Florida Section Newsletter
October 1998
Volume 20, Issue 1


bulletFlorida Section Executive Committee
bulletPresident's Message
bulletGovernor's Report
bulletAward Nominations
bullet32nd Annual Florida Section Meeting
bulletRegional Meetings
bulletCampus News
bulletFlorida State University
bulletJob Opportunities

Florida Section Executive Committee


Mike Mears
Manatee Community College
(941) 755-1511 ext. 4267

Past President

Shiv Aggarwal
Embry - Riddle Aeronautical University
(904) 226-6706


Walter Walker
Eckerd College
(813) 864-8461

Vice President for Programs

Judy Jones
Valencia Community College
(407) 299-5000

Vice President-Elect for Programs

Phil Novinger
Florida State University
(850) 644-8711

Vice President for Site Selection

Ken Pothoven
University of South Florida
(813) 974-9568

Vice President-Elect for Site Selection

Janice McFatter
Gulf Coast Community College
(850) 872-3852


Ernest Ross
St. Petersburg Junior college - Retired
(813) 391-7159

June White
St. Petersburg Junior College
(813) 791-2542

Newsletter Editor

Mark Anderson
Rollins College
(407) 646-2323

Section Governor

Fred Zerla
University of South Florida
(813) 974-2561

Notes From The President

I am not sure why I had the good fortune (misfortune?) To write this Presidentís message on the day that Ken Starr delivered his now-famous report to Congress, but alas, that is what is going on in the world as I sit down at my PC. I only note this because as I type the words "Notes from the President", I canít help but think about that whole mess going on up there in Washington. And I guess I hope that you donít confuse me with Bill Clinton! (I have a lot less hair and my wifeís name is Kathy, not Hillary).

It is with a true humbling spirit that I have accepted the role of President of the Florida Section of the MAA. When I look at the list of former Presidents (which is really a list of Whoís Who of those individuals who have been influential in shaping the policies/practices in mathematics within our state), I canít help feel that my name somehow doesnít belong on the same page. Nevertheless, I will do whatever I can during this upcoming academic year to serve the organization and the membership as best I can.

If you have read this message this far, then you may actually help answer a question that I have had for some time: just exactly who reads these messages? I mean, I know they are in each newsletter, but are they really read? If you have the time/opportunity, I would like to hear from you about this question in the near future. My email address is located on the front inside cover of this newsletter, and I do check my email pretty often. Iíll even do my best to respond to you in a timely fashion. Here are a few other questions I might pose to you:

  1. What can the Florida Section of the MAA do to help improve the professional climate in this state?
  2. What can I do (as President) to help with this?
  3. What role can (and will) you play in making this happen?

My first MAA meeting was at a Suncoast Regional meeting at Eckerd College in December, 1979, which happened to be my first semester at Manatee Community College (at the tie it was known as Manatee Junior College). I met a number of individuals that day that have continued to be an influence in my life. As time went on, I have had the great opportunity to attend the vast majority of state and regional MAA meetings that have taken place since 1979, and the list of good people Iíve met (and consider friends and colleagues) has increased exponentially. When I think of the Florida Section of the MAA, I really think of the people. My guess is that is also true for you.

I hope you, too, will take the opportunity that lies ahead this year to come together and share your ideas/experiences with the outstanding members of the mathematics family in this state. In most parts of Florida, there will be a regional meeting not very far from you later this semester (or early next year). In March, our annual meeting will take place in Panama City, and from the looks of those involved in its planning, you "just gotta be there!" (and I hope you will).

Sincerely, Mike Mears

Governor's Report

Mathfest Ď98 in Toronto, the second summer meeting of the MAA on its own, was a success in terms of the outstanding program, the number of people who attended and the number of students who participated in the Pi Mu Epsilon and the MAA Student Sessions. I have not heard, yet, if the meeting was a financial success. Still, overall, the budget of the MAA is running in the black by a slim margin.

The program of the Winter Meeting in San Antonio, January 13-16, 1999, is now on the MAA web site:  http://www.maa.org.

The item of the most discussion at the Board of Governors Meeting at Mathfest Ď98 was the feasibility of holding a Mathfest in the summer of 2000. A number of other mathematical organizations are meeting that summer and serve as attractors to draw possible participants away from of our meeting. The argument that swayed the Board was the popularity of the Mathfests among students. This year, 35 students spoke at the Pi Mu Epsilon and 42 at the MAA Student Speaker Sessions. Many more students attended who did not present papers. Ultimately, we decided to hold Mathfest2000 at the end of July somewhere in California. This Site Selection Committee will negotiate the time and the place.

Project NexT attracted 63 faculty in their first year of teaching. T. Christine Stevens of Saint Louis University is now the Project NexT Director following the untimely passing of Dr. James Leitzel in late February. The project is so successful in helping new teachers that seven MAA Sections have started NexT-like programs of their own and several others are in various stages of planning. Project NexT is supported, in part, by a grant from the Exxon Education Foundation.

The Task Force on Graduate Students discussed ways to attract graduate students to membership in the MAA. They urged section meeting planners to include graduate student speakers and items of interest to graduated students in section meetings. They suggested the departmental liaisons discuss the benefits of membership with them.

Professor Ed Dubinsky of Georgia State University, Second Vice President of the MAA, is heading the drive to organize the Association for Research in Undergraduate Education (ARUME). The first organizing meeting is scheduled for the Winter Meeting in San Antonio.

