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Darrah and Graduate Student Featured

Professor Marjorie Darrah of the Mathematics Department, and her research assistant, Marcela Mera Trujillo, a graduate student in the Mathematics Ph.D. program, were recently featured in the cover article of the most recent issue of the DSIAC Journal, a quarterly publication of the Defense Systems Information Analysis Center (DSIAC). Their work, discussed in the article "Real-Time Tasking and Retasking of Multiple Coordinated UAVs" involves the development of intelligent algorithms and computer systems to coordinate and optimize, under the control of an operator in real-time, the paths of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) tasked to accomplish a range of evolving surveillance missions, both military and civilian. The mathematical foundation for their work is the field of genetic algorithms, in which solutions are optimized using computational methods motivated by evolutionary processes such as mutation and natural selection. Ms. Mera Trujillo was also part of a team at the local technology company 4D Tech Solutions that filed a patent application for a UAV flight control system utilizing related technology.

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Date, Location: 
2016-11-03

Janet Anderson Prospectus

A Study of Arc-Strong Connectivity of Digraphs

We study the extremal and structural properties of graphs and digraphs closely related to subgraph and subdigraphs connectivity. We obtained a best possible bound for the size of strict digraphs that do not have a subdigraph with high arc strong-connectivity, but adding any additional arc to it will result in a subdigraph with high arc strong-connectivity. We also obtain several minimax theorems concerning subdigraph strength measures. We propose to continue investigating the strength of digraph networks of other typesin this direction.

Date: 11/02/2016
Time: 3:30PM-5:00PM
Place: 315 Armstrong Hall

All are welcome.

Date, Location: 
2016-11-02

Katie Horacek Prospectus

We study properties of Class 2 and edge-chromatic critical graphs.

Research Prospectus: View

Date: 10/26/2016
Time: 3:30PM-5:00PM
Place: 315 Armstrong Hall

All are welcome.

Date, Location: 
2016-10-26

Alumnus Gift

Two-time West Virginia University graduate Mark Roth recently demonstrated how alumni of multiple colleges can blend their entire academic experience through their philanthropic goals.

Taking a “one WVU” approach to his philanthropy, Roth sought to give back to both of his academic homes, the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business and Economics.

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Date, Location: 
2016-10-04

Gary Seldomridge Retires

He received his Ph.D in 1992 from WVU and spent 40+ years working tirelessly to educate students.

Date, Location: 
2016-08-02

Deshler Named Big 12 Fellow

Jessica Deshler, associate professor of mathematics, has been awarded a research grant from the Office of the Provost as part of the 2016-2017 Big 12 Faculty Fellowship Program.

The program offers faculty members at institutions in the Big 12 Conference the opportunity to travel to other member institutions to pursue collaborative research in a wide variety of ways. Our university application specifies that award recipients may each use up to $2500 to "work on collaborative research, consult with faculty and students, offer a series of lectures or symposia, acquire new skills, or take advantage of a unique archive or laboratory facility."

Date, Location: 
2016-07-27

Renee Larue Defense

An Analysis of Student Approaches to Solving Optimization Problems in First Semester Calculus

The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate how students think about and understand optimization problems in first semester calculus. To solve an optimization problem, one must identify the quantity to be maximized or minimized and then construct an optimizing function modeling the scenario described in the problem, particularly paying attention to how the desired quantity varies under the given constraint. Once this optimizing function has been constructed, the problem solver uses calculus and algebra skills to analytically find the absolute maximum or minimum of the function in the realistic domain of the problem. These problems are notoriously difficult for students, but have been largely ignored by the research community.

To examine how students think about and understand optimization problems, I interviewed seven first semester calculus students as they solved two optimization problems and answered questions related to the optimization problem-solving process. Analysis of this interview data revealed six mathematical concepts that play a key role in students’ concept images of the optimizing function. In Paper 1, I describe how these mathematical concepts influence students’ problem-solving activities and their construction of the optimizing function.

In this dissertation I also have created an Optimization Problem-Solving Framework that describes the desired conceptual and analytical thought processes students should engage in while solving an optimization problem. In Paper 2, I describe this framework and present the results of analyzing students’ thought processes while solving a classic optimization problem. The students demonstrated evidence of engaging in pseudo-conceptual and pseudo-analytical thought processes as they solved the optimization problem, particularly in the orienting and planning phases.

Finally, in Paper 3, I describe students’ responses while doing an activity designed to assess their ability to connect the optimizing function they constructed to the graphical representation of the optimizing function. This analysis is used to frame a discussion of suggested teaching interventions to help students develop a conceptual understanding of the optimization problem-solving process.

Date: 5/2/2016
Time: 10:00AM-1:00PM
Place: 415 Armstrong Hall

All are welcome.

Date, Location: 
2016-05-02

Kristin Duling Qualifier

Ms. Kristin Duling will present her dissertation prospectus. All are welcome to her presentation and a question/answer period. Following the presentation, there will be an oral examination open only to the candidate and the PhD committee of the candidate.

Date: 5/2/2016
Time: 4:30PM-5:30PM
Place: 313 Armstrong Hall

Date, Location: 
2016-05-02

Fuller & Deshler Receive NSF Grant

In 2012, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers appointed by President Obama, identified the need for more college graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Faculty at West Virginia University are addressing that need by making it a priority to see students through their education and onto rewarding STEM careers.

Please go here for the WVUToday story

Date, Location: 
2016-04-29

Jiaao Li Qualifier

Group Connectivity and Modulo Orientations of Graphs

All are welcome.

Date, Location: 
2016-04-27, 3:30 PM, 315 Armstrong

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