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STUDENT PROFILE: JILLIAN RUSSO

February 22, 2010 - GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (February 22, 2010) - Math student Jillian Russo will speak on the topic of hyperbolic polygons on Thursday, February 25, 2010, at Hope College. Russo was one of several Aquinas students that received a Mohler Summer Research grant for 2009. This grant enabled her to study the principles of hyperbolic polygons. Russo presented her paper, "Hyperbolic Polygonal Spirals," at the Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at Wayne State on October 17, 2009. Her paper has recently been accepted for publication in the Spring 2010 Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Journal.

Hyperbolic polygons differ from the typical Euclidean polygons (the geometric shapes commonly taught in high school) in that the sides are made up of hyperbolas therefore the polygons have sides that appear to be curved. By studying and learning the principles of hyperbolic polygons, Russo and her advisor, Dr. Michael McDaniel, were able to construct polygons that had five or more sides while all the angles of the figure were at 90 degrees and all the sides are congruent. In Euclidean geometry this is only possible in one polygon: a square. Through this research Russo was able to construct a short-cut model to creating these polygons, making them less complicated to create and understand.

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