Kudos!!! OU students at NCUWM

NCUWM: Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics

Every year, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln hosts a conference for undergraduate women in mathematics. The conference is open to all and women interested in mathematics are encouraged to attend and give talks on their research. This year the conference was held January 31st to February 2nd.


The OU Math Department send a contingent of our majors/minors to Nebraska every year accompanied by a faculty member; this year the following OU folks made it NCUWM:

Students: Jacquelyn Porter, Ashley Young, Laura Kincaide, Emily Scheele, Sarah Coulson, Terea Ratashak. They were accompanied by one of our graduate students, Tetyana Malysheva and a faculty member, Dr. Ralf Schmidt. Here are two pictures from their trip up North.

Trip to Nebraska by OU students

Trip to Nebraska by OU students


Trip to Nebraska by OU students


In a first for OU students, two of our undergraduate women presented at the conference. Sarah Coulson presented a poster titled, “Signature Authentication using Wavelet and Fourier Analysis” based on an REU she did at Texas A&M. Teresa Ratashak gave a well received 15 minute talk on, “Ranking Math Departments using the Google Page Rank Algorithm“, based on her undergraduate research project with our own Dr. Jon Kujawa.

Please join me in congratulating our students on a very successful trip!


Math Club meeting!


The next Math Club meeting will be January 29th, 2014 at 5:00 pm in PHSC 1105. The speaker will be a faculty member from the OU Math Department, Dr. Keri Kornelson. What will she talk about you ask?

Title: “Doing more with less”

Abstract: The area of computer vision – using a computer to examine images and video – is a rapidly advancing field with many mathematical applications.  The goal is to get a computer to perform tasks usually done by humans, so that the tasks can be done faster and at a larger scale.  We will discuss the standard problem of classification of images, and then demonstrate how such problems are aided by dimension reduction.  We show the utility of the Johnson-Lindenstrauss transform to perform dimension reduction with low distortion.

Come one, come all! And of course, there will be pizza.

Math Day Volunteers needed!!!


On Thursday, November 14th 2013, the OU Math Department hosts its annual Math Day, where we invite high schools from all over Oklahoma and beyond to participate in contests, hear our invited speaker, win prizes and generally have a good time. The event is made possible by the many volunteers who generously give their time and assistance — faculty, staff and students alike. To handle the 250 or so visiting high school students, we would like to ask you to volunteer an hour or two (or more) of your time.

To sign up, please visit the Math Department office on the 4th floor of Physical Sciences and put your name, contact info and the times you are available on the sign up sheet. More info on Math Day can be found here:


We thank you for your help!!

Show and Tell


Wednesday, October 30th at 5pm in PHSC 1105

will be Show and Tell in the Math Club.

Come and find out about interesting classes, awesome summer REUs and cool summer jobs that some of the Math Club fellows had. Start planning for an exciting spring semester and a fun  and productive summer now!

And, of course, Free Pizza! (not that you care about such delicious things)


Show and Tell at Buttersafe.

A Passel of Putnam Problem People!

This year as every year Drs. Albert and Ozaydin are organizing the OU Putnam Problem Solving Group. It will meet on

Mondays at 5 pm in PHSC 1025 from now until the Putnam Exam.

The Putnam Exam is a famous exam which is held on the first Saturday in December around the country (and, indeed!, around the world).  You can win great prizes (like a scholarship to Harvard!).  And we’ll bet that if you get the top score on the Putnam Exam, the OU Math Department will give you full scholarship to OU!

It was founded in 1927 by Elizabeth Lowell Putnam in honor of her husband William Lowell Putnam.

William Lowell Putnam and professional Teddy Rosevelt impersonator

William Lowell Putnam and professional Teddy Roosevelt impersonator.

We should mention that the exam has 12 questions, each graded out of 10 points, for a total of 120 points.  If you score any points at all, it puts you in the top half of the exam takers! So probably you shouldn’t depend on your Putnam prize money for next year’s tuition :-).


Whether or not you want to take the exam itself, stop by the OU Putnam Problem solving group to have fun and work on interesting problems like this one:

Players 1, 2, 3, …, n are seated around a table and each has a single penny. Player 1 passes a penny to Player 2, who then passes two pennies to Player 3. Player 3 then passes one penny to Player 4, who passes two pennies to Player 5, and so on, players alternately passing one penny or two to the next player who still has some pennies. A player who runs out of pennies drops out of the game and leaves the table. Find an infinite set of numbers n for which some player ends up with all n pennies.

— From the Putnam Exam webpage

Game On!

OU Citizen Science Club

We’re happy to spread the word about OU’s Citizen Science Club.They are meeting this

Monday, October 7th at 7pm in Dale Hall Room 107.

What is citizen science?

Back in the old days science was learned about and done by amateurs as well as professionals.  Heck, Fermat was a lawyer and government official during the day and came up with Fermat’s Little Theorem, Fermat’s Last Theorem, etc. at night (like Batman!).


But it’s not just in the good old days!  It’s even easier with the Internet, crowd sourcing, smartphones, etc. for people to get involved with science reearch!  One example we told you about two years ago was FolditThis page has more good examples!

Or you could just go to the meeting!