Student newsletter spring 2009 Division of Mathematics & Computer Science

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Spring 2009

Division of Mathematics & Computer Science
Senior Notice

By now, all Computer Science, Digital Arts and Science, and Mathematics seniors should have re­ceived a letter from the Departmental Office indicat­ing your current enrollment and any require­ments that have not been met.

Career Development

Mark your calendars - the Spring Career Fair is scheduled for January 29th or planning to go co-op? Looking ahead to summer employ­ment? Everyone should visit the Career Develop­ment Center – even freshmen and sopho­mores. Staff maintain a database of student resumes and subscribe to an on-line service that lists job openings. The Career Center is located in the ERC, x6477.

Spring Open House

Spring Open House is scheduled for April 4. This is an opportunity for accepted students to visit campus. We need students to help represent the department. Any students interested in partici­pating can contact Mike Felland (x2383) or Jan Searleman (x2377).

Actuarial Studies

The closest date for Actual Exam P/1 is March 10-19. Exam Registration is open till January 29. The next exam date is May 12-21. For more information you can visit the society of actuaries website at and/or contact Prof. Alhakim.

Attn: Juniors & Seniors

The NSF supports several Research Experience for Undergraduates sites, including one at Clarkson-Potsdam! In the typical program, you spend eight weeks of the summer doing research in a small group and receive a stipend of $3,300 plus free room and travel. Summer research is a big plus on your resume, especially if you plan to go to graduate school. Please take a look at the offerings posted on the bulletin board across from the Department Office. Deadlines: Application review begins March 7!!

Mathematical Olympiad

Clarkson will be taking part in the 3rd annual Rochester Mathematical Olympiad.  The 3 hour exam will be given on Saturday, March 28th (administer here).  Prizes: First--$250, Second - $200, Third - $150.  Interested students should contact Mike Felland (SC 365, x2383).

Interested in Teaching? Graduate & Undergraduate K-12 Teaching Opportunities

In addition to financial support, the program offers: inter­disciplinary project-based learning and teaching experiences and opportunities to gain invaluable experience in leadership, project management, teaching, and communications. One particular activity for which we need student volunteers is act as (paid) coaches for local middle school mathletes helping them to prepare for our own contest as well as the national MATHCOUNTS events. Students typically go into the schools once per week in the season. Later in the year we will also be seeking students to help with the IMPETUS Roller Coaster project which is funded by NY State Education Department. Contact: Peter Turner ( or Katie Fowler (

Like Math, Bowling, Gambling? Come join us!

You are cordially invited to join the Clarkson Student Chapter of the Association for

Women in Mathematics—also informally known as the ‘math club’ since 2004. Meetings
are open to ALL students regardless of gender (most of our members are male)! We are also seeking new members for the Clarkson Student Chapter of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). These meetings and activities expose students to the world of professional mathematics, help students obtain information about graduate school and careers, and develop leadership skills through service to the University and local community. Past events include inviting speakers from industry, sponsoring an essay contest for local middle school students, creating a pi-day celebration for over 70 local middle and high school students (this year we will host 300!!!), and events such as Casino Night and Bowling to Beat the Laptop. We are always looking for some new folks to join in! Check your email soon for a pizza party mixer to learn more about what we do or contact Professor Fowler at or
Pi Day Celebration: Call for help

As part of the NYSED IMPETUS program, Profs. Turner, Fowler, and Mondal from MCS and Profs. Wick and Ramsdell from Physics will be hosting the third annual Approximate Pi Day Celebration on March 11th (3.11) for middle and high school students.  Last year, approximately 70 local students and teachers attended the event, which took place in Cheel on the Clarkson campus.  The event consisted of approximately 11 creative, interactive booths that investigated the history and applications of the number 3.14.  The activities and booths were designed and managed by 30 Clarkson students who volunteered their efforts.  The middle and high school students enjoyed the light competition of exploring all the booths in the allotted time, and were rewarded for their efforts with a pie.  Everyone in attendance including teachers and students all greatly enjoyed the event. This year, the event will be greatly expanded to accommodate roughly 300 local students. We need YOUR help in designing and running new booths. Please contact Prof. Fowler ( if you are interested in volunteering.

Saint Lawrence Valley Mathematics Symposium Comes to Clarkson

On Monday, March 9, 2009 the Associated Colleges of the Saint Lawrence Valley is sponsoring the Saint Lawrence Valley Mathematics Symposium.  This year’s presentation, bringing together undergraduate mathematics students from Saint Lawrence University, SUNY Potsdam, and Clarkson University is titled “What’s the Story? An Undergraduate Workshop on Writing and Presenting Mathematics.”  This hands-on workshop, organized by Assistant Professor Aaron Luttman of Clarkson University and Assistant Professor Rachel Schwell of Central Connecticut State University, will consist of activities designed to teach the art of formulating the story to tell different audiences – both orally in writing – about mathematical results.  This can help with writing papers or giving presentations for math classes or for writing and presenting undergraduate research projects. There is a limited amount of space, but all mathematics students are encouraged to register, as this will be a great opportunity to learn some techniques for communicating mathematics as well for meeting and socializing with mathematics students from the other universities in our neighborhood.  There will be food too!  Contact Aaron Luttman ( for details!

Potsdam-Clarkson Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Mathematics

Applications are sought from undergraduates interested in spending their summer participating in mathematics research projects. For more information, see or contact

Clarkson Student Chapter of the ACM?

The Association for Computing Machinery or ACM (, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society.  Student members of the ACM get access to hundreds of free online books and courses, reduced rates to conferences, electronic subscriptions, information about graduate programs in CS, and much more.  The ACM offers the best computing research and career resources available anywhere!

