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Events & News

  • Mathematical Musings and Munchings (MM&M's) are generally held each month (during the fall and spring semesters) from 10:00-10:50 AM. Different topics related to mathematics and computer science are presented. Convocation credit is given and refreshments served.
  • The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Programming Contest: A fun and serious way to learn programming through an intense contest. Practice sessions beginning soon.
  • Mathematical Modeling Contest: A contest for those interested in mathematical modeling. Practice sessions are available for those interested.

    Belmont University Developer Society

    Every Tuesday from 6:00 - 8:00 PM in JAAC 2139 

    The Belmont University Developer Society is a new group for anyone and everyone interested in gathering to talk/learn/eat/code/build or hack. We want to provide a space and time for us to share projects we’re working on, learn from each other (and professional developers), prepare for local (and not so local) hackathons, … and build interesting stuff! We’re eager to get your thoughts about how to best move forward with this group. 

     Join us!!   We need your input … and your participation!


    Ben Miner (
    Nick Chouard (

    Lovgren, Smith Published in Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

    Dr. Robin Lovgren, assistant professor of mathematics and Dr. Kara Smith, assistant professor of economics, co-authored an article entitled “Empirical evidence of deep learning in learning communities”. The article was recently published in the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education. 

    According to the article’s abstract, “The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether learning communities (LCs), defined as a cohort of students jointly enrolled in two distinct courses, increase ‘deep learning’ in either or both courses. This study focuses on the impact of learning communities in quantitative courses.” 

    Gaines Participates in the iPDC Summer Institute at Tennessee Tech University

    Dr. Tisha Gaines, who will be joining the Mathematics & Computer Science department at Belmont this fall, has been accepted to participate in the iPDC summer institute at Tennessee Tech University from July 23 – July 27. Gaines is only one of 15 participants who were accepted this year.

    The ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) and IEEE Computer Society added Parallel and Distributed Computing (PDC) as a required knowledge unit in their 2013 CS curriculum recommendation. Both ACM and NSF/IEEE have developed a PDC curriculum to be integrated in undergraduate Computer Science programs.

    The Computer Science Department at Tennessee Tech will host a week-long faculty development workshop on how to integrate PDC in introductory programming classes (funded by the National Science Foundation). This hands-on workshop will expose the participants to programming in parallel in shared memory environments using C/C++ and Java. After the participants become comfortable in parallel programming, the workshop will introduce the participants to pedagogy and techniques for introducing PDC in CS0, CS1 and CS2. The workshop will provide easy to integrate materials (lecture slide, hand on lab assignments with solutions, question banks with answers, etc.) to the participants.

    Mathematics Students, Faculty Present at the Mathematical Association of America Southeastern Meeting

Students and faculty who attended the conference pose for a photo.Students and faculty members of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department attended the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Southeastern Section’s annual meeting at Clemson University March 22-24

Belmont’s Math Jeopardy Team was composed of Kailee Gerzema, Katie Kruzan, Alyssa Schaub and Jordan Sawdy. The team had a strong showing early in the Jeopardy tournament before being defeated by Western Carolina University.

Mathematics majors Davis Deaton and Sawdy gave two joint presentations on “Methods for Locating and Manipulating the Vertical Asymptotes of Solutions to First Order ODEs” and “A Surprising Connection between Cycle Types and the Exponential Defined Differential Equation.”  Both presentations were based on work done with Dr. Danny Biles, Belmont mathematics professor.

Gerzema was given the honor of top presentation in her section and was awarded $100. Her presentation titled “Wagering Strategies for Variations of Final Jeopardy” is based on her research with Dr. Ryan Fox, Belmont mathematics professor. Also presenting research with Fox were Ally Fuchs and Cearra Logan who presented a poster titled “Risk it For the Biscuit: How to Play the Final question to ‘Win’ Jeopardy in One of Two Games.”

Mathematics faculty members Drs. Robin Lovgren, Catherine Starnes, Ryan Fox, Brad Schleben and Sarah Ann Fleming also attended the conference. Schleben gave two presentations on “Using Mathematics to Enrich Cross-Cultural Experiences” and “Assisted Oral Exams and Student Perceptions of Deep Learning and Confidence.” Lovgren presented on “Guiding Students to Solve a Business Problem in an Independent Study Course.” Fleming organized and presented in the “Graduate Student Career Development Workshop.”

flyer showing info on convo on Women in Computer Science

Callie Deas presentation

Pi Day Pi Day flyer

Pi Day Dr. Schleben Pi Day Dr. Acree
Pi Day - Dr. Ragsdale Pi Day Dr. Fox


Guinn Featured as Black History Month Mathematician

Michelle Guinn Headshot
Dr. Michelle Craddock Guinn, associate professor of mathematics, is the featured mathematician on the Black History Month 2018 Honorees Mathematically Gifted and Black page posted on The Network of Minorities in Mathematical Sciences website.

