Department News

Inspiring Women for Generations: NCUWM 2020

From January 31-February 2, 2020, FM students Sierra Cartano and Taylor Boatwright attended the 22nd annual Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The students, accompanied by FM Math faculty Dr. Nicole Panza, represented one of 116 schools from around the country in attendance with the common goal of supporting women in their pursuit of mathematics. Sierra gave a presentation on her summer research entitled, “Classifying Stocks by Sector Using Persistent Homology.” These three women are appreciative of the travel support received from a FM REAL Grant.

JMM 2020

FM faculty Dr. Thomas Fitzkee and Dr. Daniel Scofield attended the Joint Mathematics Meetings of the MAA and AMS in Denver, CO from January 14-18, 2020. While there, Dr. Fitzkee was a national judge for the High School Mathematics Competition in Modeling and Dr. Scofield continued his work as a 2019-2020 MAA Project NExT Fellow.

Flagway Florence

On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, FM Math faculty facilitated a Flagway competition at Royall Elementary School in Florence for their 5th grade students. Flagway is a math game that helps students develop a deeper understanding of factors. Drs. Thomas Fitzkee, Nicole Panza, Buck Schnibben, Thomas Schnibben, and Daniel Scofield worked with Royall 5th grade math teacher Mrs. Jill Fitzkee to organize the event.

Math Major Graduates

FM mathematics major Jonathan Britt received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Summa Cum Laude at the FM December 2019 Commencement. The Department of Mathematics congratulates Jonathan and wishes him well. We encourage all alumni to keep us up-to-date on their lives using the form on our alumni page.

Department of Mathematics Host High School Mathematicians

On Tuesday, December 3, 2019 the FM Department of Mathematics proudly hosted the 43rd Pee-Dee Regional High-School Mathematics Tournament. This year, 308 students participated in the event from 19 area schools. The students participated in a written competition, stage competition and plenary address given by Dr. Ivan Dungan, Assistant Professor of Mathematics. A full list of winners can be found on the tournament’s webpage.

Department of Mathematics held Pee Dee Regional High School Mathematics Tournament on December 4, 2018.

Math in Industry Speaker Series Begins

Coordinated by Dr. Ivan Dungan and funded by a FM PEAK Grant, the Math in Industry Speaker Series aims to inform students about careers in mathematics and provide an opportunity for them to network with career mathematicians. Each meeting in the series consists of two parts. First, a lecture from the speaker is offered to the general public about how math is used in the speaker’s career. Second, invited students attend dinner with the speaker and Dr. Dungan for more in depth knowledge on life as a mathematician. On October 3, 2019, Dr. Ali Uzun who is a senior research scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace spoke on his work in partial differential equations and their use in engineering aircraft. On November 21, 2019, Dr. Calandra Moore  who is a data scientist at the Department of Defense talked about the various ways math is used for national security. We thank Drs. Uzun and Moore for taking the time to share with our students and look forward to two more sessions in the spring semester. For more information, visit the Math in Industry Speaker Series website and contact Dr. Dungan.

FM Mathematics Attends MAA State Dinner of South Carolina

On Friday, November 8, 2019, FM department of mathematics faculty and students traveled to Columbia College in Columbia, SC to attend the  Carolina Math Seminar and the Mathematics Association of America’s (MAA) State Dinner of South Carolina. The keynote address was given by Dr. Alex Kasman from the College of Charleston.

Pumpkin Pi

Math Club participated in this year’s FM pumpkin trail by carving pumpkins for a display. Both FM Math students and faculty carved pumpkins displaying Pumpkin Pi. The Math Club was awarded Best Theme!

Students Inducted into Kappa Mu Epsilon

On October 2, 2019, seven current Francis Marion students were inducted into Kappa Mu Epsilon, a national honor society in mathematics. Students with exceptional overall GPA and GPA in math courses above the Calculus I level are eligible for membership. The student inductees are Astou Aw, Taylor Boatwright, Harley Collins, Thomas Dixon, Kody Lawler, Philip Mickel and James Morris. Two faculty members, Ms. Monica Cox and Dr. Thomas Schnibben, were also inducted. The induction ceremony and reception were held in the Lee Nursing Building and was attended by many friends, family and math faculty of the those inducted. Congratulations to the Kappa Mu Epsilon inductees for 2019!

2019-2020 Allen Mathematics Scholarship

Every year the Mathematics Department selects a returning student to receive Allen Mathematics Scholarship in honor of Professor Emeritus Dr. Roger Allen. This year’s recipients are Jonathan Britt and Sierra Cartano. Congratulations!

Department Welcomes New Faculty

The Department of Mathematics is proud to announce the hiring of one new faculty member. Ms. Monica Cox is an Instructor of Mathematics who earned her Masters of Arts in Mathematics Education from Cambridge College in 2009. Welcome to the Francis Marion Family!

FM Mathematicians Head to Ohio

Three FM Math Faculty members traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio for the MAA’s MathFest from July 31-August 3, 2019. Dr. Daniel Scofield participated in activities as a 2019-2020 MAA Project NExT Fellow. Dr. Ivan Dungan presented a poster entitled, “Improving Topological Intuition Using Discrete Topologies.” Dr. Nicole Panza presented a poster entitled, “Teaching Introductory Mathematical Modeling for Mathematics Majors.”

Math Majors Graduate

FM mathematics majors Chace Covington, Brooke Haywood, Victoria Hicks, Edward Hubbard, and Kaitlyn Lowry received their Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at the FM May 2019 Commencement. The Department of Mathematics congratulates these five outstanding Math Patriots and wishes them well. We encourage all alumni to keep us up-to-date on their lives using the form on our alumni page.

