Florida Section Newsletter
May/June 1996
Volume 17, Issue 3


bulletMAA Florida Section Executive Committee
bulletPast President's Message
bulletReport of Executive Committee Meeting (5/11/96)
bulletFinancial Statement
bulletCurrent Topic: Open Elections or Single Candidates?
bulletA Statement in Support of Open Elections
bulletA Single Candidate for Each Office
bulletFlorida Section Service Award
bulletAnnouncement for Regional Meetings
bulletRecommendations for Awards
bulletNominations for Section Officers
bulletAnnouncement: Summer Short Course
bulletCampus News
bulletBarry University
bulletUniversity of South Florida
bulletJacksonville University
bulletPontifica Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico
bulletRollins College
bulletMAA Sectional Panel Discussion (In Brief)

MAA Florida Section Officers for 1996-97


Don Hill
Department of Mathematics
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, FL 32307
(904) 599-3595
email:  dhill@math.fsu.edu
SunCom:  286-3595

Past President

Leonard Lipkin
Department of Math & Statistics
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL 32224
(904) 646-2467
email:  llipkin@unf1vm.bitnet
Fax: (904) 646-2563
SunCom:  861-2468


Shiv Aggarwal
Department of Physical Sciences
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Daytona Beach, FL  32114
(904) 226-6706
email:  aggarwal@db.erau.edu
Fax:  (904) 226-6621

Vice-President for Programs

Joe Mott
Department of Mathematics
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306
(904) 644-4419
email:  mott@math.fsu.edu
Fax:  (904) 644-4053

Vice-President-Elect for Programs

Chuck Lindsey
Department of Mathematics
Florida Gulf Coast University
Ft. Meyers, FL  33919
(941) 432-5554
email:  clindsey@fgcu.edu
Fax:  (941) 432-5599

Vice-President for Site Selection

David Kerr
Department of Mathematics
Eckerd College
St. Petersburg, FL 33733
(813) 864-8432
email:  kerr@eckerd.edu
Fax:  (813) 864-8382

Vice-President-Elect for Site Selection

J.C. Campbell
St. Petersburg Junior College
P.O. Box 41223
St. Petersburg, FL  33743
(813) 341-4618
email:  campbellj@email.spjc.cc.fl.us
Fax:  (813) 341-4770


Ernest Ross
12229 69th Terrace, North
Seminole, FL 34642
(813) 391-7159
email:  errossjr@aol.com

June White
St. Petersburg Junior College
Clearwater, FL  34625
(813) 791-2542
email:  whitejune@email.spjc.cc.fl.us
Fax:  (813) 791-2601

Newsletter Editor

Mark Anderson
Rollins College
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 646-2323
email:  manderso@rollins.edu
Fax:  (407) 646-2479

Section Governor

Frederick Hoffman
Department of Mathematics
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, FL 33431
(561) 367-3345
email:  hoffman@acc.fau.edu
Fax:  (561) 367-2436
SunCom:  238-3345

Past President's Message

We had a successful meeting in St. Petersburg, thanks to the hard work of the local committee (June White, Ernie Ross, et al), the representatives from Florida Power (Joe Skala, et al), and the Program Chair (Moana Karstetter). The collaboration with Florida Power and the portion of the meeting devoted to student projects in an industrial setting drew positive responses from MAA Section officers around the country, from our own members attending the meeting, and from Marcia Sward, Executive Director of MAA. We featured an active SIAM member, Lyn Deering of Clemson University, as a major speaker. Also featured were H. O. Peitgen, FAU, on paper folding and fractals, an area of popular fascination as well as serious mathematical research; and Marcia Sward on the future of MAA.

The strength of MAA lies in its broad representation of mathematical interests. This was demonstrated in our meeting by our invited speakers, special sessions that included the use of technology in teaching, and the activity of the Florida Two Year College Mathematics Association (FTYCMA). As announced in the March business meeting, we proposed a closer, more formal working relationship with FTYCMA, and we will publicize the 1997 meetings in Tallahassee as a joint meeting. This should help strengthen the Florida college mathematical community. In addition, we need to continue our association with industry.

