Alum Update!

Calistus Ngonghala, a 2011 Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Mathematics, will be a featured presenter for one in a series of webinars on mathematical frontiers sponsored by the National Academies of Science/Engineering/Medicine.

He will be speaking on mathematical approaches to biology, particularly ecology and infectious disease.

Further information is available at

After receiving his Ph.D. in May 2011, Dr. Ngonghala served in postdoctoral positions at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis,
and at the Harvard Medical School, following which he obtained his current position as Assistant Professor of Mathematical Biology in the Mathematics Department at the University of Florida.
Dr. Ngonghala was a student of Mary Ann Clarke of the Mathematics Department and Kenneth Showalter of the Chemistry Department, who were his co-advisors.

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Actuarial Club, First Meeting

Actuarial science is a rising field in the world of mathematics and here at WVU.
You can now have Actuarial Science as an Area of Emphasis through the Mathematics program.
If you’re interested in the industry of insurance and risk management and putting your Math talents to good use, check out the Actuarial Club.

Fall 2018 kickoff meeting will be next Friday, Aug. 24, from 3:30 – 4:30 pm in room 313 of Armstrong Hall. There will be free pizza!
There will be a lot of great information, including Excel function and VBA workshops. We will discuss actuarial exams, what it’s like to be an actuary and upcoming events.

You will meet fellow members of the Club who passed one or two actuarial exams, and hear their exam preparation tips.
You will also meet our new officers of the Club.

For more information on the Actuarial Club

You can request to join the e-mail list of the Actuarial Club, by sending an e-mail to

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Ouri Maler Masters Defense

Brownian Motion in Cellular Membrane Receptors

Date: 7/19/2018
Time: 11:00AM-12:30AM
Place: 313 Armstrong Hall


Mr. Maler is a student of Adam Halasz.
Everyone is welcome to attend.

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New Student Orientation (NSO)

Throughout the month of June, NSO will help you prepare for your first semester. You’ll learn about campus, explore your academic program and work with an academic adviser to create your class schedule.

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Xiangming Wu Ph.D Defense

Persistence and Characteristics of Calculus Students in STEM Disciplines

Date: 5/29/2018
Time: 10:00AM-11:30AM
Place: 313 Armstrong Hall

Mr. Wu will present his dissertation in the first part; this public presentation is open to everybody.

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Anaam Bidhan Prospectus

Infinite Automata on Transfinite Sequences and Their Relations With Infinite Bipartite Graphs.

Date: 5/17/2018
Time: 3:00PM-4:00PM
Place: 315 Armstrong Hall

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.

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Eberly Commencement, Congrats Grads!

The Eberly College will hold two commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 13, 2018; one for graduate students at 12:30 PM and one for undergraduate students at 4:00 PM. There is no limit on the number of guests a graduate may invite to the ceremony, and no tickets are required for admission.

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Krista Bresock Prospectus

Students’ Understanding of Integration and Their Use of Visualizations When Solving Volume Problems

Abstract: Second-semester calculus volume problems involve two areas important in calculus: integration and visualization. The literature is rich in research on calculus and research on visualization, but minimal on the interplay between calculus and visualization, and even less on the topic of calculus volume problems. In this research, three pilot studies were conducted with the aim of investigating student understanding of integration when solving volume problems and how students use their drawings to aid in the volume problem-solving process. The data collected shows evidence that students tend to think more formulaically and rely on memorized formulas when solving revolution volume problems versus other types of volume problems. Students’ sketches were used heavily in the problem-solving process, but with varied results. This presentation will discuss the literature on calculus and visualization, the results of the three pilot studies, and plans for the future dissertation study.

Date: 5/9/2018
Time: 1:30PM-2:30PM
Place: 315 Armstrong Hall

A ~forty minute presentation, followed by questions and comments from attendees.
Everyone is invited to attend.

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Keith Gallagher Prospectus

Student Use of Visualization and Example Generation in Undergraduate Topology

Abstract: Research into undergraduate mathematics education has examined students’ learning and understanding of proof in contexts such as algebra and analysis. However, students’ approaches to proof in topology are underrepresented in the literature. This study investigates the ways in which students approach proofs in undergraduate topology. Specifically, this study looks at the ways in which students use and construct examples, counterexamples, and visual resources when proving or disproving topological conjectures. Preliminary data analysis show several emerging themes, including the construction of diagrams to serve as generic examples during orientation to novel concepts and the propensity of students to construct diagrams in response to the need for counterexamples. This talk will discuss the existing literature on proof, examples and counterexamples, and visualization in undergraduate mathematics education, and it will present the themes which have emerged from the data based on these preliminary analyses and discuss potential future trajectories for this study.

Date: 5/1/2018
Time: 10:00AM-11:00AM
Place: 315 Armstrong Hall

Everyone is invited to attend.

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Department Picnic

Each year at the end of the spring semester, the Math department and the WVU math club host a picnic. Everyone is welcome to attend, especially students who are considering declaring a math minor or adding a math major.

The picnic is also a nice way to interact with faculty in a casual setting. There will be hamburgers and hot dogs, and we ask that you bring a dish for the potluck.

Date: 4/21/2018
Time: 12:00PM-5:30PM
Place: Krepps Park Shelter

Please check your email for RSVP instructions.

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