Internships are a very important facet of the curriculum at Goucher College. As such, the mathematics and computer science faculty members consider well-structured internships to be essential to a student's education. The variety of internships that have been completed under the supervision of this department is evidence of the flexible and creative applicability of degrees in both mathematics and computer science. Students find internship opportunities through the Career Development Office, through faculty and staff members, or on their own.
A detailed description of the off-campus experience is published by the Career Development Office each year and fully describes the guidelines and timetable for internships. Students interested in arranging an internship in mathematics or computer science should contact their individual academic advisors.
The following are descriptions of some recent internships in mathematics and computer science:
- Two students participated in the University of Maryland's Research Internship in Science and Engineering. One of them designed a web-based tool for collecting data on pedestrian activity, while the other worked with an interdisciplinary group in meteorology.
- A mathematics and computer science double major worked at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in the Combat Systems Evaluation Lab, programming a GUI window as part of an interface with a large tactical display system being developed for the U.S. Navy and Joint Forces.
- A 3-2 engineering major worked on improving current text-to-speech and speech recognition techniques using a rules-based approach as opposed to strict combinations of statistical and corpus analysis. His duties included developing a model of the Human Vocal Production system and devising data structures for the learning and active phases of the model.
- A mathematics major and a mathematics and computer science double major worked with a Goucher College physicist to write software to test thermal calculations of high-temperature superconductors.
- A computer science major worked on the SPARTA (Simulation of Physics on A Real Time Architecture) project at the Pennsylvania State University. The goal of the project was to develop specialized hardware that would greatly accelerate physical modeling.
- A mathematics and computer science double major worked as a summer intern at the University of Utah, doing research in text classification, an area of artificial intelligence.
The Mathematics and Computer Science Club
Membership in the Mathematics and Computer Science Club is open to all departmental majors, as well as other interested students. The club provides an opportunity for students to share their common interests in an informal way.
The most traditional of the club's activities is the annual Torrey Dinner, which is held each April to honor graduating mathematics and computer science majors. The officers and advisor organize the dinner. One highlight of the evening is a talk, usually about her/his work or research, given by an alumna/us. Another source of excitement is the announcement of the winners of the Torrey, Ekin, Leavitt, and Writing Prizes.
The fall semester traditionally starts with a departmental pizza party, at which majors share their summer internship, research, and international experiences with fellow students and faculty. Further club activities include field trips to Baltimore and Washington, DC, museums, films, guest lecturers about mathematics or computer science, fund-raising events, a year-end picnic, and more.
The first club meeting of each academic year is announced in mathematics and computer science classes, as well as by e-mail.
Pi Mu Epsilon
In 2005, Goucher College was awarded a chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national Honorary Society for Mathematics. The mission of the society is to encourage scholarship and scholarly activities among undergraduate mathematics students. Students, who by virtue of their academic promise and achievement are invited to join the society, meet on a monthly basis to support each other in their professional development. Activities include guest speakers, problem-solving sessions, book or film discussions and practice sessions for upcoming mathematical presentations. The chapter holds induction ceremonies at the Torrey dinner in the spring.
During the academic year, there are a number of opportunities for mathematics and computer science students to participate in academic competitions, as individuals and in teams.
Each fall semester, the Association for Computing Machinery sponsors a mid-Atlantic region programming competition whose winners participate in national finals. Each participating college or university fields teams (possibly including graduate students), which strive to solve the most programming problems in the shortest time. Although the competition is quite challenging, Goucher teams have placed as high as fourth place in the region.
Goucher mathematics students also have the opportunity to compete as a team. The annual Mathematical Competition in Modeling takes place early in the second semester. Each three-person team chooses one of two open-ended applied mathematics problems and then researches and writes a solution paper over the course of a single weekend. Goucher teams have received awards a number of times, competing against several hundred teams from other colleges and universities.
As a result of the problem of the month sponsored by our chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, we can send one student per year to participate in the U.S. National Collegiate Mathematics Competition. We have performed well in this competition.
In addition, our mathematics students have participated as individuals numerous times in the annual Putnam Competition and the Virginia Tech Mathematics Contest
Student Work Opportunities
To find on-campus employment especially suitable for mathematics and computer science students, please visit the Career Development Office.
Special Prizes and Awards
The Marian M. Torrey Prize
The Marian M. Torrey Prize is awarded to senior majors in mathematics who are selected by the department for their excellent records, firm grasp of subject matter, creative imagination, incisive thinking, and ability to present ideas clearly.
The Mary Katherine Boone Ekin Prize
The Mary Katherine Boone Ekin Prize is awarded to a senior majoring in computer science who is considered to have an excellent grasp of both theoretical and applied aspects of the subject. The criteria for the award include high achievement in course work and the ability to interpret the concepts of computer science in creative and imaginative ways.
The Mathematics Writing Prize
The Mathematics Writing Prize is awarded annually to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the exposition of classical mathematics. The winner is determined by a contest which is open to majors and non-majors.
The Pearl Davis Leavitt Prize
The Pearl Davis Leavitt Prize is awarded to a mathematics major other than a graduating senior who has exhibited meritorious achievement in mathematics courses beyond the freshman level and is judged to have outstanding potential for further high achievement in the discipline.