You will find articles elsewhere in this Newsletter about activities under an Exxon grant, our Service Award, and other new and old projects. Please be sure to read and respond to the article about contested elections, and help us by volunteering to serve on an MAA/Florida committee. Committee work is a fun and painless way to make an important difference in the functioning of the organization.

I want to thank all of you who helped make my work enjoyable. In addition to the people mentioned above, Jerry Junevicus and David Kerr worked on getting new potential meeting sites, and Marilyn Repsher led the Awards committee, as planned, and stepped in at the last minute to head up the Nominating committee. Thanks to all of you who served on committees this past year. Finally, we owe a great debt to Mark Anderson, Newsletter Editor, who patiently waits for those of us who are chronically late with our material, and who produces wonderful Newsletters.

Len Lipkin

Report of the Executive Committee Meeting
May 11, 1996

The Executive Committee met on May 11, 1996 at the Jackson Davis Building, Florida A & M University, on May 11, 1996 following a tour of the 1997 site for the section meeting at Florida State University, Center for Professional Development, Tallahassee. Highlights of the minutes include the following:
bulletLetters will be sent to the top 35 students in Florida on the national math exam giving them the option of requesting a book. The names of these students will be forwarded to the appropriate regions for invitations to regional meetings.
bulletA monetary stipend of $50 will be given to each undergraduate student speaker at the section meeting.
bulletThe section will provide a book to student speakers at regional meetings on request of the region.
bulletThe section will give $50 to each region requesting it to support the regional meeting.
bulletThe Florida Section MAA will invite FTYCMA to hold a joint meeting at the 1997 Annual Meeting in March, 1997.
bulletThe 1997 meeting site is at Florida State University and the 1998 site is at Florida Atlantic University
bulletOnce every five years the Florida Section MAA can nominate a member for a national award. This five year period the nominee is Ernie Ross.


Florida Section- Mathematical Association of America
5/12/95 - 5/11/96

BALANCE ON HAND 5/12/95 $4,342.84
NationsBank Checking Account $4,342.84
RECEIPTS: $6,678.99
Registrations (96 Mtg) 819.00
Publisher's Contribution (96 Mtg) 200.00
Food Services (96 Mtg) 612.00
National MAA Support 100.00
CD Transfer 2,667.70
Exxon Grant (1996) 1,255.59
Suncoast Regional Meeting 1,024.70
Plenary Speakers (96 Mtg) 929.74
Student Speakers (96 Mtg) 300.00
Food Services (96 Mtg) 908.10
Program Printing (96 Mtg) 213.29
Registration Expenses (96 Mtg) 56.62
Service Award (96 Mtg) 50.29
Exxon Grant Program 1,005.00
Student Speakers-Regional Meetings 125.00
Student Attendance-National Meeting 100.00
Tallahassee Regional Meeting 50.00
Suncoast Regional Meeting 762.25
Postage 70.73
Newsletter 2,000.00
Bank Charges 60.00
BALANCE ON HAND - 5/11/96 $4,390.81
NationsBank Checking Account 4,390.81
NationsBank Account I (As of 12/27/95) 1,876.19
NationsBank Account II (As of 8/23/95) 1,824.92
TOTAL ASSETS: $8,091.92
Suncoast Region 836.97
Exxon Program 250.59

Current Topic: Open Elections or Single Candidates?

A Statement in Support of Open Elections
By Rama Rao & David Kerr

There is something fundamentally right about the democratic process of "election." It gives everyone involved in an organization, whether it be a country, an educational institution, or a professional society like the MAA, ownership over process, practices, and future directions. In every sense of the word, free and open elections promote community, diversity, and, above all, communication.

Before we begin the main body of this argument it is important for you, the members of the MAA, to know something of our backgrounds. One of us has been extremely active in the Florida Section for years; the other is only a recent affiliate and to tell the truth has let his membership in the MAA lapse more often than not. One of us has served on a variety of committees, including the Student Activities Committee, and has made significant contributions to the strength and vitality of the Florida Section. The others' first entrance into the administration of the MAA occurred 2 years ago with his election to the position of Vice President for Sites.

