Florida Section Newsletter
The Mathematical Association of America
June 2005
Volume 26, Issue 3

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bullet38th Annual Meeting
bulletTeaching Award
bulletService Award
bulletExecutive Committee Meetings
bulletApril 24, 2004
bulletFebruary 25, 2005
bulletFinancial Statement
bulletAwards Committee
bulletNominating Committee
bulletGovernor's Report
bulletRegional Meetings
bulletStudent Activities
bulletMathematics in the Sun
bullet2006 Joint Annual Meetings


bulletCampus News
bulletEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University
bulletManatee Community College
bulletMiami Dade College
bulletSt. Johns River Community College
bulletSt. Petersburg College
bulletUniversity of Central Florida
bulletUniversity of South Florida
bulletEmployment Opportunity
bulletSaint Leo University*
bulletProfessional Development Opportunities
bullet Project ACCCESS
bullet Project NExT
*Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these documents.  
Free Copy

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Florida Section
The Mathematical Association of America
2005 - 2006


Stephanie Fitchett
Department of Math and Sciences
Florida Atlantic University
(561) 799-8613
Past President

Scott Hochwald
Department of Mathematics
University of North Florida
(904) 620-2653
Vice-President, Programs

Li Zhou
Department of Mathematics
Polk Community College
(863) 297-1010 Ext. 5611
Vice-President, Site Selection

Guesna Dohrman
Department of Mathematics
Tallahassee Community College
(850) 201-8144

Joe Skala
Department of Mathematics
St. Petersburg College
(727) 791-2558
Coordinator of Student Activities

Daniel Jelsovsky
Department of Mathematics
Florida Southern College
(863) 680-3748
Newsletter Editor

Bill Rush
Department of Mathematics
St. Petersburg College
(727) 341-4660

David Kerr
Department of Mathematics
Eckerd College
(727) 864-8437

Jacci White
Department of Mathematics
St. Leo University
(352) 588-8338
Vice-President-Elect, Programs

Joel Berman
Department of Mathematics
Valencia Community College
(407) 299-5000 Ext. 2695
Vice-President-Elect, Site Selection

Eduardo Fernandez
Department of Mathematics
Eckerd College
(727) 864-8402

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38th Annual Meeting

Florida Section
The Mathematical Association of America

Scott Hochwald

Where were you on February 25th and February 26th of 2005?  If you weren’t at the Lakewood Ranch Campus of Manatee Community College, then you missed a great Florida-Section Mathematical Association of America meeting.  While this report is no substitute for that mathematical event, it does provide you with a glimpse into the goings on at our thirty-eighth annual meeting.  For those who attended the meeting read on.  Although I haven’t used this forum to reveal any skeletons in the Florida-Section closet (I would have if there were any), I think I’ve included information that will be of interest to you.

The meeting began at 8:00 am on Friday, February 25th with a FTYCMA (Florida Two-Year College Mathematics Association) Workshop concerning Assessment and Implementation of the Developmental Plan.  After that we had a couple of Business meetings and Presidential Welcomes.  I’d like to believe I said something memorable in my welcome, but the part of it that I remember was a misstatement about the length of my student membership (10 years as opposed to the 14 years I mentioned).  At approximately 1 pm we were treated to a wonderful presentation by an MAA Pólya Lecturer.  We get the opportunity to hear a Pólya Lecturer once every five years.  This year David Bressoud talked about Alternating Sign Matrices.  His book, Proofs and Confirmations, the story of the Alternating Sign Matrix Conjecture, received the MAA Beckenbach Book prize in 1999.  Excellent contributed papers and student presentations were readily available from 2 – 5 pm.  A little after 5 pm we saw a clip from the television show NUMB3RS.  The clip was from an episode that revolved around a purported proof of the Riemann Hypothesis.  That clip was part of J. Brian Conrey’s fascinating talk about Primes and Zeros.  After that talk BROOKS/COLE provided some refreshments.  Those tasty tidbits were followed by our Conference Banquet and Award Ceremony (sponsored in part by McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin, Addison Wesley, and Prentice Hall).  The recipient of the section’s Distinguished Teaching Award was Patrick MacDonald of New College of Florida, and the Distinguished Service Award went to Bill Caldwell of the University of North Florida.  The state of Florida is lucky to have these two mathematicians.  Now you might think, and I did, that after a long day and a big meal that the Plenary Speaker at 7:30 pm would have trouble keeping his audience awake.  However, John Kenelly, the national MAA treasurer, talked with such enthusiasm and humor about MAA Highlights and Testing that I didn’t want his talk to end at 8:20.  Saturday morning started with a delicious breakfast provided by PLATO learning.  Excellent contributed papers and student presentations were, once again, readily available from 9 – noon.  The presentations ended with a Plenary Session at noon.  The speaker for that session was James Lang, and he entertained us for about an hour with a variety of mathematical morsels.  Those who stayed for lunch and the annual business meeting after the Presidential Farewell got to vote for the 2005-2006 section officers.  Congratulations go to:

