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Mathematically Advancing Young Undergraduates Program (MAY-UP)

The Mathematically Advancing Young Undergraduates Program (MAY-UP), beginning with a pilot program in May 2023, aims to maximize access and opportunity for first-year students to recognize that their interest in math could lead to myriad future possibilities, including a wide variety of careers. Students who gain experience in mathematics early in their college years, particularly in a rigorous and culturally supportive setting, are likely to develop greater comfort and ease within the field.

The 2023 pilot program is aimed at first-year students from the Atlanta University Center which includes Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta University. Applications for 2023's pilot program were not open to the general public. Future years are anticipated to open to additional universities in the region.

The goal of MAY-UP 2023 was to provide students with a glimpse into Linear Algebra; and the ways in which this topic may arise both theoretically and computationally in their future studies. Material included an introduction to matrices as well as basic matrix operations. The program leaders also provided students with introductory programming skills in Python, including development environment setup and matrix manipulations via code, then explored several topics both theoretically and computationally. Options for the subsequent modules included:

  • Image compression via singular value decomposition
  • Identifying objects within an image, and the impacts of noise on matrix/image structure
  • Artificial intelligence generated images/art
  • Linear programming / linear optimization

Students were expected to submit a final project that aligns with their interests and leverages knowledge gained during one of the modules. This experience is designed to facilitate students’ ability to apply skills in technology (such as Python) to develop a broad view of the mathematical sciences beyond the scope of typical undergraduate mathematics coursework.

During the intensive two-week session, each of the 12 students will:

  • actively participate in the mathematics discovery/research program described above under the direction of the research leader and four graduate students
  • complete a research/computational project in collaboration with other MAY-UP students
  • give a presentation on their research project
  • attend two colloquium talks given by leading researchers in their fields (talks will include discussion of the speaker’s career path)
  • learn to prepare fellowship applications
  • receive a stipend, lodging, meals and round-trip travel to Atlanta, GA.

After the program, each student will:

  • be invited to continue to participate in the sophomore year activities (provided they are enrolled in math courses) which include lectures and planned site visits to industry
  • be welcomed into a community that includes MSRI-UP alumni
  • join a network of mentors that will provide continuous advice in the long term as the students make progress in their studies, similar to MSRI-UP
  • be encouraged to pursue future professional opportunities.

MAY-UP 2023 Leaders

  • Dr. Duane Cooper, Lead Director - Associate Professor of Mathematics, Morehouse College
  • Dr. Shelby Wilson, Leader of the Scholarly Program - Applied Mathematician, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Nicholas Arosemena, Teaching Assistant - Graduate Student in Applied Mathematics, Brown University
  • Jazmin Jones, Teaching Assistant - Graduate Student in Mathematics, Howard University
  • Ciera Sherrill, Teaching Assistant - Undergraduate Student in Mathematics, Spelman College

MAY-UP 2023 Student Participants

  • Peyton Brokemond (Spelman College)
  • Devyn Hardwick (Morehouse College)
  • Anaiah Jones (Clark Atlanta University)
  • Abdul Kamara (Clark Atlanta University)
  • Ethan McGauthiar (Clark Atlanta University)
  • Niya McWhirter-Hall (Spelman College)
  • Benjamin Moore (Morehouse College)
  • Makayla Moore (Spelman College)
  • Laura Prince (Clark Atlanta University)
  • Yamir Richmond (Morehouse College)
  • Tai Thomas (Spelman College)
  • Myles Tucker (Morehouse College)

MAY-UP Photos

Instruction with Dr. Shelby Wilson

Colloquium Speaker and MSRI-UP Alumnus Dr. Talea Mayo (Emory College)

Mid-program Saturday excursion, visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park (Atlanta, GA) and to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights

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Final presentation day

MAY-UP 2023 Final Presentations

Download program (PDF)

MAY 27, 2023
10:30 AM Greetings and Welcome
Duane Cooper (Morehouse College), Shelby Wilson (Morehouse College; Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab)
10:35AM Obesity: The Silent Killer of the 21st Century
Peyton Brokemond (Spelman College), Anaiah Jones (Clark Atlanta University)
11:00 AM Mathematicians: Not All Heroes Wear Capes
Abdul Kamara (Clark Atlanta University), Benjamin Moore (Morehouse College)
11:25 AM 3D Projection in Everyday Life
Makayla Moore (Spelman College), Laura Prince (Clark Atlanta University)
11:50 AM The Growth of Diabetes: Least Squares of Lines of Best Fit
Niya McWhirter-Hall (Spelman College), Tai Thomas (Spelman College)
12:15 PM Unleashing Potential: Analyzing High School Graduation Rates and Shaping a Brighter Future
Devyn Hardwick (Morehouse College), Myles Tucker (Morehouse College)
12:40 PM Machine Learning: An Introduction
Ethan McGauthiar (Clark Atlanta University), Yamir Richmond (Morehouse College)