The Illinois Geometry Lab (IGL), located in 121 Altgeld Hall, showcases the mathematical talents of undergraduate students at the University of Illinois. An increasingly diverse portfolio of research projects contributes to many fields within both pure and applied mathematics, and our outreach initiatives translate the mathematical expertise of our members into compelling and engaging programs for students and community members.
During spring 2017 semester we had tremendous expansion in the research branch of the IGL. We’re administering 17 projects involving over 70 undergraduates and well over 100 individuals. Our students analyzed problems related to dynamical systems, hyperbolic geometry, number theory, symplectic geometry, urban traffic planning, virtual reality, and social network analysis. Work done in the IGL continues to be recognized, both locally and nationally; Vaibhav Karve won the People’s Choice Award in the Graduate College’s Research Live! Competition for his three minute talk on Rich Sowers and Dan Work’s urban traffic planning project, Daan Michiels’ work on Pierre Albin’s Fall 2014 virtual reality project was mentioned in an article in Nature, and Jared Bronski and his Spring 2016 IGL team have a paper accepted in the journal Chaos. To recognize and reward the amazing work being done in our projects, we’ve created a new departmental award, the IGL Research Award. The first annual IGL Research Awards were presented at the Spring 2017 Mathematics Department Award Ceremony.
On the outreach side, we set up booths at local elementary and middle school competitions and hosted K-12 classes for interactive workshops on tilings and tessellations. Plans are underway for our third annual Summer Illinois Math camp, which will feature two separate week-long day camps for high school students.
As always, we are extremely grateful for the support, both moral and financial, which we receive from numerous sources. Financial support for the Illinois Geometry Lab this semester comes from the Department of Mathematics, the University of Illinois Office of Public Engagement, the Mathematical Association of America, the National Science Foundation, and a generous gift from a private donor.
The Department of Mathematics outreach and public engagement activities serve all members of the wider community interested in exploring the creative and discovery-driven nature of mathematical exploration and research. If you are interested in learning more about our outreach programs for students and how you can help, please explore our website.