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Mathematics Research

Research with Faculty

Math majors are invited to conduct research with department faculty. Explore topics that faculty specialize in below.

Dr. Joshua Bowman

Topics: dynamics, topology, configuration spaces

Recent projects: (1) Computing topological properties of a configuration space (2) Determining the dynamical behavior of geodesics on a surface

Dr. Courtney Davis

Topics: Mathematical biology

Recent project: Creating mathematical models for studying biological systems such as newt, trout, and crayfish populations during droughts

Dr. Kevin Iga

Topics: Mathematical physics: supersymmetry, codes, topology

Dr. Kendra Killpatrick

Topics: Combinatorics: permutation patterns, enumerative combinatorics, Young tableaux, Catalan polynomials

Recent project: Giving a combinatorial proof of a Catalan binomial identity

Dr. Timothy Lucas

Topics: Mathematical biology, developing and assessing educational apps

Recent projects: (1) Designing and assessing mobile apps for investigating differential equations (2) Modeling the impact of drought and invasive crayfish on local newt populations (2) Simulating chaparral vegetation response to frequent wildfires (3) Modeling emergency airplane evacuations (5) Investigating the effectiveness of iPads in the mathematics classroom

Dr. David Strong

Topics: Linear algebra, image analysis


Undergraduate Research Programs

While it is possible to work with a professor outside of any formal program, Pepperdine offers a number of undergraduate research programs that provide structure and occasionally funding for these projects.

  • Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative (AYURI): AYURI is a competitive program to conduct research with faculty during the academic year.
  • Faculty/Student Mentor Program: The faculty/student mentor program provides funds for students to engage in research under the direction of a faculty member.
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Biology (SURB): While predominantly focusing on biology, SURB is a summer program that includes mathematical biology programs.

Beyond conducting research at Pepperdine, there are additional undergraduate research opportunities across colleges and universities nationwide. For a list of research opportunities, visit the AMS or Math Programs website.


Learning and Leadership Opportunities

Students earning their degree in mathematics have a variety of learning and leadership opportunities outside of the classroom. The following represent some of the extra-curricular activities available to students:

  • Serving as a teaching assistant or grader
  • Serving as a mathematics tutor
  • Listening to or giving a Tuesday Tea Talk
  • Participating in the Mathematics or Science Modeling Club
  • Being the lunch guest of a mathematics professor
  • Conducting undergraduate research with a faculty mentor

Additional opportunities available throughout the summer include:

  • SURB: While predominantly focusing on biology, SURB is a summer program that includes mathematical biology programs.
  • Mathfest: A four-day mathematics conference, generally in late July or early August, that features mathematical talks, social events, and a wide-range of opportunities to explore mathematics. Students who have been conducting research can present their work at the conference.
  • National Security Agency: The NSA offers multiple summer opportunities for students interested in cryptography, signals, and number theory. Click here to learn more.
  • Local MAA Meetings: Each semester the Southern California/Nevada section of the MAA hosts a one-day mathematics conference with talks and posters by faculty and students.
  • Semester and Summer Opportunities: The Mathematical Association of America lists a variety of opportunities both within and outside the United States.