Florida Section Newsletter
The Mathematical Association of America
October 2001
Volume 23, Issue 1


bulletPresident's Message
bulletGovernor's Report
bulletMeritorious Service
bulletAwards Committee
bulletNominating Committee
bullet35th Annual Meeting
bulletPreliminary Information
bulletCall For Papers
bulletSanta Fe Community College
bulletFood Service
bulletPre-Registration Form
bulletRegional Meetings



Campus News

bulletFlagler College
bulletSt. Petersburg College
bulletUniversity of Central Florida
bulletUniversity of South Florida



President's Message
Florida Section
Mathematical Association of America

Chuck Lindsey


Part I

bulletGo to the next Section meeting! (March 1-2, 2002, Santa Fe CC, Gainesville)
bulletGive a talk at the next Section meeting!
bulletGo to your next Regional meeting!
bulletGive a talk at your next Regional meeting!
bulletGet your students to go to meetings!
bulletGet your students to give talks at meetings!
bulletHost a meeting!
bulletHelp someone else host a meeting!

If you just wanted to read the key points of my remarks, you can stop now--they've been made. Otherwise, read on...

Part II

The 2001 annual meeting of the Florida Section, held March 2-3 here at FGCU, was (in my somewhat biased opinion) a great success. The plenary speakers were outstanding, there were a good number and variety of contributed talks, and the student sessions were well-attended. Many thanks are due to David Kerr for putting together an innovative program format and for lining up superlative speakers.  I also want to use this space to publicly thank the other members of the Local Arrangements committee: Tom Beatty, Jerry Ellis, and Tom Hair. All three are colleagues of mine here at FGCU, and I am grateful everyday to work with such committed and reliable faculty.

This year promises to be one of great change in Florida. Changes to the governance system for public education will have many consequences--some even anticipated--for the community colleges and state universities, and the effects of these changes will even impact private institutions significantly. New  liberal arts requirements for teacher education, effective this year, have already created some disequilibria around the state as we attempt to provide service courses to meet these requirements, and to plan for the accompanying shift in student enrollment patterns.  On the other hand, the newly-granted freedom for state universities to approve new Bachelors and Masters programs locally may provide better opportunities to develop some innovative new degree programs in the mathematical sciences, and to reach out to other departments (and even other institutions!) to establish partnerships and interdisciplinary programs. The times, as they say, are interesting.

This year, we are fortunate to have the Section meeting in a central location in the state: Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville. This year's meeting is scheduled for March 1-2, 2002. The chair of the Program Committee is Marcelle Bessman of Jacksonville University; general information about the meeting and a call for papers can be found elsewhere in this newsletter. The Executive Committee held its May meeting at the site, and I can't wait for March! The campus is lovely, the facilities are spacious, and the hosts are gracious, cheerful, and--most importantly--well-organized.

One important decision made by the Executive Committee at the May meeting was to move this newsletter to a web-based format. Bill Rush of St. Petersburg College, our newsletter editor, has done a superb job getting the infrastructure in place and an attractive web site established which now hosts the newsletter as well as the Section web site. Our near-term plans are to notify Section members by postcard when the latest issue is posted to the web, and to offer to send hard copy for those (not many these days) who are still without web access.  This move will save the Section several hundred dollars in postage costs for each newsletter, and follows the current practice of many of the other Sections. Please give us your feedback on this by writing, emailing, or calling either myself or Bill; our contact information is contained in this newsletter. It is important to get your comments, because we are considering doing away with even the postcards and notifying the Section membership of newsletter publication by email: we need your thoughts on that idea.

