Florida Section Newsletter
February 1999
Volume 20, Issue 2


bulletFlorida Section Executive Committee
bulletGovernor's Report
bulletRegional Meetings
bulletGold Coast
bulletCentral Florida
bulletSuncoast XXII
bulletBig Bend
bulletCampus News
bulletUniversity of Florida

Florida Section Executive Committee


Mike Mears
Manatee Community College
(941) 755-1511 ext. 4267

Past President

Shiv Aggarwal
Embry - Riddle Aeronautical University
(904) 226-6706


Walter Walker
Eckerd College
(813) 864-8461

Vice President for Programs

Judy Jones
Valencia Community College
(407) 299-5000

Vice President-Elect for Programs

Phil Novinger
Florida State University
(850) 644-8711

Vice President for Site Selection

Ken Pothoven
University of South Florida
(813) 974-9568

Vice President-Elect for Site Selection

Janice McFatter
Gulf Coast Community College
(850) 872-3852


Ernest Ross
St. Petersburg Junior college - Retired
(813) 391-7159

June White
St. Petersburg Junior College
(813) 791-2542

Newsletter Editor

Mark Anderson
Rollins College
(407) 646-2323

Section Governor

Fred Zerla
University of South Florida
(813) 974-2561

Governor's Report

In 1994, the MAA adopted a Strategic Five-Year Plan. Anita Solow, First Vice President, described it as a "wish list". The items ranged from the basic to the pie-in-the-sky, very much like my grandson’s Christmas list. This plan is on the web site, http://www.maa.org. A "Summary of Outcomes was prepared that I found unusual. I have always found "Planning" to be an empty exercise. A group of people ponders the goals of the organization, writes a document, which is praised, adopted, then filed and never seen again. Several years later, the process is repeated. Not so with the MAA’s Strategic Plan. The Board was given a detailed analysis of the 1994 Program Goals and their now five-year history. On many, no action had been taken, but on many others, the results were impressive. A new five-year Strategic Plan is being developed to be presented to the Board at its Meeting on July 30 in Providence.

The Board of Governors of the MAA met in San Antonio on January 12, 1999. The financial solvency of the Association gave cause for concern. While Mathfest97 in Atlanta broke even financially, Mathfest98 in Toronto lost about $50,000. Mathfest ‘99 will be held in Providence from July 31 till August 2. We voted to hold Mathfest2000 at UCLA, but also decided to continue holding summer meetings only if they do not drain the treasury. Joining the summer meetings with another organization, for instance SIAM, might help keep them in the black.

Jerry Alexanderson completed his term as President of the MAA to be followed by Tom Banchoff of Brown University. Among his first official duties will be his visit to the Meeting of the Florida Section in Panama City. Tom is a dynamic personality, full of ideas for the future of the discipline. I am glad we will all get to meet him. Marcia Sward has resigned as Executive Director after 10 years. She will be a hard act to follow. Finding someone who can handle the complexity of the organization with its ties to related groups as well as she would be difficult.

See you in Panama City,

Fredric Zerla

1999 Nominations

The Nominating Committee is happy to submit the following slate of nominees for the 1999 election:

The nominees to be presented at March meeting:


June White
St. Petersburg Junior College

Vice President-Elect for Programs

David Kerr
Eckerd University

Vice President-Elect for Sites

Debbie Garrison
Valencia Community College

Secretary/Treasurer Elect

To Be Announced

Nominating Committee:

Shiv Kumar Aggarwal (chair)
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

Scott Hochwald
University of North Florida

Joan Golliday
Santa Fe Community College

M.S. Jagadish
Barry University

Gold Coast Section

Friday, February 12, 1999
Barry University


1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Wiegand Lobby

Keynote Speakers

1:30 p.m.

Professor S. Ramakrisnan, University of Miami
     Discrete Time Cyclic Queing Networks

4:30 p.m.

Professor O. Peitgen, Florida Atlantic University
     Seeing Mathematics Through Paperfolding


2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Professor M. Rosenthal, Florida International University
     Technology; Curriculum & Evaluation Issues

Professor A. Goldstein, Miami Dade Community College
     Teaching Calculus with TI-86 Calculator

This workshop will be of interest to all teachers who are using or want to use technology in classrooms. The TI-86 calculators will be provided for the workshop to all participants who preregister.

Contributed Paper Session

2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Papers for this session are solicited at this time (10 to 15 minutes). Talks can be either related to research or related to teaching mathematics at both high school and college levels. Student papers are welcome.