Guinn joined the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Belmont University in the fall of 2013. The entire article can be read here.

Alumni Named Finalists, Winners of 9th Annual NTC Awards
NTC Awards Logo

Belmont computer science alumni were recently honored at the 9th Annual NTC AwardsDavid Ells (’06), Director of Technology at Watershed LRS, won the 2018 Infrastructure of the Year award and was named as a finalist for CTO of the Year. Sergei Temkin (’07), who currently serves as the vice president, software development team lead at 360 View CRM, was named a finalist for the Developer/Architect/IT Engineer of the Year. Also nominated was Satchel Health for Emerging Company of the Year, for which alumni Grayson Carroll (’13) and Caleb Gregory (’12) work on the engineering team. Carroll is the VP of Engineering for the company.

The awards ceremony was held Jan. 25 at the Wildhorse Saloon. This event is dedicated to connecting, uniting, developing and promoting Middle Tennessee’s rich community of developers and technology entrepreneurs, enthusiasts and institutions with awards in 14 categories.

The Nashville Technology Council (NTC) exists to be a catalyst for the growth and influence of Middle Tennessee’s technology industry. Membership is open to technology companies, technology employers, service providers, educational institutions, government and non-profit companies interested in supporting the growth of technology businesses in Middle Tennessee.

David Ells receiving his award David Ells with his guitar Sergei Timpkin at awards
David Ells receiving his award David Ells (center) showing off  his guitar award    Sergei Temkin at the awards ceremony

Belmont Students Participate in Hack-MT
students at Hack-MT

A group of Belmont students, accompanied by a few recent alumni, Professor of Physics Dr. Scott Hawley and Professor of Mathematics Dr. Glenn Acree, participated in the third annual Hack-MT event last weekend. Hosted at MTSU, the event gathered over 250 students and 40 professional mentors from the developer community of Middle Tennessee to invent new web platforms, mobile apps and electronic gadgets. Students worked the entire weekend, some through the night, to prepare their presentations for Sunday’s exposition.

Many tech organizations were represented by their best and brightest developers on the lookout for talented students. The Belmont students in attendance included Ben Miner, Nick Chouard, Callie Deas, Tito Ebiwonjumi, Hannah Wright, John Ottenlips, Braden Carei, Daniel Gray, Sebastian Alegre and Aaron Itzkovitch. This weekend was an excellent opportunity for them to learn new things, practice their coding and programming skills and interact with students, faculty and industry professionals from across Middle Tennessee.

Biles Research Article Published

Dr. Danny Biles Head ShotProfessor of Mathematics and Computer Sciences Dr. Daniel Biles had a research article, “Lower bounds for the first zero for nonlinear second order differential equations,” accepted for publication by the Journal of Differential Equations and Applications on January 25. The Journal of Difference Equations and Applications is a world-leading Journal publishing state-of-the-art papers which significantly contribute to the theory and applications of difference equations or discrete dynamical systems.


Professor Miller Speaks to Traffic, Autonomous Cars

Andy Miller HeadshotBelmont Chair and Professor in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department Dr. Andy Miller was recently interviewed by FOX17 regarding the effects of autonomous cars on Nashville’s traffic. The story, completed by Matt Alvarez, features information from city leaders including Director of the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Sustainability Erin Hafkenschiel.

Miller discusses the impact driver-less cars could have on traffic, citing studies that have examined the effect of the vehicles on traffic by observing people driving in a circle and comparing the information to what it would be like with at least one driver-less car in the circle. “One of the things I talk about when I talk to people about traffic and the mathematics of it, I mention there have been studies that show there are phantom traffic jams that pop up just because people are reacting to each other,” Miller said. “And just the presence of one car that’s doing a better job of slow braking and pacing itself reduces the fake traffic jam in the circle.”

To view the story in its entirety, click here.