It can be argued that a "single-slate of officers" will always guarantee diversity because the nominating committee will ensure that all of the various constituents are represented. Regardless of the fact of whether or not you believe that one community college person can speak for all community college people or if one woman speaks for all women, we feel that the process of nominating a single-slate is a little more dynamic than that. With a single-slate, the nomination process ends once a candidate for a particular position is found. A few phone calls are made, a name is paired with a position, and the work is over.

A brief look at the past history of the Florida Section tends to back this up. First off, lots of schools are not represented in any way in a listing of our past officers and those schools that are, tend to repeat themselves over and over again. For example, Eckerd College, to which one of us is very familiar, numbers less than 0.3% of the Florida state membership in the MAA and yet mathematicians from that school have held 5.8% of all the offices (president, or one of two vice presidents) since 1967. If you also want to throw in governorship, the percentage would be even higher.

Overriding all of this however is the fact that there are just a relatively few number of people who have served as officers within the Florida Section. They tend to be appointed from one position to the next and if you couple this with their institution affiliation it is easy to see how a few schools have dominated the section.

We are not being critical, but if the job of the nominating committee is to find people to serve then it would just be human nature to call people that they know, to assert an ethos upon the whole process that individuals "must pay their dues", to compare their own work ethic with that of the candidates to ascertain whether or not they "feel" these people can do the job. In short, to simply look down the hallway to find the next person.

We are advocating a free and open election of officers within the Florida Section of the MAA. We feel that this will open up our section and bring in a variety of different ideas and directions. However, we do not simply wish to put names on a ballot but instead believe that it is the nominating committee's job to come up with a multi-candidate slate and to then ask each of these candidates to submit a statement as to what they have done for the MAA in the past and what their plans are for the future. These statements could be published in the January Newsletter and thereby allow for informed voting at the March meeting. With a process such as this, we could even open up the section to absentee balloting.

In closing, open and free elections will give everyone (all 846 state-wide members) a sense of ownership in our section. It is our belief that this will also allow for some untraditional voices to be heard.

A Single Candidate for Each Office
By Marilyn Repsher

There are a number of reasons why a slate consisting of a single candidate for each office is advantageous. Let us consider some of them.

It is surely desirable that the officers adequately reflect the membership: state university, community college, private institution, as well as female and male. It has been suggested that a slate of at least two for each office will ensure diversity. In fact, it often does just the opposite. On the other hand, a nominating committee can, and does, seek out a diverse slate. The 1996 election, with a slate of one candidate for each office, provided a ticket balanced as to type of institution and gender.

Some apparently feel that the section officers are a closed club with no effort made for inclusion. Nothing could be further from the truth. People become section officers by volunteering for committees. Those who show interest in the work of the section are then considered for office. The nominating committee is always delighted to find individuals who want to participate.

As one who has twice chaired the nominating committee, I can tell you the work is difficult. The nominating committee, elected by the executive committee, first calls for volunteers or for recommendations. Anyone can be suggested, but few names are forthcoming. It then becomes necessary to comb through committee lists and to contact institutional representatives. It is an onerous task to find one person for each office, one who has the time, the talent, and the willingness to serve, and still balance the ticket. The task would be much compounded by requiring two names.

Let us continue the present practice of one candidate for each office, but leave open, at the discretion of the nominating committee, the possibility of one, two, or even more names for each office. It could happen that more than one candidate for an office would present himself or herself. But mandating that there must be two would be a mistake.

Florida Section Service Award

David L. Sherry

The Florida Section of the Mathematical Association of America is pleased to recognize the outstanding service of Professor David L. Sherry to the Section and to the cause of mathematics education in the State of Florida.

Included in the contributions of Professor David L. Sherry are service as Governor of the Section 1989 - 1992, President of the Section 1984 - 1985, Vice President of the Section 1977 - 1978, Coordinator of the Northwest Florida Regional Meetings, as well as service on national committees of the Mathematical Association of America such as the Committee on Sections and the Membership Committee. He has been involved with the growth and development of the Florida Section of the MAA since he came to Florida in 1967.

Many have benefited from Professor Sherry's enthusiasm and devotion to Mathematical Association of America causes and his promotion of mathematical activities in the State. He served as a member of the Mathematics Task Force of the College-Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST) from 1982 to 1988 and served as its chair from 1984 to 1986. He was a founder of the Mathematics Olympics at the University of West Florida which was a mathematics competition from gifted community college students throughout the Southeastern United States.

