Differential equations aren’t so hard. Just ask the UB Math Club, which has the prize to prove it!

Club excels at inaugural 2017 SCUDEM Competition

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From left: Gabriel Ferreira Araujo, Christofer Berruz, Anastasiia Babenko, Xuehao Zhang (back row) Dat Tran and Profs. Ryan McCulloch and Nicolas Zoghb

They computed and calculated, crunched numbers and revised equations, and after seven days of mathematical jockeying, the University of Bridgeport (UB) Math Club snagged one of the top prizes at the SCUDEM 2017 Inaugural Competition.

The SCUDEM (short for Student Competition Using Differential Equations Modeling) event was held at Mt. St. Mary College in Newburgh, New York, on October 14.

UB Math Club members placed second out of 13 teams from New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

The Math Club will talk about the competition at 12:20 p.m., Thursday, November 2 in room 123 at Dana Hall of Science on the UB campus.

The SCUDEM Competition is aimed at enhancing students’ acuity in modeling by using differential equations—a skill that is critical to actuaries, engineers, and scientists, said UB Math Club adviser and Professor Ryan McCulloch.

“This was a great experience for them to push themselves and have a lot of fun,” said McCulloch.

Added Math Club coach and Professor Nicolas Zoghb, “I have high hopes for the math program at UB. The team did UB proud!”

UB Math Club members include: Gabriel Ferreira Araujo, Anastasiia Babenko, Christofer Berruz, Dat Tran, and Xuehao Zhang.

Berruz, one of two freshmen on the team, noted that differential equations are generally taught during sophomore or junior year of college, but Prof. Zoghb and older team members pitched in to help him learn about them “from scratch.”

“We were able to witness how other schools perform and we received feedback in our presentations and executive summaries,” Berruz added. “I believe this process of feedback and improving is essential not only math, but in any aspect of life.”

The competition was spearheaded by Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations & Opportunities with Differential Equations (SIMIODE), a nonprofit organization focusing on mathematical outreach.

Teams were given a series of mathematical problems to solve one week prior to the competition. During that time, UB Math Club members developed a 10-minute presentation and executive summary modeling the optimal spread of an ad in different media (making it go viral) at a minimized cost.

For more information about Math Club, contact Professor Ryan McCulloch at rmccullo@bridgeport.edu.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgpeort.edu

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