Department News

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 carboard 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

Inspiring Women for Generations: NCUWM 2019

From January 25-27, 2019, FM students Brooke Haywood and Sierra Cartano attended the 21st 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 over 125 schools from around the country in attendance with the common goal of supporting women in their pursuit of mathematics. The students were selected by the conference to attend presentations given by other undergraduates, panel discussions about jobs and graduate school and breakout sessions aimed at getting them ready for life after graduation. Dr. Panza led one of the breakout sessions. These three women are appreciative of the travel support received from a FM REAL Grant.

Math Students attend Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Nebraska

Students Inducted into Kappa Mu Epsilon

On January 22, 2019, six 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 Edward Hubbard, Taylor Watson, Zachary Middleton, Jonathan Britt, Sierra Cartano and Corbin Witt. Three faculty members, Dr. Ivan Dungan, Ms. Johanna Gibson and Ms. Michelle Greene, 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 2018!

Math Honor Society Kappa Mu Epsilon inducts new members

Fun in the Snow! JMM 2019

FM Math Student Chace Covington, Dr. Thomas Fitzkee, Dr. Ivan Dungan and Dr. Nicole Panza attended the Joint Mathematics Meetings of the MAA and AMS in Baltimore, MD from January 16-19 , 2019. While there, Dr. Fitzkee was a national judge for the High School Mathematics Competition in Modeling and Drs. Panza and Dungan judged the MAA Undergraduate Research Poster Session for which Chace Covington was recognized for his outstanding poster entitled, “Theoretical Notions of Ecological Stability and Their Relation to Temporal Variability.” Dr. Dungan gave a talk entitled “Capturing Persistent Homotopic Information and Dr. Panza gave a talk entitled “Modeling Menstrual Cycle Follicle Dynamics with Applications.”

Mathematicians attend 2019 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore, MD
Mathematicians attend 2019 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore, MD
Mathematicians attend 2019 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore, MD

Math Major Graduates

FM mathematics major Kayla Floyd received her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and in Chemistry at the FM December 2018 Commencement. The Department of Mathematics congratulates Kayla and wishes her well. We encourage all alumni to keep us up-to-date on their lives using the form on our alumni page.

Math Major Graduates

Department of Mathematics Host High School Mathematicians

On Tuesday, December 4, 2018 the FM Department of Mathematics proudly hosted the 42nd Pee-Dee Regional High-School Mathematics Tournament. This year, 292 students participated in the event from 18 area schools. The students participated in a written competition, stage competition and plenary address given by Dr. Brittany B. Baker, Assistant Professor of Physics. 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.

Students and Faculty attend SCCTM Conference

From November 14-16, 2018, FM Math students and faculty attended the 2018 SCCTM Fall Conference in Columbia, SC. SCCTM, the South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics, holds this annual conference for math educators at all levels. Pre-service teachers Victoria Hicks and Kaitlyn Lowry attended the conference and FM faculty gave presentations. Dr. George Schnibben presented “Little Stuff, Big Effect. Increasing Student Interest.” Dr. Sharon O’Kelley gave a talk entitled “Sowing the Seed of Mathematical Thinking: The Power of Making Connection.” Dr. Kevin LoPresto talked about “Clocks and Fractions: It’s Time.” Finally Mrs. Kathy McCoy, in conjunction with Dr. Meredith Love, FM Professor of English and Ms. Alisa Hobgood math educator at West Florence High School, presented on “The Portrait of a “CollegeReady Math Student”: Conversations about Transitions.”

FM Mathematics Attends MAA State Dinner of South Carolina

On Friday, November 2, 2018, FM department of mathematics faculty and students traveled to the University of South Carolina 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. Mohammed Ghomi from Georgia Tech.

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 the quote by famous mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss stating that mathematics is queen of the sciences.

mathematics pumpkins
mathematics pumpkins

FM Mathematics Attends MAA State Dinner of North Carolina

On Friday, September 28, 2018, FM department of mathematics faculty and students traveled to Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC to attend the Mathematics Association of America’s (MAA) State Dinner of North Carolina. FM Math student Chace Covington presented his summer REU research poster. The keynote address was given by Dr. Tim Chartier from Davidson College. FM mathematics students Kayla Floyd, Terrik Boatwright, Chace Covington, Edward Hubbard, Anquan Gamble, Colby Jackson and Loreal Anderson attended along with FM mathematics faculty Dr. Daniel Brauss, Dr. Minerva Brauss, Dr. Daniel Scofield, Dr. Ivan Dungan and Dr. Nicole Panza.

Math students and faculty attend the MAA State Dinner of North Carolina in September 2018

2018-2019 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 Chace Covington and Kaitlyn Lowry . Congratulations !

Kaitlyn Lowry is co-recipient of 2018-2019 Allen Scholarship in Mathematics

Math Club Elects 2018-2019 Officers

The Francis Marion Math Club is proud to announce the election of its 2018-2019 officers.

President: Kayla Floyd
Vice-President: Jonathan Britt
Secretary: Edward Hubbard
Treasurer: Loreal Anderson

Math Club officers for the 2018-2019 academic year

Department Welcomes New Faculty

The Department of Mathematics is proud to announce the hiring of four new faculty members and the return of one faculty member. Dr. Ivan Dungan is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics who earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Florida State University in 2014. Dr. Will McGuffey is an Instructor of Mathematics who earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Columbia University in 2018. Dr. Thomas Schnibben is an Instructor of Mathematics who earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of South Carolina in 2018. Dr. Daniel Scofield is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics who earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from North Carolina State University in 2018. Returning to work at FM is Johanna Gibson as an Instructor of Mathematics who has two Bachelor’s degrees from FM and is currently completing her Masters of Arts in Mathematics Education. Welcome to the Francis Marion Family!

Math New Faculty 2018 web

Department Chair Earns Service Award

At the beginning of every new school year, faculty members are recognized for completing milestone years of service. This year, Dr. Thomas Fitzkee, Chair of the Department of Mathematics, was recognized for his 20 years of service to Francis Marion University. Dr. Fitzkee, who earned his Ph.D. from George Washington University, arrived at Francis Marion in 1998. When asked what his favorite memory is from 20 years on campus, he shared that he will never forget bringing his three daughters to campus as little girls and watching them ride their bikes around the University. Here’s to 20 more!

Mathematics Names Endowed Chair

In 2004 the University established the Mamie C. Gray Chair in Mathematics. This summer, the Department of Mathematics has bestowed this endowed chair to Dr. George E. Schnibben, Jr.. Dr. Schnibben earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Clemson University in 1984. The Mamie C. Gray Chair was awarded to Dr. Bucky Allen in its inaugural year and he held it until he retired in 2006. Dr. Tommy Ramey held it from 2006 until his retirement in 2018. Many congratulations to Dr. Schnibben as the third recipient of this high honor.

Photo of George Schnibben