Pi Mu Epsilon math conference April 11-12 at SJU

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April 1, 2014

Hal Schenck

The 35th annual Pi Mu Epsilon Conference will be held Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12, at Peter Engel Science Center, Saint John's University.

Pi Mu Epsilon is a national mathematics honor society that promotes scholarly activity in mathematics among academic institutions, and recognizes students' mathematical achievements.

Over 100 students and faculty from liberal arts colleges, universities and state schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota will join students and faculty from the College of Saint Benedict and SJU.

The conference hosts a speaker, as well as presentations from CSB, SJU and other students. This year's speaker is Hal Schenck, professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose research interests include commutative algebra and algebraic geometry.

Schenck will speak on "The Mathematics of Google" at 8 p.m. April 11, a topic on which he taught a mini-course for talented high school students in spring 2013. His second talk, "Warning: Higher Dimensions Alter Reality," will take place at noon April 12. Both talks will be in Pellegrene Auditorium, SJU.

Student presentations will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. April 11, and from 9 a.m. to noon April 12 in classrooms throughout Peter Engel Science Center.

Four CSB and SJU students will be presenting at the conference on the following topics:

  • Preston Hardy (SJU senior, mathematics and computer science double major, Brooklyn Park, Minn.), "Bifurcation and Non-Convergence in the Hansen-Patrick Root-Finding Method;"
  • Sarah Lange (CSB junior, mathematics major, St. Cloud, Minn.), "Graph Theory: Colored Independence and Bridges;"
  • Zach Silbernick (SJU junior, mathematics major, Royalton, Minn.), "Winning Strategy for the Game of Antonim;"
  • Mike Terhaar (SJU senior, mathematics major, Stewartville, Minn.), "Colored Independence on Cycle Graphs and Finite Grids."

Both talks by Schenck and all student presentations are open to the public.