Muhlenberg mathematics professors earn three-year NSF grant

News Image $323,916 award will bring students from across the country to campus for summer math research

 Thursday, March 3, 2016 04:15 PM

Two faculty members in Muhlenberg College’s mathematics & computer science department have been awarded a three-year, $323,916 National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences grant for their proposal, proposal, "Research Challenges of Identifying Integer Sequences Using the OEIS."

The grant was awarded to principal investigator Eugene Fiorini, Truman Koehler Professor of Mathematics, and co-principal investigator Byungchul Cha, associate professor of mathematics.

The funding will allow ten college students – selected from a national pool of applicants – to spend nine weeks on the Muhlenberg campus doing summer research and working on open-ended mathematics problems.

“The intellectual focus of the research concentrates on the important role sequences play in number theory, combinatorics, and discrete mathematics, as well as their contributions to other fields,” Fiorini said. “Our program aims to prepare students to become the next generation of mathematical scientists efficient in researching sequences and their applications through the OEIS database, the most successful of whom will have the capacity to look to the OEIS for inspiration.”

Students will work with mentors and do research projects associated with the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences® (OEIS) and its role in stimulating new research.

In addition to Fiorini and Cha, three other mathematicians – Nate Shank from Moravian College, Joshua Harrington from Cedar Crest College and Kellen Myers from Farmingdale State College, SUNY – will serve as mentors.

After research projects are completed, students will disseminate their findings by writing and submitting papers to journals and giving presentations at regional and national conferences.

According to Fiorini, this project is the first Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) devoted specifically to research associated with the OEIS. The impact of the OEIS as a resource tool for researchers can be seen in the large number of refereed journal articles and other publications that site it as a reference, over 3000 to date.

Find out more about the grant on the NSF website, and more about this REU project on the math & computer science webpages.

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is a highly selective, private, four-year residential college located in Allentown, Pa., approximately 90 miles west of New York City. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, sciences, business, education and public health. A member of the Centennial Conference, Muhlenberg competes in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.