HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 27, 2013 – Several High Point University students recently attended the first Southeastern Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics, held at Clemson University.
HPU women who attended the conference included senior Mallory McMahon; juniors Tierney Loughran, Elizabeth Perkins, Andrea Perreault and Danielle Santos; and freshman Kristin Giorgio. The group had the opportunity to attend the inaugural event thanks to a grant from the Undergraduate Research and Creative Works office.
Dr. Jenny Fuselier, assistant professor of mathematics, accompanied the group on the trip. She noted that students were able to learn a great deal about what it means to do research in mathematics.
“It’s often difficult to grasp that research in mathematics involves working on a mathematical problem that no one else has ever solved before, or perhaps no one else has considered in the same way,” Fuselier said. “By attending this conference and listening to peers at other institutions present their work our students learned that original undergraduate research in mathematics is possible.”
The women had the opportunity to attend 25 presentations given by other students, and two presentations given by faculty members that covered research in pure and applied mathematics.
Fuselier said students are beginning their undergraduate research and hope to present next year at the event.
“Our students were exposed to a variety of research topics and we are already looking forward to attending and presenting next year,” Fuselier said. “Conferences like this can often inspire students to learn more about mathematics. When students hear a presentation about a topic that really interests them, they want to go and learn all of the math required to be able to fully understand that topic.”
The conference, aimed at undergraduate women in mathematics, was the first of its kind in the region. Funded through a Tensor grant by the Mathematical Association of America, the event aims to increase the retention of women in mathematics.