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Departmental Honors in Mathematics and Statistics

The Mathematics and Statistics Department offers majors the opportunity to earn departmental honors through the completion of advanced, in-depth study and research within mathematics and statistics.   Students work with a faculty mentor on a research problem over the course of at least one-semester, and often a year.  Students will sign up for either MAT or STA 493 (these courses are in addition to the majors’ normal 400-level requirements) each semester they are working on the project, and will present a public research talk based upon a paper at its conclusion.  The official requirements are listed at the bottom of this page.  Please note that department honors are not connected to graduation honors (e.g. summa cum laude) that are based upon the overall college GPA, or TCNJ’s Honors Program.

Students interested in earning departmental honors should attend the public Honors talks that are given in the department (usually each year at the end of the Spring semester) and to contact faculty about possible research projects.  All department faculty welcome students to work with them on research problems.  Some more specific information about specific interests can be found on the undergraduate research page.  Students are encouraged to contact Professor Hagedorn, the department’s honors coordinator, if they would like more information.


List of recent honors students, research project titles and advisors

Student Title Advisor Area
Peter Tonuzi ’20
State Polynomials of Periodic Knots and Quotient Knots
Cynthia Curtis Topology (Knot Theory)
Nicholas Bolle ’19
Investigating A Proposed Wedge Power for Matroids
Steffen Marcus Algebra (Matroid Theory)
Sebastian Calvo ’19
Projection Monoid Schemes and Extended Fans
Steffen Marcus Algebra (Matroid Theory)
Danielle Demateis ’19
Non-Negative Matrix Factorization for Rank Normalized Data
Michael Ochs Statistics
Melanie Loth ’19
Identifying Underlying Patterns in Animal Images Using Non-Negative Matrix Factorization
Michael Ochs Statistics (Pattern Formation)
Kate O’Connor ’19 Weights of Essential Surfaces Cynthia Curtis Topology (Knot and Surface Theory)
Lisha Silver ’19
A Differential Equations Model on the Effects of Gender and Pedagogy on Math Anxiety
Matt Mizuhara Mathematical Modeling
Sharon Ling ’18
Exploring the Role of Genetics in Obesity
Michael Ochs Statistics
Ethan Crasto ’18
Examining Competing Risks of STEM Attrition at TCNJ
David Holleran Statistics
Alina Kuvelkar ’18
Exploring Biomolecular Drivers of Pathway Activity in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Using Structural Equation Modeling
Michael Ochs Statistics
Rebecca Santorella ’17
A Multiscale Model of Tumor Growth in Response to Stochastic Signaling Networks
Jana Gevertz and Michael Ochs Mathematical Biology
Cory Weinfeld ’17
Bases of Free Groups with Small Rank
Andrew Clifford Algebra (Group Theory)
Elizabeth Eisenhauer ’17
Structural Equation Modeling of Cell Signaling Networks in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Michael Ochs Statistics
Benjamin Castor ’16
Equations Over Groups Containing Elements of Order Two
Andrew Clifford Algebra (Group Theory)
Paloma Hauser ’16 Michael Ochs Statistics
Alana Huszar ’16
Pointed Monoids and Extended Rational Polyhedral Cones
Steffen Marcus Algebra (Matroid Theory)
Joseph Ruffo ’15
Fixed Subgroups of Finitely Generated Free Group Automorphisms
Andrew Clifford Algebra (Group Theory)
Conor Kelton ’15
Non-negative Matrix Factorization and the Estimation of Dimensionality in Gene Expression
Michael Ochs Statistics
Vincent Longo ’15
Knot Invariants of Non-Orientable Essential Surfaces
Cynthia Curtis Topology (Knot and Surface Theory)
Michael Muller ’14 Automorphisms of Finitely Generated Free Groups Andrew Clifford Algebra (Group Theory)
Mary Ambrosino ’12
Mod 2 Rank of 1-Relator Group
Andrew Clifford Algebra (Group Theory)
Edward Lee ’12
Mathematical Modeling of Chemical Kinetics in Pregnant and Lactating Rats
Leona Harris Mathematical Biology
Glen Wilson ’10 Adjoint Functors Carlos Alves Category Theory
Samuel Taylor ’09
Incomprehensible Surfaces in Alternating Knot Complements
Cynthia Curtis Topology (Knot and Surface Theory)
Jeff Hatley ’09
On the Rank of the Elliptic Curve y^2 = x(x − p)(x − 2)
Tom Hagedorn Number Theory
Matt Luther ’09 Cynthia Curtis Topology (Knot and Surface Theory)
Michael Stein ’08 Plant-Pathogen Dynamics Jean-Michel Jean-Michelet Mathematical Biology
Janet Morrison
Brendan Kelly ’08 Jean-Michel Jean-Michelet
Vincent Martinez ’08 Jean-Michel Jean-Michelet
Sarah Frack ’08 Cynthia Curtis


Official Requirements for Honors for all majors and specializations within the Department of Mathematics and Statistics:

  1. Eligibility: A 3.5 GPA in math and statistics courses.
  2. To receive departmental honors, a student must engage in independent research during their junior or senior year. The student should successfully complete an Independent Research 493 course during a semester they spend on-campus, and prepare a paper which will be due the middle of their last (graduating) term. A presentation (which we envision being a 40 minute talk, perhaps during a lunch period) will be given in the two week period following the submission of the paper. The members of the student’s Honors Committee will be present, and be given ample opportunity to ask the students questions about their research to gauge their level of understanding.