Advanced Math/Science Research Update

by Dr. April Burch, Director of the AMSR program

January 15, 2013

Since our last update, Berkshire School hosted student researchers from Belmont Hill, and all-boys prep school outside of Boston, for a 1-day mini-symposium on Student Biomedical Research. The goal was to foster collaboration, communication and community outreach with our students.  AMSR students Liza Bernstein '13, Sissi Wang '13, Lars Robinson '13, Elsie Guevara '13, Ernest Yue '13, and Nate MacKenzie '14, gave short talks about their work in the new Bellas/Dixon Math and Science lecture hall. The talks were followed up by break-out sessions where Belmont Hill students described their research projects and students discussed commonalities between the projects and future goals.

The second semester of AMSR started with some terrific news. The AMSR program was awarded a grant from The Chinchester Dupont Foundation for the purchase of an EVOS fluorescence microscope.  This piece of equipment will expand the types of experiments and analyses that can be done by AMSR students this and future years.  The microscope should arrive shortly, and Dr. Burch has invited everyone to stop in for a look next time they are on campus. 

One new, exciting project that is underway in the winter season of AMSR in the afternoons is being spearheaded by Elif Kesaf '14.  Elif is from Turkey and seeks to identify novel viruses of non-pathogenic strains of Legionella bacterium from travertines in Pamukkale. In collaboration with Dr. Sunny Shin at the Perlman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, she will be working to isolate viruses of this bacterium with the hope of identifying new agents to combat Legionnaires' disease caused by a pathogenic form of Legionella.

Look for more news from Dr. Burch in the next issue!

Math Team
Posted 10/29/2010 01:00AM
The Berkshire School Math Team is off to a perfect start on the first contest in the New England Math League this year. The school submits its top 5 scores for each of the six contests. “We have a great many talented math students who have come to Berkshire in the last few years from all over the world and it’s exciting to see the team coming together like this,” said Kurt Schleunes, Head of the Math Dept. “Last year we finished tied for 9th place in all of New England and defeated Hotchkiss, Taft, Deerfield, and Boston Latin.

“This year we’ve been able to set aside an afternoon each week for the math team which includes preparation for the New England Math League contests (NEML), The American Mathematics Competitions (AMC10, AMC12) and The American Invitational Mathematics Exam (AIME)," said Schleunes. In addition, topics outside the normal high school curriculum are examined including Graph Theory, Chaos Theory, Fractals, and Topology.

“Our math program has really taken off and this year we have 8 students in our Multivariable Calculus course. We also have 30 students in our A.P. Calculus BC course which is probably one of the highest ratios of BC students to size of graduating class in the nation. We also have 18 students in our Advanced Math/Science Research course. The math team is composed of students in the Advanced Precalculus Accelerated, A.P. Calculus BC, and Multivariable Calculus with Differential Equations courses."
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