# SDSU-Math Mentoring toward PhDs

**Uduak George**, is a faculty mentor 2020/2021 PUMP-URG Program.

## SDSU Math Majors and Faculty Participate in the 2020/2021 PUMP-URG Program

Sashiel Vagus and Brooke Tyler (math majors) are participating in the 2020/2021 PUMP-URG Program. The California State University Alliance for Preparing Undergraduates through Mentoring toward PhDs (PUMP) funds Undergraduate Research Groups (URG) that are composed by pairs of mathematics majors and a mathematics/statistics faculty member from a California State University. The students are mentored by the faculty on research projects during the academic year.

Sashiel and Brooke will be mentored by our faculty Dr. Uduak George, an assistant professor of mathematics. Their research project is to develop a predictive model of postnatal regulation of protein synthesis in pigs.

The goal of this project is to: create a new approach to combine experimental data with quantitative, dynamic modeling (using image-based analysis, parameter estimation and nonlinear differential equations) to describe growth patterns the first week postpartum in pigs as a function of the amount of colostrum ingested. Colostrum is the first milk made, and it is only available to the neonate immediately after birth. The amount of colostrum consumed in the first 24 hour postpartum not only determines the survival rate of neonates, but also sets the growth trajectory of the pig.

This project is part of an on-going collaboration between Dr. George group and Dr. Theresa Casey, a biologist at Purdue University.

The goals of the PUMP Program are to

- identify mathematical talent among minority students, women, and first-generation college students in California State Universities;
- strengthen the preparation of participating undergraduates to successfully pursue doctoral studies in a research institution
- create a network of faculty mentors and build a supportive community.

Brooke Tyler