Success Stories

Success Stories

UD’s First Recipient of the Trjitzinsky Memorial Award

Date Published: Nov. 27, 2017

Mary Kate TomassiSophomore Mary Kate Tomassi, BA ’20, “embodies the diligent student who loves learning mathematics,” explained Assistant Professor of Mathematics John Osoinach, as faculty and students gathered in Constantin Garden on Wednesday, Nov. 15, to honor Tomassi’s achievement as UD’s first recipient of the Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky Memorial Award.

As one of seven undergraduates to receive this year’s award given by the American Mathematical Society (AMS), Tomassi will delve further into the field of mathematics in her studies at UD, as well as explore her interest in computer science. UD was one of seven schools in the country selected by the AMS to bestow the award on one worthy student who plans on pursuing a career in mathematics.

“There are plenty of deserving math students at UD,” said Tomassi. “I’m honored to receive such an award, and I’m especially grateful for the support of my professors in the Mathematics Department.”

Although still undecided where her career in mathematics will take her after UD, Tomassi would like to make a positive impact in society by working on issues such as homelessness or human trafficking. “Mathematics allows you to explore and work in so many different disciplines,” she said.

“I truly enjoy studying mathematics, because it gives you an opportunity to further explore philosophical thought in a more tangible sense,” she said. “Learning about the process of mathematics has helped me form better methods of decision making and critical thinking, which benefit not only my studies at UD but my day-to-day life.”

According to her award biography, “Mary Kate is one of those rare students who not only excels in mathematics, but also embraces the mathematics culture at the university by working in the Mathematics Department office.”

Additionally, Texas Right to Life named Tomassi one of 38 2017 Dr. Joseph Graham College Fellows in April. Over the summer, she participated in a week-long training program as part of this fellowship to gain pro-life knowledge and leadership skills to bring back to UD.

This year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky Memorial Awards, which was made possible by a bequest from the estate of Waldemar J., Barbara G. and Juliette Trjitzinsky. These funds help support mathematics students who lack financial resources. Each year the society selects a number of geographically distributed schools who in turn make one-time awards to assist students in pursuit of mathematics careers.

 Team Places 55th in National Math Contest

Seven students in the mathematics department at the University of Dallas competed in the 75th annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, held on Dec. 6, 2014, which featured over 4,320 students from the United States and Canada. The three UD students whose individual ranks comprised the team score earned an overall ranking of 55 out of the 431 institutions competing.  The team's ranking placed the students well in the top 15% of all participating teams.
In addition, four students earned distinction with their individual scores.  The department's highest scoring individual was mathematics junior Paul Seitz, whose score put him in the top 15% of all participants.  Also posting an impressive score was senior Luke Simmons, who scored in the top 20%.  Rounding out the top four were sophomores Michael Simmons, scoring in the top quarter, and Joseph Roth, scoring in the top third.  
The Putnam Mathematical Competition is a mathematical problem solving contest held on the first Saturday each December.  The participants are given twelve problems to solve over six hours, six problems for three hours in the morning, and six problems for three hours in the afternoon.  A sample problem from this year's competition is given below:
Problem B3:  Let A be an m by n matrix with rational entries.  Suppose that there are at least m + n distinct prime numbers among the absolute values of the entries of A.  Show that the rank of A is at least 2

"UD math students delve deeper..."

UD Mathematics Department Number One in Percentage of BA's to Later Earn Ph.D's

Math Major Wins Award at Conference

Math Major wins contestIn April of 2013, senior mathematics major Hoai-Ngoc Ngo presented her research in Biomathematics at the 93rd annual Texas section meeting of the Mathematical Association of America. 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.


Outstanding Mathematics Majors

2016  Joseph Andrews

2015  Luke Simmons

2014  Sarah Nicholson

2013  Elizabeth Tasler

2012   Jeremy Smith

2011   Joseph Simmons

2010   Benjamin White

2009   Rafael Carrasco

2008   Joseph Hejkal

2005   Michael Humphries

2004   Joshua Cole

2003   Gregory Nicholas Benes

2002   Travis Brown

2001   Jonathan Engle

1999   Jane Burkett, Carol Gwosdz, Alena Oetting

1997   Tyson Kackley, Nicola Mullan, Erin Vculek

1995-1996   Tyson Kackley, Brian Klingele

1993-1994   Tyson Kackley, Sean Walbran

1992-1993   Philip Muth

1991-1992   Allison Eskritt, Sean Walbran

1990-1991   Sally O'Neill, Paul Speaker

1989-1990   Sally O'Neill, John Pickert


Emergency Relief Fund Renders Fast Aid to Students in Need

Edisson Ramos, BA '20, is one of many students receiving assistance from UD's COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, which has currently raised nearly $90,000; the first of the funds were distributed last week to help students make their April rent, and Director of Financial Aid Taryn Anderson, BA '07, is in the process of distributing a second wave to students with housing or food insecurity or in need of Wi-Fi or other resources for online learning.

+ Read More

Words of Wisdom, Advice Bolster Educators Now Teaching from Afar

In our current condition, with most of the U.S. sheltering in place and/or learning and working from our homes, it's hard to imagine that just 20 days ago, teachers and those aspiring to be teachers gathered together for the fourth annual Excellence in Education conference at the University of Dallas, organized, run and sponsored by UD's Education Department, but so they did, and so we will all do -- gather together, that is -- some day again.

+ Read More

Help Us Help UD Students Affected by COVID-19

Many of you have reached out to ask what you can do to help, and I am grateful for your generosity. In response, I have created the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to immediately help UD students in this rapidly evolving situation.

+ Read More