Louisiana Tech University electrical engineering sophomore Julia Everett placed second at the 2021 Integration Bee held by the Louisiana-Mississippi Section of the Mathematical Association of America.
Everett was one of roughly thirty competitors who participated in the event, which was hosted virtually by Delta State University due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Everett, along with five other Louisiana Tech students, Tarandaas Anand (biomedical engineering), Avereigh Barras (mechanical engineering), Jacob Boyt (physics), Brady Duplessis (chemical engineering), and Timothy Oliver (computer science and geographic information science) represented the University at the competition.
Dr. Shanaz Tiwari, lecturer of mathematics and statistics at Louisiana Tech, recruited the students two weeks before the event. Shortly after the students were recruited, Louisiana Tech’s campuses were closed due to a snowstorm that kept students, staff, and faculty from the University for a week.
“Since my Louisiana Tech professor believed in me enough to reach out to me,” Everett said of her participation, “I had the confidence to go forward with the Bee! All the mathematics classes I have taken at Louisiana Tech gave me the foundation to succeed at the competition. Without the effort and passion my professors have had for the topics they teach, I would not have the tools to approach problems of the level that were on the Integration Bee ‘test’. That’s one of the best things about the professors here at Tech, from my experience – they don’t just teach what you need to know for the test. I have learned the techniques and foundational theories to approach problems that I will experience in my career!”
“I participated in the Integration Bee because I think math is so much fun,” Barras added, “which I know is due to the amazing professors I have had at Louisiana Tech, like Dr. Tiwari and Dr. (Jonathan) Walters (lecturer of mathematics and statistics), who have taught me all I know! I am thankful that I was able to participate.”
Tiwari says that she’s impressed with the students’ performances despite the short preparation time and the distractions that followed.
“We quickly reached out to a couple students around February 10 to find out if they would be willing to participate in the event on Saturday, February 27 knowing that it was in the middle of finals and very short notice. They all enthusiastically replied yes. We then had the snow storm, and everything was really on the students as individuals. I am very proud of the group of students that competed.”
The Mathematical Association of America is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics at the undergraduate level. Members include university, college and high school teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure and applied mathematicians; computer scientists; statisticians; and others in academia, government, business and industry. The Louisiana-Mississippi Section of the Mathematical Association of America serves mathematicians in Louisiana and Mississippi.