Florida Section Newsletter
October 1997
Volume 19, Issue 1


bulletPresident's Message
bulletGovernor's Report
bullet31st Annual MAA Florida Section Meeting
bulletCall for Papers
bulletCampus News
bulletFlorida State University
bulletPolk Community College
bulletFlorida Atlantic University
bulletFlorida Gulf Coast University

President's Message

Florida Section of Mathematical Association of America had an excellent 1996-97 year under the able leadership of our past president Don Hill. Joe Mott and his program committee delivered a rich program consisting of a number of workshops, a good variety of special sessions and plenary speakers. The number of students attending the meeting was a record. Mark Anderson kept us well informed thru the newsletter as usual. Above all everything started and ended in time. The whole team deserves congratulations on a job well done.

Ever since I joined Fl/MAA in 1980, I have been impressed by the friendly and cordial nature of our meetings. These meetings give us the chance to fly/drive out of our nests, interact with other "birds", develop new friendships, renew the old ones and rejuvenate ourselves. Thru these meetings, we get inspired to reach the limit of our excellence and we do inspire others. I have also been impressed by the galaxy of experienced, impartial, selfless, talented and tireless workers in our group. Ernie Ross and June White are two fine examples. We are a broad and brilliant segment of the society. We are the fine and the few. You cannot miss noticing the awe on the faces of many in a get together when they come to know that you earn your livelihood by practicing mathematics, a subject people love to hate. It immediately gives you the feeling that you belong to a priceless group and you can be rightfully proud of it. Since becoming involved with the teaching in Physics, I have grown more convinced about the crucial and necessary role mathematicians, especially mathematics teachers, play in the learning process.

Our next meeting will take place at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, I very much hope that we will be able to maintain the excellent standards, which over the years, have become a tradition as a result of the hard work of our predecessors.

Shiv Kumar Aggarwal

Governor's Report

It’s an exciting time for the MAA. The reorganization of administration and services is progressing, with some growing pains. MAA’s financial house is being put back in order by a dynamic new director of finance. The outsourcing of services seems to be working well, but we, the members, are to be the judges of that. What do you think? MAA is taking the lead in bringing the Olympiad here to the US for the millennium. There seems to be some snags in the minority affairs office that MAA was to lead, though.

MAA’s Professional Development Committee ran a successful short course in connection with the Atlanta Mathfest, and has embarked on an ambitious program of internet courses.

MAA is involved in the negotiations on the national math test, and has a task force studying the revisions to the NCTM Standard.

Project NexT is an even more glowing success than it was the last time I wrote. It has been renewed for three years, and is being expanded to encompass sectional Project NexTs, which we should start thinking about very seriously.

The upgrading of the Liaison program is going well. I hope that we shall identify Liaisons by special labels at the March 6-7 meeting in Boca Raton, and that there will be a great turnout of Liaisons at the Governors’ Breakfast, which, we should remember, was originally started by Governor MacArthur as a recognition of the Liaisons, then Departmental Representatives.

MAA’s first summer meeting on its own was a great success, drawing more attendance than it hoped for, and far more than pessimists, like me, expected. The program was excellent, and next summer’s Mathfest, in Toronto (probably mid-July) should be even better.

Speaking of meetings, I hope you have seen the preliminary program for the winter meeting in Baltimore. The program, and MAA’s part in it, get better and better. The MAA’s publication program has become quite impressive, and the merchandising agreement (for foreign markets) with Cambridge University Press should make it an even bigger financial success. If you haven’t been looking at what we’ve been publishing, you’re in for a wonderful surprise.

It’s been a pleasure, honor and privilege to serve as your Governor--March’s section meeting will be the last in my term. I hope to see many of you in Baltimore, and in Boca Raton.

Frederick Hoffman

31st Annual MAA Florida Section Meeting

This year’s annual meeting will be held on Friday and Saturday, Mach 6 and 7, 1998 on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

Now is the time to pre-register, send an abstract for a talk, submit an idea for a workshop, make plane reservations, and/or book a hotel. You will find forms and information to do all of these in this issue.

Call For Papers

Florida MAA Section Meeting

March 6-7, 1998

We need paper presentations and workshops for the 1998 Section meeting at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Presentations should be 15 or 30 minutes in length, and may be on any topic of interest to the Section membership. Following the success of Paul Ehrlich’s special session on History of Math last year, Paul Yiu of Florida Atlantic has volunteered to organize a special session on Geometry. Talks on old and new results on Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Geometry, and especially their use in undergraduate teaching and teacher training, are especially encouraged.