High Schoolers Experience Eclipse on Belmont’s Campus

Photo of Dr. Ryan Fox and Dr. Brad Schleben presenting a talk on the EclipseA number of high school students from the region also came to Belmont’s campus this morning to hear lectures from College of Science and Mathematics faculty and to experience the totality event.

~~Dr. Patrick Morse, Psychology, presented "Does the Full Moon make us (werewolves) Weird?"
~~Dr. Scott Hawley, Physics, presented "Celestial Mechanics and Solar Physics" and even performed a song he wrote for the Eclipse!
~~Dr. Ryan Fox and Dr. Brad Schleben, Mathematics, presented “Well, isn't that special: The mathematics of measuring celestial objects”


Mathematics Alum Receives Patent

Headshot of Kevin HuberKevin Huber, 2015 Mathematics major, was recently granted a Patent by the U. S. government.  The patent covers a particular set of communication strategies that enhance the ability for meaningful interactions between physical spaces and things and digital interfaces. The enhancements covered include security, display, and content. In addition to being an author, Kevin served as a technical advisor through the patent process.

 Kevin said “One of my formative memories as a kid was looking at a friend's grandfather's patents - it was around a few food processes through P&G. That dedication to creation drove me to want to be an inventor, so this has definitely been a wild ride!” Kevin is currently a developer at BKON Connect.

Here is a link to the patent:

Garland’s Software Engineering Class Visits Intergraph

Photo of the Intergraph meeting area

Several Belmont students from Paul Garland’s Software Engineering class recently took a tour of Intergraph Corporate Headquarters in Huntsville, AL.  Intergraph Process, Power & Marine (PP&M) is the world’s leading provider of enterprise engineering software enabling smarter design and operation of plants, ships and offshore facilities. Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure is the leader in smart solutions for emergency response, utilities, transportation and other global challenges. Intergraph is part of Hexagon, a leading global provider of information technologies that drive productivity and quality across industrial and geospatial applications.

Photo of Intergraph hardware display

The students got to see the unique environment that was built into the building to support the Agile/Scrum software engineering process, observed a scrum stand-up meeting, and participated in a Q/A session. They also met two employees who started as student interns. It is a very fascinating work environment.

Mathematics Students Give Presentations at MAA meeting

Four math students competing in Math Jeopardy at the conferenceBelmont faculty and students attended the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Southeastern Section meeting at Mercer University in Macon, GA on March 9-11, 2017.  Belmont mathematics majors Tucker Dowell, Allison Hardee, Emily Cottingham, and Kailee Gerzema composed Belmont’s Math Jeopardy team and competed in the tournament with 36 other teams.  The Belmont team successfully won their preliminary round and moved on to the semi-finals where they lost to Georgia College & State University. 

Math students Tucker and Allison presenting their researchTucker Dowell gave a presentation on “Creating a Topological Adventure with Dungeons and Dragons.”  Allison Hardee and Tucker Dowell together gave a talk titled “Super-SET.”  Kailee Gerzema and Tucker Dowell gave a presentation on “Plugging into the 3n+1Problem.”  Math student Katie Kruzan presenting her research

Katie Kruzan’s talk was on “Optimizing Checkout Times.”  Savannah Halliday and Callie Deas also attended the photo of the students and faculty that attended the math conference

Mathematics faculty who attended the conference included Drs. Andy Miller, Sarah Ann Fleming, Michelle Guinn, and Ryan Fox.  Dr. Miller and Dr. Fleming judged undergraduate presentations.  Dr. Guinn was accepted into the MAA Southeastern section’s Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) and participated in talks and activities connected to the organization. 


Pinter Writes Chapter for Mathematics Publication

Dr. Mike PinterDr. Mike Pinter, Mathematics Professor and Director of the Teaching Center, recently had a chapter published in Using the Philosophy of Mathematics in Teaching Undergraduate Mathematics.  The book, published in early 2017, is Volume 86 of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Notes Series. The chapter is entitled “Helping Students See Philosophical Elements in a Mathematics Course“.  The chapter briefly develops ways Pinter invites Honors Program students to explore some philosophical issues they encounter in the Analytics: Math Models course they take to fulfill the mathematics and quantitative reasoning requirement in the Honors Program general education curriculum.

Information about the book is available here:

Students and Faculty Participate in Joint Mathematical Meetings in Atlanta

Several Belmont Mathematics faculty members and one student recently attended and participated in the Joint Mathematical Meetings in Atlanta, GA.  The Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM), the largest mathematics meeting in the world, combines the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the American Mathematical Society (AMS). It was the 100th annual winter meeting of MAA and the 123rd annual meeting of AMS.

