences in College Northeastern Meeting (CCSCNE) at Western New England College. Ben presented a poster on "Representative polling module for Drupal framework" based on his semester project in CSI 210: Software Engineering. Clif gave a tutorial on "Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) in Computer Science".

On Apr 9, 2011, Clif Kussmaul gave the keynote presentation on "Free & Open Source Software in CS & SE Education" at the 26th Annual Spring Conference of the Pennsylvania Computer and Information Science Educators (PACISE) at Shippensburg University.

On April 2, 2011 Lauren Spirko '11 presented "Strategies for Penny Auctions" at the Garden State Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at Essex County College.

On Mar 19, 2011, a group from Muhlenberg attended a workshop at Drew University on Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL), including students Nicole Cronin '14 and Averill Morash '14, alumnus Chelsea Lobdell '09, and faculty Sharon Albert, Jane Flood, Joe Keane, Mark Sciutto, and Clif Kussmaul.

On January 7, 2011, Michael Huber presented "Modeling Malaria in Central America" at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans, LA.