The Math Club launched into the fall semester with its kick-off program, “Keep Calm and LOVE Calculus: Studying Tips on Succeeding in Calculus I.”  A panel of math students who had already taken MAT 109 answered attendees questions and gave insight and advice.  Anyone wanting to view a video of the program can contact Math Club President ChenCheng Zhai at

Keep posted for information about additional Math Club programs coming soon, including "MAT100: Introduction to the Math Department."  

Below is a list of some suggestions that the experienced students offered to the audience during "Keep Calm and Love Calculus:"                     
1. Make sure that you understand what's going on in class by getting tutoring, going to faculty office hours, working together with other math students, and other ways.
2. Even if you got the answers correct on homework, check if you got the question right by luck/chance, or if you actually know how to do the questions.
3. Write out the steps. Do not skip steps. Skipping steps can mean you do not know the underlying principles of the problem.
4. Ask questions in class whenever you don’t understand.
5. Go talk to the professors during their office hours.
6. Keep up with the work. Do not let assignments pile up. If you don't understand, figure it out or get help as soon as possible.
7. Draw graphs to help you visualize the function.
8. If you get stuck on one problem for 20 minutes, stop. Come back to the problem later.
9. Don't freak out. Start with simpler questions.
10. Trust yourself! You are not alone.                                                                                  11. Think, but do not overthink.
12. There are free math tutors available at the department’s regularly-scheduled weekly help sessions held Sunday through Thursday.  The fall tutoring schedule for math is here.

  • Jiayi (Nikki) Wang '17, Stuart Prize recipient, stands beside the award's memorial plaque stationed in the Math Common Room, STA211.

Math Awards Honor Student Success

Jiayi Wang ’17 is the 2017 recipient of the Ronald K. Stuart Mathematics Prize.  The Stuart Prize is the highest honor the F&M Mathematics Department grants and is “awarded to the student who has completed major work in the field of mathematics with greatest distinction.”

The prize is awarded each year to the senior or seniors who accomplish the best mathematical work of all students in the graduating class.  The prize is endowed by funds donated to the department, and includes an honorary stipend.

Fifteen students are the recipients of the 2017 John Kershner Scholar designation.  This honor is awarded to students of good and regular standing in the College for “proficiency in mathematics,” and includes an honorary stipend.

Christoffer E. Alsen ’17, Adam C. Fox ’17, Lien P. Pham ’17, Shaina S. Reji ’17 and Jiayi Wang ’17 are second-time recipients.

First-time recipients include:  Tomass Brazovskis ’17, Katherine M. Kidder ’18, Yunhong Li ’19, Joshua A. McGinnis ’17, David C. Mix ’17, Hung P. Nguyen ’18, Nghia M. Phan ’17, Marko Savic ’18, Xingjian Wu ’18 and Xuan Zhang ’18.

Honorary Society Welcomes Inductees

Franklin & Marshall College’s Pennsylvania Eta Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon (PME) welcomed 23 new members at the annual induction ceremony.  Pi Mu Epsilon is a nationally-recognized honorary society dedicated to furthering knowledge of mathematics.

  • Co-presidents Adam Fox '17, David Mix' 17 (left) and Shaina Reji' 17 (far right) welcome newly-elected Pi Mu Epsilon President Chengcheng Zhai '18 under the math honorary society's crest.

Chapter Advisor Prof. Annalisa Crannell and Co-Presidents Adam Fox '17, David Mix '17 and Shaina Reji '17 presented membership certificates to:  Alperen Akkoyunlu '18,  Anton Arapin '19,  Matheus Carlos '18, Lauren D'Arinzo '17, Yiwei Fang '18, Yike Gong '18, Chenxue He '17, Wenying Hu '18, Katherine Kidder '18, Thomas Lehman-Borer '18, Yunhong Li '19, Jianqian Lin '18, Jessica Malark '18, Paraj Mathur '18, Joshua McGinnis '17, Hung Nguyen '18, Julia Ramsey '18, Ailee Rowe '17, Yuxin Tang '18, Zhuofan Tang '18, Wentong Wang '18, Yanlin Yang '18 and Mi Zhou '18.

Pi Mu Epsilon has a rich history of promoting scholarly activity in mathematics among students in academic institutions.  For example, there are opportunities to receive funds to attend national mathematical meetings and a journal of student mathematical research. 

Math Majors Earn Modeling Contest Recognition 

 Congratulations to the team of Cory Hecht '17, Connor Finn '17, and Dimitrios Tsaras '17, whose solution for COMAP's Mathematical Contest in Modeling was designated as an Honorable Mention, among more than 8,800 entries worldwide. 

Out of  six problems the team chose Problem C.  The official contest results say that this problem "asked teams to assess the impact of self-driving vehicles on a particularly dense traffic network in the Greater Seattle area. As with previous C problems, a significant amount of real world data was provided for team use in determining patterns and insights upon which they might construct a mathematical model to analyze the effects on traffic flow of the number of lanes, peak and/or average traffic volume, and percentage of vehicles using self-driving, cooperating systems." 

COMAP, the Consortium of Mathematics and Its Applications, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve mathematics education for students of all ages.

