Mathematics began with roots in the basic concepts of space and number and has flowered into many wonderful forms. The creation and discovery of new mathematics have never been more active or vital than they are today. Mathematics is sometimes called the science of pattern and order. It relies on logic as a standard of truth, but uses observation and even experimentation as means of discovering truth. Mathematicians think of their work as a blend of science and art, sometimes elegant and beautiful, describing deep and useful creations. In addition to theorems and theories, mathematics offers distinct modes of thought which are both versatile and powerful for understanding the world.
Courses serve those who wish to make mathematics a part of a liberal arts education, those who desire a mathematics background for other disciplines, such as Computer Science, Economics or the natural sciences, those who wish to minor in Mathematics, and those who wish to major in Mathematics.
Mathematics majors choose careers in education, industry, business, banking and insurance serving as teachers, statisticians, industrial mathematicians, computer programmers or analysts, actuaries and research workers in the biological, management or social sciences. Their training can also serve as a stepping stone to professional training or graduate work in a variety of fields.
News and Events
- During the month of October 2014, Willamette is taking part in the MegaMenger distributed fractal building project. To join our construction team, contact Josh Laison at firstname.lastname@example.org or call x6689. To learn more information, visit www.MegaMenger.com.
- Joining the department this year is Visiting Assistant Professor Spencer Sitton. Professor Sitton recently completed his PhD in Mathematics at Utah State University in the area of Differential Geometry. Outside of academics Professor Sitton enjoys spending his time hiking, mountaineering, and in particular, rock climbing. Welcome Spencer!
- Associate Professor Kathryn Nyman gave an invited talk in the Computational Aspects of Algebra, Geometry and Combinatorics session and alumni Andrew Bishop (WU '14) gave a talk in the Pi Mu Epsilon Student Paper Session at MathFest 2014 in August in Portland, OR.
- Associate Professor Erin McNicholas was the invited speaker at the Willamette Valley REU-RET consortium meeting held at Willamette University on August 1, 2014. The title of her talk was "Permutation Puzzles, the Cube Group, and REALLY BIG Numbers".
- Associate Professor Kathryn Nyman was an assistant facilitator at the AMS Mathematical Research Community (MRC) on Algebraic and Geometric Methods in Applied Discrete Mathematics in Snowbird, Utah in June 2014 and she was a member of the organizing committee for the International Formal Power Series and Combinatorics Conference (FPSAC) in Chicago in late June/early July, 2014.
- Associate Professor Inga Johnson participated in the Algebraic Topology - Methods, Computation and Science 6 (ATMCS6) workshop held at the University of British Columbia from May 26 - May 30, 2014. At the workshop, Professor Johnson met up with Greg Henselman (WU 2008) who is currently in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania.
- In May, 2014, Associate Professor Kathryn Nyman was the invited speaker for Western Oregon University's Pi Mu Epsilon induction ceremony.
- The paper titled "Isotopy and homotopy invariants of classical and virtual pseudoknots" by Associate Professor Inga Johnson with co-authors François G. Dorais, Allison Henrich, and Slavik Jablan, has been accepted for publication in the Osaka Journal of Mathematics.
- Associate Professor Erin McNicholas was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa on May 10, 2014.
- On April 28, 2014, part-time faculty member Naveed Ali was selected for the Julie Abendroth, Ed. D., Professor of the Year Award by the Athletics Department at Willamette.
- The Fourth Annual Pacific Northwest Intercollegiate Ginormous Blokus Tournament was held Sunday, April 27, 2014, in Ford Hall. Willamette math majors competed against the team from Pacific University and reclaimed the PNIGBT trophy with a score of 11 to 3.
- Associate Professor Peter Otto was a recipient of the Faculty Achievement Award for the 2013-2014 academic year.
- On April 23, 2014, students Charlotte Abrams, Andrew Bishop, Summer Elias, Sean Fogerty, Rebecca Harper, Yumi Li, Max Lipton, Marika McCarthy, Rachel Robinson, Eric Samelson and Kai Yoshioka were inducted into Pi Mu Epsilon.
- Mathematics majors Andrew Bishop, Yumi Li, Max Lipton, Rachel Robinson, and Jeff Schreiner-McGraw, all presented on Student Scholarship Recognition Day held Wednesday, April 16, 2014.
- On April 13, 2014, the Willamette Math Circle was awarded a $2000 grant from the National Association of Math Circles at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute.
- Willamette students Andrew Bishop, Sean Fogerty, Jeff Schreiner-McGraw, Georgia Mayfield, Katie Tucker, and Theresa Barosh all participated in the 6th Annual Northwest Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium held on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at Oregon State University. Andrew, Jeff, and Georgia all presented at the conference and Georgia earned the 2nd prize of the AWM Award.
- The Student Awards Ceremony was held on April 8, 2014. The following students were awarded the Mathematics Department awards: Luther Award: Andrew Bishop and Katie Tucker, Luther Scholarship: David Livingston, Jeff Schreiner-McGraw, and Katherine Lacy, Jory-Hafferkamp Award: Will Nickerson, Becca Harper, and Eric Samelson, Hall Award: Max Lipton.
- On April 1, 2014, it was announced that the following mathematics majors were invited to join the Delta Chapter of Oregon as new members of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society: Yumi Li (inducted last year), Katherine Lacy, Lexi Parsagian, Kai Yoshioka, William Agnew-Svoboda, and Katie Tucker. Congratulations to all the new members on their academic achievements!
- On April 1, 2014, it was announced that senior major Andrew Bishop earned a score of 9 on last year's Putnam Exam. This placed Andrew at 1659 out of 4113 students who took the exam. Other Willamette students who participated in the Putnam last year were Katie Tucker, Georgia Mayfield, Jessica Kawana, Sawyer Rogers, Taylor Matsurmura, and Shelbi Jenkins. Congratulations to Andrew and all the other participants.
- Associate Professor Josh Laison received a Hewlett Grant to develop his College Colloquium course on games for fall 2015.
- During his sabbatical in spring 2014, Associate Professor Josh Laison gave the talks "Prime Distance Graphs", "Obstacle Numbers of Graphs", and "Designer Games for the Interested Mathematicians" at the Oregon Institute of Technology, California Lutheran Unversity, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, Oregon State University, Lewis and Clark College, and Linfield College.
- On February 25, 2014, Willamette University announced that Professor Colin Starr had been promoted to full professor. Congratulations Colin!!!
- We received news from Steve Lester (WU 2007) that he recently earned his PhD in mathematics from the University of Rochester last May and currently holds a postdoctoral position at Tel Aviv University. Steve shared with us that he is enjoying the "opportunity to work with and learn from very strong mathematicians. There are also many opportunities for me to travel. Last October I went to Oberwolfach and next week I will be going to Gottingen." Congratulations Steve on completing the PhD and best of luck at Tel Aviv!
- Seniors Yumi Li and Katie Tucker recently presented at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore, MD held January 15-18, 2014. Yumi co-presented a talk in the AMS Special Session on Research in Mathematics by Undergraduates titled "Finite Geometry in the Card Game SET", based on work she completed at the REU at Lafayette College last summer. Yumi also co-presented a poster in the JMM Student Poster Session with the same title and it received the Outstanding Presentation Award. Katie co-presented a poster titled "Enumeration and Projection Dependence of 1-Singular Knots" based on her work at the Knot Theory REU at James Madison University last summer.