Senior mathematics major and minor in statistics and computer science Brooke Hatanaka is one of  two KSC students who attended The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics (NCUWM) this past weekend.

The conference was Friday, Feb. 3 through Sunday, Feb. 4 and Hatanaka presented her poster presentation on Saturday.

“My poster is called ‘Characterization of Pythagorean Triples in the Root 2 Field Extension of the Rational Numbers.’ Essentially, it is about characterizing pythagorean triples in the root 2 field extension of the rational numbers by comparing them with pythagorean triples in the integers,” Hatanaka said. 

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

She continued, “Since all pythagorean triples in the integers can be generated and characterized by one formula, we hope to generate and characterize all pythagorean triples in the root 2 field extension of the rational numbers. I have discovered some results so far, but I have not yet characterized all of the triples in the field. I will continue to work on this research this spring and my next step will involve applications of the three formulas for generating pythagorean triples (found on my poster) in matrix form.”

Senior mathematics major and physics minor Katie Marinoff also attended the conference with Hatanaka.

Marinoff said the purpose of the conference is to encourage undergraduate woman to share their work and show them the different options available after graduation.

“I originally submitted my presentation as an oral presentation, but they received a lot of submissions for that, so I resubmitted it for the poster section, which they accepted,” Marinoff said

Hatanaka and Marinoff’s professor Dr. Caitlyn Parmelee invited them to the conference.

Recently, Dr. Caitlyn Parmelee graduated with her PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and has worked both and presented at the conference. Parmelee has been attending almost every year she attended UNL, according to Hatanaka.

“I have been doing research with my professor, Dr. [Vincent] Ferlini, since my sophomore year at Keene. However, I have only presented my research at the Academic Excellence Conference here at Keene State for the past two years. So, Dr. Parmelee spoke with Dr. Ferlini, asking him to recommend students for her to invite and he suggested that she invite me,” Hatanaka said.

Hatanaka said she hopes to gain more experience and presentation skills from attending the conference.

“Since I’m presenting a poster, I could get asked a question by anyone at any time, so it’ll keep me on my toes for sure and force me to think further into my research,” Hatanaka said.

The conference also has workshops every year, and Hatanaka said this year’s workshop is focused on graduate school.

Hatanaka said, “When applying for the conference, I got to pick and choose which workshops about graduate school that I wanted to attend that would benefit me the most.

I think that these workshops will give me clarity about graduate school and answer any questions that I may have about applying and preparing.”

Dr. Caitlyn Parmelee, Assistant Professor of Mathematics here at Keene State attended NCUWM as an undergraduate student and presented in the conference while attending.

Parmelee said the conference played a large role in her decision to go to graduate school.

“Seeing other undergraduate women in mathematics presenting their own research was really inspiring and I learned a lot about what kinds of careers used mathematics. I applied to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for graduate school because of my experience at the conference. During my time as a graduate student at UNL, I continued to be involved in the conference as a volunteer. It is exciting to be going to the conference now as a faculty member,” Parmelee said.

Though Parmelee participated as a student in the conference at one time, this time her role will be being a mentor.

Parmelee said, “I hosted a table during the networking dinner and met many aspiring female mathematicians who wanted to hear about my research in mathematical neuroscience, or why I decided to go to graduate school, or how to get into a R[esearch] E[xperience for] U[ndergraduates.] I have had a lot of wonderful mentors throughout my career and it is really amazing to give back and mentor the next generation. The conference also allows me to reconnect with the faculty and graduate students from my time at UNL.”

Hatanaka plans to take a gap year after graduating from Keene and then attend graduate school. She is planning to take her Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in the spring to further herself in the application process.

“I hope to attend a school that will allow me to get my PhD in Advanced/Applied Abstract Algebra. In addition to searching for graduate schools, I will also be searching and applying for jobs in the mathematical field around New England. Mathematics has kept me so positive because it is such a big field; I know I will find myself doing something I love,” Hatanaka said.

From the conference, Hatanaka hopes to learn more about herself, graduate schools and other mathematicians across the nation.

She hopes to gain new connections and friendships with others who are also passionate about math and aspire to attend graduate school one day.

Hatanaka said she would like to thank her professors Dr. Vincent Ferlini and Dr. Caitlyn Parmelee.

“This conference wouldn’t have been possible without them. I am truly grateful for all they have done for me in preparing me, as well as pushing and encouraging me to take advantage and make the most out of this opportunity,” Hatanaka said.

Marinoff said, “It’s interesting to talk to other people who are studying math to hear what the program is like at their school and what they plan to do with their degree. I enjoy seeing what research other people are doing. I’m also looking forward to seeing [the] University of Nebraska. I’m currently applying to grad[uate] schools, including UNL, so it it will be nice to see the campus. I’m a little nervous about actually giving my presentation since I’ve never given a poster presentation before, but once I’m actually there, I’m sure I’ll feel better.”

Marinoff wants to get her doctorate in mathematics.

She said she is unsure what field specifically, but is leaning towards number theory, algebra or geometry.

“I think this conference will benefit me by getting to talk to other people who are in the same place I am, that is, graduating soon with a bachelor’s in math and applying to grad[uate] schools. Plus, of course, it’s a pretty good resume booster,” Marinoff said.

Emma Hamilton can be contacted at

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