Department News - FM Math Department

Department of Mathematics
Go to content

Main menu:

Department News

Graduating Senior Presents Research

Senior mathematics major, Jackson McDonald, presented his research “The Interplay of Pythagorean Religion and Mathematics” at the 2017 Kennesaw Mountain Undergraduate Mathematics Conference on February 18. Jackson’s work is part of a senior thesis funded by a R.E.A.L. Grant under the direction of Dr. Sharon K. O’Kelley.
Students and Faculty Find Inspiration in Nebraska

Current seniors Mercedes Gainey and Tina Watrous and FM Faculty Dr. Nicole Panza traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska to attend the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics from February 3-5, 2017. This year, 242 undergraduate students from 132 schools attended the conference. The conference included keynote speakers, panels on careers in math and graduate school, student talks and poster presentations and breakout sessions on various topics. The part of the conference that all three FM attendees enjoyed most was interacting with other female mathematicians from around the country.
Students and Faculty Attend JMM 2017

The Joint Mathematics Meetings hosted by both the MAA and AMS was held from January 4-7 in Atlanta, GA. Department faculty members Drs. Buck, Fitzkee, Newman and Panza attended the conference along with three current students, Salome' Chavez, Chace Covington and Alexander Joyce.
Department Hosts Annual Tournament

The 40th Pee Dee Regional High School Mathematics Tournament on December 6, 2016. The Department of Mathematics was proud to host 362 high school students representing 21 schools from 8 different counties for a whole day of mathematics. The students participated in a written competition, stage competition and plenary address given by Dr. Ginger Bryngelson of the Physics Department. This year's school champions are Marion High School for Division I, Scholar's Academy for Division II and Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School for Division II. Awards for individual students go to first place mathematician Eric Zhang from Scholars Academy, second place mathematician Neil Dey from Wilson High School and third place mathematician Dashiell Stevanovich from Scholars Academy. The 41st Tournament will be held on December 5, 2017.
Five Students Inducted into Kappa Mu Epsilon

On November 30, 2016, five current Francis Marion students were inducted into Kappa Mu Epsilon, a national honor society in mathematics. Students with exceptional overall GPA and GPA in math courses above the Calculus I level are eligible for membership. The student inductees are Amy Benton, Chace Covington, April Garrity, Alexis Glover, and Nicholas Tomlinson. The induction ceremony and reception were held in the Lee Nursing Building and was attended by many friends, family and math faculty of the those inducted. Congratulations to the Kappa Mu Epsilon inductees for 2016!
Faculty and Students attend Regional Conference

On November 10-11, 2016 the South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (SCCTM) held its annual fall conference in Greenville, South Carolina. The meeting was presided over by current SCCTM President and Francis Marion Math Faculty member Dr. Bill Whitmire. Three department faculty members gave talks during the conference. Dr. James T. Ramey, Jr. spoke on Math in Comic Strips and Games. Dr. George E. Schnibben gave a talk entitled Enlivening Your Mathematical Lectures with History. Dr. Sharon K. O'Kelley presented Using the History of Mathematics to Help Students Learn Math. Five current Francis Marion University students served as pages assisting with the conference. They are Teryese Grant, Cindy Quick, Caitlin Demers, Avery Moore and Lauren Foley.
Problem Solving Students

Kappa Mu Epsilon, National Mathematics Honor Society, recently published the Fall 2015 issue of its journal, The Pentagon. Two current Francis Marion students are recognized in the issue for their submission of solutions to the problem solving section of the journal. Alexander Joyce is acknowledged for solving problem 755. Mary Mulholland's solution to problem 756 is included in the issue. The journal can be read online for free on the Kappa Mu Epslion Website.
Student Presents at Carolina Math Seminar

On November 4, 2016, senior math major James Brown presented his research entitled Modeling the Spread of the Zika Virus in South Carolina at the Carolina Math Seminar held at Columbia College in Columbia, SC. His work was funded by a Francis Marion REAL Grant. He was accompanied by fellow math major Amy Benton and his faculty research advisor Dr. Nicole Panza.
Students Present Summer Research

On Monday, October 31, two senior math majors presented their summer research at a monthly Math Club meeting. James Brown (top photo on the left) presented his research entitled Modeling the Spread of the Zika Virus in South Carolina. His work was funded by a Francis Marion REAL Grant. Kendrick Hardison (bottom photo on the left) spoke on A Rank-Sum Test for Significance of Difference in Copy Variation. This project was completed during a summer REU in Ohio.
Solution Recognized Nationally

A recent publication has acknowledged the solution to an open problem constructed by individuals in the FM Mathematics community. In the September 2016 issue of Math Horizons, current student Kendrick Hardison and former assistant professor Dr. Jeremiah Bartz were acknowledged for their solution to Problem 334. Math Horizons can be viewed for free on-campus with the University's JSTOR subscription.
Math Club Elects Officers

At its first meeting of the fall semester the FMU Math Club elected officers for the 2016 – 2017 academic year.

