“Dr. Karen Clark is an extraordinary mathematics teacher and mentor of students. She combines great classroom teaching with a commitment to investing significant time in students outside the classroom. With both high standards and a kind heart, she inspires students in the mathematics classroom and influences their lives outside the classroom. Past students have written the following about her dedication:

- “‘I would not have the passion and the skills for applied math research … nor would I be in the position to apply for this program without Dr. Clark’s mentorship.’
- “’She always has inspired me to set my goals high and to reach for what I want in my career.’
- “’After witnessing her influence on others, I realized that I wanted to have that same influence on a student someday.’ “

The full citation from the MAA, including Dr. Clark’s response, is available here.

]]>**Mike Muller** won best poster for work that he has done with his faculty sponsor, Andrew Clifford.

In addition, eleven TCNJ students competed in the team competition. We had so much interest this year that some of our students had to compete on mixed teams with other NJ colleges. Our teams placed 4th and 6th out of 32 teams.

Team 1 – ** Vince Longo, Ben Castor and Alana Huszar** placed **4th**

Team 2 – **Dan Seminara, David Picolella, Katarina Rose** placed **6th**

Special thanks to Dave Reimer, who sharpened our competitors minds on combinatorial problems.

Congratulations to all of our students!!

]]>**Gene Function Analysis
**

The determination of protein function has been a major goal of molecular biology since the founding of the discipline. However, as we learn more about gene function, we discover that the context within which a gene is expressed controls the specific function of that gene. It has become critical to establish the background in which gene function is determined and to perform experiments in multiple applicable backgrounds. In *Gene Function Analysis, Second Edition*, a number of computational and experimental techniques are presented for identifying not only the function of an individual gene, but also the partners that work with that gene. The theme of data integration runs strongly through the computational techniques, with many focusing on gathering data from different sources and different bimolecular types. Experimental techniques have evolved to determine function in specific tissues and at specific times during development. Written in the successful *Methods in Molecular Biology *series format, chapters include introductions to their respective topics, lists of the necessary materials and reagents, step-by-step, readily reproducible protocols, and notes on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls.

Authoritative and easily accessible, *Gene Function Analysis, Second Edition* seeks to serve both professionals and novices with a growing understanding of the complexity of gene function.

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** Abstract: **The Calculus of Variations is the study of finding extremals of functionals. Usually these functionals take the form J(y(x))=\int_{x_1}^{x_2} f(x,y,y’) dx. This talk will discuss some examples which yield exactly this situation, some of which are the very problems that led to the development of our topic. We will derive the Euler-Lagrange equation and use it to solve these examples. This talk is aimed at students; only a basic knowledge of Calculus is necessary to delve into this subject.Dr.

Christopher Catone is a TCNJ alum who received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is currently an Associate Professor at Albright College.

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Dr. David Molnar, Felician College, on Tuesday, April 22 at 4:00 pm in SCP 224.

**Title:** Connection Games

** Abstract: **Connection games are a genre of abstract strategy games characterized by intuitive play and topological, rather than geometric, goals. The archetypical game in this genre is Hex, independently discovered by Piet Hein and John Nash in the 1940s. I will give a brief overview of the history of connection games, mixing in a tiny bit of strategy. The primary objective of the talk is to describe how to use graph theory to analyze games, and to prove that certain games cannot end in a draw. In particular, I will focus on a game called Atoll, a recent discovery that I find to be an improvement on Hex. I will provide pencil-and-paper game boards so that attendees will be able to explore these games further on their own.

Dr. Christopher Catone on Tuesday, April 1 at 11:30 am in SCP 229.

**Title:** The Calculus of Variations & the Most Important Equation Our Students Never Learn

** Abstract: **The Calculus of Variations is the study of finding extremals of functionals. Usually these functionals take the form J(y(x))=\int_{x_1}^{x_2} f(x,y,y’) dx. This talk will discuss some examples which yield exactly this situation, some of which are the very problems that led to the development of our topic. We will derive the Euler-Lagrange equation and use it to solve these examples. This talk is aimed at students; only a basic knowledge of Calculus is necessary to delve into this subject.Dr.

Christopher Catone is a TCNJ alum who received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is currently an Associate Professor at Albright College.

