Welcome from the Chair - Jean-François Lafont

Dear Friends of the Department,

Welcome to our latest newsletter! During these extraordinary times, I look forward to updating you on our department activities and increasing our engagement with the broader community.

 Jean-Francois LafontThis issue of our newsletter contains an article on our colleagues’ work on modeling Covid-19 in Ohio. This fulfilled an urgent need for modeling, and informed the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Hospital Association and Gov. Mike DeWine in their decision-making. This has provided a rewarding mathematical contribution to these interdisciplinary efforts. 

We also have an article on a new course created in our department: Math 2010S Intersections of Mathematics and Society: Hidden Figures. This course was inspired by Margot Lee Shetterly’s book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped win the Space Race, which was turned into an awarding-winning film of the same name.

Another article is about recent teaching awards to several members of our department,  including two graduate students. These awards highlight excellence in undergraduate teaching at Ohio State. Our final article discusses emerging connections and applications between math research in our department and computer science.

In addition to these articles, this issue contains a spotlight on the phenomenal performance of our undergraduate team in the 2019 William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. The Putnam Competition, founded in 1938, is the most prestigious college-level national competition in mathematics. There are also spotlights on select members of our community, as well as on recent activities carried out by BAMM, our outreach initiative.

We hope you will enjoy reading our newsletter. And as always, we encourage you to consider donating funds to help support our departmental activities.

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