bulletJacci White, St. Leo University, President-Elect
bulletJoel Berman, Valencia Community College, Vice-President-Elect for Programs
bulletEduardo Fernandez, Eckerd College, Vice-President-Elect for Site Selection

Over 200 people attended this meeting.  A substantial number of the attendees were students and faculty from Manatee Community College.  I thank them for not only attending but for making sure that everything ran smoothly.  C. Altay Özgener headed the local arrangements committee with a remarkable amount of enthusiasm and energy.  Mike Mears assisted him by canceling mathematics classes and collecting door prizes.  John Waters served on the local arrangements committee, helped the section Secretary-Treasurer, Joe Skala run registration and book sales, and was our Vice-President for Site Selection.  I thank all of them for their extensive efforts on our behalf.  Another person who gets a great deal of credit for the excellent meeting we had is our Vice-President for Programs Pam Crawford.  After all, the program is the meeting.  Daniel Jelsovsky, Coordinator of Student Activities, challenged students at the meeting with a large collection of integration problems.  This contest drew eleven competitors from four different schools.  The winner of the contest was Sovandy Hang from Manatee Community College.  I also thank two people, David Kerr our Governor and Judy Jones my predecessor, who both did many things for our section, one of which was keeping me on track.  Finally, if you have read this far, then you and I both have to thank Bill Rush for maintaining our outstanding website and for producing our fine newsletter.

I hope to see all of you next year on February 16th and 17th at Florida Atlantic University’s Jupiter campus.  We have already scheduled Plenary Presentations by Underwood Dudley (a former Pólya Lecturer), James Tanton (Beckenbach Book prize winner in 2004), and Steve Dunbar (Director of the American Mathematics Competitions).  There will also be a huge art festival, Artigras, near the campus.

Thanks for letting me be your President this year.

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2005 Distinguished Teaching Award

Florida Section
The Mathematical Association of America

For the gratitude you have earned from a multitude of students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels;

For your clear and understandable way of presenting material so that regardless the topic, whether calculus, analysis, differential geometry or advanced probability theory, your students were always challenged by the rigor, depth and beauty of the mathematics yet to come;

For your successful work developing new courses in neural networks, discrete probability, combinatorial topology, and mathematical biology;

But, perhaps most of all, for your remarkable ability to draw out the highest levels of accomplishment and performance in your students,

The 2005 recipient
The Mathematical Association of America Award
for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics
for the State of Florida

Patrick McDonald

New College

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2005 Distinguished Service Award

Florida Section
The Mathematical Association of America

For the initiative and professionalism you displayed in service to science and mathematics education throughout the state, most notably, in public education at the secondary level;

For your successful work at the University of North Florida in coordinating, developing and conducting mathematical enrichment programs for preservice teachers and local area students in the 6-12;

But, most importantly, for your exemplary performance, spanning a period of three decades, in service to your faculty colleagues throughout the state,

The 2005 recipient
The Mathematical Association of America Award
for Distinguished Service to Mathematics
for the State of Florida

Bill Caldwell

University of North Florida

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Executive Committee Meeting

Florida Section
The Mathematical Association of America

Manatee Community College
Lakewood Ranch Campus
April 24, 2004

Present:  Pam Crawford, Guesna Dohrman, Stephanie Fitchett, Debbie Garrison, Scott Hochwald, Dan Jelsovsky, Judy Jones, David Kerr, Altay Ozgener, Marilyn Repsher, Bill Rush, Joe Skala, John Waters, Li Zhou.

