# News & Events

## Plattsburgh Students Earn Top Spots in SUNYMathics Competition

Two SUNY Plattsburgh students were among the top contestants in the fourth annual SUNYMathics competition, which was held in March 2023 at colleges throughout New York State.

Ching Yu *(image left)* earned second place and Taylor Pytel *(image right)* was in a three-way tie for fifth place.

The SUNYMathics competition, organized by Dr. Gabriel Prajitura at SUNY Brockport, consists of a set of twelve challenging mathematics problems. On the day of the contest, the problems are handed out simultaneously to all competitors at their home colleges across New York State. The competitors work on the problems for three hours, and their work is then sent to the judges, who score the solutions and determine the winners.

In the manner of the venerable Putnam competition, SUNYMathics problems are worked using only pencil and paper. It is the contestants' inherent mathematical skill that advances them to the top spots in the competition.

## Pi Mu Epsilon Induction Ceremony

Dr. Curt Stager of Paul Smith’s College was the guest speaker at our Pi Mu Epsilon induction ceremony held on April 5, 2023.

Four SUNY Plattsburgh students were inducted into the national mathematics honor society. Jarron Munnick and Allison Burger (pictured) received their Pi Mu Epsilon certificates at the induction; Mackenzie McKnight and Ching Yu were unable to attend.

Mathematics Department chair Dr. Samuel Northshield delivered opening remarks at the ceremony, which was conducted by Pi Mu Epsilon chapter advisor Dr. Gregory Quenell.

## Plattsburgh Math Day Returns

Plattsburgh Math Day returned to our campus on November 10, 2022 for the first time since the winter of 2020.

Eighty of the region’s best high-school mathematics students came to the Angell College Center for a day of contests, puzzles, mathematics talks, and mathematical games. Students (and their math teachers) made the trip from Chazy, Peru, Willsboro, Northern Adirondack, and Plattsburgh High Schools.

Dr. Naveen Somasunderam of the mathematics department gave a talk on mathematics in the art of M. C. Escher, and Brooke Layhee of the Global Education Office entertained the visitors with stories about her experiences as a Plattsburgh math major studying abroad.

All of the visiting high-school students participated in the American Mathematical Competition, a contest sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America designed to stimulate interest in mathematics and identify potential members of the next U.S. Math Olympiad team.

The day’s activities concluded with a spirited round of mathematical Jeopardy, guest-hosted by Professor Dexter Criss, of the chemistry department.

## Mathematics Faculty Present at NYS Master Teacher Program Teacher-to-Teacher Conference

Three SUNY Plattsburgh mathematics professors, Naveen Somasunderam, Robert Reams, and Gregory Quenell, made presentations at the New York State Master Teacher Program’s 2022 Teacher-to-Teacher Conference, held on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus on April 9, 2022.

The conference brought together North Country Master Teachers and STEM faculty from SUNY Plattsburgh. Faculty members were invited to give presentations about their research or other topics that would be of interest to the K-12 teachers attending the conference.

Dr. Somasunderam gave a talk on p-adic numbers, explaining the modern construction of number fields and their associated arithmetic and geometry. In Dr. Reams's talk, “How to Make a Distance Matrix”, he explained how distance matrices are used to determine the three-dimensional structure of protein molecules, based on inter-atomic distance data from NMR experiments. Dr. Quenell gave a presentation on some of the mathematics — including probability, geometry, and combinatorics — to be found in the card game “Set”.

## Plattsburgh Math Day 2020

The SUNY Plattsburgh Mathematics Department hosted Math Day 2020 on January 30, 2020. About sixty students from area high schools came to campus for a day of mathematical activities including puzzles, talks by Professor Quenell and senior Alex Hepburn, the American Mathematical Competition, and two rounds of mathematical Jeopardy!, hosted by Professor Spindler.

A visiting student from Niskayuna scored well enough on the American Mathematical Competition to qualify for the next round of contests run by the Mathematical Association of America. He may well be on his way to a slot on the U.S. Math Olympiad team.

## Plattsburgh Math Major Presents at a National Meeting

Each year, the Mathematical Association of America holds a summer Mathfest, a national meeting where faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduates meet to talk about their passion for mathematics.

Plattsburgh mathematics major Franquiz Arturo Caraballo Alba and faculty member Gregory Quenell traveled to Denver, Colorado for the 2018 Mathfest at the beginning of August. Franquiz gave a talk on relativity and hyperbolic geometry in the Pi Mu Epsilon Student Paper Session, and Professor Quenell gave a talk on mathematics and string art in an invited paper session on “Geometric Ideas and Where to Find Them.” Both Plattsburgh mathematicians attended numerous other talks, and visited with friends old and new during the four days of the conference.

## Plattsburgh Students at the Fall 2017 MAA Seaway Section Meeting

*Pictured, left to right, are Windy Hoag, Ha Nguyen, Chau Nguyen, Christopher Camardella,
Narges Iraji, Riley Bolton, Franquiz Arturo Caraballo Alba and Professor Rich Spindler.*

Twice a year, the Seaway Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) gathers for conversation and talks about mathematics, teaching and academic activities. The Fall 2017 event on October 21 and 22 was held at SUNY-Broome, and 7 undergraduate students from SUNY Plattsburgh attended. They enjoyed each other’s company, talked about math (and other things!), and watched their fellow student Franquiz Arturo Caraballo Alba present his work on the path of a drone.

