Math students present their research at NREUP Student Showcase
Twelve participants of the University of Guam’s Summer Joint Math Research Program were selected by the Mathematical Association of America to present their research findings at the 2021 National Research Experience for Undergraduates Student Showcase, and their presentations are now viewable to the public online.
The participants — six undergraduate students from UOG and six high school students — used mathematical modeling to address local issues, such as the invasion of the coconut rhinoceros beetle and the parasitization of the Mariana eight-spot butterfly.
“This program was developed to provide a collaborative environment for student researchers to set up their own mathematical models from real-world problems,” said UOG Associate Professor of Mathematics Hyunju Oh, one of the program’s four faculty mentors.
Held from June 1 to July 17, the seven-week summer program also gave students the opportunity to learn new technical skills, collaborate with teammates and mentors, and present their research findings through virtual poster presentations.
“The opportunity to do the research program has helped me expand my college network as well as my experience in the research field. I was able to learn from very kind and knowledgeable professors as well as upperclassmen. I also learned what it takes to complete a research paper and presentation,” said UOG civil engineering major Andrea Gutierrez.
Michael Cajigal, a senior majoring in mathematics at UOG, said the program helped him gain a deeper understanding of the expectations and rigor of research.
“This research experience was an exceptional one and an involvement I will remember forever,” Cajigal said. “It has inspired and motivated me to further my education.”
Funding for the program was provided by the MAA through two grants — the NREUP and Tensor SUMMA grants — which aim to increase the number and diversity of students pursuing careers in mathematics. Each student received a stipend for participating in the program. UOG students received $3,500 from NREUP and high school students received $500 from Tensor SUMMA. The students were also awarded $500 per group for producing a two-minute video presentation that shares their research projects.