Student Resources

 

 

 

As noted in our mission statement, we are strongly committed to providing students with a solid and broad-based mathematical foundation that helps prepare them for a variety of careers as well as graduate study in mathematics and the mathematical sciences.

 

CSBSJU Mathematics Colloquium

The theme for this fall is the Millennium  Prize Problems, which are important unsolved mathematical problems.  The Clay Mathematics Institute is offerering a $1,000,000 prize to anyone who is the first to solve each problem.   All of the abstracts below are from Clay's website.

The CSBSJU Mathematics Colloquium meets roughly every other Thursday.   Below are the remaining colloquia for Fall 2014:

Thursday, September 25 at 2:40 pm in HAB 003: Robert Campbell (CSBSJU Mathematics Department) will speak on the Riemann Hypothesis

Abstract:  The prime number theorem determines the average distribution of the primes. The Riemann hypothesis tells us about the deviation from the average. Formulated in Riemann's 1859 paper, it asserts that all the 'non-obvious' zeros of the zeta function are complex numbers with real part 1/2.

Thursday, October 9 at 2:40 pm in HAB 003: Sunil Chetty (CSBSJU Mathematics Department) will speak on the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer Conjecture.

Abstract:  The prime number theorem determines the average distribution of the primes. The Riemann hypothesis tells us about the deviation from the average. Formulated in Riemann's 1859 paper, it asserts that all the 'non-obvious' zeros of the zeta function are complex numbers with real part 1/2.


Thursday,  October 16 at 2:40 pm in PENGL 248: Lynn Ziegler (CSBSJU Computer Science Department) will speak on the P versus NP problem.

Abstract:  If it is easy to check that a solution to a problem is correct, is it also easy to solve the problem? This is the essence of the P vs NP question. Typical of the NP problems is that of the Hamiltonian Path Problem: given N cities to visit, how can one do this without visiting a city twice? If you give me a solution, I can easily check that it is correct. But I cannot so easily find a solution.

Thursday, October 30 at 2:40 pm in PENGL 248: Kris Nairn (CSBSJU Mathematics Department) will speak on the Poincaré conjecture.

Abstract:  In 1904 the French mathematician Henri Poincaré asked if the three dimensional sphere is characterized as the unique simply connected three manifold. This question, the Poincaré conjecture, was a special case of Thurston's geometrization conjecture. Perelman's proof tells us that every three manifold is built from a set of standard pieces, each with one of eight well-understood geometries.

Thursday, November 13 at 2:40  pm (location TBD): Bill Branson (St. Cloud State Mathematics Department) will speak on Navier-Stokes existence and smoothness.

 Abstract:  This is the equation which governs the flow of fluids such as water and air. However, there is no proof for the most basic questions one can ask: do solutions exist, and are they unique? Why ask for a proof? Because a proof gives not only certitude, but also understanding.


Mathematical Competitions

Each year students from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University participate in two mathematical competitions. Each November students may participate in the NCS/MAA team competition. This contest consists of ten problems, which are graded with a value of ten points per problem. The problems typically range in difficulty from fairly easy to extremely difficult. Students work in groups of three and submit their work as a team.

Every February students may participate in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling or MCM. The MCM is a contest where teams of undergraduates use mathematical modeling to present their solutions to real world problems. Students in teams of three work on one problem over an entire weekend. Not only is their work graded on mathematical correctness, but also on clarity and ease of understanding. For additional information see the COMAP website.

Actuary

A good number of our students pursue a career as an Actuary, a person who calculates risk for insurance companies. For further information contact Phil Byrne or Kris Nairn.

Student Employment Opportunities

Students with an aptitude for mathematics have the option to work for the department as a course assistant, teaching assistant and work in the Math Skills Center. This opportunity not only help students prepare for teaching mathematics in the secondary and college level, but also they get paid! For more information contact Phil Byrne.

Summer Experiences

Every summer the math department sponsors students to do summer research with an advisor. CSB/SJU also has a strong tradition of students participating in Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) around the country. For further information contact Tom Sibley and visit our page on summer research experiences.