I have been greatly encouraged in recent times by what looks to me like an upswing in activity in the Section's six regions, enough so that I have established as one of my goals for this year as President to attend as many of the regional meetings as I can get to. I attended the Gold Coast region meeting at Miami-Dade CC's Wolfson campus October 5-6, and was very encouraged by the turnout. I believe that the regional meetings could become a real key to maintaining the involvement of MAA members in our Section. Frequently the Section meeting is too far away for many people to get to easily (i.e., by car), and the added expense of a flight or a second night's stay simply makes the cost prohibitive. With recent trends in the overall economy and in most schools' budgets, this situation is not going to improve anytime soon. However, nearly everyone is within 1.5 to 2 hours' drive of a regional meeting, and many of these meetings are scheduled in such a way that no overnight stay is required. I am not trying to discourage people from coming to the Section meeting: many of you are good friends and the Section meeting is the only time we get to see each other. But, if you can't get there, at least stay connected and active in the MAA by attending your local Regional meeting. Announcements for many of them are in this newsletter, and if you don't see the information for the one nearest you, call or email me and I'll find out who is organizing and will put you in touch.

It is truly an honor and a joy to serve the Florida Section as President for this year. My predecessors have left some large shoes to fill, and I only hope to be able to keep the momentum going. In any event, I am reassured by the fact that if I stumble, you still have Kerr to look forward to.

Chuck Lindsey, Florida Gulf Coast University
MAA Florida Section President, 2001-02


Governor's Report
Florida Section
Mathematical Association of America

Marilyn Repsher

The title of my first Governor's report should be "Why I Will Never Fly TWA."  I will not go into all the gory details of my being stranded in Jacksonville except to say that (1) when American bought TWA, they canceled all discount coupons without telling the holders, (2) since my reservation was in duplicate in the computer, they cancelled both, and (3) since I had neither a ticket nor a reservation, they would let me fly stand-by the next day for $865 one-way.  This last would have resulted in my missing the Governors Meeting anyway, so I was an absentee in Madison.  I will try to do a better job of representing the Section in January!

Some items gleaned from the agenda for the meeting I missed:

  1. The topic for Mathematics Awareness Month next April will be Mathematics and the Genome.
  2. There is a new publication from the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences that should prove interesting to many:  One Field, Many Paths:  U.S. Doctoral Programs in Mathematics Education.
  3. The data on women for 2000 lists the female participants as speakers at national meetings at 36% which I think is an encouraging figure.
  4. The approved budget for 2001 shows a deficit of about $85,000, largely due to the conversion to association-management software, but the MAA is financially strong.
  5. The Mathematics Digital Library Project is proceeding.  JOMA is out in its second issue.
  6. Nationally, the membership is growing, but attention must be paid to the need to attract and keep members from among the new faculty as well as student members.  (It seems to me that this is an important issue for the Florida Section.)

Thanks to the Section membership for allowing me to serve as the Florida Governor.


Meritorious Service Nominee

Fredric Zerla

The Florida Section of the Mathematical Association of America is pleased to recommend Professor Fredric Zerla for the Certificate of Meritorious Service. Dr. Zerla received his B.S. degree in 1958 from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and his Ph.D. from the Florida State University in 1967. Dr. Zerla has been a member of the faculty at the University of South Florida for 38 years, and has contributed in a host of ways to the development of that institution. He has served on the Faculty Senate, on curriculum committees at both the university and state levels, and continues to serve on the statewide curriculum coordination group for mathematics. He has, for several years, been advisor to student mathematical societies, including Pi Mu Epsilon and the University’s student MAA chapter.

Professor Zerla was already an active MAA member when the Florida Section was founded in 1967, and has attended the past 33 consecutive section meetings—one of the longest active streaks on record. During that period, he has held many of the offices of the Section, including Vice-President for Programs (1984-85), President (1987-88), Local Arrangements Coordinator (1976-77, 1999-2000), and Governor (1998-2001). In addition, he has served for many years as coordinator of the Suncoast Region, one of the most active and visible regions within the Florida Section. Fred has long been known for his extensive experience with MAA, and his part of our institutional memory has been called upon for advice and counsel numerous times. His many and varied contributions to the Florida Section were acknowledged in 1994 with the section’s Distinguished Service Award.

For his service to the students and faculty of the University of South Florida, for his efforts on behalf of mathematics curricula throughout the state, and for his long and extensive record of contributions to the Florida Section, we are proud to nominate Dr. Fredric Zerla for the Certificate of Meritorious Service.

