Annual High School Banquet

Once a year the math department honors students from across the state who have performed above and beyond in their math assessments. Guests will hear from professors about the opportunities that await them in college and in the workforce.

The event will take place on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 6:30pm in the Wilk Ballroom. If you have been invited to participate please don’t forget to rsvp at

Sara Smoot Gerrard, LinkedIn

Careers In Math: Todd Fisher

Does God Play Dice?
Throughout the history of civilization, we have struggled with understanding seemingly random events. In the 17th century, mathematicians began to develop tools to help quantify odds and probabilities. We will give a brief history of how these concepts have developed, and see that patterns often arise in random events. The field of dynamical systems arose in the latter half of the 20th century to help discern these patterns. We will look at some of the results from dynamical systems, and show how these have influenced our understanding in both mathematics and science.
OCT. 26, 2017 • Refreshments • 1170 TMCB • 4:30 pm

Grad Open House

Virginia Tech Regional Math Contest

Come have a chance to win cash prizes. The event will be held in 111 TMCB on Saturday, October 21st. Breakfast will be served at 8:30 AM, come no later than 8:45. Email Dr. Nielson with questions, No sign up is necessary.

Focus on Math: Pamela Harris – Professor

Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 4:30:pm in 1170 TMCB

Title: Invisible Lattice Points

Abstract: This talk is about the invisibility of points on the integer lattice ℤ ✕ ℤ, where we think of these points as (infinitely thin) trees. Standing at the origin one may notice that the tree at the integer lattice point (1, 1) blocks from view the trees at (2, 2), (3, 3), and, more generally, at (n, n) for any n ∈ ℤ≥0. In fact any tree at (ℓ, m) will be invisible from the origin whenever 𝓁 and m share any divisor d, since the tree at (ℓ/D, m/D), where D = gcd(ℓ, m) blocks (ℓ, m) from view. With this fact at hand, we will investigate the following questions. If the lines of sight are straight lines through the origin, then what is the probability that the tree at (ℓ, m) is visible? Meaning, that the tree (ℓ, m) is not blocked from view by a tree in front of it. Is possible for us to find forests of trees (rectangular regions of adjacent lattice points) in which all trees are invisible? If it is possible to find such forests, how large can those forests be? What happens if the lines of sight are no longer straight lines through the origin, i.e. functions of the form f(x) = ax with , but instead are functions of the form f(x) = axb with b a positive integer and a ∈ ℚ? Along this mathematical journey, I will also discuss invisibility as it deals with the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the mathematical sciences and I will share the work I have done to help bring more visibility to the mathematical contributions of Latinx and Hispanic Mathematicians.

Math work is joint with Bethany Kubik, Edray Goins, and Aba Mbirika. Diversity work with Alexander Diaz-Lopez, Alicia Prieto Langarica, and Gabriel Sosa.

Biography: Pamela E. Harris is a Mexican-American Assistant Professor in the department of Mathematics and Statistics at Williams College. She received her B.S. from Marquette University, and M.S. and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research interests are in algebra and combinatorics, particularly as these subjects relate to the representation theory of Lie algebras. Her recent research on vector partition functions and projects in graph theory has been supported through awards from the National Science Foundation and the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics. Harris co-organizes research symposia and professional development sessions for the national conference of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, was a Mathematical Association of America’s Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) Fellow from 2012-2013, and is an editor of the e-Mentoring Network blog of the American Mathematical Society. In 2016, she co-founded an online platform that features prominently the extent of the research and mentoring contributions of Latins and Hispanics in the Mathematical Sciences. She is also the lead editor for the Special Issue on Motherhood and Mathematics of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics.

Dr. Fisher Receives Young Scholar Award

BYU recently honored Associate Chair Dr. Todd Fisher by presenting him with the Young Scholar Award during the 2017 Annual University Conference. Only given to three faculty members per year, and within the first ten years of their appointment, this award commends Dr. Fisher for his excellent research in Dynamical Systems. According to Dr. Fisher, Dynamical Systems is primarily concerned with the mathematics that studies complicated systems and how they evolve in time. Department faculty members nominated Dr. Fisher who was then selected by the university committee to receive the award.

Internship Panel

Join us on October 12th at 4:30 pm in 1170 TMCB to learn from Math Interns past experiences. We’ll have students that interned at the following: Goldman Sachs, NSA, Lawrence Livermore, Intermountain Healthcare, Harvard University, Amazon, Federal Reserve and the FBI.  Refreshments will be served.

To Be Or Not To Be: A Math Major

The annual Math Department Information Session, To Be Or Not To Be(TBONTB), is this Thursday, October 12th in TMCB 1170. Come eat free pizza and have the opportunity to ask Math professors questions about the major.

Alumni Tailgate