Illinois Section of the MAA

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Spring 2001 Newsletter

Table of Contents

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Chair's Report


Robert L. Johnson

Department of Mathematics and computer Science

Augustana College Rock Island, IL 61201


The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana provided an exciting venue for our spring meeting. Those who toured The Cave on Friday morning experienced virtual hyperbolic space, inverting the sphere, some 3-D games, and a fascinating inside view of the effects of traumatic brain injury.

Our featured speakers included Polya Lecturer Georgia Benkart and College Mathematics Journal Editor Underwood Dudley. Herb Lyon gave an assessor's view of assessment while Theodore Gray presented an overview of the front end of Mathematica.

Concurrent sessions dealt with performance based assessment, standards for mathematics education, technical illustration, and the changing face of actuarial science. An excellent response to the call for papers resulted in three sessions devoted to submitted papers and two similar sessions for student papers. A grant writing workshop sponsored by the national MAA was a big hit with the participants. In particular, our NExT fellows under the leadership of Lanette Poteete-Young took advantage of the workshop and built it into their part of the program.

Since my professional orientation has always been slanted toward undergraduate education I was particularly pleased with Patricia Kiihne's presentation directed specifically to an undergraduate audience. I extend special thanks to her and to all who are involved with encouraging undergraduate participation and welcoming them at the meeting. Particular thanks to Jon Haverhals and his continuing work as the director of student chapters.

Student papers (10 - 15 minute presentations) continue to be an important part of our meeting but, in my opinion, we should strive to dramatically increase the number of these student presenters. Start thinking about the meeting at McKendree next year and begin to identify and encourage your students to attend and present a short paper. You might even think in terms of follow up presentations at Mathfest next year. Incidentally, this summer Mathfest is reasonably local meeting from August 2 through August 4 at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

The life of the Illinois Section has been and continues to be intimately connected with the committee work done by section member volunteers. Retiring committee members include Iraj Kalantari, Dennis Schneider, and Michael Salisbury. Directors-at-large Vicki Beitler, Teresa Friedman, and Herb Kasube are leaving the board and Tom Bengtson turns over his role as program chair to Jim Olsen. Special thanks to these dedicated volunteers and to retiring Chair Melvyn Jeter and retiring past-chair Bob Hathaway.

 Our retiring governor Larry Morley has been instrumental in focusing attention on the general problem of college algebra. If you are interested in any aspect of the college algebra question let Larry or me know. He would be delighted for any input or volunteers for his ad hoc committee.

At this writing our new governor has not yet been announced but we welcome the newly elected board members Andrew Leahy from Knox College, William Blair from Northern Illinois University, Jimmie Lee Johnson from Roosevelt University, and Kevin Hansen from Southwestern Illinois College. The section appreciates your willingness to serve.

Information about the committees, board members and our by-laws can be found on the section's web page at Our page is maintained by Scott Harrod and one of the items for consideration at our next board meeting on September 29 at Illinois Wesleyan will be the future of the newsletter as a printed document vis-a˘-vis a web page item. Scott and Rich Wilders, the editor of the newsletter, will be taking the lead in this discussion. Your input is welcome and encouraged.

The Illinois section does not have a formal committee on women in mathematics but many of our members have been very active in this important national concern. A similar concern exists for the underrepresented minorities in our discipline. Surely we have folk in our section with the experience, knowledge, sensitivity, and desire to tackle this issue. What is your experience here? Do you see a need for some kind of focus group, action, plan, committee…? Share your thoughts by sending me an e-mail.

You probably have issues you would like the Illinois section to address. Tell a board member, e-mail one of us, get involved and shape the direction of your section.

I hope to see you at Mathfest this summer and certainly at our next ISMAA annual meeting on April 5, 6, 2002 at McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois.

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Message From the Governor


It is difficult to imagine that my three-year term as Governor is ending this June.  What happens to the TIME?  It has been a distinct honor and pleasure to serve as Governor of the Illinois Section.  My sincere thanks to the membership of ISMAA for this opportunity.  Also, a special thank you to the ISMAA Board and Executive Officers for the advice and counsel given on items of importance to the welfare of the MAA.  It has been my intention to keep the Board and the membership at large aware of significant developments and issues from the national perspective and to represent the position of the Illinois Section in discussions and actions taken at the biannual Governor’s meetings and in Committees. 

