Undergraduate research teams present results of semester-long mathematics projects

Reading Day, Spring 2022

Students involved in undergraduate research had a busy Reading Day on May 5, 2022. At Lincoln Hall, the IRisk Lab hosted final presentations of the research they conducted throughout the semester, and the Illinois Geometry Lab hosted an open house poster session in the Illini Union, inviting all faculty, staff, students, and interested parties to learn more about the work they do.

IRisk Lab Final Presentations

three students present findings of their research for IRisk Lab
Students in IRisk Lab present results of their research during Reading Day.

In total, seven projects from this semester were presented. The projects covered a wide range of research areas, including pioneering smart contracts for distributed insurance, building search tools for cyber risk literature, and modeling comprehensive cyber threat scenarios to help cyber-insurers’ monitor and manage their exposure to risk trends, among others.

Through these projects, students in the IRisk Lab gained valuable real-world experience problem-solving for the modern era. Several projects partnered with data-solution enterprises such as Carpe Data, COUNTRY Financial, Luyan Pharma, and AXIS Capital.

Students reflected on the challenges they faced during their research, the solutions they implemented to address those challenges, and future projects they hoped their work had provided a foundation for.

The presentations concluded with a pizza party and general networking opportunities for IRisk Lab members.  


Illinois Geometry Lab Open House Poster Session

Each semester, hundreds of students apply to participate in research opportunities coordinated by the Illinois Geometry Lab (IGL). This year, IGL matched 64 undergraduate students with faculty and graduate students in the Department of Mathematics to conduct thirteen research projects.

Several projects examined randomness: randomness in number theory, root dynamics for random polynomials under differentiation, and competition with a random walk on a random graph. Other research focuses ranged from quantum information theory, burning graphs, computing packing capacities from polygons, dynamics of generalized coupled spin systems, and more. IGL Director Susan Tolman led a unique project developing informative materials for UIUC undergraduates interested in going to graduate school in mathematics or mathematics-adjacent areas.

Held in Room 314B of the Illini Union, the poster session seemed a rousing success: students spoke excitedly as they shared what they had learned with their peers—as well as current and emeritus mathematics faculty, graduate students, and staff—who were all interested in seeing what these research teams had been up to all semester.

photo of students and faculty observing poster presentations during IGL open house event
Students and faculty participate in the IGL open house during Reading Day.