UVU students win award at MathFest Competition

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Bryan Bradley | Staff Writer

Nate Dunn | Staff Writer

Photos courtesy: Violeta Vasilevska


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Daniel Adams during the presentation

Two UVU students recently participated in the MathFest competition, an event sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America. Daniel Adams and Daniel Gulbrandsen traveled to Portland to compete against over 140 other presenters. Adams and Gulbrandsen were awarded an MAA Outstanding Presentation Award.

Adams and Gulbrandsen spent countless hours researching an intricate mathematical problem to be able to participate in the event. Their research and findings were centered on an open math problem, which has been featured in math literature for over a decade. Through the student’s hard work, dedication, and ingenuity, they were able to significantly extend the current methods and provide a partial answer to the problem.


Daniel Gulbrandsen during the presentation

The event gave Guldbrandsen and Adams an opportunity to showcase their research on  Geometric Group Theory, which is a discipline in mathematics utilizing Algebra, Geometry, and Topology in a unique way. The title of the presentation roughly translates to Exploring Properties of Cayley Graphs of the Integers with two Infinite Symmetric Generating Sets Arising as the Progressions of 2 and of 3.

The MMA provides a platform for some of the countries smartest and brightest minds. There are many events like this that focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees. These degrees offer students the ability to learn critical skills in a variety of important fields of study.

“[UVU students have] the recourse and capabilities to perform at the same level as any undergraduate institution in the United States,” said Gulbrandsen.

STEM majors are critical to employers, state governments, and even the national economy. Learning valuable skills such as computer engineering, medical research, technology development, and mathematics is critical to the overall well being of the United States and the local communities. Furthering these educational disciplines leads to new discoveries and innovations in industries such as aviation, computer science, energy processing, construction, and medicine. At UVU, these majors offer students the ability to learn critical technical skills that can be applied in almost every major industry in the United States.

Currently, the United States ranks 17 in science education and 25 in mathematical education in the world. Moreover, projections suggest that STEM-related job opportunities will grow 17 percent over the next 10 years. Even with the recent economic crisis and unemployment rates not seen in decades, STEM-related industries continue to struggle finding qualified candidates to fill technology-related jobs. Students like Adams and Gulbrandsen are examples of the type of people these industries are looking for.