     I am pleased to report that the news from MAA Headquarters via the Board of Governors is positive.  The financial picture for MAA continues to improve and this past year $175,000 that had been borrowed from the Investment Fund during 1995/96 was transferred from the Operating Fund back to the Investment Fund. 

     Dues income increased by 3 percent in FY 1999 as we did not experience the decrease in membership as in the past few years.  There were 3,460 new applications from individuals and 37 new applications for institutional membership the first six months of 2000.  Currently we are operating in the black and cash flow does not appear a problem.

     It is an exciting time to be a part of the MAA!  At the beginning of my term three years ago, the MAA was experiencing some difficult and uncertain times financially.  The wisdom of the leadership appears to have turned things around and we now have an operating budget that adequately supports those activities that have proven their worth over many years and that enables us to initiate new programs to better serve an expanding and growing membership.  Perhaps the most significant action taken by the Governors during my term was to approve and support the inclusion of special interest groups (SIGMAAs) as a part of the MAA organizational structure.  The impact these groups will have on attracting and retaining members will be something to observe in the first decade of the new century.

     The quantity and quality of MAA publications is at an all time high.  The quality and diversity found in our workshops, mini courses, presentations and other events organized at national and sectional meetings is exceptional!  If you haven’t attended a meeting lately you should.  MathFest August 2-4 is at the new Frank Lloyd Wright Convention Center in Madison, Wisconsin and will be excellent.  Check out the program at 

     I have been a member of MAA since 1965 joining as a graduate student at the University of Illinois.  Serving as Governor of the Illinois Section has been the highlight of these past thirty-five years.  I plan to continue being active in MAA and hope that I may be able to make positive contributions as we move forward to further the purposes of our organization and profession.  See you in Madison!

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Melvyn Jeter

Illinois Weslayan University


My term as Chair of the Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America ended with the conclusion of the Business Meeting at the 80th annual meeting of the ISMAA.  At that time Robert Johnson became the Chair and will serve a two-year term as such.  I will continue as Past Chair and as the Chair of your Nominating Committee.  I would like to thank the members of the Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America for the opportunity that you afforded me to serve as your Chair these past two years.  I will always cherish the pleasure, privilege, and experience that I enjoyed as your Chair.  I have worked with so many outstanding people on the ISMAA Board of Directors, that it would difficult to acknowledge all of them here.  I am happy to say that, in Robert Johnson, you have elected an outstanding new Chair.  As the Chair of the Nominating Committee, I would appreciate any suggestions, recommendations, or comments that you would care to make about the upcoming work of that committee next year. 

Section Chairs, and other section officers, frequently attend Section Officers Meetings at the winter and summer national MAA meetings.  I believe that I have attended at least four of these events.  As I reflect back on those four meetings, I am impressed by the manner in which those meetings have evolved over the last two years.  I recall that two years ago the section officers had a substantial list of recommendations and requests for the officers and staff of the national organization.  At the summer meeting of 2000 and the winter meeting of 2001, I was impressed by the extent to which the national office had listened to us and responded with impressive action.  Many of their actions will drastically enhance the MAA, especially at the section level.  You have heard of some of these actions in past reports in your newsletter from your section officers.  I encourage you to follow these developments and to let your section officers have the benefit of your thinking about some of the innovative things that we will be able to do in the future.

It is my unofficial opinion that the meeting in New Orleans was one of the better attended in recent years.  I heard unofficial estimates of attendance in the neighborhood of 5,000. Below, I will attempt to give a brief overview, from my viewpoint, of the Section Officers Meeting this last January in New Orleans. 

The Section Officers Meeting opened with a report on the activities of NExT.  It was reported that recently State NExT Fellows have been invited to National NExT Fellow activities.  If that continues to work well, then the policy will likely be continued.  Also, NExT will resume minicourse activities at Mathfest 2001.  National NExT Fellows will be the first chosen to attend these minicourses, but MAA hopes to include some Fellows from the sections.  At the section level, we learned that Section NExTs needing funding can request financial help up to a $5,000 total, including start-up costs.  At the national level, April 13, is the deadline for national application for NEXT.

The CUPM issues curriculum guidelines every ten years or so.  In recent years, our institutions and student populations have grown so diverse that it is no longer possible to suggest a single national program.  Instead, CUPM will try to offer a number of example programs.  Also, a subcommittee on calculus has embarked on a huge project involving a number of reports from different disciplines.  This may have some influence on how all, majors or not, are taught calculus.  This work will be made public on the web.  Section involvement is welcomed. By summer, the MAA web page should have interactive capability that should help individuals serve as consultants for CUPM.

