Skip to main content

Department of Mathematics

Student Research and Internships

The Classroom Comes to Life During Summer Internships

Junior Brenda Dreisbach and senior Jett Vernaci had amazing experiences this summer as interns at Benjamin Moore & Co., and Willis Re, a division of Willis Towers Watson, respectively.

Photo of Brenda Dreisbach

Brenda Dreisbach

This summer I completed a 13-week internship as part of the pricing team at Benjamin Moore & Co.  I had many assignments that involved creating reports by analyzing data on some of the different promotions the company offered.  I was most excited to work with R-Studio, a coding software, creating cluster models for machine learning projects.  Seeing how to analyze data from two different perspectives really opened my eyes to all the employment possibilities that I can attain being a math major with a concentration in statistics.  When I came back to school and told my professors about what I had learned over the summer, they immediately suggested I sign up for a new class that will be offered on R-Studio.  I am most thankful for Monmouth’s math department because the professors have always had my best interests in mind.

 

Photo of Jett Vernaci

Jett Vernaci

 

My internship in the actuarial department of Willis Re this summer was one of the best experiences of my life.  It taught me how to take complex data and consolidate it into nice, compact exhibits that are easy to read.  It also taught me how to run experience and exposure analyses, given a client’s data, to get an idea of the risk factors associated with the client’s particular line of business.  In addition to being challenging, the internship was also a very fun experience and I made many connections.  I learned more than I ever thought I would at a summer internship.

Summer Research Job?  Check.

Junior Samantha Cavalli didn’t work at the mall or a fast food restaurant this summer.  She found employment with the MU School of Science’s Summer Research Program (SRP) as the statistician for three teams of biology students working with Dr. Pedram Daneshgar.  Through several experiments, data collections and observations, Cavalli and her fellow student researchers studied the likelihood of certain types of trees to fall during an extreme weather event; the conditions in which the red mangrove, a globally threatened plant species, is able to thrive and reproduce; and the effect of “salt stress” on various types of trees in the maritime forest.  As the only math major on the team, Cavalli used her expertise in statistics to analyze all the data, which in turn, allowed the team to come up with evidence-based conclusions and recommendations for each of the three research problems.  According to Cavalli, “The most valuable thing I got out of the experience was being able to contribute the design process of the experiment and data collection. I was able to use my knowledge in ways I didn’t expect and make contributions to the team. Not only did I have fun working hands on in the field, but it also allowed me to have an even better understanding of the data analyses and results, which provided my team with vital conclusions and recommendations about each of the projects.”

Math Students Present at Annual Student Research Conference

Students from across the School of Science gathered during Scholarship Week for the annual Student Research Conference on April 26, 2019.  Teams of students from Dr. Rich Bastian’s Statistical Consulting class created posters detailing their work over the course of the semester with external clients.  Bastian’s students interviewed their client, translated client needs into statistical language, designed statistical experiments, generated data collection plans, collected and analyzed data, interpreted their analyses, and presented their findings to the client. Depending upon client needs, students utilized methods including power and sample size considerations, multiple and logistic regression, survival analyses, t- and chi-square tests, ANOVA/MANOVA/ANCOVA, and principal component analysis. Kristen Marzano and Samantha Cavalli won the Dean’s Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Research in Mathematics for their project, “Statistical Analysis of White Blood Cell Count and CCL and Meniscus Tears in Canines.”  

Rodriguez Presents Honors Project

If you spent any time in the math department this past year, you most definitely would have seen senior Nate Rodriguez and his faculty advisor, Dr. Susan Marshall, working at her chalkboard. As one of eight students selected school-wide for the 2018 Summer Scholars Program, Nate spent last June and July living on campus immersed in research on Heronian shapes. Work on the project continued during the school year, until finally he presented his results, an “Exploration of Heronian Shapes,” at the Honors School’s Spring Research Conference on April 26, 2019.

 

Three Seniors Present Honors Projects

Miranda Halpern, Bryanna Roos, and Matt Vazzana presented their honors projects on December 7, 2018 at the Honors School Research Conference, held in the historic Monmouth University Library. Halpern, a math major and physics minor, worked with physics professors Kayla Lewis and Dmytro Kosenkov on “Two-Phase Flow in a Hydrothermal Vent System.” Roos (Math/Elementary Education) and Vazzana (Math/Secondary Education) worked with Dr. Turner and Dr. Zak, respectively. The title of Roos’ presentation was “A Checklist for Implementing Technology in Elementary Mathematics Classrooms,” while Vazzana shared his knowledge on “Exploration of Lebesgue Integral.” We are extremely proud of these three students!