  1. President Hochwald called the meeting to order.
  2. Joe Skala reported that there were 180 attendees at the 2004 meeting at UCF - 108 pre-registers and 72 on-site registrations.  Joe reported that approximately 50% of all the people who attended the meeting were MAA members.
    Joe also reported that the $50 cash prize in a random drawing from the pool of pre-registered attendees was very successful and he hoped that the section could continue this in the future.  The Executive Committee agreed and decided that 6 such prizes would be awarded in conjunction with the 2005 meeting.  Joe also encouraged regions to promote MAA book sales, and the specially authorized discount available only during the state-wide meeting, at their Fall Semester regional meetings.
  3. Marilyn Repsher reported on a new national initiative entitled Project ACCCESS which is a program similar to Project NeXT but geared toward instructors in two-year colleges.  Individuals may apply directly on-line at the MAA website <http://www.maa.org>.  Marilyn also reported on the diversity and richness of the PREP Program and the professional development opportunities available each summer from the MAA.
  4. Bill Rush provided a statistical report on the section’s website and recommended that the Executive Committee solicit a report from the President-elect each year which would summarize and report on any annual meetings of the six regions in the state.  The Executive Committee agreed and a new “President-elect’s Report” will be solicited for the newsletter.
  5. Dan Jelsovsky reported that MAA national is currently funding undergraduate mathematics conferences.  Details for applying for a grant are available on the national website.  There is a submission deadline of May 15th each year.  Dan indicated that he would like to provide undergraduate students a small stipend for presenting at the annual meeting in addition to subsidizing their meal at the banquet.  The Executive Committee passed a motion allowing the Coordinator of Student Activities to spend no more than $50 per undergraduate student in whatever combination of stipends, books, or food subsidies the coordinator felt was appropriate.
  6. John Waters and Guesna Dohrman reported the following site selections:
bulletFebruary 25-26, 2005 at Manatee Community College
bulletFebruary 17-18, 2006 at the Honors College of Florida Atlantic University in Jupiter
bulletFebruary 16-17, 2007 at Tallahassee Community College
bulletFebruary 15-16, 2008 at Florida Southern College
  1. Pam Crawford reported on the 2005 program and the commitment of David Bressoud from Macalester College as our Polya Lecturer and Brian Conrey from the American Institute of Mathematics as a plenary speaker.  Brian is an expert on the Riemann Zeta Function and Pam hoped that several thematic talks could be centered around this topic.
  2. The Executive Committee passed a motion that the section’s nominee for the national Haimo Teaching Award be the previous year’s recipient of the section’s distinguished teaching award.  This would give the section and the individual time to prepare the nomination packet which is due March 1st each year.
  3. Debbie Garrison, reporting on behalf of FTYCMA, informed the Executive Committee that the national AMATYC meeting was scheduled for Orlando in November 2004.
  4. Scott Hochwald adjourned the meeting and several members of the Executive Committee then toured the facilities at Lakewood Ranch.

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Executive Committee Meeting

Florida Section
The Mathematical Association of America

Manatee Community College
Lakewood Ranch Campus
February 25, 2005

In attendance:  Guesna Dohrman, Steph Fitchett, Debbie Garrison, Scott Hochwald, Judy Jones, David Kerr, Altay Ozgener, Bill Rush, John Waters, Li Zhou.  John Kennelly from MAA National also attended.

  1. President Hochwald calls the meeting to order at 9:45am and the minutes from the April 24, 2004 Executive Committee meeting are approved.
  2. David Kerr reported that on the national scene, MAA has received a grant from NSF to fund the Gateways Project – the construction of a portal to link mathematical resources on the web at a single site.  The MAA’s Digital Library http://www.maa.org/MathDL will form a major component of the portal but there will be many other resources accessible there as well.  He also reported that the MAA is beginning a 5 year strategic planning cycle with Professional Development, Revenue, and the American Mathematics Competitions (USA Math Olympiad, and International Math Olympiad) being the first areas to be addressed.
  3. John Kennelly informed the Executive Committee that sections can invest section monies in the MAA Investment Pool as a way to establish an endowment for the Florida Section.
  4. Bill Rush reported that all numbers for the FL-MAA website are up over last year:
    Activity   February 2004   February 2005
    Membership on listserv
    Hits annually
    Hits during February

    Bill also informed the Executive Committee that he purchased a new digital camera for the section.  Finally, Bill reported that for this year’s sectional meeting we went with two different registration forms – one for students, one for faculty.  The Executive Committee felt that this had worked out well and recommended that we use two forms for the 2006 meeting.

