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Spring 2010 meeting of the Indiana Section of the Mathematical Association of America

Friday-Saturday, April 9-10, 2010

Franklin College



Preliminary schedule of meeting: PDF linkPDF (updated April 7)

Preliminary list of talk abstracts PDF linkPDF (updated April 7)

Student workshop: The Mathematics of Sudoku, led by Crystal Lorch and John Lorch. (description appears below)

Tickets for Friday Dinner and Saturday Lunch are being sold during early registration.

Menu: (vegetarian options will be available at both meals)

Friday Dinner: Branigin Feast- Roast beef with mushroom sauce, Rotisserie Chicken breast, Cheese Ravioli in Pesto sauce, Mashed potatoes and gravy, seasoned green beans, rolls, butter, beverages (iced tea, lemonade, water) and the dessert of the day ($13.00 per person)

Saturday Lunch: Fajita Bar: Fajita chicken strips, an assortment of warm flour tortillas, sautéed onions and green peppers, guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos, salsa, shredded lettuce, Spanish rice, refried beans, nacho chips, dessert of the day, iced tea, lemonade, iced water. ($10.00 per person)

Call for Papers NOW CLOSED.
Web-based registration (via NOW CLOSED.

2010 ICMC pre-registration NOW CLOSED.

Invited Talks

Speaker: Rick Cleary

Title: Some Non‑standard Applications of Mathematics to Sports.

Abstract: Thanks to the popularity of books like "Moneyball" by Michael Lewis, there has been a great increase in public awareness that statistical analysis has become a vital and accepted tool in sports applications. We present some examples in which other branches of mathematics can be used to consider sports related questions. We will investigate several of these less well known applications. Specific instances include: using probability to model rare events; some graph theory and operations research to consider a scheduling question; an optimization problem involving a basketball pool; and maybe even some elementary topology related to the rules of several sports.

Biographical Sketch: Rick Cleary is Professor and Chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Bentley University in Waltham, MA. He serves as the Chair of the Budget and Audit Committees of the Mathematical Association of America. He enjoys finding ways to use his knowledge of statistics and the research process to work with people in a variety of fields. In the past few years he has worked on problems in many areas, including sports, biomechanics, market research, and plant pathology. Most recently he has worked with his Bentley colleague Jay Thibodeau (Accountancy) on statistical approaches to fraud detection and audit risk. Professor Cleary has also taught at Saint Michael's College in Vermont(1980‑97), Cornell University (1997‑2001), and Harvard University (2008‑09 sabbatical). Prof. Cleary's interests outside the classroom tend to athletics, especially running, golf, baseball and basketball. He was an undergraduate at Oneonta State College in New York, and earned his Ph. D. in Statistics at Cornell.


Speaker: Eric Rowland

Title: Wolfram|Alpha: Inside and Out.

Wolfram|Alpha is a "computational knowledge engine", a web site that computes — rather than searches — for answers to user input. It went live in May 2009. Much more than a calculator, Wolfram|Alpha accepts free-form input and outputs not just an answer but related information as well. For example, "integrate x^2 log x^2 wrt x" returns the antiderivative (along with steps to compute it), some plots, and a few other facts about the integral. I'll talk about the main components of Wolfram|Alpha, giving some idea of what goes on behind the scenes. I'll also try to convey the current breadth of functionality, in mathematics as well as other areas. Finally, I'll address possible consequences and opportunities for mathematics education of Wolfram|Alpha's ability to perform computations at such low cost to the user.

Biographical Sketch: Eric Rowland is a postdoctoral researcher at Tulane University. He has been a developer of Wolfram|Alpha since 2006, having implemented some number theory functionality, interfaces to the graph and polyhedron data collections in Mathematica, and most of the geometry capabilities of the site. His research interests include areas of number theory, combinatorics, and computer science. He received his degree from Rutgers University in 2009, where part of his thesis was devoted to showing that the recurrence a(n) = a(n – 1) + gcd(n, a(n – 1)) generates primes.


Student Workshop

Title: The Mathematics of Sudoku

Presenters: Crystal Lorch and John Lorch (Ball State University)

Abstract: The process of completing a newspaper sudoku puzzle is only half of the fun. In this workshop we investigate interesting open mathematical problems involving completed sudoku puzzles, such as counting certain types of puzzles and determining the maximum size of a family of mutually orthogonal puzzles.  Along the way we will encounter group theory and linear algebra.


Indiana Project NExT Panel Discussion

Incorporating undergraduate research into your personal research track

Undergraduate research has an ever-growing presence in mathematics departments.  As a junior faculty member, it can be difficult to balance an undergraduate research program with a personal research agenda.  This panel will provide ideas for maintaining and combining both of these areas.  Other topics may include finding students to work with, generating research topics for yourself and for your students, guiding students through writing papers and presentations, and more.
Panelists are Carl Cowen (IUPUI), Matt DeLong (Taylor University), and David Housman (Goshen College).

Comments? Email the Public Information Officer.
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