With this citation his dedication to the Florida Section of the Mathematical Association is recognized.

Announcement for Regional Meetings

The executive committee of MAA Fl Section made the following two decisions regarding regional meetings:
  1. On request, the section will provide $50 of assistance money to a region holding a regional meeting.
  2. The section will provide book awards to students presenting papers at the regional meetings.
Holders of the regional meetings are requested to send the information regarding plans and other information to:

Kumar Aggarwal
Department of Physical Sciences
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Daytona Beach, Fl 32114
Phone: 904-226-6706
email: aggarwal@db.erau.edu

Make Your Nominations Now!

Recommendations for Awards

The Awards Committee is seeking recommendations for two awards to be given in 1997: the Service Award to be given for outstanding service to the Florida Section, and the Teaching Award to recognize distinguished college or university teaching. Please send names for either award to:

Bruce Edwards
201 Walker Hall
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32612
(904) 392-6165
FAX: (904) 392-8385

Make Your Nominations Now!

Do you have any suggestions for officers for the Florida Section of the MAA?

This year we will be searching for a President Elect, Vice President Elect for Programs, Vice President Elect for Site, and Secretary/Treasurer. Please send your suggestions to the chair of the Nominating Committee:

Leonard Lipkin
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL 32224
(904) 646-2468

Twelfth Annual Allegheny Mountain Section Summer Short Course

Cryptology and Mathematics -
A Dynamic Partnership

Date:  July 8-12, 1996

Location:  Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania

Principal Lecturer:  Dr. Richard Shaker, Retiree from NSA, Investment Advisor

ABSTRACT: Cryptology, the science of making and breaking codes, is an exciting subject in his own right, but this course will explore and emphasize the dramatic relationship between cryptology and mathematics. We will study several examples where fundamental mathematics (primarily algebra, number theory, and probability/statistics) provides just what is needed to create or destroy encryption processes. Conversely, these cryptologic applications will help to focus mathematical research in new, dynamic areas. Some examples of the interaction between cryptology and mathematics will be drawn from cryptologic history, (e.g., the work of the World War II codebreakers), but the bulk of the course will analyze current encryption schemes.

Dr. Shaker's undergraduate and graduate studies were at the University of Chicago; his Ph.D. was obtained under the direction of Professor Irving Kaplansky. Dr. Shaker recently completed a 26-year career at the National Security Agency, retiring as its Chief of Mathematical Research in January, 1995. He currently works to break the stock market code as an investment advisor.

The course will once again be held at Allegheny College. Course registration will be $150 and room and board will be $130 for a total of $280.

For further information and an application, contact George Bradley, Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science, Dupuesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282, (412) 396-5115, e-mail: BRADLEY@DUQ3.CC.DUQ.EDU

Barry University

Since the last newsletter, the faculty at Barry University have had an interesting and busy time. Dr. James Halambides is presenting a paper Bounds for Multi-terminal Net Implementation on FPICs at the 4th Canadian workshop on Field-Programmable Devices in Toronto, Canada, May 13-14, 1996. Dr. Carlos Segami gave a talk on Minitab as a tool for teaching Statistics at the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago, Dominical Republic, on May 8, 1996. Dr. Victor Pan published a paper Asymptotics for Orthogonal Polynomials beyond the Analytic Boundary in the Rocky Mountain J. of Math, Vol26, No1, 96. Dr. Mysore S. Jagadish presented a paper Induction in Geometry at the MAA meeting in St. Petersburg during March, 1996. Drs. Nasser Ordoukhani and Pedro Suarez attended a workshop at FIU on using Maple in teaching Math on May 3 & 4. Dr. Suarez and Jagadish are also attending a workshop on integrating the teaching of Math and Science at Mt. Holyoke College, Massachusetts from June 24 - 30. Dr. Eduardo Luna is one of the organizers of the next International Congress of Math Education to be held in Seville, Spain, in July 1996.

The student chapter of MAA organized a poster presentation for the Mathematics Awareness week in April. One of our students, Ms. Mabel Torres, has been accepted for a summer research internship at the University of California in Berkeley.