Practice Makes Perfect

On May 1, 2019, the Department of Mathematics hosted a real-life practice test for approximately 120 local high school students planning on taking the AP Calculus Exam. Students from Central High School, The King’s Academy, McBee High School, Pamplico High School, South Florence High School, Trinity Byrnes Academy, West Florence High School, and Wilson High School attended. For more information on the event, contact Dr. Kevin LoPresto.

Students taking the AP calculus practice exam

Faculty Awarded Research Stipends

Two FM Math Faculty members were awarded a 2019 Francis Marion Summer Research Stipend given annually to support faculty scholarship. This summer Dr. Daniel Scofield will use his research stipend to work on the connection between knot theory and graph theory and Dr. Ivan Dungan will work on applications of algebraic topology to data analysis through his stipend. Congratulations and we look forward to hearing about your results!

photo of Daniel Scofield
photo of Ivan Dungan

Mathematics Students Honored

Each Spring at the University academic awards ceremony, outstanding students in every campus department are honored. This year, the Mathematics faculty selected three graduating senior mathematics majors to receive the 2019 Mathematics Award. They are Jonathan Britt, Chace Covington and Kaitlyn Lowry. Congratulations!

Department of Mathematics recognizes outstanding math students with 2019 math award

Math Pi-Rates

Math Club competed in this year’s FM Cardboard Boat Regatta by building its own cardboard boat. The boat, named the Temperamental Transcendental, was created by math club students and faculty. The boat was captained by Math Club President Jonathan Britt and his first made Elizabeth Floyd. These nautical mathematicians were known as Pi-Rates and won the Patriot Spirit Award!

Math Club cardboard boat
Math Club cardboard boat

Math vie for Award

FM Math Majors Chace Covington and Kayla Floyd recently presented their research from the 2018-2019 academic year in competition for the Presidents Undergraduate Research Award. Win or lose, we are so proud of you- congratulations!

Math student presents research
Math student presents research

Math Students Present at RED

Each Spring the University holds RED, Research and Exhibition, Day where students can present their research from the academic year. This year, we had 6 Math Patriots present their work. Congratulations to Brooke Haywood, Kayla Floyd, Zachary Middleton, Chace Covington, Anquan Gamble and Terrik Boatwright!

Math student present at RED 2019
Math student present at RED 2019
Math student present at RED 2019
Math student present at RED 2019

Fitzkee Participates as Competition Judge

Over the weekend of April 5-6, 2019, Dr. Thomas Fitzkee reprised his role as a judge for the collegiate Mathematical Competition in Modeling (MCM) sponsored by Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP). Judging this year was held in San Antonio, TX. When he wasn’t judging, he was exploring places like The Alamo. More information about the competition can be found on the COMAP website.

Dr. Tom Fitzkee at the Alamo

Mathematics Department Hosts Conference

On Friday, March 29, 2019, the Department of Mathematics proudly hosted its annual Francis Marion Undergraduate Mathematics Conference. The conference was well attended by students and faculty from colleges and universities in the region. Students participated in Math Jeopardy and gave talks about their mathematics work. The keynote address, “The Abundancy Index: Seeking Friends and Outlaws…and Perfection,” was delivered by Dr. Brian Beasley, Charles E. Daniel Professor of Mathematics at Presbyterian College. For more information about the conference, contact Dr. Nicole Panza, Conference Director.

Francis Marion Undergraduate Mathematics Conference 2019

Panza Recognized as Outstanding Teacher

At the MAA-SE Section Meeting was held on March 7-9, 2019 at Lee University in Cleveland, TN, Dr. Nicole M. Panza was awarded the MAA-SE Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member. This is Dr. Panza’s fourth year at Francis Marion University. Congratulations, Dr. Panza!

Panza wins MAA SE Beginning Teacher Award

Students, Faculty and Alumni Attend MAA-SE Spring Conference

The MAA-SE Section Meeting was held on March 7-9, 2019 at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. Five Mathematics faculty, Dr. Daniel Scofield, Dr. Ivan Dungan, Dr. Nicole Panza, Dr. Damon Scott and Dr. Thomas Fitzkee, accompanied FM students, Zachary Middleton, Terrik Boatwright, Dante Ahquin, Chace Covington, Colby Jackson, and Jonathan Britt. While there, the students participated in Math Jeopardy,  the annual Scavenger Hunt, and the Graduate School Fair. Student Chace Covington presented his work entitled, “Theoretical Notions of Ecological Stability and Their Relation to Temporal Variability.” Dr. Dungan presented “An Alternative Calculus Sequencing for Increasing Math Major” and “Capturing Persistent Homotopic Information. ” Dr. Scott presented “Analog Computers for the Present Time.” And finally Dr. Panza presented “A Follicle Wave Model with Applications.”

Mathematics Department attends MAA SE 2019 Conference at Lee University
Mathematics Department attends MAA SE 2019 Conference at Lee University

Math Competes in President’s Bowl

FM students Jonathan Britt, Edward Hubbard, Brooke Haywood, Zachary Middleton and Jake Chodha  formed Non-Trivial Pursuits, a math club team to compete in this year’s President’s Bowl. The President’s Bowl is FM’s annual quiz bowl competition open to students from all over campus.

Math students compete in President's Bowl 2019

A Spirited Cart?

On Saturday, February 9, 2019, Math Club entered a float in the FM Homecoming Parade. The golf cart was decorated with FM Patriotic streamers, balloons and signs. Both Math Club members and Math Faculty helped decorate the cart for the parade. Math club members Jonathan Britt, Chace Covington, Anquan Gamble and Loreal Anderson were with the cart in the parade cheering on our Patriots and handing out candy to fans. The golf cart won the award for the Most Spirited Entry!

Mathematics 2019 parade float
Mathematics 2019 parade float
Mathematics 2019 parade float