Exploring Math in a New Way: Math Department Holds Annual Open House


Joanna Vaklin

Barry Dayton demonstrating a math modeling technique at the open house.

Joanna Vaklin, Comic Artist

NEIU students explored math courses during the annual mathematics department open house. Math majors and students interested in the study of mathematics attended this event to learn more about the department and classes offered.

Shan Wang, a math professor at NEIU, said, “The Mathematics department has an open house every fall semester that opens right after the registration for the spring.”

This provides some advising for students before or after they choose classes.

Not only was this an informational time for students, but it was a “time for the faculty to bond as well.” said Wang.

Participants brought food and talked about upcoming classes and plans for the math department.

Just like in previous years, the open house was split into two sections. The first hour was dedicated for the students. NEIU students asked questions about majors and classes. The second hour was a presentation by Barry H. Dayton.

“Dayton was a professor and chair of the Northeastern math department 15 years ago. He published his new book, so that is why we invited him back, to present his new book,” said Wang.

The audience was engaged in the presentation of Dayton’s new book, “A Numerical Approach to Real Algebraic Curve.”

NEIU student Beth McDonald said, “I always enjoy attending the math department’s presentations — sometimes the technical math details go entirely over my head, but there’s always something to be gained by being exposed to concepts outside of your own field of expertise!“

McDonald said that for much of Dayton’s mathematical visualizations he presented were “a very common way of visualizing problem in computer science algorithms!”

Every year the NEIU math department plans a different activity for the last hour of the open house. Last year they did an alumni presentation.

“Three students who graduated from the department came back to give suggestions on finding a job in the field or how to apply for graduate school,” said Wang.

The math department welcomes all of NEIU to their public events. Coming up soon is the two day mathematical and statical modeling workshop. For more information, please contact NEIU’s math department at [email protected].