Quick Links

Wesley College Math Majors Present Research at SUMS Conference



Riza Bautista, junior math major, and Brittany Kowalewski, senior math major, presented their undergraduate research results at the 10th Shenandoah Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics (SUMS) Conference. The conference was held on October 4, 2014 at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.



The title of Bautista’s research was “Selecting a Methodology to Estimate the Missing Values from a Time Series Data Set that Measures the Extent of the Northern Polar Ice Cap.” She worked with a time series data set that reports on the daily extent of sea ice at the northern polar ice cap. The data set contained missing values for 9/12/2002-9/21/2002, the dates when the extent of the sea ice would be at the maximum for the year. Three methodologies, interpolating polynomials, mean substitution and multiple imputation methodologies were analyzed to produce an estimate of the missing values and extent of the polar ice cap for September 2002.

Dr. Derald E. Wentzien, professor of mathematics, served as the faculty mentor for the research.

The title of Kowalewski’s research was “Trends in the Polar Ice Caps.” She analyzed images of sea ice obtained from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) websites. Kowalewski used geographic information system (GIS) techniques to calculate the extent of the sea ice and then compared the values to data published on the NSIDC website. Her results showed only slight variations (+/- 5 percent) from the published sea ice extent data.

Her research was supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (Delaware-EPSCoR) grant (EPS-0814251) and an undergraduate tuition scholarship. Wentzien and Dr. Kent Hurst, visiting assistant professor of environmental sciences, served as the faculty mentors for the research.

Both Bautista and Kowalewski were also supported by a Cannon Scholarship from an NSF S-STEM program (NSF-DUE 1355554) and NASA/Delaware Space Grant Consortium (DESGC) grant number NNG05G092H.