  5. Steph Fitchett provided a report on the regional meetings.  Suncoast, First Coast, West Florida and Central Florida continue to be active while Big Bend and Gold Coast have not met for several years.  John Kennelly reported that some regions in some sections hold what are called “state dinners” for their regional meetings.  These involve a formal get together but one in which there are only a couple of plenary addresses and then a social dinner.
  6. John Waters reported that the sites for the next three annual meetings have been determined.  They are the Honors College of Florida Atlantic University for 2006, Tallahassee Community College for 2007, and Florida Southern College for 2008.
  7. Pam Crawford reported that the development of the program went well and she thanked Altay Ozgener and Bill Rush for maintaining the program on-line.
  8. Judy Jones gave the Nominating Committee’s report. The new officers are:
bulletJacci White, St. Leo University, President-elect
bulletJoel Berman, Valencia Community College, Vice-president-elect for Programs
bulletEduardo Fernandez, Eckerd College, Vice-president-elect for Site Selection
  1. David Kerr gave the report for the Awards Committee which selected Bill Caldwell from University of North Florida for the Distinguished Service Award and Pat McDonald from New College of Florida for the Distinguished Teaching Award.
  2. Debbie Garrison reported that FTYCMA will be focusing on state-wide standards for the College Algebra course at their fall retreat.  She also reported that Cliff Morris was this year’s recipient of the FTYCMA Service Award.

For new business, the Executive Committee established a policy in which the section will provide funding to Executive Committee members to attend the annual February meeting whenever they do not receive funding from their host institutions.

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Financial Statement

Florida Section
The Mathematical Association of America

12/31/2003 - 12/31/2004

Beginning Bank Balance 12/31/2003         $ 9,781.52
     Revenues     $ 8,878.99    
          MAA Subvention $ 1,000.00        
          Meeting - Registrations $ 3,974.66        
          Meeting - Publishers $ 1,325.00        
          Book Sales $ 789.33        
          Gulf Coast $ 1,790.00        
     Expenses     $ 7,880.45    
          Printing $ 824.86        
          Travel $ 1,054.15        
          Meeting $ 3,365.52        
          Book Sales $ 696.05        
          Awards $ 250.00        
          Gulf Coast $ 1,689.87        
Ending Bank Balance 12/31/2004         $ 10,780.06

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Awards Committee

Florida Section
The Mathematical Association of America

The Awards Committee is seeking recommendations for two awards to be given at the state meeting in 2006:


The Service Award to be given for outstanding service to the Florida Section


The Teaching Award to recognize distinguished college or university teaching

Send your nominations by Friday, October 14, 2005, to the Chair of the Awards Committee:

Chuck Lindsey
Florida Gulf Coast University
(239) 590-7168

Past award recipients can be found at http://www.spcollege.edu/central/maa/archives/.

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Nominating Committee

Florida Section
The Mathematical Association of America

The Nominating Committee is soliciting nominations for the positions:




Vice-President-Elect for Programs


Vice-President-Elect for Site Selection




Newsletter Editor-Elect

Please send names of any potential officers including your own if you are interested to the committee chair:

Scott Hochwald
Past President
(904) 620-2653

Past officers can be found at http://www.spcollege.edu/central/maa/archives/.

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Governor's Report

Florida Section
The Mathematical Association of America

David Kerr

First off, I am pleased to report that the results of the national election for MAA officers are:

bulletFirst Vice-President
bulletSecond Vice-President
  Joseph A. Gallian (2006)
Carl Pomerance (2006, 2007)
Deanna B. Haunsperger (2006, 2007)

and I would like to thank all members of the Florida Section who participated in these elections by either returning your ballot or by voting on-line.  The national office was quite pleased with the success of on-line voting and will continue that option in the future.

For other national initiatives, the MAA has begun a process of strategic planning which will, over a five year period, look at all aspects of the MAA.  The first three areas to undergo review are the American Mathematics Competitions, Revenue, and Professional Development.  Each review will last approximately one year and is designed to look at what the MAA is currently doing in these areas and determine if new initiatives could be started or some existing programs terminated.  The MAA is interested in promoting involvement from the sectional level, so if you are interested in serving on any of these working groups (or other national MAA committees), please e-mail at <kerr@eckerd.edu>.

Another major project underway at the national level is called "The Math Gateway" which is an NSF-funded project geared toward developing an internet-based portal for linking a large number of mathematically-related web sites.  MAA's Mathematics Digital Library (Math DL) will be part of the Gateway but so will other things that are currently not available on-line (Classroom Capsules, the Basic Library List, articles from the Monthly, the Illustrative Resources Guide from CUPM to name but a few).

Finally, I would like to encourage you to consider attending MathFest 2005 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, August 4-6.  There are already a large number of interesting presentations planned for the meeting.  Complete information on MathFest 2005 is available under the "Calendar" link of this web site.

