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KU Math Club

The KU Math Club is open to all students with an interest in mathematics.  Join us for some pizza, fun, and relaxation on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 11:00-11:50 a.m. (unless otherwise noted).

Officers for 2018-2019
President: Michael Rex
Vice President: Diego Manzano-Ruiz
Treasurer: Grant Fickes
Secretary: Jacob McCann

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Brooks Emerick and Dr. Tony Wong


Fall 2018

Tuesday, September 11 in Lytle 214 - Quizbowl on Math Puns, followed by math major Ethan Noe who will share some tips about solving the Rubik's cube!

Thursday, October 18 in Lytle 214- Grant Fickes (REU at Lafayette College), Jacob McCann (NSF Supported at University of Southern Queensland, Australia), Alex Miller (REU at Muhlenberg College) will speak about their summer research projects.

Monday, October 29 at 7pm in Boehm 261 -  Ben Orlin, the author of "Math with Bad Drawings: Illuminating the Ideas That Shape Our Reality" and the blog

Abstract: Math is supposed to be useful. And yet mathematicians are always chasing imaginary visions, abstractions divorced from reality. Could that possibly prove useful to science? Actually, yes. In a big way.​

Tuesday, November 13 in Lytle 214 - Game day!  Come (learn and) play games such as Blokus, Mastermind, Othello, SET, and more!  We'll provide games, but feel free to bring your own if you wish!


Math Club Speakers 2017-2018

April 10 - Mr. Dave Smith, Senior Program Manager at the Computer Aid, Inc., will tell us about how average, everyday people use math in the real world.  In particular, he will discuss the Fibonacci Sequence, Trilateration, the Golden Ratio, Least-Squares Line, The Pythagorean Theorem, and more!

March 20 - In the first part of the meeting, KU Professor Brooks Emerick will give a small talk about the applications of reaction-diffusion equations and the idea of Turing Instability.  In the rest of the meeting, we'll play the card game Bridge!  And since we didn't get to officially celebrate Pi Day last week, we'll have a few pies there as well!

February 13 - In the first 10 to 15 minutes, we have the pleasure of hearing from Ms. Shannon Golden about some last minute tips in applying for REUs, as well as her experience at the Joint Math Meetings (JMM) in San Diego over the break.  In the rest of the meeting, we will learn the card game Bridge from none other than the expert Professor John Botzum!

November 14 - KU Math major Shannon Golden will tell us about her REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) from last summer, including what an REU is, how to apply for one, and her personal experience at Lafayette College's REU this past summer.  Her talk will focus on the incidence geometry that motivated her group's study, what exactly those weird graphs are outside of Dr. Kronenthal's office, and some interesting results they proved about Algebraically Defined Graphs.

October 17 - We will hear from our award winning Math Modeling teams on solutions to their problems from the 9th annual Cumberland Valley Math Modeling Challenge, as well as their experience in the Challenge.

September 12 - KU Math major Jacob McCann will talk about his REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) experience from this past summer. We will also learn more about how to apply for an REU and other upcoming opportunities and events.


Math club speakers

April 11 - Our speakers will be KU Math alumni Cody and Ashley Zimmerman.  Cody works for Giant's parent company on logistics and operations research. Ashley teaches high school mathematics and may be returning to graduate school. They will talk about what they do, how to prepare for a career in that area, and whatever else is on their minds.

Thursday, March 9 at 3pm - Dr. Donald Richard (Penn State University Department of Statistics) will tell us about "Statistical Properties of the Risk-Transfer Formula in the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 led to the creation of competitive insurance plans which provide universal health-insurance coverage without regard to pre-existing medical conditions. To assist insurers during a transitional period the Act introduced a ''risk-transfer formula," which requires insurance plans with healthier enrollees to transfer funds to plans with sicker enrollees, thereby discouraging any tendency for insurers to favor healthier enrollees. However, it has been noticed that risk-transfer amounts have been more volatile for smaller insurance plans than for larger plans, a phenomenon which led to insolvency for some smaller plans.  

In this talk, we treat the risk-transfer amounts as random variables. By analyzing the variances of these amounts, we will obtain a theoretical explanation for the observed phenomenon that risk-transfer amounts were more volatile for insurers with smaller market shares. Further, we will provide examples for which the phenomenon holds.

