History

The Northwest Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium (NUMS) is regional mathematics conference providing a venue for undergraduate students in the Pacific Northwest to present mathematical research and projects, including REUs, senior projects, COMAP solutions, etc.

The Oregon State University (OSU) Math Club, the Pi Mu Epsilon (PME) Oregon Beta Chapter, the OSU student chapters of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) organized the first annual NUMS meeting at OSU in Corvallis on Saturday, May 9, 2009. There were 33 attendees including 17 speakers filling two parallel sessions. The local venue served as an effective training opportunity for the national stage; several of the first NUMS participants went on to present at MathFest 2009 in Portland. In fact, two of the six 2009 Pi Mu Epsilon Presentation Prize winners were NUMS participants! Subsequent NUMS meetings have been held throughout Oregon and Washington including at Willamette University, Linfield College, Reed College, University of Washington, Tacoma, Western Washington University, Lewis and Clark College, among others. The conference series has been supported by the National Science Foundation and PME.

Over the years, the Steering Committee of the conference series has including

Nathan Gibson • Oregon State University
Colin Starr • Willamette University
David Perkinson • Reed College
Naiomi Cameron • (formerly) Lewis and Clark College
Tom Edgar • Pacific Lutheran University
Nancy Ann Neudauer • Pacific University
Brian Gill • Seattle Pacific University
David Hartenstine • Western Washington University

The meeting format has been heavily influenced by such exalted east coast institutions as the Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, the Youngstown State University PME Regional Conference, and the MAA Northeastern Section meetings. (Editor's note: Professor Gibson in particular recalls fondly the 3rd annual HRUMC featuring Ron Graham, as well as the 4th annual featuring Benoit Mandelbrot.)

Special thanks to the late Professor J. Douglas Faires who stewarded the Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conference Grant program which helped NUMS get off the ground.