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Regional Meetings

Florida Section
The Mathematical Association of America

Stephanie Fitchett

Of the six Florida MAA regions, two (First Coast and Suncoast) held regional meetings this last year.  The West Florida region and the Suncoast region are already planning for regional meetings for next year.

Big Bend:  No meeting this year.

Central Florida:  No meeting this year.

First Coast:  A regional meeting was held on February 19, 2005, at Jacksonville University.  Attendance was approximately 30.

Goldcoast:  No meeting this year.

Suncoast:  The Suncoast regional meeting was held on December 3, 2004, at St. Petersburg College, Tarpon Springs campus, and an announcement was in the October newsletter.  The one day event featured about 18 presentations, 120 attendees, and a dinner banquet.

West Florida:  The West Florida regional meeting, originally planned for Spring 2005, was postponed to Fall 2005 because of the fall hurricanes.  Dr. Schell, University of West Florida, is the organizer, with the assistance of Dr. Kuiyuan Li, also of University of West Florida.

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Student Activities

Florida Section
The Mathematical Association of America

38th Annual Meeting Manatee Community College February 25-26, 2005


This year there were nine students from five schools across the state of Florida presenting papers at the annual meeting.

Laura Lynch
Florida Atlantic University
Honors College

Exciting Numerical Studies of a GR-type Nonlinear Scalar Wave

Abstract:  We will first introduce integration and boundary methods for the linear wave equation and then extend our study to a nonlinear system introduced by Khoklov and Novikov.  The nonlinearities are similar to those seen in General Relativity, and thus our analysis establishes the effects of numerical methods on gravitational wave simulations.


Desirae Chamblin
and Sean Simms
Florida Southern College

Using Markov Chains to Support Software Testing

Abstract:  This presentation describes the development of Markov chain models to describe use of an e-mail system, the use of these models to generate and analyze software test cases, and preliminary work to use Maple to investigate the convergence of the Markov chain usage models.


Mathew Williamson
University of South Florida

Inversion and Geometry:  An Interesting Technique Not Usually Taught in Geometry Classes

Abstract:  We are all familiar with the geometric process of reflection across a line.  If we replace the line with a circle, we call it a geometrical inversion with respect to a circle, or simply "inversion."  Some helpful properties of inversion will be investigated in order to solve a few problems in other areas of geometry that would otherwise be quite difficult.


Myriam Anez
Florida Atlantic University

Counting Subgroups of Groups and Planes in a Three Dimensional Space

Abstract:  We will count the number of ways to embed finite subgroups into a larger finite abelian group and show how this number, in some cases, can easily be computed using q-binomial coefficients.  As a small example, we will show how to count the number of planes in a finite three dimensional space.


Colleen Block
University of Miami

Phaser Module:  Ricker Salmon Model
Will the Salmon Obey Ricker?

Abstract:  The Ricker model, a scalar difference equation with density-dependent growth, is one of the most widely known models for modeling fish populations.  The goal of this project is to determine if the actual salmon population data obtained from the USACE's Columbia and Snake River project can be described by the Ricker model.  First, the parameters that influence the salmon population model are estimated from this data using elementary statistical methods.  Then, using these parameter values, the dynamics of the model are explored with Phaser.

Note:  This project is supported by the National Science Foundation grant DUE-0230612


Valentine Sobirov
Florida Atlantic University
Honors College

DSP, DFT, and DWT:  Discrete Transforms in Signal Processing

Abstract:  We discuss how Discrete Fourier Transforms are used to analyze digitally sampled analogue signals in the frequency domain.  We then motivate usage of Discrete Wavelet Transforms over Discrete Fourier Transforms and work out an eight-point example, using the Haar wavelet basis.


Stephanie Sunberg
Jacksonville University

History of Calculus Reform

Abstract:  I will be doing a web-site based presentation on calculus reform, including key players and changes that were made to textbooks and the curriculum.  The focus will be on my personal experience with calc reform.


Sabrina Lyon
Jacksonville University

My Experience as an Undergraduate Calculus Class Teaching Assistant

Abstract:  As a mathematics education student working as an undergraduate teaching assistant, I developed, presented, and evaluated several laboratory based student activities in close collaboration with a professor.  My presentation will focus on how this unique learning opportunity has helped me to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of teaching and learning mathematics.

