Mathematics Departmental News for 2000

Three Math Majors Win NSF Fellowships (3/00)

Four Harvey Mudd College students and recent graduates have earned National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate fellowships for 2000.

Three of them are math majors: Joey Ann Kimball ’00, Joel Miller ’00, and Elisha Peterson ’00. Kimball, an engineering/math double major will be studying electrical engineering in graduate school; Miller’s fellowship is in analysis; and Peterson’s is in topology. Miller has also received a Churchill Scholarship to attend Cambridge University, and Peterson will be studying at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship.

The NSF selected 850 graduate fellowships this year nationwide out of a pool of 4632 eligible applicants. Each fellowship provides three years of support for the education of engineering, mathematics, and science graduate students, including those studying the history and philosophy of science and those pursuing research-based Ph.D. degrees in science education. Each fellow receives a stipend of $16,200 a year; in addition, $10,500 is paid each year to the graduate school to cover tuition and fees.

Putnam Results In! (3/00)

An HMC school record—76 students participated in the 1999 William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition held last December, the results of which were recently released.

Four HMC students made the Top 200 List out of 2900 students who took the exam nationwide. Adam Bliss ’03 tied for 79th place, and a total of 22 HMC students made the Top 500 List! Only two other schools could claim more winners this year, both much larger institutions (see below).

In the team category, our HMC team of Joshua Greene, Joel Miller, and Yinan Song had an excellent showing, finishing 13th out of 431 universities and colleges.

Top Three Schools by Participation

  1. MIT (85)
  2. Harvey Mudd College (76)
  3. Harvard (51)

Top Five Schools by Numbers of Top-500 Finishers

  1. MIT
  2. Harvard
  3. Harvey Mudd College
  4. Caltech
  5. U. Waterloo

As was true last year, when divided by the total number of students attending those schools (680 at HMC), HMC ranks first in both categories.

The six-hour Putnam examination is the largest mathematics examination in North America, and is open to universities and colleges in Canada and the United States. Professors Andrew Bernoff and Francis Su served as coaches for this year’s HMC team.

Joel Miller wins Churchill Fellowship (3/00)

Joel Miller has been awarded the Churchill fellowship for study in the UK, after graduation. Nationwide, only 10 students were selected for this prestigious scholarship, which is for one year of postgraduate study at Churchill College of Cambridge University. Joel will study for a Certificate in Advanced Study from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, the same department that Stephen Hawking is in.

In the past seven years, Harvey Mudd has 5 Churchill winners!

Miller was also awarded a Hertz Foundation fellowship as well as a NDSEG fellowship.

HMC wins MCM again! (3/00)

Harvey Mudd College teams had another outstanding showing in this year’s international Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) contest and Interdisciplinary Modeling Contest (ICM), held in February, 2000.

One team won an outstanding ranking, and two teams won meritorious awards.

Nate Cappallo, Tim Prescott, and Daniel Osborne won an outstanding ranking for the ICM problem, which involved designing a population-control program to control the elephant population in East Africa.

Colin Little, Cameron McLeman, and Debbie Chun won a meritorious ranking for an MCM problem to model the complexity of air traffic in vicinity of high-traffic airports.

Also winning a meritorious ranking were Greg Rae, Peter Booth, and Josh Hoyt, who modeled the placement of cellular-telephone transmitters to provide optimal coverage with minimal interference.