Clarkson’s student chapter of the ACM has sponsored research talks and sent programming teams to regional competitions. This semester we are please to thank Lockheed Martin for a very generous gift of $1,750.00 to support our running a local programming contest. If you would like to get involved with this activity or any other, contact Jan Searleman (


Interested in joining the Clarkson Open Source Institute or the Clarkson Internet Teaching Laboratory? The meetings will be held Wednesday evenings in the Applied CS labs (SC 334 and 336), starting at 7:00 pm. There are often talks before and after the lab meetings on a wide variety of topics (See a list of presentations at Feel free to stop by any time the lab is open to look around and/or email: if you would like to be on the mailing list for future activities. Bring your own ideas and a willingness to both learn and teach others. Course credit is available. 

IDEA Club & Student Chapter of SIGGRAPH

Our student chapter of the ACM special interest group on Computer Graphics, Animation and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) is locally called the IDEA club. If you have an interest in developing video games, creating animations, digital art, or emerging interactive technologies, come to our meetings on Thursdays at 6:00 in the CEC.

This semester we are planning an Ironman version of creating a short animation, similar to the FJORG! competition sponsored by SIGGRAPH. We also are involved with the IGDA (International Game Developers Association), and are planning trips to game companies in Montreal. For further information, contact Chad Smith ( or Jan Searleman (
Clarkson Zootoo Challenge

Leslie Russek from the Physical Therapy department is looking for volunteers to help with the webpage for Clarkson’s Zootoo Challenge, to benefit the Potsdam humane society. The current webpage is: which includes links to the actual zootoo site, and changes would include the ability to enter scores and to display the top 10-20 scores. To find out more, contact Leslie at

Digital Arts and Sciences Announcements (D. Beck)

New Digital Arts & Sciences Home Page

If you visit, you might be in for a surprise.  Thanks to the Clarkson web team (of which the majority of student workers are DA&S majors!), the site is filled with videos, game downloads, student portfolios and websites, and student experiences.  Be sure to check it out if you haven’t already!

Animation by DA&S Seniors Featured in Local Film Festival

Congratulations are in order for DA&S seniors Jacob Swain and Spencer Nowak.  Their 3D animation, “Stopping All Stations”, was chosen to be in the 2nd Annual North Country Film Festival.  Jacob and Spencer created this animation for a project in DA 300: Digital Imagery & Animation.  The festival took place on January 9th – 11th, at the Roxy Theater in Potsdam.  Their film was part of the Short Film Competition.  The competition features local and student filmmakers competing for cash prizes with a wide variety of short fiction and documentary entries.

Video Game Designed by Clarkson Alums Accepted into Prestigious Festival

“Snapshot” is a video game that was co-designed by ’08 Clarkson alums Kyle Pulver and Peter Taylor Jones for their senior thesis project in DA 492: Senior Studies.  That same game was accepted into the prestigious Independent Games Festival (, which takes place during the internationally known Game Developers Conference, held in San Francisco from March 23 – 27.  The IGF honors games from around the world, and gives independent developers a chance to get their names and ideas into the professional game design industry.  Over 220 entrants were judged by a range of industry professionals, from game journalists to industry veterans.  Snapshot is a two-dimensional side-scrolling game in which the player controls both a character named “Pic” and a camera that can take photos of the game environment. Photos can capture objects such as boxes, enemies, and other things. The player can then use these photos to move objects around in the world to complete each level.

New Equipment for the Digital Arts & Sciences Program

The DA&S program is proud to announce the installation of new equipment in the CEC.  All 24 computer workstations in the front of the lab now have dual monitors.  The advanced-student side lab is also now equipped with dual-widescreen monitors, as well as 3D mice and Wacom Tablets.  Just as the quality of student work grows, our facilities do as well!

Digital Arts & Sciences Faculty Search Underway

The DA&S program is currently searching for a faculty member to teach 2D courses in the major, starting next fall.  Keep your eyes out for guest lectures by some of the final candidates in the coming weeks – we value your interest and opinion in this matter, so we hope you’ll make a special effort to attend these events.

Faculty Offices

Computer Science

C. Lynch 377 x2384

J. Lynch 381 x2374

A. Maciel 379 x2385

J. Matthews 389 x6288

J. Searleman 375 x2377

J. Stahl 383 x2387

C. Tamon 373 x6521

Digital Arts & Science

D. Beck Snell 176 x4205

E. Beck Snell 172 x3974

J. Davis Snell 178 x6713


A. Alhakim 361b x3831

N. Barlow 366 x3885

E. Bollt 369 x2307

M. Felland 365 x2383

K. Fowler 361a x2376

S. Fulton 367 x2379

L. Glasser 267 x2372

B. Helenbrook camp x2204

A. Jerri 349 x2373

A. Luttman 363 x6496

S. Mondal 371 x6415

S. Morrison 314 x2360

C. Navasca 391 x2369

T. Nishikawa 385 x2388

D. Powers 267 x2372

S. Sanyal 339 x2386

J. Skufca 387 x2399

P. Turner 355 x2334
Spring Semester Dates

Jan. 8 – Classes Begin

Feb. 11 (6:00p) February Break

Feb. 16 (8:00a) Classes resume

Mar. 13 (6:00p) Spring Break

Mar. 23 (8:00a) Classes resume

Apr. 1 – Enrollment for Fall

Apr. 27 – Final Exams

May 1 – Finals end

May 10 – Commencement

Summer School 2009

May 18 – June 20 Session I

June 29 – Aug. 1 Session II

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