Camarillo, Calif., May 1, 2013 – Eight CSU Channel Islands (CI) students recently won top prizes for presentations of their research at a Mathematics Association of America (MAA) conference. The leading national collegiate mathematics group’s Spring 2013 Southern California-Nevada Section Meeting meeting drew more than 60 students presenting 46 research projects to the University of San Diego on Saturday, April 20.

CI students dominated the awards. Four CI Master of Science in Mathematics students swept the top four spots in the graduate competition. Four CI undergraduate mathematics students won two of the top four awards in the junior/senior category.

Following are the graduate category winners, whose algebraic geometry research is advised by Professor of Mathematics Ivona Grzegorczyk:

  • Nausheen Ahmed, “The Tooth Surface”
  • Ryan DeMoss, “Properties of the Burkhardt Quartic”
  • George Walden, “Bohemian Dome: The Pinched Inner Tube”
  • Chinh Tran, “Polygonal Tilings of the Plane”

Following are CI’s junior/senior category winners, whose imaging research is advised by Associate Professor of Mathematics Kathryn Leonard:

  • Cameron Embree, Gradon Faulkner, Jillian Glasset, “Compression and Skeletal Shape Models”
  • Rodrigues Bailey, “Wildfire Predictions via Infrared Images”

“It’s a wonderful feeling to be recognized for the hard work and hours you spend researching a topic,” said math graduate student Nausheen Ahmed. “There’s also a great sense of pride that I didn’t let my coach down. Professor Ivona Grzegorczyk has not only been an awesome thesis advisor, but also a great coach in all the math classes I have taken with her. A lot of my success comes from her continued support and encouragement.”

“I was very excited to receive this award because it is a pleasant reminder that other people outside CI think we are doing good work,” said junior math and computer science double-major Cameron Embree. “It can be difficult when in the throes of research to appreciate the successes you have had when you have been stuck on one problem for weeks that nobody else has solved. This award announces to others that students of CI strive for excellence.”

The research poster presentations allow the students to share their work with the wider mathematical community, receive recognition and feedback, hone communication skills, develop and advance ideas, and conduct valuable networking.

CI Associate Professor of Mathematics Kathryn Leonard, recipient of the MAA’s prestigious Alder Award, was a featured speaker at the conference on the topic of “Image Modeling with Industry and Undergraduates.” Her presentation explored various tiers of research in geometric modeling of shapes, connecting “high-level” research with projects involving students and industrial/government partners.

“All these prizes testify to the quality and importance of the faculty-student collaborations on our campus,” said Grzegorczyk. “These young researchers have learned not only theoretical mathematics, but also were able to use modern computer tools and apply them in various contexts, from image analysis to the visualization of algebraic surfaces to unusual tilings of the plane. I am pleased to see that CI dominated the research competition this year, as we had the largest number of students presenting their excellent mathematics research projects. Way to go, Math Dolphins!”

For more information, contact Professor Ivona Grzegorczyk at

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CSU Channel Islands 
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