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Mathematics is Focus of Two Grants
CAMPUS CURRENT College News



Mathematicians Seek Solutions for Industry
P
atterns, formulas, problems and hypotheses consumed Chris Cooney of


entire days of dialogue at the first-ever HMC Math-in- Akonni Biosystems







Industry Conference, held in July. The conference, an asked a student














aspiring mathematician’s dream, provided a forum for indus- group to use math-











trial scientists to work alongside academic mathematicians on ematical calcula-







problems of direct industrial relevance. tions to help him
















Lisette de Pillis, HMC professor of mathematics and understand the










Ellis Cumberbatch, Claremont Graduate University profes- uniquely specific












sor of mathematics, executed and sponsored the week-long design required












event. Normally, such workshops are rare and costly, but the for a microfluidic





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National Science Foundation awarded HMC a grant of biochip’s shape. The


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$46,541. The conference was also co-sponsored by the HMC design is essential for

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The grants helped provide complete funding to graduate the reaction chamber from entering
students and over 30 undergraduates (including two students the waste chamber during testing.
each from HMC and Claremont McKenna). Additionally, “The team enthusiastically embraced what turned out to
there were over 30 faculty members from the U.S. and abroad be a challenging problem and provided models that gave help-
participating in the projects. ful insights,” said Cooney.
The conference required that students and faculty work
—Lyndsay Gravis
together to solve problems issued by industrial sponsors. The
framework they followed was one initiated in Oxford, England,
in 1968 that has been replicated in many countries since.
The questions included biological, engineering and chemi-
cal problems—all with mathematics at the core. Conferences
like these serve as an important mechanism for the transfer of
mathematical technology between academia and industry.
“The students accomplished a lot more than I asked for,
What They Say about HMC
including great ideas for follow-up research. It was
• No. 1 among the nation’s undergraduate
a wonderful experience,” said Claudia Rangel
engineering programs—tied with Rose-
of the National Institute of Genomic
Hulman Institute of Technology
Medicine, México.
• 14th (out of 126) among nation’s top
liberal arts colleges. U.S.News & World Re-
port’s 2010 edition of America’s Best Colleges
• Named one of the nation’s best institutions for
undergraduate education
• The only college of engineering, science and math to make the Top
20 lists in two key academic categories: “Professors Get High Marks”
(ranking 15th), and “Most Accessible Professors” (12th). Also ranked
18th for “Students Study the Most.” The Princeton Review 2010 annual
guidebook, The Best 371 Colleges
• No. 2 in the category “Best Engineering Colleges by Salary Potential”
PayScale.com
• Named a Best Value among the nation’s private colleges by Kiplinger’s
Personal Finance (Nov. 2009) and The Princeton Review (Jan. 2009)
FALL/WINTER 2009 Harvey Mudd College 5
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