Campus News in Brief

First-year students place second in math tournament

Three first-year Mellon College of Science students placed second in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. The students — math majors Michael Druggan, Albert Gu, and Archit Kulkarni — are members of the Knaster-McWilliams Scholars program, which is funded by two alumni and provides students with increased access to faculty and early research opportunities.

To win second place, Druggan, Gu, and Kulkarni answered 12 math problems in six hours. Over 4,000 American and Canadian undergraduates participated in the tournament, which was held in December. The results were released this month.

“This remarkable success is a reflection of the high caliber of students in Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Mathematical Sciences, as well as a reflection on the students’ hard work and dedication,” said mathematics professor Po-Shen Loh, the team’s coach, in a university press release. “At Carnegie Mellon we have developed an innovative undergraduate program, which leads the brightest undergraduate mathematicians to achieve their full potential.”

Druggan, Gu, and Kulkarni’s second-place finish is the highest a Carnegie Mellon team has ever placed in the competition. The Department of Mathematical Sciences will receive $20,000 as a result, and Druggan, Gu, and Kulkarni will each receive $800.

NSBE conference to be held at local convention center

The 38th annual conference of the National Society of Black Engineers will be held in Pittsburgh this Wednesday to Sunday. Carnegie Mellon will have a booth the conference, which will be held in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown.

Carnegie Mellon’s booth will consist of current graduate students and representatives from the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Steelers mascot Steely McBeam will also be present to greet participants. The College of Engineering will co-sponsor bags that will be given out to all convention-goers. The college also made a slideshow to showcase the Carnegie Mellon experience.

Carnegie Institute of Technology Dean Pradeep K. Khosla will host a kick-off lunch for graduate students at the conference. “Participation in this conference is very important as we continue to build the workforce of the future and remain competitive globally,” Khosla said in a university press release.

“The world’s increasing globalization demands more interaction with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds, so this NSBE conference is an excellent opportunity to reach a large, talented, and diverse audience,” said Kurt Larsen, assistant dean of undergraduate studies at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, in the press release.