Houghton College senior math majors, Laura Ballard '13 and Elizabeth Bailey '13, presented posters as part of the undergraduate poster session at the Joint Mathematics Meeting on January 11, 2013, in San Diego, Calif.
The Joint Mathematics Meeting is an annual national meeting of the Mathematical Association of America, American Mathematical Society, and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Several other national mathematics organizations also attend to present lectures, discuss research, and meet with colleagues and students from around the world.
Both Ballard and Bailey were presenting research they collected based on their experiences as part of Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) during the summer of 2012. Ballard worked with Hope College, and Bailey worked with the University of North Carolina-Asheville.
Both students have since applied for Ph.D. programs in the mathematics field. Ballard has been recently been accepted to Syracuse University.
“It was really neat to see all of the undergraduate researchers together in one room,” said Ballard. “I loved it when people stopped by… who really were interested in my research.”
When asked about Ballard’s and Bailey’s achievements, chair of the math department Kristin Camenga replied, "Laura and Elizabeth have done excellent work, and we are proud to have them represent Houghton as part of this national poster session. Their success doing research in their REUs demonstrates how a strong liberal arts education can support excellence and specialization in a discipline, and we are excited to see the next steps they will take in their education."
Both posters from Ballard and Bailey are currently on display on the second floor of Paine Science Building at Houghton College.
In addition to the above, both Ballard and Bailey have been accepted into IMMERSE, Intensive Mathematics: a Mentoring, Education and Research Summer Experience.
Immerse is a highly competitive and prestigious summer program for undergraduate study in math at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Each summer there are only 16 students throughout the United States selected for this program. This year Houghton has the honor of sending two students.
IMMERSE has two interweaving components: one that strengthens the preparation of students who are about to enter their first year of graduate study in mathematics (these students are referred to as "pre-grads") and one that develops the teaching, research and mentoring skills of graduate students and early-career faculty.
Both Ballard and Bailey will be taking part in the “pre-grads” course study.