Mathematics is more than numbers – it was the first universal language, transcending ethnic, societal and national boundaries. It’s the foundation of all the natural sciences and integral to the arts.

St. Mary’s University celebrated the world of math on Oct. 25-26, 2013, as the Department of Mathematics and the School of Science, Engineering and Technology hosted the ninth annual Texas Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (TUMC).

This was the first time for this conference was held in San Antonio; past events were held at the University of Texas at Tyler, Sam Houston State University and Stephen F. Austin University. More than 200 students and about 40 faculty members from across the state attended, making this event the largest in TUMC history.

Students attended talks, presented research and competed in math challenges. Featured speakers were Minerva Cordero‐Epperson, Ph.D., from the University of Texas at Arlington, discussing “What Math Has to Do With It,” and Lorenzo Sadun, Ph.D., from the University of Texas at Austin, speaking on “How The World Fits Together.”

The conference is sponsored by the Mathematics Association of America (MAA); the St. Mary’s School of Science, Engineering and Technology; and the University’s Department of Mathematics. Funding is provided by a National Science Foundation grant through the MAA Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conferences program.

St. Mary’s math majors not only are taught methods to solve a particular problem, but also the ability to think and make decisions independently and to extract and analyze information from various sources. Students who major or minor in math are able to go into almost every professional sphere – from IT to finance, from business management to medicine and law – because of mathematicians’ habits of logical thought and careful abstraction.

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