EPaDel Fall 2012 Section Meeting

The fall 2012 meeting was held October 27, 2012 at Millersville University.

Invited Speakers

Student Contributed Paper Session

Student talk abstracts (PDF)

Student Game Session

The Game of Set: Counting Problems and Underlying Geometry

Liz McMahon and Gary Gordon, Lafayette College

This session is designed for those of you out there who enjoy playing games. The session will start with a quick introduction to the game of Set, and then we will let you dive in and play. We will provide some interesting questions to start you thinking about the underlying mathematics of the game. After you have had time to play, Liz McMahon and Gary Gordon will give a short talk on the questions that have been circulated during the session. To add to the excitement, every time someone wins a game of Set, they will receive a raffle ticket. At the end of the session, names will be drawn, and copies of the game will be given to the raffle winners!

Section Chair's Message

Section Chair, Kevin Hartshorn, Moravian College

Fall 2012

Dear EPaDelites,

It looks like we have another terrific slate of activities for our Spring 2012 meeting at Shippensburg University. Not only do we have a terrific slate of speakers, our lunch table topics, and our undergraduate math competition, we also will be joined by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in Mathematics (PASHEMA). There should be plenty of activities for everyone. Be sure to see the schedule on the EPaDel page for a full list of activities.

I would like to encourage you to think about some of our ongoing activities. First, you should encourage your undergraduates to come to the meeting. They can share their research through the Undergraduate Student Session, attend the opening talk in the morning by Francis Su (Harvey Mudd),and participate in the second annual undergraduate mathematics competition.

For the second year in a row, we have having a New Colleagues Session. This is a chance for recently hired colleagues to become acquainted with the section and share their work with us.

Dan Kalman will be our final speaker at the meeting. In addition, PASHEMA is hosting a dinner and math talk with Dan Kalman Friday evening before the conference. If you are interested, you are more than welcome to join the discuss and reception that follows. You can decide whether to attend when you register for the conference.

We are happy to have Jon Meier, our 2010 Crawford teaching award winner, giving a talk just after lunch. At the business meeting to follow, we will be announcing our 2012 Crawford teaching award winner.

Finally, when you register, don't forget to take a look at the lunch table topics for discussion. These are not formal discussions. Rather, they are a chance to meet with your colleagues and peers to discuss a topic that is of particular interest to you.

EPaDel has been a tremendous source of collaboration and camaraderie because of the effort put in by faculty members across the section. Here are just a few ways that you can contribute:

Governor's Message

Section Governor, William Dunham, Muhlenberg College

August 2012

The MAA Board of Governors convened on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, at MathFest in Madison, Wisconsin. President Paul Zorn was in the chair.

The primary topic of business – as it has been at all recent meetings of the Board – was MAA finances. Let me give some background:

Our organization has an annual operating budget of about $8 million. In 2010, we ran a deficit of $145,000. In response, the MAA leadership did some belt-tightening, with the result that our 2011 deficit fell to $109,000. Although still troubling, the figure indicated a downward trend, and there was talk of a balanced budget for 2012.

Instead, our deficit for the current year is likely hit a quarter of a million dollars. This is a most unwelcome reversal. In response, Executive Director Michael Pearson and others in the MAA leadership recommended not that we retrench but that we “invest” in ventures that promise to increase revenue down the road. Among the areas for targeted investment that Michael presented to the Board were:

Each proposal here requires an investment whose short-term cost will, one hopes, be offset by long-term revenue. The Board of Governors discussed these at length, with attention paid to the dangers of spending more in difficult times. In the end, the Board passed a motion of general support for “… significant investments intended to substantially improve financial performance.” Of course, the Board must approve specific budgetary proposals prior to implementation.

Two other topics of note came before us at the meeting. The first involved the policy of double blind (a.k.a. “double masked”) review for all MAA print journals. Last January a motion was proposed jointly by the Council on the Profession, the Council on Prizes and Awards, and the Joint Committee on Women to adopt such a policy. However, a subsequent investigation revealed that many members of journal editorial boards opposed double-masked review. After vigorous debate, the Board approved the double-masked refereeing policy, with the proviso that editors retain broad latitude for exceptions to the policy and that current editors are not required to adopt the policy during their terms.

The Board of Governors also passed an anti-bias policy. All MAA members, and particularly those on nomination, award, and program committees, are urged to review the statement at http://sections.maa.org/avoiding_bias.pdf.

Let me close with a few matters that should be of special interest to EPaDEL members. David Richeson of Dickinson College has been named the new editor of Math Horizons. Kay Somers of Moravian was elected chair of the MAA’s Council on Programs and Students. And Michael Posner of Villanova received one of the Alder Awards for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member. In addition, my previous report failed to mention the 2012 Chauvenet Prize that went to Dennis DeTurck, Herman Gluck, Daniel Pomerleano, and David Shea Vick of Penn for their joint paper “The Four Vertex Theorem and its Converse” (see http://www.ams.org/notices/200702/fea-gluck.pdf). Congratulations to all of these EPaDEL honorees.