SBU student presents research at regional conference

Spencer Smith presented at the MAKO research conferenceSouthwest Baptist University student Spencer Smith, a senior mathematics and computer science double major from Springfield, Mo., presented a talk at the Eleventh MAKO Undergraduate Math Research Conference held Saturday, Nov. 14, at Missouri State University.

The conference featured presentations by undergraduate students from Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma about mathematics research they had accomplished. The conference was co-hosted by area institutions including Missouri State University, Southwest Baptist University, College of the Ozarks, Drury University and Evangel University.

Smith’s talk, “Average Intensity of the Distribution of Complex Zeros of a Class of Random Polynomials,” featured results from his Research Experience for Undergraduates in mathematics (REU) in summer 2015, during which he spent eight weeks working with Dr. Andrew Ledoan, an associate professor of mathematics at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The REU was funded by the National Science Foundation.

Other SBU students also attended the conference, including Julie Bowman, Miranda Carlin and Joseph Reyes, as well as Dr. Stephen Bowling, professor of mathematics, and Dr. Kevin Hopkins, professor and chair of the mathematics department. Hopkins presented a talk entitled “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words,” which included insights he discovered when helping finalize Smith’s presentation.

More details on the conference and abstracts of all speakers are available at More details about Smith’s REU is available at

For more information about the department of mathematics, contact Hopkins at (417) 328-1675 or