Student Summer Research recognized at the 2012 SACNAS Conference

Saturday, October 13, 2012

SACNAS (The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) is an inclusive organization devoted to promoting diversity in math, science and technology. A particular focus of the group is supporting and mentoring students. This year, the annual conference took place in Seattle, Washington, with a theme of Science, Technology and Diversity for a Healthy World.

William Tressel '13, presented with his team members the results of their research conducted over the summer at the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute (MTBI) at Arizona State University. Out of a very large number of student poster presentations, William's group was recognized as outstanding, winning one of two prizes given to applied math posters.

william tressel usd

Here is what William had to say about his experience:
"This past summer, I took part in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at MTBI. For the first half of the program, I learned about mathematical models for biological systems, and in the second half, I worked with a group of fellow students and advisors on a mathematical and biological problem, which we selected. Our group studied the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria within a human host, specifically the sexually transmitted infection Neisseria gonorrhoeae. I learned more about bacteriology and mathematical models in one month than I had even imagined possible beforehand. Not only did I become a better mathematician and researcher over the summer, but I also learned a lot from my fellow students. One of the high notes of the summer was singing ballads in Spanish with other researchers after staying up all night working on simulations.

I had the wonderful opportunity of traveling to Seattle this October to present the research from MTBI at the 2012 National Conference SACNAS. Our group presented a poster and also learned about how we could develop future research on this subject. Between presentations, I walked from booth to booth to learn more about graduate studies at many universities from around the country. Our group’s difficult research over the summer in Arizona and collaboration in Seattle led us to win an undergraduate poster award in the Applied Mathematics section, which was quite exciting for all of us! I would encourage all students studying mathematics or other sciences to network by joining SACNAS, and to discover new career opportunities by applying for research opportunities."

Congratulations to William and his team!


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