Skip to content

New Members Inducted into Math Honor Society

April 19, 2019

The Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics inducted four new members to the New York Alpha Sigma Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon this spring.

Matina Chanthavongsay, Emily Strong, Charles Petruzelli, and Nicholas Videtti hold a Pi Mu Epsilon banner

Pi Mu Epsilon is a national mathematics honor society with chapters at over 400 undergraduate institutions nationwide. Students newly inducted into the chapter were Matina Chanthavongsay, Charles Petruzelli, Emily Strong, and Nicholas Videtti.

The PME President, Robert Markwick, led the new member installation, while chapter advisors, Drs. Erica Johnson and Mark McKinzie, presided over the ceremony. Guest speakers Drs. Ann Marie Fallon and Kris Green offered welcoming remarks.

To be considered for membership, students must demonstrate high academic achievement and involvement in activities that promoted mathematical scholarship and mathematical community.

“This year’s inductees demonstrated excellence both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Johnson.

Chanthavongsay, who is majoring in mathematics and physics, is a member of the Science Scholars program and the only junior to be inducted this year. In addition to excellence in the classroom, she has varied research interests.

For her Science Scholars project, she is researching the use of cellular automata to show how pollution in more urban areas spreads to non-urban areas. In addition to her classroom contributions and campus research, Chanthavongsay will be participating in an undergraduate research experience at RIT this summer where she will be working in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Lab working to develop and validate techniques to study magnetic properties of historical artifacts with Dr. Joseph Hornak. She will also serve as the PME chapter president for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Emily Strong, a mathematics and statistics major, is also a member of the Science Scholars Program and is on the executive board for the Math Club. She participated in a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program that involved a boot camp at the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at Ohio State University, followed by seven weeks at Penn State, then back to Ohio in August for a capstone conference featuring a poster session. Strong and her research partner submitted the paper, “Distinguishing Resource Selection from Heavy-Tailed Dispersal in Spatial Epidemic Models for review to the journal, Spatial and Spatio-Temporal Epidemiology.

While attending the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics, Strong gave a poster presentation on this research and at a recent Mathematical Association of America Seaway section meeting, she presented an invited talk. A member of the Class of 2019, she will engage in a fellowship to pursue a doctoral degree in statistics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mathematics and statistics major Petruzelli is a member of the Science Scholars program who consistently puts forth a solid effort in everything he does, whether that is classroom work, odd jobs around the department, or his leadership in the Math Club.

In addition to his campus contributions, Petruzelli engaged in a data science internship at Optimax. He gave an engaging talk on his internship experiences at an alumni event in the fall and Optimax invited him back to work more regularly throughout the school year.

For his Science Scholars project, Petruzelli is researching, “Time Series Analysis via Matrix Estimation.” After graduation, he plans to attend RIT to pursue a master’s degree in data science.

Videtti is a mathematics major who came to the College as a transfer student, and has maintained consistently excellent classroom achievement while also working two part-time jobs. He works both at Kohl’s and at Sylvan Learning Academy, where he puts his mathematical and expository skills to good use.

For his senior project, Videtti is working with continued fractions, their use to calculate arbitrarily precise approximations of irrational numbers, and minimizing the number of arithmetic operations needed to calculate square roots to within a given precision.

He is graduating with a bachelor’s in mathematics, and is hoping to pursue a career in data science, data analytics, informatics, or a related field.