ISMAA 2005:
The 2005 Annual Meeting of the Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America


The Eighty Fourth Annual Meeting of the Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America will be held April 8 and 9, 2005, at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois

The meeting includes addresses by Jean Bee Chan of Sonoma State University, Underwood Dudley of Florida State University, Dan Kalman of American University, and Phil Straffin of Beloit College. There will also be a workshop on Discovery-Based Learning headed by Melvyn Jeter of Illinois Wesleyan University. In addition, there will be presentations from ISMAA members from around the state. Undergraduate student activities include a mathematics contest, a pizza party, and contributed paper sessions specifically for undergraduates.

Please contact Andrew Leahy if you have questions about any aspect of the program.

Plenary Speakers

Jean Bee Chan, Sonoma State University

Title: How Should We View an Art Gallery?
Time: Saturday 12:00PM
Place: Science and Math Center A110
Abstract: How many paintings can we view from any one point in an art gallery? We will first give a brief history and proof of the Art Gallery Theorem for polygonal galleries. Next, what about galleries in the shape of arbitrary closed and connected sets in the plane? Finally, we will view art via arcwise convex arcs in simply connected and compact galleries. The talk will conclude with some open problems in this area.

Underwood Dudley, Florida State University

Title: Formulas for primes
Time: Friday 7:30PM
Place: Best Western Prairie Inn
Abstract: Formulas are fascinating and so are primes, so formulas for primes should be doubly fascinating. This talk surveys the field and ends with a moral conclusion. Exactly one theorem will be proved.

Dan Kalman, American University

Title: The Fibonacci Numbers -- Exposed (Note New Title)
Time: Saturday 8:30AM
Place: Science and Math Center A110
Abstract: Everyone knows about the Fibonacci Numbers. With all of its amazing and fascinating attributes, it is a sort of super-sequence. But what if, like superman, it is really just a rather pedestrian speciman of an entire super-race? Perhaps it acquires all of its powers from the planet of its birth, and in that setting would be neither amazing nor unusual. In this case, the home world is the planet of two-term recurrences, where Fibonacci is just an ordinary Joe.

Phil Straffin, Beloit College

Title: Explorations in the Mathematics of Other Cultures
Time: Friday 12:45PM
Place: Center for Fine Arts (CFA) Kresge Auditorium
Abstract: For the past ten years at Beloit we have taught a course in ethnomathematics, introducing students to mathematical thinking in non-Western cultures. The course has been extremely popular among students and great fun for the faculty. I'll describe the course briefly, and then focus on mathematical explorations which have grown out of it, involving Tshokwe sona, Malekulan nitus, the symmetries of bi-strips, and the Ghanian game of Achi.

Workshop on Discovery-Based Learning

Time: Friday 9:30AM - 11:30AM
Presenter: Melvyn Jeter (Illinois Wesleyan University)
Place: Science and Math Center SMC A207
Abstract: It may come as a surprise to many that discovery-based learning, sometimes referred to as inquiry-based learning, has played a dramatic role in the development of the American mathematical community. This workshop will feature some history of the technique, experiences of those who have successfully used the method, examples of class notes for discovery-based courses, and will introduce the participants to a vast collection of support materials.

For a more detailed abstract, click here (PDF).

