Monique Chyba, Full Professor

Outreach Education


One of my main career goals is to convey the beauty of mathematics to the next generation, and to share it with the non-scientific world as well. Reaching the large community of people unfamiliar with, or even resistant to, any mathematical symbols or concepts is fundamental. By showing that mathematics leads to practical projects and is not simply mental gymnastic practiced by oddly gifted people, I hope that I can make mathematics more friendly and attractive to non-scientists.



Current Projects


The young generation is our future, and before kids convince themselves that mathematics is too boring and too hard a science, it is crucial to show them that fun, joy and discoveries are words that belong to our discipline. They have much more to gain than to lose by working hard. I believe that researchers have to be concerned with the education at each scholastic level, not only with college students. At an early age, children are intellectually like sponges. During the Spring of 2005, in collaboration with my graduate student from the department of Ocean and Resources Engineering, Ryan Smith, we developed a project titled Robo-Nemo. Its purpose is to teach young kids the science of underwater technology. By teaching the younger generation, we are teaching our future access to high technology and advanced research.



The Hawaii chapter of S.T.O.M.P. was an effort started by University of Hawaii's Dr. Monique Chyba (Department of Mathematics) in order to give children a hands on learning opportunity while delving into the world of underwater autonomous robotics. The S.T.O.M.P. project was originally created by Tufts University. This outreach program focuses on developing children's creativity in solving problems as well as providing an engineering and programming background. The program makes use of Lego's educational Mindstorm kits with its corresponding ROBOLAB software, creating a flexible means of developing robots in a relatively quick and flexible manner. Aquabotica, our chapter here in Hawaii, focuses exclusively on underwater robotics. Two different programs have been developed so far; one for children in first and second grade and the other for children in third, fourth and fifth grade.


Talent Program

Talent Development Hawaii is a summer program for gifted children. Professor Heiner Dovermann, Associate Chair of the Mathematics Department at UH, developed this program. For five weeks, this program brings selected students on campus and offers them a variety of courses designed to support their learning beyond the regular school curriculum. We plan to offer every year a class entitled Submersibles and their Control (our first participation was in summer 2005). The first part of this class is a basic introduction to hydrodynamics from a practical point of view. We discuss density, viscosity, buoyancy and how these relate to the motion of underwater vehicles. The students will get a chance to spend some time at the UH-pool with ODIN. The second part will be devoted to theory. The notions of velocity and acceleration for a moving object are introduced. Examples of modeling of physical systems are discussed and optimization criteria are added. The theory is supplemented by an introduction to numerical computations using Matlab.

Additonal Participations

  1. Judge at the 50th Hawaii State Science & Enginnering Fair (April 2007)

  2. Lecture for students in a class "English as a second language", Feb. 2007.



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