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NAM Undergraduate MATHFest

NAM's Undergraduate MATHFest is a three-day meeting, typically Friday through Sunday in the Fall, which rotates around the country based on NAM's regional structure. It is held annually to encourage students to pursue advanced degrees in mathematics and mathematics education. The conference is geared for undergraduates from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), although all are welcome to attend.

The conference consists of five components:

  • Student Talks
    There will be ten talks given by undergraduate and graduate students which last 30-minutes each.
  • Poster Presentations
    Students have the opportunity to present posters outlining their research.
  • Graduate Fair
    Universities will have an opportunity to showcase their graduate programs and interact with undergraduate students in a two-hour fair.
  • Problem Time with Dr. Cooper
    Throughout the conference, students will be presented challenge problems. Students with correct solutions will be presented prizes.
  • The J. Ernest Wilkins Lecture
    This is an hour-long talk, given by an established researcher, to motivate our undergraduates to continue to pursue research in the mathematical sciences.

Which mathfest came first?

NAM's Undergraduate MATHFest began in 1991, and it inspired other similar undergraduate-focused conferences over the years.

Archive of Past NAM MATHFest Events


The 2022 J. Ernest Wilkins Lecture was given by Professor Akil Parker, Founder of All This Math. The title of Mr. Parker's talk is "HBCU Students as Math Ambassadors to the Black Community."

Akil Parker is a Black man playing his part by teaching mathematics in the Black community. He has been a mathematics teacher for 17 years in Philadelphia. Currently he serves as an adjunct professor at this country’s first HBCU, Cheyney University where he teaches math courses. He is also founder and CEO of the educational services company, All This Math, LLC. Through All This Math he provides private math tutoring, educational consulting, teacher coaching and free online math instructional content via YouTube. He will soon be publishing his first book entitled ‘Why All This Math?’ which is a simplified guidebook parents can use to teach fundamental math skills to their children in the home, car or wherever they may be. Raised in Baltimore, MD, Mr. Parker attended Roland Park Elementary/Middle School before attending Baltimore Polytechnic Institute for high school. He later earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Morgan State University and later a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Lincoln University while serving as a teacher in Philadelphia, PA.. He is a father of three children and lives in Philadelphia, PA where his company All This Math, LLC is based. He has committed himself to improving the Black community by way of mathematics education.


 2021  VIRTUAL

The virtual program took place on Friday, October 1st and Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 via Zoom. The program featured undergraduate student poster and oral presentations, information about graduate school, networking and Problem Time!

The 2021 J. Ernest Wilkins Lecture was given by Dr. Pamela Harris, Associate Professor of Mathematics at Williams College. The title of Dr. Harris' talk is "Parking Functions: Choose Your Own Adventure.

 2020  VIRTUAL

The 2020 Undergraduate MATHFest was held Friday, October 9 - Saturday, October 10. The program will be held virtually on the Zoom platform. The organizers are the members of the NAM Program Committee: Naiomi Cameron (Vice President and Program Committee Chair), Brittany Mosby (Region C Member), Leona Harris (Interim President and Executive Director), Shea Burns (Secretary), and Omayra Ortega (Newsletter Editor).

The 2020 J. Ernest Wilkins lecture titled "Exceptional Statistics: From J. Ernest Wilkins to Coronavirus Epidemiology" was given by Dr. Omayra Ortega (Sonoma State University).

Dr. Omayra Y. Ortega is an assistant professor of mathematics & statistics at Sonoma State University in Sonoma County, California.  She earned her Ph.D. (2008) and an M.S. (2005) in applied mathematics and computational sciences from the University of Iowa, where she also was awarded her Masters of Public Health.  She earned a B.A. in music and in pure mathematics from Pomona College in 2001.

Dr. Ortega has directed the Mathematical Epidemiology Research Group (MERG), an undergraduate research group, since 2007. Her scholarly interests reflect her expertise in mathematics: mathematical and computational biology, mathematical epidemiology in developing countries, infectious disease epidemiology, and the participation of women and minorities in sciences.  Regarding the latter, she has organized an annual Sonia Kovalesky High School Mathematics Day at several institutions including the University of Iowa, ASU’s West campus, Pomona College, and Sonoma State University in recognition of the day’s namesake, Sonia Kovalevsky, who was one of the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics.