Brad Schleben, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, gave a talk at a MAA Special Session titled, “Strengthening the Narrative of an Abstract Algebra course”.  Michelle Guinn, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, worked with the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) at the conference and also judged the Undergraduate Student Poster Session. Sarah Ann Fleming, Associate Professor of Mathematics, worked with the Mathematical Association of America (MAA)’s Early Mentoring Program at the conference and also organized a session for the Career Mentoring Network for Women in the Mathematical Sciences (CaMeW).  Fleming serves as the assistant director of CaMeW.  Andy Miller, Professor of Mathematics, co-organized and moderated an Invited Paper Session on “New Directions in Quantitative Literacy.” The session was given in honor of quantitative literacy pioneer Lynn Arthur Steen, who died in 2015. Mike Pinter, Professor of Mathematics, presented "Mathematics Intersecting with Other Modern World Ideas: 1850-1950” as part of the Contributed Papers Session on Humanistic Mathematics during the Joint Mathematics Meetings.  In the presentation, Pinter described ideas, people and topics from mathematics in the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century that he incorporates into Analytics: Math Models (HON 3310), and to a lesser extent into the Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning (MTH 1020) course.  Topics addressed from that 100-year time period include symbolic logic, basics of set theory, and social choice theory, with particular emphasis on logic. Danny Biles and Mary Goodloe, Mathematics, also attended the conference.

Tucker Dowell presenting his researchTucker Dowell, a senior Mathematics and Philosophy double major, presented two research projects at the conference -- “Stochastic Social Network Model for the Dissemination of Ideas,” (Tucker L. Dowell, Daniel Biles and Glenn Acree) and “Counting Elements of Particular Orders in the Symmetric Group,” (Tucker L. Dowell and Brad Schleben).

Biles has Article Accepted in Mathematics Journal

Dr. Daniel Biles
Dr. Danny Biles, Professor of Mathematics, has had an article accepted for publication in the journal of Differential Equations & Applications. The article is titled "Nonexistence of solutions for second-order initial value problems".


Computer Science Hosts “Industry Office Hours”

industry office hoursDr. Glenn Acree, Mathematics, invited local tech industry professionals to have “Industry Office Hours” at Belmont on Wednesday, October 19th. Belmont students were able to interact with the senior leaders and developers of some of the top software companies in Middle TN (Eventbrite, Stratasan and Digital Reasoning).  At 10:00 there was an Introduction and General Q&A session for the students. Then from 12:00pm - 1:00pm in the 4th floor Atrium of the Janet Ayers Academic Center, there was a time for more Q&A along with a quick discussion about basic web application security. 

The “Industry Office Hours” were also held last year at Belmont. It is a great way for students to talk to industry professionals in a casual setting. The students could also sign up for an awesome grab bag of free tech.


Alumnus Carter Creates Anti-Ransomware Software

hank_carterHenry (Hank) Carter graduated from Belmont in 2010 with a degree in computer science before moving on to attend Georgia Tech where he finished his masters in 2012 and his Ph.D in computer science in 2015. Carter began a faculty position at Villanova University this fall.

Recently, Carter joined researchers from the University of Florida to develop CryptoDrop, an early-warning monitoring system designed to catch and stop ransomware before it encrypts the majority of a user’s files. Ransomware, a type of malicious software, renders files useless for a user until payment is made to the ransomware authors in exchange for a decryption key which reserves the encryption and recovers the original files. This technological epidemic has caused millions of dollars of loss annually and has been used to attack public services including police station records and hospital databases. CryptoDrop was created to combat the use of this software.

Rather than examining programs for malicious characteristics like typical antivirus software, CryptoDrop monitors the user’s important documents and files and notifies the user if a program attempts to make sweeping changes. Since the mass encryption operations used by ransomware are not common in everyday computing, CyrptoDrop is able to accurately identify and stop ransomware programs that exhibit this unusual behavior. Carter’s team’s experimental evaluation showed that CryptoDrop was able to identify and stop 100 percent of the nearly 500 different ransomware variants tested.
Carter has been involved with the project since its inception a year and a half ago. During his PhD work, he and his lab partner Nolen Scaife created the idea for an early-detection system for stopping ransomware. As a senior graduate student, Carter said he had the opportunity to help Nolen “develop and formalize the idea into a scientifically rigorous system that ended up being extremely accurate and quick to detect ransomware.”

