Student Mathematical Opportunities
Probably the most predominant mathematical student organization on campus is the Mathematics Club. The Math Club meets once a month for regular meetings and also generates other special activities, as well. Last year the club hosted speakers from Capital One, SAIC, Scruggs Consulting, Towers Perrin, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Digital Systems Resources, and the Gordian Group. Other meetings of the Math Club involved a presentation on preparing for graduate school and selecting the proper school, a faculty talk on his paper that won this year's Polya Award, and a talk by an student whose undergraduate research project won this year's Layman Award. The club also participated in the Mathematics Department's Women's Career Day, where four female speakers from government and industry gave a panel discussion on the special challenges women meet in scientific careers. The club also held a Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa party in December, and a trip to play laser tag in May. The Math Department springs for pizza or subs for students after every meeting.
In concert with the regular Mathematics Club is the Minority Mathematics Club under the direction of the departmental minority faculty advisor and a graduate-student minority facilitator. Aside from the above-listed activities of the general math club, the big event for the minority club each year is a trip to visit with corporations in large cities such as Atlanta, Richmond, or Washington, DC. The minority club also works on minority recruitment and retention for our department, as well as for Virginia Tech.
The Mathematics Department also sponsors mathematical competitions for our students and others, as well. There is a freshman/sophomore contest each year on Calculus material, and the department sponsors an Atlantic coast regional contest each year, widely participated in by Eastern universities and colleges. There is also a yearly Virginia Tech Putnam team that has finished quite highly the last few years in this prestigious national competition. The local chapter of the Mathematics Honorary Society, Pi Mu Epsilon, challenges students to compete locally each month to solve nationally published student mathematical problems. Much daytime student mathematical activity also occurs in the Mathematics Undergraduate Lounge in McBryde Hall. It is a great place to study or relax between classes, where there are substantial computational facilities and posted notices on departmental activity and career opportunities.