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Iowa Section – Mathematical Association of America

Governor: James Freeman, Cornell College Past-Chair: Joel Haack, University of Northern Iowa 
Chair: Al Hibbard, Central College Vice-Chair: Mariah Birgen, Wartburg College 
Vice-Chair Elect: Elgin Johnston, Iowa State University Secretary: Wendy Weber, Central College 
Treasurer: Wendy Weber, Central College Information Director: Mark Mills, Central College 
Liaison Coordinator: Calvin Van Niewaal, Coe College Competition Coordinator: Ruth Berger, Luther College 

2006 Iowa Mathematics Meeting

Department of Mathematics
Iowa State University
Ames, IA
April 7-8, 2006

Call for papers Elections Competition Lodging More Details Abstracts Preregistering

Basic Schedule

We expect to have a paper session on Friday afternoon, followed by an optional dinner together. After dinner, we will have Jim Tattersal, Associate Secretary of the MAA, speak on Episodes in the Early History of the Lucasian Chair, followed by a reception. On Saturday morning, Jim Tattersal will present Vignettes in Number Theory, followed by another paper session and then our business meeting and lunch. There will be more paper sessions Saturday afternoon.

Episodes in the Early History of the Lucasian Chair
Jim Tattersal
Providence College
Executive Secretary of the MAA

In 1663, Henry Lucas, the long-time secretary to the Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, made a bequest, subsequently granted by Charles II, to endow a chair in mathematics. A number of conditions were attached to the Chair. Among the more prominent Lucasian professors were Newton, Babbage, Stokes, Dirac, and Hawking. We focus attention on the early Lucasians. Many of whom were very diligent in carrying out their Lucasian responsibilities but as history has shown such was not always the case. In the process, we uncover several untold stories and some interesting mathematics

Vignettes in Number Theory

Properties and the history of several numbers that lend themselves naturally to undergraduate research projects will be discussed. Topics include Demlo numbers, polite numbers, sad numbers, decimal Columbian numbers, Smith numbers, and Niven numbers.

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. There will also be an overhead projector.

We are again asking you to submit your 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): [no longer available]


Mariah Birgen
Dept of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics
Wartburg College
Waverly, IA 50677-0903
phone: 319-352-8565
FAX: 319-352-8606


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

Steve Wilson (Iowa State University)
Murphy Waggoner (Simpson College)
Gene Herman (Grinnell College)

Teaching Awards

This year's committee to handle nominations for a teaching award consists of the following:
Ron Smith (Graceland College)
Keith Stroyan (University of Iowa)
Alex Kleiner (Drake University) alexander.kleiner@DRAKE.EDU

In the fall, the Secretary will be asking for your nominations for 2007. You may wish to begin thinking about candidates.

Eleventh Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition

The Competition will be held Saturday, March 4, 2006, at Luther College. Please contact Ruth Berger, the competition coordinator, at by February 24, 2006, to sign your teams up.

Lodging in Ames

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. You can still attempt to make reservations after the day posted, but there is no guarantee of room availability. More general information about Ames is also available.


Contact Chair Al Hibbard at (for general questions), Vice-Chair Mariah Birgen at (for program issues), Vice-Chair Elect Elgin Johnston at (for local, on-site issues), or the Secretary Wendy Weber at (for registration or other issues).

More Details

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

At the 2006 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 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 ($10) to complete the process. Preregistration takes place here: [registration closed].

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.