Mathematics Departmental News for 2001

Five Mudd Math Majors to Present Their Research at the National Math Meetings in San Diego (11/01)

Daniel Boylan ’02, Tim Prescott ’02, Micah Smukler ’03, Chris Pries ’03, and Jeremy Rouse ’03 are presenting the results of their summer research at the Joint Math Meetings to be held in San Diego in January.

Daniel Boylan did research with Professor Lesley Ward and will speak about “A Measure that Is Diadic Doubling and Triadic Doubling Is Not Necessarily Doubling”. Rouse worked with Professor Arthur Benjamin, his talk title is “Fibinomial Identities”. Pries and Smukler will report on their work with Professor Weiqing Gu; Pries on “Examples of Cayley Manifolds in R8”, and Smukler on “Symmetrizing Sets and Multiaffine Polynomials”.

Prescott, who worked with Professor Francis Su, speaks on “Convergence of a Family of Random Walks on the d-Dimensional Torus”.

Each student will be speaking in contributed paper sessions in their research fields, except for Boylan, who is speaking in a special session for undergraduate research.

Francis Su receives MAA’s Hasse Prize (8/01)

Francis Su, assistant professor of mathematics, received the Merten M. Hasse Prize on August 3, 2001, at the Summer MathFest in Madison, Wisconsin.

Su received the award in recognition for his article “Rental Harmony: Sperner’s Lemma in Fair Division”, which appeared in the American Mathematical Monthly, in December, 1999.

Established in 1986, the Merten M. Hasse Prize consists of a citation and a cash prize. It is presented by the Mathematical Association of America every two years for a noteworthy paper appearing in an association publication and written by at least one author younger than forty when the paper is accepted for publication. The award cited Su for “an artist’s model of clear and engaging mathematical writing”, stating that his paper “invitingly presents Sperner’s Lemma and variants as a unifying principle for several combinatorial division problems”.

Two NSF Fellowships and Four NSF Honorable Mentions among Senior Math Majors (3/01)

Michael Rust ’01 and Paul SanGiorgio ’01, both double math-physics majors at HMC, won National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships this year. In addition, four HMC math majors won honorable mentions, including Chris Hanusa, Jeff Hartline (CS-math), Marco Latini, and Ian Weiner.

Seven Mudders in Putnam Top Hundred (3/01)

A record seven students finished in the top hundred of the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, held on Saturday, December 2, 2000. Only two other (much larger schools) could claim more! See below. This six-hour examination is quite hard; the median score this year was 0 points out of 120 points total. Nationwide, 2818 students competed from 434 schools.

Steve Haas ’03 placed thirteenth, landing in the second highest award category. Karl Mahlburg ’01 and David Gaebler ’04 tied for 46th place, earning honorable mentions.

Ari Nieh, Josh Greene, Micah Smukler, and Mark Dean also all landed in the top hundred.

In addition, Daniel Boylan placed 159th; and Ariel Barton, Stephen Friedman, Robert Gaebler, Charles Garrod, Chris Hanusa, Andrew Iannacone, Dmitry Kogan, Daniel Lowd, Lizz Norton, Jeremy Rouse, Andrew Schoonmaker, Michael Vrable, and Kimberly Wallmark all landed on the Top 500 List.

A total of 21 Mudders landed in the top 500, of 2818 who took the exam nationally. In the team category, Adam Bliss, Steve Haas, and Josh Greene placed 16th of 434 teams that participated. A school-record of 84 HMC students took the Putnam, which was more than any other university in the nation.

Top Five Schools by Numbers of Top-100 Finishers

  1. MIT (17)
  2. Harvard (17)
  3. Harvey Mudd College (7)
  4. Duke (6)
  5. Caltech
  6. Berkeley
  7. U. Waterloo (4)
  8. U. Toronto (4)

Top Schools by Numbers of Top-500 Finishers

  1. MIT (44)
  2. Harvard (35)
  3. Harvey Mudd College (21)
  4. U. Waterloo (18)
  5. Caltech (16)
  6. U. Toronto (12)
  7. Washington U. (10)
  8. Duke (9)
  9. Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Berkeley (7 each)

Top Three Schools by Participation

  1. Harvey Mudd College (84)
  2. MIT (75)
  3. Harvard (50)

The statistics above are even more remarkable when adjusted for school size. (MIT and Harvard have six to nine times as many students as HMC.) Clearly, we had the best per-capita showing in any of these categories!

HMC wins MCM again! (3/01)

Harvey Mudd College teams turned in one of their best performances ever this year’s international Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) contest and Interdisciplinary Modeling Contest (ICM), held February 19–21, 2001. All six HMC teams received honors for their work! Two teams won outstanding awards, two meritorious, and two honorable mentions!

Nationwide, only nine MCM papers received outstanding grades, seventy Meritorious, and 123 honorable mentions. More than 600 teams from colleges and universities throughout the world participated in the contest.

Harvey Mudd College has won more outstanding awards in the history of the competition than any other college or university.

HMC students also did well in the ICM, an extension of the MCM held the same weekend. An HMC team was one of only three in the ICM competition to be recognized as outstanding out of 90 teams that participated. The ICM promotes the use of interdisciplinary tools to explore environmental issues.

This year’s HMC participants were:

Outstanding: Michael Schubmehl ’02 (math major), Deborah Chun ’02 (math/engineering), and Marcy LaViollette ’02 (IPS)
Meritorious: Timothy Prescott ’02 (math), Daniel Osborne ’02 (physics), and Nathan Cappallo ’02 (physics).
Outstanding: Christopher Hanusa ’01 (math), Ari Nieh ’01 (math), and Matthew Schnaider ’01 (CS)
Meritorious: Lara Mercurio ’02 (math/physics), Brian Kappus ’02 (physics), and Megan Thorsen ’02 (math/CS)
Honorable mention: Shane Markstrum ’02 (math/CS), Richard McKnight ’02 (math/CS), and Thomas Johnson ’02 (IPS)
Honorable mention: Cameron McLeman ’02 (math), Colin Little ’02 (math), and Andrew Niedermaier ’04 (math)