Awards Committee
Florida Section
Mathematical Association of America

The Awards Committee is seeking recommendations for two awards to be given in 2002:  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 your suggestions to the chair of the Awards Committee:

Shiv Kumar Aggarwal
2205 South Palmetto Avenue
South Daytona, FL  32119


Nominating Committee
Florida Section
Mathematical Association of America

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, and Vice President-Elect for Site.  Please send your suggestions to the chair of the Nominating Committee:

June White
Department of Mathematics
St. Petersburg Junior College
2465 Drew Street
Clearwater, FL  34625

Preliminary Information
2002 Annual Meeting
Florida Section
Mathematical Association of America

March 1-2, 2002

Hosted by Santa Fe Community College

On Friday morning there will be two workshops:  Creating a Web Page with Dreamweaver/Homesite and Using WebCT.  These workshops will be presented by John Taylor and Penny Haun, respectively, both of HCC.

Ann Watkins, President of the MAA, will be the speaker at our opening session.  Lawrence C. Moore, PI for Mathematics Digital Library will present on the Digital Library on Saturday. 

More information on the program will be available soon.

Call For Papers
2002 Annual Meeting
Florida Section
Mathematical Association of America

If you would like to present a paper, please send all information by November 30, 2001 to:

Marcelle Bessman
Department of Mathematics
Jacksonville University
Jacksonville, FL  32211

Please submit a short abstract of your presentation including the following information:  name, address, phone number, e-mail address, whether student or faculty, title of presentation, length of time required, equipment needed (subject to availability), and a brief description of whether the emphasis will be on research, technology, pedagogy, etc.

2002 Annual Meeting
Florida Section
Mathematical Association of America

Accommodations for the 2002 Joint Meetings of the Florida Section of the Mathematical Association of America and the Florida Two Year Community College Mathematics Association.

Reservations are held in the name "Mathematics Conference at SFCC".

Best Western Gateway Grand (Rooms Held Until January 29)
4200 NW 97th Blvd (Exit 77)
Gainesville Fl 32606
(352) 331 – 3336
Double: $61
Deluxe King: $69

Cabot Lodge (Rooms Held Until February 14)
3726 SW 40th Blvd (Exit 75)
Gainesville Fl 32608
(352) 375 – 2400
Double: $67
King: $67

Courtyard by Marriott (Rooms Held Until February 14)
3700 SW 42nd Street (Exit 75)
Gainesville Fl 32608
(352) 335 – 9100
Double: $99
King: $99

Days Inn (Rooms Held Until February 1)
7516 W Newberry Rd (Exit 76)
Gainesville Fl 32606
(352) 332 – 3033
Double: $48
King: $48

Holiday Inn West (Rooms Held Until February 1)
7417 NW 8th Ave (Exit 76)
Gainesville Fl 32605
(352) 332 – 7500
Double: $82
King: $82


Santa Fe Community College

The conference will be held in buildings R, S, and W.  Registration will be in building W.

Food Service
2002 Annual Meeting
Florida Section
Mathematical Association of America

Conference Banquet:  (Friday, March 1)

This will be a buffet style dinner with a choice of three entrees, a vegetable medley, Caesar salad, and a cake assortment.

The entrees are as follows.

  1. Beef tips with mushrooms over rice
  2. Chicken Parmesan over orzo noodles
  3. Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna
Cost:  Regular $14.00
Student   $8.00

Governor’s Breakfast:  (Saturday, March 2)

This will be a buffet style hot breakfast which includes scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, biscuit and gravy, fresh fruit, orange juice, and coffee.

Cost:  $ 5.99

Conference Luncheon:  (Saturday, March 2)

The menu will entail Soup du Jour, an assortment of sandwiches, chips, and an assortment of cookies and brownies.