Since Carter and his team’s work was published this summer at the IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, they have received coverage from many major news outlets including Forbes, BBC and Huffington Post, among others. Recently, Carter finished a postdoctoral research appointment at the University of Florida before beginning his career as a professor of computer science at Villanova University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was at Belmont that Carter said his dreams of teaching were fueled. “The attention and commitment to teaching I witnessed in my professors at Belmont was a huge inspiration,” Carter said. “I am excited to be following their example and bringing their passion for learning to my new position at Villanova. My motivating hope is that I’ll be able to inspire my own students the way I was inspired at Belmont.”

*Featured image (above) taken by Caroline Foley, Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Office of External Communications*


Annual Fall Fiesta

September 21, 2016 
Inman/McWhorter Patio from 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

For all Mathematics and Computer Science Majors & Minors
fiesta fiesta fiesta

Mathematics, Finance Alumnus Receives Scholarship for Ph.D. Program at Oxford

Andrew Trask
, a 2014 Belmont graduate in Computer Science, has been accepted to the doctoral program in Computer Science at the University of Oxford in England, beginning in October 2016. Andrew has received full funding, along with a stipend, from Oxford. Trask will be studying deep learning with Dr. Phil Blunsom, an expert in Deep Learning and Computational Linguistics who holds joint appointments at Oxford and Google.

Trask, along with David Gilmore, Belmont 2014 – Computer Science, presented their research at the 32nd International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) in France last year.  Their paper titled, "Modeling Order in Neural Word Embeddings at Scale”, describes the deep neural network built at Digital Reasoning, their employer.  Neural Networks are computer systems that are modeled after the human brain. Like the human brain, these networks can gather new data, process it, and react to it. The design for the network is based on ideas Trask developed while an undergraduate at Belmont.  The parallel neural network is 14 times larger than the previous world record (built at Google), and performs 40% better in a key language-recognition benchmark than any other program. 


Belmont University's College of Sciences and Mathematics hosted the annual Middle Tennessee Regional Meeting of the Tennessee Academy of Science in the Ayers Academic Center on April 16, 2016. This event has served as an opportunity for our students to showcase their scholarly work and to foster collaboration with other local universities. This year there were 33 students from Belmont University, Cumberland University, Fisk, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Tech University, and Vanderbilt University, presenting their research as oral presentations in one of four different sessions:  Mathematics/Computer Science/Physics, Chemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology, and Health and Medical Sciences.

The meeting was coordinated and run by Dr. Duane Hatch, Assistant Professor of Chemistry. All sessions were moderated and judged by faculty volunteers, who awarded 1st, 2nd, 3rd place certificates to the top three presenters in each session. Faculty judges were Dr. Lori McGrew (BU Biology), Dr. Steve Murphree (BU Biology), Dr. Danielle Garrett (BU Chemistry), Dr. Steven Damo (Fisk), Dr. Qingxiu Li (Fisk), Dr. Kim Atwood (Cumberland University), and Dr. Mary Kidd (Tennessee Tech University).

The following are the winners from each session:

  • Chemistry: 1st - Daniel Beagan (Belmont)2nd - Shekinah Baum (Belmont)3rd tie - Rukiayah Warner (Fisk) andLibby Ligon (Belmont)
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology: 1st – Alexandra Ruff (Vandy), 2nd – Alyssa Tidwell (Belmont)3rd – Kathryn Hook (Belmont)
  • Health and Medical Sciences: 1st – Parker Tumlin (Belmont)2nd – Araceli Garland (Belmont)3rd - Brandy Sweet (Belmont)
  • Math/CS/Physics: 1st – Sharee Brewer and Ashley Davis (Fisk), 2nd - Tucker Dowell (Belmont), 3rd tie – Howsikan Kugathasan (Fisk) and Gwendolyn Buchanan (TTU)
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  Mathematics/Computer Science/Physics

               Health and Medical Sciences

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              Cellular and Molecular Biology


Biles Receives Presidential Faculty Achievement Award

bilesDr. Daniel Biles, Mathematics Professor, was awarded the 2015-16 Presidential Faculty Achievement Award. The Presidential Faculty Achievement Award is presented each year to a faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to student life outside the classroom. The award honors and recognizes excellence in faculty-student relationships, special abilities in meeting student needs – academic, personal and professional – and symbolizes Belmont University’s commitment to being a student-centered institution.

