Two teams from the Southern Nazarene University math department participated in the annual Texas Oklahoma Research Undergraduate Symposium (TORUS) conference and Math Jeopardy contest at Cameron University in Lawton on February 22, 2014.
Three students, Mary Jo Galbraith, Anderson Depee and Jeremy Acre, gave talks on their research conducted during the last year at SNU. One SNU team, including Galbraith, Dalvin Colbert and Lindsay Lester won third place in the Math Jeopardy contest while a second team, Depee, Acre and Jared Galbraith took first place. There were about fifty people competing this year.
The TORUS conference aims to increase undergrad awareness and to provide an opportunity for students to give presentations over their research. The Math Jeopardy contest allows students to compete against other schools using their current knowledge. Many students claimed that the intensity of the competition has grown over the last couple years. “It was a lot tougher,” said SNU senior Anderson Depee, “but it was also a lot better – more organized,” he said, describing the contest. Depee is a math major minoring in physics. When asked what he thought about the conference, Depee replied that it was “Really interesting. That conference would have been fun for anybody,” he emphasized.
There were seven student presenters total, three were from SNU. Depee, one of the three, presented on “An Exploration into Generalized Paraboloa.”
This year the conference speaker focused on the ways math can help you in the real world, such as math in movie-making graphics.
According to SNU senior Jeremy Acre, the Math Jeopardy contest which followed tested over “calculus and beyond.” Acre is a math major minoring in computer science who says he has always been good at math, and the accompanying heavy homework load does not intimidate him. This was Acre’s third year participating. “If you ever have an opportunity to compete, go for it,” he said.
Not only did the contest test math skills, it challenged students to strengthen social skills. “We’ve grown together as students,” said SNU junior Dalvin Colbert, a math major minoring in chemistry. He believes his choice to switch from accounting to math was a good move.
Colbert, a first-timer at the event, noted that during the contest students really saw one another’s personalities come out. The students were very adept at the game. “The speed of the competition was very quick…some answered before the question was finished.” Colbert noted the team’s mission, “We came here to win!” he proclaimed. And win they did, making SNU’s participation in TORUS a shining success.