Vermont Alpha
Saint Michael's College
2005-2006 Chapter Report


Advisor and Officers

Advisor: Zsu Kadas

Co-Presidents: Kathryn Ennist and Megan Tatro

Number of New Members Inducted:


Number of Continuing Members:


Describe the two most interesting or unusual chapter activities this year:

Ron Graham, Professor of Computer and Information Science at the University of San Diego gave a lunchtime lecture/demo on The Mathematics of Juggling. Students snacked on pizza from a nearby pizzeria while Ron outlined the theory. Then, with a basket of tennis balls borrowed from the gym, students got a chance to try juggling themselves with some coaching and analysis from Ron. This event was part of a two-day visit to Saint Michael's by Graham as a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Lecturer. He also guest lectured in several math classes and gave a well-attended public lecture on Mathematics in the 21st Century: Problems and Prospects. See photos below.

The celebration of Math Awareness Month with the theme of Internet Security consisted of a talk by our own Professor Jim Hefferon on the topic: Secure Communication - Using Some Math. (The past, present and future of communicating privately over a public "wire.") The talk was followed by a barbeque for students and faculty at the home of the chapter advisor .

Do any of your chapter members plan to attend or present a paper at the PME national meeting at MathFest in Knoxville, Tennessee?

Probably not.

Do you have any news about current students or recent graduates? For example, scholarships or other awards, acceptances to graduate school, paper presentations at conferences. :

Four PME members were among seven Saint Michael's students to present papers at the Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at Westfield State College in Westfield, MA on Saturday, April 8th:

SARAH HAMILTON '07 presented HIV Modeling

CHRIS HIGGINS '06 presented Poker: A Mathematicianās New Best

JAMEY LEWIS '06 presented: An Introduction to Wavelets and Applications and also:Floorplanning With Force-Directed Graphing using Flexible Blocks

SARAH WALKER '06 presented Determination of strand numbers for DNA nanoconstructs

Sarah Hamilton '07 has been awarded a NASA-Vermont Space Grant Mentored Student Grant for Summer 2006 for research on the topic: Developing Graph Theory Tools for Netlist Layout . She will work under the direction of Professors Greta Pangborn and Jo Ellis-Monaghan.

Laura Beaudin '07 and Jamey Lewis '06 will also work on research projects in applied graph theory under the mentorship of Professors Ellis-Monaghan and Pangborn this summer, while Jess Scheld '05, Sarah Walker '06 and David Miller '07 worked on sponsored research during the 2005-06 academic year. Funding is through the Vermont Genetics Network and a Cadence Design Systems Grant.

Christopher Higgins '06 received the Outstanding Math Major award at graduation.

Jamey Lewis '06 will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the department of Computer Science.