Pizza and snacks will provided!

]]>Dr. Robert Cunningham from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics will be share his talk entitled “Transfers between Algebraic, Numeric, and Graphic Representations: A cautionary tale,” and Dr. Danielle Guarracino from the Department of Chemistry will be speaking about “Biochemical Mimicry: Imitating nature with peptidomimetics.”

Refreshments will be served!

Abstracts:

Dr. Robert Cunningham, Department of Mathematics and Statistics “Transfers between Algebraic, Numeric, and

Graphic Representations: A cautionary tale”

For students to develop an understanding of functions, they must have opportunities to solve problems that require them to transfer between algebraic, numeric and graphic representations (transfer problems). Research has confirmed student difficulties with certain types of transfer problems and has suggested instructional factors as a possible cause. Teachers (n = 28) were surveyed to determine the amount of class time that they devote to different types of transfer problems and how many times these problems appear on their teacher-made assessments. Survey results will be presented, and cautions offered to experts whose ease in blending interpretations (representations) often mask subtle complexities associated with transfer problems and who present ideas wrung free of messiness.

Dr. Danielle Guarracino, Department of Chemistry ““Biochemical Mimicry: Imitating nature with peptidomimetics”

The macromolecular structure of biochemical compounds often plays a large role in their cellular function. Unique cycles and helices can dictate the ability of a hormone, peptide or whole protein to perform its job inside and outside of the cell. When the relationships between such compounds are implicated in the disease state, they can be traced to the interactions between the varying shapes of the compounds involved. We have been working on synthesizing peptide-based compounds that imitate the structural features of naturally found peptides, but work to improve overall stability, maintenance of structure and hope to provide unique functionality.

]]>Dr. Nancy Hingston of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at The College of New Jersey has been invited to lecture at the 2014 International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM). The ICM will be held in Seoul, Korea from August 13-21, 2014. Dr. Hingston, an expert in differential geometry and topology, has been invited to give one of the 13 lectures in the Geometry session, one of 19 sessions comprising the scientific program at the Congress.

The International Congress of Mathematicians is the largest and most prestigious mathematics conference in the world. It is hosted by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) and meets once every four years. The most prestigious prizes in mathematics, including the Fields Medal, the Nevanlinna Prize, the Gauss Prize, and the Chern Medal are awarded during the Congress’s opening ceremony. Each congress is memorialized by a printed set of Proceedings recording academic papers based on the 130-175 invited talks intended to be relevant to current topics of general interest. The Congress and Proceedings serves to spotlight the most important mathematics currently being done. An invitation to give an invited talk acknowledges the importance of one’s mathematical work.

The first International Congress of Mathematicians was held in Zurich in August 1897. The organizers included such prominent mathematicians as Luigi Cremona, Felix Klein, Gösta Mittag-Leffler, Andrey Markov, and others. The congress was attended by 208 mathematicians from 16 countries, including 12 from Russia and 7 from the U.S.A.^{[2]}

The scientific program consists of plenary lectures (in 2010 there were 20) and invited sectional speakers. In 2014 there will be 19 sections covering the many fields of mathematics. Logic & Foundations (3-5 speakers), Algebra (4-6 speakers), Number Theory (9-12 speakers), and Geometry (10-13 speakers) are some of mathematical sessions.

]]>On Tuesday, November 12th, Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society, in conjunction with the Mathematics & Statistics Club, hosted its first “Are You Smarter Than a TCNJ Student” competition.

Eight members of the Mathematics and Statistics Faculty participated in the event, answering trivia questions on topics ranging from physics to movies and television. Some of the many students in attendance even got a chance to participate alongside their professors, serving as lifelines for answering questions. After two rounds of rigorous and entertaining play, Dr. Michael Ochs and Dr. Farshid Safi faced off in the championship matchup. Dr. Ochs eventually arose victorious and claimed Pi Mu Epsilon’s first-ever “Golden Calculator” award.

The members of Pi Mu Epsilon thank all of the Professors and Students who helped make this a fun and exciting event for all.

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Having trouble with your Mathematics or Statistics Classes? The Mathematics and Statistics Department can help! We have 3 wonderful tutors who are ready to help you figure out even the most complicated problems. For more information and the schedule, please go to the Tutoring page.

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