MAA Iowa Section Newsletter

Fall 2002

This is the web edition of the Iowa Section Newsletter. To receive a printed copy of the newsletter or to make suggestions/comments, please contact the editor, Mark Mills,


Governor's Report

The MAA Board of Governors met on Wednesday, July 31, in Burlington, VT.  The all day meeting consisted mostly of routine business and committee reports. Here a few highlights with links (which can of course all be found through

Ruth I. Berger
Luther College

Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition

At the Spring 2002 section meeting, there was some discussion about how we can get more students to take part in the annual section meeting.  One idea was to hold the Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition during the section meeting (probably on Friday afternoon), and then have some more student-centered activities during the remainder of the meeting (e.g., a pizza party prior to the Friday evening talk).  Currently, the competition is held either a week or two before the section meeting or a week later--and there has been an excellent level of student participation.

The advantage of having the competition concurrent with the meetings is it would get the students attending at least a part of the section meeting, perhaps seeing the invited speaker during his/her Friday evening talk.  If the exams could be graded by the time of the business meeting on Saturday, then the results could be announced and the trophy passed at that time--maybe with some of the team members actually present.

Of course, there are a few things that would have to be taken into consideration.  First, this would require that the host institution have enough open classrooms or work areas to accommodate all the competing teams.  (Last year, there were 30 teams.)  This would also mean that some faculty would not be able to take part in the Friday afternoon program because they would be organizing and overseeing the competition.  Finally, in order to have the results for the Saturday business meeting, people would have to grade the exam overnight, and someone would have to compile all the results on Saturday morning.

One other thing that would be affected is that the competition would no longer be hosted by the previous year's winning institution.  It's location would now be tied to the choice of the chair-elect.

If you have any particular views about whether or not we should try doing the competition at the section meeting, or if you have particular ideas to make it more plausible, please contact Ruth Berger (

2003 Iowa Section Teaching Award

Each year, the section solicits applications for the Iowa Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics.  The section winner is then a candidate for the MAA Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Awards for Distinguished College or University Teaching.  The deadline for applications for the 2003 award is January 1, 2003.  For more information and an application, visit the award web page.

Dates of Importance

January 15-18, 2003 - National MAA Meetings in Baltimore.  Visit MAA Online at for more information.

??? - Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Contest, ???.

April 4-5, 2003 - Annual Meeting of the Iowa Section, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.
The special speaker for the meeting will be Ronald Graham, current MAA President and Chief Scientist at AT&T Laboratories.

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Please send corrections, comments and suggestions regarding the Iowa MAA Web pages to
Russ Campbell,, or Mark Mills,

This page was last revised on November 1, 2002.