Saint Mary's College of California

SMC Team Wins Hackathon

Congrats to SMC math majors Jung Kim, Rahul Murthy, and Sanjay Shrestha, who were part of a team that took grand prize at the First Revel Hackaton!


The day-long event, organized by BeMyApp, asked teams to create a functional app for Shell Oil Company. This was the team’s first hackathon experience, so their success was especially exciting. For more details, see The Collegian‘s report on this story, or the team’s webpage.

Top Award Goes to Math Senior

The Department is very excited to announce that mathematics senior Erica Musgrave has been awarded the 2016 De La Salle Award, which recognizes “the graduating senior with the highest record for scholarship and general excellence”. At the Commencement Awards Ceremony, Erica was also crowned with the George R. McKeon Female Scholar-Athlete Award.


In the upcoming fall semester, Erica will begin a Ph.D. program in mathematics at the University of Nebraska. Congratulations, Erica — we’re very proud of your accomplishments!

Scholarship Winners

Congratulations go to three of our outstanding sophomores — Hanna Dalrymple, Siena Lococo, and Sarah Roscoe — for academic merit-based awards. Hanna and Siena are the most recent recipients of the Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship, and Sarah has been awarded a MAPS Scholarship. Keep up the good work!


Happy Pi (Approximation) Day!

Thanks to the Math Club for organizing a very successful celebration of this year’s Pi Day! The festivities were kicked off by a campus-wide pi-themed scavenger hunt in the morning, and they culminated with lots and lots of pi(e).


Students and faculty from Math, Physics, and 3+2 Engineering celebrated their favorite transcendental number while enjoying a piece of pie and solving pi-themed puzzles on the chapel lawn.



But the highlight of the day was, of course, the pi(e)ing of professors!

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Happy Pi Day from the Math Department!


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!


Meanwhile, the multi-talented Emerita Professor Lidia Luquet presented two of her own pieces at the first-annual Mathematical Art exhibit.


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

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

The United States has won the Math Olympiad for the first time in 21 years!

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