The guidelines for section officers appear to have disappeared in the early 90's.  However, the guidelines will be available soon on the MAA web site.  David Stone invited input about items that should be included in those guidelines.

The MAA is now attempting to mail information about section activities to MAA members living in a given section.  This should be a highly successful activity.  MAA hopes to make new members aware of each section's activities and the opportunities available to them in each section.  MAA would like to send out a letter of introduction from each section to the new members of MAA living within the section.  They would like to do this twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring.  The letters would have the section's logo and would be customized for the section involved.  This would not be an effort to collect dues!  It would strictly be an effort to make the reader aware of what is available in the section.  Sections could still send their own letters as well. 

Tina Straley, Executive Director, discussed one of the most dramatic and recent accomplishments by MAA, the creation of the new MAA digital library.  The Mathematical Association of America is one of the first three professional societies selected and funded to do a subject area for this NSF project.  The digital library has three essential components: a library of commercial projects, a library of online materials, and the Journal of Online Mathematics and Its Applications (JOMA).  There is a world of material online, but most of it is not rated.  The software for this project is very promising and requires no customizing.

We learned that MAA has obtained $4,000,000 in external funding grants, that membership is up, and that MAA published more books this year than ever before.  I continue to be impressed by the accomplishments of Tina Starley and the other members of the national organization. 

One of the discussions that I found most interesting at the New Orleans Section Officers meeting was concerned with how individual sections distribute their newsletters and programs of upcoming meetings to their members.  Some sections are attempting to contain cost by modifying the traditional manner in which they notify their members of section meetings and by cutting the cost of mailing their newsletters.  One section is considering sending a postcard reminding members of upcoming meetings and telling them where to find the section newsletter online, but not to publish such material in hard form.  Another section tried something like this, but found that they needed to send out a spring newsletter containing the program for the upcoming section meeting.  One person suggested sending a card with the option of requesting a hard copy by returning the card.  Some sections publish their newsletters only online in order to save the postage, while other sections mail packages of newsletters to institutions, but not to individuals.  Some sections send large batches of newsletters to the large schools in their sections and have the schools distribute them.  I believe they still send newsletters to individuals not located at a large school.  Some sections do online registration for meetings.  Others allow electronic submissions for meeting presentations.  Some sections post their programs online as they develop.  At least one section has a meeting report after each meeting. Some sections attempt to financially support their newsletters and programs by selling advertisements in their newsletters to graduate schools, avoiding the issue of profit/nonprofit.  However, nonprofit organizations can make money, they just have to be careful how they handle the money they make.  I would encourage each of you to make your thoughts and concerns known to the members of the ISMAA Board or Directors regarding the enhanced role that our web site should play in the future.

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2001 American Mathematics Contest

Herb Kasube

Bradley University

The 2001 editions of the AMC - 10 and AMC - 12 are both history.  Both examinations were held on Tuesday February 13th. 

The AMC -10 is still in its infancy and word has it that its introduction has been very well received.  We have even had a few elementary schools in Illinois participate in the AMC - 10 (after they has already taken part in the AMC - 8 in the fall).

This year's top scoring team and winner of the Gary Tippett Award is the Illinois Math and Science Academy.  They even had one student getting a perfect score.  WOW!

This year's USAMO Team will be defending its "Home Court" this summer.  The International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) is being held in the United States for the first time since 1981.  From July 1 through July 14,  mathematics students from around the globe will descend on Washington, DC.

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Distinguished Service Award

Award for Distinguished Teaching of Mathematics


ISMAA was very excited to present both the Distinguished Service Award and the Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics at its 2001 Annual Meeting.  Congratulations to Bob Hathway and Paul Sally, respectively!


As Chair of the 2001-2002 Awards Committee I would be thrilled to see us present both awards again next year.  We can only do this if you submit nominations.  Please see the ISMAA Web Page ( for details.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Herb Kasube

Bradley University  Peoria, IL  61625

(309) 677-2505

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Robert Johnson (2003)

Augustana College

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

639 38th St.

