Student Research Day

21 April 2023

Schedule of Events:

  • 1 - 2 pm, WA 103A: Colloquium by Dr. Stephen Robinson, Wake Forest U
  • 2 - 3 pm, 3rd Floor: Refreshments and Camaraderie
  • 3 - 5 pm, WA 103A: Student presentations (and prizes!)

Student Presentations:

3 PM: Nic Garzone, Mastering Anxiety: Mastery-Based Testing and its Effectiveness on the Anxiety Levels of Quantitative Literacy Students
Abstract: In this presentation, I will discuss the implementation of Mastery-Based Testing (MBT) in a quantitative literacy class and its effects on the anxiety levels and mindsets of quantitative literacy students. Qualitative evidence showed that the quantitative literacy students preferred MBT because it reduced their stress levels and helped increase their understanding of course content. I will also discuss the potential for future implementation of MBT in similar mathematics courses.

3:30 PM: Matt Goard, Controlling the Spin Rate of Batted Balls for Run Prevention
Abstract: The spin rate of baseballs has largely been studied due to the impact that spin rate has on the flight of a ball. Most researchers have approached spin rate through the lens of a thrown ball, leaving a lot of room for research about the spin rate of batted balls. By studying a set of event data, recorded by TrackMan, I was able to study the spin rate of batted balls, and how pitchers can control this spin rate to prevent runs. By studying the characteristics of pitches that induce a higher spin rate on batted balls, as well as the characteristics of the ball once put in play, I determined that velocity and location induced the largest spin rate on batted balls, which could lead to more outs. By throwing high velocity pitches high and down the middle of the strike zone, pitchers can cause a batter to produce a large spin rate upon contact with the baseball. For this reason, it is believed that pitchers should develop pitches similar to two-seam fastballs, cutters, and sliders due to the impact that pitch break also has on hit spin rate. While these pitches caused a higher hit spin rate, further research is necessary to determine the direction of this spin, and how that corresponds to getting more batters out.

4:00 PM Gavin Cusack
Abstract: The goal of this project is to solve the Rubik's cube by using group theory and Wolfram Mathematica. While this topic has been well studied, I am using this project as an opportunity to better understand permutation groups and Rubik's cube solving algorithms. 

4:20 PM Lindsay Peabody
Abstract: Throughout history many significant minds in the field of mathematics have been philosophers, and many philosophers have been mathematicians. Due to the prevalence of philosophy in the studies of historical mathematicians, one must consider the impact of philosophy on the development of mathematics. One area of philosophy is the study of the existence and human relationship to the divine. This area of interest was studied in depth by Kurt Gödel, and it is his proof exploration in modal logic of the ontological argument that is of value in understanding the intersection of philosophy and mathematics. 

 4:40 PM James Watkins
: Philosophy in the Western tradition is rooted in the ideas of classical Greeks such as Parmenides, Protagoras and Pythagoras. This inquisition aspires to provide new perspectives to an old learner and dispel ignorance of the Platonic Theory of Forms as it appears in his numerous Dialogues. The principal focus is on the nature of mathematical and philosophical infinity, guiding the reader to the origination of modern ideas in set theory by connecting writings and their historical interpretations. Many have before studied the work of ancient philosophers, so their quarrels illuminate developmental thought and discussion, namely Galileo’s Paradox. In particular, pertinent set theoretic foundations are examined to interpretations of number as quantity and measure. The Continuum Hypothesis represents a clear distinction in the understanding of mathematics, specifically the densely populated interval of (0,1). This markedly modern perspective contrasts from the classical concept of number, but shares similarity to disagreements of even the Pythagoreans. Discourse is also held with religious beliefs that are relevant to the universal understanding of infinity, since these, among others, are factors within the scope of study. Also, the relationship of words or etymology is investigated as it bears historical influence and the shape of referential objects. As Newton spoke of himself as seeing further than most by standing on the shoulders of giants, this exposition liberally reveres the great work accomplished prior and offers introspection.