SCF Math Students Present at Conference, Excel at Math Olympics

(Bradenton, Fla., May 7, 2015) —State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) mathematics faculty and students participated in the Kappa Mu Epsilon 40th Biennial Convention/Central Florida Undergraduate Mathematics Conference and students on the Math Olympics team excelled at a statewide competition this spring. Students also were recognized at Honors Convocation May 1 at SCF Bradenton.

Kappa Mu Epsilon 40th Biennial Convention/Central Florida Undergraduate Mathematics Conference April 10

“Some Different Ways to Sum a Series” by SCF student Leon Hostetler and Robert Shollar, adjunct instructor, mathematics, won a Best Presentation Award. They presented different proofs of the famous “Basel” problem.  These solutions were discussed during an independent study course last fall semester.

Melinda Geisel and Yantong Chen came in second and fourth in an Integration Bee Contest at the conference. 

Hostetler and Altay Özgener, associate professor, mathematics, and Shollar presented a workshop on LaTeX, a document preparation system for high-quality typesetting, which is used for technical or scientific documents.

Naim Chowdury outlined plans for a virtual machine for conjugating Japanese verbs using mathematics in his presentation, “Japanese as a Set Theory Construct: Verb Conjugation.”

Chowdhury, who also is a Brain Bowl star along with Hostetler, discovered his in interest in languages after working at a Japanese restaurant.  Chowdhury came to SCF with a GED and plans to attend New College, where he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with the goal of becoming a professor.

The Kappa Mu Epsilon 40th Biennial Convention/Central Florida Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, which was hosted by the Florida Delta Chapter at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, was sponsored by the American Mathematical Society and American Statistical Association and partially funded by a National Science Foundation grant.

SCF Math Olympics Gamma Team Ranked Fourth at Statewide Competition April 11

SCF Math Olympics Gamma team won fourth place at the statewide competition held in April at the University of North Florida (UNF), Jacksonville. Team members included Leon Hostetler, Naim Chowdhury, Michael Freedman, and Christopher Medrano.

SCF competed against about 20 teams from about 10 community and state college across the state. SCF’s Math Olympics team has a long history of excelling at the competition since 2000. At the day-long competition sponsored by UNF and the Florida Two-Year College Mathematics Association, students participated in team and individual competitions covering all math courses including Calculus II.

Other SCF students included Alpha Team members, Melinda Geisel, Ella Starr, Meagan Hornberger and Uni Chen and Beta Team members, William Youmans, Gerald Meyers, Adriana Souza, and Joey Lepiscopo.

The teams’ coaches are Altay Özgener, associate professor, mathematics, and Robert Shollar, adjunct instructor, mathematics.

SCF Math Olympics Student Feature

SCF “mathlete” Melinda Geisel, who also plays for the Manatees Softball team, has excelled in math courses at SCF, where she had the highest average out of 35 students in her Calculus I course last semester. She is poised to repeat that accomplishment in this semester's Calculus II course. Geisel placed in the top five for the American Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges competition, competing against more than 40 of SCF’s top math students, including those enrolled in higher-level mathematics courses.

A fierce competitor in mathematics and on softball field, Geisel doesn’t give up. After injuring her right shoulder, she learned how to throw with her left arm.

“My doctor told me to stop playing, but when he realized that wasn’t an option for me, he joked that I could learn how to throw left-handed,” Geisel said.

She took a year off from softball to train and returned to the play for the SCF Manatees this season. For Geisel, mathematics is a completely different game than softball so she was a little apprehensive about the Math Olympics competition this semester.

“For most of my life, I have played softball competitively and have practiced to improve my reaction speed. Math competitions require me to be more deliberate and intentional about coming up with answers so it’s exciting to participate in them but a little scary at the same time,” Geisel said.

Geisel has been taking higher-level mathematics courses to complete pre-requisites for her bachelor’s degree in biology. She plans to attend medical school to become an oncologist or a pediatrician.

Page Edit