[ MAA Logo ]Illinois Section of the MAA

The 2006 Annual Meeting of the Illinois Section of the MAA

The Eighty Fifth Annual Meeting of the Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America will take place on the campus of North Central College in Naperville, Illinois on April 7 and 8, 2006. Plenary Speakers include MAA President Carl Cowen (IUPUI-Indianapolis), Colin Adams (Williams College), Roger Nelsen (Lewis and Clark College), and Bernd Sturmfels (UC-Berkeley).

MAA members and nonmembers are welcome to participate.

Outline of Meeting Activities

April 3, 2006

[ ISMAA Home Page ]


Friday April 7, 2006

Pre-Conference Workshop (9:30AM-11:30AM):

Why Knot?
Colin Adams, Williams College

Knots have appeared everywhere from art, literature and religion to seafaring. We will discuss their past history as well as their future, with emphasis on the role they play in mathematics and the applications of that role to DNA and synthetic chemistry. This will be a hands-on workshop with all participants getting an opportunity to try their hand at making knots.

Opening Talk (12:45PM-1:45PM):

Proofs Without Words (and words without proofs)
Roger B. Nelsen, Lewis and Clark College

Can pictures prove theorems? Rather than argue that they can or can't (words without proofs), I will present some pictures which may (proofs without words). In English, "to see" often means "to understand," and I think this is especially true in mathematics. To illustrate, we'll explore the role of visualization in mathematics to examine a little-known elementary but powerful idea (the Fubini principle) in a variety of settings, including combinatorics, infinite series, geometry and trigonometry, calculus, mathematical induction, and fast food.

Banquet Talk (7:30PM):

Blown Away: What Knot to Do When Sailing
by Sir Randolph Bacon III
cousin-in-law to Colin Adams, Williams College

Being a tale of adventure on the high seas involving great risk to the tale teller, and how an understanding of the mathematical theory of knots saved his bacon. No nautical or mathematical background assumed.

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Opening Talk (8:30AM-9:30AM):

Connections Between Mathematics and Biology
Carl Cowen, IUPUI-Indianapolis, MAA President

Former National Science Foundation director and research microbiologist Rita Colwell regards the mathematical sciences as the backbone for US Scientific and Engineering research. Many scholars see the next few decades as a time of intensive progress in the biological sciences. Dr. Colwell sees mathematics as an integral part of the progress in biology, not a traditional view, but a forward looking one. In this talk, Carl Cowen will outline some of the research areas in the emerging collaborations between mathematical and biological scientists. In addition, Cowen, who began his study of the mathematics of neuroscience in 2002-03 at the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at Ohio State University, and who worked in 2003-04 as a junior post-doc in the lab of Prof. Christie Sahley in the Purdue University Biology Department, will illustrate the connection between mathematics and neuroscience with a discussion of the Pulfrich phenomenon, an experiment that helps illuminate how the brain processes visual images. There are few mathematical or biological prerequisites for this discussion.

Closing Talk (NOON-1:00PM):

Gröbner Bases
Bernd Sturmfels, UC-Berkeley

Gröbner bases provide a general purpose method for computing with polynomials in several unknowns. They can be seen to generalize three familiar mathematical algorithms: Gaussian elimination for solving linear equations, the Euclidean algorithm for finding the greatest common divisor, and the simplex method for linear programming. This lecture is an elementary introduction to Gröbner bases and their applications in algebraic geometry.

[ Outline of Meeting Events ] [ ISMAA Home Page ]

Pre-Conference Workshop

A Pre-Conference Workshop titled Why Knot? will be presented from 9:30AM to 11:30AM on Friday April 7, 2006 by Colin Adams of Williams College.

Knots have appeared everywhere from art, literature and religion to seafaring. We will discuss their past history as well as their future, with emphasis on the role they play in mathematics and the applications of that role to DNA and synthetic chemistry. This will be a hands-on workshop with all participants getting an opportunity to try their hand at making knots.

The Pre-Conference Workshop costs $15.00 and requires advance registration by March 25, 2006. A deli lunch is included.

[ Outline of Meeting Events ] [ ISMAA Home Page ]

Session Schedule

The Session Schedule and Session Abstracts (both in PDF format) are now available.

Also available are the Abstracts for Student Talks and Schedule for Student Talks.

[ Outline of Meeting Events ] [ ISMAA Home Page ]

Annual ISMAA Business Meeting

The Annual Business Meeting of the Section will be held Friday, April 7, 2006, at 4:30p.m. The Agenda includes election of Chair-Elect, Sectretary-Treasurer, 3 Directors at Large, and a Director for Community Colleges, and consideration of Proposed Bylaw Changes.

[ Outline of Meeting Events ] [ ISMAA Home Page ]


The banquet will be held Friday evening in the White Activities Center. After dinner festivities include a special performance the Klein 4 Group, presentation of the annual ISMAA Distinguished Service Award, presentation of the Distinguished College or University Teaching Award, and a talk by Sir Randolph Bacon III (a.k.a. Colin Adams) titled Blown Away: What Knot to Do When Sailing.

