Florida Section Newsletter
The Mathematical Association of America
June 2000
Volume 21, Issue 3
 

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Contents:

bulletGovernor's Report
bulletPast President's Message
bulletCentral Florida Regional Meeting Report
bulletFinancial Statement
bulletTeaching Award
bulletService Award
bulletCampus News
bulletJacksonville University
bulletUniversity of South Florida
bulletEckerd College
bulletRollins College

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Governorís Report
Fredric Zerla

The City of Washington is beautiful in a heavy January snowfall, but only if you do not need to drive in it. The Joint Meeting of the MAA and the AMS were held in two large hotels on Connecticut Avenue across the street from one another, next to a metro station. Automobiles were not necessary.

The main topic of discussion at the Board of Governors Meeting was again how to face the reality of the evolving professorate. A New Agenda for the 21st Century, the new strategic plan for the MAA, states that "the traditional core of the MAAís membership should be expanded to include many more graduate students, young professionals with bachelorís degrees in the mathematical sciences, mathematically-trained professionals in business, industry, and government, and individuals who have a personal interest in and affection for, collegiate mathematics." This led us into a discussion of the problem of de-coupling. One of the reasons the MAA was formed was to provide journals for its members who were mostly college professors. The needs and composition of the professors have changed in the past 85 years. Following the example of the AMS, we might give one-year free memberships to all graduate mathematics students, but we could not also afford to give them a yearís subscription to a journal and FOCUS. Can we somehow de-couple the journal subscription from the privileges of membership? In the complex membership matrix, journal subscriptions are included in the price of membership, usually at reduced rates. How could this matrix be structured if these were separated? Would journal subscriptions drop, possibly to the point that they would no longer cover publishing costs? Too many questions surfaced for any intelligent decision to be made. Meanwhile, the establishment of a mathematics journal, like Mathematical Horizons, for a more mature mathematically trained audience outside academia remains a viable topic. Given the working title, Math World, this journal might be available to members only by mail, or it might be put on-line for paid subscribers, or even sold on newsstands. The entire issue of the changing membership of the MAA requires much study and, eventually, some courageous decisions.

These are only some of the topic discussed at the Board of Governors Meeting. Watch for others in future issues of FOCUS or on the web site, www.maa.org.

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Florida Section Meeting
Walter Walker

The thirty-third Annual Meeting of the Florida Section of the Mathematical Association in conjunction with the Florida two-year College Mathematics Association was held on March 3rd and 4th on the campus of the University of South Florida. One hundred and sixty-two people attended the meeting. They benefitted from an excellent Program put together by the Program Committee, chaired by Phil Novinger (FSU) and skillfully hosted by the Local Arrangements team composed of Fred Zerla, Ken Pothoven and Greg McColm, all from USF.

Instrumental in success of the meeting was the hard work done by the Executive Committee, the Registration Team comprised of Ernie Ross, Susan Osborne, Maureen Kearse, Betty Pothoven, and the many people who support MAA activities in their Region. You support MAA activities by attending meetings, encouraging colleagues and your students to participate, and your willingness to accept leadership roles where there is a need by presenting papers and moderating sessions at the meetings.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MEETING INCLUDED:

Workshops on Introductory Maple, Environmental Mathematics - Visual Qualitative and Computational, Distance Learning and Aleks (Assessment Learning in Knowledge Space) from McGraw Hill Publishing.

A delightfully funny and popular Plenary Address, given by Colin Adams from Williamís College. The topic was Real Estate in Hyperbolic Space: Investment Opportunities for the Next Millennium.

Plenary Address by Fred Richmann from Florida Atlantic University: What is Constructive Mathematics?

A Revived and Popular Articulation Session on The Common Course Numbering System with Panelists Steven Blumsack (FSU), James Brewer (FAU), Fred Zerla (USF), Mike Mears (MCC).

The Student Program was organized by Ben Fusaro (FSU) and featured eight talks by students, A Student Banquet and a wonderful presentation by Monica Hurdal (FSU & Queensland Technological University) on Mapping the Human Brain with Mathematics.

Twenty-eight contributed papers reported on research in mathematics and presented mathematics that offered enhanced professional growth and ideas for improved teaching in mathematics as a benefit to all who attended.

I am pleased with the response from the USF meeting. You are encouraged to attend the March 2001 meeting slated for the campus of Florida Gulf Course University in Fort Meyers. VP-elect for Programs, David Kerr (Eckerd) already has some exciting plans for the March 2001 meeting.

