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Science students win awards at meeting

Several Austin Peay State University students studying physics and mathematics received certificates last week for winning honors from the Tennessee Academy of Sciences, which held its annual conference recently at APSU.

Seven APSU students swept the event, taking home first-, second- and third-place honors for outstanding presentations in the mathematics and computer science portion of the conference. Each student was required to present at the TAS event as part of a course taught by Dr. Samuel Jator, associate professor of mathematics.
Several Austin Peay State University students studying physics and mathematics received certificates last week for winning honors from the Tennessee Academy of Sciences, which held its annual conference recently at APSU.

Seven APSU students swept the event, taking home first-, second- and third-place honors for outstanding presentations in the mathematics and computer science portion of the conference. Each student was required to present at the TAS event as part of a course taught by Dr. Samuel Jator, associate professor of mathematics.

Jator said in constructing their projects for the presentations, students used two software programs prominent in the mathematics field, Latex and Mathematica.

“They were required to use the software,” he said. “I wanted them to participate in this conference so they can see that math is a work in progress.”

Some of the student winners said they were hesitant in the beginning to present their work at a conference but found the experience to be rewarding.

“To do math is one thing, but to present, it is a big difference,” said Betsy Hall, a junior physics major from Fort Myers, Fla. “For many people, math is difficult to talk about.”

Adrian Parker, a senior from Franklin who won a top award at the TAS event, said being among his future peers was inspiring.

“Presenting in front of professionals was a big thing for me,” said Parker, a physics major who will continue his studies in graduate school at Fisk University, Nashville.

Individual students placing in various categories, with the title of their project, include the following:

Adrian Parker — First place, “Euler Methods and Error Analysis.”
Cameron Dryor, Betsy Hall and Casey Leffel — Second place, “Approximating Solutions of Second Order Boundary-Value Problems Using Finite Differences and the Shooting Methods.”
Casey Cox, Nicholas Lardizabal and Richard Rylee — Third place, “Solutions for the Time-Independent Schrodinger Equation Using the Runga-Kutta Method.”

For more information about the physics program at APSU, contact Dr. Jaime Taylor, chair of the APSU Department of Physics and Astronomy, by telephone at (931) 221-6361 or by e-mail at taylorjr@apsu.edu.

To learn more about the University's mathematics program, contact Dr. Larry Hoehn, professor and chair of mathematics, by telephone at (931) 221-7815 or by e-mail at hoehnl@apsu.edu. -- Melony Leazer