Trip Enhances Learning for Math Club

Members of the Pi Sigma Math Club—Courtesy photo

Pictured from left to right are Pedro and Tanya Cardenas and their daughter Natalie in the stroller; Michael and Becky Ortiz and their children Victor and Cecilia; Edgar Cassio; Claudia Ruan; Cindy and Daniel Cardenas and their sons Joaquin and Diego; Jacob Flores; and Gabriela Chavarria.—Courtesy photo

Submitted by Pi Sigma Math Club, Sul Ross-Rio Grande College

The Pi Sigma Math Club of Sul Ross-Rio Grande College visited west Texas over the weekend of Nov. 15-17 on a trip organized and led by Dr. Michael Ortiz, assistant professor of mathematics.

Club members Cindy Cardenas, Pedro Cardenas, Gabriela Chavarria, and Claudia Ruan began their adventure on the main campus of Sul Ross State Univ. in Alpine, where they toured the campus and visited the Museum of the Big Bend. After dinner in Fort Davis, the group traveled to the Marfa Lights Viewing Center between Marfa and Alpine and witnessed an eerie display of mysterious balls of light over the moonlit desert.

The following morning, the group hiked in Davis Mountains State Park, visited the town of Fort Davis, and toured the Fort Davis National Historic Site. After lunch, the club gathered at McDonald Observatory where they enjoyed a sun viewing and tour. This was of particular interest to the club, as in recent courses the students have explored the applications of geometry to timekeeping, optics, astronomy, and celestial mechanics. That night the club attended the Star Party, where they viewed deep-sky objects such as the Ring Nebula and the globular cluster M15 through large telescopes.

Pi Sigma Math Club membership includes students majoring in mathematics as well as math minors. With its affordable tuition, low student-to-faculty ratio, and diverse array of courses, the Rio Grande College Bachelor of Science in Mathematics program provides a unique opportunity to the southwest Texas region.