It is important that we maintain the momentum gained in having strong regional meetings. Florida MAA is the primary professional organization for improving mathematics instructions at the collegiate level. It needs to get more support from mathematics departments in encouraging young faculty to play a more active role in MAA activities. Mathematics departments must look for ways to induce adjuncts and instructors to participate in our professional organizations. We need four new officers to the Executive Committee for the year 2001.

Please send your nominations as solicited by the Advertisements in this Newsletter. Your Executive Committee led by President June White (SPJC Clearwater) will do an excellent job overseeing section matters.

I enjoyed my tenure as President and thank you for your support and the opportunity to serve.

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Central Florida Regional Meeting Report

The Central Florida Regional Meeting of the Florida Section of the Mathematical Association of America was held at Seminole Community College on Friday afternoon, February 25, 2000. Seventy-three enthusiastic participants registered to attend a total of seventeen sessions. Dr. Larry C. Andrews of the University of Central Florida spoke in the opening session. His presentation, What Can Mathematicians Do Other Than Teach?, focused on the need for more mathematicians in industry, medicine, and the space program, how the universities may need to provide different programs or courses for such field mathematicians, and how, in particular, mathematicians were working with lasers in various applications. The opening session was followed by a time of camaraderie and visitation which Prentice Hall provided food.

There were sixteen shorter sessions of which three were panel discussions. Academic Systems, Distance Learning, and the issue of Quality versus FTE were the topics of the well-attended panel discussions. Each panel had representatives from both the university and community college levels. Several of the other sessions focused on technology: student usage of the TI-85 and TI-86 graphing calculators, a limited computer algebra system for the TI-83, how to put mathematics courses online, a demonstration of the software package Converge, and a research report on interactive multimedia mathematics versus the traditional approach. For those persons interested in programs at UCF, both the UCF honors calculus and the graduate program at the UCF Mathematics Department were discussed in presentations on supplemental instruction, on remediation reduction, and on opportunities for minorities to pursue a career in science and mathematics. Finally, for those persons interested in pedagogical topics, there was a session on complex numbers in a trigonometry class, historical treatment of numbers, numeracy and innumeracy. The speakers in the various sessions were all well received.

Finally, in a brief closing session, Dr. E. Ann McGee, President of Seminole Community, addressed the group of participants and thanked them for attending. Dr. Lee Armstrong officially accepted Daytona Beach Community College for the meeting site for 2000-2001. The meeting concluded with a drawing of three TI-89 graphing calculators donated by Addison Wesley Longman. A great time was had by all!

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FINANCIAL STATEMENT
Florida Section - MAA
2/29/00 to 5/1/00

BALANCE ON HAND 2/29/00: $4,576.95
Republic Bank Checking Account $4,576.95
RECEIPTS: $6,207.08
Registration - 2000 Meeting $580.40
Student Conference - 2000 Meeting $311.25
Luncheon - 2000 Meeting $326.25
Breakfast - 2000 Meeting $52.15
Publisher Contributions $225.00
Registration Change $604.00
Parking - 2000 Meeting $7.50
Book Sales Receipts $28.00
Gold Coast Region Deposit $22.00
CD Transfers to Checking Account $4,050.53
EXPENSES: $6,553.01
Registration Expense $68.33
Luncheon - 2000 Meeting $597.00
Breakfast - 2000 Meeting $260.75
Project NexT Refunds $53.00
Program Printing - 2000 Meeting $270.13
Registration Change $604.00
Student Conference Dinner - 2000 Meeting $435.75
Student Awards - 2000 Meeting $160.05
Parking $55.50
Continental Breakfast $20.50
Book Sales Payment $28.00
Transfer to New Treasurerís Account $4,000.00
BALANCE ON HAND 5/1/00 $4,231.02
Republic Bank Checking Account
CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT: $0.00
TOTAL ASSETS: $4,231.02
EARMARKED FUNDS: $1,216.90
Exxon Program $250.59
Suncoast Region $882.31
Gold Coast $84.00

 

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Florida Section's 2000
Distinguished Teaching of
Mathematics Award

David W. Kerr

The Florida Section of the Mathematical Association of America is pleased to recognize Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Eckerd College, David Kerr, with the Distinguished Teaching of Mathematics Award. In addition to his effective classroom teaching, David Kerr has promoted undergraduate research and conducted workshops on the use of technology in the classroom.

To provide relief when analytical sides of his studentsí brains get overloaded, David interjects poetry into his lectures from sources such as Shakespeare, Edgar Stanton, Rita Dove, Mark Halliday, Margre Gibson, Horie Graham, the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, and Dr. Seuss.

