You are here

NREUP 2007

James Madison University

Title: M3: Mentoring for Minorities in Mathematics Discrete Mathematics with Applications to Biology

Director(s): Anthony Tongen

Email: tongenal (at) jmu (dot) edu

Dates of Program: May 14-June 22, 2007

Summary: During the first two weeks of the M-cubed program, the participants will be introduced to discrete equations focusing on both analysis and numerical simulation. The director will present numerous open questions and ask the students to choose a couple on which to concentrate. The entire program (student researchers and director) will work together to solve the open questions pertaining to two-gender population models.

During the third and fourth week of this research experience, the students will perform a biological investigation of mate choice by male Betta splendens fish using video playback of females. In this experiment, the students will determine whether males spend more time with and direct more courtship behaviors to a female with vertical lines than to a female without vertical lines. This experiment will be in addition to the open questions started during the first two weeks.

During the final two weeks of this research experience, the students will conclude their research along with developing a mathematical model of mate choice in Betta splendens. The students will give a 50 minute presentation of their research results on the last day of the program. After the conclusion of the research experience, the students will disseminate their results in July at the JMU Biology REU poster session, a poster and oral presentation in October at the Shenandoah Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics Conference, and the director will be giving an oral presentation of the results in August at the Society for Mathematical Biology's annual meeting.

For more information, visit the workshop webpage at

Student Researchers Supported by MAA:

  • Charell Wingfield
  • Michael Frempong
  • Jan Herburt-Hewell
  • Michael Dankwa

Program Contacts:

Bill Hawkins

Michael Pearson
MAA Programs & Services