November 8 - Dr. Gene Fiorini of Muhlenberg College will discuss some interesting problems related to the work of John Conway.  He'll also tell us about summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates and how to get paid to do math at an interesting location, including Muhlenberg!

October 11 - We'll start with a guest speaker from the KU Small Business Development Center on opportunities for math majors in small business, start-ups, and entrepreneurship.  Then we will have the pleasure of hearing from our math modeling teams that competed in the Cumberland Valley Math Modeling Challenge at Shippensburg University on September 24-25. 

September 13 - Come for the FREE PIZZA! Stay to be welcomed to (or back to) KU, meet others majoring or minoring in one Math or Math Education program or another, and meet some of the professors that you may be taking classes with or doing research with in the past, present, and/or future!


April 12 - The KU Math Club will host Mr. Hank Youngerman, a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), who has volunteered to be the CAS Liaison to Kutztown University.  Mr. Youngerman will give a presentation at the Math Club meeting at 11:00am in LY 228. Pizza will be provided. During his presentation, Mr. Youngerman will address the following questions:

  • What is an Actuary?
  • Why be an Actuary?
  • What skills are needed to be an Actuary?
  • What is the difference - CAS and SOA?
  • How do you become an Actuary?
  • What do Property/Casualty Actuaries do?
  • How can I find out more?
Mr. Youngerman graduated from Georgetown University in 1977. He became an Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries in 1980 and then a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society in 1983.  He is also an Associate in Risk Management and a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist.  Mr. Youngerman has about 35 years of casualty actuarial experience, in pricing and reserving, and in working for insurance companies, consulting firms, and government regulators.  
        Hank Youngerman         

March 14 - Come see a "lucky" faculty member get a pi(e) in the face at 3:14pm.

Dr. L gets Pi-ed!

February 9 - Elections, plans, and games!

November 10 - KU Math alumnus Rob Barbieri ('99) will speak about grad school at Lehigh, his work at Air Products, and how a degree in math prepares you for life after graduation.

October 13 - Jiao Xu will speak about an interesting combinatorial problem; Shannon Golden, Jiao Xu, and Guozhi Zhang will speak about their experience representing KU at the recent Cumberland Valley Math Modeling Challenge

Jiao Xu speaking at the KU Math Club          Jiao Xu and Shannon Golden speaking at the KU Math Club

September 15 - Curt Reigle will talk about his research on real world math, in particular pairing dogs with owners, and Dr. Fran Vasko will speak about various undergraduate research opportunities.


April 17 (3-5 pm) - The Imitation Game

April 14 - Learn about the Kryptos College Code Cracking Contest ( that will run from April 16-20th and learn how to crack some of the messages from previous contests.

February 10 - Bill Harwi, Jacob Kramer, and Kevin Singewald will talk about their problem and solution to the COMAP Math Contest in Modeling.  Then Dr. Landquist will demonstrate Mathematica and discuss the Collatz (3n+1) Conjecture.

November 11 - Dan Herrlin (KU Math 2001) will speak on his Ph.D. research on picking a fantasy baseball team.

October 14 - Jesse Bailey, Zach Moran, and Ian Tomes  will present their solutions to the CVMMC math modeling challenge.


April 8 - Dr. Lyn McQuaid - Kutztown Then vs. Now: Experiences of a KU Mathematics Major

π Day

March 11 - Dr. Brian Kronenthal - Experiences as a Mathematics Major in Undergraduate and Graduate School

February 11 - Luke Eshbach and Ian Tomes, 2013 Cumberland Valley Math Modeling Challenge Finalists - Modeling Financial Aid

November 23 - Career Opportunities in Mathematics - Careers Conference at Drexel.  Registration $30.00.  To reserve a seat in the van, contact Dr. Landquist.

November 12 - Actuaries Larry Brisman, Kristin Augustine, and Laura MacDonald from Beyer-Barber Company - What actuarial science is; how to prepare for a career in actuarial science; and the famous exams.

October 8 - Dr. Padraig McLoughlin - The Use of Evil Machines

September 10 - Mathematics in Industry Faculty Panel