Math Conference

Math Comes Naturally: Saint Mary’s Hosts Statewide Math Conference

Over the weekend Saint Mary’s hosted the Spring 2008 meeting of the Indiana Section of the Mathematical Association of America (INMAA). The event brought together mathematicians, professors, teachers, and students from across Indiana. Many Saint Mary’s professors and students participated, and the speakers covered the math behind multiple topics, from the American voting system to binary numbers and leap years.

It’s Natural

Junior Courtney Parry spoke to INMAA members on a topic that captured her interest when she understood the connection between math and nature. “I’ve always been fascinated by what we see when we look out at the world,” says the mathematics major.

Being a math major at Saint Mary’s has provided Parry with many opportunities like this one. She enjoys working with her professors and peers in the tight-knit math department, and appreciates the comprehensive liberal arts education. “Math is almost like a toolbox,” says Parry. “You can incorporate it into every other subject.”

Her talk, “Mathematics and Nature,” is one she has been working on since last fall when she first presented it to the Pi Mu Epsilon math honor society. Parry was inducted into the society as a sophomore and participated in their fall lecture series.

Creating Opportunities

These meetings of the minds are important opportunities for Saint Mary’s students, according to math professor Mary Connolly. “Usually section meetings of the Mathematical Association of America are held at some distance from Saint Mary’s, and we are able to take only two or three students,” she says. “Having the meeting here provides a golden opportunity for all of our students to participate in a professional mathematics conference, an empowering experience for undergraduates.”