The Department of Mathematics confers several annual and occasional awards. Graduation with Honors in Mathematics is awarded to students who have elected to complete a rigorous curriculum with high standards and to produce a significant honors thesis. Annually, the department awards the McGavock Award to a particularly outstanding senior major, and the Vinson Award to a particularly promising sophomore in mathematics. Starting in 2006, the Jackson Award includes a partial scholarship and is given biannually to a rising junior mathematics major.
HONORS IN MATHEMATICS
The Department of Mathematics grants honors to graduating students with outstanding records of accomplishment in mathematics, as demonstrated in three areas: breadth of curriculum, quality of academic performance, and significance of scholarly project. Students interested in pursuing honors should, as soon as possible, read the departmental honors document that explains the process. Candidates must complete a specified selection of courses; attain a minimum GPA of 3.2 overall and 3.5 on courses in the department; and undertake advanced work, supervised by a faculty member, culminating in a thesis successfully defended before the department. At the department's discretion, in the case of an exceptional academic record, together with a thesis of the highest quality incorporating original mathematics, the department confers high honors.
Those previously awarded Honors in Mathematics are listed below with name, thesis title, and year, *indicates High Honors was awarded. Theses may usually be found in the college library or departmental collection.
- Bernstein, Daniel, Algorithmic Definitions of Singular Functions, 2013.
- Poff, Corey, Pathology in Upper Confidence Bounds Applied to Trees, 2013*.
- Thomson, Colin, A Hierarchy of Chaotic Topological Dynamics, 2013.
- Yang, Chang (Kyle), The Bordeaux 3-color Conjecture and Near Coloring, 2013*.
- Larson, Karen, Unwapping Rap: Classification of Drum Patterns in Rap Songs, 2012.
- Altman, Ben, Higher-Order Automatic Differentiation of Multivariate Functions in MATLAB, 2010
- Oberst, Sarah, A Mathematical Model of Malaria, 2010
- Daves, Rosa Katie, Skyline Augmented Fillings, 2008
- Topaz, Adam, On the Galois Module Structure of Square Classes of Maximal Elementary Abelian 2-Extensions, 2008*
- Compeau, Phillip E.C. III, Cycles in Pancake Graphs, 2008*
- Dovidio, Nicholas A., Analysis and Applications of PageRank, HITS, the Vector Space Model, SALSA and Rank Correlation Techniques, 2007
- Helms, John A., An Adventure into Applied Abstract Algebra: Exploring the Rubik's Cube, 2007
- Cain, Nicholas, CMMI: Committee Machine Motif Identification using Artificial Neural Networks, 2006
- Chemotti, Frank, Galois module structure for square classes of units in Klein 4-group extensions, 2005
- McLean, Rob, Curves of constant geodesic curvature in the hyperbolic plane, 2003*
- Schultz, Andrew C., Galois module structure of Kx / Kxp for K / F cyclic of degree pn, 2002*
- Smith (Dunsmuir), Amy M., Basins of roots and periodicity in Newton's method for cubic polynomials, 2000
- More' (Grant), Maria M., Two gems of complex analysis: the Riemann mapping theorem and the uniformization theorem, 1997
- Young, Scott W., Methods for calculating Taylor polynomials easily and efficiently, 1997
- Onkey, Richard, On the edge-transitivity of circulant graphs, 1996
- Mubayi, Dhruv, Algorithms for Degree Sequences of Graphs and Score Sequences of Partially Oriented Graphs, 1995*
- DeSilva, Harin, Mathematical models in inventory theory, 1992
- Alyea, David, Queueing theory, 1988
- Simpson, L. Taylor, Concepts of compiler construction, 1986
- VanDeventer, Hank, Catastrophe theory for beginners, 1985
- Morrisett (Clark), Julia L. Octads, 1985
- Spangler, Thomas C., Some geometry and topology of geometric surfaces, 1980*
- Wong, Fai, Statistics: an overview, 1979
- Gaynor, J.W., The theory of games, 1978
THE WILLIAM G. McGAVOCK AWARD
The William Gillespie McGavock Mathematics Award is given to that member of the senior class who has demonstrated the greatest promise and accomplishment in mathematics during his Davidson career. The award is given by the Mathematics Department annually, when it feels that there are qualified candidates.