Final Schedule


9:30AM - 11:30AM Workshop on Discovery-Based Learning (SMC A207)
12:45PM - 1:45PM Plenary Talk by Phil Straffin (CFA Kresge Auditorium)
2:00PM - 3:00PM Concurrent sessions
Session A (SMC A207)
(30 minutes each)
Session B (SMC A210)
(30 minutes each)
Session C (SMC A219)
(30 minutes each)
Session D
(SMC A106)
Fedor Andreev, Visualizing Mobius transformations and plane tilings Manmohan Kaur, Some Uses of WebCT in Calculus Jeff Hildebrand, Fairness in scheduling: Using a Monte Carlo model to simulate a baseball season Film: Challenge in the Classroom
Tony Bedenikovic, Two-complexes with Nontrivial Self-Covers Dawn Wagner Lindquist, Introducing Math Majors to Journal Article Reading Leonard Blackburn, Math Contests: Friendly Problem Solving for Everyone
3:15PM - 4:15PM Concurrent sessions
Session A (SMC A207)
(30 minutes each)
Session B (SMC A210)
(30 minutes each)
Session C (SMC A219)
(30 minutes each)
Session D (SMC E011)
(30 minutes each)
Nader Vakil, Construction of Completions, A New Approach Using Modern Infinitesimals Steve Hinthorne, Insights into Teaching Future Elementary Teachers Paul Bialek, Bald answers, table-scrapping and inoculation: Grading the AP Calculus exam Vali Siadat, Applications of the Axial Representation of Trigonometric Functions
Dan Hrozencik, Finding Median Sets of Tree Structures in Synchronous Distributed Systems CANCELLED Patricia Kiihne, Mathematics and the Maya Douglas Lewit, Using Maple to Simulate the Negative Binomial Distribution with Applications to Modeling the Spread of HIV
4:30PM - 6:00PM
Undergraduate Mathematics Contest (SMC E117) Annual Business Meeting (SMC A106)
6:15PM - 7:30PM
Undergraduate Pizza Party (Prairie Inn) Reception and Banquet (Prairie Inn)
7:30PM - 8:30PM Plenary Talk by Underwood Dudley (Prairie Inn)


8:30AM - 9:30AM Plenary Talk by Dan Kalman (Science and Math Center A110)
9:40AM - 10:40AM Concurrent sessions and undergraduate papers
Session A
(SMC A207)
Session B (SMC A210)
(30 minutes each)
Session C (SMC A219)
(30 minutes each)
Session D (SMC E117)
(30 minutes each)
Panel Discussion: What's the Interview Process Really Like? An Informational Panel for Graduate Students David Lukens, From Euclid to Godel by way of Lobachevsky John Chisholm, Dividing the Goods Sharon Robbert & Katie DeKoekkoek, A Crash Course for Connecting Curve Cryptology
Vince Matsko, A High School Course on Polyhedra Roger Eggleton, Equal Sums of Squares Timothy Comar, A Calculus Sequence for Biology Students
10:50AM - 11:50AM Concurrent sessions and undergraduate papers
Session A (SMC A207)
(30 minutes each)
Session B
(SMC A110)
Session C (SMC A219)
(30 minutes each)
Session D (SMC A210)
(30 minutes each)
Ollie Nanyes, Limits of Functions of Two Variables Underwood Dudley, Why Teach Mathematics? (Sponsored by Project NExT) Rich Wilders, Galileo's Computation of the Tangent Line to a Parabola Lisa Townsley, The CLEP Precalculus Exam
Mehmet Dik, On Tauberian Conditions of Slowly Oscillating Type Andrew Leahy, James Gregory's Proof of the FTC Howard Dwyer, How Could Anyone Discover the Laplace Transform?
12:00PM - 1:00PM Plenary Talk by Jean Bee Chan (Science and Math Center A110)


An extensive list of places to stay in Galesburg is available from the Knox College Office of Admissions web site (ask for the Knox College rate) or from the Galesburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. A limited number of dorm-room accommodations (with Knox students) may also be available for undergraduate participants. Please contact Andrew Leahy for more information.

Note that the Friday evening banquet and student pizza party will held at the Best Western Prairie Inn on I-74 and East Main Street.

Maps and Travel Directions

Galesburg Map

Knox College Parking Suggestions

Science and Mathematics Center (SMC)

Best Western Prairie Inn Map

Additional Maps

Directions to Knox College

By Car

Galesburg is accessible via Interstate 74. Complete directions to Knox can be found on the Knox College Admissions web site, where a map of Galesburg highlighting directions to Knox College may also be found.

By Rail

On Amtrak, Galesburg is served by the California Zephyr, Illinois Zephyr, and Southwest Chief. The train depot is five blocks from campus. More information is available from the Admission Office web site.

Other Information