Four Hope College mathematics students won Outstanding Speaker Awards during MathFest, the annual national conference of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), earlier this month for presentations about research that they conducted this summer.

The MAA recognized junior Jiyi Jiang of Chengdu, China, for her presentation “Classify images using stochastic neighbor embedding and mapper.”  Pi Mu Epsilon, national mathematics honorary society honored sophomore Sarah Hilsman of Holland for her presentation “Real algebraic level curves”; senior Anna Snyder of Saline for “An extension of a theorem of Polya”; and junior Cole Watson of Louisville, Colorado, for “Graph pebbling and Graham’s conjecture.”  The students conducted their research under the direction of Dr. Airat Bekmetjev, associate professor of mathematics; Dr. Charles Cusack, associate professor of computer science; Dr. Stephanie Edwards, associate professor of mathematics; and Paul Pearson, assistant professor of mathematics.

MathFest took place on Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 5-8, in Washington, D.C.  More than 2,500 were registered for the event.

The MAA is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level, and is celebrating its centennial this year.  The association’s members include university, college, middle and high school mathematics teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure and applied mathematicians; computer scientists; statisticians; and many others in academia, government, business and industry.