Math Department Hosts National Research Experience

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Department of Mathematics at the University of West Georgia is hosting its second national Research Experience for Undergraduates program this summer for eight math majors chosen from universities and colleges throughout the country.

The eight-week program is funded through a National Science Foundation grant and gives undergraduates the opportunity to study with two faculty mentors in mathematics. Students were chosen for the program through an application process and receive housing and food at UWG, travel reimbursement and a $3,200 stipend.

Dr. Bruce Landman, chair and professor of mathematics, is director of the program. Both Landman and Dr. Abdollah Khodkar, associate professor of mathematics, are faculty mentors for the eight students.

“It is a privilege to work with such highly motivated students,” said Landman. “We serve as mentors and guides and over the course of the program, the students gradually gain more independence in their research explorations. For many students this REU program serves as a stepping stone to their graduate studies.”

Landman is the author of “Ramsey Theory on the Integers,” a book written specifically to introduce students to the world of mathematical research. He has also published more than 30 research articles, has co-edited two other research books and is the managing editor of an international research journal.

Khodkar, a specialist in graph theory and design theory, has authored more than 90 research articles in international journals.

Students receive their first experience in conducting research in the areas of number theory, graph theory and combinatorics through team and individual research with a faculty mentor, weekly seminars where students give oral presentations of their work and produce a mathematics research paper. Students also have the opportunity to attend a national conference.

This year’s students are mathematics majors enrolled at the University of California at Berkley, Vanderbilt, Colgate, Furman and Washington and Lee Universities, St. Lawrence College, the New College of Florida and UWG.

This is the second of three NSF summer programs that West Georgia has hosted. The 2007 REU program resulted in at least two published articles in research journals and two presentations at a national conference.