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Events & News

  • Mathematical Musings and Munchings (MM&M's) are generally held each month (during the fall and spring semesters) in Hitch Science Building 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.

Pizza and Problem Solving
Wednesdays, 5:00 - 7:00 PM

LEARN Strategies, Techniques, Applications
ESTABLISH Problem-Solving Mindset, Support Groups for Classwork
PRACTICE Criticial Thinking, Mathematical Reasoning, Presenting Difficult Ideas
COMPETE in various competitions

Dr. Brad Schleben and Dr. Maria Neophytou host this each week.

Annual Fall Fiesta
September 23, 2015
For all Mathematics and Computer Science Majors & Minors
Inman/McWhorter Patio from 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM


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.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Dr. Tom Banchoff, Geometer and Professor at Brown University since 1967

10:00 AM     WAC5003

Math Spans All Dimensions: Guides to the Fourth Dimension

The 10:00 presentation will be based on the interactive poster developed for Math Awareness Month in 2000 while Tom Banchoff was president of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).  In our familiar three-dimensional space, visualization is an important tool, in pure mathematics and in its applications.  In our age of  computer visualization, we can now explore phenomena in our "nearest neighbor", the fourth dimension.  Guides in this effort include Edwin Abbott Abbott ("Flatland"), Madeleine L'Engel ("A Wrinkle in Time") and Salvador Dalí ("Corpus Hypercubus").  This talk will feature computer animated films and images.

3:00 PM     WAC4098
Mathematics & Computer Science Colloquium ~ The Two-Piece Property--the Geometry of Slicing Fruit 

What can we say about objects that fall into at most two pieces when we slice them with a long knife?  How can a topic that we can describe in simple language lead to a Berkeley PhD thesis?  The "two-piece property" turns out to be equivalent to minimal total absolute curvature, a classical topic in differential geometry that yields surprising results when we ask the same questions for polyhedral surfaces, in three-dimensional space and higher.  The presentation will feature computer animations of surfaces in four-space.

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.

Students present at Mathematics Conference

Professors Barbara Ward and Daniel Biles, Mathematics, directed three student presentations that were given at the 2015 Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at the University of Tennessee on April 11, 2015. This was the Ninth Annual Undergraduate Math Conference which gives undergraduate students a chance to present their mathematical research and to meet other undergraduates and hear about their research.

Savannah Halliday (Mathematics major) and Jackson Streeter (Mathematics and Computer Science double major) presented “The Sandler Syndrome:  Predicting Box Office Revenue”.  Jacob DeVries (Music Business and Economics double major) presented “Using Technical Indicators to Predict Future Stock Prices”. Christopher Winfree (Applied Discrete Mathematics major) presented “Predicting a Minor League Player’s Success in MLB”.  The conference featured eleven research presentations given by college students throughout the region.

Mathematics/AET major Speaks at Acoustical Society of America meeting

ben shawGraduating senior Benjamin Shaw (Mathematics/AET double major) spoke at the Music City Chapter of the Acoustical Society of America meeting on December 9, which met in the historic Nashville recording studio -- Columbia Studio A.  Ben gave a one-hour presentation on his senior research work on acoustical measurements and simulations of the control room for Belmont's Columbia Studio A.  Ben’s research was supervised by Mr. Sal Greco, of Belmont’s Ocean Way Studios, and Dr. Scott Hawley, Associate Professor of Physics. Ben's task was evaluating the frequency response of the room and to make recommendations for improvements.  To do this, he made use of a sophisticated open-source acoustical simulation program, run on Dr. Hawley's 24-processor research workstation.  

The talk was attended by members of the Acoustical Society of America, a national professional organization for physics research in acoustics, and members of the Belmont community.  Those present remarked on how professional Ben's presentation was, and how it was among the finest research presentations they have ever seen given by an undergraduate student.

Belmont University and the Curb Family Foundation announced in May the completed renovation of Columbia Studio A at 34 Music Square East as a classroom and hands-on learning lab for students in Belmont’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. 

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 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.

Student and Faculty present at Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference

Belmont Computer Science student Christopher Hooper presented a talk at the ACM Mid-Southeast Chapter Fall Conference in Gatlinburg on November 14, 2014. The title of his talk was Learning Programming Online: Where You Could Start and Where You Will Go. Hooper discussed the resources available online to learn computer programming and also addressed where a beginner with no experience might start, and how others might use the most popular programming education sites. Christopher Hooper is an adult student taking computer science courses part-time.  He works full-time as a research assistant in neonatology for the Department of Pediatrics at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr. Joyce Crowell and Dr. William Hooper, Computer Science, had a paper accepted in the professional division of the conference entitled Hidden Curricula in Computer Science.  An outgrowth of several years of collaboration, including a joint presentation at the 2012 Lilly Conference on College Teaching, their talk highlights the subtle but important teaching outcomes that aren’t explicitly stated in course materials or captured in assessment data.

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, delivers resources that advance computing as a science and a profession. ACM provides the computing field's premier Digital Library and serves its members and the computing profession with leading-edge publications, conferences, and career resources.  The ACM Mid-Southeast Chapter Fall Conference provides a forum for discussion of current applications and experimental, theoretical and educational developments in all areas of computing. The Mid-Southeast Chapter is dedicated to the furthering of Computer Science in the geographical region encompassing Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee.


Students and Faculty present at MAA conference

mcs groupNine students and six faculty members attended the 2014 Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Southeastern section meeting at Tennesse Tech in Cookeville, TN. The Southeastern section of the MAA advances the mathematical sciences within the states of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.  

Angela Gaetano gave a presentation on "The Impact of Censoring on Estimator of Slope Parameter in a Simple Regression Model" and Annie Brunelle gave a presentation on "Brownian Motion and Probability Simulations."  Both students are mathematics majors.

Mathematics faculty were also involved in the conference.  Dr. Andy Miller completed his three-year term as Tennessee state director and gave a presentation on "Real World Projects, Real World Writing." Dr. Robin Lovgren gave a presentation on "Herding Cats -- Using Attendance App to Learn Names and Keep Up with Your Students."  Dr. Mike Pinter spoke on "Ideas for Ending a Course Effectively." Mrs. Kay Geving presented her work titled "College Algebra Course Redesign." Dr. Sarah Ann Fleming gave a presentation in the Graduate Student Workshop on "Job Application Materials."  


Mathematics majors Max Shenfield, Jackson Streeter, Annie Brunelle, and So "Sara" Chung competed in the the Math Jeopardy tournament.