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Scholarships–Creating Opportunities for Applying Mathematics (S-COAM)


The Scholarships-Creating Opportunities for Applying Mathematics (S-COAM) project at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), while increasing the overall number of students pursuing degrees in mathematics, is unique in its goal of establishing a supportive connection of master’s students with undergraduates through scholarship cohort activities. Each year, need-based scholarship funds support five or six new graduate students from the M.S. in Applied Mathematics program and seven to ten new sophomore, junior, or senior undergraduate students seeking a major or minor in a mathematical area.

Deadline for Spring 2015: November 28, 2014

If you received an award for the Fall 2014 semester, you must submit the mid-year progress report by December 5, 2014.

Application Form for Undergraduate Students

Application Form for Graduate Students

Form for Recommendation Letter

Click to see  Fall 2010 Scholarship Recipients

Click to see  Spring 2011 Scholarship Recipients

Click to see Fall 2011 Scholarship Recipients

Click to see  Spring 2012 Scholarship Recipients

Click to see Fall 2012 Scholarship Recipients   

Click to see  Spring 2013 Scholarship Recipients 

Click to see Fall 2013 Scholarship Recipients

Click to see Spring 2014 Scholarship Recipients

Click to see Fall 2014 Scholarship Recipients


In addition to financial support, S-COAM scholars will also participate in the Mathematics Enrichment Activities Network.

Activities Include

  • Departmental or college-wide colloquia
  • IUP Math Club, Actuary Club, or Preservice Teachers of Mathematics
  • Local, regional, or national conferences
  • Connections with working professionals in science and engineering fields
  • Workshops in software training, job/internship search, and graduate school preparation
  • Presentations by professionals from industry and academia
  • Social gathering with other S-COAM scholars

2014–2015 Monthly Meetings

  1. August Meeting: 4:00–6:00 p.m. on August 24 (Stright 226/229)
  2. September Meeting: 3:30–5:00 p.m. on September 24
  3. October Meeting: 3:00–5:00 p.m. on October 30
  4. December Meeting: 3:30–5:00 p.m. on December 5

Workshops: (Open to Public)

  1. 3D Printer 
    1:30–3:00 p.m. on September 12, in Stright 220
    Presenter: Dr. Brian Sharp and Dr. Ed Donley
     Digital Fabrication and 3-D printing offer many possibilities to enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics by bridging the gap between the abstract and the concrete (or plastic as it may be). For example, calculus students often grapple with problems in which they have to find the surface area and volume of an object formed by rotating a curve around an axis. In the past, these types of problems usually remained abstract to students because the technology to create actual physical models was not available or convenient to use.  With a digital fabrication facility, students can construct mathematical representations of the objects, send the representations to the 3D printer, and fabricate plastic models to investigate. Participants in this workshop will learn how to create models using Mathematica and a 3-D printer.
  2. Python I:
    3:30–5:00 p.m. on October 9, in Stright 220
    Presenter: Dr. John Chrispell

    Abstract: Ever want to create your own solar system? Now you can! In this workshop participants will be introduced to python scripting using a Linux environment with the goal of modeling an N-Body problem. Topics covered will included package management for the linux OS, importing python libraries, and basic scripting for numerical computation touching on classes, functions, and plotting data.
  3. Python II:
    3:30-5:00pm on October 16, in Stright 220
    Presenter: Dr. Ed Donley

    Abstract:  In this workshop, participants will learn some fundamental procedures for analyzing images and will implement those procedures in the Python programming language using popular Python packages.  Image processing tasks will include edge detection, line detection, and identification of objects within images.

    Prerequisite:  Mastery of at least one programming language
    Co-sponsored by S-COAM and the IUP Software Development Center.

Invited Speakers: (Open to Public)

  1. September 30, 2014Time and Location: 4:00pm-5:00pm in Stright Hall Room 240Presenter :  Brian Johnson, ACAS, MAAA, 
                       Senior Vice President, Swiss Re America Holding Corporation

    Title: Actuarial Roles in Property and Casualty Insurance/Reinsurance
    This presentation will discuss the various traditional and non-traditional roles for a P&C Actuary in the insurance and re-insurance market.  Emphasis will be put on how these jobs differ  (pros and cons) with respect to passing exams, hours of work, job quality, starting salary, etc.  We will also cover recommended course work and skills needed to be successful.  
    October 22, 2014
    Presenter: Dr. Pete Vanden Bosch
    Dr. Pete Vanden Bosch currently teaches math at Marymount University. Served in USAF 26 years, culminating as chief of analysis and science & technology advisor for USNORTHCOM and NORAD. Worked in a think tank on homeland security issues for three years. Taught high school 1977-84. Dr. Vanden Bosch has published articles on mathematics education, nuclear effects, stochastic processes, military doctrine, homeland security, numerical estimation, and the psychology of decision making.
    1. 11:15 AM-12:05 PM, Weyandt 107
      Title: Variations on a Theme by Sierpinski
      This talk will start by exploring a well-known fractal, the Sierpinski gasket. By using a stochastic version of the definition of this fractal, we’ll come up with related fractals, like the one depicted here.  You’ll discover there’s an interesting connection between these fractals and random walks.

      Excel Experiment:  Sierpinski                          Sierpinski-Pascal
    2. 2:30 PM-3:20 PM, Weyandt 208
      Title:  Analytical Career Paths in Government
      There must be government jobs that need talented, quantitative folks, but what and where are they? And what do they really do? This talk will attempt to answer those questions.  The focus will be on the author’s own analytical career in government, but it will also offer some wider insights, based on his own exploration into those questions.

      PowerPoint file
    3. 3:35pm-4:35pm  STRGT 226/229  
      The Goldilocks Fallacy
      Abstract: When faced with a range of options, we often choose an intermediate one without much thought.  This Goldilocks heuristic serves us well in many circumstances.  In the presence of conflict, we seek compromise. We keep to the middle of our lanes when driving, without consciously reasoning why this is a really good idea. And when we see seven predictions for a hurricane’s path, we intuitively assign higher likelihood to the intermediate predictions and less to the extremes, without consciously invoking the Law of Large Numbers. All of these mental shortcuts have some justification.

      But we also apply this Goldilocks heuristic in questionable ways. This presentation focuses on the idea that, in making choices when there are conflicting objectives – which are very common – choosing a middle path often fails to give you the best decision. In fact, sometimes it leads to the worst.  We’ll examine an analytic framework that allows us to quantify what “often” and “sometimes” really mean, and we’ll also examine the psychological reasons that drive us to make these poor Goldilocks decisions.

      PowerPoint File

Affiliated Events:

Scholarship Renewal Requirements

  • Participate in all required events in the program
  • Submit the FAFSA form, and continue to meet the federal financial aid requirements every semester
  • Continue as a full-time student at IUP making satisfactory progress toward a qualifying sciences and mathematics degree
  • Submit a summary of activities every semester with a short essay on the program and his/her academic progress
  • Complete the program outcomes and assessment survey
  • Undergraduates must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and graduates must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.

This webpage changes often. Please check back frequently for additional information.

If you have questions about this program, please contact:

Project Directors:

Dr. Yu-Ju Kuo,
Dr. Rick Adkins,
210 South Tenth Street
Mathematics Department
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Phone: 724-357-2608

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S STEM) program under Award No. DUE 0966206 & DUE 1259860.

  • Mathematics Department
  • Stright Hall, Room 233
    210 South Tenth Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2608
  • Fax: 724-357-7908
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.