Rock Island, IL 61201-2296

(309) 794-7492 Home: (309) 788-0176

Past Chair  (2003)

Melvyn Jeter

Department of Mathematics

Illinois Wesleyan University

Bloomington, IL 61702-2900

(309) 556-3069




Jon Johnson (2003)

Mathematics Department

Elmhurst College 

156 Chandler

Elmhurst, IL 60126

 (630) 617-3571



Election in progress

Director for Community Colleges

Carol D. Schmidt (2003)

Mathematics Department

Lincoln Land Community College

5250 Shepherd Road (P.O. Box 19256)

Springfield, IL 62794-9256

(217) 786-2385 Home: (217) 243-4637

Director for Private Colleges

Andrew Leahy (2004)

Department of Mathematics

Knox College

Galesburg, IL 61401

(309) 341-7439

Director for Public Universities

James Olsen, Chair (2002)

Department of Mathematics

Western Illinois University

Macomb, IL 61455

(309) 298-1466 Home: (309) 836-9900


Directors at Large

Mary Armon  (2002)

Department of Mathematics

Knox College

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999

(309) 341-7324


Donald Porzio  (2002)

Department of Mathematics

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Aurora, IL 60506-1000

(630) 907-5968


Jerry Uhl  (2002)

Department of Mathematics

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 333-2489


Sandra Cox  (2003)

Science and Mathematics Department

Rend Lake College

Ina, IL 62846

(618) 437-5321, Ext. 288


Lanette Poteete-Young  (2003)

Mathematics Department

Judson College

1151 North State Street

Elgin, IL 60123-1498

(847) 695-2500, ext. 3711

(847) 741-3032 (home)


To be appointed  (2003)


William D. Blair (2004)

Department of Mathematics

Northern Illinois University

DeKalb, IL 60115-2854



Jimmie Lee Johnson (2004)

School of Science & Mathematics

Roosevelt University

430 S. Michigan Ave.

Chicago, IL 60605




Keven R. Hansen (2004)

Department of Mathematics

Southwestern Illinois College

2500 Carlyle Ave.

Belleville, IL 62221

618-235-2700 x5611




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

Mathematics Department

Bradley University

Peoria, IL 61625

(309) 677-2499

American Junior High & High School Math Exam

Herb Kasube

Department of Mathematics

Bradley University

Peoria, IL 61625

(309) 677-2505

Audit Committee

Richard Wilders

North Central College

(630) 637-5234


Patrick McCray

P.O. Box 374

Winnetka, IL 60093-0374

(847) 982-8532

(G.D. Searle & Co.)


NexT Coordinator


Lanette Poteete-Young 

Mathematics Department

Judson College

1151 North State Street

Elgin, IL 60123-1498

(847) 695-2500, ext. 3711

(847) 741-3032 (home)




Awards Committee

3 for 3-year appointments

Herb Kasube (2002)

Bradley University

(309) 677-2505


Howard Saar (2003)

North Central College

Home (815) 436-2826


To be appointed (2004)

Finance Committee

3 for 6 year appointments plus Secretary-Treasurer

Ralph Czerwinski, Chair (2004)

Milikin University

(217) 424-6270


Richard Wilders (2002)

North Central College

(630) 637-5234


Jon Johnson (Ex-officio)

Elmhurst College

(630) 617-3571


Don Sokol (2006)

4612 Wedgewood Court

Lisle, IL 60532-1097

(630) 778-7313


Nominating Committee

3 for 3-year appointments plus Past-Chair


Melvyn Jeter, Chair (2003)

Department of Mathematics

Illinois Wesleyan University

Bloomington, IL 61702-2900

(309) 556-3069


To be appointed (2004)


Sharon Robbert (2002)

Trinity Christian College

(708) 239-4771


Jimmie Lee Johnson (2003)

Roosevelt University

430 South Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL 60605

(312) 341-6372 Home (847) 619-8587


Secondary School H.S. Lecture Committee

5 for 3-year appointments including director at Large


Christopher Boucher (Chair) (2002)

Illinois Wesleyan University

(309) 556-3421


Don Porzio (2002)

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

1500 W. Sullivan Road, Aurora, IL 60506

(630) 907-5968


Raymond Robb (2003)

McKendree College

(618) 537-6932


Dave McClenahan (2004)

University of St. Francis

500 Wilcox, Joliet, IL 60435

(815) 740-3411  Home (815) 729-9834


Mike Mc Asey (2004)

