Search Loci: Convergence:
In G. Simmons Calculus Gems, New York: McGraw Hill, 1992.
SMURCHOM: Providing Opportunities for Undergraduate Research in the History of Mathematics
Why Not History of Mathematics?
In 2004, I learned about the Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conferences (RUMC) program, led by the Mathematical Association of America and funded by the Division of Mathematical Sciences of the National Science Foundation. This program makes small grants to regionally-focused conferences that give undergraduates opportunities to present mathematically-oriented research. I thought, “Why not propose a conference devoted to undergraduate research on the history of mathematics in the beautiful Smoky Mountains?” I proposed, the RUMC program kindly accepted, and SMURCHOM was born. The Smoky Mountain Undergraduate Conference on the History of Mathematics might have an unwieldy acronym (no, it is not a conference for smirking or for small blue cartoon characters), but it has provided opportunities for students to share their work on and enthusiasm about the history of mathematics with their counterparts from institutions around the Southeast and beyond. Personally, SMURCHOM has given me a way to intensely motivate undergraduate research in my history of mathematics classes.
Table Of Contents
Despeaux, Sloan Evans, "SMURCHOM: Providing Opportunities for Undergraduate Research in the History of Mathematics," Loci (August 2010), DOI: 10.4169/loci003549
Taking students to SMURCHOM
As Sloan says, I have taken groups of students to this conference twice -- two students the first time (we flew to Charlotte and rented a car), and six the next (we rented a van and drove). SMURCHOM has become the highlight of our history of mathematics course, giving students a chance to learn more about the history of mathematics, to meet students and faculty from around the country who are excited about it, and to present their own work in a venue outside of our own college. It is truly a wonderful experience. The things *I* have learned there have had a real impact on the way I teach our history course. I look forward to SMURCHOM VI!
FYI: Date for SMURCHOM 2012
Just for information: we've set the date for SMURCHOM VI for 17 March 2012. Victor Katz will be our keynote speaker. Hope to see you there!