For Kenyon students, mathematics does not stop at the classroom door. We have an active Math Club, and in 2001 we began a chapter of the national Pi Mu Epsilon math honor society. (Our chapter, appropriately enough, is the "Pi" Chapter of Ohio.) These groups are the center for our extracurricular math activities, which include:
Social gatherings. Students and faculty members gather every Thursday in the cafeteria for the weekly Math Lunch. In the spring and fall we have a joint Math-Physics Picnic. At the end of each year we hold our Spring Mathematics Banquet, where we award departmental prizes, induct new members into Pi Mu Epsilon, and hear a great talk from an invited speaker.
Speakers. During the year we have a number of interesting mathematics talks—some given by Kenyon students or faculty, some given by visiting mathematicians. We participate in a "speaker exchange" program with a group of small colleges in Ohio. The Pi Mu Epsilon speaker at our Spring Banquet in 2002 was Prof. Joe Gallian from the University of Minnesota at Duluth; the previous year our Pi Mu Epsilon chapter was "initiated" by Prof. Douglas Faires of Youngstown State University, a past national president of the society.
Competitions. Kenyon students participate every year in several mathematics competitions. Math students from several Ohio Colleges meet every spring to "face off" in the "Five College Competition." Kenyon also sponsors one or more teams each year in the national Mathematical Contest in Modeling contest organized by COMAP . Every December we also compete in the William Lowell Putnam Competition, a national exam with some of the most challenging problems around. The Butz Prize (named in memory of Kenyon alum Jeffrey Butz, who endowed the prize) is a generous cash award given each year to the Kenyon student with the highest score on the Putnam exam.
Beyond Kenyon. Kenyon students frequently travel to regional and national meetings of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Many of these students present talks or posters at these meetings, describing work they have done in class projects or undergraduate research.
Just for fun. The Math Club designs and produces a math T-shirt every year. They also organize occasional "math movie nights": recent features include "Pi" and "Fermat's Last Tango". And sometimes they do something really odd, like the mathematical art contest they sponsored a couple of years ago. It will be interesting to see what they do next.