ISMAA 2004:
The 2004 Annual Meeting of the Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America


The Eighty Third Annual Meeting of the Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America will be held April 2 and 3, 2004, at the Schaumburg campus of Roosevelt University. The campus is located at 1400 North Roosevelt Avenue in Schaumburg, Illinois.

The meeting includes addresses by Art Benjamin of Harvey Mudd College, John Birge of Northwestern University, Paul Sally of the University of Chicago, and Michael Starbird of the University of Texas at Austin. There will also be a mini-course on "How to present mathematical masterpieces to enliven all students" and an interactive session on "Using Palm PDA's in Introductory Mathematics Courses". In addition, there will be presentations from ISMAA members from around the state. Student activities include a student mathematics contest, a pizza party, and student contributed paper sessions.

Mini-course and Interactive Session (pre-registration required)


Title: How to present mathematical masterpieces to enliven all students
Presider: Michael Starbird, University of Texas and co-author of The Heart of Mathematics
Time: Friday, April 2, 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Place: Room 314
Cost: $10
Overview: Mathematics contains great ideas and employs powerful methods of analysis. Infinity, the fourth dimension, probability, chaos, etc. spark everyone's imagination. These mathematical ideas are culturally comparable to masterpieces of art, literature, philosophy, or science. Our challenge is to convey the genuine ideas of classical and new mathematics and the strategies of analysis that made them possible. This minicourse will allow participants to learn effective methods for bringing mathematical results and techniques to life.

Interactive Session:

Title: Using Palm PDA's in Introductory Mathematics Courses
Presiders: Abigail Hoit and Allen Rogers, Elmhurst College
Time: Saturday, April 3, 1:30 - 3:30PM
Place: Room 314
Cost: $5
Overview: The Elmhurst Mathematics department was recently awarded an SBC/Ameritech grant to incorporate PalmOS-based Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) into our Calculus I and II classes. We taught these PDA-incorporated courses for the first time in the Fall of 2003. Our presentation will include a brief overview of how we are using the PDA and our results so far. We will also give a breakdown of exactly what the students and the department must purchase in order to make this kind of course work and give participants some hands-on experience with the handheld units. Note: People with PalmOS PDA's should bring them to the session.

Plenary Speakers

Paul Sally, University of Chicago

Title: Problems in Mathematics from Zero to Infinity
Time: Friday, April 2, 12:45 - 1:45PM
Place: The Alumni Hall room
Abstract: In this talk I will discuss several problems which begin at a very elementary level and escalate rapidly into serious mathematics.

Art Benjamin, Harvey Mudd College

Title: The Mathemagics Show
Time: Friday, April 2, 7:30 - 8:30PM (Friday banquet)
Place: "The Blue Room" of the Prairie Rock Brewing Company
Abstract: Art Benjamin will demonstrate and explain how to perform rapid mental calculations and other feats of mind.

John Birge, Northwestern University

Title: Optimization Models in Financial Mathematics
Time: Saturday, April 3, 8:30 - 9:30AM
Place: The Alumni Hall room
Abstract: Advances in computation and analysis have led to significant interest in the mathematics of financial markets. The models in this area often derive from some form of optimization problem such as maximizing expected utility or minimizing expected loss. We will describe a variety of these optimization models and results that derive from duality, optimality conditions, and convexity properties. We will also discuss issues that arise when regularity and convexity conditions do not apply.

Michael Starbird, University of Texas-Austin

Title: Circles, Pyramids, Spheres, and Archimedes
Time: Saturday, April 3, 12:00 - 1:00PM
Place: The Alumni Hall room
Abstract: How do we discover the formulas for the areas of objects such as circles and triangles and the volumes of solids such as cones, pyramids, and spheres? In each case, an effective strategy involves dividing the object into small pieces and seeing how the small pieces can be re-assembled to produce an object whose volume or area is easier to compute. One of the most impressive of these triumphs occurred in the third century B.C., when Archimedes devised an ingenious method using levers to deduce the formula for the volume of a sphere. All these methods foreshadowed the concept of the integral.

Preliminary Schedule

See the final schedule (PDF) for a more detailed daily schedule of events. Also, see the abstracts page for abstracts of papers presented at concurrent sessions.


9:00AM - 12:00PM Mini-course with Michael Starbird (Rm 314)
12:45PM - 1:45PM Plenary Talk with Paul Sally (Alumni Hall room)
2:00PM - 3:00PM Concurrent sessions (Rms 312 - 314, Alumni Hall room)
3:15PM - 4:15PM Concurrent sessions (Rms 312 - 313, Alumni Hall room)
3:15PM - 4:45PM Student Mathematics Contest (Rm 314)
4:30PM - 5:30PM Business Meeting (Alumni Hall room)
5:00PM - 6:30PM Student Pizza Party (Spring Hill Suites Breakfast Room)
6:00PM - 9:00PM Reception, Banquet and presentation by Art Benjamin (Prairie Rock Brewing Company)

Book and technology vendors and snacks will be available in Rm 311 throughout the afternoon. The Prairie Rock Brewing Company is located at 1385 North Meacham Road, on the corner of Meacham and McConnor just down the street from the Roosevelt University campus.


8:30AM - 9:30AM Plenary Talk with John Birge (Alumni Hall)
9:40AM - 10:40AM Concurrent sessions and student papers (Rms 312-314, Alumni Hall room)
10:50AM - 11:50AM Concurrent sessions and student papers (Rms 312-214, Alumni Hall room)
12:00PM - 1:00PM Plenary Talk with Michael Starbird (Alumni Hall room)
1:30PM - 3:30PM Interactive Session with Abigail Hoit and Allen Rogers (Rm 314)

Book and technology vendors and snacks will be available in Rm 311 throughout the morning.


The Roosevelt University-Schaumburg campus is a commuter campus. There will be NO on-campus student accomodations available. Book accomodations early to assure the ISMAA rate.

Spring Hill Suites

1550 McConnor Parkway
Schaumburg, IL 60173
(847) 995-1500
$69 ISMAA rate before 3/12/04
(across from Roosevelt campus; will be hosting the student pizza party)

Comfort Suites

1100 East Higgins Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173
(847) 330-0133
$79 ISMAA rate before 3/10/04

Hampton Inn

1300 East Higgins Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173
(847) 619-1000
$55 ISMAA rate before 3/13/04

Radisson Hotel

1725 East Algonquin Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173
$79 ISMAA rate before 3/22/04

Maps and Directions

[ Roosevelt University Area Map ]

Directions from I-90

From I-90 west (toward Rockford), exit at Route 53 North. From Route 53, exit at Algonquim Road (Route 62). Turn right (west) on Algonquin and go to Meacham. Turn left (south), go over the tollway. At first light (McConnor) turn left (east) to Roosevelt Campus.

Directions from I-290

From I290/Route 53, exit at Higgins Road. Continue north along the Frontage Road to Golf Road (Route 58). Turn left (west) on Golf. First stop light on your right is McConnor Parkway. Turn right on McConnor parkway to the Roosevelt Campus.