Integral Contest:

Sovandy Hang
Manatee Community College

Daniel Jelsovsky
Coordinator of Student Activities

Laura Lynch (left)
Florida Atlantic University
Honors College
There were eleven students from four different schools (Manatee Community College, Florida Atlantic University Honors College, Out-of-Door Academy [High School], and University of South Florida) that competed in the integral contest.  Our thanks goes to Bill Albrecht, Jimmy Chang, Kenneth D. Henderson, Jr., David Kerr, Masahiko Saito, and Li Zhou, for submitting questions for the contest.  The winner was Sovandy Hang, a sophomore from Manatee Community College, and the runner-up was Laura Lynch, a senior from Florida Atlantic University Honors College.

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Mathematics in the Sun

This year’s state Retreat, Mathematics in the Sun, will take place on the campus of Central Florida Community College in Ocala, Florida, September 9-10, 2005.  The focus will be on College Algebra.

bulletFriday, September 9th, 1:00-6:00 PM followed by reception
bulletSaturday, September 10th, 8:30 AM-3:30 PM

The tentative agenda can be found at http://faculty.mdc.edu/nagras/projects/Agenda2005draft4.DOC.  Speaker Proposal and Registration forms as well as cost and hotel information will be available soon.

Norma M. Agras
Coordinator, Mathematics in the Sun Retreat
Chair, Department of Mathematics
Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus
300 NE 2nd Avenue, Room 1540
Miami, FL  33132
Telephone:  (305) 237-3926
Department:  (305) 237-7461
Fax:  (305) 237-7652

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2006 Joint Annual Meetings


Florida Section
The Mathematical Association of America

Florida Atlantic University
Honors College

Florida Two-Year College Mathematics Association

February 17-18, 2006

The 2006 Joint Annual Meetings will bring together Florida’s dedicated mathematicians – professional and non-professional – for a weekend of exciting lectures, talks, and discussions on a variety of mathematical topics.

The plenary speakers for the conference will be Underwood Dudley, Steve Dunbar, and James Tanton.

Underwood Dudley, Professor Emeritus at Florida State University, received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1965.  He has written many books and articles receiving MAA's Trevor Evans award in 1996.  Professor Dudley is a former MAA Polya Lecturer and has served on several editorial boards for MAA publications.  For more information, visit http://www.maa.org.

Steve Dunbar, Professor of Mathematics at University of Nebraska, is the Director of the MAA American Mathematics Competitions for the K-12 Programs.  His areas of interest are Applied Mathematics and Numerical Analysis.  For more information, visit http://www.math.unl.edu/~sdunbar/.

James Tanton, St. Mark's School, received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1994.  He is a recipient of MAA's Beckenbach Book Prize in 2005 and MAA's Trevor Evans award in 2001 and 2002.  Dr. Tanton serves on editorial boards for MAA publications and is the founding Director of the St. Mark's Institute of Mathematics.  For more information, visit http://www.stmarksschool.org/smtoday/math/.

In addition to these three distinguished plenary speakers, there will be invited talks by some of the state’s leading mathematics professionals as well as student presentations.

Other events include:

bulletFTYCMA Annual Business Meeting and Luncheon, Friday
bulletConference Banquet and Awards Ceremony, Friday
bulletAnnual Business Meeting and Luncheon, Saturday

More information will be available in the October issue.

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Department of Mathematics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University held the 2005 Sonya Kovalevskaya Women in Mathematics Day in May 2005.  The activities included Panel discussions, Math contest and Workshops.  The committee consisted of four female faculty:  Dr. Nirmal Devi, Dr. Jayathi Raghavan, Dr. Stacie Badran and Prof. Sharmistha Chakrabarti.

The mission was

bulletTo provide women students with a unique experience to foster interest in mathematics and careers in mathematics, engineering, science, aeronautics and aerospace.
bulletTo provide women high school students the opportunity to experience a university environment.
bulletTo gain insight into women professors’ experience and educational opportunities associated with mathematics.
bulletTo provide women students the opportunity to learn that careers in mathematics, engineering, science, aeronautics, and aerospace are attainable.

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Manatee Community College

Professor Donald Gordon is retiring after 15 years in the Manatee Community College department of mathematics.  Don came to MCC after a distinguished military career.  Don served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam era and spent several years advising for the Air Force in the Dominican Republic and Panama.  After receiving his Masters degree in mathematics at the University of Arizona, Don began his teaching career at the United States Air Force Academy.

Don came to MCC in 1990 as the manager of the Mathematics Lab.  After four years as lab manager, Don joined the teaching faculty and went on the serve as Chair of the mathematics department for six years.

In his retirement, Don plans to relax and sail the seas in his boat.  He has made tremendous contributions to the college and will be greatly missed.