Please submit by December 1, 1997 a brief abstract of your presentation to:

Chuck Lindsey
College of Arts and Sciences
Florida Gulf Coast University
19501 Treeline Avenue South
Fort Meyers, FL 33965-6565
PHONE: (941) 590-7168
FAX: (941) 590-7200
EMAIL: clindsey@fgcu.edu

Email submissions are encouraged. Along with your abstract, please include the following information:

Name, Address, Phone Number, Email Address, Whether student or faculty, Whether talk or workshop, Title of presentation, Length of talk (15 or 30 min), Equipment needed, Whether this talk is intended for the Geometry special session.

PLEASE LET US KNOW ANY SPECIFIC EQUIPMENT NEEDS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It may not be possible to accommodate last-minute requests for computers, projection panels, calculator sets, etc.

Florida State University

Professor Dee Witt Sumners has been named the 1997-1998 Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor at FSU. This award is the highest honor that Florida State bestows on faculty for excellence in teaching, research, and service on national and international levels. Sumners is a world leader in bringing mathematicians and scientists together for understanding the mechanism of DNA and the neural structure of the brain, for example.

Robert Gilmer is on sabbatical leave for the fall semester at UNC Chapel Hill. Steve Bellenot is on sabbatical for the ‘97 academic year and Bettye Anne Case will be on sabbatical for the spring semester. David McMichael is spending the fall at MSRI in Berkeley.

Annette Blackwelder, John Bryant and Karen Burgess have received Undergraduate Teaching Awards.

Professors Bryant, Hunter, Sumners, and Tam won PEP (Professional Excellence Program) awards and Professors McMichael and Mott won TIP awards.

Bettye Anne Case has been promoted to full professor.

New faculty members are Eriko Hironaka from the University of Toronto and Mark van Hoeij from the University of Nijmegen, Netherlands.

You may wish to put this date on your calendar. FSU will be hosting a regional and national student SIAM meeting in March 19-21, 1998.

Polk Community College

Elizabeth Middleton was named the Outstanding Teacher at Polk Community College for 1997. The recipient of this award is selected by the PCC Alumni Association from nominees presented to them by students from PCC. It is given annually to a faculty or staff member to honor outstanding performance.

Beverly Conner received a 1997 NISOD Excellence Award for outstanding teaching and leadership. (These awards are given each year to professors in all disciplines, through the Community College Leadership Program sponsored by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development at the University of Texas).

Florida Atlantic University

Helmut Schaeffer retired last semester, and Bernard and Carolyn Johnson left the University. Lianfen Qjan, new to our department last year, has been accepted in Project NexT. Ronald C. Mullin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the University of Waterloo, visited our department in Spring, 1997, and will return, this Spring, in a renewable appointment. Fred Richman has returned from his sabbatical, spent in New Mexico and New Zealand. Mieczslaw Mastylo is visiting us this semester.

The Department hosted the Twenty-Eighth Southeastern Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory and Computing, March 3-7, 1997, and will host the Twenty-Ninth SEICCGTC, March 9-13, 1998. We shall also host the Fifth International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics, January 4-6, 1998, in Fort Lauderdale.

We are especially proud that we were the host of a CBMS Regional conference on Monge-Ampere Equations, Featuring Luis Caffarelli, of NYU-Courant, and organized by Mario Milman.

Our graduate program is growing, at PhD, MS and MST levels. We look forward to greeting you at the Section meeting in March.

Florida Gulf Coast University

Florida’s 10th State University began classes on August 25, with an opening enrollment of 2700 students, primarily at the junior-senior level. Although construction of the campus began several months behind schedule, most of the buildings in the first phase are completed. The main academic buildings are open for classes, the library just opened on September 29, and the student services complex is scheduled to open in mid-October.

The mathematics curriculum at FGCU is different from that of the other state universities. Mathematics is a concentration within an umbrella Liberal Studies degree. All students in Arts and Sciences receive a B.A. in Liberal Studies, and can choose one of 11 different discipline areas of concentration. All Arts &Sciences students complete a common core of 18 hours of Interdisciplinary Studies courses, and 36 hours of upper-level courses in their chosen concentration. The concentration of the students is indicated on the diploma and on official university transcripts.  Although the lack of separate majors has been a controversial issue, we are getting used to the idea, and the interaction with faculty and students in other disciplines has been refreshing.

We welcome two new faculty members in mathematical sciences. Associate Professor Carmen Arteaga comes to us from Winona State University in Minnesota. She has her Ph.D. in Statistics from Iowa. Visiting Assistant Professor Palanivel Manoharan (who prefers to be called "Mano") joins us from Kent State University. He received his Ph.D. in Global Analysis from Ohio State. Both are excited about the opportunity to build a mathematics program, and an institution.

FGCU has received a challenge grant from the Whitaker Foundation for Center for Science, Math, and Technology Education. The grant provides $2.5 million toward the construction of a new building, and $600,000 for an endowed chair. The FGCU Foundation is raising another $2.4 million; once that is done we will receive state matching funds for building construction. The center is projected to be completed sometime during the 1999-2000 academic year.