2015-16 News

AUGUST 17, 2016

Dr. Eric LandquistDr. Yun Lu and Dr. Francis Vasko, and Mr. Dylan Gaspar '16 (BS Math and BS Computer Science) presented papers at the Modeling and Optimization: Theory and Applications (MOPTA 2016) Conference at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa., August 17-19. Dr. Landquist and Mr. Gaspar jointly presented the paper entitled "The Euclidean Steiner Cable-Trench Problem."  

Student with three mentors

Dr. Lu and Dr. Vasko jointly presented two papers.  The first paper entitled "An Empirical Study of Population-Based Metaheuristics for the Multiple-Choice Multidimensional Knapsack Problem" was joint work with Mr. Kenneth Zyma when he was a computer science Graduate Assistant working under the direction of Dr. Vasko and Dr. Lu. The second paper was entitled "What is the Best Continuous Metaheuristic to Solve the Set Covering Problem?"  Also, Dr. Vasko and Dr. Lu were organizers and session chairs for two sessions on metaheuristics.  

The goal of the MOPTA conference is to present new developments from different areas of optimization.  Because this conference has been held annually at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., since 2009, one might perceive this to be a local conference. However, nothing could be further from the truth! This is a highly international in scope conference with world renowned speakers and attendees. This year in addition to speakers from prestigious academic institutions in the USA such as Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Princeton, and Stanford, there were speakers from Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, India, Lebanon, The Netherlands, Oman, Scotland, and Taiwan.

JULY 1, 2016

KU mathematics student identifies flaw in published research article

This past spring semester, Nathan Betts '16 was searching the web for articles dealing with the assignment problem for his senior seminar project.  He found the article "A New Approach of Solving Single Objective Unbalanced Assignment Problem" by Yadaiah and Haragopal published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Operations Research (AJOR), 2016, 6, 81-89.   He was suspicious of the approach discussed in the paper and brought it to the attention of his operations research professor, Dr. Fran Vasko.  Together they studied the approach and Dr. Vasko confirmed Nathan's suspicions that the approach did not guarantee the optimal solution to the assignment problem (as claimed by the authors).  Nathan Betts and Dr. Vasko wrote a rebuttal paper proving by counter example that the proposed method in the paper by Yadaiah and Haragopal does not guarantee the optimal solution to the assignment problem. 

Journal cover

The paper by Mr. Betts and Dr. Vasko entitled "Solving the Unbalanced Assignment Problem: Simpler is Better" was recently published in the AJOR, 2016, 6, pp. 296-299 (click here to read it!).  Due to the circumstances surrounding the paper, the editor waived the open access fee for the Betts and Vasko paper.

APRIL 29, 2016

Award winners
Kappa Mu Epsilon inductees

Please join us in congratulating our Spring 2016 graduates, as well as celebrating the following students' achievements:

  • Nathaniel Benjamin, Mugridge Research Symposium Silver Medal & Kryptos cryptanalysis competition TURING level of achievement
  • Dylan Gaspar, Mathematics Undergraduate Research Award
  • Richard Lichtenwalner, J. Dwight Daugherty Award
  • Laura Myers, Kappa Mu Epsilon Award
  • Kevin Ruppert, Mathematics Award & William Lowell Putnam Competition & Kryptos cryptanalysis competition TURING level of achievement
  • Danielle Sienko, Mugridge Research Symposium Bronze Medal
  • Jiao Xu, Mathematics Scholarship & Mugridge Research Symposium Gold Medal  
  • Casey Charterina, Jacob Christ, Odysseus Fox, Logan Hartman, Jacob Kramer, Lisa Lawson, Jiao Xu, and Guozhi Zhang were inducted into the Kappa Mu Epsilon National Honorary Mathematics Society.
APRIL 22, 2016

Congratulations to Mathematics major Danielle Sienko for her receipt of a copper Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Award in the categories of successfully completed research projects and outstanding service to the Kutztown University community. She has developed a solution procedure that can easily be used to assign class times to final exam time slots such that the number of students that are scheduled for three exams in one day is minimized. 

Danielle posing with her award

She has been able to show that using this mathematical approach reduces the number of students with three final exams scheduled in the same day by about 50%. 

Due to her continued work with the registrar's office, her approach will be implemented in Fall 2016.

UPDATE (October 7, 2016): The number of students scheduled for three exams in one day in Fall 2016 would have been 956 under the "old" system; this was reduced to 416 by implementing Danielle's algorithm.

