St. Mary’s College student Ian Miller ’18, mathematics major, won first place for student presentations at the recent sectional conference of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), which was hosted at Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va.  His talk, entitled “A Combinatorial Argument in a Packing Problem,” was based on work begun under the mentorship of Ivan Sterling, professor of mathematics and computer science.  In it, Miller discussed a new approach to understanding a problem of classical geometry regarding packing regular tetrahedra (triangular pyramids) together around a single point.

The prize for first place among student presentations was a trophy and $100 award, which was presented to Miller during the St. Mary’s College math-computer science department awards.  He also won the department award in mathematics and a share of the department service prize. After graduating from St. Mary’s College, Miller will begin the PhD program in pure mathematics at the University of Colorado.