Abilene Christian University hosted the 90th annual conference of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America on April 8-10 after a 15-month planning process for an event that attracted mathematicians from across the state.
The MAA is a national conference that encourages mathematical activities nationwide. Its focus is to strengthen professional development at an undergraduate level for those interested in the field of mathematics. Students and faculty can join the MAA in order to learn more about the advancements of mathematical research and curriculum.
The MAA conference is an important conference for undergraduates who are pursuing a mathematics degree because it can be used as a stepping stone for applying to graduate school.
Marc Mace, senior mathematics major from Keller, was enthusiastic about the conference.
“It went really well,” he said. “I think we had some of the best presentations.”
Mace was one of only three students from the Department of Mathematics who presented during the conference. His presentation, Discrete Logarithm Problem over Composite Moduli, was an analysis of an encryption system that can be used to identify and exploit weaknesses in encryption algorithms.
The conference consisted of 41 undergraduate presentations, 36 faculty and graduate presentations and five guest speakers. ACU math students were not required to participate but instead to attend.
The three guest speakers were Judy Walker, professor and graduate chair of the University of Nebraska; Barbara Shipman, associate professor and distinguished teaching professor at the University of Texas at Arlington; and Dr. Keith Devlin, National Public Radio host at Stanford University.
Judy Walker’s discussion was about coding theory, titled Codes on Graphs: Shannon’s Challenge and Beyond. Barbara Shipman’s delivered A Workshop on Interactive Learning Materials for a First Course in Mathematical Analysis. Dr. Keith Devlin’s discussion was called When Mathematics Changed Us.
The ACU students also participated in the MAA Calculus Bowl during the weekend and won first place. They competed against several universities including the University of Texas at Tyler, Hardin-Simmons University and St. Mary’s University. ACU has participated at MAA for the past 17 years in places such as Lubbock, Brownsville and Dallas.
For more information about registration and membership, visit www.maa.org/subpage_1.html.