The Mathematics and Statistics Department offers majors the opportunity to earn departmental honors through the completion of advanced, indepth study and research within mathematics and statistics. Students work with a faculty mentor on a research problem over the course of at least onesemester, and often a year. Students will sign up for either MAT or STA 493 (these courses are in addition to the majors’ normal 400level 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 
NonNegative Matrix Factorization for Rank Normalized Data

Michael Ochs  Statistics 
Melanie Loth ’19 
Identifying Underlying Patterns in Animal Images Using NonNegative 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 
Nonnegative Matrix Factorization and the Estimation of Dimensionality in Gene Expression

Michael Ochs  Statistics 
Vincent Longo ’15 
Knot Invariants of NonOrientable 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 1Relator 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  PlantPathogen Dynamics  JeanMichel JeanMichelet  Mathematical Biology 
Janet Morrison  
Brendan Kelly ’08  JeanMichel JeanMichelet  
Vincent Martinez ’08  JeanMichel JeanMichelet  
Sarah Frack ’08  Cynthia Curtis 
Official Requirements for Honors for all majors and specializations within the Department of Mathematics and Statistics:
 Eligibility: A 3.5 GPA in math and statistics courses.
 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 oncampus, 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.