Belmont Student on Winning Team at the Next Generation Mobility Challenge

Net Impact partnered with Toyota to engage students on bringing sustainability to the transportation industry. The Next Generation Mobility Challenge was held at Vanderbilt University on Friday, March 18th from 9 am-4 pm. 

According to the invitation e-mail, “Undergrad and grad-level students will work in interdisciplinary teams in this highly interactive design-thinking process to come up with solutions around how we can transform the transportation industry to become more socially and environmentally sustainable. Teams will pitch their ideas to Toyota and mobility experts and receive feedback from them. GRAND PRIZE: the winning team will get the chance to further incubate their ideas in an internship with Toyota’s innovation partners! The 7-hour event is limited to only 50 students, but is an amazing opportunity for students to flex their creativity muscles and gain invaluable professional skills.” 

JP Hechter, a Belmont senior AET major and CSC minor, was a member of the winning team at the Net Impact & Toyota Mobility Challenge, out of roughly 10 teams participating. Michael Kranzlein, a Belmont senior with a CSC and French double major, also participated and his team came in second place.

JP’s group is expected to refine their idea and resubmit it to be judged in a national competition. That winner is given a summer internship with Toyota, and I think the top 3 are invited to a symposium in Philadelphia. Per JP….”I'm very grateful to have had this experience!”

Per Michael Kranzlein, “Overall, the event was fantastic! Logistically, everything was very smooth, and I could tell that the event truly was about innovation. There was great representation across all disciplines and from quite a few schools.”

Mathematics Faculty and Students Present at MAA Southeastern Section Meeting

maaStudents and faculty from the Mathematics & Computer Science department recently attended the Mathematical Association of American’s Southeastern Section (MAA-SE) meeting March 24-26, 2016 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Andy Miller and Dr. Ryan Fox led a three-hour workshop titled “Projects and Case Studies to Promote Quantitative Literacy.” Dr. Brad Schleben gave a talk on “Infinite Wedge Representations of a Lie Superalgebra.” Students Kailee Gerzema, Savannah Halliday, and Katie Kruzan presented on “Unique Opportunities for Growth and Collaboration via a Math/CS Club.” Two students gave undergraduate research presentations: Jonathan Hesser on “3D Hyperstereo Image Stitching” and Tucker Dowell on “Exploring Ramsey Theory.”


Students Allison Hardee, Savannah Halliday, Tucker Dowell, and Katie Kruzan formed the Belmont team for the Math Jeopardy tournament.
Dr. Sarah Ann Fleming served as their sponsor. Belmont’s team earned one of the “wild card” spots in the second round where they were defeated by Berry College.

Lovgren has paper published in International Journal

robinDr. Robin Lovgren, Mathematics, recently had a paper published in the International Journal of Operations Research and Information Systems (IJORIS) 7 (2). The International Journal of Operations Research and Information Systems (IJORIS) examines current, state-of-the art advances in the interactions, linkages, applications, and support of operations research with information systems. Covering emerging theories, principles, models, processes, and applications within the field, this journal provides practitioners, educators, and researchers with an international collection of all operations research facets. The paper is titled: AEGISi – Attribute Experimentation Guiding Improvement Searches Inline Framework and was co-authored with Michael Racer from the University of Memphis. Here is a link to the abstract:

Mathematics Faculty Present at Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM)

Several mathematics faculty recently presented at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Seattle, WA. The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the American Mathematical Society (AMS) combine for the Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM), the largest Mathematics meeting in the world. Dr. Andy Miller helped organize and moderate a contributed paper session on “Quantitative Literacy in the K-16 Curriculum” and presented “Connecting quantitative literacy to financial literacy in the community” in the MAA Session on Bringing the Community into the College Mathematics Classroom. Dr. Maria Neophytou presented “Helping students see connections between mathematics and other disciplines through a fun teaching exchange project,” based on work she has done with several Belmont colleagues in multiple departments. New mathematics faculty member Dr. Brad Schleben co-organized a MAA Project NExT workshop on “Designing an original course” that was very well-attended.

Drs. Mike (Mathematics) and Robbie Pinter (English) gave a joint presentation on “Contemplative practices in mathematics: It’s not just a breathing exercise” in the MAA Session on Contemplative Pedagogy and Mathematics, Contributed Paper Session. Mike also presented “Hats, hamming and hypercubes” in the MAA Session on Helping Students See Beyond Calculus.

