Alumnus Pritul Patel Takes First Prize in Graph Theory and Combinatorics Dr. Christopher Raridan of the Clayton State University Mathematics Department in the College of Information and Mathematical Sciences (CIMS) recently escorted 12 Clayton State students to the 92nd Annual Mathematical Association of America Southeastern Section Meeting (92nd MAA-SE) held at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., on Mar. 15 and Mar.16, 2013. Clayton State students attending the conference were; Alex Adams (Hapeville), Sam Adams (Hapeville), Kenny Gillis (Riverdale), Hung Hua (Morrow), Christine Lengel (Ellenwood), Christian Larsen (Covington), Sarah Minion (Fayetteville), Maria Morales-Beale (St Louis), Michael Ngo (Morrow), Myron Standridge (Forest Park), Jarvis Turner (Morrow), and recent graduate Pritul Patel (Forest Gate, East London, England). Moore than 150 presentations were given by students from 20 different colleges and universities, including the host institution, Clayton State, Georgia Southern, Berry, Southern Polytechnic, North Carolina-Asheville, and Lenoir-Rhyne. Three Clayton State students gave presentations. Minion and Patel each gave presentations on parts of their research entitled "On the Edge-Balanced Index Sets of Complete Odd Bipartite Graphs." Ngo presented results from his research entitled “Small Pattern Gallai Ramsey Numbers.” Patel, a December 2012 graduate of Clayton State, won a monetary award for having the best student presentation in graph theory and combinatorics at the 92nd MAA-SE. Minion is a senior completing her Capstone Research Experience. Both are working with Raridan and Dr. Elliot Krop, another Clayton State mathematics faculty member. Ngo, a junior, is collaborating with Marcus Bartlett, Thuhong Nguyen, and Petra President under the direction of Krop. The abstracts for the talks can be found at http://sections.maa.org/southeastern/maase/conference2013/PresentationAbstracts.pdf. "This was the first time I have presented research at any conference and I was completely taken back when told that I was awarded a prize for best presentation in my section," says Patel. "When I arrived on campus the following Monday morning it felt really good to be congratulated by many students and professors, most importantly my advisors. I am proud to represent Clayton State and my advisors; this experience has given me a positive kick-start to my career in mathematics." “Opportunities like this have a significant and profound impact on student interest in mathematics and in research in general,” says Raridan. “Active learning and active engagement in the discipline will motivate these students to work a little harder in class because they’ve seen what can be achieved by their peers. Many of our students have expressed an interest in attending graduate school because of their experiences while at the 92nd MAA-SE. I am so proud of our students and so lucky to work at a university that promotes scholarly activity among our students. ” Minion adds, "The MAA-SE conference was very teacher-student oriented; there were so many students who presented research conducted with their professors. Every part of it was a blast, not to mention everyone who attended loves math just as much as I do!" "Listening to other students give talks formed a sense of mathematics-universalism. No matter what was our major, we all shared our enthusiasm for mathematics and we all contributed towards an even better conference experience," remarks Ngo. Morales-Beale provided an interesting perspective that summarized the feelings of many of the students from Clayton State. "Attending MAA-SE this weekend was one of the major highlights of my senior year,” she says. “The research presented by fellow Clayton State students was impressive and inspiring." The students’ travel was funded through CIMS. The students and Dr. Raridan would like to thank Dr. Anthony Giovannitti, Mathematics Department chair, and Dr. Lila Roberts, dean of CIMS, for providing the necessary support for travel to conferences.