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Mathematics Conference Hosted by Catawba College

March 16, 2011

Category: Events, Mathematics

Catawba College's Department of Mathematics hosted CAT-RUM 2011 — a Research Undergraduate Mathematics Conference on campus on March 5.

Catawba mathematics professor, Dr. Paul Baker, directed the conference made possible through a grant from the Mathematical Association of America and from the National Science Foundation DMS-0846477. Thirty undergraduate math majors and their advisors from North and South Carolina colleges and universities attended the conference. Eight of the undergraduates presented talks covering a wide spectrum of mathematical applications.

In addition, participants were treated to an entertaining talk by Dr. Tim Chartier of Division College. Every year, people across the United States predict how the field of 65 teams will play in the Division I NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament by filling out a tournament bracket for the post-season play. Dr. Chartier's talk discussed two popular rating methods that are also used by the Bowl Championship Series, the organization that determines which college football teams are invited to which bowl games. He then showed how to adapt the methods to take late season momentum into account and how accurately the methods performed in creating mathematically-produced brackets for 2010 March Madness.