University of South Florida

The Twentieth Annual Suncoast Regional Conference of the Florida Section of the Mathematics Association of America met here on Friday, December 1. It was greeted by Vice Provost Jean Linder, and the keynote speaker was Professor Mark Stewart, Chairman of the USF Geology Department, who spoke on the role mathematics plays in the allocation of water resources in the Tampa Bay area. There were seventeen contributed talks, including two by students and six by USF professors, on subjects ranging from using calculators in the classroom to graph theory. There were over a hundred participants. The conference was organized by Professor Fred Zerla, with Professors Gregory McColm and Ken Pothoven.

A new journal will be based at USF. Professor Athanassios Kartsatos will be the Editor-in-Chief of Abstract and Applied Analysis, a journal dedicated to high quality publications in Linear and Nonlinear Analysis, Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations, Optimization Theory and Control Theory. This will be the third journal based in the Department, the other two being the Journal of Constructive Approximation & the Journal of Theoretical Probability.

Meanwhile, about the Journal of Constructive Approximation, managed here by Professor Ed Saff: it is now ranked 7th out of 125 mathematics journals in the most recent impact factor ratings by the Science Citation Index.

Professors Richard Darling and Yunchen You have finished their first year of their new Industrial Mathematics Seminar. They invited people who did mathematical work in industry and business to come and discuss their work, with an eye towards enticing students to try their hand at such applications. The seminar met weekly, and they intend to continue and even expand it.

The mathematics department is hosting two guests, Laurendt Baratchart and Franck Wielonsky, who are visiting USF under an NSF sponsored grant with the Institute for Constructive Mathematics. Laurent and Franck are from the Sophia Antipolis (near Nice, France) branch of INRIA (a center for research in mathematics, computer science and control theory sponsored mainly by the French government). They will be here till the end of March, doing collaborative research with several of our faculty (who, in turn, will be visiting France in June).

Richard Darling (Mathematics) was an invited speaker at the joint meeting of the American Mathematical Society and the Sociedad Matematica Mexicana in Guanajuato, Mexico, Nov. 19 - Dec. 2, 1995. He spoke on Backwards SDE With Random Terminal Time.

Professor Kartsatos also received a joint grant (with Dr. Igor V. Skrypnik of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences) from the National Science Foundation (funded)/National Research Council Office for Central Europe and Eurasia (administered) COBASE Grant for Collaboration in Basic Science and Engineering. Title of the Project: Solvability of Essentially Nonlinear Parabolic Initial-Boundary Value Problems and Problems Involving Nonlinear Maximal Monotone and M-Accretive Operators.

Professor Kandethody Ramachandran organized two special sessions of the 1996 IEEE Southeastern Conference (April 11 - 14 at Tampa), entitled Stochastic Dynamic Systems I & II, on April 11 - 14, and gave a talk on Optimal Control Problems for Heavy Traffic Queues. He also gave a talk on Direct Averaging Method for Stochastic Differential Games at the AMS-MAA Joint Mathematics meeting, January 10 - 13, at Orlando, where he and Professor Richard Darling organized three special sessions Stochastic Differential Equations and Applications I, II, and III.

Professor Yuncheg You gave an invited talk Global Dynamics of Weakly Dissipative Systems in a minisymposium of the 1995 SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) Annual Meeting held in Charlotte, NC, October 23 - 26, 1995.

Jacksonville University

Dr. Marcelle Bessman and Dr. Robert Hollister received an Instructional Laboratory Improvement grant from the National Science Foundation to reform the precalculus course. Next year the department's precalculus courses will be taught in a fully computerized classroom.

Dr. Marilyn Repsher completed the first year as co-instructor of TEAM (Technology, Economics, Active learning, and Mathematics), a course taught jointly with the Economics department combining business mathematics with economics. The course is funded by an ILI grant from the NSF.

The department voted to introduce a concentration in Actuarial Science into the major, to begin in 1996-97.

In the Fall of 1995, the department hosted a workshop on the use of Mathcad in the classroom, instructed by Benjamin N. Levy.

