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Mathematics Major Awarded Research Fellowship

CONWAY, Ark. (December 17, 2013) – Hendrix junior Luke Evans, a mathematics major from Conway, Ark., was recently awarded Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

Evans will work over the next year on a project titled “The Chaotic Dynamics and Fractal Dimension of Newton’s Method.” In the project, Evans will consider the surprising chaotic nature of Newton’s Method for polynomials on the Complex Plane, as well as determine the fractal dimension of the sets created by these dynamics, and will form the basis of his senior thesis. 

The grant, which totals $1,746 with an additional institutional match of $1,250, will support the purchase of the computer algebra program Mathematica and fund travel to at least one professional meeting. It will also provide Evans the opportunity to work full-time on the project this summer.

“Luke intends to go to graduate school in mathematics, and this project will enable him to learn how to do research in mathematics and combine ideas from many different courses,” said Hendrix mathematics instructor Lars Seme, a 1995 Hendrix alumnus, who is Evans’ academic advisor and research supervisor.

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the sixth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report.  Hendrix is featured in the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, as well as the 2014 Princeton Review’s The Best 378 Colleges, Forbes magazine's list of America's Top Colleges, and the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit