Dr. Rachel Levy from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) visited Virginia Tech on October 22nd as a part of the Speakers and Undergraduate Research Engagement (SURE) program. She had a full schedule which included meeting with the participants of the SURE program. Over lunch she discussed her research and provided those attending with a window into doing mathematics research as a woman. 

Levy visits with students during lunch
Lunch with the SURE grant participants

Her afternoon talk, Mathematical Modeling: From Kindergarten to Industry, centered around her research into how students as young as Kindergarten can engage in mathematical modeling in ways that resonate with the ways undergraduates engage in industry-based problems. This situation requires the modelers to develop and justify a useful solution to a complicated problem. Mathematical Modeling is taking off at all levels of mathematics education and provides one way for students to develop meaningful connections between mathematics and the world around us.  

Shout out to Estrella Johnson for her work in Calculus

During her talk, Dr. Levy gave a special shout out to Virginia Tech's Dr. Estrella Johnson for her work analyzing data from the NSF IUSE grant, “Progressing Through Calculus.” NSF Award #1430540.

Full room listens to Rachel Levy talk about Modeling in Mathematics, K through industry
The room was full during Dr. Levy's Talk on Mathematical Modeling

Dr. Levy is Deputy Executive Director of the MAA.  Previously she was Professor of Mathematics and Associate Dean for Faculty Development at Harvey Mudd College and Vice President for Education for the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.  Her most recent book, written with Rick Laugesen and Fadil Santosa, is the BIG Jobs Guide, which helps people with expertise in the mathematical sciences prepare for internships and jobs in Business, Industry and Government (BIG).