Gloria Prothe
Department of Mathematics

Math department announces Undergraduate Research Award winners

Mon, 10/02/2023

LAWRENCE – The Department of Mathematics at the University of Kansas has awarded undergraduate research scholarships to three KU students to support their fall 2023 research projects.

Math Undergraduate Research Awards (MathUGRAs) are $1,000 scholarships provided to undergraduate math majors pursuing original research or creative projects under the general guidance of a KU math faculty member.  The awards are funded by the department’s endowment. MathUGRAs are awarded to students conducting semester-long independent projects culminating in an oral presentation or written work, demonstrating the student’s own development of a topic in mathematics and its applications. Recipients of the award were selected on the merit of the applicant's proposal, the applicant's academic record and the recommendation from a faculty member who is familiar with the applicant and the proposed project.

Fall 2023 recipients and their projects:

Aidan Bowen, senior in mathematics and computer science from Wichita: “Exploration and Analysis of Options Pricing Models Using Monte Carlo Simulations,” a research project to explore and analyze a few of the options pricing models and validate or compare them using Monte Carlo simulations to understand the difference between theory and space. Research mentor: Weizhang Huang, professor of mathematics.

Haley Cabrera, junior in mathematics from Portland, Oregon: “Mathematical Modeling and Climate Change: A Statistical Analysis on the Effects of Global Warming on Prairie Ecosystems in Kansas.” This is a joint project with the Kansas Biological Survey. This project will investigate the effects of worsening climate on grassland ecology, restoration and plant-microbe interactions within prairie ecosystems in Kansas. Once the relevant data is gathered, it will need to be imported and processed in R and apply techniques from linear regression. Research mentor: Jeffrey Oregero, visiting assistant professor of mathematics, and Vadim Karatayev, postdoctoral researcher in ecology & evolutionary biology.

Viet Le, senior in mathematics and computer science from Binh Dinh, Vietnam: “Dependent Sampling Forest,” which introduces a novel class of ensemble learners. DSF employs a dependent sampling procedure to construct the individual trees within the ensemble to alleviate the correlation among trees, thus potentially reducing the generalized error; research mentor: Joonha Park, assistant professor of mathematics.

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