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Student Prizes for 2019

Every year, the department awards several academic prizes to students. This year's prize recipients were:
  • The Robert Beinert Prize, awarded to a a graduating Senior for excellence in Mathematics, to Qingyi Lu.
  • The John S. Klein Prize, awarded to a graduating Senior to recognize excellence in Computer Science, to Erika Cardenas and Camera Finn.
  • The Catherine Adele Rippey '35 Prize, awarded to a William Smith Senior to recognize excellence in Mathematics, to Qingyi Lu.
  • The Glenn M. Lee Prize, awarded to the Hobart Senior who has been most proficient in mathematics and athletics, to Russell Merchant.
  • The Abigail Mosey Book Prize, awarded to a Hobart or William Smith Senior for generosity in helping others to learn and appreciate mathematical ideas, to Read Bohanan, Taylor Mancini, and Joon (Philip) Yoo.
  • The William Ross Proctor Prize, awarded to the William Smith Sophomore who has achieved the highest rank in mathematics in her first two years at the Colleges, to Alexandra Low, Connor Parrow, and Margaret Wagner.
  • The Irving Bentsen Prize, awarded to the second year student at Hobart College who has the most outstanding record in mathematics and computer science, to Collin Urie.

Posted 8 May 2019

Qingyi Lu Completes Honors Project

Qingyi Lu WS'19, a double major in mathematics and computer science, has completed an Honors project, "Machine Learning for Phylogenomics: Improving Statistical Binning Techniques for Species Tree Reconstruction." The project was mentored by Professor Joseph Rusinko.

An Honors project is a year-long independent project, usually undertaken in a student's senior year, culminating in substantial Honors theses and an oral examination by a panel of three examiners. Lu's project looked for ways of improving classification of organisms into phylogenetic trees. According to her abstract, "Phylogenetics studies the evolutionary history among a set of individuals, genes or species, which plays an important role in biology. Because past evolutionary events cannot be directly observed, statistical models are needed to estimate the phylogenetic trees. Consequently, accurate estimations of phylogenetic trees could provide effective evidence for studies in biology." In the project, Lu approached the problem by implementing "four machine learning techniques (K-Nearest Neighbors, Support Vector Machine, Random Forest and Neural Network)."


Posted 7 May 2019

Computer Science Majors and RockSat-C

Two computer science majors, William Elliman H'20 and Victoria Loshusan WS'20, are among the four students who make up the 2019 Hobart and William Smith Colleges RockSat-C team. RockSat-C is a program sponsored by NASA and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. The team has designed and built a system for measuring muon flux and magnetic fields that will be launched as one of the payloads on a sounding rocket. The payloads built by various teams will collect data during the rocket flight. The HWS team is one of nine teams that have been selected to contribute payloads to the project. Loshusan and Elliman will spend ten days in June at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility working on the project.

Posted 7 May 2019

Hamdan Ahmed '20 Named Newman Civic Fellow

Computer Science major Hamdan Ahmed (Hobart '20) was named Newman Civic Fellow in March. This fellowship honors students who have worked to solve problems facing their community. Hamdan is one of only 262 students to receive this honor for 2019–20.

According to the HWS web site: "The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional and civic growth for students who have demonstrated a capacity for leadership and an investment in solving public problems. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also affords fellows with access to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities."

Posted 1 May 2019

ΦΒΚ Inducts Qingyi Lu ’19 and Nick McKenny '20

The Hobart and William Smith chapter of Phi Beta Kappa (ΦΒΚ), the national honor society, has announced its new members for 2019. Included are Qingyi Lu (William Smith '19), a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science, and Hugh (Nick) McKenny (Hobart '20), who is pursuing a major in Mathematics as well as an individually designed major in cognition.

