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Bringing Math to the World

Math faculty and students out at dinner at a restaurant.
A panel of alumni met with current graduate students to share information on the career and educational options made possible by a graduate degree.


Cal Poly math faculty and students engage in teaching and learning mathematics in many ways outside the classroom. From increasing inquiry-based learning in higher education to helping lead the math club at a local elementary school to scholarly publications and presentations, the department is making an impact in the world of mathematics.

Faculty and Student Conferences, Workshops and Notable Research 

In 2018, Danielle Champney and Todd Grundmeier led National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported workshops on inquiry-based learning in Torrance, California, and Washington, D.C., respectively. The workshops were part of a five-year, $2.8 million collaborative research project between Cal Poly and the University of Colorado Boulder that focuses on increasing the use of research-based teaching practices at the college level.   

Math workshop with 6 people.More than 50 college mathematics instructors from institutions across the U.S. and Canada attended the four-day workshops. To date, more than 400 faculty across the nation have participated in an inquiry-based learning workshop led by Cal Poly faculty. 

Stan Yoshinobu, Katie Kahle and Winston Chang from the Academy of Inquiry Based Learning provided workshop administration and logistical support. Sandra Laursen from the Ethnography and Evaluation Research unit at the University of Colorado Boulder led the research and evaluation support.  

group of mathematicians around a cal poly cow

Grundmeier and Elsa Medina offered a Noyce summer workshops for 25 mathematics teachers. The work is funded by an NSF Noyce Grant.

In 2018, Emily Hamilton and Joyce Lin organized a Mathematics Masters Career Panel for graduate students with alumni Shelby Burnett, who teaches at Cuesta College; Caleb Miller, who is currently a graduate student at University of Colorado Boulder; and James Hall, who works at Amazon. Panelists had lunch with the graduate students and held an open-question career panel for all advanced math majors and graduate students. 

 3 math teachers at a desk, working

Goro Kato gave a talk titled “P-Adic Oka Coherence Theorem” in October and November 2018 at Shizuoka and Waseda universities.  

Math majors Julissa Magana and Randolph Mercado facilitated the Pacheco Math Club (PMC) at Pacheco Elementary School in San Luis Obispo during the 2018-19 academic year. PMC is a weekly, after-school math club for 25 students in grades three through six. The program aims to promote a growth mindset in students, especially students who feel discouraged or need a boost in math.  

The students and Pacheco Elementary teachers Danielle Elsea, Mercedes Pascual and Cindy PetersThe students and Pacheco Elementary teachers Danielle Elsea, Mercedes Pascual and Cindy Peters co-facilitated hands-on activities on topics such as place value, geometry, fractions, math games and math derived from stories. The activities shared a common focus of doing math in a low-stress, fun and supportive environment, which helped students develop a better understanding and connection to math. This project is funded by the College of Science and Mathematics and led by Rick Mayfield, director of learning and achievement for San Luis Coastal School District, and Professor Stan Yoshinobu

Elsa Medina, Amélie Schinck-Mikel and liberal studies students Emily Mapa and Adriana Vazquez gave a presentation titled “Opening the Door to 3D Visualization through Multiple Representations” at the California Mathematics Council (CMC) Central Conference in March. Math credential students and liberal studies math concentration students Baylee Wickham, Nicole Linman, Robyn Amendola and Kelsey Genasci attended the CMC North Conference in December 2018. 

In October 2018, Linda Patton gave an invited talk on joint work with Caixing Gu titled “A Composition Operator Norm Upper Bound on Multivariable Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces” at the American Mathematical Society sectional meeting in San Francisco. 

Patton also worked with math major Jason Brown to study subsets of the C-numerical range of a matrix $A$. The C-numerical range of a matrix A is a set (not necessarily convex) generated by all matrices unitarily equivalent to $A$. They studied the sets generated when the unitary matrices were restricted to certain subgroups.  

Brown showed that some symmetry results for the C-numerical range also hold for the special subsets and described some cases when the subsets are simply connected. They worked on plotting these subsets as well as the entire C-numerical range; these plots involve difficult optimization. Brown presented his work at the Spring 2019 Mathematical Association of America meeting at AIM. 

Mathematical Association of America’s Golden Section Meeting

Several students attended the Mathematical Association of America’s Golden Section Meeting, which covers northern California, Nevada and Hawaii. See below for photos of the students with the posters they presented.

Brian Knight and Raymart Ballesteros
Brian Knight and Raymart Ballesteros

Joel Pion and Ryan Zesch.
Joel Pion and Ryan Zesch


Jason Brown
Jason Brown


Faculty Publications 

P. Ashwin, C. D. Camp, A. S. von der Heydt. “Chaotic and non-chaotic response to quasiperiodic forcing: limits to predictability of ice ages paced by Milankovitch forcing.” Dyn. Statis. Clim. Syst. (2018) 1-20, doi:10.1093/climsys/dzy002. 

V. Bonini, S. Ma, and J. Qing. “Hypersurfaces with Nonnegative Ricci Curvature in Hyperbolic Space.” J. Calc. Var. (2019) 58-36, doi:10.1007/s00526-018-1471-2. 

V. Bonini, S. Ma, and J. Qing. “On Nonnegatively Curved Hypersurfaces in Hyperbolic Space.” Math. Ann. 372 (2018) 1103-1120, 

V. Bonini, J. Qing, and J. Zhu. “Weakly Horospherically Convex Hypersurfaces in Hyperbolic Space.” Annals of Global Analysis and Geometry. 52(2) (2017) 201-212. 

S. Burnett, A. Chandler, and L. J. Patton. “Symmetric numerical ranges of four-by-four matrices.” Involve 11(5)(2018) 803–826.  

G. Kato. “Fate Changing Door Knock by a Great Mathematician.” Tokyo, Iwanami-Shoten, Jan. 2019. 

E. Z. Medina and A. G. Schinck-Mikel. “Dog, Double Dog!” ComMuniCator, California Mathematics Council. March (2019). 

Faculty Awards 

Vince Bonini and Erin Pearse received a $49,000 grant from the NSF FURST program, which was a collaborative project with CSU Fresno. 

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