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The Annual Meeting of the Illinois Section of the MAA

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
March 29-30, 2019

A PDF version of the schedule is available.

Abstracts are available in both PDF and Word formats.

Friday, March 29, 2019
8:00-4:30Registration (Agriculture Breezeway North Lobby)
8:30-11:45Preconference workshop
Patterns of Play: A Recreational View of Mathematics
Ron Taylor, Berry College
(Agriculture 152)
1:15-2:30Introduction (Agriculture 102)
Opening Plenary Talk
A Glimpse at the Horizon
Deanna Haunsperger
(Agriculture 102)
2:40-3:10Modeling Count Data via Copulas: Comparison of Kendall's tau and Spearman's rho
Hadi Safari Katesari(+), Yaser Samadi, and Samira Zaroudi (Agriculture 153)
Predictive Modeling and Analysis of Softball Using Linear Algebra-based Ranking Systems
Carley Maupin* and Marco Pettinato* (Lawson 121)
Spin the Cube
Lingguo Bu (Lawson 221)
3:10-3:40Polling, voting, and gerrymandering. Teaching the mathematics of democracy in a liberal arts math class
Aaron Zerhusen (Agriculture 153)
Modeling Crossed-Prism Graphs in Self-Assembling DNA Using Graph Theory and Linear Algebra
Eric Redmon* (Lawson 121)
Triangle simplified
Jerzy Kocik (Lawson 221)
3:50-4:20The Elmhurst College KEYSTONE Program
Jon Johnson, Merrilee Guenther, and Tom Sawyer (Agriculture 153)
Design Strategies for Modeling Mongolian Tent Graphs using DNA Self-Assembly
Jackson Hansen* (Lawson 121)
An Intriguing 4-dimensional Polytope
Gregory Galperin (Lawson 221)
4:20-4:50Math Teachers' Circle: A Comparison Between One and Three Day Workshops
Angela Antonou and Rita Patel (Agriculture 153)
Categorification of Matrices Over the Natural Numbers
Brendan Miller* (Lawson 121)
An Investigation into Combinations: Arranging People into Rooms
Simon Walthers* (Lawson 221)
5:00-6:00Business Meeting (Agriculture 102)
5:00-6:15Student Contest (Agriculture 166)
6:00-7:00Reception with cash bar
SIU Student Recreation Center
Alumni Lounge
6:15-7:30Student Pizza Party (Neckers Atrium)
SIU Student Recreation Center
Alumni Lounge
7:45-8:45Plenary Talk
Patterns of Play: A Recreational View of Mathematics
Ronald Taylor

SIU Student Recreation Center
Alumni Lounge
Saturday, March 30, 2019
8:00-1:00Registration (Engineering lobby)
8:30-9:30Plenary Talk
The Art of Finding the Perfect Example
Abigail Bailey
(Engineering A111)
9:40-10:40ISMAA Section NExT Round Table
Organized by Emily Olson (Engineering A207)
10:50-11:50Look For and Make Use of Structure, Symmetry, and Similarity
Jim Olsen (Engineering A207)
9:40-10:10If you or a loved one is a math major, please pay attention to the following announcement.
Olcay Akman (Engineering A219)
Octonions and Rotations
Kalpha Thuewaththage(+) and Jerzy Kocik (Engineering A220)
10:10-10:40Isomorphism between Rubik's Puzzles
April Tran* and Jonathan Reaban* (Engineering A219)
Undergraduate Research in Mathematical Biology: Impulsive Differential Equations and Agent-Based Models
Timothy Comar (Engineering A220)
10:50-11:20The Last Digits of Infinity (On Tetrations Over Modular Rings)
William Stowe* (Engineering A219)
Fourier Methods for Estimating the Central Mean Subspace in Time Series
Priyan De Alwis(+) and Seyed Yaser Samadi (Engineering A220)
11:20-11:50Approximation Of Continuously Distributed Delay Differential Equations
Roshini Gallage(+) (Engineering A220)
12:00-1:15Closing (Engineering A111)
Plenary Talk
Designing Optimal Strategies for DNA Self-Assembly
Amanda Harsy
(Engineering A111)

* = undergraduate or other student

(+) = graduate student

Plenary Talks

Ronald Taylor
Berry College
Patterns of Play: A Recreational View of Mathematics

The experience that most people have with math is through manipulating symbols or doing numerical calculations. Mathematics students get to see a broader view of mathematics by writing proofs and considering some really interesting mathematical concepts and structures. But seldom do we hear of mathematics as something that is done recreationally, even among people who like mathematics. Some examples of this might be the mathematical structures in games or puzzles. And even though an understanding of mathematics is not necessarily needed to be able to play a game or enjoy a card trick, there are deep mathematical ideas at the core of many of these recreational pursuits. Many of these ideas are even avenues towards research. In this talk we will explore this recreational perspective of mathematics and look at examples of mathematical concepts found in things like origami, parlor games and card tricks.

Deanna Haunsperger
Carleton College
A Glimpse at the Horizon

What do a square-wheeled bicycle, a 17th-century French painting, and the Indiana legislature all have in common? They appear among the many bright stars on the mathematical horizon; that is, in Math Horizons. Math Horizons, the undergraduate magazine started by the MAA in 1994 publishes articles to introduce students to the world of mathematics outside the classroom. Some of mathematics' best expositors have written for MH over the years; here is an idiosyncratic tour of the first ten years of Horizons.

Abigail Bailey
Elgin Community College
The Art of Finding the Perfect Example

Some view math as a science with practical applications, while others prefer to look at math as an art with freedom of expression. Regardless of one's perception, mathematicians and those working as math practitioners are perpetually hunting for the perfect example to guide their work. The examples chosen and studied impact the ideas and conjectures that emerge through observing the consistencies or deviations among them. So how do we find, categorize, and exhibit examples to have the most meaningful impression and foster the maximal possible learning? Let's look at a few examples!

Amanda Harsy
Lewis University
Designing Optimal Strategies for DNA Self-Assembly

Motivated by the recent advancements in nanotechnology and the discovery of new laboratory techniques using the Watson-Crick complementary properties of DNA strands, formal graph theory has become useful in the study of self-assembling DNA complexes. Construction methods developed with concepts from undergraduate level graph theory have resulted in significantly increased efficiency. One recent focus in DNA nanotechnology is the formation of nanotubes which can be modeled using a lattice graph. These nanotubes are thought to have wide-ranging potential, such as containers for the transport and release of nano-cargos, templates for the controlled growth of nano-objects, and in drug-delivery methods. The rules governing the structure of these nanotubes are not yet well understood, and this naturally offers open problems in the realm of applied graph theory. In this research, we focus on mathematical construction methods for self-assembling DNA structures which involve junction branched molecules whose flexible k-arms are double strands of DNA.


Ronald Taylor
Berry College
Patterns of Play: A Recreational View of Mathematics

Recreational math is an area of mathematics that is on the rise. Using ideas from recreational math can help ease the struggles that some of our students have with respect to learning mathematics, particularly in classes for humanities and social science majors, where students may be taking a math class to fulfill a general education requirement, but have no immediate need to use mathematics in their major courses. Some of these ideas can also be beneficial for students in mathematics and the sciences to add a quick diversion to class that can help them stay engaged when things start to slow down because of the time of the semester or because the class has reached a particularly difficult topic. We will talk about how to use some of these recreational ideas as a vehicle for teaching mathematical concepts, providing a glimpse into deeper mathematics, and as a short classroom diversion.