David has created and developed a number of new courses over the years including Methods in Mathematical Ecology, Methods in Mathematical Physics, Environmental Mathematics, Feminist Science, Litter-ology, Philosophy of Mathematics, and Newton Principia.

Above all else, David Kerr is a proponent of undergraduate research. He has formally directed seven senior these in mathematics since 1992 in the areas of topological dimensions, chaos, and accretive and monotone operators in abstract Banach spaces. In all seven cases, the student researchers have gone on to pursue graduate study in such diverse areas as algebra, analysis, dynamical systems, meteorology, medicine, and marine geophysics.

David is constantly bringing students to conferences and Eckerd College is developing quite a reputation for student participation at MAA meetings.

In 1996, David conducted two workshops at the annual conference of the NCSSSMST, where he showed high school teachers how they could use computer-based technologies in their classrooms.

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Florida Section's 2000
Distinguished Service Award

James R. Weaver

The Florida Section of the Mathematical Association of America is pleased to recognize the outstanding service of Professor James. R. Weaver to the Section and to the cause of mathematics education in the State of Florida.

Professor Weaverís contributions have been spread across the local, state and national levels. As a member of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of West Florida for over thirty years, Professor Weaver was the founder and long-time advisor to the Mathematics Club at UWF. Additionally, he brought the chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon to the campus and continues to lead it. Professor Weaver was a founder of the Mathematics Olympics at UWF, a mathematics contest for the Florida Community colleges, which was held for twelve years.

Professor Weaver came to Florida soon after the creation of the Florida Section of the MAA and he has been one of its staunchest supporters. He has served on numerous committees of the Section and was its President in 1989-1990. He also played a major role in the meetings of the Northwest Florida Region of the Section.

On a national level Professor Weaver was a co-founder of the International Linear Algebra Society and he continues to serve as treasurer of the Society. In addition to the MAA and ILAS, he is a member of the American Mathematics Society and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He has also served as a referee of SIAM, the American Mathematical Monthly and Linear Algebra and Its Applications.

On this day, March 4, 2000, with this citation, Professor James Weaverís dedication to the Florida Section of the Mathematical Association of America is recognized.

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Jacksonville University

Professor Marilyn Repsher has been named the U.S. Professor of the Year for Colleges and Masterís University by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Professor Repsher has also been designated as a Carnegie Scholar. This is a two-year award. Her research will be developing assessment tools for the teaching of mathematics.

Professor Douglas Quinney of Keele University (England) is teaching Mathematical Modeling in the Physical Sciences here at Jacksonville University. For the past few semesters, Professors Quinney and Bessman have been collaborating during her Calculus III and Differential Equations courses via Net-Meeting between Keele and JU. Thanks to NSF funding the Global Classroom Project, we are able to have Professor Quinney visiting JU, much to the delight of our students and faculty. Helping students to visualize solutions has been the motivation behind his contribution to the development of instructional and exploratory computer software that he utilizes for the Global Classroom Project.

We have two new faculty: Dr. Pamela Crawford from Lafayette College and Dr. Sanjay Rai from Texas A&M International University. Dr. Crawford earned a BA in Mathematics and History, and a MS at Lehigh University and a Ph.D. in Teaching Collegiate Mathematics from Western Michigan University. She received a Walter Williams Craigie Teaching Endowment to develop a history of mathematics capstone course. She also has received a Mednik Fellowship. During the summers, she does consulting for Towers Perrin beta testing acturial computer programs that evaluate private pension plans.

Dr. Rai attended Allahabad, (India) where he studied mathematics, statistics and physics and, during his graduate studies, developed an interest in mathematical biology. Invited by Peter Filmore to Dalhousie University (Canada), he wrote his masterís thesis on differential equations. Heading to the US, he received his Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas. He is doing research on differential equations with applications in Biology.

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University of South Florida

The 24th Annual Suncoast Regional Meeting of the Florida Section of the MAA was held here on Dec. 3. The keynote address, delivered by Stephen Karl of the USF Department of Biology, was on Living by the Numbers: The Co-mingling of Mathematics and Biology. There were nineteen contributed talks: speakers included eight students, a secondary teacher, an independent researcher, and college and university professors, including three from U.S.F.

