PLAINVIEW – The Wayland Baptist University School of Mathematics and Sciences held its second annual Spring Research Day on Friday, April 15, giving students the opportunity to present findings from their ongoing research projects.
“We think that undergraduate research is a key feature of the experience of students in our programs,” said Dr. Herbert Grover, Dean of the School of Math and Sciences. “This research day promotes participation in research projects across our school.”
Nearly 40 students are involved in research projects, and more than half of those presented their findings through talks and poster presentations. Presentations ranged from the effectiveness of wildlife cameras on burrowing owls to ongoing research involving the effects of certain plant extracts on cancer cells.
Rick Ross, a math education major from Greencastle, Ind., discussed using graph theory to determine how to transport three cannibals and three missionaries across a river in a two-person boat leaving no situation in which the cannibals outnumbered the missionaries. Adam Hilliard, a civil engineering major from Lubbock, built a working model of a medieval trebuchet. His research centered around determining the similarities and differences between a real scale model and a mathematical model. Test results were used to alter values in order to obtain the most effective trebuchet within design parameters.
Poster presentations included topics such as the relationship between four health indicators: cancer deaths, cardiovascular deaths, infant mortality rate and teen pregnancy as compared to obesity and child poverty.
Students also looked at the how various land usage affects invertebrates in playa lakes in the Southern High Plains. Others looked at the relationships between honey locusts and trees on the Wayland campus. In all, eight talks and seven posters were presented.
Dr. Scott Franklin, Associate Dean of the School of Math and Sciences, said he felt this year’s presentations were better and more advanced than the previous year’s – a trend he hopes to see continue.
Students will continue research in various fields of microbiology, field biology, geology, chemistry and mathematics, and will once again present their findings next spring.
“This gives the students valuable experience in presenting the results they obtain through their research projects,” Grover said.
“Research trebuchet” – This working model of a medieval trebuchet was built by civil engineering major Adam Hilliard, who discussed his research at Wayland’s second annual Spring Research Day.
For more information about our math and science programs visit the School of Math and Science.