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Applied Mathematics News

Date: Jul 2016

Female faculty and staff in the School of the Sciences were chosen to receive the INSIGHT Into Diversity 2016 Inspiring Women in STEM Award.  This national award is a tribute to the work our female faculty and staff do in promoting STEM fields of study for our students.  Many of the awardees were able to be present for a photo taken in the new Academic Center at Owings Mills North.  From our department, faculty members, Ms. Joan Beemer, Dr. Sarah Blanset and Ms. Eileen McGraw, and department chair, Dr. Ellen Roskes, were honored.

Bud Schuster (BS Applied Math, 2013) works for an online educational company doing statistical analysis.  He visited Owings Mills North today to participate in a video we are making of alumni and students from the School of the Sciences.  Bud shared how much he enjoyed his time at Stevenson, including our small class sizes and the personal attention he received from his professors.  Dr. Ellen Roskes, Department Chair, was excited to see Bud and to show him our new Math Room.  

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is home to the Prime Meridian, the line that sets 0 degrees longitude on Earth. Starting in the late 1600s, astronomers used stellar transits to set the location of this line and establish time and navigational standards for maritime usage. Dr. Neal Miller and his girlfriend, Devashree, are seen here straddling the line with one foot in the East and one foot in the West! Your typical nerd poses for this sort of picture. A serious nerd poses for this sort of picture at local noon - note how their shadows align with the Meridian! The only thing that would have been nerdier is doing the same at local noon on the March Equinox, when the position of the Sun sets the zero point for Right Ascension in the astronomical coordinate system.


This summer, rising junior Applied Mathematics major, Gerald Roman, is participating in the Summer Science Scholars Research Program (S3RP). Together with Dr. Benjamin Wilson, Gerald is analyzing the complexity of languages from a statistical viewpoint based on the work of Claude Shannon from the 1940's and 50's. Gerald's research involves computing the entropy of languages which measures how much information is produced on average for each letter of text in the language.  The entropy of a language gives a sense of the predictability of a piece of text written in that language.

Early one morning during his summer vacation to the United Kingdom, Dr. Neal Miller set out on a run to a lesser-known but highly significant destination: the birthplace of James Clerk Maxwell! This nondescript home in Edinburgh is now owned by a historical preservation society and not open for public tours, but is marked by the plaque shown here (you can see Dr. Miller's photo-taking reflection in it!). Maxwell's work unified electricity and magnetism, and in so doing demonstrated the nature of light as an electromagnetic wave. The quote at the bottom is from Einstein: "One scientific epoch ended and another began with Maxwell."


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