Illinois Section of the MAA

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Spring 2000 Newsletter

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Message From The Chair

Melvyn W. Jeter


As the academic year winds down, I want to take a brief moment to reflect on the activities of the Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America. Let me begin by sincerely thanking those members who have just completed, or think that they have completed, terms on various ISMAA committees, as well as those who are completing a term on the Board of Directors. Jon Johnson has just completed a three-year term as Secretary-Treasurer of ISMAA, one of our most important positions. Jon will continue with another term in that office. Jim Trefzger has completed a term as Director of Community Colleges. He also served on this year's Program Committee. Philip Marcus, Jim Marshall, and Cheryl Hawker have all completed ISMAA terms as Directors-At-Large. Scott Harrod has completed a term as webmaster, while John Haverhals has completed a term as Student Chapter Coordinator. Retiring Chairs of the Awards Committee and the Audit Committee are Neale Fadden and Rich Wilders, respectively. Rich was also this year's Chair of the Program Committee and the Host for the spring meeting at North Central. Jim Trefzger also completed his term on the Program Committee. Linda Sons has just completed a term as Chair of the Finance Committee. Likewise, Jim Kulich has just finished his term as Chair of the Secondary School (H.S.) Lecture Committee. Other retiring committee members include Bill Messersmith and Jon Odell from the Teacher Education Committee, James Marshall from the Two-Year College Committee, and Ruth Hartman from the Nominating Committee. All of these individuals deserve our gratitude. They each have worked long and hard in fulfilling their ISMAA assignments.


Newly-elected officers include Robert Johnson as Chair-Elect, Jon L. Johnson as Secretary-Treasurer, Carol D. Schmidt as Director for Community Colleges, and Sandra Cox, Theresa Friedman, and Lanette Poteete-Young as Directors-At-Large. We know that they will all do an excellent job.


At the North Central meeting I invited those who were interested in serving on an ISMAA committee to notify me. I am grateful for those of you who responded to my request. I think that I have assigned everyone who indicated an interest to an ISMAA committee. Let me again issue that invitation. If anyone is interested in serving on an ISMAA committee, they should email me immediately. My email address is I still have a few positions to fill.


A special thank you goes to the Awards Committee. This year that committee was able to select winners for both the Teaching Award and the Service Award. Please join me in extending our congratulations to Al Otto and Ralph Czerwinski. Al won the teaching award while Ralph took the service award. You can find the nomination materials at our ISMAA web site. Please help the Awards Committee by sending in your nominations for next year. They must have your help to do their job.


I hope that everyone is aware of the increase of ISMAA Institutional Sponsors for the year 1999-2000. At last count we have at least twenty-six institutions participating in that vital support. We are grateful for their support.


Next year's meeting will be on the campus of the University of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. The date of the meeting is set for March 22-24. Also, the 2001 Mathfest is scheduled for Madison, Wisconsin.


I will close my comments with a personal reflection. We had an excellent meeting this spring at North Central with some outstanding speakers. Our dinner address was given by Ben Fitzpatrick. Ben talked to us about the Legacy of R. L. Moore Project and of the accomplishments of Moore and his well-known students. I enjoyed his presentation a great deal. It was my privilege to spend the following week on the campus of the University of Texas At Austin for The Third Annual Legacy of R. L. Moore Conference. As many heard at the dinner address, a very respectable number of Moore's students served as Presidents of the MAA. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe that the number was five. However, other students of students of Moore have served in that capacity as well. I was pleased to see a strong presence of MAA personalities at the Moore conference. Some included Tina Straley, the current Executive Director of MAA, Donald J. Albers, the Associate Executive Director of the MAA and the Director of Publications & Electronic Services, Lida K. Barrett and R. D. Anderson, both past Presidents of MAA. It really reinforced the message that Ben shared with us at North Central. It was an exciting experience and our after dinner address was the perfect leadoff for that meeting. I really appreciate the fine work that our Program Committee did this year.

