Over the past year, undergraduates in the Department of Mathematical Sciences have earned national and international honors in fellowships and competitions alike. Two secondary mathematics education alumni won a prestigious Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) Fellowship. Amy Fligor (Class of '17), and Anthony Reid (Class of '16), have been awarded teaching fellowships that will provide them with over $40,000 of resources over the next five years.
Fligor is teaching at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia. Reid is teaching at Howard High School of Technology in Delaware and currently attends Wilmington University as a M.Ed student with a concentration in Instruction: Teaching and Learning. As a Blue Hen, Reid realized his true calling was in mathematics education. Dr. Cirillo and Dr. Flores inspired Reid, "both showing a passion for instruction and for their students." Anthony aims to cultivate a learning environment where students "feel confident in class and have teachers who love the content, just as much as the teacher loves working with the students. I want students to learn to persevere, and become advocates for themselves and become active participants in their own education." (Reid)
KSTF is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing beginning math and science teachers with professional development, resources, and support to improve STEM education in U.S. schools. The organization seeks "dedicated, passionate individuals who are committed to teaching, who demonstrate the potential to develop exemplary teaching practices, and who have the potential to lead and drive change in education." Because only about 35 students are chosen nationally each year, it is truly remarkable to have two of these 35 come from UD's Secondary Education Program.
Students also competed in the "Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM), an international contest for high school students and college undergraduates. It challenges teams of students to clarify, analyze, and propose solutions to open-ended problems. The contest attracts diverse students and faculty advisors from over 900 institutions around the world." (Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications).
Three teams of three competed, earning titles "finalist" (Yongduo Liu, Dehu Kong, and Yunyao Li), "successful" (Jon Clifford, Jerome Troy, Rob Jaquette), and "honorable mention" (Barry Moe, Scott Fones, and Cory Nunn.) Of the 8,843 teams that competed, only the top 98th percentile of teams received the "finalist" title.
Jennifer Fanelle, Quentin Dubroff, Chunxu Ji, Joseph Buxton, Zachary Moseder, and Jiaru Wu represented UD's Mathematical Sciences Department in the Putnam competition, a "preeminent mathematics competition for undergraduate college students in the United States and Canada [... where] participants work individually on 6 challenging mathematical problems. Although participants work independently on the problems, there is a team aspect to the competition as well." (Mathematical Association of America)
Of the six mathematics majors, Quentin Dubroff (class of '17) scored highest in the competition. Dubroff intends on pursuing a Ph.D. after conducting research this year in Switzerland. While "participating in the competition did not impact my future plans, it was humbling to see clever solutions from other students across the country. I believe that participating in the competition allowed me to develop perseverance for solving problems." Quentin, originally a Chemical Engineering major, thanks "Professor Rakesh, who not only gave fun problems in honors calculus, but was also very helpful in my switch into the math department, as well as Professor Lazebnik who has consistently given great lectures that continue to energize and enkindle my love for math." He aims to "emulate the helpfulness of many professors," whose love of math greatly influenced his future desire to teach. (Dubroff)
December 5, 2017