AY 2021 Graduates
There were two UAS Bachelor of Science in Mathematics graduates for the 2021 academic year, Nowielle Corpuz and Zach White.
Nowielle graduated with honors, Cum Laude, and was recognized as the Outstanding Mathematics Graduate. Her immediate plans involve working for at least a year before considering further studies.
Zach spent the past year completing his BS in mathematics and he began an internship with the Segal Group as their first (and only) employee in Alaska. In his own words,
The internship has gone very well! I've learned a lot about business and finance since I started, and upon graduation, I will begin work for the company that hired me (Segal) full-time as a health benefits analyst. Working as an analyst is typically how actuaries begin their careers, so I'm now well on my way to my career goals. From there, I will shift my focus towards writing a series of actuarial exams and learning how to apply mathematical analyses to many different elements of business. Especially considering that actuarial work was my goal prior to beginning my studies at UAS, I feel really lucky to have met a recruiter from a field of personal interest while in our weekly math seminar, and am sincerely grateful that UAS was able to set up such an opportunity.
We wish Nowielle and Zach all the best in their future endeavors.
News of Past Graduates
Amy Jenson (2020) completed her first (challenging/fun) year of graduate school at Montana State University in Bozeman. Here is what she had to say about graduate studies at MSU.
I appreciate the small classes and personable professors at MSU. At the graduate level, it’s small so it feels similar to UAS in that way. It took a little while to adjust to the heavier workload but eventually, it became manageable.
Amy spent this first year completing core graduate-level mathematics coursework. She also got her first taste of college teaching as a graduate teaching assistant, she is pleased to report that she enjoyed the experience. Along with classes and teaching, Amy continued collaborating with Dr. Jason Amundson (UAS) on a research project they started while she was at UAS. Here is how she describes her introduction to research.
That has been a rewarding experience and I had no idea it would lead to where we are now when I started my senior year at UAS. I am working on another research project here at MSU for my M.S. thesis where I will continue to work in subglacial hydrology modeling.
Amy has some great advice for Mathematics Majors:
I didn’t start out as a math major, but now it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to have not studied math. My advice to potential math majors is to not let the workload and intensity of a math program deter you from doing it. Studying math is hard work but it’s doable and rewarding too. For the math majors at UAS, take every opportunity you can to work with professors on research. It may just end up being what you want to do!
My advice to graduates from the math program at UAS would be this. If you are applying to graduate programs, seek out working with a professor before applying to the school. Once you are in a program it can be hard to find someone who is interested in the same research topics as you, but if you have a great advisor then it can make all the difference.
Katy Price (2020) also completed her first year of graduate studies in mathematics at Oregon State University, Corvallis. Because of the Covid crisis, she took all of her courses remotely from Juneau. She looks forward to face-to-face classes in Corvallis starting in the upcoming Fall.
Evan Carnahan (2019) is continuing his studies at the University of Texas, Austin, having switched from Geoscience to the Computational, Science, Engineering, and Mathematics program (basically applied math). He goes on to say
Working with Marc [his advisor] has been productive. We have a paper in review modeling ice shell convection on icy moons in our solar system. You might dig the supplement, it has a discretization of the fluid flow equations that keeps the divergence and gradient operators whole. It's been fun research. I also had the opportunity to intern at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory this summer, and they kept me on through this academic year. I get to work with a cool group there.
Anyway, I have taken courses in subjects I didn't even know existed, many in numerics, statistics, and even one this semester on using pattern recognition to decode EEG signals (electrodes you attach to a brain) to help disabled people move robots, etc. It's been a fun experience. I especially think that linear algebra, advanced calc, and calculus/ODE/PDE were good prep for grad school applied math, as was working with Jason [Amundson at UAS]. I also do dimensional analysis on the daily now and it played a large role in the paper I attached (so thank you for that seminar topic on it!).
Felix Xian (2019) got accepted into medical school at Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine and will be moving down there in a couple of weeks. He has a military scholarship for school and will start active duty for the Army National Guard once he graduates.
