June 4, 2013 | 8:38 a.m.
By Suzanne McInroy, Director of Communications
The Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences (ACMS) held their biennial conference at Bethel University from May 29-June 1. More than 100 people attended the conference, which is held for mathematicians and computer scientists. Participants are from both Christian and secular colleges and universities as well as community colleges and high schools.
“We usually have a number of foreign attendees – from Canada and Romania this year,” says Professor of Mathematics Eric Gossett, who coordinated the conference for ACMS. “This is the most significant association of post-secondary Christians in mathematics and computer science.” Gossett has been involved with ACMS since the 1980s and enjoys getting together with other Christians with similar academic backgrounds and academic jobs during the biennial conferences. “We can share ideas and reconnect with friends from past conferences as well as meet new attendees,” he says.
This year’s conference included three main speakers, paper presentations, and daily prayer and worship time. Tim Chartier of Davidson College in North Carolina presented talks on “Googling Markov” and “Mime-matics.” Satyan Devadoss from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., presented talks on “The Topology of Particle Collisions” and “God, Math, and Dualism.” The final speaker was Ron Arkin from the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who spoke on “Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots” and “Non-Military Issues in Robot Ethics.”
Developed in 1976 as a way for mathematics instructors at Christian colleges to integrate their faith with their academic discipline, ACMS operated informally from 1976 to 1985 before the association was incorporated and opened to all in the mathematical sciences.