In April 2013, mathematics major Hoai-Ngoc Ngoc '13 presented her research in Biomathematics at the 93rd annual Texas section meeting of the Mathematical Association of America, winning first prize. The conference drew faculty and students from across the state, contributing 100 talks in total, nearly half of which were by undergraduates presenting their research.
For her talk titled, "Diversity and Homogeneity Revealed in SSR Analyses of NCGR Cultivars," Ngoc received first prize for the depth of her research as well as her exceptional presentation. In her research, Ngoc applied both statistical techniques and vector analysis to the problem of determining the genetic "fingerprints" of cranberry cultivars. Since previous crosses of cranberry cultivars have produced advantageous offspring, the goal of this research was to assist in the process of developing new and desirable cranberry cultivars. Using her statistical and mathematical techniques, Ngoc was able to find many discrepancies within previously identified cultivars, and consequently she was able to demonstrate the need to change the approach used to determine the pedigrees of these cultivars.