Applied Mathematics News

Applied Math majors Brittney Johnson, Chris Villanueva, and Julian Cha are working on an independent research project this semester under the guidance of Associate Professor of Mathematics, Dr. Benjamin Wilson. The group is researching connections between information theory and the word game Wordle. The goal of Wordle is to guess a secret 5-letter word in at most 6 attempts. After each attempt, the guesser is told if the letters in their guess are in the solution and in the correct place, in the solution but in the incorrect place, or not in the solution.

Some goals of the research group are to apply topics in information theory, like entropy, to code bots that will solve Wordle. Depending on the information a bot learns with each guess, it can make successive guesses to try to find the solution as quickly as possible.

In addition to creating a Wordle bots, the group is making different versions of Wordle by changing the dictionary of possible answers from common English words to words found in other corpora like the works of Shakespeare or other authors or Twitter. They are also using these corpora as the basis for the bot to make guesses to see how well Shakespeare or someone’s Twitter account could do if they were playing Wordle.

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Stevenson math faculty! The graph in polar coordinates is called a cardioid, named for its heart-like form.

Math students and faculty participated in Global Game Jam 2023. The goal of a game jam is to come together and make a videogame, or a non-digital game like a board game or card game in a short period of time (usually based around a theme). Global Game Jam (GGJ) is the world’s largest game jam event, with over 30,000 jammers across 632 sites in 93 countries. Stevenson University is one of those sites!

This year the theme of GGJ was “roots”. Julian Cha, Applied Math ’23, (pictured above) created a game called “Plan B” where players control Plan B the robot and attempt to find their spaceship by fighting through plant-like monsters. To see and try all the games created at Stevenson during GGJ 2023 visit

The Math Learning Collaboratory (MAC S150) is now home to a one-of-a-kind “Golden Rectangle bookcase” which was created by tiling squares whose side lengths, in inches, are successive Fibonacci numbers. The outline rectangle of the bookcase is 34″ by 55″. Ratios of successive Fibonacci numbers approach the golden ratio, phi, which is approximately 1.618. The bookcase was built by Stevenson faculty Dr. Jeremy Burkett (chemistry) and Dr. Ben Wilson (math). The Math Learning Collaboratory is a space for math students to do work, socialize, and relax between classes. It is also home to the weekly math tea time where math students and faculty get together to have tea, coffee, and snacks, and to play games.

Applied math majors Allie Hope and Luna Huynh presented their research at the Joint Mathematics Meetings 2023 in Boston, MA. The JMM is one of the largest math conferences in the world each year and the student poster session always draws a large crowd. Allie and Luna shared the work they had completed with Professor of Mathematics, Dr. Mark Branson, on “The Effectiveness of Three Promising Psychological Interventions on Math Anxiety and Academic Performance”.