Cost:  $ 7.50

Pre-Registration Form
2002 Annual Meeting
Florida Section
Mathematical Association of America


Please complete the following:

First Name Last Name
Institution Department
Mailing Address
City State Zip Code
Email Address

Circle appropriate position designation:

Active Faculty: F1 - Pre-College F2 - Two-Year College  F4 - Four-Year College  F5 - Graduate School
Retired Faculty: FR Publisher:     P Industry:     I
Student: SG - Graduate S - Secondary SU - Undergraduate

Indicate functions for which you are paying:

Pre-registration (Due by February 26)

Regular   $10.00    _______________
Student $  0.00

Governor's Breakfast

$  5.99    _______________


$  7.50    _______________

Conference Banquet

Regular $14.00    _______________
Student $  8.00    _______________


$ _______________

Send check (payable to "Florida Section - MAA") and application to:

Ken Pothoven
Department of Mathematics - PHY 114
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Ave. Tampa, Florida 33620-5700

Annual Northeast Regional Meeting
Florida Section
Mathematical Association of America

November 17th, 2001

Jacksonville University
2800 University Boulevard North
Jacksonville, FL 32211


These should be limited to topics from Mathematics, Mathematics Education, and Applications of Technology in Mathematics. We anticipate talks will be 20 minutes in length. Please submit title and abstract (50 words or less) of talk or presentation

via e-mail to:


or via fax to:

Michael Nancarrow
     (904) 745-7573

2001 Suncoast Regional Meeting
Florida Section
 Mathematical Association of America

December 7, 2001
3:15 P.M. - 9:00 P.M.

Hosted by Manatee Community College Venice Campus


2001 Suncoast Regional Meeting
Florida Section of the MAA
December 7, 2001
3:15 P.M. - 9:00 P.M.

Hosted by Manatee Community College Venice Campus







BUSINESS PHONE:________________________________________________________

HOME PHONE:___________________________________________________________

SESSION TITLE:__________________________________________________________
SESSION DESCRIPTION (Limit to 50 words or less)




Do you need any special equipment?___________________________________________

Mail to:  Mary Beth Headlee
Manatee Community College Venice Campus
8000 South Tamiami Trail
Venice, FL 34293
Phone:  (941) 408-1498



2001 Suncoast Regional Meeting
Florida Section of the MAA
December 7, 2001
3:15 P.M. - 9:00 P.M.

Hosted by Manatee Community College Venice Campus







BUSINESS PHONE:________________________________________________________

HOME PHONE:___________________________________________________________


******* Include $5.00 to pre-register for the MAA Suncoast Conference*******


Mail to:  Joni Pirnot
Manatee Community College Bradenton Campus
5840 26th St W
Bradenton, FL 34207
Phone:  (941) 752-5224


Venice Area Map


Manatee Community College
Venice Campus
8000 Tamiami Trail
Venice, FL 34293


bulletI-75 Exit 34
bulletSouth on North River Road (5.5 Miles)
bulletTurn Right (West) onto US-41 [SR-45] (1.9 Miles)
bulletTurn Left (South) onto Local Road (0.2 Miles)

Flagler College


Dr. Carrie Grant is using Workshop Statistics by Allan Rossman in our introductory statistics course. She is teaching this course in a total interactive learning environment using the graphing calculator and Fathom software. Carrie is also collaborating with the author on new activities.

Dr. Julie Jurgens, mathematics department chair, has been teaching intermediate/college algebra courses in the computer lab. She has used both the Carnegie Learning materials and Addison Wesley’s Interactive Math. She will be presenting at the national NCTM meeting in April.

New faculty members this year are Carol White and Don Robbins.

Other News

The college has just implemented WebCT which allows faculty to organize their courses online. The math faculty has taken advantage of this, posting quizzes, worksheets, and other information.

St. Petersburg College


Don Drew joined the Mathematics Department this year in as a full-time faculty member. Don earned his both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. He is also active in various sports including tennis, racquetball, bowling and jogging.

In June, 2001, Jeff Linek completed the degree of Doctor of Education from Nova Southeastern University. He wishes to thank all those who helped him throughout the process.

