Ah, summertime! Students in the summer enjoy swimming, family vacations, video games, just lazing around and math. Well, maybe not so much math, with the exception of the students who participated in the 21st annual Texas State Honors Summer Math Camp (HSMC).
Conducted by the Mathworks program at Texas State, the six-week camp consisted of 24 advanced high school math students working on math research at the college undergraduate or graduate levels under the direction of the math faculty.
Some of the research projects will be submitted to the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. The top prizes in the competition include a $100,000 scholarship. The results will be announced on Oct. 22. In 2009, a team of three students from HSMC won first place in the prestigious competition.
Most of the students, however, were more intrigued by the problems and projects they selected than by the possible future cash rewards.
Students Alexandra Ilic and Kevin Tian, both participating for the second time in HSMC, worked with professor Nathaniel Dean on their project “Power Dominating Sets of Specific Classes of Graphs” in the field of graph theory. The project has practical applications, such as Internet traffic monitoring and electrical grids.
“After six weeks of work on this project, we not only gained a lot of insight into the project, and the theory it described, but also made our own extensions in the field,” said Tian. “Students with solutions would present their differing approaches to solving the problem, and everyone would work together to gain a better understanding of the subject. The Honors Summer Math Camp isn’t about competition. It’s about learning together.”
Other projects from HSMC dealt with game theory, number theory and image smoothing algorithms.
In addition to Dean, Texas State faculty who mentored in the HSMC program included Eugene Curtin, Weizhen Gu, Xingde Jia, Qiang Zhao, Alex White, and Jian Shen of the Department of Mathematics and Professor Gary Beall from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Edward Early from St. Edward’s University also mentored a group of students.
Texas Mathworks is the innovative mathematics program at Texas State that engages students and faculty in developing model math education programs and self-sustaining learning communities. It welcomes Texas students from all backgrounds who are doing mathematics at a high level.
More information on the program can be obtained by visiting www.txstate.edu/mathworks/ or calling (512) 245-3439.