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  • Student presenting at conference.

Chinnasami, Lai present math research at regional conference

While most students spent spring break taking time off from educational pursuits, USC Salkehatchie freshman Vigneswaran Chinnasami attended the Mathematical Association of America Southeastern Section Meeting at Berry College with Dr. Bryan Lai, his math instructor and research mentor. Even though Vignesh participated in the math activities designed for undergraduates at the conference, his focus for attending was to present a project he had been working on with Lai: Magic Square Type Sliding Games. He also had the opportunity to hear Lai and two other professors present on an activity they have been working on for the past 15 years:  Math Treasure Hunt: Past, Present and Future.  


“This was my first presentation and this opportunity educated me on the processes and procedures of working on a research project and presenting it,” Chinnasami said. “This will help me with my career in the future. The conference motivated me to participate in more programs, not just in the field of math. It was an amazing opportunity.” 


Lai immediately noticed Vignesh’s solid math background when the international student enrolled in his business calculus class.  


“His calculation and quantitative reasoning skills are very strong,” Lai said. “He did a great job at the conference. Although this was Vignesh's first conference experience, I am sure there will be more to come!”


Vignesh is one of the many students at USC Salkehatchie who are conducting research and presenting their findings at conferences as freshmen and sophomores, an opportunity rarely available to lower-division students at four-year universities. To find out more about the opportunities available at USC Salkehatchie, visit