The fall 2015 meeting was held November 14, 2015 at Delaware Valley University.
- Jenna Carpenter (Louisiana Tech University)
Top Secret: Women's Contributions to the History of Computing
- Did you know that the first "computers" were humans, not machines? Did you know that these "computers" were women, not men? Did you know that these women were in their late teens and early 20's -- not PhD's? Come learn about the central role that a group of young women, called the "Top Secret Rosies", played during the transition to the computer era in World War II.
- Pam Gorkin (Bucknell University)
Visualizing Complex Functions
- Just how imaginary are complex numbers? Most of us can “see” such numbers in the plane, but what about functions that map complex numbers to complex numbers? Using history as our background, we look at four mathematicians whose work was affected by World War II. We'll discuss their brief life story and visualize their complex functions.
- Brian Hopkins (Saint Peter's University)
The Symmetric Group and Fair Division: Does Knowledge Matter?
- Sports drafts and divorce settlements are examples of situations where players take turns selecting indivisible goods. Like other topics in fair division, the situation is made more interesting because people may value the goods in different ways. In this talk, we focus on the case of two players, where the machinery of permutations is surprisingly applicable. How many possible outcomes are there?? In what circumstances do both players get their best possible outcomes? How can one best take advantage of knowing the other's preferences? What happens when a player's motivation switches from greed to spite, the common good, or selfless altruism? In this colorful talk, we'll sample some applied algebraic combinatorics and address these issues along with the provocative question of the title.
Faculty Contributed Paper Session
Faculty talk schedule (PDF)
Faculty talk abstracts (PDF)
Student Contributed Paper Session
Student talk schedule (PDF)
Student talk abstracts (PDF)
Section Governor, Annalisa Crannell, Franklin & Marshall College
To keep report this snappy and succinct, I have only three big MAA items to share with you.
- The much-acclaimed new version of the Departmental Membership is now available. Woo-hoo! Signing up your department gives your institution unlimited free student memberships, discounts on WebWorks, and more. I'm really excited about what this is going to mean for the vibrancy of our Association. Check it out at https://www.maa.org/membership/apply!
- The MAA is going wild, celebrating our hundredth year! I am going to very self-centeredly recommend this hilarious (to me) 36-minute you-tube video showing the Closing Banquet performance of MAA: The Musical.
You can discover the history and the programs of the MAA in song and dance; learn what the President of the MAA thinks about Guitar Hero; whether the Project NExT Fellows found the bar, and why the Associate Secretary designs the MathFest program with fold-out pages. This might make a great Math Club video, provided you have snacks and an escape route planned.
- A very behind-the-scenes change is slowly working its way through the governance structure of the MAA. At our meeting at MathFest, the Board of Governors agreed in principal that we ought to cut our governing board down from the current 65-ish people (!) to approximately a dozen people; but we would also like to have a large advisory body that continues to represent our members from various geographic sections and demographic constituencies. The governors are likely to see a more formal plan for what this might look like at our January meeting. If you are the kind of person who wants to dig deeper into the structure of the MAA administration, please contact me and I'll be glad to provide more of the details as they unfold. Otherwise, I'll wait to provide details after our January meeting.
Respectfully (and enthusiastically) submitted,