President:  Alexander Joyce
Vice Presidents:  Kendrick Hardison and Jackson McDonald
Secretary:  Teryese Grant
Treasurer:  Dorothanna Belton

The second meeting of the Math Club will take place on September 26, 2016, at 1:30 PM in LSF 407B.  This meeting will feature a Graduate School and Post-Graduation Q&A Session with faculty members from the Department of Mathematics.  Refreshments will be served!

Department Welcomes New Faculty

The Department of Mathematics is proud to announce the hiring of Michael Del Vecchio and Johannah Maynor as Instructors of Mathematics.

Mr. Del Vecchio was first interested in a career in computer engineering.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science and Mathematics from Rutgers University in 2006.  But teaching became his passion and he has held teaching positions at Andrews High School, Horry Georgetown Technical College, and Piedmont Technical College.  Michael earned a Master of Science in Mathematics from the College of Charleston in August 2016 in addition to a Certificate in Statistics.

Ms. Maynor spent most of her career in North Carolina. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from UNC Pembroke in 1990 and her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from North Carolina Central University in 2003.  She has worked as a mathematics consultant for North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Darlington County Schools.
 Waymyers Presents at JSM 2016

Dr. Sophia Waymyers recently attended the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Chicago, Illinois.  The conference was held July 31-August 4, 2016 and is renowned as is the largest gathering of statisticians held in North America with over 6000 attendees from over 52 countries.  In the section on Survival Analysis with Health Applications, Waymyers presented her research entitled “The Reflected-Shifted-Truncated-Gamma Distribution for Negatively Skewed Survival Data.”  

JSM 2017 will be held July 29 – August 3, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Scott Awarded Sabbatical

Dr. Damon Scott, Professor of Mathematics, has been granted a sabbatical leave for the Spring semester of 2017 for the purpose of bringing his work in celestial mechanics to publishable form and to publication itself.
Faculty Tenured and Promoted

Dr. Sharon O'Kelley was recently awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. O'Kelley has been with the math department at Francis Marion since 2011. Congratulations, Dr. O'Kelley!
Faculty Attend MathFest
Drs. Thomas Fitzkee and Nicole Panza attended the Mathematics Association of America's (MAA) national summer meeting, MathFest. The meeting was held in Columbus, Ohio from August 3-6, 2016. Both attended invited addresses, such as Magical Mathematics and contributed sessions such as problem solving in calculus and mastery based assessment. While there, Dr. Panza participated in workshops for Project NExT, the MAA's teaching professional development program for early career mathematicians. Dr. Fitzkee, Coordinator of the Minicourses for MathFest 2016, planned and supervised the minicourse aspect of the conference.
Panza Named Project NExT Fellow
Dr. Nicole Panza has been named a MAA 2016 Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) Fellow. Project NExT is a professional development program for early career faculty in the mathematical sciences. Since it's development in 1994, over 1600 faculty have been selected as fellows. Panza is one of 77 fellows in this year's cohort and will participate in the MAA's national meetings during the coming year as a current fellow.
 Sims Presents at SRCoS Summer Conference
Professor Justin Sims recently attended the Southern Regional Council on Statistics (SRCoS) Summer Research Conference in Bentonville, AR.  The conference, held June 6-8, 2016, brought together industry professionals, university faculty, and graduate students from sixteen states across the southern United States.  Professor Sims presented his research entitled “Semiparametric Approach to Optimal Sensor Design for a Photovoltaic Power Plant” as part of the ASA/Kutner Faculty Poster Session.

The 2017 Summer Research Conference will be held at Jekyll Island, SC.  If you are interested in attending, please contact Professor Sims (
843-661-1589 PO Box 100547 Florence, SC-0547 Webmaster:
Back to content | Back to main menu