On July 15 - 19 the department hosted an Ohio State University Short Course entitled Enhancing College Mathematics with Graphing Calculators. The course was taught by Jim Lang of Valencia Community College, Peg Greene of Florida Community College at Jacksonville, and Frank Demana of Ohio State.

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico

We organized the Mathematics Club called FIMAC. The professors went to some professional development activities. In May we will have the XVIII Mathematics Olympiad. This is for High School students from public and private schools throughout the Island. This is an important event in Puerto Rico.

Rollins College

Rick Vitray has been recruited to be one of the eight authors of a new second generation calculus textbook. The infamous group, currently riding under the alias of the Honolulu Eight is planning to incorporate the lessons of the first generation of calculus reform by applying the logical consequences of those lessons to course content.

Doug Child will give a workshop at Rollins June 3 - 7 that addresses how to use the TI-92 Computer Algebra/Graphing Calculator in calculus courses. In March Doug received a national HEC Award for Innovative Teaching with Technology.

Once again, the PACER program (Physics and Computer Education at Rollins) is about to begin. PACER is funded by the GTE Foundation and The Edward W. and Stella C. Van Houten Memorial Fund and is designed for high school students who are both academically talented and motivated but lack confidence in math and science. In this highly intensive one month program, students will work a half day with Dr. Julie Carrington on an overview of computer science and a half day with Dr. Greg Alman on electronics and optics. The program will do an overview of computer science, including programming, digital circuits, computational theory, and exploration of the world wide web. In the electronics and optics portion, students will build circuits and explore properties of light and color and in the final week, will build lasers for their high schools.

Professor Gloria Child was selected as an Arthur Vining Davis Fellow for 1996-1997. This is a major award recognizing her contribution to the mission of the college.

What's up at your school?

If there's anything going on in your department, contact your school representative for the MAA and have him/her send news items to Mark Anderson at Rollins College.

MAA Sectional Panel Discussion (in Brief)

Kevin Charlwood (Saint Leo College)

What follows are some ideas brought out at a panel discussion held at the annual Florida MAA Sectional Meeting on March 2. The panel, "What Industry Wants From Mathematics" was moderated by Ben Fusaro (Florida State) and featured discussions by Alexandra Penn, Director of Cocoa Academy for Aerospace Technology; Bob Lindquist, a Consulting Property and Casualty Actuary and President of Professional Insurance Consulting Services, and Joe Skala, an engineer with Florida Power Corporation. Bob Lindquist and Joe Skala discussed the relevance of mathematics and their mathematical training as it pertains to their work. Dr. Alexandra Penn outlined a model for secondary education, called "Virtual Learning," adopted by Cocoa High Academy for Aerospace Technology.

Bob Lindquist spoke about the actuarial profession, and what is required to be successful in it. A strong math background including a year of undergraduate mathematical statistics is highly recommended, so that one can pass the first two exams of the Society of Actuaries. Aside from mathematics, basic coursework in accounting, business and computer literacy are also essential preparation to land a job these days. Beyond the first two exams of the Society, which cover calculus and linear algebra and probability and statistics, two shorter exams cover "Applied Statistical Methods" which includes multiple linear regression and time series as well as numerical analysis. Next, candidates for Associateship or Fellowship must choose between life/health and property/casualty. Life/health insurance is under the auspices of the Society of Actuaries, and property/casualty is governed by the Casualty Actuarial Society. The choice is necessary, as the examinations take two distinct paths beyond those exams mentioned above, and are given by the appropriate Society. These more advanced exams depart from the multiple choice format of the early exams, and become essay-oriented. Preparation requires much more reading and interpretation of business law as it applies to the insurance industry. Scoring is more subjective, too. This type of exam take roughly 200 to 250 hours of preparation to pass, according to Mr. Lindquist. He also pointed out that once you pass an exam, you are grandfathered. This means that you may take subsequent exams even if it has been many years since passing that exam. (Author's note: Kevin Madigan helped to provide further background on the field of actuary.) Joe Skala discussed the need for the critical thinking skills one possesses from having solid mathematical training. He related two examples of individuals who have full-time employment who make egregious errors in working with fractions, decimals and percents. We have all seen this in abundance, from salespeople who cannot correctly calculate 25% off for an item to customer service agents who believe "1/4" is larger than "1/3." The ability to look at a situation involving numerical quantities and know what the answer should be close to is truly an asset. Further, the ability to read and analyze large quantities of information is essential. Mr. Skala related an example of this from the power industry: recently, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission deregulated certain aspects of the industry. For Florida Power, this meant potentially separating into three distinct divisions. One can view this as one enormous "story problem," requiring solutions to many sub-problems to maintain the company's profit margin yet cost effectively provide for its consumer's demands.

