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Applied Mathematics News

Date: Jun 2018

Applied Math senior, Lindsey Weishaar, is completing her Capstone internship at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in the Market Research Department.  At her internship, Lindsey programs surveys and analyzes data from the results of the surveys. This internship is giving Lindsey real world experience towards her career goal of working for the federal government!


Rising Applied Mathematics juniors, Billy Heidel and Evan Williams, are participating in the Summer Science Scholars Research Program (S3RP) this summer working with math professor, Dr. Benjamin Wilson. The work is a continuation of Dr. Wilson's research in computational linguistics. The researchers are looking at the entropy and related values of information sources that print different languages. Entropy is a measure of the complexity of a system. In linguistics, it is a measure of the predictability of a language or, equivalently, the amount of information produced on average per symbol in a printout of a message in a given language. The study involves investigating natural languages like English and Spanish, constructed languages like Klingon and Dothraki, and languages based on a corpora of texts by authors like Shakespeare, Twitter accounts, and United States presidents' speeches.  Billy and Evan will work all summer and present their research at SU at the end of July as well as at the Fine School of the Sciences Fall Poster Sessions.

Ray Salas, Financial Advisor at Northwestern Mutual, visited SU to discuss internships for our Applied Math students.  Ray was a Capstone mentor for Michael Byrd (Applied Math '17) and we look forward to other students working with Ray to get real-life experience in this exciting field.  Ray (left) is shown here with Ellen Roskes (next to Ray), department chair, Ben Wilson, faculty member, and Michelle Schwartz, Student Engagement Coordinator.

Applied Math Senior, Courtney Hohn, is completing her Capstone Internship at the Social Security Administration in the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics.  Her role as an intern is to identify any errors and redundancy in the 2016 SSI Annual Statistical Report, create visualizations of monthly data for publication on SSA's website, and use her programming skills to create interactive maps of data.  Courtney hopes to one day become a high school math teacher, but she likes having the experience of working as a mathematician in the government.  

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.

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