Computer Science Students Participate in Hack MT event


The following students from the Belmont Mathematics & Computer Science Department recently participated in Hack-MT: Corey Sery, John Ottenlips, Jonathan Lane, Sara Chung, James Dickenson, Phil Knock, Adriano Balini, and Austin Ban. Recent Belmont graduates Geoff Gross, Kevin Huber, and Bob Rochford also participated taking mentorship/leadership roles throughout the weekend. The event took place January 29-31, 2016 at MTSU. The purpose of the event was to gather software developers, visual designers, programmers, and computer science students from local universities and form teams to invent new web platforms, mobile apps, and electronic gadgets. The students spent 42 high intensity, uninterrupted hours (Friday at 6pm – Sunday at noon) developing mobile and/or web apps, video games and other tech related projects.


  • 200 people participated in the event
    • 70% of participants were students from MTSU, Belmont, Lipscomb, Vanderbilt, UT Knoxville, and Fisk
    • 30% of participants were industry professionals
  • 16 products were developed by teams during the weekend

 Hack MT is a first time event led by MTSU, Hack Tennessee, and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. The leadership team included Dr. Glenn Acree, Belmont Mathematics professor representing the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, Dr. Chrisila Pettey, Dr. Bud Fischer, Mrs. Nicole Chitty, and Mr. Brian Holley from MTSU, and Brendan Wovchko from Hack Tennessee.

Alumni Present Research at International Conference

gilmoreDavid Gilmore and   trask  Andrew Trask,
2014 Belmont Computer Science graduates, presented their research at the 32nd International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), the leading international machine learning conference, in France. Their paper titled, “Modeling Order in Neural Word Embeddings at Scale,” describes the deep neural network built at their employer, Digital Reasoning and is co-authored by Digital Reasoning’s Chief Technology Officer Matthew Russell. Neural Networks are computer systems that are modeled after the human brain and can gather new data, process it and react to it. The paper details both the impressive scope of their neural network as well as the exponential improvement in quality.

The design for the network is based on ideas Trask developed while at Belmont.  The parallel neural network is 14 times larger than the previous world record (built at Google), and performs 40 percent better in a key language-recognition benchmark than any other program. Their paper will be published in Volume 37 of the Journal of Machine Learning Research. Click here to read their paper

Mathematics and Computer Science Students and Alumni
Participate in Hack Tennessee

hackThe Hack Tennessee event, recently held in Nashville, gathers software developers, visual designers and product managers from across the country to invent new web platforms, mobile apps and electronic gadgets over 48 uninterrupted hours. One of the largest events of its kind, hundreds of products have emerged from the brilliant minds of Hack Tennessee's 1,000+ attendees — making it the Southeast’s premier destination for the creative class to connect, grow and contribute. Their ‘community of makers’ works tirelessly with primary, secondary and university educators to support the exposure of Tennessee students to STEM careers through events and on-campus mentoring.

Dr. Glenn Acree, Mathematics, has been working with co-founders of Hack Tennessee Brendan Wovchko and Avery Fisher, as well as Jon Staples of Code for Nashville, to increase the number of undergraduates from area colleges and universities to engage with the local developer community through events such as this … and the National Day of Civic Hacking to be held June 6th at the Music City Center.

hackSeveral Belmont students and alumni were involved in the event. Max Shenfield (Mathematics, 2014) worked on a team with Kevin Huber (Mathematics, 2015) and three others to make a virtual reality tower defense game.  It was Tron themed, and let the player battle another player in real time to destroy as many of the opposing player's minions as possible. Geoff Gross (Computer Science, 2015) played a big role in Brigade Pulse, a real time visualization tool of Code for America brigade activity across the country. 

Caleb Gregory (Mathematics, 2013) “did not wind up working on a project, but I enjoyed seeing what other people in this city were up to.  It was great seeing the possibilities for what I could be working on and gathering more information about.  I was excited to see how easy collaboration and teamwork in this community are, and how quickly bonds were formed among teammates.”

hackMarlee Stevenson (Computer Science and AET, 2015) worked on a team project called Cycledelic. “It was a huge learning process this time around. I joined a project in which I knew nothing and I came away from the weekend with a new skill and new desire to learn. Every person at the Hackathon wants to learn something new and teach what they know. I felt that I was able to do both of these things this weekend.” Marlee’s team won the Hacker's Choice Award! This is voted on by everyone at the hackathon after all the presentations are wrapped up.  Each team member received an engraved hammer as a trophy. Their project, Cycledelic, was a kaleidoscopic and psychedelic unicycle riding game made for the Oculus Rift VR platform and was created in Unity.

