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Spring 2009 meeting of the Indiana Section of the Mathematical Association of America

Friday - Saturday, March 20-21, 2009

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis




Preliminary schedule of meeting: PDF
(last update March 5)

Preliminary schedule of contributed talks: PDF
(last update March 12)

Abstracts of Presentations PDF
(posted after meeting)

Saturday morning student workshop: Knot Theory, led by Matt DeLong.

Online meeting registration due date March 15. (late registration now closed)
Some meal tickets may be available at the on-site registration.

Friday 6:00-7:30 Dinner Menu:
$15/Student – $24/Non-Student
Chicken Parmesan, includes vegetables, potato, salad, dessert, ice tea and coffee.
OR Vegetarian Meal (Select One on registration form)

Saturday Lunch Menu:
$8/Student – $10/Non-Student
Box Lunch, choice of sandwich (variety), chips, over-sized cookie, fruit, and canned soda.

There will be a meeting of the Executive Board starting at 4 pm.

Invited Talks

Dan Teague, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

Group Testing: A Non-Standard Optimization Problem

Abstract: Suppose you want to test all NCAA athletes for steroid use. Is it possible to pool urine samples from several individuals and test them together? If so, how large should the groups be to minimize the total number of tests required? This talk presents several inventive student solutions to this classic group testing problem. The problem is based on a technique developed by the army during World War II by R. Dorfman. At that time, the issue was one of screening recruits for syphilis by pooling blood samples. In actual practice, by testing first in groups, the army achieved a reduction of 80% in the number of tests required over testing individually. The basic procedure has been modified in a variety of research areas, including screening blood for diseases, for detecting defective parts in production lines, efficient storage and access of punched card catalogues, for minimizing the number of wires in magnetic core memories, for conflict resolution in multi-access channels, and for screening libraries of clones for the human genome project.

Where are the Toads?

Abstract: Marianne Moore has described poetry as “an imaginary gardens with real toads.” This description works equally well for mathematics. Her metaphor captures the wonderful duality and interplay of theory (the imaginary garden) and application (real toads) that we treasure in our subject. While this depiction of mathematics is appealing, it can set up a false dichotomy with strong advocates for proof and rigor on one side and equally strong advocates for applications on the other. Mathematical modeling, early and often, offers a connecting corridor between proof and application, between garden and toad, and supports a rich and blended view of mathematics and mathematical investigation.

Speaker Bio: Dan Teague has been an Instructor of Mathematics at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics since 1982. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Masters of Education from Springfield College, and his Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from North Carolina State University. He has strong interests in mathematical modeling, statistics education, the mathematics education of advanced students, and mathematics education in Japan, particularly lesson study.

Dr. Teague has served on the Mathematical Sciences Education Board, two terms on the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Education, on the NRC’s Committee on Programs for Advanced Study of Math and Science in American High Schools, as the technology consultant for the NCTM Secondary Level Standards Addenda Projects, and as a member of NCTM's Commission of the Future of the Standards. Dan served on the AP Statistics Test Development Committee and currently serves on the Mathematical Sciences Academic Advisory Committee at the College Board. He has been the MAA Governor-at-Large for Secondary Teachers and helped organize and has chaired the MAA Special Interest Group on Teaching Advanced High School Mathematics (SIGMAA TAHSM).

He has been recognized with the Board of Governor's Award from the University of North Carolina, the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching, the Edith May Sliffe Award for Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Teaching (twice), and the Tandy Technology Scholar Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Distinguished Educator and Mentor Award by the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at North Carolina State University. For ten years, Dr. Teague was the section editor of “Everybody's Problems” for COMAP's Consortium. He is co-author of the texts Contemporary Precalculus Through Applications and Contemporary Calculus Through Applications.


Paul Coe, Dominican University

Probability and The Price is Right

Abstract: Each weekday an applied probability workshop is played out on national TV on a game show called The Price is Right (TPIR).  Playing along with contestants and scrutinizing their decisions on TPIR is perhaps the closest that many people come to dealing with serious mathematical analysis and strategic decision-making, whether they realize it or not. The Price is Right features a collection of games involving, to a greater or lesser extent, skill, knowledge of prices, strategy, and often a bit of luck.  The show is broken up into four major segments, and I will discuss strategy in each segment.  After hearing this talk, I hope that you will be at least a little better prepared should you ever hear your name with that famous call to "come on down ...."

Speaker Bio: Paul Coe is Professor of Mathematics at Dominican University.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Wheaton College and a master’s and PhD in statistics from Northwestern University.  His mathematical interests include recreational mathematics, probability, and statistics, particularly with applications to the pharmaceutical industry.  He is currently on the board of the Illinois Section of the MAA.  He has published articles in The College Mathematics Journal, The American Statistician, PRIMUS, and Math Horizons, among others.  He enjoys movies, golf, and playing video games with his teenage son.

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