There are many ways to get involved in our mathematics and statistics community and gain more experience in math outside the traditional classroom setting. From attending weekly Colloquium lectures and Problem Solving Club meetings to competing in mathematics competitions and engaging in research with faculty mentors, you can deepen your study in the mathematics program at Calvin.
Community life in the mathematics and statistics department
The Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium provides a weekly opportunity for you to hear presentations by students, faculty and visiting mathematicians from industry and academia. The Colloquium meets most weeks during the academic semesters on Thursday afternoons from 3:30-4:30 p.m. See News & Events for specific Colloquium topics.
As a math student at Calvin, you can participate in several statewide and national mathematical competitions. Our students regularly take part in the Lower Michigan Mathematics Competition and have taken home the trophy many times. Recent graduates have also competed in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition and received high scores in this rigorous competition.
Problem of the Week
The department of mathematics and statistics has a long tradition of posing a problem of the week. You are invited to submit solutions to these problems. The current problem of the week coordinator is Professor Talsma. Look for problems on math-news and on the bulletin board outside the department office.
Calvin's Problem-Solving Club is an informal gathering of mathematics students who are interested in solving problems and presenting their solutions to one another. The club meets weekly, typically in the early evening. A schedule of meeting times and other information will be posted later in the semester.
If you are interested in joining the Problem Solving Club, contact Professor Professor Pruim.
First-Year Seminar (Math Students)
Each fall the department of mathematics and statistics offers a weekly seminar for first-year students who are interested in mathematics and want to learn more about it. The seminar introduces students to a wide variety of mathematical topics and applications and is open to all first-year students. You do not need to be a mathematics major or minor to attend.
This year's seminar (also listed as MATH 190 in the university catalog) meets on Wednesdays at 3:30pm. If you are interested in the seminar but have a schedule conflict, please contact Professor Venema or Professor Dekker. You may also choose to audit MATH 190.
More information about the first-year seminar is announced in mathematics courses and via math-news. (Subscribe to math-news)
Calvin's January interim term allows you to devote full-time study to a single mathematics course. In recent years, interim courses have covered such topics as graph theory, nonlinear dynamical systems and chaos, game theory, applications of linear algebra and mathematical modeling.
Many students work for the department as graders, classroom assistants, lab monitors and tutors.
Summer research opportunities
As a mathematics and statistics student at Calvin, you may participate in research projects during the summer. In recent years, students have worked with Calvin faculty on projects in the statistical analysis of traffic patterns, mathematical modeling in biology, kinematic work spaces for robotic arms, polygonal chains and hyperbolic tessellations. Other Calvin students have participated in summer research projects at universities such as Northern Arizona, Oregon State and Brigham Young, and at the National Security Agency. Several students have participated in the Budapest Semester in Mathematics.
The Reading Room (NH-282) is a great place for students to gather for relaxation between classes or to work with classmates on problem sets or studying for exams.
The basement computer lab (NH-069) is another great workplace for mathematics majors and is home to several relatiely new iMac workstations equipped with various mathematical software programs.