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Professors Bring REU Program to HWS

In 2018, Professor Rusinko, together with Professors Forde and King, won a grant to run a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in mathematics at HWS. The REU runs for nine weeks each summer with ten students, at least eight of which are from other institutions across the country. In the summer of 2018, mathematics major Nick Mckenny ’20 participated in the REU and this summer mathematics major Connor Parrow ’21 is participating. The majority of the mathematics faculty in the department will be participating as research mentors at some point over the course of the grant. During the summer of 2018, Professor Rusinko lead research in mathematical phylogenetics, Professor Biermann lead research in algebraic combinatorics, Professor Gassert lead research in number theory, and Professor King lead research in graph theory. This summer, Professor Rusinko again is leading research in mathematical phylogenetics, Professor Bell is leading research in graph theory, and Professor Forde is leading research in mathematical virology. Students experience researching closely with a faculty member and a team of peers, practice and hone their mathematical writing and presenting skills, participate in a colloquium series of invited speakers, and travel to graduate schools to learn about specific programs and the graduate experience in mathematics. Below is a picture of the Summer 2018 group at the final dinner and poster session.

Posted 2 July 2019

Brautigam (H'04) Completes MBA

Karl Brautigam '04, who was a computer science major at Hobart has written us with news that he has recently received a Master of Business Administration degree. He writes:

"I recently completed my MBA with distinction at the University of Connecticut School of Business. I continue to work in the Media & Technology sectors, presently as a research and strategy professional at Disney Advertising Sales, a unit of Disney Direct-To-Consumer & International (DTCI). I work within an organization that is part of the business unit of the Walt Disney Company that houses all of Disney's advertising sales, international and direct-to-consumer operations, including the forthcoming Disney+ subscription video on demand (SVOD) service."

Posted 25 June 2019

DeBrine Earns AMS Trjitzinsky Award

In September 2018, the AMS made $3,000 awards to each of seven students across the country through the Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky Memorial Fund, which is made possible by a bequest from the estate of Waldemar J., Barbara G., and Juliette Trjitzinsky. One of the seven students was our very own mathematics major Hadley DeBrine '20. In addition to her mathematics major, Hadley also has a studio art minor. She has a deep appreciation for mathematics and loves applying mathematical concepts to all aspects of her life such as in her art classes. Her professors have been impressed with her ability to understand the subtleties of proof, and believe she has a knack for unpacking abstract ideas. For more information on the award, check out the AMS announcement here.

Posted 5 June 2019

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.

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

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