The Department of Mathematics welcomed William Yslas Vélez as the speaker for the 32nd annual Lonseth Lecture on on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Prior to his lecture, the department celebrated the achievements of undergraduates, graduates, and faculty with the annual Mathematics awards ceremony. Following the lecture, alumni and faculty joined in judging a graduate student poster competition.

Lonseth Lecture

In his lecture, Vélez argued that, too often, undergraduate students rule out further study in mathematics due to self-assessments based on peer interactions, instructor feedback, and their relationship to the material itself, in terms of how competent they feel as well as how passionate. And, at the undergraduate level, subjects like algebra and analysis are often taught as dry, discrete topics with little relevance to each other. Yet beyond the classroom, mathematical research is dynamic and interconnected in a way that more students would find engaging if they were introduced to it early on. Mathematics opens many doors for students and should never be an obstacle to a desired career path.

The Lonseth Lecture was established in 1985 to honor Arvid T. Lonseth, Professor Emeritus and former chair of the Mathematics Department at Oregon State University. Read more about Arvid Lonseth and the Lonseth Lecture series here.

Department of Mathematics Awards

The Department of Mathematics awards ceremony featured awards to undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty. Undergraduate and graduate awards are presented each year to students who demonstrate outstanding work and dedication, while graduate and faculty awards recognize excellence in teaching and research. The award recipients are listed below.

2017 Gary L. Musser Award
In recognition of outstanding mathematical achievement for a prospective elementary or middle school teacher

  • Celeste Wong

2017 Edward H. Stockwell Award for excellence in mathematics
For outstanding work in mathematics

  • Joel Belsterling
  • Gregory Brandt
  • Katherine Stevens

2017 Harry and Molly Goheen Memorial Scholarship
Awarded to an outstanding junior or senior majoring in mathematics or computer science who expresses the desire to work in the field of mathematics or computer science following graduation. Awarded in alternate years by the Departments of Mathematics and Computer Science.

  • Rong Yu


2017 WIC Award
For outstanding mathematical writing in a writing intensive course

  • Patrick Flynn

2017 Botand Gabor Eross Math Memorial Scholarship
For outstanding work in mathematics

  • Corinne Andriola
  • Michael Hunter
  • Huu Duc Huy Le
  • Jesse Rodriguez
  • Jill Weimer

2017 Joel Davis Award for excellence in mathematics
For outstanding work in mathematics.

  • Patrick Flynn

2017 Actuarial Science Award
For excellence in mathematics

  • Connor Edwards
  • Huanqun Jiang
  • Kai Li

2017 William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition
OSU Top Scorers

  • Gregory Brandt
  • Patrick Flynn
  • Paul Duffin
  • Jonathan Evenboer

2017 COMAP Mathematical Contest In Modeling
For participation in annual international competition

  • Honorable Mention: Yousif Almulla, Michael Redle, Gregory Brandt
  • Successful Participant: Patrick Flynn, Paul Duffin, Saxon Thune

2017 William F. Burger Graduate Teaching Award
For outstanding mathematics teaching

  • Puttha Sakkaplangkul
  • Samantha Smith

2017 Graduate Student Achievement Award
For academic excellence in mathematics

  • Samantha Smith

2017 Graduate Student Excellence Award
For academic excellence in mathematics

  • Zackery Reed
  • Emerald Stacy

2017 Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Qualifying Exams
For excellence in the Mathematics Qualifying Exams

  • Bruno Barbosa
  • Matthias Merzenich

2017 Graduate Student Honorable Mention in Coursework
For academic achievement in mathematics

  • Sarah Hagen
  • Alireza Hosseinkhan
  • Wasamon Jantai
  • Jetjaroen Klangwang
  • Jason McClelland
  • Samantha Smith


2017 Graduate Student Faculty Award
For excellence in teaching and mentoring graduate students

  • Prof. Holly Swisher

Graduate Student Poster Competition

The following graduate students presented posters in the competition:

  • Azhar Alhammali & Malgorzata Peszynska, "Elliptic and Parabolic Variational Inequalities: Solvers and Applications"
  • Zachary Barry, "Error Contribution of a Discontinuous Precipitation ODE in a System of Continuous ODEs: Calcite Precipitation"
  • Claire Gibbons, "Variations of College Algebra Instructors’ Presentations of the Mathematics: The Case of Solving Quadratic Inequalities"
  • Dwight Holland, "A Pseudo-Parabolic PDE for Compaction of a Sedimentary Basin"
  • Huanqun Jiang, "Optimal barrier strategy of dividend payment problem for a spectrally negative Levy process discounted by a class of exponential Levy processes"
  • Samantha McGee, Sarah Erickson, & Elise Lockwood, "Student Attitudes, Beliefs, and Experiences Related to Counting Problems"
  • Zackery Reed, "Undergraduate Reasoning and Generalization in Function Spaces"
  • Puttha Sakkaplangkul, Vrushali Bokil, Yingda Cheng, Yan Jiang, & Fengyan Li, "High Spatial Order Energy Preserving FDTD Methods for Maxwell's Equations in Nonlinear Optical Media"
  • Emerald Stacy, "The Smallest Non-Trivial Height of Totally p-adic Numbers of Degree 2 or Degree 3"
  • Mathew Titus, "Mixing Times for Diffusive Systems"
  • Joe Umhoefer, Timothy Costa, & Malgorzata Peszynska, "How to Choose a Stokes Solver for Upscaled Flows"
  • John Zaheer, "Towards PDE Constrained Optimal Control of Hydropower Systems"