Undergraduate Mathematics Day

Saturday 11 November 2017

Download the conference program (pdf) >

Registration for the conference is now closed.  We have filled our available rooms to capatcity and thus are unable to accept late or same-day registrants.

Plenary Talks 
The 18th annual Kenneth C. Schraut Memorial Lecture:
Breaking Driver's License Codes

Dr. Joe Gallian, University of Minnesota Duluth

Abstract: Many states use complicated algorithms or formulas to assign driver's license numbers but keep the method confidential. Just for the fun of it, I attempted to figure out how the states code their license numbers. In this talk I will discuss how I was able to break the codes for Minnesota, Michigan, New York and Missouri. The talk illustrates an important problem-solving technique used by scientists but is not emphasized in mathematics classes. It also teaches the lesson that sometimes things done just for the sake of curiosity can have applications. 

Dr. Gallian received a Ph. D. from Notre Dame in 1971.  He has been at the University of Minnesota Duluth since 1972. He is the author of the book "Contemporary Abstract Algebra" (9th edition) and coauthor of the book "For All Practical Purposes" (10th edition). His research interests include groups, graphs and combinatorics.  He has published more than 100 articles and given over 500 invited lectures at colleges, universities and conferences. He has directed summer research programs for undergraduate students since 1977. He has received teaching awards from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the Carnegie Foundation and the University of Minnesota and is a past President of the MAA.
It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Becomes a Mathematician

Dr. Allison Henrich, Seattle University

Abstract: As former MAA President Francis Su recently reminded us, PLAY is essential for human flourishing. Whether you are a poet or a scientist, a grandparent or a child, play can powerfully enrich your life. For mathematicians, play is essential for building intuition. For undergraduates, play can inspire a desire to get involved in mathematical research. The world of knots provides fertile ground for understanding these connections. Playing games on knot diagrams can give us intuition about knotty structures, while learning about the theory of knots can reveal the “magic” behind rope tricks and excite us to learn more. 

Dr. Henrich is an Associate Professor at Seattle University who has a keen interest in studying knots from a mathematical perspective. She is passionate about undergraduate research, having worked with students on knot theory research in the Williams College SMALL Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, the University of Washington Math REU, and the Seattle University Mathematics Early Research (SUMmER) REU program, of which she is a co-founder and director. In 2015, Allison won the Mathematical Association of America’s Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member.  In January, Allison and her coauthor, Inga Johnson, published an inquiry-based learning textbook entitled An Interactive Introduction to Knot Theory.

For previous events, including Undergraduate Mathematics Days, Biennial Alumni Seminars, and the Schraut Lectures, visit

Undergraduate Math Day Organizing Committee

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2316