Bill Rush has been appointed editor of the Florida MAA Newsletter. He has also assumed the responsibility of maintaining the MAA Florida Section website which is now housed at http://www.spjc.edu/clw/math/maa/

Jim Rutledge has been selected as one of three state finalists in the Florida Association of Community Colleges Excellence in Curriculum competition for his work in developing and teaching Liberal Arts Mathematics II. Final presentations and judging will be held at the FACC annual convention in October, 2001.

Jim Rutledge gave an invited presentation on Mathematics and MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) to the Mentors for Technology and Development Group of Palm Beach Community College in June; the presentation was telecast to all of the PBCC campuses.

Jim Rutledge was appointed Co-Editor-in-Chief of the MERLOT Mathematics Editorial Review Board and attended the MERLOT co-leaders training workshop in Madison, Wisconsin in July. He also gave a presentation entitled "Interactive Learning Strategies" at the international MERLOT conference in Tampa in August.

University of Central Florida

New Faculty

Dr. Min Chen has joined the Mathematics Department as an Associate Professor, coming from Penn State University.  She received her Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Indiana University in 1991.Her research interests are in the fields of numerical analysis, computational fluid dynamics, partial differential equations, finite- and infinite-dimensional dynamic systems.

Dr. Jian-Jian Ren has joined the Mathematics Department as an Associate Professor, coming from Tulane University.  She received her Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of North Carolina in 1990.  Her research interests are in the areas of statistical inference, survival  analysis, environmental statistics, and probability.

Dr. Jie Shen has joined the Mathematics Department as a Professor, coming from Penn State University.  He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics  from Universite de Paris-Sud ,Orsay, France, in 1987.  His research interests are in the fields of numerical analysis, spectral methods and scientific computing with applications in computational fluid dynamics, atmosphere and ocean dynamics and material science.

Interim Chair

Dr. Piotr Mikusinski is continuing as Interim Chair of the Department for the 2001  2002 Academic Year.


Dr. Heath Martin has been promoted to Associate Professor and granted tenure.

Dr. Xin Li has been promoted to full Professor.

Distinguished Researcher Joins Department

David Kaup has joined the Mathematics Department at UCF as a Provosts Distinguished Research Professor with a joint appointment in the Mathematics Department and the Institute of Simulation and Training, received his doctorate from the University of Maryland in 1967. He is a world-famous mathematical physicist with research interests in soliton theory, nonlinear optics, nonlinear wave propagation, plasma physics, and nonlinear dynamics, and has over 195 publications in these areas.  His many path-breaking achievements include the famous Ablowitz-Kaup-Newell-Segur (AKNS) papers which put Soliton Theory on a firm footing, pioneering soliton perturbation theory (which was a key element in applications of solitons), solving the first integrable cubic system which is now called the Kaup system or Kaup equation, introducing the first solution for an integrable problem with more than one spatial dimension, and proving the completeness of the "squared eigenfunctions" for integrable systems. He has also derived the exact general solutions of the Cauchy problem for important nonlinear systems such as the derivative nonlinear Schrdinger equation, the three-wave equations (also sometimes called a Kaup system and ubiquitous in virtually every field), the equations for second-harmonic resonance, and the Sinh-Gordon Equation, and a long series of papers on the theory of high power microwave sources which now constitute the state-of-the-art in the field. His work spans the fields of general relativity, fluid dynamics, plasma physics, and nonlinear optics. He comes to us from Clarkson University which has been, together with the University of Arizona and the Courant Institute, one of the leading centers for work in the area of nonlinear waves. He is a founding member of the Million Dollar Club of Clarkson University (responsible for bringing in more than that amount to the university), and currently holds an AFOSR research contract.


Dr. Ahmed Zayed has accepted a position as Chair of the Department of Mathematics at DePaul University in Chicago, effective August 2001.  Ahmed joined UCF in 1990 and has been instrumental in leading the department as it increased its research component and developed its Ph.D. program. Currently he holds the critical position of Graduate Coordinator.  While at UCF he has published three books and innumerable papers, and has received awards both for outstanding teaching and for outstanding research. He is Editor-in-Chief of the new journal Sampling Theory in Signal and Image Processing, and is an internationally known and respected expert in the fields of sampling theory and wavelets.

