As the spring 2013 semester was drawing to a close, Clayton State University mathematics students were travelling to conferences at Morehouse College and the University of Tennessee.
Dr. Christopher Raridan of the Clayton State University Mathematics Department in the College of Information and Mathematical Sciences (CIMS) escorted 10 Clayton State students to the 11th Annual Harriett J. Walton Symposium on Undergraduate Mathematics Research, held at Morehouse on Apr. 6.
One week later, on Apr. 13, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Elliot Krop escorted eight Clayton State undergraduate students to the seventh annual mathematics conference hosted in Knoxville, Tenn., by the University of Tennessee Mathematics Department.
Clayton State students attending the Morehouse conference were Hung Hua (Morrow), Maria Morales-Beale (St. Louis), Michael Ngo (Morrow), Thuhong Nguyen (Forest Park), Chidozie Okoro (Lagos, Nigeria), Laura Parrish, Pritul Patel (East London, England), Petra President (Derniere Riviere, St Lucia), Jessie Roberts (College Park), and Jarvis Turner (Morrow).
Twenty-six presentations were given at Morehouse by 41 students from seven different colleges and universities, including the host institute, Clayton State, Georgia State, Albany State, Spelman, Birmingham-Southern and Paine.
Five Clayton State students gave presentations. Ngo, Nguyen and President provided a group presentation concerning results from their research entitled “Small Pattern Gallai-Ramsey Numbers.” Parrish presented results from her research entitled "On Opinionated Complete Bipartite Graphs." Patel gave a presentation on his research entitled "On the Edge-Balanced Index Sets of Complete Odd Bipartite Graphs."
Ngo is a junior majoring in math and Nguyen and President are seniors completing their Senior Capstone Projects in mathematics. They are collaborating with Marcus Bartlett, a senior math and chemistry double major, under the direction of Krop. Parrish, who is a senior completing her Senior Capstone Project in mathematics as well, is working jointly with the Clayton State Mathematics Department’s Dr. Christian Barrientos and Krop. Patel, a December 2012 graduate of Clayton State, is working with Raridan and Krop.
"These opportunities are helping me to prepare to give my final senior presentation," says President.
Nguyen adds, "I like doing research and it is enjoyable to see the research of other students. Because this conference is local, it is easy to have access to new ideas, to see what is currently being done in the field and to see how much is still unknown."
"The experience that I had today at the HJ Walton Symposium was wonderful," says Hua. "The integrity of the presenters, kindness of the residents, and beauty of the area definitely enhanced every second of it."
"The HJ Walton Symposium is very educational and inspiring, providing an opportunity to learn new ideas and methods of proofs," adds Okoro. "I had a great experience!"
"Attending and presenting at conferences has a profound impact on student interest in mathematics and in research in general, which promotes their overall educational experience and encourages them to consider further study in graduate school," says Raridan. “Active engagement in mathematics research provides Clayton State students with an opportunity to see what they can truly achieve.”
The students attending the University of Tennessee conference were Kenny Gillis (Riverdale), President, Nguyen, Ngo, Drew Schmidt (McDonough), Hua, Christian Larsen (Covington) and Okoro.
There were nine student presentations at the conference from Clayton State University, the University of Tennessee, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Kennesaw State University, Morehead State University, Anderson University, and Spring Hill College.
Ngo, Nguyen and President once again gave their special 30-minute joint presentation on their research with Krop in the field of Ramsey Theory, entitled, “Small pattern Gallai Ramsey numbers.”
Larsen gave a 15 minute presentation on his statistical research with the Clayton State Mathematics Departments’ Dr. Keith Driscoll, entitled, “Inverse prediction intervals”.
When asked about their experience, the students gave extremely positive reports, expressing that the conference experience was valuable.
The students’ travel was funded through CIMS. The students, Raridan and Krop 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.