CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Every year Dr. Ben Ntatin, Austin Peay State University associate professor of mathematics, takes a group of math students to local and national conferences to expose them to the realities of the mathematics world. This practice is part of his teaching philosophy, which emphasizes getting students out of the classroom.
At past conferences, his students have given professional presentations, interviewed for jobs with the National Security Agency and joined professional mathematics societies.
“It really yields a lot of returns,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it.”
Earlier this month, Ntatin continued this tradition by taking APSU students Kristen Knight and Michael Mcallister to Hartford, Conn., to attend the Mathematics Association of America’s annual MathFest Conference. The MAA is the pre-eminent math organization in the country.
Knight gave a presentation on her research, “Statistical Goodness of Fit Methods Used to Analyze Data,” and Mcallister attended the conference as a delegate for the Pi Mu Epsilon mathematics honor society.
“By surrounding myself with other math-minded individuals and listening to talks with a variety of research, I learned about novel applications and was also encouraged to delve into my own research deeper,” Knight said.
“It was enriching to get to hear so many great speakers and mathematicians,” Mcallister added. “I was very happy to be there representing Austin Peay State University and supporting my peer, Krissy Knight, as she gave her talk.”
Ntatin moderated a session on Research in Algebra or Topology and also gave a talk on “Semi-Simple Groups Acting on Flag Manifolds,” at the MathFest Conference. Prior to going, he also learned that he was elected as a councilor to the national Council on Undergraduate Research’s Mathematics and Computer Science Division. A letter from the organization said, “Thank you for your previous and future work in supporting and promoting high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.”
The APSU students were able to accompany Ntatin to the MathFest conference thanks to funding provided by Pi Mu Epsilon, APSU Student Affairs and the APSU Department of Mathematics.
For more information on the conference or these students, contact Ntatin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo cutline: APSU students Michael Mcallister and Kristen Knight traveled with Dr. Ben Ntatin, APSU associate professor of mathematics, to Connecticut for the annual MathFest Conference.