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CAS in the Media Arts and Sciences Media Headlines

New NSF grant to increase math teacher diversity

A four-year, $1.12 million grant from the National Science Foundation will help Washington State University recruit and retain quality mathematics teachers from historically marginalized groups.

William Hall.

The project is being led by Tariq Akmal, director of teacher education in the College of Education and chair of the college’s Department of Teaching and Learning. He is being aided by co-investigators Kristin Lesseig, an associate professor of mathematics education at WSU Vancouver, also in the College of Education, and William Hall, an assistant professor of mathematics education in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Hall, who was a Noyce scholar himself during graduate school, said high school math teachers can have a tremendous impact on how students learn to think and reason quantitatively, and that includes matters of civics, social justice, and fairness.

“It is not always clear that you can be passionate about those ideas and use a career in teaching high school mathematics to explore them further and serve your community at the same time,” Hall said.

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WSU Insider

Electron microscopy in the age of automation

“Many of the greatest challenges of our time, from clean energy to environmental justice, require new approaches to the craft of scientific experimentation. This is exceedingly apparent in the field of electron microscopy. As researchers utilize this powerful window to peer into the atomic machinery behind today’s technologies, they are increasingly inundated with data and constrained by traditional operating models. We must leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning in our scientific instruments if we are to unlock breakthrough discoveries,” says Steven R. Spurgeon, a materials scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and international expert in the study of nanomaterials using electron microscopy.

Kevin Fiedler.

To bring the microscopy platform to life, Spurgeon assembled a team from inside and outside PNNL, including Kevin Fiedler, a mathematician from Washington State University. Fielder partnered with a computer scientist to designed an architecture to process and analyze incoming images to enable large-area montaging and stage feedback.

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Pathogenic Invasions: Changing Community Networks Impact Disease Spread

xueying snow wang.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear the importance of understanding precisely how diseases spread throughout networks of transportation. However, rigorously determining the connection between disease risk and changing networks — which either humans or the environment may alter — is challenging due to the complexity of these systems. In a paper publishing today (Thursday, June 10, 2021) in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, Stephen Kirkland (University of Manitoba), Zhisheng Shuai (University of Central Florida), P. van den Driessche (University of Victoria), and Xueying Wang, associate professor of mathematics (Washington State University) study the way in which changes in a network of multiple interconnected communities impact the ensuing spread of disease. The four researchers were hosted as a Structured Quartet Research Ensemble by the American Institute of Mathematics.

The authors utilized their results to explore possible strategies for controlling disease outbreaks by introducing new connections on a network or changing the strength of existing connections. “Our findings from both the star and the path networks highlight that the placement of the hot spot and the connections among patches are crucial in determining the optimal strategy for reducing the risk of an infection,” Wang said. The researchers’ techniques quantified the effectiveness of different approaches in controlling invasibility and found the mathematical conditions under which it is best to change the amount of movement between certain locations.

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Scitech Daily
News Medical

Outstanding College of Arts and Sciences seniors excel in academics, leadership, service

Writers, researchers, scientists, musicians, athletes, activists, adventurers… the 23 students who received this year’s Outstanding Senior honors from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) excelled in academic performance and in service to their department or school and to the broader Washington State University community.

Sean Swalling.

Outstanding Senior in mathematics and statistics, Sean Swalling is passionate about sharing knowledge with others and is already experienced in his chosen field of teaching. In addition to serving as a summer tutor and camp counselor, he has proven himself a leader in the classroom.

Samantha King-Shaw.

Samantha King-Shaw, Outstanding Senior in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies (WGSS), is an accomplished student–athlete of color whose performance in the classroom, on the track, and in service to the community won great praise from WGSS faculty. “King-Shaw’s academic success and record of community service demonstrate an extraordinary ability apply what she learned as a women’s studies major,” they said.

Megan Wong.

Described by one of her professors as “bright, talented, motivated, collaborative and kind,” Megan Wong, Outstanding Senior for the School of Biological Sciences, packed into her college career not only stellar achievements in academics but also a host of extracurricular activities.

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WSU Insider

Data is interdisciplinary: Not a new concept but an essential practice

Tableau for Teaching is on a mission to create a data-literate world. At Tableau, we feel that data literacy is essential for everyday life. We consume data across all disciplines and subject areas. What used to be thought of as a specialized field, it has become apparent that more than ever, data literacy is a necessity for everyone.

Jan Dasgupta.

Our first spotlight is Dr. Nairanjana “Jan” Dasgupta—Director of Data Analytics, Boeing Distinguished Professor of Math and Science Ed., Professor of Statistics at Washington State University.

“At WSU I am building on a foundation that is highly collaborative and brings together multiple units and disciplines. Engineering, mathematics, statistics, and the domain areas all have a role to play, and have people passionate about these issues—also reaching out to education, arts, communication, and economics,” Dasgupta said. “The idea is there are people, like me, who are passionate about these ideas—giving them a forum.”

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