Department of Mathematics

Bradley University

Peoria, IL 61625



Teacher Education Committee

5 for 4 year appointments: one from public, private, community college/university and public school


Carol Benson, Chair(2003)

Illinois State University

4520 Math Department, Normal, IL 61790-4520

(309) 438-7989


Bill Messersmith (2004)

University of Illinois at Chicago

(312) 413-3752 Home: (708) 747-2640


Jon Odel (2004)

Richland Community College

(217) 875-7200, ext 486


Don Porzio (2004)

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

1500 W. Sullivan Road, Aurora, IL 60506

(630) 907-5968


Todd Oberg (2003)

Illinois College

(217) 245-3430


Two Year College Committee

5 for 3 year appointments including Director at Large


John Bradburn (2002)

Elgin Community College (retired)

Home (847) 741-4730


Keven Hansen (2003)

Southwestern Illinois College

2500 Carlyle Avenue

Belleview, IL 62221

(618) 235-2700, Ext. 5611


Three to  be appointed

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SECTION BUDGET: 2001 – 2002


            Institutional Memberships                1375

            MAA Section Grant                           1400


            Interest                                                 400


            2002 Annual Meeting

                        Registration                           2000

                        Mini-Course Fees                    750

                        Banquet Tickets                     2400

                        Publisher Fees                          100   

                        MAA Book Sales                       75

Total Receipts                                                8500   


            High School Math Contest                   60

            High School Lectures

                        Printing                                     200

                        Postage                                     150

                        Travel                                       100

            Newsletter Printing/Postage              1155

            Administrative Expenses                     230

            2002 Annual Meeting

                        Program                                    700   

                        Speaker Fees/Travel             2100

                        Banquet Expenses                 2200   

                        Mini-Course Expenses            750

                        Student Program                      150

            Student Memberships                         100

            Exxon Grant Postage                 70

            Project NexT                                        535

Total Expenses                                              8500

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Don't Forget!



Early Bird Registration: Register by June 15 to take advantage of the early bird savings and the option to receive your registration packet before the meeting. Registration packets will be mailed July 9.


Regular Registration:Advance Registration/Hotel Forms received after June 15 and by July 11 must include payment for regular registration fees, banquet, and/or events. Participants registering during this period must pick up their registration packets at the Registration Desk. Deadline for hotel reservations is July 3, 2001. (See Hotel Section)

Online Registration: Register for the MathFest and reserve a hotel or residence hall room on the internet. Go to and click on "Information about MathFest 01" or go directly to "http://". Credit card payment is required for internet registration and hotel guarantees. Payment is accepted with the following credit cards only: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover.

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Newsletter Options


As the web grows ever more accessible, the Section officers are considering the possibility of transferring some or all of the Section Newsletter to the Section Website.  Currently, a copy of the Newsletter is mailed to every member of the Section.  In addition, a copy of the Newlsetter is posted to the Website.   We are considering several options with regard to publication of the newsletter in the future and invite your input on this matter.  You can respond to the survey which comprises the centerfold of this newsletter by mailing it in or by emailing your responses to me at

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Monona Terrace Convention Center

Site of MathFest 2001


One of Several MAA Short Courses this Coming Summer

Using Hands-on Devices to Understand Calculus Concepts

                                         Steve Monk

                       University of Washington, Seattle, WA

                                    August 7-11, 2001


This workshop will focus on the design of student activities around physical and electronic devices, as a means of increasing students' conceptual understanding of calculus. In the course of the workshop, participants will: (1) work with a variety of devices to explore their potential for deepening understanding, (2) examine videotapes and students written work to become familiar with the conceptual and experiential resources students bring to learning with such devices, (3) collaborate with one another designing classroom activities around such devices, and (4) consider the mathematical and the pedagogical issues that

arise for teachers and students in using this approach. A limited number of devices will be available on loan to workshop participants during the academic year. It is hoped that those attending the workshop will continue to collaborate electronically on refinements of their materials and that they will share with one another the results of trying them out. A follow-up meeting of the group will be held at the Joint Mathematics Meeting in San Diego on January 6-9, 2002. Instructors who work with future and present high school teachers are particularly encouraged to attend.

See the MAA home page for more information

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Items for the Newsletter?


We are pleased to publish announcements of special events on your campus or other items of interest to the mathematics community. 

For  the Newsletter contact Rich Wilders at 

For the web site contact Scott Harrod at


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