Please send the titles of talks in this session and registration for the workshop to the following addresses:

Prof. S. Dutta Gupta
Florida International University
(305) 348-2057


Prof. M.S. Jagadish
Barry University
(305) 899-3616

Registration fee: $2.00 per person (Students Free)

Central Florida

The Central Florida Regional Meeting of the Florida Section of the MAA was held at the University of Central Florida in Orlando on Friday November 13, 1998. There were 120 in attendance. In addition to University and Community College faculty, those in attendance included 6 high school teachers, 7 undergraduate students, and 17 graduate students.

Dr. Robert Brigham, University of Central Florida gave the opening address titled: The Mysterious Affairs of the Hidden Graph. There were 16 twenty - five minute presentations and a closing session. The presenters came from UCF, St. Petersburg Junior College, Indian River Community College, Seminole Community College, Embry Riddle University, Winter Park High School, University High School, Valencia Community College East, Valencia Community College West, Florida Institute of Technology and Brevard Community College.

Plans for a meeting in 1999 have begun with Rollins College and Seminole Community College being mentioned as sites (not definite).

Suncoast XXII

Suncoast XXII was very successful!! We met on Friday, December 4, from 3:00 to 9:00 at the Brandon campus of Hillsborough Community College in Tampa. We had the welcome address from the campus president Dr. Robert Chunn.

Afterwards we had four sessions lasting half and hour each. During each session we had five talks to pick from. Various institutions were represented by the presenters, including St. Pete, Manatee CC, USF, UT, HCC, Polk CC. We were especially happy to have student presentations. The topics ranged from panel discussions on new course curriculum to interesting new technology in the classroom to results of experimental changes in classroom format to mathematics in the electric industry to higher level theoretical talks.

In between sessions we had book software reps displaying their latest wares.

The invited address was from Dr. David Rabson from the Physics Dept. of USF. His talk was entitled, Periodicity, Aperiodicity and a plea from the Physics Dept.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a time of fellowship and dining. Our Spanish dinner was accented by student musicians that entertained us with classical guitar music.

Big Bend Regional Meeting

The Twenty-Third Fall Meeting of the Big Bend Region was held on November 5, 1998 at Tallahassee Community College with 70 attending the meeting and 35, the banquet.

There were twenty 20-minute talks with titles including: Pi Memorism; Log Rotation in Saw Mills; John Venn: Clergyman, Logician, and Historian; Math at (Indian) Tribal Colleges; Tesselations; Using the TI-83; and Rational Exponets Revisted from a Functional View.

In the Main Session, Gary Mahon from the U.S. Geological Survey spoke on Groundwater Math --From Darcy to Differentials and following the Banquet, Norman Buchert from NASA - Boeing presented Boeing Space — A New Frontier.

University of Florida

Bruce Edwards

Professor Gang Bao had a busy summer, giving an invited lecture on Mathematical modeling of diffractive gratings, to the 1998 Summer Tropical Meeting of the Optical Society of America in Kaliliua-Kona, Hawaii in June. Then in July, Bao attended the AMS- IMS-Siam Joint Summer Research Conference on Mathematical Models of Inverse Problems for Partial Differential Equations in South Hadley, Massachusetts, delivering a lecture on Determination of locations of elliptic foot in the living human brain. Also in July, Bao spoke on Mathematical modeling of diffractive optics at the Air Force Institute of Technology Distinguished Lecturers Series in Dayton, Ohio. In August, Bao traveled to his native land, China, and gave colloquium lectures on Mathematics and computation of diffractive optics at Beijing University and at Jilin University in Changchun.

Professor James Brooks was an invited speaker at the long running annual Wabash Conference in Analysis, held this year in Indianapolis on October 10th. Brooks lectured on Weak compactness and applications to stochastic processes.

Professor Yunmei Chen also traveled back to her native China this past summer, and was pleasantly surprised to receive the Third Prize of Natural Science Award awarded by the National Science and Technology Committee of the People’s Republic of China. While in China, Chen lectured at East Normal University, Jilin University and Fudan University.

Professor Jean Larson has been participating in an Association Review Group of the Mathematical Association of American studying standards being established nation wide by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Larson is quoted in the May/June 1998 Focus Newsletter of the M.A.A. discussing the creation and use of algorithms by students in our mathematics course MAE 3811 for prospective elementary school teachers.