## 2017 Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference

Three Plattsburgh students and one faculty member made the trip to Westfield State College in Massachusetts for the 24th Annual Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference. Gess Iraji, Franquiz Alba, Uday Singh, and Professor Gregory Quenell attended the conference, which featured about a hundred short talks on a wide variety of mathematical topics, along with a plenary address on mathematics and music by Harvard mathematician (and musician) Noam Elkies.

Plattsburgh’s Uday Singh gave a short talk on the Feigenbaum constant and Dr. Quenell gave a short talk on the mathematics of sliding-tile puzzles.

## Plattsburgh’s Pi Mu Epsilon Chapter Has Six New Members in 2017

*2017 Pi Mu Epsilon inductees, left to right: Franquiz Arturo Caraballo Alba, Gess
Iraji, current PME chapter president Selena Malfa, Caitlin Underwood, Megan Eldred,
Janson Hoeher and Vihan Wickramasinghe*

The New York Alpha Xi chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society, held its annual induction ceremony on Tuesday, April 18 in the Cardinal Lounge. Six Plattsburgh students, chosen by the mathematics faculty for their outstanding work in their mathematics courses, accepted membership in Pi Mu Epsilon. The featured speaker at the ceremony was Dr. Peter Hull, a mathematical economist from MIT and Microsoft.

## Plattsburgh Math Day 2017

The SUNY Plattsburgh mathematics department hosted its third annual Math Day on February 7, 2017. About 80 high school mathematics students and their teachers came to campus for the event, which included the American Mathematics Competition (AMC12), talks by Professors Keever and Quenell, lunch at the Sundowner with members of the SUNY Plattsburgh Math Club, and a lively round of mathematical Jeopardy!, hosted by Professor Spindler. The visitors came from Plattsburgh High School, Seton Academy, Peru, Northern Adirondack Central School, Chazy and Saranac.

## Plattsburgh Math Day 2016

*Visiting high-school students “ring in” for mathematical Jeopardy!*

On February 2, the SUNY Plattsburgh Mathematics Department hosted about 70 students from area high schools at our second annual Math Day. The students and their teachers came to campus from Plattsburgh High School, Beekmantown, NACS, Chazy, Peru and Lake Placid to take part in the American Mathematics Competition, work on some math puzzles, attend some math talks and play two rounds of mathematical Jeopardy!, presented by our Plattsburgh Math Club.

## 2016 Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference

*Professor Reams, Professor Quenell, Nick Harding, Uday Singh, and Namini De Silva
at the Hudson River Conference*

On Saturday, April 2, Plattsburgh students and faculty members traveled to Saint Michael’s College in Vermont for the 23rd annual Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference. Professors Robert Reams, Sam Northshield and Gregory Quenell all gave talks at the conference, as did students Namini De Silva and Nicholas Harding.

## Plattsburgh’s Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon Welcomes Six New Members

*2016 Pi Mu Epsilon inductees, left to right, are new inductees Namini De Silva, Samantha
Rogers, Bezawit Woldegebriel, and Nicholas Harding, along with chapter president Giovanna
Senese. The other new members are Kelly Siry and Selena Malfa.*

In an induction ceremony on April 20, 6 new members joined the Plattsburgh chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society. Giovanna Senese, the current chapter president, conducted the ceremony, and the guest speaker was Art Trombley, chair of the mathematics department at Chateaugay Central School and one of the inaugural class of North Country Master Teachers.

## Pi Mu Epsilon 2015 Inductees

*2015 Pi Mu Epsilon inductees, left to right, are Gregory Shaw, Danielle Cave, Bendik
Hansen, Hannah Gzemski, and Jessica Manning. The sixth new member is Nelson Vetter.*

The Plattsburgh Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society, welcomed 6 new members in an induction ceremony on April 20, 2015.

## 2015 Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference

*Pictured, left to right, Bendik Hansen, Trang Nguyen, Hannah Gzemski, Bradley Johnson,
and Kevin Boyette.*

Five Plattsburgh students and 3 faculty members in the mathematics department attended the Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at Union College on April 11, 2015.

Professors Margaret Morrow, Sam Northshield and Gregory Quenell also attended the conference.

SUNY Plattsburgh was well represented on the conference program with 4 contributed talks. The Plattsburgh speakers were Kevin Boyette, Bradley Johnson, and Professors Northshield and Quenell.

## Plattsburgh Math Day 2015

*Tim Mulligan, a mathematics teacher at Plattsburgh High School, discusses a contest
problem with some of his students. Photo by Jessica Karszen.*

*Bradley Johnson, a senior at SUNY Plattsburgh, explains the Gaussian integers during
his Math Day talk.*

On February 25, the Plattsburgh Mathematics Department welcomed about 60 high school students and their teachers to campus for Plattsburgh Math Day 2015. The visiting students, from Plattsburgh, Peru, NACS and Chazy, started the day working through some math puzzles and then taking part in AMC12, a national mathematics competition for high-school students run by the Mathematical Association of America. After the competition, the visiting students put together a poster session, attended a pair of mathematics talks and competed in a round of mathematical Jeopardy! run by members of the SUNY Plattsburgh Math Club.