MathCom starts year on the plus side

Photo by Sarah Brewer

Photo by Sarah Brewer

Holden Rowe

Staff Writer

MathCom, an organization centered on mathematics and computer science, held its first meeting at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 27 in Burch Hall.

Brent Chappell, a senior double majoring in Math and Physics, has been the president of MathCom since earlier this spring. He explained that the goal and purpose of MathCom is to merge the worlds of math and science.

“MathCom is an organization trying to connect people with an interest in mathematics and computer science together,” he said. “In the past, MathCom has made a point of hosting math and computer science themed events in an attempt to spread an interest in those subjects.” Chappell – along with Vice President Kristie Bridges – hosted the first meeting, the focus of which was to agree upon a general outline for the organization this semester. Chappell further said that a major point of the meeting was to see what events would be interesting to MathCom members.

“I was hoping to gauge the reaction for doing a game night and other events,” he said. “I would like us to do more volunteering because I would like for us to become a five star organization.”

Chappell specifically mentioned volunteering at the OKADE conference on Sep. 26 and 27, where members would submit topics to present at the conference. Bridges, who is a senior Math Education major, spoke on her excitement of the organization’s potential to connect student members and faculty in the department.

“I think it was a really good start,” she said. “It has been one of the bigger meetings that we have had, so it is really encouraging to see the positive reaction from everybody. It’s pretty exciting.”

Chappell also expressed his desire to reestablish the organization on campus.

“We were actually a rated organization before, and I would like to bring us back to that point,” he said.

The meeting also covered having field trips and a potential “Problem of the Month;” each month, a new math problem would be presented for members to solve. In previous years, members who got the most correct answers in a semester or year could win a prize.

Akinola Akinlawon, a sophomore Computer Science major, was a first time attendee. He suggested using KenKen, a math version of Sudoku, as a possible Problem of the Month. Akinlawon said he was interested in joining Mathcom because it was comprised of like-minded people.

“I’m a Computer Science Major, and I just found out that MathCom means Math and Computer Science, so I definitely wanted to join and it gives me the experience to meet other people that are interested in some of the things I am interested in,” he said.

The organization also discussed the possibility of participating in the Putnam competition, an annual mathematics exam that awards scholarships to both the top students and top schools. Math Jeopardy games were also discussed as possible events. As a new member, Akinlawon said he was looking forward to participating.

“I am always looking for something new,” he said. “I always wanted to see what Math Jeopardy was about and I might be inspired to do some more integration — it is a calculus topic. For those who like it, it is absolutely fun.”

The meeting went on to cover involvement and possible field trips math conferences, such as the Texas/Oklahoma Regional Undergraduate Symposium (TORUS) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). MathCom will be involved in planning the TORUS event, to be held on campus in February. MAA is the largest professional society that focuses on undergraduate level mathematics and holds conferences in various cities throughout the country.

MathCom’s next meeting is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 in Burch Hall. With all that MathCom has planned, both the members and the leaders of the organization are excited for the year.

“We are ready to take the average student life and apply math to it,” Chappell said.

Students interested in MathCom can contact Brent Chappell at bc136066@cameron.edu, or visit their Cameron page at www.cameron.edu/mathcom for more information.

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