Florida Section Newsletter
May 1997
Volume 18, Issue 3


bulletPast President's Message
bulletExecutive Committee Meeting (5/10/97)
bulletFinancial Statement
bulletFlorida Section Teaching Award
bulletCampus News
bulletUniversity of South Florida
bulletRollins College
bulletSaint Leo College

The Florida Section of the
Mathematical Association of America:  Old and New

Don Hill, Immediate Past President

First the old.  Congratulations to all those who made our March meeting the success that it was.  The facilities were superb thanks to the efforts of Phil Novinger (local arrangements chair) with considerable financial support from the Florida State University Mathematics Department (Chris Hunter, chair).  The program was excellent (Joe Mott, chair) with two new features.  One was expanded student participation (Ben Fusaro and V.S. Ramamurthi) and the other was increased visibility for FTYCMA, the Florida Two Year College Mathematical Association.  Our site selection (David Kerr) process is well in place with our 1998 meeting scheduled for Florida Atlantic University and our 1999 meeting at Gulf Coast Community College.  Thanks to our governor, Fred Hoffman, plans are being developed for a 2000 meeting in Puerto Rico.  Of course those, who know how MAA sections operate, realize that the glue that binds a section together is the secretary/treasurer.  In our case, June White and Ernie Ross share that position.  Mark Anderson, our newsletter editor, continues to keep us informed.  We can make life a lot easier for him by submitting relevant, TIMELY information to him.  Finally I inherited from Len Lipkin an organization that was running well and I look forward to the leadership of our new president, Shiv Aggarwal.

And now for the new.  At the MAA-FL meeting in March an election determined that the nominating committee would submit a single slate of nominees for the election of officers that takes place at the annual business meeting.   Because our annual elections, therefore, will not be contested it is imperative that the nominees reflect the diverse groups that make up the MAA-Florida Section.  Some sections may face the divisive issue of diversity versus quality.  Such is not the case in Florida.  We have persons with outstanding leadership abilities from all kinds of groups.  For me, I look at the individual as a contributing member of our mathematical community first, and then at the institution (research, 4-year/masters, or community college; private or public; geographical location) as well as gender, race, and age.  Of course not all facets may be represented in a given year, but looking over a 4 or 5 year period, we should see some balance.  The one thing, however, that truly binds us together is our love of mathematics, particularly at the collegiate level.

As in every year, this year we seek individuals for president-elect (who becomes president and then immediate past president - a total three year commitment), vice president-elect for sites (then VP for sites - two year total), and vice president-elect for program (mutatis mutandis).  These individuals attend two Executive Committee meetings per year (the Thursday evening before the Friday-Saturday annual MAA-FL meeting in March and the second Saturday in May at the site of the following year’s annual meeting).  Unfortunately, no financial support is available from the section.

This is the year we also choose a Florida Section governor who serves on the national Mathematical Association of America’s Board of Governors as well as the MAA-FL Executive Committee.  For this nationally run election we must provide MAA with three candidates for this three year position.  Not only does this person commit to six MAA-FL Executive Committee, with no financial support, but also to six national meetings (January and August) with limited support from MAA.  I would think those candidates should have a thorough knowledge of our section and already be regularly attending national meetings.  We are really asking a lot from a person to be a candidate for governor.  We are asking that the person, if elected, make a considerable commitment of time and financial resources, knowing full well that two of the three candidates will not be elected.

The intended time table will be: July (communications among committee members), August (reception of suggestions for nominees from MAA-FL members), September (deliberation among committee members), October (selection of nominees by committee members). 

If you would like to suggest someone please email all the committee members in one message:

  1. The person’s name (along with home and email addresses and home phone), institution, and position sought.
  2. A statement from the person that he/she understands the time and financial obligations. 
  3. Whatever background materials you choose.

The nominating committee members are:

bulletDon Hill (chair), Florida A&M University, dhill@math.fsu.edu.
bulletLou Cleveland, Chipola Community College, clevell@frin.edu
bulletWillie Cook, St. Petersburg Junior College-Clearwater, cookw@email.spjc.cc.fl.us.
bulletJim Weaver, University of West Florida, jweaver@uwf.edu.

In passing, I am proud that the Executive Committee chose these outstanding individuals to join me on the Nominating Committee.  You will notice there is at least one research institution, one 4-year/masters, and one community college; one private and one public, one from the north, central, and south.  There is a woman and a minority member.  If we can choose equally qualified nominees with similar diversity, the nominating committee will have done well.

Summary MAA Minutes, 5/10/97
Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Florida Section of the Mathematics Association of America met at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, on Saturday, May 10, 1997, and toured the facilities to be used for the 1998 section meeting.  The treasurer reported that the attendance at the 1997 Florida Section meeting in Tallahassee was 202 participants.  This included 62 students;  faculty from middle schools, high schools, public and private two and four year institutions; and individuals from the department of education and the national headquarters of MAA.  The executive committee supported including a student conference at the 1998 section meeting and also supported continuing joint meetings with FTYCMA since this past joint effort worked very well.  The following were listed as sites for future section meetings:

bullet1998: Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton
bullet1999: Fla. Gulf Coast Community College, Panama City
bullet2000: perhaps the University of Puerto Rico
bullet2001: Florida Gulf Coast University

Members are encouraged to send nominations for officers of the Florida section to Don Hill at FAMU and to submit to Chuck Lindsey, FGCU, proposals for presentations at the March, 1998, section meeting in Boca Raton.

