Pi Mu Epsilon Conference

April 12–13, 2019

Peter Engel Science Center

Saint John's University (please park in Parking Lot P2 or P4)

Schedule and abstracts (coming)

Invited Speaker:  Dr. Talitha Washington (Howard University)

Picture of Dr. Talitha Washington


Dr. Talitha Washington is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Howard University. She attended Spelman College (BSc), and the University of Connecticut (MSc,PhD). She was a VIGRE post-doctoral research associate at Duke University, and held assistant professorships at The College of New Rochelle and University of Evansville. She is currently interested in the applications of differential equations to problems in biology and engineering, as well as the development of nonstandard finite difference schemes to numerically solve dynamical systems. 

Dr. Washington is also interested in education policy, especially advocating best practices for underrepresented students in STEM. She has been awarded a prestigious appointment by the NSF as the Division of Undergraduate Education Program Director for the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program. She received the 2019 BEYA STEM Innovator Award at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference.

She serves on the Council of the American Mathematical Society and has previously served on the Executive Committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics. She is active in programs led by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education, and Mathematical Biosciences Institute Research Experiences for Undergraduates. Dr. Washington has also taken up the cause of sharing the story of the previously unheralded, but vastly important, history of the first Black person to earn a PhD in mathematics (1925), Dr. Elbert Frank Cox. Her work has been shared on radio and television, often showing his mathematics that appears in the film Hidden Figures. Dr. Washington continues to be a motivational speaker who enjoys sharing her expertise on STEM diversity and applied mathematics to all audiences. 

Dr. Washington's talk for Friday, April 12 (tentatively 8:30 pm):  Hidden Figures: The Mathematics of Katherine Johnson

ABSTRACT: What’s the mathematics that Katharine Johnson used to send John Glenn into orbit and bring him back safely? Who was the mathematician that created the mathematics in the “Hidden Figures” Hollywood movie? Come and uncover the equations created by Johnson during the Space Race, and how the mathematical consultant, Dr. Rudy Horne, created the mathematics for the movie. 

Dr. Washington's talk for Saturday, April 13 (tentatively 10:30 am):  Nonstandard Finite Difference Schemes for a Nonlinear World

ABSTRACT: Many real-world phenomena tend to be modeled via nonlinear models. In the late 1980's, Ronald Mickens of Clark Atlanta University introduced the concept of a nonstandard finite difference scheme (NSFD) as a methodology which would best approximate solutions to systems of nonlinear differential equations. This talk will show how to construct NSFD schemes for various nonlinear models, including the models for the spread of a disease models and the models for the infamous Tacoma Narrows Bridge.  

Upcoming Conference Speakers

Former Conference Speakers

  • 2018  Tim Chartier 
  • 2017 Francis Su
  • 2016 Judy Walker
  • 2015 Ami Radunskaya
  • 2014 Hal Schenck
  • 2013 Annalisa Crannell (Videos: Friday's Lecture, Saturday's Lecture)
  • 2012 Kenneth Millett
  • 2011 William Dunham
  • 2010 Claudia Neuhauser
  • 2009 Joe Gallian
  • 2008 (Conference cancelled due to weather)
  • 2007 Carlos Castillo-Chavez
  • 2006 Edward Burger
  • 2005 Jennifer Quinn
  • 2004 Frank Farris
  • 2003 Colin Adams
  • 2002 David Bressoud
  • 2001 Underwood Dudley
  • 2000 Sam Patterson
  • 1999 Robert L. Devaney
  • 1998 Richard Guy
  • 1997 Ron Graham
  • 1996 Frank Morgan
  • 1995 Carl Pomerance
  • 1994 Philip Straffin
  • 1993 Thomas Banchoff
  • 1992 Judith Grabiner
  • 1991 Raymond Smullyan
  • 1990 Joan Hutchinson
  • 1989 Richard Askey
  • 1988 Sherman Stein
  • 1987 Reuben Hersh
  • 1986 Peter Hilton
  • 1985 I.N. Herstein
  • 1984 Ruth Struik
  • 1983 Joan Fisher Box, George Box
  • 1982 Alfred Willcox (in conjunction with the North Central Section Meeting)
  • 1981 Doris Schattschneider, Leonard Gillman, Don Koehler
  • 1980 Mary Ellen Rudin
  • 1979 Paul Halmos

Lectures will be geared toward a general audience