On Reading day, Thursday, May 6th, the Mathematics Department will continue the tradition of holding the Layman Prize Competition for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics. The competition will be held from 10 am  - noon over ZOOM.  

This year, four students are participating. Each contributor will given 20 minutes to present their work and answer questions from the panel of judges.

The students, in presentation order, along with the titles of the projects are:

  • 10:00am - 10:20am    Zachary Hoelscher, “Semicomplete Arithmetic Sequences, Division of Hypercubes, and the Pell Constant"
  • 10:20am - 10:40am    Danny Sharp, “Fourier transforms on the Modern Computer"
  • 10:40am - 11:00am    Stasio Gauza, “Analysis of COVID-19 with a Bayesian Approach”
  • 11:00am - 11:20am    Ragavi Murali, “Computational Methods for Large-Scale Inverse Problems in Atmospheric Applications"

The Layman Research Competition was started in 1996 by John Layman who began the funding of an annual prize of $250 for undergraduate research in mathematics. He named the competition in honor of his parents,  John C. and Elsie M. Layman. John graduated with honors from Virginia Tech in 1954 with a degree in mathematics. He joined the mathematics faculty in 1958 and subsequently retired in 1995. John Layman passed away in February 2017.

This competition is open to any undergraduate who has completed a research project in mathematics.  Recent winners of the Layman Prize were 

  • 2020 [two winners]: 
    • Sung Hyun Kim (Advisor: Jeff Borggaard)
      Title: Approximating the Domain of Attraction for Quadratic Systems using Feedback Control
    • Elizabeth Duncan (Advisor: Lauren Childs)
      Title: Modeling T-cell differentiation
  • 2018: Arianna Krinos and Aimee Maurais ( Advisor: Matthias Chung). 
    • Title: Parameter and Uncertainty Estimation for a Model of Atmospheric CO2 Observations via Markov Chain Monte  Carlo Methods
  • 2017: Bryan Kaperick ( Advisor: Matthias Chung),  
    • Title: A Block Hadamard Probing Method for Diagonal Estimation

You can see the complete list of winners posted on the Undergraduate Reseach page on the Mathematics Department Website.