Johnathan Marquardt Honored by ISMAA

University of St. Francis (USF) student, Johnathan Marquardt, was awarded the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award from the Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America (ISMAA) at their Tri-Section Annual Conference.

Marquardt’s original research paper was the result of his participation in USF’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience program. The paper was submitted to ISMAA and the award was determined by the quality of the paper and presentation given at the Tri-Section Annual Conference. Undergraduates across Illinois were eligible to submit their original research for consideration.

Marquardt is from Joliet, Illinois and is a senior mathematics major at USF where he will be graduating this May.  His research dealt with real symmetric spaces which were introduced by Elie Cartan in 1929 and were generalized by Berger in 1957. Since the late 1920s, a rich theory has developed that plays a key role in many fields of active research such as Lie theory, differential geometry, harmonic analysis and physics (Cartan, 1929; Beger, 1957; Ziliak et al., 2016). There remain gaps in the literature in terms of spaces not yet having been characterized. In particular, the generalized symmetric spaces for the unitary groups had not been resolved. Marquardt’s work contributes towards this end by examining the 2 by 2 unitary group (a subset of 2 by 2 matrices which have certain properties).

USF Assistant Professor of Mathematics Angela Antonou, Ph.D. provided guidance to Marquardt as he pursued his research. (The pair is pictured above.)

“Working with Johnathan on generalized symmetric spaces was a great experience for both of us,” says Antonou. “I directed him to helpful resources and verified his work was valid.  His computational and my theoretical backgrounds complemented each other well, and we were able to tackle the problem from different viewpoints.  At the end of the summer, he had developed a new result which can contribute to the progress of classifying these structures.”

Marquardt feels that this opportunity was a confidence booster for him and is happy he participated in USF’s summer research program.

“Working on an original research topic with my advisor was a great way to solidify my own interests,” says Marquardt.  “Engaging in such a program has helped me make up my mind about pursuing a graduate degree after graduation.  USF has prepared me well for good things in the future.”

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., is a Franciscan Catholic University which serves 4,100 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 49,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.