Mr. Skala mentioned a specific example of a daily applied math problem Florida Power must solve. It involves a very sparse, 1500 by 1500 admittance matrix with complex entries generated using Ohm's Law to determine the flow of electrical power. Florida Power is constantly buying power from various sources, and then it must be routed to all its customers to meet their power demands, so the matrix is updated by a VAX minicomputer every three seconds or so. In case any difficulties arise, engineers at Florida Power have the mathematical background to analyze data from the admittance matrix to solve the problem.

Dr. Alexandra Penn talked about the Virtual Learning model at Cocoa High in Cocoa, Florida. To quote from the literature I picked up, Virtual Learning is the idea of empowering individual students who then focus on processes instead of tasks, and on solutions instead of assignments. Further, Virtual Learning promotes systemic change for seamless integration of academic and vocational/technical curricula. Some of the important features include: no single discipline teachers, learning is done cooperatively, topics are team-taught, and problem solving activities must be pertinent to the "real world." This evolved as a result of the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) report on their examination of workplace demands and today's young people's ability to meet those demands. SCANS research points out two main ingredients in workplace know-how: I. Competencies and II. A Foundation.

Under Competencies, it is proposed that high school graduates have the ability to: (a) identify, organize, plan and allocate resources (including time, money, materials, and people), (b) work well with others (interpersonal skills), (c) acquire and use information, (d) understand complex systemic relationships, and (e) work well with a variety of technologies. "Foundation involves three parts: (a) basic skills, including reading, writing, arithmetic and mathematical operations, speaking and listening, (b) thinking skills, including reasoning, creative thinking, decision-making skills, visualization, and problem solving skills, and (c) personal qualities, such as responsibility, self-esteem, self-control, and honesty and integrity.

The Virtual Learning model responds to the above educational concerns in a unique way. In particular, at Cocoa High, math, science, writing, business and technology are integrated. The program length is three years, grades ten through twelve. The school is a "career academy," and not a magnet school. Many students go on to college, but are prepared for work in the aerospace industry after graduating from the Cocoa Academy. As many high school students will never attend a four-year university, programs such as this benefit the student by giving them a bird's eye view of what the workplace requires, and the opportunity to build some essential on-the-job skills.

A typical day at the Cocoa Academy is very much unlike a typical day at a traditional public high school. The following is an excerpt from the literature provided by Dr. Penn: "Each morning the students receive a 15 to 20-minute briefing, informing them of the objectives for the day and of any special scheduling. They then meet with their team members for a brainstorming and time management session. There are five students to a team and five teams to a division; each teacher/ facilitator is responsible for one of the eight divisions in the Academy. Students remain in the Academy for five periods; after that, they will go to two other classes in the regular high school. Their time in the Academy is spent between their computer station in the big lab and the Science/Technology Education Labs, which are the hub for the integrated learning. One student has a schedule which includes Applied Math 1, Applied Technology 1, Applied Communications 3, Aerospace Technology 1, Business Computer Applications, and Diversified Cooperative Training. This student also spends one day a week at the Kennedy Space Center, helping his Rockwell mentor with computer-aided drawings.

The Academy grading system is based on mastery. Each student must meet a series of criteria according to his or her individual education plan. The students meet their subject-area objectives in the process of completing their learning grade. A grade of not yet or incomplete is given to students whose work does not show mastery. The student then works at his or her own pace to complete the work. Once the work is complete and mastery has been achieved, the student receives an "A." If, by the end of a school year, a student does not demonstrate mastery, that student must repeat the course."

For more information, Dr. Penn may be contacted at: Cocoa High Academy for Aerospace Technology 2000 Tiger Trail Cocoa, FL 32926, Phone: (407) 636-7554, e-mail: teach@iu.net