Saint Mary's College of California

2016 MAA Golden Section

Saint Mary’s College was well-represented at this year’s meeting of the MAA Golden Section, hosted by UC Davis on February 27th. Math majors Alex Lowen and Elijah Soria (seniors) and Joe Dominic (junior) presented posters on their recent research. Seniors Alan Kane and Andres Diestra tagged along for moral support…and to learn new mathematics!


Alan, Elijah, Alex, Joe, and Andres hanging out before the poster session

Meanwhile, the multi-talented Prof. Emeritus Lydia Luquet presented two of her own pieces at the first-annual Mathematical Art exhibit.


Prof. Lydia Luquet presents her work of art

Professor Hamaker on the Odds of Winning the Powerball Jackpot

Prof. Charlie Hamaker (aka Mr. Killjoy) was interviewed by CBS-5 reporter John Ramos for a story about the recent $7 million Powerball jackpot. In short, he explained that one is more likely to be killed by a shark pig than to win the Powerball jackpot.

Elijah Soria Presents Research at the JMM

Mathematics senior Elijah Soria presented his research entitled “Some Properties of Generalized k-Pell Sequences” at the MAA Student Poster Session at the 2016 Joint Mathematics Meeting in Seattle. Nice job, Elijah!


Dean Wensley on “Listener Perspectives”

Saint Mary’s College School of Science Dean Roy Wensely was featured on KQED‘s “Listener Perspectives”. In this segment, Dean Wensley points to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to illustrate the importance of educational institutions.

Erica Musgrave Credits Faculty Mentors

Senior math major Erica Musgrave credits the mentoring of Prof. Ellen Veomett as being a major driving force behind her success at Saint Mary’s College and beyond.

Call for Student Posters!

The 2016 Meeting of the MAA‘s Golden Section (N. California, N. Nevada, and Hawaii) will be hosted by UC Davis on Saturday, February 27, 2016. If you’re a student (undergraduate or graduate) who has participated in mathematics research, please consider presenting your work at this meeting’s student poster session. Details can be found in the Poster Announcement.

Questions? Contact Prof. Kristen Beck at

Math Monday

Join us at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, October 26 in Galileo 201 for Math Monday! Our very own Prof. Ellen Veomett will be talking about Coloring Geometrically Defined Graphs. The talk will be accessible to students of all levels…and (as usual) there will be refreshments!

Abstract: This talk will take us through a journey of graph coloring. We’ll start with some basic definitions and the well-known four and five color theorems. We’ll also discuss the fascinating question of the chromatic number of the plane. Finally, we’ll talk about new results on box graphs, which are graphs defined using blocks and their intersections. This talk will be extremely accessible, while at the same time including some modern research topics.


Questions? Contact Prof. Michael Nathanson at

Erica Musgrave: NSA Intern

Mathematics senior Erica Musgrave was recently featured in Saint Mary’s Magazine for her very top-secret experience in the Director’s Summer Program at the National Security Agency.


2015 Joseph P. McKenna Award

A huge congratulations to mathematics senior Elijah Soria, winner of this year’s prestigious Joseph P. McKenna award! As a recipient of the top award of the Saint Mary’s School of Science Summer Research Program, Elijah will have the opportunity to present his research at the 2016 Joint Mathematics Meeting in Seattle. Way to go, Elijah!

What’s New

The Math & CS Department is seeking applications for the Brother Dominic Barry Math Scholarships, which will be awarded to incoming freshmen in 2016! For information, go to Activities » Math Scholarship Competition.

Math in the Media

Quanta Magazing highlights a new result of Princeton mathematician Maria Chudnovsky regarding the coloring of perfect graphs.

Ian Agol, a topologist from UC Berkeley, has won the second annual Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics (which carries an award of $3M) for his work in geometric topology. Read the details in Scientific American.