Professors Jed Keesling and Neil White participated in a regional meeting of the American Mathematical Society held during March 20 - 21, 1998 at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Keesling spoke in a Special Session on Fractal Geometry and Related Topics on A practical algorithm for computing the Hausdorff dimension of boundaries of self-similar titles, joint work with Professors Andrew Vince of our department and Professor Paul Duvall of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who has been a visitor to our department. White spoke in a Special Session on Algebraic Combinatorics on the topic of Flag matroids, joint work with Professor Alexandre Borovik of UMIST and Professor Israel M. Gelfand of Rutgers University. White also delivered an invited lecture on Symplectic Matroids at a Conference on Algebraic Cominatorics held at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, during early May. During July, White attended an international meeting on combinatorics, held in Porto, Portugal, and lectured on Flag Matroids. During the summer, Keesling gave an invited talk at the 13th Summer Topology Conference in Mexico City. This October, Keesling was involved in organizing an international Conference on Geometric Topology held in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Keesling spoke on Homeomorhisms of generalized Knaster continua at this meeting.

Professors Chat Ho and Peter Sin participated in a Regional Meeting of the American Mathematical Society held at the University of Kansas in Manhatten, Kansas, during March 27-28, 1998, speaking in a Special Session on Groups and Geometry. Ho spoke on Collineations of finite projective planes and Sin spoke on The permutation modules for GL (n + 1, F4).

Professor Krishna Alladi participated in a Regional Meeting of the American Mathematical Society held during April 4 - 6, 1998, at Temple University in Philadelphia, lecturing in a Special Session on Modular Indentities and Q-Series in Number Theory on the topic of On a partitian theorem of Gollnitz and quartic transformations.

Professor Nicolae Dinculeanu did research during the summer of 1997 at the Laboratorie de Probabilites at the University of Paris, and also lectured at the University of Lille and at the Ecole Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland during June.

Professor Alex Dranishnikov gave an invited address at the International Congress of Mathematicians held in Berlin, in the section on Topology, lecturing on Dimensional theory and large Riemannian manifolds. Dranishnikov also participated in the Conference on Geometric Topology in Dubrovnik mentioned above in which Keesling was one of the organizers. Dranishnikov lectured at this conference on the topic of On coarse dimension of metric spaces.

Professor Paul Ehrlich participated in a Conference on Continued Fraction: From Analytic Number Theory to Constructive Approximation during May 20-23, 1998, held at the University of Missouri to mark the retirement at age 70 of Professor L. Jerome Lange of that institution, one of Ehrlich’s best friends during his eleven years at the University of Missouri. As well as delivering a tribute to Professor Lange at the Retirement Banquet, Ehrlich also spoke at the conference on The Emergence of the American Mathematical Research Community: Florida, Illinois and Missouri. A few weeks later, Ehrlich was off to St. John, New Brunswick, to participate in the Summer Meeting of the Canadian Mathematical Society. Ehrlich spoke in a Symposium in Relativity and Geometry on Bochner’s technique for compact Lorentzian manifolds (after Romero and Sanchez).

Professor Gerard Emch participated in two conferences in Europe this past summer. First, Emch delivered the first plenary lecture at an International Workshop on New Insights in Quantum Mechanics - Fundamentals, Experimental Results, Theoretical Directions, held in Goslar, Germany, from August 31 to September 3. Then Emch participated in the International VIENNA CIRCLE Meeting on Philosophical and Experimental Perspectives on Quantum Physics held from September 3rd to September 6th at the Schroedinger Institute in Vienna.

Graduate Research Professor John Thompson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences this past spring.

Professor Andrew Vince was an invited speaker to an international conference on "Graphs, Maps and Complexes" held in Flagstaff, Arizona this past summer. Vince also was an invited speaker at a Workshop on "Aperiodicity" held at the Mathematiches Forschungsinstitute in Oberwolfach, Germany, this past spring.

Professor Helmut Voelklein gave an invited lecture at a Conference on Arithmetic Fields at the Mathematisches Forschungsintitut in Oberwolfach, Germany, during July. He also visited Erlangen University.

The Center for Applied Mathematics held its First Annual Fall Social on October 23, 1998. Faculty members Gang Gao, Phillip Boyland, Yunmei Chen, Joseph Glover, Bill Hager, Jed Keesling, Bernard Mair, Shari Moskov, Tim Olson, Dave Wilson and graduate student Aaron Brask made short presentations. A tour of the UF Brain Institute was also offered.