Mathematics undergrads bring home scavenger hunt victory

Undergraduates from the College of Natural Science’s Department of Mathematics Ethan Coldren, Willian van Noordt, Laney Bowden, Sean Willmot and Joshua de Jong brought home an unexpected souvenir when they traveled to Albuquerque, NM last month for the 2018 Southwestern Undergraduate Mathematics Research Conference (SUnMaRC). They arrived back at CSU with a trophy for winning the conference’s mathematics “scavenger hunt.”

A tradition of fun

The competitive mathematical scavenger hunt is a unique SUnMaRC tradition where teams race to be the first to complete a list of 15 problems. But not so fast, the second problem could only be identified with the correct solution to the first problem.SUnMaRC Trophy

“Mayhem ensued,” said Professor Ken McLaughlin, chair of the Department of Mathematics. “Student teams staked out valuable table space upon which to work their magic and began working out problems that ranged across the gamut of an undergraduate mathematics education.”

Coldren, van Noordt, Bowden, Willmot and de Jong stayed cool under pressure and brought home the victory for Colorado State University. In keeping with SUnMaRC tradition, the team will bring the traveling trophy to the 2019 event and hopes to repeat their success.

SUnMaRC heating up

The conference took place at the University of New Mexico and provided opportunities for undergraduates to network and present their research in a fun and supportive atmosphere. The CSU students were joined by students and faculty from universities across the Southwest for a weekend of mathematics, where they attended talks given by invited speakers and fellow students. SUnMaRC began as the Arizona Mathematics Undergraduate Conference in 2004 and was renamed in 2008 to recognize the participation from institutions across the Southwest. Universities from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas regularly attend the annual event. Colorado State University has been asked to host the 2020 conference.