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UW-Eau Claire SUREPAM Program
Participants Published in Major Math Publication

RELEASED: March 26, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — Two students who participated in the National Science Foundation Summer Research in Pure and Applied Mathematics program hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire have had their work published in a national journal.

Dr. James Walker
Walker

Co-authored with UW-Eau Claire's Dr. James Walker, professor of mathematics, the article is titled "Time-Frequency Analysis of Musical Rhythm."

"It deals with the mathematical analysis of musical rhythm," said Walker. "How musical rhythm has components that exist at several time-scales, both short-term and long-term aspects."

The student co-authors are Xiaowen Cheng, a student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and Jarod Hart, a graduate of UW-La Crosse who is now pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Kansas-Lawrence. They collaborated with Walker in the summer of 2007 as part of SUREPAM. Working together they found a computer-based, automatic method for displaying the structure of musical rhythm at multiple time-scales.

The article was published in the March 2009 issue of The Notices of the American Mathematical Society, one of two journals AMS sends to all its members. According to Walker, The Notices has over 30,000 subscribers and is read by many more through library subscriptions and AMS online.

"It is extremely rare for student researchers to have their work appear in such a high-level publication as The Notices," Walker said."This type of research experience for undergraduates is exactly the type of work that the National Science Foundation is trying to promote nationally, and it is a major achievement for our SUREPAM program here at UW-Eau Claire."

The managing editor of The Notices has asked Walker to write another article on mathematics and music, scheduled to appear in the January 2010 issue. The new article will be titled "Music: Broken Symmetry, Geometry, and Complexity." It will be co-authored by Dr. Gary Don, professor of music, and Karyn K. Muir, a student from the University of New York at Geneseo who participated in UW-Eau Claire's 2008 SUREPAM program.

The UW-Eau Claire Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has also funded another of Walker's projects with UW-Eau Claire senior Gordon Volk, Sartell, Minn., for the summer of 2009. Walker plans to include him as a co-author as well.

Walker intends to discuss both articles this summer during a course on mathematics and music listed as MATH 307/507 at UW-Eau Claire. The course is open to all UW-Eau Claire students and members of the community. The course provides three credits in upper-level general education. It is the first time this class is being offered and is one of the few courses of its kind anywhere in the United States, said Walker. Registration for the summer session is going on now.

For more information, contact Walker at walkerjs@uwec.edu.

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LB/NW

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