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Report From The Section Governor

Larry Morley Department of Mathematics

Western Illinois University 1 University Circle

Macomb, IL 61455-1390

309/387-3297 (home) 309/298-1382 (office)


A special thank you to Rich Wilders and other members of the Program Committee, and to Rich and his colleagues at North Central, for very well organized annual meeting. All attending enjoyed the hospitality and fine facilities provided for the Seventy-Ninth Annual Meeting of the Illinois Section of the MAA. If anyone has suggestions for speakers or special sessions for next year's program, now is the time to pass them along to Tom Bengston, Augustana College, Chair of the Program Committee for the meeting in 2001( The Eightieth Annual Meeting will be March 23-24 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In 2002 we will be returning to McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois, but 2003 is open and it would be great to see more invitations for hosting the annual meetings. It is a substantial commitment to host the meeting, but one that has its rewards as well.

One goal for this last year of my term as governor is to encourage and assist members to successfully seek involvement in MAA at the state and national level. How can we increase member participation? Here are some

suggestions that I have come up with. Visit the MAA Websites and see what is happening. Contact (Email or phone is best) committee chairs or MAA officers to seek more information and to share ideas with them.

I need your help! It is quite acceptable to express your interest in committees or offices that become open on an annual basis. Because mathematics faculty members have a reputation of not putting themselves forward, it is more than acceptable, it is necessary, that we nominate colleagues that would be interested and make a valuable contribution if they thought they were needed. The first decade of the new millennium is already bringing many challenges to professional organizations. The MAA is not exempt from these pressures and the need to make adjustments to meet the changing needs of its members.

We need additional new blood, to mix with that of those who have invested many years of their professional lives in MAA, to ensure a successful transition to the future. If you are not sure of the person to contact, I would welcome the opportunity to assist at any time.


The subject of dues and membership benefits in MAA will be a topic of discussion at the Summer Meeting. Here are some questions for Section members to consider. You can send your responses to me at the above snail or email addresses.

Part A)

If you could, what changes in individual membership benefits would you make for yourself? Two things that I have already heard are:

1) Have dues payable at a different time; too many professional organizations that I belong to have dues payable at the beginning of the calendar year.

2) Allow members of other professional organizations in the discipline, organizations such as NCTM and AMS, the option of membership with reduced dues and less benefits. For example, the only publication this reduced level of membership might include would be the Focus but registration fees at all meetings and programs sponsored by the MAA at the national or sectional level would be at membership rates. This level of membership would also allow for the purchase of journals and books at membership rates.


Part B)


What about the current structure of benefits associated with

institutional membership?

a.         If your department is an institutional member of The MAA, which of the benefits (see below) does the department consider of primary importance? Notice that the difference between the two levels of institutional membership is the privilege to nominate an additional five students to receive free membership. Currently, if your department has a student chapter of MAA, an unlimited number of students may obtain student membership through the chapter advisor at the rate of $20 each if Math Horizons, Mathematics Magazine, or The College Mathematics Journal is selected as the journal of choice.


Benefits of Institutional Membership


1.      A department subscription to each of MAA's three expository journals, The American Mathematical Monthly, Mathematics Magazine and The College Mathematics Journal.

2.      One copy of the Combined Membership List (CML) which contains the members for the MAA, AMS, SIAM, and AMATYC.

3.      Discounts on MAA books purchased for student awards or gifts.

4.      Discount of 20% on purchases of MAA Mailing List labels.

5.      (Sponsoring Academic, dues $419) One Institutional Nominee (student or non-student) and five Student Nominees with additional Student Nominees added for $30.00/each or (Academic Option, dues $281) One Institutional Nominee (student or non-student) and additional Student Nominees added for $30.00/each.


b.      Are there changes in the benefits structure that you believe would make institutional membership more attractive to your department? What about some of the following?


I.                    (Academic Option, dues $281) Items 1. Through 4. And unlimited student nominations with Focus and MATH HORIZONS at $20/each. (Each department would have the option of paying none or all of the $20 for as many of the nominees as they wished.) Student nominated membership with Mathematics Magazine or The College Mathematics Journal in place of Math Horizons would be $25; with The American Mathematical Monthly it would be $30. All student members will pay something and we would not have a separate category for nominations through student chapters as we now have.

