BYU Independent Study’s team of over 90 tutors is an impressive group of intellectual coaches—they can help you learn anything from Economics to World Languages. BYU Math is proud to announce that out of the multitudes of tutors from many disciplines, BYU-IS presented their “Tutor of the Year” award to our very own Math 110 TA, Robert Glasgow!
Wendy Simmerman, with BYU-IS, said, “Robbie received the top award for his excellent interactions with students, and also for the initiative, creativity, and dedication he exhibits in working with math students.” If any of you have worked with him, you know that that statement is not an exaggeration. Robbie’s fellow tutors and others admire the way he works, and because of that, they nominated him for this awesome award.
Robert is the best of the best—because our entire team of tutors really are the best. If you have ever had questions in algebra, trigonometry, statistics, or calculus, then you have probably worked firsthand with one of our amazing tutors. If you have not, you are missing out. The Math Lab is open almost every day for students who want a little extra help, and if that’s not enough, you can schedule an appointment with a tutor through the Independent Study Website.
This year, we are excited to announce the first ever Math Study Abroad!! For three weeks in the spring, students will be traveling around eight different European and Scandinavian countries. Led by our Department Chair Michael Dorff, we will visit companies abroad to see the different ways the skills students learn in the classroom are being applied to many different fields of work. We are thrilled to be offering this experience that is sure to be unforgettable for all those who participate!
We are accepting applications now. To apply, click here.
Earlier this year, students from all across the nation gathered in an intense mathematical competition—the Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest. The stakes were high and the chances for success were intimidating. Despite staggering odds, and up against over 670 other students from 28 states, BYU students Grant Molnar and Joseph Ward made the top ten! Such high rankings by our very own students is a major accomplishment, especially considering how many of the participants have spent much of their lives competing in math contests. To put their achievement in scope, many of the schools in attendance are renowned mathematical powerhouses like Harvard, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, and Duke.
The test on which our two students did so well was not an easy feat. Each student competing received an exam with seven complex questions, and each question was worth 10 points—adding up to a staggering total of 70 points. The test was so difficult that the first-place score was only a 42/70, and over 80 percent of competitors scored 0/70. Despite the test’s extreme difficulty, BYU’s Grant Molnar tied for third place with a score of 32, and Joseph Ward took tenth place with a score of 27. They accredit their success to active participation in BYU’s Problem Solving Club, the Putnam class, and undergraduate research work.
“This is an excellent accomplishment,” stated Professor Nielsen, commenting on the students’ success. We applaud both students for their mathematical talent and commend them for this impressive accomplishment.
Blake Barker (far left) earned his bachelors and masters of science in mathematics at BYU and his PhD in mathematics at Indiana University. His research lies at the intersection of PDEs, numerical analysis, and dynamical systems. Dr. Barker is excited to work with the fantastic students at BYU as well as the great staff and faculty. He feels the mathematics department at BYU provides a unique and wonderful opportunity for scholarship and quality teaching and looks forward to joining of the faculty there. Dr. Barker and his wife, Diana, are the proud parents of two young, lively boys.
Nathan Priddis (left center) received his BS in 2007 and MS in 2009 from BYU. During that time, he also served in the Germany Frankfurt mission. In 2014 he received a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he also received the Karen Rhea Excellence in Teaching award. Dr. Priddis was offered a PostDoc position for two years at the Leibniz University in Hannover, Germany, which he accepted. This year he joins the faculty at BYU. He has been married for ten years and has four children. Apart from mathematics, he enjoys sports, mostly basketball and ultimate frisbee, and the outdoors, especially hiking and camping. He is glad to again be living where there are mountains.
Mark Allen (right center) attended BYU as an undergraduate and received a B.S. in mathematics in 2007. He then attended graduate school at Purdue University where he received his PhD in mathematics in 2013. From 2013-present, he was an NSF postdoc at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Allen is married to Tamri Allen, and they have four children. They are excited to move back to BYU and the Provo area. He enjoys outdoor activities and looks forward to living near mountains again.
Curt Kent (far right) earned a BS in mathematics from BYU and a PhD in mathematics from Vanderbilt University in 2013. He was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Toronto (2013-2014) and the Courant Institute of Mathematics at New York University (2014-2016). He will begin a tenure-track position at BYU in fall semester. Dr. Kent’s research interests are ow-dimensional topology and geometric group theory. He and his wife JaNae have 5 kids and now live in Springville, UT.
Dr. Tyler Jarvis, one of the math department faculty, was recently awarded the Maeser Faculty Teaching Award. This honor is presented annually to exceptional teachers across campus. Departments nominate their outstanding professors to be considered for the award. A university committee reviews the nominations, and selects a few recipients every year. Dr. Jarvis is well respected by the students he teaches in the Applied and Computational Math Emphasis. On Rate My Professor, one student wrote, “Dr. Jarvis teaches math by day and protects the city of Gotham by night. Teaching this class was superhuman since it was the first time he taught it, the textbook was still being revised, and the material was very challenging. Through all that, Jarvis still gave us tons of help in office hours and individual help. We all dressed up as him one day.” Congratulations Dr. Jarvis!
The Brigham Young University Math Department is pleased to announce that Dr. Pace Nielsen has received the College Young Scholar Award from the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. This honor is awarded to a professor in the college who has completed excellent research within the first ten years of their career with BYU. Dr. Nielsen was nominated for his research in number theory and ring theory and for his work mentoring undergraduates.
Recently, Yitang Zhang proved that there were infinitely many pairs of primes less than 70 million apart. Dr. Nielsen was a collaborator on the Polymath8 project, which improved upon the Zhang gap size, bringing the bound of 70 million down to 246! Congratulations to Dr. Nielsen for this great honor!
BYU hosted the High School State Math Contest on Monday, April 25th. Several thousand students all across the state from junior high to high school came to participate in this competitive event. After completing the test, students recieved a free BYU Math t-shirt and got to eat lunch at the BYU Cannon Center. Students with exeptional scores will be invited to attend the recognition dinner, also hosted by BYU. Check this website in the near future to find this years scores from the event: statemathcontest.byu.edu
On Friday, April 22nd, the College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences held their convocation in the Wilkinson Ballroom. The Math Department had the most its seen in attendance for many years. Following convocation, the department held a luncheon open for all family and friends of the graduates. Thanks to all those who attended and participated in this exciting event!
Like BYU Math on Facebook and check out all the graduation pictures here!
The BYU Math Department is excited to announce the appointment of Michael Dorff as the new chair of the Department of Mathematics. Drs. Paul Jenkins and Darrin Doud will serve as associate chairs. Dr. Dorff is replacing Dr. Robin Roundy, who served as the Department of Mathematics chair for three years.
Michael J. Dorff, Mathematics—
Dorff received his BS in Mathematics Education from BYU and his PhD in Complex Analysis from the University of Kentucky in 1997.
Dorff is the founder and director for the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics (CURM), which began in 2007. He also started and leads BYU’s “Careers in Math” Speaker Series and BYU’s summer 8-week Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). He has received over two million dollars in grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support and fund these programs.
Dorff has received national recognition for his dedicated work in developing mentored undergraduate research in mathematics. In 2010, Dorff won several awards, including the Distinguished Teaching Award from the college, the Maeser Excellence in Teaching Award from BYU, and the Haimo Award from the Mathematics Association of America. Dorff has also received BYU’s Lawrence K. Egbert Teaching and Learning Fellowship and was named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2012.