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Applied Mathematics News

Keyword: faculty

We are excited that four faculty and staff from the Math and Physics Department were able to attend MathFest this August.  At MathFest, a conference of the Mathematical Association of America, mathematicians present the latest in mathematical research and education each summer.  Stevenson faculty and staff presented both their research and department projects.  They also attended presentations and met with colleagues from other institutions.  MAA meetings always bring great ideas and enthusiasm to SU!

Math faculty, Dr. Ben Wilson (shown on left in both pictures), attended the Academy of Inquiry Based Learning (AIBL) Workshop in Washington D.C. this summer. According to the AIBL website "Inquiry Based Learning, or IBL for short, is a broad range of empirically validated teaching methods which emphasize (a) deeply engaging students and (b) providing students with opportunities to authentically learn by collaborating with their peers." The Department of Mathematics and Physics at Stevenson has been incorporating IBL teaching methods into several math courses for a few years including the Calculus sequence and many of the upper level math courses. The workshop gave Dr. Wilson a chance to develop skills and practice necessary for successful implementation of IBL, in addition to networking with other math faculty also interested in IBL. The workshop was a big success and Dr. Wilson is excited to use much of what he learned there in his classes this fall and beyond! Photographs taken by Katie Kahle are the property of AIBL and used by permission for this story.

Congratulations to Dr. Kerry Spencer who was awarded an SU Seed Grant based on her research on Young Adult literature.  Here is how she describes her project:

My work considers the way book marketing functions both independently and dependently from book content in the US Young Adult (YA) market. Marketing for YA literature is particularly complicated because the parties buying books are not usually the same as the ones reading them. By mathematically/inductively establishing the effect of YA book marketing on book sales, the effect of book content on sales can be analyzed; such analysis typically uncovers demographic-related implicit bias with works by POC and women disproportionately affected by lower levels of marketing.

Congratulations to math faculty member, Dr. Sarah Blanset, on her promotion to Associate Professor of Mathematics.  Dr. Blanset has excelled in all three areas of faculty responsibilities, teaching, scholarship and service.  Best wishes! 

Some of the department faculty who were there to celebrate Dr. Blanset's good news were (l to r) Dr. Neal Miller (Physics), Dr. Ellen Roskes (Department Chair), Dr. Mark Branson (Math), Dr. Sarah Blanset, and Dr. Ben Wilson (Math).

Dr. Benjamin Wilson was invited to give a talk at Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia, as a speaker in their Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics Conversation Series. His talk titled "Would Wheel of Fortune be Easier in Dothraki or Klingon?" was based on his research project with Stevenson Applied Math majors Gerald Roman-Gonzalez and Billy Heidel in which they are analyzing the complexity of constructed languages using tools from Information Theory, Dynamical Systems, and Statistics. During the talk, Dr. Wilson put attendees in the role of Claude Shannon in the late 1940's who studied the complexity of written English using several experiments on native English speakers which exploited their inherent knowledge of the statistics of the language.