Download PDF of schedule here.


The 2019 J. Ernest Wilkins Lecture was given by Dr. Donald Cole, Associate Professor of Mathematics at University of Mississippi.

The 2019 Undergraduate MATHFest was held Friday, September 27 - Sunday, September 29 at Southern University of New Orleans (SUNO). The organizers are Rachid Belmasrour (SUNO)Naiomi Cameron (Spelman College)Edray Herber Goins (Pomona College)Phyllis Okwan (SUBR)Joe Omojola (SUNO), and Cynthia Singleton (SUNO). This conference was based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1833234.

Download PDF of schedule here.

Download PDF of advertisement poster here.


The 2018 Undergraduate MATHFest was held Friday, September 28 - Sunday, September 30 at Spelman CollegeMonica Stephens, Chair of the Department of Mathematics, was the local organizer. This conference was based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1833234.

Download PDF of advertisement poster here. 

Download PDF of schedule here.


Undergraduate MATHFest XXVII was hosted by the Department of Mathematics at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, NY on September 29- October 1, 2017. Terrence Blackman, Dean of the School of Science, Health and Technology, was the local organizer. The J. Ernest Wilkins Lecture was given by Stephon Alexander at Brown University; the title of his presentation was "A Meditation on Jazz, Mathematics and Cosmology."

Download PDF of Schedule here. 

You can see YouTube videos of the talks here. 

Download PDF of Poster here.


Download PDF of schedule here. 

 2013 TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY (REGION C) Download PDF of schedule here.
 2011 DILLARD UNIVERSTIY (REGION C)  Download PDF of schedule here.

Over one hundred mathematics enthusiasts gathered at Howard University to celebrate the joy of mathematics and to pass this joy on to the undergraduate majors representing over a dozen schools. The conference was held November 9-11, 2006. There were nineteen student presentations from schools including, Mississippi Valley State University, Savannah State University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Florida A&M University, Central State University, the University of Maryland, Howard University, and Morgan State University. Greetings were given by Dr. James Donaldson, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Howard University; Dr. Leon Woodson, Executive Secretary of NAM; President Nathaniel Dean; and Vice President Dawn Lott.

There were three invited addresses. Dr. Irene L. Moshesh, who had recently completed her doctoral program at Howard University, spoke on the topic, "Image Partition Regularity of Affine Transformations". Dr. Leon Woodson spoke on "The Riordan Group". Chase G. Adams, III, who has successfully defended his dissertation and should soon receive his Ph.D. from Howard University, spoke on the "Largeness of the set of finite sums of sequences in N". Dr. Beverly Anderson, Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of the District of Columbia, of Howard University delivered the J. Ernest Wilkins Jr. Lecture. She spoke of the life and legacy of Professor James E. Joseph. Professor Joseph taught at Howard University and had a distinguish career at the frontier of mathematics in spite of having no Ph.D. He published over 44 papers on Topology and was the first invited speaker in NAM's Claytor lecture series.

There were three panel discussions:

  1. "How to Successfully Negotiate Graduate Study in the Mathematical Sciences";
  2. "How to Successfully Negotiate Graduate School, Graduate Student's View"; and
  3. "Research and Professional Careers in the Mathematical Sciences".

Dr. Duane Cooper of Morehouse College gave a heartfelt memorial to a mentor from his graduate school years, the late Dr. Leon Henkin, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, who passed on November 1, 2006.

Undergraduate students established new friends, and met graduate faculty and representatives from industries. Some of the graduate programs that were represented were Miami University, Oxford Ohio; Morgan State University; Howard University; Carnegie Mellon; Delaware State University; and the University of Maryland; North Carolina State University; and the State University of New York, Buffalo. Industry representation included the National Security Agency and National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Early nurturing through research and the exposure to role models and practitioners of research have led many people, especially those Americans who are underrepresented in the mathematical sciences, to pursue graduate study leading to earning the doctorate degree and research careers. The National Association of Mathematicians believes it to be very important to hold an annual mathematics undergraduate research conference, to engage in concrete efforts on an annual basis in order to directly influence the number of underrepresented Americans who pursue graduate study, leading to a doctoral degree in mathematics; to get doctoral granting graduate institutions to make a commitment to provide a supportive environment to assist these students in succeeding; and to permit these perspective graduate students to interact with current graduate students studying mathematics.