Professor Mary Leeseburg hails from the small town of Farley, Missouri (population 99).  Mary received her bachelor and master degrees from Central Missouri State University and got her first community college teaching position at Black Hawk Community College in Moline, Illinois.  It was here where she met her husband Keith.  After a three year stint with the CIA in Washington, DC and a series of horrible St. Louis winters, the Leesebergs moved to Sarasota in 1978 when Keith began working at Manatee Community College.

Mary has been with the MCC mathematics department for 26 years, 9 years part-time and 17 years full-time.  Mary has served the college in a number of roles.  She has taught all but two courses currently offered by the mathematics department and has been course coordinator for most of the courses.  In addition to her teaching duties, she has served as math lab liaison and was instrumental in the early development of the Title III program at MCC.  In addition to her duties at MCC, Mary has raised three children and been an active participant in the community through school activities, Special Olympics and a variety of Heart Walks, Cancer Walks and other worthy causes.

In their retirement, Mary and Keith plan to keep busy remodeling their home and doing some extensive traveling across the country.  Mary’s contributions to Manatee Community College over the past two and a half decades are immeasurable.  She will be missed by all.

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Miami Dade College

Question:  What takes about eleven hours during two days and involves over sixty (60) highly motivated and extremely talented mathematics faculty from the six (6) campuses of a major college?  Answer:  The third annual Math Retreat (MR ’05) at Miami Dade College (MDC; Miami, FL)

For the last three years, the New Year has been a harbinger of the one and one-half days dedicated to renewal, resolve, exploration, and the discussion of initiatives that will help students succeed in mathematics.  MR ’05 was held March 10th and 11th, 2005 on the Kendall and North Campuses of Miami Dade College.  This year’s theme was Advancing Student Success:  Technology for Faculty and Students/Relating Mathematics to Other Disciplines.

The afternoon of the College’s annual Professional Development Day (Kendall campus) always marks the official start of MR ’05.  After a warm welcome by our facilitator, Dr. Karen Hays (Dean of Academic Affairs, Kendall campus), faculty presentations were made on the following topics, implementing and supporting mathematics competitions across levels, directing student-driven mathematics clubs, and using various electronic classroom management tools (Electronic or E Gradebook), and incorporating instructional software and hardware (Electronic [E] Portfolio and the LiveText E Portfolio).

Dr. Patrick Bibby (Mathematics, Kendall campus) provided an update on the College’s unique application to the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities (SACS) for continued accreditation.  The objectives of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) are to improve mastery of competencies in four (4) mathematics courses defined as high-risk (Introductory Algebra, Integrated College Mathematics, Intermediate Algebra, and College Algebra) and to foster a positive attitude for learning mathematics.  After a very positive and enthusiastic visit to the College in October 2004, the SACS Committee recommended improvement of the pass rates in these four courses to 60% so that they can be removed from their high risk status.  In light of this, continued faculty involvement in the many QEP committees and activities was encouraged.  Both Dr. Bibby and Dr. Joanne Bashford (Institutional Research, District) discussed the availability of data on the MDC Website, specifically at the Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness link.

The full-day of MR ’05 was hosted by the mathematics faculty, staff, and administration of our North Campus.  Their professionalism and hospitality has "raised the bar" for MR ’06.  The day’s agenda was to provide details on additional innovative tools for mathematics faculty and their students.  For the very first time, faculty from other disciplines attended the Retreat.  Marilyn Gottlieb-Roberts (Professor of Art History, North Campus) discussed her involvement in last summer’s Mathematics Across the Curriculum Summer Institute.  Hers was one of twelve (12) cross-curriculum projects developed at last year’s Institute by nine (9) interdisciplinary teams comprised of seventeen (17) MDC faculty from mathematics and a variety of other disciplines.  Many of the projects were featured in a poster session, and a slide show detailed what can be expected at the upcoming Institute.  (For information about the 2005 Summer Institute, contact Prof. Deann Leoni [Edmonds Community College])

In response to feedback collected the day before, a faculty member’s demonstration addressed some of major areas of concern/interest expressed at the E Gradebook presentation.  The topics of other second-day presentations included the use of the following technology-based instructional strategies - MyMathLab, Mathzone, ilrn, the document camera, the Classroom Performance System or "Clicker", the Computer-Based Lab (CBL), Tablet PC, and Maple.  Participants were provided opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue among themselves and with the presenters during scheduled Table Talk sessions and Sharing Time, respectively.  At the end of MR ’05, each faculty was asked to complete and submit a Personal Action Plan and a Retreat Evaluation to members of the Retreat Planning Committee.

