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Governor: Joel Haack, University of Northern Iowa Past-Chair: Theron Hitchman, University of Northern Iowa
Chair: Jon White, Coe College Vice-Chair: Russ Goodman, Central College
Vice-Chair Elect: Debra Czarneski, Simpson College Secretary: Ronald Smith, Graceland University
Treasurer: Scott Searcy, Waldorf College Information Director: Amanda Matson, Clarke College
Liaison Coordinator: Russ Goodman, Central College Competition Coordinator: Ruth Berger, Luther College 

2012 Iowa Mathematics Meeting
Simpson College
Indianola, IA
October 5-6, 2012

Call for papers Elections Simpson Campus Lodging Schedule Abstracts Preregistering

The annual meeting of the Iowa Section of the Mathematics Association of America will soon be here. We are fortunate to have Ivars Peterson be our speaker both Friday evening (7-8 p.m.) and Saturday morning (8:30-9:30 a.m.).

Ivars Peterson
Director of Publications and Communications
Mathematical Association of America


Few people expect to encounter mathematics on a visit to an art gallery or even a walk down a city street (or across campus). When we explore the world around us with mathematics in mind, however, we see the many ways in which mathematics can manifest itself, in streetscapes, sculptures, paintings, architectural structures, and more. This illustrated presentation offers illuminating glimpses of mathematics, from Euclidean geometry and normal distributions to Riemann sums and Möbius strips, as seen in a variety of structures and artworks in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, New Orleans, and many other locales. Bibliography.

Pancake Sorting, Prefix Reversals, and DNA Rearrangements

The seemingly simple problem of sorting a stack of differently sized pancakes has become a staple of theoretical computer science and led to insights into the evolution of species. First proposed in The American Mathematical Monthly, the problem attracted the attention of noted mathematicians and computer scientists. It now plays an important role in the realm of molecular biology for making sense of DNA rearrangements. Bibliography.

Call for Student and Faculty Papers

As usual, we hope for a wide variety of talks from our own members. If you have something interesting to say about mathematics or teaching, contribute a talk and share with the rest of the section. Students (both undergraduates and graduates) are encouraged to participate.

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.)

Proposals for talks are due by Sept. 14. Please use the electronic submission form at [inactive now]. If you are unable to use the submission site, please send the following information to Russ Goodman:

Contact information for Russ Goodman:

Russ Goodman Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Central College Pella, IA 50219 voice: 641-628-7640 email:


We will be holding elections for a new vice chair elect at the meeting. The candidate for vice chair elect is Brian Birgen. We also have an election for Treasurer and our candidate is Scott Searcy, from Waldorf College. The search committee consists of Jon White, Joel Haack, and Ruth Berger.

Simpson Campus Information

Here is a link to a map of the Simpson campus:

All meetings will be in Carver Science Center on Clinton Avenue between Buxton Street and C Street. We can use any parking lots on campus; if campus security inadvertently issues a ticket, give the ticket to Deb Czarneski and she can arrange to have security waive it. There is also ample parking on the street around Carver Science.

Lodging in Indianola

There are two motels in Indianola, and a Bed and Breakfast.

  1. Apple Tree Inn, 1215 N. Jefferson Street, (Highway 65/69 North), Indianola, IA 50125, (515) 961-0551.
  2. Super 8 Motel, 1701 N. Jefferson, US Hwy 65/69, Indianola, IA 50125, 515-961-0058
  3. Garden & Galley Bed & Breakfast, 1321 S. Jefferson Way (Highway 65/69 South), Indianola, IA 50125, (515) 961-7749. The rates start at $90 and include breakfast. (Mention that you are attending a conference at Simpson to get the best rate.)

Several hotels are within 10-12 miles of Simpson College near the airport in Des Moines. From Fleur, you can take the bypass (Hwy 5) east and then take the Indianola exit (Hwy 65/69 South) and get to Simpson in 15 minutes.


If you have questions, please contact Jon White at, Vice-Chair Russ Goodman at (for program issues), Vice-Chair Elect Debra Czarneski (for local, on-site issues), or Secretary Ronald Smith at (for registration or other issues).


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 you are 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: [inactive now].

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.