# News

## Morgantown Algebra Days 2020

WVU Math Department is hosting the second commutative algebra conference in April 25-26 this year.

For more information and registration, please visit the conference website:

https://math.wvu.edu/mad2020

## Tim McCarty Ph.D Defense

**Date:** 7/10/2018**Time:** 8:30AM-10:00AM**Place:** 315 Armstrong Hall

**Abstract:** The differential is a symbol that is common in first- and second-year calculus. One might think that such a common mathematical symbol would be interpreted universally, but literature that addresses student interpretations of differentials suggeststhat this is not the case, and that many interpretations are possible. My dissertation explored the differential conceptualizations of experienced mathematicians. I interviewed ten expert mathematicians, discussing expressions which contained differentialsand auxiliary questions that asked the meaning of “differential,” the differences between and , and the interpretation of phrases used to describe infinitely small quantities. Not only did I find no overall formal concept image for the differential, but Ialso found many different and sometimes contrasting themes within each interview subject’s personal concept image. I have created a framework for categorizing the multiple conceptualizations I have found for the differentials themselves, as well as begun alist of ancillary themes that address possible thoughts about and uses of differentials. I conclude my dissertation with a list of teaching implications that might arise from the existence of multiple differential conceptualizations.

Everyone is invited.

## Aesha Legha

Qualifying Exam

**Time:** 2:00PM - 3:30PM**Place:** 315 Armstrong

**Prospectus: ** The existence of global solutions and time decay rates to a model system for chemotaxis with chemo attractant and repellant

***The first part of her qualifying exam will be

her presentation on her dissertation prospectus, which is open

to the public, and all are welcome.

## Mohamed Elewoday Prospectus

Algebraic, Analytic, and Combinatorial Properties of Power Product Expansions in Two Independent Variables

**Time:** 4:00PM-5:30PM**Place:** 315 Armstrong Hall

All are welcome to attend.

## Pi Mu Epsilon

The WV Alpha Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society, will host an induction ceremony in honor of our newest members: Jessica Hammersla and Jackson Porter.

**Time:** 5:30PM-7:00PM**Place:** 315 Armstrong

The ceremony features free pizza and a talk by Prof. Nicole Infante**Title:**Math Morsels from the Big and Small Screen

**Abstract:** Movies and television are a big part of peoples’ lives. We may watch to get away from studying, but just as mathematics is a part of life, sometimes it's a part of a movie. How do you react when you find a bit of mathematics suddenly appear on the screen? Perhaps the mathematics is integral to the plot, maybe a side-note, or it’s only in the background. When I unexpectedly find mathematics on the screen, I find great joy (this is math I know!) or curiosity (this is math I don’t know, I want to learn more! Leads to more joy!). I will share some gems that have crossed my path on my journey as a mathematician that spark joy for me.

## BlackHoles@Home

Researchers hoping to better interpret data from the detection of gravitational waves generated by the collision of binary black holes are turning to the public for help. West Virginia University assistant professor Zachariah Etienne is leading what will soon become a global volunteer computing effort.

## Cody Hood Prospectus

Applied Calculus Student Understanding of the Definite Integral

**Date:** 4/9/2019**Time:** 8:30AM-10:00AM**Place:** 403 Armstrong Hall

**Abstract:**Current literature on student understanding of the definite integral strongly suggests that students who perceive the definite integral in a manner that closely aligns with a Riemann sum definition prove to perform better when interacting with applications involving the definite integral in comparison to students with less robust concept images. I look to see if this relationship holds for students in an Applied Calculus course. In my talk I will discuss what current literature says about this topic and what research I plan on conducting that will discover how well students who don’t initially approach the definite integral from a Riemann sum perspective are able to adapt when required to think about the definite integral as an extension of a Riemann sum. A decomposition of the symbolic nature of the definite integral in the context of applications will be used to help students elicit and achieve this level of understanding.

All are welcome to attend.

## Lucian Mazza Ph.D Qualifying Exam

**Date:** 4/5/2019**Time:** 3:30PM-5:30PM**Place:** 315 Armstrong Hall

***The first part of the qualifying exam will be

a presentation on their dissertation prospectus, which is open

to the public, and all are welcome.

## Sixth Annual Integration Bee FINALS

This will be an integration contest open to all students. All integrals can be solved by techniques of Math 156.

**Date:** 4/4/2019**Time:** 6:00PM**Place:** 315 Armstrong Hall

More information can be obtained from the following links.

Website

Flyer

Rules

Please direct questions/comments:

Casian Pantea: cpantea@math.wvu.edu

Charis Tsikkou: tsikkou@math.wvu.edu

## Katie Horacek Ph.d Defense

Edge colorings of graphs on surfaces and star edge colourings of sparse graphs

**Date:** 11/28/2018**Time:** 3:30PM-5:00PM**Place:** 315 Armstrong Hall

Everyone is invited.

## Pages