Florida Section - Mathematical Association of America

BALANCE ON HAND 5/12/96: $4,390.81
NationsBank Checking Account 4,390.81
RECEIPTS: $6,110.07
CD Redemption 1,910.80
National MAA Support 1,000.00
   1997 Meeting
   Registrations 747.00
   Registrations (Student Conference) 94.00
   Governor’s Breakfast 222.40
   Luncheon 904.00
   Publisher Donations ($120 from 1996 Mtg) 795.00
   Book Commission (Sale of MAA Books) 32.00
Suncoast Regional Meeting 402.98
Interest 2.39
CD Purchases 3,000.00
Newsletter 1,000.00
1997 Meeting 2,783.61
   Award Framing 55.84
   Registrations Supplies 77.09
   Computer Rental 600.00
   Governor’s Breakfast 261.25
   Luncheon 946.00
   Breaks, Socials, Continental Breakfast 428.30
   Program Printing 132.68
   Book Awards 182.45
   Student Speakers 100.00
Student Attendance at National Meeting 100.00
Jacksonville Regional Meeting 50.00
Suncoast Regional Meeting 500.00
Postage 39.17
Bank Charge (Deposit Slips) 17.71
Bank Charge (Returned check) 10.00
BALANCE ON HAND - 5/8/97: $3,000.39
Republic Bank Checking Account 3,000.39
   Republic Bank Account I (As of 12/31/96) 1,961.73
   Republic Bank Account II (As of   2/18/97) 1500.00
   Republic Bank Account III (As of   2/18/97) 1500.00
TOTAL ASSETS: $7962.12

   Suncoast Region 739.45
   Exxon Program 250.59

Florida Section
1997 Distinguished University
Teaching of Mathematics Award

Lee Armstrong

The Florida Section of the Mathematical Association of America is pleased to acknowledge the outstanding teaching of Professor Lee Armstrong and to recognized that Professor Armstrong’s impact on mathematics education extends far beyond his home school, University of Central Florida.

We, along with the many students who have benefited from his instruction, applaud Lee for his dedication to the teaching of Mathematics.

University of South Florida

This was the first year of the R. Kent Nagle Lecture Series.  This series brings eminent scholars to USF-Tampa to speak in lectures open and accessible to the general public on subjects mathematical.  The series is dedicated to the memory of R. Kent Nagle, who was especially interested in bringing mathematics to the people.

On Sept. 19, Harold Stevenson, one of the pioneers of the subject, spoke about elementary and secondary mathematics education in Japan, Taiwan, America, and elsewhere.  On Oct. 17, Peter Borwein, known for his work on the digits of pi, spoke about the effects of computers on mathematics.  On Nov. 14, George Andrews, who discovered Ramanajan’s lost notebook, gave some examples of Ramanujan’s work.

On Feb. 13, Robert Devaney, known for his work in dynamic systems, came and talked about chaos, fractals, and dynamics.  On March 20, Persi Diaconis, a MacArthur Fellow and former magician, talked about the mathematics of card tricks.

The lecture series will continue next year, with the schedule TBA (it will be posted on our web page http://www.math.usf.edu/).

We have a new faculty member.  Shanti Gomattan received a Ph.D. in statistics from Florida State University in 1995 (she had earlier studied at the University of Bombay), and then spent two years at the University of Florida, where she worked on a study on the educational outcomes of premature and sick babies treated at the Florida Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Centers.  She is interested in nonparametric regression, survival analysis, and exploratory analysis.

Richard Darling was an invited speaker at the COLLOQUE “EQUATIONS DEFFERENTIELLES STOCHASTIQUES RETROGRADES”, University of Maine, France, June 3-4, 1996.  He spoke on “Aspects Geometriques des EDSR”. 

Natasha Jonoska gave an invited talk at the Symbolic Dynamics Workshop March, 1996 which was held in conjunction to the Annual Workshop on Dynamical Systems at the university of Maryland, College Park.

Athanassios Kartsatos gave two invited lectures at the Spring Mathematical School in Voronezh, Russia in 1996.  Then during the summer he visited Trieste, Italy, where he gave a sequence of invited lectures to students from around the world.  He gave some more invited talks at Springfield, Missouri and Athens, Greece.

Ralph Oberste-Vorth gave an invited lecture at the World Congress of Nonlinear Analysts in Athens, Greece, and another at a special session of the AMS conference in Chattanooga, TN.

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.

Ed Saff toured Spain, giving invited lectures there.  He and Yanmu Zhou wrote a cover article for the Mathematical Intelligencer.

Vilmos Totik gave an invited lecture at the III-rd Intern’l Conference on Approximation Theory and Functional Analysis at Maratea, Italy.

Fred Zerla gave an invited talk on Fermat’s Motivation at the Florida Section meeting in February.

Rollins College

David Kurtz has been working with Jenny Pelka, a freshman from Lake Highlands Prep, on her science fair project, Self-complementary degree sequences in graphs.  As a result, Jenny won best math and best overall in the Orange County Science Fair, and best math at the State Science Fair.  She participated in the International Science Fair at Lexington, KY where she received awards from the American Mathematics Society (third) and Intel (fourth).  Only seven freshman received awards in all categories at the Inter-national level.

Saint Leo College

Kevin Charlwood has accepted an appointment at Washburn University, Kansas starting Fall, 1997.  Though we are sorry to see him leave, wish him well in Topeka.

Nikos Kodoganidis gave a presentation on Functional Analysis at the March Southeastern Section meeting of the AMS.