Brendan Moore (2018) has been experimenting with the field of accounting through jobs for various organizations around town, as well as exploring what is behind the Gamestop stock market phenomenon after work.
Tony Gaussion (2010) took a year off after earning his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Montana State University, Bozeman, and will be driving to Alaska this summer to start his new job at the Palmer campus of the University of Alaska, Anchorage.
If you are a graduate of the UAS mathematics program and in contact with other graduates, please forward the link to this page to them. Also, if you have news you wish to share, please email Chris (or any other UAS Mathematics Program faculty member)
Josh Walsh was awarded the Ron Seater Award, and plans to attend the 2021 Summer IBA CURE Workshop to learn about research in biomathematics. Alice Mehalek enjoyed her Spring 2021 geometry class so much that she applied for and was accepted to MIT's Summer Geometry Institute.
Even though both of these programs are virtual, they have been carefully designed to provide plenty of interaction. We hope Alice and Josh enjoy the experience and learn a lot.
UAS Math Club and Alaska Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon
The UAS Math Club (and the Alaska Alpha Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon) was able to take advantage of several live-streamed talks given throughout the country, as well as from UAF. This helped cover for the absence of the traditional pre-covid biweekly meetings. Also, unfortunately, the enjoyable Auke Rec get-togethers were not held because of COVID-19.
Josh and Nowielle represented UAS at the Annual Putnam Competition. A side note is that Ethan Field, a past UAS mathematics major and frequent Math Club participant who transferred out of UAS, completed his BS in mathematics, and has been accepted to the Ph.D. program at Florida State University.
The UAS Learning Centers
The staff at the three Campus Learning Centers deserve a lot of credit and appreciation for their work over the past (Covid) year and a quarter.
The Juneau Campus staff, Auguste, Ben, and Gabe missed the usual humming atmosphere of the popular Juneau Campus Learning Center. While they did have at least two regular visitors, most of their time was spent Zooming. The same goes for Louis Scott (Ketchikan) and Max Cottrell (Sitka).
Our thanks go out to the UAS Learning Center staff at the three campuses, for your hard work and patience through these trying times.
We are still standing, and along with our seasoned and new majors, we are all really looking forward to getting back into the classroom. All of our AY 2021 courses were taught online, many of the courses were taught using open-source textbooks, and almost all faculty experimented with using online homework systems having immediate student feedback for part of the course grade.
Brian Blitz continues to contribute to the Pacific Northwest Section of the MAA while experimenting with online homework systems, and ensuring the UAS Mathematics Program continues to run efficiently and smoothly. Colleen Ianuzzi and Joe Liddle continue to serve as local coordinators of the Program at the Ketchikan and Sitka campuses. Colleen is also making excellent progress in her continued graduate studies in mathematics. Well done Colleen.
Megan Buzby is wrapping up her sabbatical and hopes to have plenty to report when she officially gets back to work.
Andrzej Piotrowski weathered the COVID year by being outrageously busy with distance teaching, Natural Sciences Chair duties, and committee work. He participated in the iTeach workshop in August 2020 to gear up for distance teaching. Then, not being totally satisfied with his already heavy workload, he decided to become a "math coach" for Enigma (the TMHS/JDHS math club).
Andrzej also had an article published in the MAA College Math Journal (Atypical series representations of Riemann-integrable functions, College Math. J., 52 Issue 1 (2021), pp. 31-38, DOI: 10.1080/07468342.2021.184758), and served as a referee for two peer-reviewed journal articles.
Jill Dumesnil has continued developing OER material (video lectures and assessment tools) for online versions of Fundamentals of Algebra (MATH S055), Intermediate Algebra (MATH S105), College Algebra (MATH S151), and Trigonometry (MATH S152). She has used these platforms quite effectively over the past two years and more recently moved on to using this platform to teach an online version of Calculus I (MATH S251).
Chris Hay-Jahans continued with his explorations into the world of (pseudo) flipped classes, developing open source course material for his statistics courses, as well as increasing his comfort level in delivering live-streamed hybrid and remote access/distance classes.