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Medieval Math Mystery to Teaching Math Among Scholarly Works

May 15, 2017

The research work of undergraduate mathematics major Isabel Serrano and her faculty mentor, mathematics professor Bogdan Suceavă, was selected for the anthology "The Best Writing on Mathematics 2016."

Published every year by Princeton University Press, the collection features "the best" mathematics writing from around the world, including their article, "A Medieval Mystery: Nicole Oresme’s Concept of Curvitas." The article was originally published in 2015 in Notices, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Mathematical Society.

Serrano plans to graduate in May 2018 with majors in mathematics and history. Suceavă, who also has a prolific literary career, wrote his sixth novel, "The Republic," recently released in Romania. The novel tells the story of an attempted coup d'etat from August 8, 1870, in the old Romania. He also has accepted the invitation of the Romanian newspaper Daily Event to write a weekly column.

Student Spotlight

Congratulations to Trini Nguyen, who placed 1st in Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Undergraduate at the CSU Student Research Competition on April 28-29, 2017.  A special thanks to her faculty Mentor, Dr. Charles H Lee.

MAA Southern California-Nevada Spring Meeting at CSUN

Over 200 people attended the spring meeting that was held jointly with the Preparing Undergraduates through Mentoring towards Ph.D.s (PUMP) Math program.  Over 90 students participated by presenting close to 50 posters, and 30 presentations.  8 of those posters and 3 of those presentations were from our very own Titans.


Allen Alvarez Loya and Annelise Hitchman - Extreme Eigenvalues of Generalized Toeplitz Matrices

Evelyn Easdale - An Investigation of Polygonal Numbers Using Elliptic Curves

Thabat Dahdoul and Thi Ho - Statistical Modeling in Paleoclimatology: A Study of the Hydroclimates of California Lakes.



Evan AmorantoAdditional Cases of Positive Twisted Torus Knots

Abhinav Ganesh - The Royal Path in Geometry

Brian LavertyBack to Square One

Ajay MannethA Collection of Algebra Gems

Freddy Nungaray and Gabriel MartinezInvestigating the Mortality Rate in the United States through an Age-Structure Model

James Shade and Christian DoGeneration of 2-Generator Groups by Alternation

Edward ZengSolutions to Recent Problems from the Mathematical Gazette

Langdan Zhu - Selected Jewels from the Mathematical Gazette 

Summer Research
The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics held its 5th Annual Summer Research Symposium on August 5, 2016 in Dan Black Hall.  The Mathematics Department was well represented again this year.
CNSM 5th Annual Summer Research Symposium
Mathematical Modeling of a Zombie Apocalypse - Anthony Andrade, Roberto Hernandez, Nicole Nguyen
Modeling Sexual Victimization through an Agent-Based Approach - Vanessa Acevedo
Mathematical Model to Noninvasively Detect Dry-Eye Disease - Trini Nguyen
Algebra and Topology of p-adic Numbers - Wes Whiting
Risk Control Portfolio Optimization with L1 Regularization - Tyler Vu
Triangular-Square-Pentagonal Numbers:  An Approach Using Elliptical Curves - Evelyn Easdale
The Derived Sets of the Biquaternionic Projective Point - Michael Guerry
Disneyland:  The Land of the Measles - Angelica Arredondo, Jasmine Camero, Daniel Zelaya
Economical Generating Sets of the Monoid of Order-Preserving Partial Permutations POI(n) - Saul Lopez
Dynamic Modeling of Diseases:  Measles - Anthony Cho, Ruben Munoz, Laura Rios, Isabel Serrano, Dr. Anael Verdugo
Dynamic Modeling of the Shingle Virus - Anthony Cho, Ruben Munoz, Laura Rios, Isabel Serrano
Mathematical Modeling of the H1N1 Swine Flu Virus - Anthony Cho, Ruben Munoz, Laura Rios, Isabel Serrano, Dr. Anael Verdugo
Mathitude:  Precalculus Concept Knowledge and Mathematical Attitudes in Precalculus and Calculus I - Oyuki Aispuro, Jerica Banares, Grant Dolmat
Linearized Theory of Gravitivity - Lich Ton
Pacific Math Alliance
Students giving a presentation.
Mathematics undergrads Amy Feaster and Eric Flynn gave a presentation at the Pacific Math Alliance undergraduates research symposium at CSU Northridge on April 23, 2016. Amy, Eric, and mentor Dr. Alfonso Agnew were awarded an NSF supported Pacific Math Alliance Undergraduate Research Group Grant for the 15-16 academic year, in order to continue their work on the topology and application of biquaternionic projective spaces. Amy is a graduating math major and physics minor planning to go to graduate school next fall. Eric is a math and physics double major. Both are student members of the College of NSM's Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Center (GWPAC).
Chapman University Colloquium
Student giving a talk


CSUF undergraduate math major Isabel M. Serrano delivered a colloquium talk at Chapman University on Monday, April 18, 2016, for the Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences (Von Neumann Hall, 545 West Palm). Her talk was titled Geometry in the Dark Ages and is based on two papers that were co-authored with faculty mentor Bogdan D. Suceavă (an article published by Notices of the American Mathematical Society) and with Lucy H. Odom and Bogdan D. Suceavă (will appear in the Mathematical Intelligencer).

