This conference is hosted by CCICADA and DIMACS and supported by grant #HSHQDC-10-C-00175 from the Department of Homeland Security, Office of University Programs.
Discrete Mathematics is an area of mathematics that is exciting to students because of its contemporary nature, its widespread applications, and its engaging topics that require little in the way of pre-requisites. Unlike other areas of mathematics, discrete mathematics allows students to very quickly explore and discuss open problems. Thus, it can serve as a vehicle for students, at every level, to engage in mathematical inquiry and problem solving and invites them to pursue degrees and later career opportunities in related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sponsored an initiative to build capacity for 21st Century STEM education at community colleges that serve underrepresented populations. This conference is supported through this DHS initiative as a collaborative effort between DIMACS, CCICADA, and a small business, Discrete Teaching, to engage a variety of students in STEM discipline topics. The high school student participants are part of a Hostos Community College summer program called, NASA/STEP Proyecto Access, located in the South Bronx. Undergraduate students are DIMACS/CCICADA Research Experiences for Undergraduates participants and the graduate student presenters are all associated with CCICADA. Grades 6-12 teachers and community college faculty from the South Bronx will also participate.
Conference presentations will include overviews of DHS-related discrete mathematics topics in talks given by faculty, mini-workshop presentations by CICCADA graduate students, a panel discussion hosted by undergraduate STEM majors, a brief tour of a Rutgers engineering lab, and a keynote address given by the Deputy Regional Administrator of FEMA. Students will be treated to engaging mathematics, as well as an overview of the diverse opportunities that await those who become proficient in mathematical and scientific disciplines.