Vermont Alpha Saint Michael’s College Chapter Report

Advisor: Zsuzsanna Kadas


Co-presidents:Brittany Baker and Kaiti Tuthill

Number of New Members Inducted: 18

Number of Continuing Members: 9

Describe the two most interesting or unusual chapter activities this year:

At the annual Pi Mu Epsilon lecture held in conjunction with the Induction Ceremony, origami expert Prof. Thomas Hull (Western New England College) spoke on the topic “Origami-Math is in Creasing”. He also led a hands-on origami workshop where we collaborated to build some modular structures. The September Math Colloquium consisted of presentation by students who had participated in research projects: Brittany Baker, Emily Pratt, Mary Spuches, and Kaiti Tuthill. Monthly Department Colloquia are co-sponsored by Pi Mu Epsilon, and members introduce the visiting speakers.

Induction Ceremony on October 1, 2010: all student PME members and math faculty


Origami tower built at Tom Hull’s workshop, October 1, 2010

Do any of your chapter members plan to attend or present a paper at the 2011 PME national meeting at MathFest in Lexington, Kentucky?


Do you have any news about current students or recent graduates, for example, scholarships or other awards, acceptances to graduate school, paper presentations at conferences?

Four students, including 3 PME members, have had a paper accepted by the American Journal of Undergraduate Research. The paper, “Design Optimization for DNA Nanostructures” by Andrew Gilbert, Jake Girard, Dan Lewis, and Mary Spuches, reports on work done under the mentorship of Professors Jo Ellis-Monaghan and Greta Pangborn. The work was supported by several sources: NSF, CURM, NIH-VT Genetics Network, NASA-VT Space Grant. Brittany Baker ’11 will participate in the competitive program for Women and Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University followed by the Bridge Program at Texas A & M. She has She will enter the Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota in the fall. JasonDecoteau ’12 is participating in a funded on-campus research project in mathematics/economics studying the demographics of Medicare funding. Andrew Gilbert ‘11 received the Outstanding Math Major award at graduation, and was also named Class of 2011 Valedictorian. He will pursue graduate studies in Classics at Boston College. Dan Lewis ’10 will begin graduate study at Notre Dame. Emily Pratt ’12 participated in the NASA-Vermont Space Grant project “Cubesat”, a small lunar lander which is to be launched in 2013. She presented her paper “Trajectory Design Using a Linearized Restricted Three-Body Problem” at the Smith College WIMIN conference in October 2010. Jaqui Tuthill ‘12 is attending the Statistics REU at the Claremont Colleges. Kaiti Tuthill ’11 is co-author of a paper that has been accepted by the Journal of Applied Mathematics. The paper “Constraint Consensus Methods for Finding Interior Feasible Points in Second Order Cones” is the result of work done at the NSF-REU at Northern Arizona University in Summer 2010.