MAA Southern California-Nevada Spring Meeting
Evelyn Easdale giving a presentation

Mathematics undergraduate student Evelyn Easdale was presented with a Meritorious Poster Award at the Spring 2016 Southern California-Nevada MAA Conference at Loyola Marymount University on April 2, 2016.  Her poster, A Criterion of Convergence for Series with General Term Defined by a Recurrence Relation, was mentored by mathematics faculty members Jolene Fleming and Bogdan Suceavă. Evelyn’s research project on the series whose convergence is undecided by the Ratio Test was born out of her classwork in her advanced real analysis class. The paper written by Evelyn Easdale with Jolene Fleming and Bogdan Suceavă will appear in American Mathematical Monthly.

In addition to Evelyn, CSUF was represented by five other young mathematicians:

MAA Meeting


Clockwise from top left:

Dulce Fonseca (CSUF) and Vivian Lopez (CSUF) - What Problems are Appropriate for Gifted Students in Grades 2-4?

Abhinav Ganesh (Fullerton Mathematical Circle) - Solutions to Selected Problems from Gazeta matematică

Sathish Kumar (Fullerton Mathematical Circle) - Selected Problems from the Fullerton Mathematical Circle

Edward Zeng (Fullerton Mathematical Circle) - Morley's Theorem and Its Extension

Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research

SCCUR Mueller


CSUF Math students Amy Feaster, Eric Flynn, and Lisa Mueller presented research talk at the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research (SCCUR) at Harvey Mudd College, Claremont. Nov. 21, 2015 (Lisa Mueller, pictured).

Solving a Mathematical Mystery


Junior Isabel Serrano and her research mentor, Dr. Bogdan Suceavă, may have solved a mathematical mystery. Their findings, "A Medieval Mystery:  Nicole Oresme's Concet of Curvitas" were published in Notices, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Mathematical Society.

Mathematical Association of America Section Meeting and Pacific Coast Undergraduate Mathematics Conference
PCUMC 2015 was held jointly with the Southern California-Nevada MAA Section Meeting on March 14, 2015 
at Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks, CA in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of PCUMC and the 100th anniversary of the Mathematical Association of America.  Dr. Scott Annin and Dr. Ernie Solheid attended this event along with over 25 CSUF students.
Picture of students
Above: Lisa Mueller, Shiline Nguyen, Meghan Rice & Amanda Qader work on building an origami icosahedron
Below:  Erick Ortega and Rudolph Saenz present their research (abstract below) while Britney Moncada participated in the Pi-thon Recitation of the Digits of Pi Contest. She made it to the 120th digit before missing.
Student giving a presentation 
Some of our math majors presented their research in either the Student Poster Session or the Student Talk Session (abstracts here):
  • Brenna Biggs - Remarks on the Extremum Values for Classical Curvature Invariants for Smooth Three-Dimensional Hypersurfaces (research adviser- B.D Suceava)
  • Miranda Bakke - Exploring Cauchy-Schwarz Inequality: Remarks on Problem 11670 from the American Mathematical Monthly
  • Christina Tran - On Sophie Germain's Essays
  • Rudolph Saenz and Erick Ortega - Importance of Sampling Pattern and Regularization in Under-Sampled Magentic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Posters presented by students from the Fullerton Mathematical Circle at the MAA-PCUMC Conference:
  • Henry Zeng (First Avenue Middle School, Arcadia, and Fullerton Mathematical Circle) - Explorations in Advanced Euclidean Geometry
  • Kyle Kishimoto (Fairmont Private Schools and Fullerton Mathematical Circle) - A Game of Squares
  • Joshua Park (Beckman High School, Tustin, and Fullerton Mathematical Circle) - Solving Algebraic Equations:  A Discussion Inspired by Problem  S:  L14.281. from  Gazeta matematică

Joint Mathematics Meetings
CSUF Math majors gained valuable experience at the 2015 Joint Mathematics Meetings held by the American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America on January 10-13th.
Picture 1:  Hye Rin Lee and Alejandro Camacho; Picture 2:  Asha Cyrs; Picture 3:  Christina Tran and Kelly Hartmann
JMM gathered close to 6000 people, making it the largest meeting in the world of people celebrating mathematics!  Hosted in San Antonio, one of the friendliest cities in the nation and where southern hospitality meets Texas charm, the city created a culture that’s adept at making visitors feel at home. The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the American Mathematical Society (AMS) sponsored the 98th annual winter meeting of MAA and the 121st annual meeting of AMS. The JMM again hosted sessions by the Association for Symbolic Logic (ASL), the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), the National Association for Mathematicians (NAM), and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).  We can hardly wait for next year!

 Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research
"Illuminating Ideas" was the theme of the Nov. 22nd Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research, hosted for the first time by Cal State Fullerton.  The Mathematics Department was well represented, both in terms of student presenters and student volunteers.

8th Annual Field of Dreams Conference
Back (left to right): Isabel Serrano, David Garcia, Kristy Haffner, Rudolph Saenz, Joseph Chavoya, Asha Cyrs, Ulysses Alvarez. Front (left to right): Lisa Mueller, Dr. Scott Annin, Mirna Rodriguez, Susan Deeb.
On November 7-9, 2014, ten Cal State Fullerton math majors travelled by bus to Phoenix, AZ with math students from several other Southern California colleges and universities to the 8th annual Field of Dreams Conference.  The conference is sponsored by the National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in the Mathematical Sciences, which is an NSF-funded program designed to support underrepresented students in following their aspirations to obtain a Ph.D. degree in the mathematical sciences.  The students heard inspiring stories and asked questions of current and former doctoral students, and they attended a graduate fair in which they were able to get information about specific graduate programs across the country, especially those that are actively recruiting underrepresented students.  The students were accompanied by the Vice Chair of the mathematics department, Dr. Scott Annin.  The group photo was taken shortly before the banquet on the final evening of the conference. 

Fall 2014 Southern California-Nevada Mathematical Association of America Conference
CSUF students Derek Taylor, James Shade, Isabel Serrano, Christina Tran, Phong Tran, Brenna Biggs, and Shreya Havaldar, (with her father Parag Havaldar) presented at the conference with their faculty mentor Dr. Bogdan Suceava.
A group of CSUF faculty and students attended the Fall 2014 So Cal Nevada MAA Conference at Pomona College on November 1, 2014. They delivered 7 out of the total of 21 conference presentations (abstracts here).  Two of these talks were delivered by K-12 students trained through our outreach program, the Fullerton Mathematical Circle. These presentations were: 
The Session on Education and Pedagogy
  • Christina Tran: Fullerton Mathematical Circle: The First Three Years (research mentor: B. Suceava)
  • Phong Tran: Engaging Gifted Students in Discovering Mathematics: Workshops for Students in Grades 5-6 at the Fullerton Mathematical Circle (research mentor: B. Suceava)
The Session on History of Mathematics; Geometry and Linear Algebra
  • Isabel Serrano: Remarks on Nicole Oresme's Definition of Curvitas (research mentor: B. Suceava)
  • James P. Shade: On the Inverse Curvature Problem (research mentors: A. Glesser and B. Suceava)
  • Brenna Biggs:  Remarks on the Maximum Values for Classical Curvature Invariants for Smooth Three-Dimensional Hypersurfaces (research mentor: B. Suceava)
The Session on Number Theory and Applied Mathematics
  • Alvin Kim (Calle Mayor Middle School and Fullerton Math Circle): Solutions to Number Theory Problems (research mentor B. Suceava)
  • Shreya Havaldar (Troy High School and Fullerton Math Circle): On Elementary Number Theory (research mentor B. Suceava)  

 CNSM 3rd Annual Summer Research Symposium

The College of Natural Sciences organized a very interesting and informative event again this year that  allowed many of our students the opportunity to present their research.

Picture of student researchers

Pictured here are: (front row from left) Susan Deeb, Naarai Garcia, Alejandro Camancho, Jacqueline Asher, (middle row from left) Hye Rin Lee, Gabriel Bonilla, Carlos Zambrano, (top row from left) Brandon Gentile and Adam Walder.

2014 Commencement - May 17, 2014 

The Mathematics Department was well represented at this year's commencement activites.  Click here to check out faculty member Dr. Scott Annin's photo album of the event.

Fall 2013 MAA Conference for Southern California and Nevada - October 12, 2013

Students, Bryan Brzycki and Kevin Gomez, presented their talk titled "A Ladder of Curvatures for Hypersurfaces in the Euclidean Ambient Space." This work is co-authored with CSUF alumni Matt Giesler (presently in the doctoral program in physics at Caltech) and Lucy Odom (currently pursuing her master’s degree in mathematics at San Francisco State University, with a focus on differential geometry) and with the CSUF math faculty member Bogdan Suceava. They have all currently submitted for publication.  

Field of Dreams Conference

Dr. Scott Annin and seven math majors with aspirations to pursue a Ph.D. degree in mathematics (Ulysses Alvarez, Casey Cao, Joseph Chavoya, Asha Cyrs, Kevin Gomez, Leonila Lagunes, and Fernando Quintino) are attending the Field of Dreams Conference and Graduate Fair in Tempe, AZ (November 1—3, 2013), sponsored by the National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in the Mathematical Sciences.  Dr. Annin will serve on a panel “Transition from Undergraduate School to Graduate Programs” on Saturday, November 2.