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 Worldwide Mathematical Community to Gather at SRU June 9-12 

 

SPOTLIGHT

May 24, 2004

CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine (724) 738-4854; e-mail: gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu

WORLDWIDE MATHEMATICAL COMMUNITY TO GATHER JUNE 9-12

FOR REAL ANALYSIS MATH SYMPOSIUM AT SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Some of the best mathematicians in the world meet June 9-12 at Slippery Rock University for an international symposium on real analysis, a branch of calculus with applications to science, engineering, economics, even entertainment and the stock market.

The mathematicians converge for the Summer Symposium in Real Analysis XXVIII sponsored by SRU’s math department and the National Science Foundation, which provided a $5,000 grant. The math professors teach at universities in the U.S., England, Russia, India, Kuwait, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Egypt and Italy.

“This symposium puts Slippery Rock University in the spotlight and shows the strength of our math programs,” says SRU’s Dr. Robert Vallin, professor of mathematics who petitioned the Real Analysis Exchange, a journal based at Michigan State University, to hold the symposium at SRU. “Local math students will have the wonderful opportunity to see a slice of the world-wide mathematical community, to encounter new ideas in the field and to interact with people from a variety of other cultures.”

Real analysis is an exploration of the machinery behind the functions and techniques in calculus, he says. Analysts question why these things work in the way they do. This complete understanding of the calculus leads to mathematicians being able to develop methods used to master subjects such as chaos, which studies such real-world subjects such as the human heartbeat, predator-prey patterns, the spread of disease and the stock market.

           Another application concerns the differential equations used by animators to simulate realistic movement by characters in movies such as “Toy Story  and “Shrek,” Vallin says. Differential equations describe the laws of physics that determine movement. If you know where an object is and the forces acting on it, others can determine where it will be in the near future.

            Visiting mathematicians will also experience a bit of western Pennsylvania by traveling to Pittsburgh and taking in a cruise on one of Pittsburgh’s three rivers.

           SRU math majors Mike Bobby of Northern Cambria, Courtney Geary of Bellefonte and Melissa Hulings of Slippery Rock are student hosts.

PN, PR, PgN

 

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