Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Vianey Villamizar

The math department is excited to welcome back Dr. Vianey Villamizar from serving as the mission president of the Venezuela, Caracas Mission.

Dr. Villamizar’s interest in math developed in his first year of college.With the intent to better understand chemistry, his major, Dr. Villamizar took many math classes. His interest in math grew, and he abandoned his original major and decided to pursue a degree in math. Dr. Villamizar received a BS in Mathematics at Universidad Central de Venezuela in 1977 and finished a Master’s program there in 1983. He pursued a PhD at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, then took a position as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University. Dr. Villamizar’s first encounter with BYU occurred in 1999 when he accepted an invitation to teach at BYU for a semester. A second invitation in Fall 2000 led to a permanent position.

Dr. Villamizar reflects that BYU’s unique atmosphere drew him in and helped him decide to pursue a permanent position here. He enjoys the possibility to freely share his beliefs and faith in an academic environment and be intellectually and spiritually edified by his students and colleagues.

Dr. Villamizar and his wife Maru, who have three children, were called to preside over the Venezuela, Caracas Mission in 2011 and enjoyed this spiritually refining experience. They returned to Provo in summer 2014 and have enjoyed the challenges and opportunities presented to them since they have returned to the US.


Intermountain Mathematics Competition 2013

On Saturday, November 9, BYU students will have the opportunity to take part in a problem-solving competition against various universities throughout Utah and Idaho during the Intermountain Math Competition (IMC).

The IMC is comparable to a mini-Putnam competition.  It’s a great opportunity to practice problem-solving and possibly win cash and prizes.  No sign-up is necessary, and you don’t need to be a math major.  All you need to do is show up to room 111 TMCB.  The test will be administered from 9am to noon.  A free breakfast will be arriving at 8:30am, so come early if you want time to eat.  Otherwise, you will be allowed to munch as you take the test.

Out of the entire competition, first place will receive $500, second place will receive $200, and third place will receive $100.  Anyone who receives an above-average score will receive a bookstore gift card.  Free tshirts will also be awarded.

For questions, email Dr. Nielsen apace@math.byu.edu.

The Savage Teaching Award

Tyler Jarvis is the eighth recipient of the Savage Teaching Award for Distinguished Teaching of Mathematics. This award is presented every other year, usually in October. Nominees for the Savage Teaching Award are widely recognized as successful teachers who positively influence their students with effective teaching and who foster excitement about mathematics in and out of the classroom.

The Savage Teaching Award was established to honor the many dedicated teachers in the BYU Department of Mathematics. Past recipients of the award include Dr. Stephen Humphries, Kening Lu, Chris Grant, Rodney Forcade, Darrin Doud, Michael Dorff, and David Cardon. Additionally, Wayne Barrett, Peter Bates, James Cannon, Peter Crawley, Lawrence Fearnley, Kenneth Hillam, Kenneth Larson, Hal Moore, and Don Robinson have been specially recognized as award recipients.

Dr. Jarvis will be presented $1,000 and a bronze sculpture, “Wildfire,” by Helaman Ferguson, a former member of the BYU Department of Mathematics. The award presentation will take place on Thursday, October 3 at 4:00 pm in 1170 TMCB. Refreshments will be served at 3:30 pm in the lobby outside of 1170 TMCB. Faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and the BYU Community are invited to attend.

New Math Club for Women

A new math club is forming on BYU campus, and it has the words “women only” written all over it.


Students Amber Mosley and Jessica Doud noticed something was missing from their experiences as BYU math majors when they attended a Computer Science club meeting for women.  Taking matters into their own hands, the two ladies decided to start a club of their own.


“There aren’t a lot of math major women out there,” Jessica said. “We thought this would be a great way to let all of the female math majors get together and just get to know each other.”


Jessica and Amber spoke with Dr. Jessica Purcell about the idea.  “Many people are under the misconception that the only thing you can do with a major in math is to teach,” Dr. Purcell said.  “I think this club will help spread the word that there are actually a lot of other things you can do with a degree in mathematics.”


Club meetings will occur every other week at the same time and location.  Activities for the semester will include everything from games and food, to special lectures from women in math who have had to learn how to balance their careers with their family life.


The first official Women in Math club meeting will take place on Wednesday, February 6 from 5-6pm in 1170 TMCB.  Jessica and Amber hope all female math majors will attend, as well as any girls who have an interest in mathematics.  Pizza will be provided.  For more information, feel free to contact Amber Mosley at ambsy07@yahoo.com.


FERPA Guidelines

A Winning Formula for Mentoring

Professor Michael Dorff of the Department of Mathematics will be announced as the recipient of the Lawrence K. Egbert Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellowship award at next year’s Annual University Conference.
The teaching and learning fellowship award, which has only existed for a few years, was created to recognize faculty members that have made a significant impact in the area of mentored learning.
Professor Dorff, who has been teaching at BYU for 12 years, was nominated and eventually selected as the recipient because of his extensive involvement in mentoring undergraduate students and helping other professors explore similar mentoring opportunities.
As part of Professor Dorff’s efforts to improve undergraduate research, he received a $1.26 million NSF grant in 2006 to create and direct the BYU sponsored “Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics,” (CURM). NSF has since renewed funding of the program with another $1.28 million grant to continue the successful project.
Dorff explains the purpose of this organization. “It is used to take the BYU model for mentoring and share it with professors and students at other institutions. CURM trains and offers financial support to these professors and students.”
Professor Dorff is very excited to continue working with students on a regular basis. Sometimes at a university, especially one the size of BYU, it’s difficult to maintain a close student-professor relationship. However, “when you are a mentor,” says Dorff, “you really get to know the students. You get to give help and guidance. You can offer career advice, spiritual advice and even sometimes you can help them with dating. You get to see them grow, and that’s really neat.”
The fellowship award will “provide some flexibility to do more things,” says Professor Dorff. “It’s nice to have funds to support undergraduate research and I’m very grateful to BYU.”
—Brian Shaw, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
—Photo credit to Mathematical Association of America

Another Post with Everything In It

An Ordered List Post

Nulla sagittis convallis arcu. Sed sed nunc. Curabitur consequat. Quisque metus enim, venenatis fermentum, mollis in, porta et, nibh. Duis vulputate elit in elit. Mauris dictum libero id justo. Fusce in est. Sed nec diam. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Quisque semper nibh eget nibh. Sed tempor. Fusce erat.

An Ordered List

  1. Vestibulum in mauris semper tortor interdum ultrices.
  2. Sed vel lorem et justo laoreet bibendum. Donec dictum.
  3. Etiam massa libero, lacinia at, commodo in, tincidunt a, purus.
  4. Praesent volutpat eros quis enim blandit tincidunt.
  5. Aenean eu libero nec lectus ultricies laoreet. Donec rutrum, nisi vel egestas ultrices, ipsum urna sagittis libero, vitae vestibulum dui dolor vel velit.

A Simple Text Post