II.                 (Sponsoring Academic, average dues $419 but proportional to the size of the department). Everything listed in the Academic Option and an additional 10 percent discount off the individual membership dues, additional MAA journal subscriptions and the purchase of any other publications or electronic products of the MAA by students and employees of the institution.


III.               Some helpful benefit that could be offered to institutional members having organized student chapters needs to be considered, but I do not have a specific suggestion at this time.

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Institutions can support the activities of the Section through Institutional Memberships. The Section is grateful to the following colleges and universities who supported the ISMAA this year.


Augustana College

Belleville Area College

Benedictine University

Bradley University

Chicago State University

College of DuPage

Columbia College Chicago

Elmhurst College

Harold Washington College*

Illinois Central College

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Valley Community College*

Illinois Wesleyan University

North Central College*

Northeastern Illinois University*

Richard J Daley College*

Rockford College

Trinity Christian College

University of Illinois - Chicago

Wabonsee Community College


Eastern Illinois University

Illinois State University

Joliet Junior College*

Northern Illinois University

University of Illinois at Urbana*



Knox College*

Western Illinois University

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

* Indicates two year membership special thanks to our benefactors and two year members!

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The Twenty-Eighth Annual

Mathematics and Statistics Conference

Miami University, Oxford, OH September 29 - 30, 2000.

Section members are advised of the 28th Annual Mathematics and Statistics Conference. This year's conference theme is "Mathematical Pictures that are Worth a Thousand Words". The invited speakers are George Francis (University of Illinois), Stan Wagon (Macalester College), and Roger Nelsen (Lewis and Clark College).

Contributed paper sessions are being planned for both Friday and Saturday, and a poster gallery is contemplated. Authors wishing to contribute a poster and/or a 10- or 20-minute paper consistent with the theme of the conference should submit an abstract by September 1, 2000. Authors are encouraged to submit a mathematical picture (together with the title of the paper or poster) in lieu of a traditional abstract. Conference programs with information concerning pre-registration and housing will be available after August 1, 2000. Conference Directors:

Tom Farmer ( and

Fred Gass(

Send abstract or request for information to:

Randy Nichols, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056. Telephone: (513) 529-1952;; Fax: (513) 529-1493; website:

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Board of Directors


Melvyn Jeter (200 1) Department of Mathematics

and Computer Science Illinois Wesleyan University Bloomington, IL 61702-2900 (309) 556-3069


Robert Hathway (2001)

Illinois State University (Retired) 7 Knollcrest Court

Normal, IL 61761-2444 (309) 452-1456


Robert Johnson (2001) Augustana College

Rock Island, IL 61201-2296 (309) 794-7492


Jon Johnson (2003) Mathematics Department Elmhurst College Elmhurst, IL 60126 (630) 617-3571


Larry Morley (2001) Mathematics Department Western Illinois University Macomb, IL 61455 (309) 298-1382



Carol D. Schmidt (2003) Mathematics Department

Lincoln Land Community College 7 Audubon Drive

Jacksonville, IL 62650-2773 (217) 786-2385


Tom Bengtson (2001) Department of Mathematics Augustana College Rock Island, IL 61201-2296 (309) 794-7406


James Olsen (2002) Mathematics Department Western Illinois University Macomb, IL 61455 (309) 298-1466


Class of 2001

Vicki Beitier Department of Mathematics Parkland College

2400 West Bradley Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 351-2540

Dennis Ryan Department of Mathematics McKendree College Lebanon, IL 62254 (618) 537-6937

Herb Kasube Department of Mathematics Bradley University Peoria, IL 61625 (309) 677-2505

Class of 2002

Mary Armon Department of Mathematics Knox College

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999 (309) 341-7324

Donald Porzio Department of Mathematics

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Aurora, IL 60506-1000 (630) 907-5968

