Senior participates in national research program
WILMORE, KY— Asbury College senior mathematics major Chris Hatfield of Winchester, Ky., participated in a selective program sponsored by the National Science Foundation called Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). This program allows university professors to select college undergraduates to assist them with appropriate research projects during the summer.
Hatfield worked with Dr. David Umphress, associate professor of computer science and software engineering at Auburn University, on a solar energy project.
He was was a bit nervous at first about working in a department outside of mathematics. “I’ve only had our year sequence of programming, and very little hardware experience, so I wasn’t sure how much I could help,” he said.
Hatfield found his niche, however, and was able to make significant contributions to the solar energy project.
“His professor was very pleased with his work,” said Dr. David Coulliette, chair of the Asbury College mathematics department. “Chris was able to use his computational math experience to develop a relationship between online weather parameters and power output of a solar cell. His research group has asked him to submit his paper to a regional Association of Computing Machines meeting this year.”
Hatfield credits his success to his math courses at Asbury College.
“I feel that Asbury’s mathematics department has given me the experience to not only handle a graduate level workload without feeling overwhelmed, but to be successful during my research experience,” he said. “Comparing my experience with other undergraduates, who often did not understand how to work under such a demand, makes me feel that the Asbury math department has to be one of the best kept mathematical secrets in the nation.”
Coulliette added, “Our department is very proud of Chris. He is a fine young man who has worked very hard at Asbury College. He is deeply committed to Christ and wants to use his math skills to serve and reach others for Him.”
Hatfield will present his work to the students of the math department this fall and submit his paper to the Kentucky Academy of Sciences.