Fred Zerla

Award Nominations

Recommendation For Distinguished Teaching

The Awards Committee is seeking nominations for the Teaching Award to recognize distinguished college or university teaching. Among the criteria to be considered for the award are: (1) innovative approaches to teaching; (2) creation of new or substantially revised courses for special audiences; (3) significant use of technology in the learning process; (4) enhancements; (5) involvement with instruction for pre-service and/or in-service school teachers; (6) a long-term record of variety of high quality courses taught; (7) other significant teaching activities. The nominator should write a letter of support and should enlist others to write letters of support on behalf of the nominee. A brief vita of the nominee focusing on teaching activities should be submitted with the nomination. Look for nomination form in this issue of newsletter.

Recommendation For Service Award

The MAA/Florida Service Award is given to a member of the Association who has played a significant role in the activities of MAA/Florida over a sustained time period. The nominator should write the basis for the nominations, outlining the pertinent activities. Look for nomination form in this issue of newsletter.

Submit materials to:

Leonard Lipkin
Department of Mathematics & Statistic
University of North Florida
4567 St. Johns Bluff Road
Jacksonville, FL 32224
FAX (904) 620-2818 - lipkin@unf.edu

MAA Florida Section Meeting
March 5-6, 1999

Plenary Speakers

Dr. Tom Banchoff

Changing Times: Interactive Explorations on the Internet Across All Dimensions

Fast-developing Internet technology on accessible machines is making it possible for teachers and students at all levels to explore phenomena in all dimensions, in interactive "paperless" classrooms for multivariable calculus and liberal arts math in hypertexted totally electronic journals and in virtual art galleries. Our notions of classroom and research time are changing. Where do we go form here?

Dr. Hans Schneide

Why I love Perron-Frobenius

This is a partly autobiographical talk intended for those with little background in the theory of nonnegative matrices. It will give the basics facts now found in books, and then some results rarely found there - and (hopefully) will contain some interesting mathematics.

Dr. Scott Hochwald

Highlights From the History of Fermatís Last Theorem

The search for the first proof of Fermatís Last Theorem - for each integer n>2 the equation

Xn + Yn = Zn

has no solutions that are positive integers - begun in the 1630's with Fermat and ended in 1994 with Wiles. Throughout this period of time famous mathematicians created a lot of interesting mathematics in direct and indirect pursuits of a proof. There was even a reaward offered for a proof. The contributions to the resolution of Fermatís Last Theorem by Fermat, Euler, Germain, Dirichlet, Faltings, Wiles and several others will be described. Anecdotes about these mathematicians and about the prizes associated with Fermatís last theorem will also be discussed.


Debbie Garrison & Jolene Rhodes

Using the Calculator-Based Ranger In College Level Mathematics

Jody De Voe & James Lang

An Introduction to the TI-89

Including suggestions for incorporating this symbolic manipulator into precalculus and calculus classes!

Student Conference

Due to the success of the student conference in March 1997 in Tallahassee, there will be another student conference this year including:

* student presentations
* student banquet with invited speaker on Friday evening

For more information please contact:

Ben Fusaro
Phone: (850) 644-9717
Email: fusaro@math.fsu.edu

Regional Meetings

Big Bend Regional Meeting

Thursday afternoon, November 5, 1998
Tallahassee Community College

Main Session: Rodney DeHan, U.S. Geological Survey
     The Mathematics of Groundwater (Tentative title)

Banquet: Norman Buchert, Boeing-Rockwell
     Boeing Space ó A New Frontier

Sixteen 20-minute presentations

For more information, contact:

Ben Fusaro
(850) 644-9717

Central Regional Meeting

Friday, November 13, 1998, 1:30 - 5:00 p.m.
University of Central Florida

Opening Address: Bob Brigham, UCF
     The Mysterious Affair of the Hidden Graph

Sixteen 20-minute presentations

For more information, contact:

Lee Armstrong
(407) 823-5986

Gold Coast Regional Meeting

Plans are underway.  If you are interested in helping, please contact:

Shamita Dutta Gupta
(305) 348-2057

Northeast Regional Meeting

Saturday, either November 14 or 21, 1998, 8:30 - 1:00 p.m.
University of North Florida

For more information, contact:

Scott Hochwald
(904) 620-2885

Suncoast Regional Meeting

Friday, December 4, 1998, 3:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Hillsborough Community College ó Bradenton Campus

For more informations, contact:

Janet Sibol
(813) 253 - 7918

West Regional Meeting

No plans for a meeting this year.

Jim Weaver is on sabbatical, but plans to try to revitalize the region upon his return in December. If you are interested in helping, please contact him:

Jim Weaver
(904) 968-5596

Florida State University

John Bryant is on sabbatical leave for the fall semester, and David Kopriva is on sabbatical for the 1998/99 academic year. Mark van Hoeij is spending the fall at MSRI in Berkeley.

Paolo Aluffi is the recipient of one of the five University Developing Scholar Awards for 1998/99. Ken Dodaro has received an Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Sam Huckaba and Perrin Wright have been promoted to full professor.

Phil Novinger has retired under the State University System Phased Retirement Program.

Lee Fictum, student in the Actuarial Science Program at Florida State University, has received a highly competitive scholarship from the Casualty Actuaries of the Southeast.

Job Opportunities

Eckerd College

The Mathematics Discipline is accepting applications for a tenure-track position at the assistant professor level beginning in the Fall Semester 1999. A Ph.D. degree is required. As an undergraduate liberal arts college, the standard teaching load at Eckerd is 3-1-3. Commitment to teaching, mentoring, willingness to participate in an interdisciplinary general education program, and the potential to engage students in undergraduate research projects are important criteria towards selection. Please send an application letter, resume, transcripts, and three letters of reference, at least one of which addresses teaching effectiveness, by January 1, 1999 to: Dr. David Kerr, National Sciences Collegium, Eckerd College, P.O. Box 12560, St. Petersburg, FL 33733. EOE.