Student Star: Suchandan Pal

Recipient of the 2009 Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors Award

Name: Suchandan Pal
Major: Mathematics and Computer Science

Over the summer, Suchandan Pal received a $4,000 Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors Award from the Office of National Fellowships to fund his research with Eriko Hironaka, associate professor of mathematics and Director of the Pure Math Program. One aim of his research was to find counter examples or evidence of Lehmer’s problem: whether a polynomial with Mahler measure less than ~1.173 exists.

During the annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors Symposium last fall, Suchandan presented his findings and demonstrated the value of pure mathematics research. Suchandan is continuing to conduct undergraduate research through his Honors in the Major thesis with Amod Agashe, assistant professor of mathematics.

By participating in research, Suchandan has achieved the goals of the Pure Mathematics Program, which are to provide both a solid preparation in the core areas of pure mathematics (algebra, real and complex analysis, and geometry/topology) and specific knowledge in an area of active research. His faculty mentors have shared their expertise in the areas of number theory, cryptography, algebraic geometry and geometric topology with him.

In addition to his studies and research, Suchandan volunteers with the Mu Alpha Theta Math Club at Rickards High School in Tallahassee. In 2008, he volunteered as head judge of the Computer Science Division of the Regional Science Fair. He is vice-president of Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society, a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Golden Key International Honor Societies, and a member of the Honors Program.

Thanks to working closely with faculty and contributing to research, Suchandan is equipped to meet future goals. After graduating in Spring 2010, he plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Pure Mathematics.