The Patterson, Acheson, Shaub, Dorwart and Thomas Mathematics Application Projects (MAPPS) Award


The Patterson, Acheson, Shaub, Dorwart, Thomas Applied Mathematics Award is established by former students in memory of the named W&J mathematics professors. The award is a monetary stipend to encourage students to pursue projects in which they investigate the application of mathematics to a problem in one of the sciences, business, economics, industry, government, or some other discipline. Project ideas.

The Purpose of the Award is to:

  1. Stimulate interest in the applications of mathematics to problem solving and decision-making in the sciences, business, economics, industry, government, and other disciplines.
  2. Involve students of mathematics as well as students of other disciplines in projects, which require the application of mathematics to real world problems.
  3. Attract more students to the study of mathematics because of their interest in its many and varied applications.

How the Award/Project Works:

  1. The award is a monetary one to students who successfully complete an approved project of investigation in an application of mathematics. The current amount of each award is $300.
  2. The number of awards depends on the availability of funds provided by the endowment established for this purpose. Consideration will be given to requests for modest expense allowances if the proposal demonstrates a substantive benefit to the project.
  3. Most projects will be similar to an independent study investigation of a real world problem by application of mathematical principles. Solution of a problem should not be viewed as the highest purpose of the project as what is learned during its conduct is often more important than its full resolution. The level of each project will be established by its proposal rather than by these criteria. In some cases students will investigate matters already solved using mathematics. In others they may investigate some element of a problem or seek solution to simplified versions of problems. This is not to limit the character of projects undertaken, but to demonstrate by example how different levels of endeavor are anticipated from one project to another.
  4. The student may be a major in any discipline. Students interested in pursuing such a project would seek out a faculty advisor, from any discipline, who will help them formulate the project and seek its approval. All faculty members should encourage their better students to pursue such a project regardless of discipline. Formulation of a proposal could involve contacting someone outside the College that works in the discipline of interest, or in an industry that might support a student intern to examine a problem. Collaborative student projects and cooperation between award winners should be encouraged.
  5. The Application Procedure.Proposals will be submitted to the Chairman of the Mathematics Department not less than 3 weeks before the academic term (or summer interval) in which the project will commence and should include:
    • A description of the problem to be investigated, the areas of mathematics expected to be involved, how the project will be conducted, and what accomplishments are anticipated. The endorsement of a faculty member who agrees to advise the student throughout the project.
    • A statement of the intended duration of the project. Projects should fall within one academic year.
    • How and when the results of the project will be presented. (An oral presentation is strongly recommended.)
    • Any request for funds to meet project expenses with an explanation of why additional funds are necessary for or would enhance the conduct of the project. The Dean of the College, the Chair of the Mathematics Department, and the Head of the Division of Science and Mathematics will decide approval of proposals and associated funding. Applicants will be notified as soon as possible after receipt of application and prior to the term in which the project is scheduled to begin.
    • Students have the option of seeking academic credit for their projects through independent study, internship, or honors under the usual rules and regulations of the College.
    • Projects already approved and/or supported by other departments are eligible for consideration as interdisciplinary projects in their entirety or in part. The award funds will be presented at the successful completion of the project, and appropriate recognition included in the Commencement program and ceremonies. Funds awarded to cover specific costs during the project will be released as required.