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Christendom’s mathematics and natural science department celebrated its inaugural mathematics senior thesis presentations this past week, as three mathematics majors defended the culminations of their months of hard work. From discussing the quintic polynomial to analyzing the design of Roman theaters, the presentations revealed the depth of the college’s young mathematics department and pointed toward its bright future.

Thomas Anderson delivered a presentation on “The Insolvability of the Quintic.”

The mathematics major was added to Christendom’s liberal arts major offerings in 2014, expanding upon its existing math minor. While the college has never been void of opportunities to study higher levels of mathematics, the addition of the major four years ago is a testament to Christendom’s efforts to preserve the liberal arts tradition in America. The classes students can now take at the undergraduate level at Christendom are the perfect stepping stones toward earning further degrees in engineering or nursing later.

The three mathematics majors of 2018’s graduating class — Thomas Anderson, Sydney Dominguez, and Kieran O’Donnell — are among the first to enjoy the fruits of the new major, as it continues to grow more robust. Together, the three tackled complex topics for their senior theses, impressing the head of the department, Dr. Miriam Byers, and all in attendance for the defenses as well.

Sydney Dominguez spoke on “The Four-Color Theorem and the Epistemology of Mathematical Proof.”

“It was very gratifying to see so many students and faculty attend our inaugural mathematics senior thesis presentations, and I am extremely proud of our seniors,” says Dr. Byers. “They have established a solid standard for our growing cadre of mathematics majors to build on. The questions posed by the audience and the students’ thoughtful answers were a testament to the level of mastery of their topics and to their impressive ability to communicate complex mathematical concepts. The senior thesis is meant to be the capstone of a Christendom education, and they exemplified that by incorporating other liberal arts disciplines. I am very excited about the future of our mathematics major.”

Kieran O’Donnell spoke about “An Analysis of Abstract Mathematical Principles Present in the Design of Roman Theaters.”

Anderson, who is already accepted to the University of Nebraska to earn his Ph.D. in mathematics, delivered a historical analysis of the study of the quintic polynomial, specifically concerning mathematicians who sought a formula for the quintic polynomial. Dominguez, who will be serving the college as an Admissions Counselor post-graduation as she prepares to become an actuary, gave an examination of the philosophical epistemology of the 1977 computer-supplemented proof of the Four-Color Theorem. Finishing off the presentations, O’Donnell presented an analysis of the architectural achievements of the Romans to reveal their understanding of abstract mathematical principles, which were at the forefront of the mathematical advances of their day.

To learn more about Christendom’s mathematics major, visit here.

Christendom College admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.
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