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Community Connections: News and Notes from the Director of Residence Life.

A New Major at Hood: A Bachelor of Science Degree in Computational Science

What is it?

Computational Science is a new, interdisciplinary field, described in the Chronicle of Higher Education as "the use of computer modeling and simulation to advance other fields.‟ It is the application of mathematics and computer science to solving problems in other sciences – biology, chemistry, phys ics, even social sciences. Some examples include modeling the weather or earthquakes, or predicting sub-atomic particle behav ior.

Who should consider majoring in it?

If you have an interest in math, computer science, and another science, this major may be for you.

What are the requirements?

The basic requirements are

  • 23 credits in applied mathematics, after Calculus I
  • 23 credits in computer science
  • 15-19 credits in another science
  • A senior-level interdisciplinary project

What other sciences can I study as part of the program?

Currently we offer concentrations in

  • Molecular biology
  • Ecology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

How can I find out more?

Contact Dr. Mayfield in the Department of Mathematics or Dr. Chang in the Department of Computer Science.


Join Us: Upcoming MAA Meetings

The fall meeting of the MD-DC-VA Section of the MAA will take place on Nov. 4-5, 2011 at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA. Talks will include Marjorie Senechal‟s banquet address on "Quasicrystals: a Mathematical Goldmine" and Bud Brown‟s invited address "The Many Names of (7,3,1) and the Unity of Discrete Mathematics." Many of the Hood College Mathematics Department faculty will be attending this meeting, and we hope to have some students join us as well! Please see Dr. Stewart if you are interested in going. Information about the meeting is posted at http://sections.maa.org/ mddcva/Fall2011Meeting.php . Looking ahead, the 2012 Joint Mathematics Meetings will take place in Boston, MA on January 4-7. This is "the Largest Annual Mathematics Meeting in the World"!
http:// jointmathematicsmeetings.org/jmm

Report from Cumberland Valley Math Modeling Challenge

This year's Cumberland Valley Math Modeling Challenge took place at Shippensburg University on September 24 and 25. Hood sent two teams this year, Jessica Garshall and Andrea Haines made up one team, and Michael Mudarri and Cal Silvious made up the other. Hood's teams competed against 11 other teams from schools in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York. They arrived with sleeping bags and laptops on Saturday afternoon and worked through the night on mathematical modeling. Jessica and Andrea worked to predict what the college textbook market will look like in 10 years, while Michael and Cal designed a system to help the web site Digg.com identify its most important users. After working all night on their problems, the teams wrote one-page executive summaries of their work and prepared ten-minute Power Point presentations on what they figured out in their busy 24 hours of modeling. A panel of judges, which included mathematicians and even an English professor, graded the written reports, and their fellow competitors ranked the oral presentations. Hood's teams did well, although they were bested again by the strong team from West Point. All team members report having had a great (if exhausting!) time working on their problems and meeting students from other schools in our region.

The next big modeling contest is the annual COMAP contest, which runs in February. Hood has teams participate every year in this contest. Participants from last year were Jessica Garshell, Andrea Haines, Jessica Jeffrey, Jessica Lipscomb, Kizza Nandyose, and Cal Silvious. If you are thinking about trying the COMAP contest this year, you should ask last year‟s participants about their experiences.


Least Squares Math Club News

Congratulations to the new Least Squares Math Club officers for this academic year:

President: Jessica Garshell
Vice-President: Jessica Jeffrey
Secretary: Jessica Lipscomb
Treasurer: Michael Mudarri
Webmaster: Dorothy Kirlew

You can get involved with the student math club by coming to their meetings on the first and third Mondays of each month at 9 pm in Hodson room 236.

The first meeting on October 17 will be short but informative. Plans for the semester will be discussed.

Past Problems from the VA Tech Exam

A computer is programmed to randomly generate a string of six symbols using only the letters A, B, C. What is the probability that the string will not contain three consecutive A's?

Recall that the Fibonacci numbers F(n) are defined by F(0) = 0, F(1) = 1, and F(n) = F(n - 1) + F(n - 2) for n≥2. Determine the last digit of F(2006) (e.g. the last digit of 2006 is 6).

Two circles with radii 1 and 2 are placed so that they are tangent to each other and a straight line. A third circle is nestled between them so that it is tangent to the first two circles and the line. Find the radius of the third circle.

Spring Semester Courses

Here is a sneak peek at the schedule of upper-level mathematics courses for the Spring 2012 semester:

  • MATH 304 Differential Equations
    MWF 1 p.m.- 1:50 p.m.
  • MATH 320 Modeling and Simulation
    TR 11:20 a.m.- 12:35 p.m.
  • MATH 440 Abstract Algebra
    MWF 9:30 a.m.-10:20 a.m.
  • MATH 470 Senior Seminar
    MW 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

After looking at the results of the student surveys, we decided not to teach Operations Research this year. It is a possibility for next year, after a group of students have taken the modeling course; we can offer it as an elective.

Upcoming Dates

  • Oct. 17, 3:30 p.m. in Hodson 131
    PME Seminar by Kathryn Linehan
  • Oct. 17, 9 p.m. in Hodson 236
    Least Squares Math Club Meeting
  • Oct 21, 7 p.m. in MAA Carriage House
    Martin Gardner's Celebration of Mind
  • Oct. 29, 9-11:30 a.m.
    VA Tech Regional Mathematics Competition
  • Nov. 4-5, in Newport News, VA
    MAA Fall Section Meeting at Christopher Newport
  • Nov. 7, 9 p.m. in Hodson 236
    Least Squares Math Club Meeting
  • Nov. 14, 3:30 p.m. in Hodson 131
    AWM Seminar by Cindy Merrick
  • Jan. 4-7 in Boston, MA
    Joint Math Meetings
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Hood College Department of Mathematics
401 Rosemont Ave.
Frederick, Maryland 21701
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