The Annual Conference of the Florida Section of the MAA met jointly with the Florida Two-Year College Mathematics Association here on March 3, 4. There were two primary speakers. Colin Adams, the Mark Hopkins Professor of Mathematics at Williams College, discussed Real Estate in Hyperbolic Space: Investment Opportunities for the Next Millennium (in the character of sleazy real estate agent "Mel Slubgate"). Fred Richman, Professor of Mathematics at Florida Atlantic University, gave a talk on What is Constructive Mathematics? There were nearly forty contributed talks, as well as workshops on environmental mathematics, the computer algebra system MAPLE, and distance learning. There was also a special session for college students interested in mathematics education and a special articulation session on qualifications of mathematics teachers, the use of adjuncts, and computer algebra systems.

The R. Kent Nagle Speaker for this year was Jerrold Marsden from the California Institute of Technology and the University of California at Berkley. On March 9 he gave a talk to the general public on Dynamical Systems and Space Mission Design, in which he discussed designing trajectories of low-thrust missions to other planets. We are planning to have one or two Nagle Lectures this coming academic year: check our website for details.

FACULTY NEWS

A.W. GOODMAN has published a book on A Victim of the Vietnam War, the Story of Virginia Hanly. It should be released very soon. MOURAD ISMAIL got a 3-year NSF grant to study Orthogonal Polynomials and Special Functions.

ATHANASSIOS KARTSATOS gave a plenary lecture on Topological Degree Theories for Densley Defined Mappings Involving Operators of Type (S+) at the International Conference on Differential Equations and Related Topics at Pusan National University, Pusan, Korea.

ED SAFF is the editor of the new journal called Foundations of Computational Mathematics. The journal will focus on computational processes and relationships with analysis, topology, geometry and algebra. He was also an Erksine Fellow at the University of Canterbury, and with Arno Kuijlars organized a workshop on Minimal Energy Problems at the City University of Hong Kong.

VILMOS TOTIK got the Lester R. Ford award for expository writing for his article A tale of two integrals, which was published in the American Mathematical Monthly.

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Eckerd College

Two new tenure-track faculty will be joining our discipline this upcoming fall semester. Meredith Blue, an algebraist from the University of Texas at Austin, joins us as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Eduardo Fernandez, a plasma physicist from the University of Wisconsin, joins us in a shared position, as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Physics.

Kathy Roegner, who is an Eckerd alum and who has been serving the discipline this past year as a Visiting Professor, has accepted a tenure-track position at Southeastern Louisiana State University.

Jerry Junevicus spent a lot of the academic year working with a Norwegian engineer, Aly Hamouda, on a petroleum engineering problem, specifically, using PDEís and numerical methods to investigate solutions to the "souring of oil wells" problem.

Walter Walker has been on sabbatical this past year and we welcome him back to the discipline full-time this upcoming fall. Walter will be spending part of this summer at the University of Nebraska grading AP Statistics exams.

David Kerr served the first of a two-year term this year as President of the Florida Conference of the AAUP. He is hoping to participate this summer in a NAGT workshop on "Building Quantitative Skills of Students in Geoscience Courses" at Colorado College in Colorado.

Student Denise Mason has been awarded a teaching assistantship at the University of Texas at Austin where she has been admitted into their Ph.D. program. Denise also attended the 14th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Montana from April 27-29 and made a presentation on various properties of the duality map in abstract Banach spaces.

Ofir Garcia, a physics major and mathematics minor, has plans to enroll this upcoming fall in the physics graduate program at the University of Virginia. Ofir wrote a senior thesis with Jerry Junevicus in general relativity and non inertial terms in Maxwellís equations. He, too, made a presentation at the NCUR conference.

Also, Anna Ryskamp is enrolling in the graduate program in mathematics education at USF and Eva Homsi is enrolling in the graduate program in computer science at USF. Three other graduating seniors, Danielle Hager, Zach Roberts, and Michelle Thomas have elected to pursue careers in the job market in such diverse fields as insurance, e-commerce, and actuarial work.

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Rollins College

Department of Mathematical Sciences

The Department of Mathematical Sciences at Rollins College invites applications for two positions for the 2000-2001 academic year. The starting date is August 23, 2000. The first position is a full-time position as Teaching Fellow. Duties consist of three courses of undergraduate statistics and mathematics instruction each semester. The second position is an adjunct position to teach one or two courses of undergraduate statistics and mathematics instruction. For both positions, a Masterís degree in statistics or a related field is required. Applicants must provide evidence of excellence in teaching.

Send applications (including vita, transcripts, and three letters of reference) to Mark Anderson, Chair, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Rollins College, 1000 Holt Avenue-2743, Winter Park, FL 32789. EOE.

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