Students Experience Conferences, Events

  • F&M's Math Club sponsored a trip for students to see "Hidden Figures," the story of a team of African-American women mathematicians at NASA who served a vital role during the US space program's formative years.
  • Filip Keri '19 presented his paper, "Why Are Long Bones Hollow," to attendees of the 31st Annual Student Mathematics Conference at Moravian University.
  • Greg Bolet '20, spoke on "Drawing Perspective Letters Using Good Old Fashioned Geometry!" at Moravian University's Student Math Conference, primarily devoted to presentations given by undergraduates.
  • Guest speaker and F&M math major alum Dr. Ben Levy '08 gave a research talk to current and new 2017 members of Pi Mu Epsilon (PME) math honorary society describing, "Modeling Feral Hogs in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Evaluate Control Efforts and Analyze the Population's Niche." Dr. Levy is an assistant math professor at Fitchburg State University. Also pictured is F&M PME Chapter Advisor and math Professor Annalisa Crannell.
  • Prof. Annalisa Crannell, Gregory Bolet '20, Yanlin Yang '18 and Yike Gong '18 attended the EPaDel section of the Mathematical Association of America's meeting at Kutztown University. Greg gave a talk on "Troubling Transoms" and Yanlin presented, "The Magic Mobius Strip." The meeting features student presentations, faculty talks and workshops.

Faculty, Student Represent F&M at Diversity Conference 

Three F&M mathematicians made their way to Long Beach, California, to attend the annual conference of SACNAS (the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in the Sciences).  Professors Annalisa Crannell and Ehssan Khanmohammadi and senior Armando Herrera ‘17 attended a variety of talks on mathematics, science and professional development. Over 4,000 SACNAS Diversity in Stem Conference goers experienced talks, panels, workshops, movies, and even dancing.

One of the most helpful pieces of advice Armando received was to “be a time traveller;” that is, to figure out where you might want to be in 20 years, find people who there already, and ask them about their journey.  He notes, “As someone who is currently exploring career paths, I was able to learn and gain expert advice from the professional development sessions at SACNAS."

He adds, "I was also surprised because I saw research that heavily involved topics in Nonlinear Dynamics and Mathematical Models, which is offered here at F&M.  Another thing that I really enjoyed was that there was plenty of research about sustainability and environmental issues.”

Professor Khanmohammadi “learned from the conference how I can play a better role in supporting and training of minority scientists. The talks ‘NSF Opportunities--Promoting STEM Diversity through Capacity Building, Support, and Public Understanding’ and ‘Diverse Pathways in STEM Education’ were particularly insightful for me as an educator among the sessions that I attended.  I was impressed by the number of participants and I was certainly pleased to be part of such a movement.”  

Talks, Seminars & Competitions Take Shape

Joint Math Colloquium Series

F&M and our colleagues down the road in Millersville University jointly present a quasi-weekly mathematics colloquium talk series on Thursday afternoons during the academic year. All are welcome! Talks vary in their intended audiences: Some are moderately specialized and technical, while others are very student-friendly.  The  Fall  2017  schedule may be found here. 

Tetrahedral Geometry-Topology Seminar

Topologists, geometers, and other interested colleagues from F&M, Millersville University, Elizabethtown College, and Lebanon Valley College (the four vertices of our "tetrahedron") also co-sponsor a monthly geometry and topology research seminar series. We generally meet on the first Friday of each month at Hempfield High School (the approximate barycenter of our tetrahedron), in a math classroom festooned with inspirational Garfield posters. We then relax with a nice dinner out.


Putnam Exam

The Putnam Exam is a prestigious, difficult competitive mathematics exam administered annually on the first Saturday in December to students at colleges and universities across the US and Canada. Franklin & Marshall has made good showings in recent years, and we hope to continue the tradition this year.

Interested students should contact Prof. Henry Chan at (Office: STA 204)  or Prof. Ehssan Khanmohammadi at (Office: STA 226) for more information.

  • A group of F&M faculty and students traveled to Villanova University to attend the fall meeting of the eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware region of the MAA. The MAA is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level.

Talks  Highlight EPaDel at Villanova 

Five students  (Gregory Bolet, Heng Jiang, Sara Mendoza, Zaigham Randhawa, and Zihui Ni) traveled to the EPaDel-MAA meeting at Villanova University with Professors Annalisa Crannell and  Iwan Praton.  The EPaDel section represents the eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware region of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).

Prof. Crannell reports, "We got to see several talks by students, including a great talk by Sara herself, and by faculty, including one by Professor Praton.  The keynote addresses were both very engaging.  The students especially liked the talk by Charles Hadlock on the mathematics of collapse.  Hadlock pointed out that we think of collapse as a bad thing, but that there are examples of good collapses, for example, the collapse of a tumor.  He gave many entertaining and informative examples of how mathematics can be used to understand, predict, and avert the bad kind of collapses."  

Global Conference Focuses on Women in Computing  

  • Five members of the F&M math and computer science community recently attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Houston, and were among 15,000 attendees from around the world. Nearly 250 corporations showcased technology careers and interviewed for job and internship positions. from left to right: Amy Reyes '16, Julia Solheim Ramsey '18, Michaela DeForest '17 and Britte Genzlinger '17. Missing from the photo is Math & Computer Science Department Professor Christina Weaver.

The Pulse of Math at F&M

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