The cost of the dinner is $25.00. Banquet tickets must be purchased in advance.

[ Outline of Meeting Events ] [ ISMAA Home Page ]

Student Activities

A number of activities of particular interest to Mathematics Students are scheduled including a mathematics contest and a MATHTRAIL Friday afternoon, a Friday evening Pizza Party, and student presentations both Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

Graduate Students may apply for a grant to attend as well as contribute papers.

Students are encouraged to attend any of the sessions.

For information on participating in the math contest or presenting a paper, see the Call for Student Participation.

[ Outline of Meeting Events ] [ ISMAA Home Page ]

Naperville Area Information

Meeting Location

Naperville, Illinois is located just west of Chicago. The East-West Tollway (I-88), the North-South Tollway (I-355), and U.S. 34 (Ogden Avenue) are the major roads leading into Naperville.

North Central College is located at Loomis and Benton Streets. See the Directions to Campus for specific instructions on how to get to North Central College.

Maps showing the major roads to the area and the campus map are available directly from the North Central College Web site.

The ISMAA sessions will be held in a number of different buildings including Old Main, Goldspohn Hall, the White Activities Center, and the Kroehler Science Center. The location of these buildings is shown on the North Central College Campus Map. In particular, Registration will be in Old Main and the opening session Friday afternoon will be in Smith Hall in Old Main.

Parking will be difficult on Friday. You are welcome to park in any open space on campus - things begin to free up in the afternoon. There is always parking available in the surrounding areas, but the four hour limit is strictly enforced. The Naperville municipal garage at Chicago and Washington Streets is only 5 minutes way. Parking space should be more plentiful on Saturday.

Additional Travel Information

The Traveling Public page from the Illinois Department of Transportation provides a number of links to sources of travel information in Illinois including the following:

Naperville is served by Amtrak and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Line on Metra, the Chicago area commuter rail system. There is a Metra station close to the college, but Amtrak does not stop there. See also Naperville's transportation page.

Additional Naperville Area Information

For additional Naperville area information check out the City of Naperville Website and the vistor's section of the Naperville Chamber of Commerce's Vist/Move to Naperville page.

[ Outline of Meeting Events ] [ ISMAA Home Page ]

Hotel Information

Participants are responsible for making their own hotel/motel reservations.

The conference hotel is the Holiday Inn Select. The Holiday Inn Select is located at the Naperville Road exit on the East-West Tollway (I-88) and is approximately 3 miles from the North Central College Campus. The ISMAA rate is $ 74.00 + tax per night.

To make Reservations via the Internet, enter the date(s) for the reservation, and select "[No Preference]" for room type to view all rooms. The Group Booking Code is "DIS" and shoud have already been entered. Note: A Credit Card is required to guarantee a reservation at the time of booking.

To make reservations by phone. call the hotel at (630) 505-4900 or 1-800-HOLIDAY and ask for the ISMAA Room Block "DIS".

Other hotels a short drive away include: Country Inn Suites, Homestead Hotel, Wyndham Garden Hotel, Hampton Inn, Fairfield Inn, Oakwood Lincoln at the Parks Hotel, Extended Stay America Hotel, Fairfield Inn & Suites, and TownePlace Suites Hotel, and the Harrison House Bed and Breakfast. (Only the Harrison House Bed and Breakfast is within walking distance). You can access contact and rate information for these hotels via this link or the Lodging links at the Vist/Move to Naperville page from the Naperville Chamber of Commerce.

[ Outline of Meeting Events ] [ ISMAA Home Page ]

Publishers's Exhibits

There will be Publishers Exhibits near the registration area on the second floor of Old Main. Participating publishers include:

[ Outline of Meeting Events ] [ ISMAA Home Page ]


The deadline for advanced registration was March 25, 2006. You may register at the conference. The registration fee is $25.00 ($10.00 for retirees and students).

The registration fee will be waived for for students presenting a paper or participating in the Math Contest (see the Call for Student Participation, students from an ISMAA Institutional Sponsor, Graduate Student Grant Recipients, and 2005 and 2006 ISMAA NExT Fellows.

Advanced registration (with payment) by March 25, 2006 was required for the Friday Morning workshop, Friday evening banquet and Saturday box lunch. Banquet and box lunch tickets will not be available on-site.

[ Outline of Meeting Events ] [ ISMAA Home Page ]


ISMAA Board Meeting
There will be a ISMAA Board of Directors meeting at 7:30p.m. Thursday evening, April 6, 2006, in the White Activities Center.
Saturday Breakfast
Saturday, April 8, join us near the exhibits (Old Main, 2nd Floor) at 8AM for breakfast prior to MAA President Carl Cowen's address. Browse the exhibits and meet your colleagues. The breakfast is sponsored by Addison Wesley and the ISMAA.
2007 Annual Meeting
The 2007 ISMAA Annual Meeting will be held at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois March 30 - 31, 2007. .

[ Outline of Meeting Events ] [ ISMAA Home Page ]