Dr. Lokenath Debnath  retired  from UCF in May 2001. Lokenath came to UCF after an external search selected him for Chair, a position he held for 12 years. For much of his time here he was the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences which was housed in our department, and he published nine books and a large number of papers in the areas of his expertise, which include hydrodynamics, integral transforms, and mathematical physics. Dr. Debnath has accepted a position as Chair of the Mathematics Department at The University of Texas Pan American  in Edinburg, Texas , effective August 2001.

University of South Florida


Two mathematics faculty are leaving USF.

Anton Kaul arrived here last Fall.  He received his Ph.D. from Oregon State University, and works in geometric group theory and low-dimensional topology.  He is departing to go to Tufts University, and we wish him well on his further adventures.

Ed Saff arrived at USF in 1969, one year after getting a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.  He was tenured in 1974, promoted to Professor in 1976, and then to Distinguished Research Professor (now University Professor) in 1986.  He is one of the world leaders in approximation theory, and he also does work in potential theory, complex analysis, and numerical analysis.  He is the longstanding editor-in-chief of Constructive Approximation, one of the world's most influential mathematics journals, and Director of the USF Institute for Constructive Mathematics.  He has had ten doctoral students, produced seventeen books (monographs, texts and anthologies), and nearly two hundred papers.  In addition to other service, he sits on the editorial boards of two journals and a book series, and he has been Director of the USF Center for Mathematical Services.  He is going to Vanderbilt University, and we wish him well on his further adventures.

We also welcome three new faculty.

Brian Curtin works in algebraic combinatorics, in particular Bose-Mesner and planar algebras, emphasizing graph theory, self-duality, and spin models.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1996.  Since then he has been a postdoctoral fellow in Japan and, under NSF auspices, at UC Berkeley.  We welcome him to USF.

Wenxiu Ma works in differential equations, mathematical physics, and symbolic computation.  He received his his Ph.D. from the Academia Sinica (Beijing), in China, in 1990.  Since then he has worked in several positions in China, Europe, and North America, and he has accumulated a number of honors on the way.  He will be arriving for the Spring semester, and we welcome him to USF.

Saralees Nadarajah is a statistician who works in distribution theory, experimental design, extreme value theory and environmental modeling, numerical analysis for branching processes, sampling theory, and simulation techniques.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield, in the United Kingdom, in 1994.  Since then he has worked in England (especially at the Universities of Sheffield and Plymouth), with brief interludes at California and New Zealand.  We welcome him to USF.

Nagle Lecture Series

A. K. Dewdney, a longtime writer (including of the Mathematical Games and Recretions column of the Scientific American) and Professor of Computer Science of the University of Waterloo, gave the Nagle Lecture on ``Do Aliens Do Math?''  The question is whether extraterrestrials might do mathematics (and science) as we understand it.  This question leads to the philosophical question of whether mathematics is about ``real'' objects (like stars, planets, and automobiles) or about social conventions (like words, customs, and clothing fashions).

The next Nagle lecture will be given by Alberto Grunbaum, Professor of Mathematics at UC Berkeley.  His talk on the "Mathematics in medical imaging:  the present and the future" will be on Nov. 1, at 7:30 pm, in the USF-Tampa University Lecture Hall (ULH).  The talk will be on the mathematics, physics, and engineering that went into the development of Computerized Tomography (CAT) and other techniques like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

For more information, consult the Departmental website www.math.usf.edu.

Other Events

The 7th annual meeting on "DNA Based Computers" was held here at USF this June.  This conference on "biomolecular computing'' draws together molecular biology, chemistry, computer science, and mathematics.  The invited plenary speakers were from UC Berkeley, Yale, Georgia Tech and Brown University.  Topics covered included the structure of DNA, constructing DNA-based computers, molecular-level behavior of DNA computation, applications, and related issues.  The main organizer was our own Natasha Jonoska.

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