Mathematics Program

Research in the Department

The Mathematics and Computer Science Department at Berea College has a strong and long-standing program of research involving faculty and undergraduate students. The following is a summary list of some of ourmore recent research projects that involved undergraduate students.

Period Faculty Students Topic Funding Source
Summer
2005
Pearce & Blackburn-Lynch 4 Creation of a New Robotic Platform and Software The National Science Foundation and Berea College
Summer
2003
Pearce & Blackburn-Lynch 3 Dispersion of Robotic Teams Berea College
Summer
2003
Hawkins 1 Statistical Study of the Basic Math Program Berea College
Summer
2002
Lynch & Wu 2 Spread of the Flu Virus Berea College
Summer
2000
Pearce & Lynch 3 Community Development Impact on Flood Plane ACA & Berea College
Summer
1999
Lynch & Pearce 3 Environmental Statistical Questions Berea College
Summer
1998
Lynch & Pearce 3 Sustainable Forestry Modeling ACA
Summer
1997
Lynch & Pearce 3 Chemical Weapon Exposure ACA
Summer
1996
Lynch & Pearce 2 Dioxin Dispersion ACA
Summer
1996
Lee & Sowell 3 Economics & Math ACA
Summer
1995
Lee, Pearce, Rosen 3 Biology & Math ACA
Summer
1994
Pearce 1 Number Theory Berea College
Years
1991-94
Mathematics Department Many Incorporating Modeling into Precalculus FIPSE
Summers
1991-92
Boyce & Stinebrickner 8 Cluster Analysis NSF RUI
Summer
1990
Lee 1 Geometric Modeling ACA
Summer
1989
Boyce 2 Cluster Analysis Jesse Ball duPont
Short Term
1989
Stinebrickner 2 Cluster Analysis Jesse Ball duPont
Summer
1988
Stinebrickner 3 Cluster Analysis Jesse Ball duPont

Impact of Research on Graduate School and/or Career Decisions

  • Many students who participate in summer research select graduate programs related to their research projects.
  • Participating students write a formal final report and make a formal presentation at a professional conference.

Outreach Activities Related to Research

  • The Department has hosted several conferences and sponsored sessions in professional society meetings related to our various research projects.
  • The Department’s FIPSE grant of $76,980 between 1991 and 1994 was used primarily to produce curricular materials to support an experiment in intertwining traditional function topics, curve fitting, mathematical modeling, and computer use in an approach to precalculus.
  • The 1991-2 RUI project is described in an article which appeared in Newsletter 22 (November 1991) of the Classification Society of North America entitled “Undergraduate research Participation at Berea College.” and more recent departmental research is described in the September 1998 issue of the Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly, subtitled “Community Research: Making a Difference.” In this issue, the article “Undergraduate Research and Grass Roots Organizations: Addressing Controversial Environmental Issues” documents the recent work of the Berea College Mathematics Department research program and offers suggestions on how other departments can make research connections with community organizations, particularly in the field of Mathematics.

An Example of Community-Oriented Applied Mathematics Research

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