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Iowa Section – Mathematical Association of America

c/o Department of Mathematics & Computer Science
Central College, Pella, IA

Chair: Al Hibbard, Central College Governor: Jim Freeman, Cornell College
Chair-Elect: Mariah Birgen, Wartburg College Editor: Mark Mills, Central College
Past-Chair: Joel Haack, University of Northern Iowa Sec/Treas: Wendy Weber, Central College


2005 Iowa Mathematics Meeting
Central College
April 1-2, 2005

Call for papers Elections Competition Lodging More Details Abstracts Preregistering

Basic Schedule

Here is the basic tentative schedule. We expect to have our first contributed paper session and two round tables on Friday afternoon, followed by dinner on our own. After dinner, we will have Nancy Hagelgans, Chair of the MAA Committee on Sections, speak on Planar Linkages. This will be followed by a reception. On Saturday morning, we will start out at 8:45 with a session by David Bressoud on the new CUPM Guidelines. The full CUPM Guide 2004 is available on the web at Following this, we will have our second contributed paper session from 10:15 until 11:25, followed by our business meeting at 11:30. A break for lunch will follow the business meeting. Arrangements have been made to have a room set aside at the Central Market dining area (east part of campus) for us to eat lunch together, if you so choose. The afternoon sessions begin at 1:45 with a third and fourth paper session (with a break in between). Details of the day and schedule can be found at here.

Planar Linkages: Robot Arms, Carpenters' Rulers, and Other Devices
Nancy Hagelgans
Ursinus University
Chair, Committee on Sections

A planar linkage is constructed in the plane from rigid links or rods that are connected with movable joints.  Robot arms and carpenters' rulers are examples of planar linkages in which the links are connected to form a chain.  We will examine the reachability region of robot arms, which are chains with one end fixed.  Then we will go on to solve the minimal folding problem of carpenters' rulers with links of different lengths.  Finally we will address some planar linkages that can be used to convert one type of motion to another type of motion.

The CUPM Curriculum Guide 2004
David Bressoud
Macalester College
Chair, CUPM

The MAA Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics (CUPM) updates its recommendation for the undergraduate curriculum in mathematics roughly every ten years. The most recent and the most extensive set of recommendations ever produced by the CUPM was published in February 2004. This is the first CUPM curriculum guide to look at all mathematics courses and the needs of all students taking mathematics rather than dealing solely with the preparation of majors in the mathematical sciences. This workshop will explain what can be found in this guide and how it can be used.

Call for Student and Faculty Papers

Students and faculty are invited and encouraged to submit abstracts of papers for presentation at the meeting. Student presentations will be 15 minutes in length, while faculty presentations will be 25 minutes. Prizes will be awarded for the best student papers. All rooms are equipped with at least a computer and a projection unit. The projection unit is also capable of displaying overhead transparencies, sheets of paper, or other objects. (Other multi-media capabilities are also available if needed.)

This year we will be submitting abstracts online. Use the link below to do so.

Submit student and faculty abstracts by March 1st (submissions past this date will certainly be considered) to:

web page (strongly preferred): [closed]


Mariah Birgen
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science
Wartburg College
Waverly, IA 50677
phone: 319-352-8565
FAX: 319-352-8606


The business meeting Saturday morning will include the election of a Chair-Elect and Secretary/Treasurer. The nominating committee consists of

Ruth Berger (Luther College)
David Manderscheid (University of Iowa)
Bruce Sloane (Simpson College)
We also have a committee to handle nominations for a teaching award.
Ruth Berger (Luther College)
Elgin Johnston (Iowa State University)
Bruce Sloane (Simpson College)

Send your nominations to them as soon as possible. Biographies are posted in the spring newsletter.

Eleventh Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition

The Competition will be held Saturday, April 16, 2005, at Iowa State University. Please contact Ruth Berger, the competition coordinator, at by April 1, 2005, to sign your teams up.

Lodging in Pella

Blocks of rooms have been reserved at the following hotels. In all cases, call the local number and please let the clerk know that you are attending the Iowa section meeting of the MAA. (Some places may have it reserved under Central College or Al Hibbard or some combination of the above.) You can still attempt to make reservations after the day posted, but there is no guarantee of room availability.


Contact Chair Allen Hibbard at, Chair-Elect Mariah Birgen at, or the Secretary-Treasurer Wendy Weber at

More Details

The detailed schedule and other details can be found at here.

At the 2005 Business Meeting, we will be voting on some proposed Bylaws changes. A rationale is provided for you to read beforehand.


A complete list of abstracts can be found at here.


Thank you for your considering preregistering for the upcoming meeting. This will save time for you at the meeting, make it easier for our secretary at the meeting, and increase efficiency in gathering the data that the MAA headquarters asks of us for each meeting (including gender, whether a presenter, and student/faculty/other status). When you come to the registration table at the meeting, indicate that you have already preregistered. Your name will be looked up from the list gathered from this program and you will only need to pay the registration fee to complete the process. Preregistration takes place here: [closed at this point].

IA section database

We are trying to maintain an up-to-date database of all section members to provide better communication and save expenses on mailings. If you have not already updated your information, you may do so and it would be greatly appreciated.