Mathematics Students and Professor
Give Demonstrations at STEM Expo

expoDr. Daniel Biles, Professor of Mathematics, and four mathematics majors gave probability demonstrations at the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Expo at Middle Tennessee State University on April 9, 2015.  The Belmont students taking part were Annie Brunelle, Katie Kruzan, Savannah Halliday, and Mallory White.

This exposition is an annual event that features projects by middle school and high school students and is hosted by the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub.  Students in the schools and districts that are partners in the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub (MTSIH) regularly engage in projects involving an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. These rigorous projects help students learn key academic content and practice skills necessary for success such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.

DECEMBER 1, 2014

SURSThe eleventh annual Science Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS) was hosted by the College of Sciences and Mathematics. SURS is the culmination of many hours of undergraduate research work done during the summer and fall with faculty advisors and peers and offers these research students the opportunity to show the Belmont community the interesting research that is being done.

For the first time, this event was held in the same building where the research take place. Research posters were set up in the atrium area of Belmont's new Ayers Academic Center (Formerly Wedgewood Academic Center). The Mathematics & Computer Science department had 16 Mathematics students from the Predictive Analytics course taught by Daniel Biles and Barbara Ward give oral presentations and 12 Computer Science students presented research posters. Additional posters and oral presentations in the areas of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Psychological Science were also presented.  The keynote address “Why Talking to Your Car Can Drive You to Distraction” was delivered by Dr. David Strayer, Professor of Cognition & Neural Science at the University of Utah.  


In the photo (L to R) are: Kevin Huber, Christopher Winfree, Jake Devries, Jess Vestal, Ashley Badgett, Jack Streeter, Geoffrey Gross.

Shown below is a listing of the research projects from the Predictive Analytics course:

Gaussian Quadrature for Stochastic Integrals
Annie Brunelle
Faculty Advisor: Daniel Biles

Market Value of Major League Baseball Players
Jessica Mae Vestal
Faculty Advisors: Daniel Biles, Barbara Ward

Success of NFL Quarterbacks Drafted in the First Round
Francesca Brogden
Faculty Advisors: Daniel Biles, Barbara Ward
Music Festival Media and Attendance
Geoff Gross and Kevin Huber
Faculty Advisors: Daniel Biles, Barbara Ward
Median Age at First Marriage for Women
Mallory White
Faculty Advisors: Daniel Biles, Barbara Ward
Using Technical Indicators to Predict Future Stock Prices
Jacob DeVries
Faculty Advisors: Daniel Biles, Barbara Ward
A Predictive Model for the Citibike Bike Sharing Program
Michael Reid
Faculty Advisors: Daniel Biles, Barbara Ward
Predicting Infant Mortality
Ashly Badgett and Tina Sharma
Faculty Advisors: Daniel Biles, Barbara Ward
Predicting a Minor League Player’s Success in MLB
Christopher Winfree
Faculty Advisors: Daniel Biles, Barbara Ward
NHL Scoring
James Baker-Coe
Faculty Advisors: Daniel Biles, Barbara Ward
Prediction and Categorization of Team Final Standings of the Premier League
Kurtis Gibson and John Sharpe
Faculty Advisors: Daniel Biles, Barbara Ward

The Sandler Syndrome: Predicting Box Office Revenue
Savannah Halliday and Jackson Streeter
Faculty Advisors: Daniel Biles, Barbara Ward

Here is a listing of the Computer Science research posters:

Computer Vision
Stephen Bain, Geoffrey Gross, Marlee Stevenson
Advisor: William H. Hooper, Ph.D.

Performance of Game Search Strategies Using Mancala
Andre Cejka, Anthony Scott
Advisor: William H. Hooper, Ph.D.

An Intelligent Board Game: Othello
Phil Knock, James Baker-Coe, Ryan Ericksen
Advisor: William H. Hooper, Ph.D.

Dots and Boxes
Cruze Goodin, Jackson Streeter
Advisor: William H. Hooper, Ph.D.

Unsolvable Peg Solitaire Games on Various Board Sizes
Jack Malpasuto, Bennett Littlejohn
Advisor: William H. Hooper, Ph.D.