The Duke University Math Union was created by Paul Dreyer ’95 in 1992. Several previous attempts in previous decades to form a math club faltered. Dreyer, who had been deeply involved with the math club at NCSSM, pushed for DUMUs incorporation as an official Duke social group and served as its first president for two years.
He explained the purpose of DUMU in the August 1994 Duke Math News as follows:
Hello everybody! I’m Paul Dreyer, and on behalf of the Duke University Mathematics Union, I would like to welcome all mathematics students old and new to Duke for what should be an exciting year. I have just returned from a year studying abroad in England and I am really psyched to get the Union running again.
Now in its third year, the Duke University Mathematics Union (or DUMU for short, pronounced “doo-moo”) provides students with an interest in mathematics the opportunity to learn more about the subject outside the classroom. Several undergraduate students and professors have discussed their research on topics spanning the mathematics spectrum. DUMU also provides information on careers and summer research internships in mathematics. This fall, we will hold the third annual Duke University Mathematics Contest, a one-day student-run contest for high schools from throughout the southeast.
Most importantly, DUMU is FUN. [We now have a lounge for our use and I plan to organize some social events and possibly some friendly competition against the other club in our building, the Society for Physics Students. In any case, ]we are going to have a great year ahead of us, and I hope you will become a part of it by joining DUMU.[ The first meeting will be during the first week of September, so be sure to keep your eyes open for announcements.]
Dreyer was also the motivating force behind the Duke Math Meet. He coordinated with NCSSM to host an ARML style math meet at Duke in Spring 1993. It began as rather small gathering of North Carolina high schools with 10 to 15 teams of 5 students in the early 1990’s to about 25 teams of 6 each a decade latter.
DUMU students create and grade the problems, serve breakfast and lunch to the participants and present awards to the winning individuals and teams. They and other student volunteers lead teams to classrooms around Science Drive and proctor the competitions.
By the early 2000’s, the Duke Math Meet had expanded with representation from schools from Alabama to Virginia. It lifted its cap of two teams per school and attracted a bus load of 7 teams from New Jersey in 2009. Soon after, the ITCCC recruited several teams from China for the meet. The Duke Math Meet reached a peak of 360 high school participants in 2011. Due to space limitations and other logistics concerns created significant problems. The meet currently limits the competition to about 45 teams and 270 high school students.
Former DUMU presidents
|1993||– 1995||Paul Dreyer|
|1995||– 1996||Michael Rierson|
|1996||– 1997||Tung Tran & Robert Schneck|
|1997||– 1999||Garrett Mitchener|
|1999||– 2001||Carl Miller|
|2001||– 2002||Mike Miller|
|2002||– 2003||David Arthur|
|2003||– 2005||Oaz Nir|
|2005||– 2007||Brandon Levin|
|2007||– 2008||Kshipra Bhawalkar|
|2008||– 2009||Aaron Pollack|
|2009||– 2010||Matt Rognlie|
|2010||– 2011||Alan Guo|
|2011||– 2012||Vivek Bhatacharya|
|2012||– 2013||TongTong Zhan|
|2013||– 2014||David Hemminger|
|2014||– 2015||Brett Schnobrich|
|2015||– 2016||Andrew You|
|2016||– 2017||Feng Gui|
|2017||– 2018||David Geng|
Undergraduate Lecture Series
DUMU sponsors lectures by distinguished mathematicians Among the lecturers have been Thomas Banchoff, John Horton Conway, Peter Hilton, Carl Pomerance, Persi Diaconis, Joseph Gallian, Robert Devaney, Donald Knuth, Colin Adams, Underwood Dudley, Lisa Fauci, Frank Morgan, Martin Nowak, Sir Roger Penrose, Walter Mientka, Jordan Ellenberg, Dusa McDuff, George Hart, Ken Ono, Bruce Berndt, Francis Su and many others
Alumni Lecture Series
2005 Alex Hartemink ’94
2006 Jeff Vanderkam ’94
2006 Jeanne Nielson Clelland ’91
2007 Paul Dreyer ’95
2010 Craig Gentry ’95
2011 Melanie Matchett Wood ’01
2017 Elliott Wolf ’08
2017 James Zou ’07
After the talks, DUMU members take the speaker out for a nice meal.