Posted 9 April 2019

Zibitsker '19 Wins "The Pitch"

Computer Science major Maxim Zibitsker (Hobart '19) was the winner in the final round of the 2019 Stu Lieblein ‘90 Pitch Contest. The Pitch is an entrepreneurial competition in which Hobart and William Smith students compete for a $10,000 prize. In the final round, four finalists — chosen from a field of ten semi-finalists — present their ideas to a panel of judges in front of a live audience. Max's project, Aqua Salutem Technologies, aims to develop a system to identify swimmers who are in distress and alert the lifeguards to the situation. This is the second time that Max has been a finalist at The Pitch. In addition to his Computer Science major, Max has a second major in Economics and a minor in Mathematics.

Another Computer Science major, Tyler Andra (Hobart '20) was also one of the four finalists in this year's competition.

Posted 9 April 2019

Math Intern for 2018–19

Drew Scammell will be the math intern for the academic year 2018–2019. Drew is a 2018 graduate of Hobart College with majors in Mathematics, Physics, and Dance. He was the recipient of the Beinert Prize, which is awarded annually to a graduating Hobart or William Smith student for excellence in Mathematics.

As math intern, Drew will be available to offer help to students in Calculus and Pre-calculus courses.


Posted 28 August 2018

Faculty Changes for 2018–19

The Department welcomes two new Visiting Assistant Professors of Mathematics for the 2018–19 academic year. Professor Cristobal Lemus-Vidales, shown on the left below, received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 2017. His research interests are in the area of Enumerative Combinatorics and Mathematics Education. Professor William Simmons, shown on the right below, received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2013. His research interests include mathematical logic and its applications, differential algebra, formal methods and interactive theorem proving in computer science.

In other faculty news, Professor Alden Gassert continues as a Visiting Professor of Mathematics for a second year. Professor Yan Hao is on leave for the year, and Professor Jocelyn Bell is on leave for the Fall semester. Professor Joseph Rusinko will be spending the year as Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Affairs.

Posted 9 August 2018

Professor Vaughn Retires

Professor John Vaughn retired from teaching at the end of the Spring semester 2018, after thirty-three years of service to the department. Professor Vaughn received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1985, and he joined the department in the same year.

Although his Ph.D. was in mathematical logic, Professor Vaughn has long been an essential contributor to the Computer Science side of the department. His hardware courses, Embedded Computing and Robotics, have been particularly popular, and his expertise in that area will be hard to replace.

Professor Vaughn will be missed by his colleagues and students, but he continues his association with the Department and with the Colleges as Professor Emeritus.


Posted 17 July 2018

Department Student Prizes for 2018

At the end of each academic year, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science awards a number of student prizes for academic excellence in mathematics or computer science. The prizes for 2018 were as follows:
  • The Robert Beinert Prize, awarded to a a graduating Senior for excellence in Mathematics, Drew Scammell.
  • The John S. Klein Prize, awarded to a graduating Senior to recognize excellence in Computer Science, to Jacque Kane.
  • The Catherine Adele Rippey '35 Prize, awarded to a William Smith Senior to recognize excellence in Mathematics, to Jacque Kane and Theresa Lohr.
  • The Glenn M. Lee Prize, awarded to the Hobart Senior who has been most proficient in mathematics and athletics, to Lukas Ruddy.
  • The Abigail Mosey Book Prize, awarded to a Hobart or William Smith Senior for generosity in helping others to learn and appreciate mathematical ideas, to Wenshi Wang.
  • The William Ross Proctor Prize, awarded to the William Smith Sophomore who has achieved the highest rank in mathematics in her first two years at the Colleges, to Kaitlyn Geraghty and Kelsey Pierce.
  • The Irving Bentsen Prize, awarded to the second year student at Hobart College who has the most outstanding record in mathematics and computer science, to Jesse Maltese and Hugh (Nick) McKenny.

In addition to these prizes, we note that Frank Oplinger completed his Honors project in Computer Science, entitled "ScoutPlus: A Web Application for the Development of Advanced Hockey Analytics".

And two senior Mathematics minors were inducted into the national honor society Phi Beta Kappa: Lauren Kogelman and Mitchell Hutteman.

For more about student prizes in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, including lists of past recipients, visit our department prizes page.

Posted 17 May 2018