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2013 Iowa Mathematics Meeting
Wartburg College
Waverly, Iowa
October 18-19, 2013

Call for papers Elections Campus Information 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 Jennifer Quinn be our speaker both Friday evening (time 7:00-8:00 p.m.) and Saturday morning (time 8:30-9:30 a.m.).

Jennifer Quinn
Second Vice President
Mathematical Association of America

Fibonacci's Flower Garden

It has often been said that the Fibonacci numbers frequently occur in art, architecture, music, magic, and nature. This interactive investigation looks for evidence of this claim in the spiral patterns of plants. Is it synchronicity or divine intervention? Fate or dumb luck? We will explore a simple model to explain the occurrences and wonder whether other number sequences are equally likely to occur. This talk is designed to be appreciated by mathematicians and nonmathematicians alike. So join us in a mathematical adventure through Fibonacci's garden.

Jennifer Quinn
Second Vice President
Mathematical Association of America

Mathematics to DIE for: The Battle Between Counting and Matching

Positive sums count. Alternating sums match. So which is "easier" to consider mathematically? From the analysis of infinite series, we know that if a positive sum converges, then its alternating sum must also converge but the converse is not true. From linear algebra, we know that the permanent of an n x n matrix is usually hard to calculate, whereas its alternating sum, the determinant, can be computed efficiently and it has many nice theoretical properties. This talk is one part performance art and three parts combinatorics. The audience will judge a combinatorial competition between the competing techniques. Be prepared to explore a variety of positive and alternating sums involving binomial coefficients, Fibonacci numbers, and other beautiful combinatorial quantities. How are the terms in each sum concretely interpreted? What is being counted? What is being matched? Do alternating sums always give simpler results? You decide.

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.

Proposals for talks are due by September 30. Please use the electronic submission form, if at all possible. (Logging in first will make it easier, so you are encouraged to do so.) If you are unable to use the submission site, please send the following information to Debra Czarneski:

Contact information for Debra Czarneski: Debra Czarneski Department of Mathematics Simpson College Indianola, IA 50125 voice: 515-961-1836 email:


We will be holding elections for a new Vice-Chair Elect at the meeting. The candidate(s) for Vice-Chair Elect are Amanda Matson and Christian Roettger. The search committee consists of Joel Haack, Ruth Berger, and Jon White.

Wartburg College Campus Information

Here is a link to a map of the Wartburg College campus:

All meetings will be in he Science Center located on 1st Ave NW between 10th Street and 11th Street. You can park in any lot on campus, but preferably in the lot south of the Science Center.

Lodging in Waverly

hotel list:

  1. Comfort Inn 404 29th Ave SW, Waverly, IA 50677 319-352-0399 10 rooms at $99.95 + tax Held until Sept 30
  2. Super 8 301 13th Ave SW, Waverly, IA 50677 319-352-0888 10 rooms at $75.88 + tax Held until Oct 4
  3. America's Best Value 1900 Heritage Way, Waverly, IA 50677 319-352-5330 10 rooms at $72.00 + tax Held until Oct 4

Schedule and Abstracts

Once the schedule has been put together for the upcoming meeting, it can be viewed, as well as the abstracts. It is now ready: Schedule Abstracts


If you have questions, please contact the Chair, Russell Goodman at (for general issues); Vice-Chair, Debra Czarneski (for program issues); Vice-Chair Elect, Brian Birgen (for local, on-site issues); or Secretary Ronald Smith at (for registration or other issues).


Thank you for considering preregistering for the upcoming meeting. This will save you time at the meeting, make it easier for our secretary at the meeting, and increase the 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 registration tool and you will only need to pay the registration fee ($10) to complete the process. Preregistration takes place here. Note that you can use this page whether you are currently in our database or not (see below), but the process will be much easier if you already are.

IA section database

We are trying to maintain an up-to-date database of all section members to provide better communication, save expenses on mailings, and help with the registration and proposal process. If you have not already updated your information, you may do so by using the log in page here. The credentials that you need here are your email and your password. The password has been emailed out (or will be shortly) in May, 2013. But if you forgot, or don't want to wait, you can always have it sent to by using the "I forgot my password" link on the log in page (log in). This assumes that you are in the system. If you are not sure if you are or not, check here. If you are not in the system, use the Contact menu there to send a message to request to be added.