Junior Presents Research at Nation’s Largest Mathematics Meeting

Created: February 18, 2016
Last Updated: January 16, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (Feb. 18, 2016) — Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) student Rebecca Rapp was given the experience of a lifetime when she attended the Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM) in January of 2016.

Rapp, a junior from Monongahela, Pa., participated in the Junior Math Talks with W&J mathematics professor Michael Woltermann, Ph.D, which led her to the JMM.

The meeting was held in Seattle, Wash. this year and is the largest mathematics meeting in the world. The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the American Mathematical Society (AMS) come together to give students the chance to share their mathematical findings, gain experience in public speaking, and receive awards and recognition for their achievements.

W&J mathematics professor Roman W. Wong, Ph.D., who gave a lecture at the meeting, said he believes that opportunities like this will set Rapp and other W&J students apart from others as they move forward in the mathematics field.

“[Rebecca] got exposure of her math work at the national level. She also gained the experience of attending a national math conference,” Wong said. “This will enhance her resume when she applies to graduate schools or work later.”

Rapp presented a poster, “Equal Excircles and their Foundation in the Equal Incircles Theorem,” in the undergraduate student poster session, based on research she obtained through her participation in the Junior Math Talks from the Fall of 2015. Her experience there strengthened her mathematics skills, but also broadened her understanding of many other subjects, too.

“Through my various mathematics and physics courses at W&J, I have learned to communicate through equations and explanations in my writing, and my Junior Math Talks and the JMM in particular have given great insight into how to communicate these types of ideas through a presentation.” Rapp said. “Furthermore, I encountered the breadth of research occurring in mathematics; some of the presentations I attended included applications of math to biology, sports, and other subjects.”

Rapp plans to pursue her doctorate in physics after she graduates from W&J. She hopes to one day become a professor in math or physics and inspire other students in the subjects.

After having attended the JMM, she is excited for what the future holds.

“Attending and participating in the JMM was an invaluable experience which I will likely look back on for years to come,” Rapp said.

 

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work.

For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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