## Student Research Projects in Mathematics at Clarion University

### Daniel Schaal,
James Reynolds

Karen Bolinger,
David Hipfel

Roger Engle

Department of Mathematics

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Peirce Science Center

Clarion, PA 16214
dschaal@mail.clarion.edu,
reynolds@mail.clarion.edu

kbolinge@mail.clarion.edu,
hipfel@mail.clarion.edu

engle@mail.clarion.edu

*Grant Number*: DUE: 9750967

For the past several years, the Mathematics Department has been placing an
increased emphasis on student projects and student research. Every
mathematics major is required to take a one credit senior seminar course
that requires the student to write a paper and give an oral presentation on
a mathematical topic. In the past these topics have been largely
expository, but in recent years several students have worked with faculty
members on original research or worked on other original projects. During
the last few years for example, senior seminar students have worked on
original research in Ramsey Theory and in mathematics education. One
student developed software that would play a board game against a human
opponent.

The purpose of this project is to give more mathematics students the
opportunity to participate in original research or a special project by the
time they become seniors. Our recently funded NSF-ILI grant has enabled us
to upgrade our computer laboratory with the necessary hardware and software
to expose all students to projects and individual investigations early in
their college careers, beginning with first year calculus and continuing
into geometry, linear algebra, mathematical modeling, differential
equations, and numerical methods. With the introduction of computer-based
projects into our curriculum in many courses, more students will develop
problem solving skills and experience the independent investigation needed
to attempt original problems.

The poster and handouts will detail specifics of the laboratory layout,
hardware selections, and software choices. Examples of student projects of
the past and those in development will be shared.

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