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Mathematics at the 2015 SACNAS National Conference

The 2015 National Conference of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) was held in National Harbor, MD, October 29-30. The conference featured keynote speakers, sessions and symposia, awards, undergraduate student poster presentations, graduate student presentations, mentoring, field trips, and social events--and mathematics continues to be a significant component of the program. The AMS is pleased to be a Special Session Sponsor and report on the mathematics at this annual conference.


"At the conference I enjoyed meeting/reconnecting with mentors during the meals and hearing math talks from a diverse group of speakers. What made these talks so engaging was the passion that the speakers put into their work. In particular Alicia Prieto-Langarica’s talk about a game on graphs showed me that passion and creativity are driven by our personality, culture, and experiences. We each have a unique perspective that can allow us to see a hard problem differently and discover a solution. Being with such a diverse group of mathematicians really embodied that, the energy was incredible." -- Megan Ly, a graduate student at the University of Colorado Boulder. Read more of her blog post, "Experiencing the SACNAS conference."

Student Presentations in Mathematics

The Undergraduate Student Poster presentations, held in the exhibit hall, were a highlight of the conference. Below is a slideshow of presenters in the mathematical sciences.

Created with flickr slideshow.

The following undergraduate students received awards for mathematics and statistics posters:

  • Valerie Carrasquillo, Universidad Metropolitana, Puerto Rico, Applied Mathematics, for "STOCHASTIC DELAY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS FOR CORAL REEF DYNAMICS"
  • Erika Estrada, University of California, Davis, Mathematics & Statistics, for "CORRELATION OF ADOLESCENT CAFFEINE INTAKE WITH BLOOD PRESSURE IN ADULTHOOD"
  • Meghan Malachi, Providence College, Mathematics & Statistics, for "SUBSTITUTIONS AND RAUZY FRACTALS"

See the abstracts of all the presenters. Again many of the mathematicians at the conference served as mentors and poster judges at the 2015 National SACNAS Conference. Many have volunteered to serve as a judge each year, and some are featured in the SACNAS Biography Project. The AMS gave each student poster presenter a bag with Asymptopia, by Joel Spencer, by V. I. Arnold, and some small gifts in appreciation of their work.

There were Graduate Student Presentations in Mathematical Sciences as well. Maxime Pouokam Jr., California State University, San Francisco, received a 2015 SACNAS Graduate Student Poster Presentation Recognition for "STATISTICS OF TOPOLOGICAL INVARIANTS FOR ASSESSING REPRODUCIBILITY OF CHROMOSOME CONFORMATION CAPTURE RECONSTRUCTIONS."

"If I had to summarize my SACNAS 2015 experience in one word, it would be motivation." Alexander Diaz-Lopez, a graduate student at the Notre Dame. Read more of his blog post, "Experiencing the SACNAS conference."

Conversations with Scientists - Mathematical Sciences Section

This annual session gives undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to talk informally with mentors in the mathematical sciences about discipline-specific career paths, share experiences with each other, and discuss mathematics, courses, graduate programs. The mentors at each table answer questions and guide the discussions.

Created with flickr slideshow.


The AMS was among the institutes, colleges, universities, associations, hospitals, companies and government agencies that provided information about educational programs and career opportunities in the sciences, and the AMS is also a Special Session Sponsor. The AMS exhibit drew undergraduate and graduate students, mathematicians, and mentors. AMS Public Awareness Officer Annette Emerson answered questions about the Society's programs and services including Find Graduate Programs in the Mathematical Sciences. This online resource allows users to search and sort grad programs in the U.S. and Canada by specialties, requirements, masters or PhD, size and location.

AMS and General Scenes at the 2015 National SACNAS Conference. Created with flickr slideshow.

The AMS provided students and mentors with materials including:

The Society also displayed resources from the American Statistical Association on careers, awards and scholarships, membership, meetings and publications.

More Mathematics Sessions and Events

Talithia Williams, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Harvey Mudd College, chaired the "Women in STEM Panel," a lunch plenary session.

Find all the sessions in the Mathematics track in the online program and view the #SACNAS2015 Storify.

Read Highlights of the 2014 SACNAS National Conference, and see information about the 2016 SACNAS National Conference, October 13-15, 2016 at the Long Beach Convention Center Long Beach, CA.

--- Annette Emerson, AMS Public Awareness Officer