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Math Department News in Brief: Summer-Fall 2018

December 10, 2018

Professors Elizabeth Milićević (Haverford) and Djordje Milićević (Bryn Mawr) served as Director’s Mathematicians in Residence at the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program in the summer of 2018. In this role, they gave colloquia for BSM students on their research and professional development sessions, advised BSM students on graduate schools and professional opportunities, and organized social outings such as visiting world-famous Budapest baths, conquering a “1984”-themed escape room (Budapest is the escape room capital of the world), and watching FIFA World Cup soccer games in buzzing outdoor cafes and ruin bars. 

Ph.D. students Lindsay Dever, Elsa Magness, and Daniel White gave talks on modular forms, quadratic reciprocity-based encryption, and moments of L-functions in the Series on Exploring Combinatorics and Number Theory (SECANT) conference held in November 2018 at Cedar Crest College. 

Ph.D. student Lindsay Dever gave an invited talk in the Study Group in Number Theory seminar at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). The seminar is organized by Karen Taylor, a CUNY mathematician who spent her 2017-18 sabbatical at Bryn Mawr College and was an active participant in the Bi-Co Mathematics Colloquium and Philadelphia Area Number Theory Seminar. 

Professor Djordje Milićević was an invited participant in an academic job search panel for science and engineering graduate students at Princeton University. 

Professor Lisa Traynor and graduate student Isaac Craig took part in the Topology Students Workshop at Georgia Tech in June; Isaac was a participant and Lisa was a mentor. The workshop serves as both a research conference and a professional development workshop for graduate students in the fields of geometric group theory, geometry, and topology. This year, Isaac and Lisa are using some of the professional development ideas from that workshop as the basis for professional development workshops for the Graduate Group in Science and Mathematics at Bryn Mawr. 

In September, Professor Lisa Traynor gave a talk on recent research in the Geometric Analysis Seminar at Rutgers. 

A book by Visiting Professor and Research Associate Bill Dunham was selected to be republished as part of the Princeton Science Library. A new edition of The Calculus Gallery (Princeton University Press, 2005) was published in November, and includes an updated introduction and other revisions. The Princeton Science Library brings "writings of leading scientists to a broad professional and general audience” according to the publisher, and included are works by Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Richard Feynman, and others. Dunham is the author of Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics, The Mathematical Universe, and Euler: The Master of Us All, and is a co-editor (along with Jerry Alexanderson and Don Albers) of The G.H. Hardy Reader. He received the Mathematical Association of America's George Polya, Trevor Evans, and Lester R. Ford awards, as well as its Beckenbach Prize for expository writing.

This year three students took the Putnam exam: Hurum Tohfa '22, and Qinyi Lin '20 and Xiya Wei '20. The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is the preeminent mathematics competition for undergraduate college students in the United States and Canada, consisting of two three-hour sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. During each session, participants work individually on six challenging math problems.

National Security Agency (NSA) mathematician Fiona Galzarano spoke at DMC about the history of cryptosystems and the current need for new methods of encryption. She also described life as a mathematician at NSA, and highlighted several employment opportunities.   

Professor Amy Myers led two workshops for the Philadelphia Area Math Teachers’ Circle. One involved cracking a secret code, and the other explored Apollonian gaskets. 

The Math Department hosted several panel discussions this fall including one on summer math experiences and another about study abroad experiences. Summer experiences speakers included Junyan Duan ’19 (REU on Mathematical Ecology), Natalie Meacham ’19 (REU on Markov Chains), Aisha Mechery ’20 (REU on Low Dimensional Topology and Geometry), Kat Margaret Phifer ’19 (Internship in Theatrical Administrative and Accounting), Sanjana Sen ’19 (Internship at Outdoor Voices), Ceci Silberstein HC ’19 (REU on Arctic Ecology), Jwahir Sundai ’19 (Internship in Information Technology Risk Mitigation), and Cheyenne Zhang ’20 (REU in Harmonic Analysis). Study abroad panelists included Emily Barry ’19 (Freiburg, Germany), Celine Chen ’19 Stockholm, Sweden), Romy Dangol ’19 (Edinburgh, Scotland), Mai Hoang ’19 (London, England), Kexin Qiu ’19 (London, England), Mehendi Siraj ’19 (London, England), and Xingya Wang ’19 (Budapest, Hungary and Moscow, Russia).