Matt Torrence ’21 participated in the 2019 Summer@ICERM program at Brown University. He worked with several other students on a project to research a question in arithmetic dynamics, or the study of rational points in dynamical systems. They were interested in the question:
“Given a family of rational functions, and a directed graph, could we find a set of rational labels for each vertex in the graph and a function in our family which acts on these vertices in the right way?”
The answer depends very much on the graph and functions, and leads to some very deep and interesting mathematics.
Then he traveled to Denver, Colorado to present his research at the Joint Math Meetings, the largest mathematics meeting in the world.
Appropriate content for a poster included, but was not limited to, a new result, a new proof of a known result, a new mathematical model, an innovative solution to a Putnam problem, or a method of solution to an applied problem.
Other activities for undergraduates at JMM were a Grad School Fair, where undergrads could meet representatives from mathematical sciences graduate programs from universities all over the country; the Estimathon!, a mindbending mixture of math and trivia; and a panel on how to get the most out of attending the conference.
Matt feels very glad to have had the opportunity to study at ICERM, and he would recommend many others to apply for similar programs!