 2005 TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY (REGION C) Download PDF of schedule here.



Download PDF of schedule here.

Undergraduate MATHFest IX was hosted by the Department of Mathematics at Texas Southern University in Houston, TX on October 21-23, 1999. Della Bell served as coordinator of the Conference. The J. Ernest Wilkins Lecture was given by Richard Tapia of Rice University; the title of his presentation was "Some Applications in Computational Science."


Undergraduate MATHFest VII was hosted by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, NC on October 23-25, 1997. Johnny L. Houston was coordinator of the Conference and presented the J. Ernest Wilkins Lecture. His presentation was entitled: "Some Results and Problems in Discrete and Computational Geometry."


Undergraduate MATHFest VII was hosted by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, NC on October 23-25, 1997. Johnny L. Houston was coordinator of the Conference and presented the J. Ernest Wilkins Lecture. His presentation was entitled: "Some Results and Problems in Discrete and Computational Geometry."


Undergraduate MATH1Fest VI was hosted by the Department of Mathematics at Xavier University in New Orleans, LA on October 24 - 26, 1996. The local coordinator for the conference was Bhu Dev Sharma, Chair of the Department of Mathematics at Xavier University. The J. Ernest Wilkins Lecture was given by Isom Herron, Rensselear Polytechnic Institute. The title of his presentation was "The Fluid Motion."


Undergraduate MATHFest V was hosted by the Department of Mathematics at Clark-Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA on October 26-28, 1995. The local coordinator for the conference was Abdulalim Shabazz. The J. Ernest Wilkins Lecture was given by Earl Barnes, Georgia Institute of Technology. The title of his presentation was "Eigenvalues and Graph Coloring."


Undergraduate MATHFest IV was held at North Caroline A&T State University in Greensboro, NC on October 13-15, 1994. Undergraduate MATHFest IV, a research conference for promising undergraduate mathematics majors, focused on under-represented minority students; introducing the students to several aspects of research and promoting graduate school opportunities. The conference was sponsored by NAM, with grant support from the National Security Agency (NSA). More than 125 attended and proclaimed it a success.

This was the year that NAM established the J. Ernest Wilkins Lecture. The Lecture was established in conjunction with Undergraduate MATHFest and named in honor of J. Ernest Wilkins, a world-class mathematician, physicist and engineer. Wilkins received his B.S. degree as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate at the age of 16, his M.S. degree at age 17, and his Ph.D. degree at the age of 19. Although he has been highly praised as a superb practitioner of his crafts, Dr. Wilkins is also widely recognized and acclaimed as a highly productive scholar, having published more than 80 journal articles and having produced an additional 22 unpublished reports for the Atomic Energy Commission.


Undergraduate MATHFest III, sponsored by the National Association of Mathematicians and locally hosted by the Mathematics Department of Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, and with major funding by the National Security Agency (NSA) was described by all who attended as a grand success. There was a variety of presenters and panelists that informed, motivated and inspired the juniors and seniors present "to be their own success story."


MATHFest 1993, an undergraduate research conference in mathematics was hosted by Spelman College's Department of Mathematics. The Conference Directors were Professors Teresa Edwards and Sylvia Bozeman. The Conference was funded by the National Security Agency (NSA). Approximately 100 persons attended: mostly junior and senior mathematics majors. The objectives of the Conference was to motivate undergraduate mathematics majors to pursue graduate studies and research careers in one of the mathematical sciences. The presenters included: Danielle Carr, New York UniversityNathaniel Dean, Bell Communications ResearchJohnny L. Houston, Elizabeth City State UniversityAderemi O. Kuku, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, NigeriaIris M. Mack, President and CEO , Associated TechnologistsFreda Porter-Locklear, Pembroke State University; and Wanda Patterson, Spelman College.

Aderemi O. Kuku was presented a Distinguished Service Award by NAM during Undergraduate MATHFest II that was held on the campus of Spelman College in Atlanta, GA March 18 - 20, 1993. Professor Kuku, is visiting in the United States during the 1992 - 1993 academic year. Dr. Kuku was serving as President of the African Mathematics Union at the time.

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