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Summer Fellow Megan Duke '14 published in mathematics journal

DAQUILA AND DUKEMuskingum University senior Megan Duke has had the research findings she produced as a part of the university’s Summer Fellows program published in the highly regarded Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Math Journal.

A senior mathematics major from Weirton, West Virginia, Duke published an article titled A Non-geometric Switch Toggling Problem.   Her research focused on when and how any system of switches can be transformed from one initial configuration to another configuration by always changing a fixed number of switches in any one step.  This is important research in the context of genetic toggle switches and how they can be used to predict the conditions necessary for gene bi-stability in gene-regulatory networks such as E-coli or feline leukemia. 

Duke conducted her research as a part of the university’s Summer Fellows program, which allows selected students to work closely and intensively with the university’s faculty on specific areas of research.  That research project must be chosen for inclusion in the program by the university’s vice president of academic affairs and the university’s president.  Professor of Mathematics Dr. Richard Daquila worked with Duke on the research and also serves as her faculty advisor. 

To be published in the Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Math Journal, articles must be submitted to a panel of referees and then selected by the publication’s editor-in-chief.  The Journal is devoted entirely to papers written by undergraduates students on topics related to mathematics. Although the authors need not be undergraduates at the time of submission or publication, the work must have been completed before graduation. The publication is sponsored by the mathematics department at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. 

In addition, Duke was invited to present her findings at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) fall meeting, held at Cleveland State University.  The MAA is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics at the undergraduate level. Its members include university, college and high school teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure and applied mathematicians; computer scientists, statisticians and many others in academia, government, business and industry.  Duke’s presentation was one of only a few to be given by an undergraduate student. 

Duke will graduate from Muskingum in May with a degree in mathematics and a teaching license.  She plans to teach mathematics and is also applying for a Woodrow Wilson National Foundation Fellowship grant that would allow her to both teach and attend graduate school. 

IN THE PHOTO: Dr. Richard Daquila and Megan Duke.