Jerry Uhl Department of Mathematics

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 333-2489

Class of 2003

Sandra L. Cox Science and Mathematics Department Rend Lake College Ina, IL 62846 (618) 437-5321, Ext. 288

Lanette Poteete-Young Mathematics Department Judson College 1151 North State Street Elgin, IL 60123-1498 (847) 695-2500, Ext. 3 71 1 (847) 741-3032 (Home)

Theresa Friedman Mathematics and Computer Science Department Benedictine College 5700 College Road Lisle, IL 60532 (630) 829-6558


Newsletter Editor

Richard Wilders Department of Mathematics North Central College P.O. Box 3063 Naperville, IL 60566-3063 (630) 637-5234

Web Master

Scott B. Harrod 21084 N. Middleton Drive Lake Zurich, IL 60047-8501 (847) 438-8327

Student Chapter Coordinator

John Haverhals, Department of Mathematics Bradley University Peoria, IL 61625 (309) 677-2499

American Jr. High and High School Math Exam

Herb Kasube Department of Mathematics Bradley University Peoria, IL 61625 (309) 677-2505

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Program for 2001 Meeting

Begins to Take Shape


The Annual Meeting of the ISMAA will take place on the campus of UIUC March 22-24, 2001.


Dr. Underwood Dudley has accepted our invitation to be the banquet speaker.


Dr. Georgia Benkart from U. Wisconsin, Madison, will be our Polya Lecturer.


Dr. Herb Lyon, former Chancellor and President of Black Hawk College in Moline Illinois. Dr. Lyon is currently a member of the Accreditation Review council of The North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. He will speak on assessment.

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Study College Algebra


The MAA is appointing a national committee to study issues of concern related to the content and current practice in the teaching of "college algebra". The state-wide Ad-hoc Committee on College Algebra, chaired by Larry Morley, continues to seek to identify and investigate issues of concern related to college algebra's place in the curriculum among public and private post secondary institutions in Illinois. The Ad-hoc Committee needs more input from departments at institutions of all kinds across the state and invites, indeed requests, that members of the section take the initiative and see that their respective department returns the survey included with this issue of the newsletter. Comments and suggestions should be sent to Larry Morley, Department of Mathematics, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455-1390


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MAA to Discontinue Publication of

New Mathematics Placement Tests

On January 18, 2000, the Board of Governor's passed a motion in agreement with the MAA Executive and Finance Committee's recommendation that MAA discontinue the Mathematics Placement Tests as of June 30, 2000. President Tom Banchoff presented the recommendation from E & F. In the discussion it was stated that it would cost between $40,000 and $50,000 to validate the tests and

the cost of validation outweighed anticipated income from subscriptions. Existing subscribers are to be offered a perpetual royalty-free license to use the tests forever. Questions or concerns could be directed to President Banchoff or Alfred B. Manaster, Chair of the Committee on Testing.

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Please feel free to submit items for inclusion in the Newsletter. The next Newsletter will come out in late 2000. Send copy via email or as a Windows/Word attachment to or mail copy to Rich Wilders, North Central College 30 N. Brainard St. Naperville, IL 60566.

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The Student Calculus Contest was held during this Spring's Annual Meeting. For the first time, a team from Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy competed and won!

Team scores were as follows. 20 points were possible


IMSA ( Kartik Lamba, Howard Liu, and Denny Tu) 18

Bradley University ( Mundia Mubyana, Nathan Pauli, and Matt Occhipinti) 17

UIC (Junaid Mansuri, Parthir Shah) 15

UIC (Kevin Jones, Eugene Sadhu, and Jay Shah) 13


This raises the question of further participation on the part of high school teams. There are at least four possibilities.


I.                    Allow high school teams to enter the competition and compete with the college teams.

II.                 Create a separate high school contest with different questions.

III.               Use the same contest questions but have two divisions.

IV.              Keep the contest just for college students.


If you have a preference, please let one of the Board Members know prior to the next meeting of the Board in early fall of 2000.

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