Julie Kerr's Math Page

Welcome to my math page! I am a mathematician with a special interest in cominatorics and graph theory. I have been interested in mathematics for as long as I can remember. My early experiences with mathematics were fun and encouraging. Both in high school and in college I was able to participate in a variety of programs and competitions that challenged my abilities and gave me the chance to travel and meet new people. Here are some of my favorites, along with some links to information.
This is an annual competition for junior high students, with opportunities to compete at the local, state, and national level. It is a great activity for younger students developing an interest in mathematics.
Mu Alpha Theta
This is an annual high school meeting/competition which is held in a different location each year. During my high school days, Mu Alpha Theta brought me to Hawaii, Florida, Tennessee, and Washington State... not bad! Students participate in contests, go to mathematical talks, tour the local sights, and in general have lots of fun for a week.
American High School Mathematics Exam
This is the first of a series of exams designed to select the team to represent the U.S. in the International Math Olympiad. All U.S. high school students are invited to take the AHSME, a 90-minute multiple choice exam. Those who do well may go on to the American Invitational Math Exam, and then to the U.S.A. Math Olympiad. Twenty-five students are then chosen to train for a month in Annapolis or West Point. During the training, a team is selected to participate in the International Olympiad. Because the exams increase in difficulty, they challenge students of all abilities.
Budapest Semesters in Mathematics
This is a wonderful study abroad program for undergraduate students in mathematics which is continually increasing in popularity. Students from the U.S. and Canada may choose to spend either one or two semesters in Budapest under Hungarian professors. Courses are taught in English and focus mainly on areas of discrete mathematics. Students may live together in apartments or stay with a Hungarian family. The web site contains lots of information about the program, as well as an on-line application form.
The William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Exam
The Putnam Exam is an annual mathematics competition for undergraduates. You don't get to travel anywhere or meet anyone, just spend six hours of a Saturday in a tiny room solving math problems. It's great fun! Honest!
Rose-Hulman REU Program
NSF-funded REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) programs are in existence at universities all around the country and offer students a chance to try their hand at mathematical research. I was very impressed by the program at Rose-Hulman Institute for Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. Students had seven weeks to dabble in discrete mathematics. Many of them end up with publishable results, and they receive coaching on how to effectively present their results at a conference.

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Julie Kerr, March 9, 2001