The spirit of the faculty-driven MR ’05 continues to be understood and supported by the administration.  Campus Presidents, Drs. Wasim J. Shomar (Kendall) and Jose Vicente (North), noted that increased student success will result from a comprehensive balance of fundamentals and technology.  However, the latter cannot replace the importance and impact of human interaction that is imbedded in the teacher-student dynamic.  With this in my mind, data collected from Retreat evaluations examined, faculty action plans considered, and other challenges lying ahead, planning for MR ’06 will begin in the fall.

For further information concerning MR ’03, ’04 and ’05, contact Prof. Linda Burton. For information about the QEP, contact Dr. Patrick Bibby.

Suzanne S. Austin-Hill, Ph.D.
Department of Mathematics
Miami Dade College, Kendall

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St. Johns River Community College

John M. Miller received his B.S. and M.S. from Florida State University and in 1968 joined St. Johns River Community College.  He will be retiring in June after 37 years of service to the college.

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St. Petersburg College


Joseph Hargray is retiring in August after 38 years of teaching mathematics.  He received his M.Ed. from University of Florida and B.S. from Florida A. & M. University.  Professor Hargray joined the Mathematics Department on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus in the fall of 1989.  He has taught many of the courses offered in our department, served on various college-wide committees, and worked with Student Support Services (formerly Project Success - a student mentoring program).  He plans to continue working with Student Support Services and teach part-time.

June White retired on May 31st after 22 years of service to the college.  She received her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College, M.A. from University of Rochester, and B.S. from Denison University.  Dr. White has served in various capacities for the college including many years as the Program Director of the Mathematics Department on the Clearwater Campus.  In the past few years, she helped development the B.S. program in Mathematics Education and has been teaching courses in that program for the College of Education.  Dr. White has also been an active member of the Florida Section of the MAA having served as President, Co-Secretary-Treasurer, and Vice-President for Site Selection.  She plans to teach part-time on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus.


Janice (J.C.) Campbell will be returning to the Mathematics Department on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus this fall after several years of service on the Seminole Campus.  The Mathematics Department on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus would like to welcome J.C. "home."

Kenneth Chapman will be transferring to the Mathematics Department on the Tarpon Springs Campus this fall after serving the Clearwater Campus for the past 7 years.  The Mathematics Department of the Tarpon Springs Campus would like to extend a warm welcome to Ken.

Other News

Jim Rutledge gave a presentation entitled Enhance and Enliven your Teaching and Learning with MERLOT Online Resources at the Joint Annual Meeting of the MAA Florida Section and FTYCMA at Manatee Community College in February.  He also represented MERLOT at the National Science Digital Library meeting at the MAA headquarters in Washington, D.C., in which the NSDL Math Gateway Partner organizations made plans to implement a number of collaborative efforts.

The College of Education has now graduated 12 Secondary Mathematics Education majors and has 9 more interning in the fall who will graduate in December.  In the three years of existence, they will have credentialed 21 students for teaching mathematics grades 6-12 by December 2005.  Not only have these students completed the state requirements in education, they will also have completed mathematics content courses through Abstract Algebra.

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University of Central Florida

Dr. Lee H. Armstrong has been awarded the status of Professor Emeritus at the University of Central Florida.  He will be retiring in June 2005; however, he does plan to remain active in the MAA Florida Section and in mathematics teaching.

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University of South Florida

Ken Pothoven is retiring after 35 extraordinary years at USF.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Calvin College in Michigan, and his Ph.D. in functional analysis and category theory from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo in 1969.  In 1970, he came to the USF Department of Mathematics and was immediately appointed Assistant Chair.  As Assistant – later Associate – Chair, he helped lead the department as it launched its new Ph.D. program, and then he served as Chair from 1984 to 1992 as the department expanded its research program.

He gradually shifted to real analysis and differential equations, co-authoring Real and Functional Analysis.  However, he is best known for his service to mathematics education.  He was very active in the MAA, helping organize Suncoast meetings at USF since 1978, and helped with a vast number of community programs and educational initiatives, ultimately becoming Secretary-Treasurer of the MAA Florida Section from 1999 to 2003.  Meanwhile, closer to home, he took over the Center for Mathematical Services in 1994 (from which he recently retired) and was very active in the calculus reform movement.  He has served in many positions, and has won many awards, including four teaching awards from USF and approximately a million dollars in grants.

We are grateful for his contributions, and we wish him well in his further adventures.

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2005, All Rights Reserved, Florida Section of the Mathematical Association of America
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