Friday, July 20, 2012

Anna Payne Gains Valuable Research Experience

Senior Anna Payne participated in the Summer Undergraduate Mathematical Science Research Institute (SUMSRI) at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Anna found the program through the Research Experience for Undergrads list on the National Science Foundation website. She was one of 17 applicants chosen for the program. SUMSRI is an intense mathematical research program that pushes students to learn more about advanced topics in math and explore different ways of solving problems. The program is an opportunity for the students to see what mathematical research is really like.
In the program, students were split into groups: Discrete Math/Graph Theory, Algebra, and Statistics, and each group had to research mathematic topics. Anna was chosen for the Discrete Math/Graph Theory group, and along with her teammates, conducted graph theory research on Tournaments. They worked to prove conjectures given in other papers about Transitive Tournaments. (In the mathematical field of graph theory, transitive tournaments are directed, complete graphs with particular properties. Their name is derived from the fact that each one of these graphs can be thought of as the results of a round robin tournament in which if Team A beat Team B and Team B beat Team C, then Team A beat Team C.) In the final week of the program, the team wrote up their results in a formal paper and made a final presentation.
"Our research was pretty successful, and we have proved several things that had not been proven before," said Anna. "The program has definitely helped me grow as a mathematician. It is great working with people who have similar interests and a passion for mathematics. Everyone here, including myself, is serious about their pursuits in mathematics." 
Anna credits AU classes such as Discrete Math I and II (proof-writing and some basic graph theory understanding), as well as Computer Programming I and II, Mathematical Software, Linear Algebra, Probability, and Calculus I, II, and III for helping her succeed in the program.
Anna acknowledged that her membership in Ashland University's Problem Solving Group (PSG) had also helped her in the program.
"PSG teaches us to think differently about problems and use a variety of methods to handle seemingly difficult problems. For me, that was very useful here because a lot of times, the method of solving a problem is not immediately obvious."
Along with the research projects, students in the program were offered short courses in Abstract Algebra, Real Analysis, Mathematical Writing, and GRE Preparation during the program. These were challenging courses, but gave the students an opportunity to to learn even more about mathematical research.
Anna plans on graduating with a double major in Integrated Mathematics and Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science. After graduation from AU, she plans to go to graduate school for Mathematics or Applied Mathematics.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Kenneth Bogner Gaining Valuable Experience in Software Engineering

Kenneth Bogner, a junior majoring in Computer Science, is interning at Bird Technologies in Solon this summer. Bird Technologies is a solution provider of radio frequency based products, systems and services that address the needs and applications of wireless OEMs, system providers and end users that are in multiple market segments that include cellular, land mobile radio, broadcast, military and semi-conductor process equipment users. (

As a Software Engineering Intern, Kenneth uses programming language of C and C++ to solve problems that present themselves in projects he is working on. Each project he is given is an actual Bird product, and he works with the embedded programming, the computer programming language that lives in and operates computer-controlled devices, of that product.

"I have been given the opportunity to explore the embedded programming world and have gained a greater knowledge in the process of low-level programming from design to implementation in the software life cycle," Kenneth says of his experience at Bird Technologies.

Kenneth credits AU classes such as: Computer Programming I & II, Discrete Math I & II, Computer Architecture, and Computer Algorithms in helping him succeed in this position.

During the academic year, Kenneth is the student administrator of the UNIX lab in the Mathematics and Computer Science department. He maintains the custom, student-built computers by administering virus and defragmentation scans on a regular basis, as well as keeps inventory of all the hardware and software in the lab. This fall he plans on updating and securing the computers' registries. He is also working on his own software program that will act as a helpdesk for users and will notify administrators of the lab of potential viruses, system updates, unknown errors, and downloads on these computers.

As for the future, Kenneth plans to graduate in May 2014 and obtain a position where he can work in software development.

Interested in learning more about Computer Proramming, Data Structures, Computer Networks, or Robotics? Check out the Computer Science website: We offer a bachelor of science, a bachelor of arts, and a minor in Computer Science.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Morgan Mirtes Interning at NASA

Morgan Mirtes, a junior majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science, is having an exciting summer. Morgan is interning at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland as a SCaN Summer Intern. She is working with a software development team in the Space and Communications department. The team is using the Liferay portal server, an enterprise web platform, to develop the beginnings of a portal that will be used for communication between NASA's space networks and their missions.

Morgan’s responsibilities include web design for the portal site as well as manipulation of the Liferay software so that it can be used advantageously.

“It's been really challenging, but it's definitely a learning experience!” says Morgan of this unique opportunity. Morgan acknowledges that the skills she learned in her AU classes such as Web Design, Programming I and Programming II have helped her succeed in this position.

This position is part of the Lewis’ Educational and Research Collaborative Internship Project (LERCIP). Morgan was chosen from many applicants from all over the country. In addition to the hands-on experience Morgan is obtaining, the program also provides a variety of planned activities from professional development workshops to presenting at the culminating Student Research Symposium.  (

For more information on Mathematics and Computer Science programs, visit:
or call 419.289.5790.

Friday, July 6, 2012

It's a good time to be a Computer Science major!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects have been extremely strong for Computer Science majors for the past several years and job prospects are expected to rise continuously through 2016.