La Salle junior to head talk at mathematics conference

Katherine Boligitz. Credit: Greg Carroccio. Katherine Boligitz. Credit: Greg Carroccio.

La Salle University student Katherine Boligitz, 20, will make a presentation this weekend at the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Boligitz presentation is titled “Distinguished-color rainbow connection in graphs.”

Uh, what?

“It’s about coloring a graph a certain way,” she said. “It’s about creating a distinct path from any two points (on the graph).”

Ohh, ok, got it.

Wait. Huh?

“If you think about,” she said, “if you’re going from one place to another, and you’re going on streets, you want distinct streets and you can’t go on the same street twice.”

She said it’s a lot easier to do it than explain it.

Boligitz will essentially discuss graph theory at the conference, which runs from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2. The junior, who’s a graduate of Archbishop Wood High School, is one of two students from the Philadelphia area, and one of five students from Pennsylvania, to attend the conference.

This past summer Boligitz, of Roslyn, Pa., and university math professor Janet Fierson, received a grant from an annual program sponsored by the Dean’s Office of the University’s School of Arts and Sciences, conduct research together, according to LaSalle.

So, what does Boligitz find most interesting about the graphs?

“There’s an infinite amount of graphs you can create,” she said. “So the problem is never-ending.”

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