MathFest, held in John Robert Lewis Hall over the weekend, included various presentations exploring the applications of mathematics, competitions and a browse session.
The event, held on Friday evening and most of Saturday, was targeted towards undergraduate students, according to Ken Roblee, chair of the math department.
“We wanted to give undergraduate students the opportunity to experience a real math conference, learn new mathematics and connect with others from around the southeast region,” said Roblee. “This benefits their professional development and hopefully furthers their interest in math.”
While the event was aimed at undergraduate students, that doesn’t mean they sat there and listened all weekend. Some of the projects were given by undergrad students, giving them the opportunity to learn hands-on and practice research skills.
“It was very inviting,” said Devin Griffith, a freshman at TROY, on presenting. “I’m lucky that I was able to present as a freshman.”
Griffith also cites MathFest as being a refreshing, math-focused break from the occasionally stressful classroom setting.
“MathFest provided me with a way to appreciate math in a way that I hadn’t before,” said Griffith. “It was a low-stress environment for learning about math, not just the curriculum math you learn in school.”
MathFest wasn’t just limited to Troy University either. Roblee says that attendees came from five different states and about 17 different colleges and universities – and nine graduate schools were represented at the graduate school browse session on Saturday.
Those attendees witnessed presentations given by faculty from TROY and other universities, as well as graduate and undergraduate students from varying institutions. Presentations and posters delved into the many applications of math, from preventing pneumonia to modeling the performance of MLB pitchers.
“I learned some very surprising applications of mathematics, especially in biology, computer science and image processing,” said Griffith. “The presentations varied in level of complexity, and that would appeal to any student who attended.”
“MathFest has made me want to tackle some of my own questions and do some of my own independent research in the future,” said Griffith.