Summer Research Opportunity


For most of your educational life, you have focused on learning what’s already known—whether in mathematics, chemistry, history, or literature.  Just as Euclid wrote The Elements to give his readers the background knowledge necessary to pursue their own questions, at Westmont we hope that your education prepares you push out the boundaries of knowledge, to make your own contribution to our understanding of the world.


Your courses at Westmont may have provided you with some training to do original research in the history of mathematics. 


If pursuing such research interests you, read on.


Beginning December 1, 2011, Prof. Patti Hunter will be accepting applications for a position as a student summer researcher for summer 2012. 


Under Prof. Hunter’s supervision, the summer researcher will do research on the life and work of Gertrude Cox (1900-1978), the first department chair of a university statistics program in the United States.  The research will involve (among other things):


See for a brief biography of Gertrude Cox.




Benefits and Responsibilities


Course Credit: It may be possible to begin the research in the spring of 2012 and earn 1-2 units of academic credit (no pay).


Major Honors

If the relevant requirements are met, the student may choose to extend the summer research into a major honors project during the senior year.  (See


To apply:

By email to, send a brief explanation (2-3 paragraphs) of the reasons for your interest in the position, indicating which mathematics and history courses you will have completed by the end of the spring semester, 2012.


Have one of your current or past faculty members from a department other than the Mathematics and Computer Science Department email me a recommendation.  The recommendation should address your abilities to write well, think analytically, and work independently. 


If you meet the basic qualifications, you will receive a writing assignment (1-2 pages) based on some published reading to complete over the Christmas break.


Applications will be reviewed beginning December 1, 2011, continuing until the position is filled.  At the latest, the position will be filled by March 1, 2012.