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Spring 2015 News from the Campuses of . . .


We congratulate Gary Dean on receiving the 2014 Matthew Rodermund Service Award from the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). The award is intended to recognize CAS members who have made significant volunteer contributions to the actuarial profession over the course of a career. More information on Gary's award may be found at

We welcome new contract faculty members Patrick Eggleton and Jeff Hiatt. We are also conducting searches this year for new tenure-line faculty members in actuarial science, mathematics education, and statistics. If these searches are successful we will have hired seven new tenure-line faculty members in the course of three years. We all have high hopes that these faculty members, and the students they mentor, will lift our department and discipline to higher levels of excellence.

Jon Ekman and Patty Parkison, both longtime contract faculty members in our department, have retired. (Jon in May 2014 and Patty in December 2014.)

Dale Umbach passed away on August 29, 2014. Dale was a member our department since 1979, serving as a cornerstone for our statistics program and as department chair person.     TOP

BUTLER UNIVERSITY - Indianapolis, Indiana

In the fall, the Butler Mathematics & Actuarial Science department welcomed Dr. Phil Mummert into his tenure-track appointment. Phil immediately began running an NSF (CURM) sponsored research project with three students. Dr. John Gaisser is retiring this year after a 44-year career at Butler University. Among many other accomplishments, John was instrumental at establishing our actuarial science major, which currently has more than 60 students. Also, Dr. Judith Morrel is retiring. Besides a long and successful tenure at teaching mathematics at Butler, she has served as the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Interim Dean, and she has directed the University's program the Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement for the last five years. This past August, our department successfully ran its first Mathematics Research Camp, an intensive eight-day experience to introduce students to undergraduate collaborative mathematical research. This year, three of those students presented their work: two at the Bluegrass Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium, and one at the JMM Poster session. In addition, two students are writing Senior Theses on their mathematical research.     TOP

INDIANA UNIVERSITY - Bloomington, Indiana

From the chair, Elizabeth Housworth: This year, Mike Mandell, highly regarded for his work in homotopy theory, was selected as a Fellow of the American Mathematics Society. Kevin Zumbrun was selected for promotion to the rank of Distinguished Professor. In sad news, Vinay Deodhar, a recently retired faculty member whose expertise was in algebraic groups and representation theory and who was a highly regarded teacher in our department, passed away.

From our graduate director, Matthias Weber: This year, we had a record cohort of 38 students. Many of them are participating in our new Problem Solving Courses M500 in Analysis (Fall) and Algebra (Spring). In these courses, the students present and discuss solutions to homework problems on the black board. The goal is to train them in problem solving skills that will be important throughout their academic career. One of our graduate students, Chuntian Wang, was invited to participate at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum in 2014. She became one of 200 young researchers world wide who had the opportunity to spend a week with Nobel Laureates, Turing price Winners, and Fields medalists.

From our undergraduate director, Kevin M. Pilgrim: Our already diverse undergraduate major course offerings were expanded to include new courses, including Introduction to Geometries, Metric Space Topology, Mathematics of Finance, Careers in Mathematics, and Case Studies in Applied Mathematics. The introduction of Math Circles formalized our outreach program, so that majors can now receive credit for developing enrichment activities for 3rd-10th graders. Our majors now routinely take advantage of formal study abroad opportunities in Budapest, Moscow, Sydney, Budapest, and most recently Hong Kong.     TOP


In Fall 2014, the Department organized a day of events on the occasion of the Martin Gardner Centennial. The talks during the “Celebration of the Mathematical Mind” day included a soap bubble demonstration by Professor Coffman, and presentations on mathematical puzzles and paradoxes by Betsy Berry, IPFW; Andy Rich, Manchester University; and Mel Royer, Indiana Wesleyan.

In Fall 2014, Dianne Clark retired as Administrator of the IPFW Math Testing Center. Her successor is Cynthia Ellis, Interim Coordinator of STEM Support Services.

In Spring 2015, Professors Coffman, Townsend, and Weakley are on sabbatical.

In February 2015, Professor Emeritus Maynard Mansfield passed away. Mansfield was a Purdue alumnus (M.S., 1954, Ph.D., 1956, Honorary Doctorate of Engineering, 1998). He was the founder of the modern era of IPFW mathematics, serving as chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences from 1964 to 1988, as chair of Computer Science after it became a separate department, and then as Dean of the School of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science until his retirement in 1994. He was active in the Indiana MAA in the 1960s-70s, serving for a time as Secretary of the Section, and later as Governor. Memorials may be made to the Maynard J. Mansfield Mathematics Scholarship through the IPFW Foundation.     TOP

TRINE UNIVERSITY - Angola, Indiana

Informatics faculty member Bill Barge presented his paper, "A Model of Packet Loss in the Bluetooth Low Energy Component of a Wearable Body Area Network Caused by Interference from a Residential Microwave Oven," at the IEEE Healthcare Innovation/Point-of-Care Technologies Conference (HIC-POCT'14) in Seattle, WA, on October 8-10, 2014.

Faculty member Christina Zumbrun was awarded the Gwen Frostic Doctoral Fellowship from Western Michigan University. Professor Zumbrun is a doctoral candidate in the Ph.D. in Mathematics Education program at Western Michigan University.

Steven A. Schonefeld, Ph.D., has announced his retirement at the end of this Spring 2015 semester. The Department of Mathematics, Informatics, \amp; Cybersecurity thanks Steve for his 37 years of service to both the department and Trine University!

Trine University hosted the 40th Annual High School Mathematics Competition on its main campus on Wednesday, January 28, 15. 181 students from 20 area high schools participated in this event.

Trine University Math Club is planning to host its annual Math Kids' Night for the area elementary schools on March 20, 2015.     TOP


Professors Daniel Maxim and Lara Pudwell both receive tenure (formally, beginning Fall 2015). Prof. Maxim is on a full-year sabbatical, and Prof. Pudwell has a sabbatical in the fall. Prof. Jon Beagley is now a tenure-track Assistant Professor rather than Visiting, and Prof. Jonny Stephenson is holding a 1-year visiting assistant professor position this year.

The department is one of several on campus in the middle of an NSF grant related to recruitment and retention of STEM high school teachers. Information about this program can be found at .     TOP


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