Duke University Math Union (DUMU)


Photo of members of DUMU 2020-21

The Duke University Math Union (DUMU) is devoted to organizing and providing resources to students interested in mathematics. Throughout the year, we invite guest lecturers, organize social events and host a high school contest in mathematics. 

DUMU History

The Duke University Math Union was created by Paul Dreyer ’95 in 1992. Dreyer, who had been deeply involved with the math club at NCSSM, pushed for DUMUs incorporation as an official Duke social group and served as its first president for two years. He explained the purpose of DUMU in the August 1994 Duke Math News as follows:

"Now in its third year, the Duke University Mathematics Union (or DUMU for short, pronounced “doo-moo”) provides students with an interest in mathematics the opportunity to learn more about the subject outside the classroom. Several undergraduate students and professors have discussed their research on topics spanning the mathematics spectrum. DUMU also provides information on careers and summer research internships in mathematics.  Most importantly, DUMU is FUN."

Dreyer was also the motivating force behind the Duke Math Meet. He coordinated with NCSSM to host an ARML style math meet at Duke in Spring 1993. It began as rather small gathering of North Carolina high schools with 10 to 15 teams of 5 students in the early 1990’s to about 25 teams of 6 each a decade latter. DUMU students create and grade the problems, serve breakfast and lunch to the participants and present awards to the winning individuals and teams. They and other student volunteers lead teams to classrooms around Science Drive and proctor the competitions.

By the early 2000s, the Duke Math Meet had expanded with representation from schools from Alabama to Virginia. It lifted its cap of two teams per school and attracted a busload of seven teams from New Jersey in 2009. Soon after, the ITCCC recruited several teams from China for the meet. The Duke Math Meet reached a peak of 360 high school participants in 2011. Due to space limitations and other logistics concerns, the meet currently limits the competition to about 45 teams and 270 high school students.

DUMU Events

Each spring before final exams, math students and faculty gather to share food and conversation.  DUMU officers, those who compete in the MCM/ICM and Putnam competitions, and research students in Data+DOMath and PRUV are introduced and receive a Duke Math shirt. The Karl Menger Prize for excellence in math competitions, the Julia Dale Prizes for excellence in mathematics by first year students and by seniors, and the Excellence in Mathematical Research Award are awarded.

DUMU Officers

Former DUMU presidents

2019 – 2020  Jung Hwang
2017 – 2019  David Geng 
2016 – 2017  Feng Gui
2015 – 2016  Andrew You
2014 – 2015  Brett Schnobrich
2013 – 2014  David Hemminger
2012 – 2013  TongTong Zhan
2011 – 2012  Vivek Bhatacharya
2010 – 2011  Alan Guo
2009 – 2010  Matt Rognlie
2008 – 2009  Aaron Pollack
2007 – 2008  Kshipra Bhawalkar
2005 – 2007  Brandon Levin
2003 – 2005  Oaz Nir
2002 – 2003  David Arthur
2001 – 2002  Mike Miller
1999 – 2001  Carl Miller
1997 – 1999  Garrett Mitchener
1996 – 1997  Tung Tran & Robert Schneck
1995 – 1996  Michael Rierson
1993 – 1995  Paul Dreyer