APRIL 14, 2016

Congratulations to Mathematics majors Nathaniel Benjamin and Kevin Ruppert for cracking all three cryptograms and earning the TURING level of achievement in the 2016 Kryptos undergraduate cryptanalysis contest. Nathaniel and Kevin were one of 18 teams out of 92 teams that competed to attain this distinction. Congratulations to Computer Science majors Tom Kratz and Bill Schilling for cracking two of the three cryptograms to earn the BABBAGE level of achievement. Tom and Bill were one of 18 teams to attain this distinction. 

APRIL 8, 2016

We are excited to announce that Kevin Ruppert earned 10 points (77.9 percentile) in the 2015 William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, which put him up against the best students from across the United States and Canada.  Well done!

APRIL 2, 2016

Two Kutztown mathematics students spoke at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Sectional Meeting at Muhlenberg College.  Dylan Gaspar spoke about "A Steiner Optimization of the Cable Trench Problem" and Richard Lichtenwalner discussed "An 'Unreal' Infinity".  They were accompanied by their advisors, Dr. Landquist and Dr. Kronenthal, respectively.

Student speakers
JANUARY 9, 2016

Dr. Eric Landquist spoke to Seattle Fox News affiliate Channel 13 “Q13,” KCPQ, regarding the mathematical probability of the Seattle Seahawks winning the Super Bowl!

DECEMBER 4, 2015
Student winning her award
Students posing with their awards

The Department of Mathematics met today to celebrate the many achievements of our students.  Congratulations to all of our Fall 2015 graduates, as well as the following award winners:

  • Outstanding Student Teaching Award, Mathematics: Jenna Marrazzo
  • Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Competition:  Michael Bosetti, Kevin Ruppert, and GuoZhi Zhang
  • Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges Mathematics (LVAIC) Competition: Nathaniel Benjamin,  Michael Bosetti, David Foley, Dylan Gaspar,  William Harwi,  Jacob Kramer, Gabriel Olah, Kevin Ruppert, Jiao Xu, and GuoZhi Zhang
November 14, 2015

Ms. Jiao Xu, a mathematics major in her junior year, gave a presentation titled "Coinbinatorics" at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Sectional Meeting at Delaware Valley University. She attended this conference with Dr. Wong, her research advisor, and Dr. Kronenthal.​

Student presenting at a conference
Dr. Wong presenting at a conference
NOVEMBER 8, 2015

Ten Kutztown students competed in the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) Mathematics team competition.  They all represented Kutztown very well!  Our KU teams ranked ahead of the teams from DeSales, Muhlenberg, Moravian, and Cedar Crest, only finishing behind teams from Lafayette and Lehigh.

KU team 1: David Foley, Jiao Xu, Guozhi Zhang

KU team 2: Nathaniel Benjamin, Jacob Kramer, Kevin Ruppert

KU team 3: Gabriel Olah and two students from DeSales

KU team 4: Michael Bosetti, Dylan Gaspar, William Harwi    

Students interested in participating in next year's competition, who did not compete this year, are encouraged to please let Dr. Kronenthal know.  Also, students may be interested in problem solving training sessions offered by Dr. Wong.    

Congratulations and great job to all of our competitors!

September 3, 2015

Kutztown University's Department of Mathematics was recently highlighted for its cutting-edge work in applied mathematics at the 8th International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM), August 10 - 14, 2015, in Beijing, China. KU was one of only nine institutions in the world to be recognized. 

ICIAM is organized by the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the umbrella organization of professional applied mathematics societies world-wide, including the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

KU's Department of Mathematics' applied mathematics research was highlighted in a six minute video that was broadcast at the conference. The video focuses on the 2002 seminal paper on the Cable-Trench Problem (CTP), which was authored by Dr. Francis Vasko, Dr. Ken Stott, Mr. Rob Barbieri, Dr. Brian Rieksts and Mr. Ken Reitmeyer. Stott was a Bethlehem Steel researcher (now retired). The other three co-authors are Kutztown University graduates. Extensions and applications of this CTP work have been published world-wide in research journals. 

The video includes interviews with faculty members Dr. Francis Vasko, Dr. Eric Landquist, Dr. Yun Lu, Dr. Paul Ach; recent computer science graduate, Mr. Ken Zyma; Kutztown University President, Dr. Kenneth Hawkinson; and Acting Provost, Dr. Anne Zayaitz.

In the video, Landquist discusses recently published work with Vasko on extensions of the CTP that have applicability to improving medical imaging. Zyma discusses his Master's thesis research in which he uses the CTP to find a cheaper cabling network to connect an array of radio telescopes for inclusion into LOFAR, the world's largest connected radio telescope. 

Members of the Kutztown University applied mathematics faculty are also very involved in the development of new solution approaches for solving complex combinatorial optimization problems that have many real-world applications. In the video, Lu discusses the need for metaheuristics as key solution strategies for these very difficult problems.