SMC excels in math competition

first_imgMath students from Saint Mary’s College competed in the 2013 international competition known as the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) hosted by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP).  In a competition of nearly seven thousand teams, seniors Samantha Brady and Olivia McIntee placed in the top 15th percentile and earned a position among the Meritorious Winners. The two students were one of three teams sent by Saint Mary’s, marking the first time in the College’s history where more than two teams competed.  Steven Broad, assistant professor of mathematics, coached the teams at Saint Mary’s. He said the COMAP competition challenges students over the course of a weekend with problems involving mathematical models of real-world phenomenon. “Every year [the teams are given] two problems, the sort of problems experts might work on for years,” Broad said. “The goal of the weekend is to try to make some significant step toward solving the problem at a very high level.” The teams choose one problem and spend four days compiling a report of over 20 pages on the mathematical model they devised, Broad said. At the end of the competition, the teams submit their work to be judged. “The thing that’s really great about it is [that] it’s all their [own] work, ” Broad said, “Once the competition starts, I’m completely out of the picture. I can get them prepped and ready to go, but once the competition starts, I’m not involved at all.” The other two Saint Mary’s teams involved in the competition received recognition as Successful Participants, a highly gratifying accomplishment for work at this level, Broad said. “Being successful at something as extraordinarily difficult as this shows that they spent that weekend doing good work, and walked away from it without anything to complain about,” he said. “They did well.” Preparation for the competition involves participating in a one credit “boot camp” class that meets in the spring semester before the competition in February, Broad said. The class focuses on different types of mathematical modeling and various mathematical strategies for approaching these models. This year, for the first time, the class was open to students who did not compete in COMAP. Broad said he hopes to expand the class to satisfy requirements within the math major and attract more students to take the class as well as to participate in the competition.  “There isn’t any reason why it has to be [just math majors],” he said. “In fact there are a lot of cases where it might be valuable to have people who major in the sciences.” McIntee is a dual-degree engineering student, studying math at Saint Mary’s and mechanical engineering at Notre Dame. Broad said he thinks her engineering major at Notre Dame helped considerably in the competition.  “Sometimes having ideas about things that aren’t just math can be really helpful,” he said. “Having a range of different kinds of students could be very beneficial, but they need to have a very strong background in math.” One of the problems from this year demonstrates the varied nature of the models, he said. It involved determining the optimal shape of a brownie pan for even heat distribution, which is not a math-specific model. Broad said he was nervous going into this year’s competition because the teams had so little time to prepare, with the competition falling barely three weeks into the spring semester.  “It’s really cool to watch students take their own knowledge and do something they didn’t think they could do with it,” Broad said. Contact Tabitha Ricketts at [email protected]last_img read more

Asymptomatic patient tests positive for COVID-19 in West Java

first_imgAccording to labmanager.com, biosafety level two would cover work with agents associated with human disease: in other words, pathogenic or infectious organisms posing a moderate hazard. Meanwhile, the West Java Health Laboratory, which is the nation’s referral center for tuberculosis, was certified at biosafety level 2+.The West Java administration previously planned to allocate two waves of funding for coronavirus response from the regional disaster management fund, one of Rp 24 billion (US$1.6 million) and the other of Rp 50 billion.Ridwan said the first allocation was increased to Rp 47 billion under the approval of the West Java Council. He said the budget would be used for purchasing more test kits.Indonesia has recorded 227 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 19 deaths and 11 recovered cases as of Wednesday.West Java Information and Coordination Center for COVID-19 reported the province had 11 confirmed cases, while the number of people under monitoring was 1,004 and of patients under surveillance in isolation rooms was 101 people as of Wednesday. (syk) West Java has taken proactive steps to conduct sample examinations to test residents who are suspected of having the coronavirus, but do not display symptoms, and to accelerate receiving the test results to within hours.West Java Health Agency head Berli Hamdani Gelung Sakti said the tests they applied required two samples using nose and throat swabs, which would be brought to the health laboratory for polymerase chain reaction examinations.“[The test kits] are in support of the Medical School of Padjadjaran University and the Bandung Institute of Technology,” Berli said.Ridwan said the universities’ laboratories were at “biosafety level two”.  West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil says the West Java Health Laboratory has detected one positive COVID-19 case who showed no symptoms at all among the hundreds of independent sample examinations the province conducted.“From 230 tests, it turned out there was one positive case. [The person is] now being treated at Hasan Sadikin Hospital,” Ridwan said at Gedung Sate in Bandung on Wednesday. “That person looked healthy. We must be careful and not wait for the symptoms [to show].”Ridwan did not specify how the patient had been infected but he said the person had been isolated so as not to infect others.center_img Topics :last_img read more