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NEWS

April 19, 2004

RSU Honors Math Awareness Month With April 27 Events

To recognize the importance of mathematics in everyday life, Rogers State University will be participating in national Mathematics Awareness Month by sponsoring a math competition and a public lecture on Tuesday, April 27.

The math competition will be held from 1-3 p.m. and will be open only to RSU students. Prizes will be awarded for the outstanding competitors, with a $250 scholarship awarded to first place. Other prizes include gift certificates for the new coffee bar at the Stratton Taylor Library and RSU t-shirts.

Dr. Doug Grenier, RSU associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Science, will present a 7 p.m. lecture entitled, "Mathematics and Networks, or Some People Say Math Is Garbage and They May Not Be So Far Off." The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Health Sciences Building, Room 135.

National Math Awareness Month was organized in 1986 to increase the visibility of mathematics as a field of study and to communicate the power and intrigue in mathematics to a larger audience. The theme for this year's event is "Mathematics and Networks."

Mathematics touches everyday life in ways most people might not appreciate, said Grenier.

"If you think mathematics is only about adding and multiplying, or doing algebra problems, well think again. Math is used to help plan out lots of real-world solutions in business and daily life," he said.

To illustrate this, Grenier will provide fun demonstrations about how mathematics is vital to many networks we use daily including planning street systems, garbage truck routes and mail delivery systems. These and related topics also are covered in RSU's Mathematics for Critical Thinking course (MATH 1503).

The contest will focus on a problem from the areas of graph theory and operations research. Grenier said the contest will require students to find the most efficient route in a network similar to a maze. Winning solutions will have the least amount of duplication in the shortest possible time. Overall time will decide the winner, with time penalties added for unnecessary duplication, he said.

Winners of the math competition will be announced during the lecture, and they must be present to claim their prizes.

RSU students interested in entering the competition should watch for postings on campus. The event will be held in Loshbaugh Hall, room 201. For more information, contact Grenier at dgrenier@rsu.edu or (918) 343-7704.