Honored by the award is Professor William Gillespie McGavock, greatly loved professor of mathematics, whose tenure on the faculty at Davidson College ranged over the period 1934 to 1975. The award is intended to reflect Professor McGavock's deep and genuine interest in the mathematical abilities and accomplishments of his students. It recognizes as well Professor McGavock's devotion to Davidson College and the superior quality of his contribution to the development of mathematical studies here.
McGavock Award history:
- 2013 -- Daniel I. Bernstein
- 2012 -- Karen R. Larson
- 2011 -- Daniel A. Martin
- 2010 -- Benjamin B. Altman
- 2009 -- James O. Dixon
- 2008 -- Phillip E.C. Compeau III & Adam Topaz
- 2007 -- Timothy D. Rankin
- 2006 -- Lesley R. Attkisson
- 2005 -- Frank A. Chemotti
- 2004 -- Alexander B. Sibley
- 2003 -- Robert A. McLean
- 2002 -- Andrew C. Schultz
- 2001 -- Randall R. Skattum
- 2000 -- Margaret A. Latterner
- 1999 -- Jennifer A. Kazmarek
- 1998 -- Dominick J. Talvacchio
- 1997 -- Maria Michela Moré
- 1996 -- Richard H. Onkey
- 1995 -- Dhruv Mubayi
- 1994 -- Andrew John Haile & Erin Elizabeth Lang
- 1993 -- Harin Ananda DeSilva
- 1992 -- Erik S. Moledor
- 1991 -- Mark A. Pospesel
- 1990 -- Mathijs H. Brentjens
- 1989 -- Thomas R. Whipple
- 1988 -- David H. Alyea
- 1987 -- Michael A. McDonald
- 1986 -- G. Griffith Elder, Jr.
- 1985 -- Julia Lynn Morrisett & Hendrick W. Van Deventer
- 1984 -- Eric E. Fink & Hunter K. Monroe
- 1983 -- Laura G. Singleton
- 1982 -- Mark B. Phillips
- 1981 -- No Award
- 1980 -- Thomas C. Spangler
- 1979 -- Fai Wong
- 1978 -- T.C. Pinckney
- 1977 -- Cory W. Young
- 1976 -- Mark A. Postove
THE WILLIAM D. VINSON MATHEMATICS AWARD
The William D. Vinson Mathematics Award is given to a rising junior and recognizes unusual mastery of the field and significant promise for further study.
The award was established by the Vinson family in memory of William Daniel Vinson, LL.D., who was Professor of Mathematics at Davidson from 1883 until 1897.
Vinson Award history:
- 2013 -- Fangning (Richard) Yan
- 2012 -- Christopher J. Gorman
- 2011 -- Chang (Kyle) Yang
- 2010 -- Paul P. Britton
- 2009 -- Mali Zhang
- 2008 -- Benjamin B. Altman
- 2007 -- Kent C. Ford
- 2006 -- Daniel D. Orr
- 2005 -- Mary E. Hobart
- 2004 -- Garrett M. Monda
- 2003 -- Frank A. Chemotti
- 2002 -- Martin G. Turner
- 2001 -- Adriel W. Cornman
- 2000 -- William L. Herring
- 1999 -- Sam Steinmann
- 1998 -- Sandra Joan Bishop
- 1997 -- Emily Anne Katzfey
- 1996 -- Dominick J. Talvacchio & Yang You
- 1995 -- Chloe Ingrid Bracis
- 1994 -- Richard Hugh Onkey
- 1993 -- Dhruv Mubayi
- 1992 -- Erin Elizabeth Lang
- 1991 -- Harin Ananda DeSilva
- 1990 -- Alice Catherine Hicks
- 1989 -- Suresh Kumar Acharya
- 1988 -- Douglas Alan Hicks
- 1987 -- Anne Elizabeth Bryson
THE R. BRUCE JACKSON JR. MATHEMATICS AWARD
The R. Bruce Jackson, Jr., Mathematics Award is given to a rising junior mathematics major who has demonstrated great promise in mathematics and its application. The award is given by the Mathematics Department once every two years when it determines that there are qualified candidates.
This award honors R. Bruce Jackson, Jr., long-time member of the Department of Mathematics 1956-95 and chair 1978-83. He led a strengthening of the curriculum in probability and statistics, reflecting his interest in applicable mathematics in the liberal arts setting. The award recognizes Professor Jackson's leadership in College matters and his legendary devotion to students, from beginners to majors.
Jackson Award history:
- 2012 -- Phillip D. Wall
- 2010 -- Shashank Suresh
- 2008 -- Benjamin B. Altman
- 2006 -- Phillip E.C. Compeau III