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, Al Hibbard,


Section Governor's Report

Despite some record temperatures in the Pacific Northwest, Portland was the place to be the first week in August. There was an Escher exhibit at the art museum, thousands of shelves of books at to browse through at Powell's, and of course a number of local beers to sample. And of course there was MathFest 2009. With more than 1450 registered attendees, this was the largest MathFest ever.

While much of the meeting of the Board of Governors was filled with routine business (ratifying prize winners, approving bylaws changes for sections, electing council chairs and editorial boards, hearing reports from Association officers and the national staff), the Board devoted a block of time to a discussion of membership.

Since the MAA was founded, a print subscription to one of the association's journals has been a benefit of membership for most membership categories (exceptions include some undergraduate members and spousal members). Feedback gathered through focus groups and from "dot activities" at section meetings showed that a number of members were interested in "all electronic" memberships.

After weighing pros and cons, the Board of Governors voted to offer an electronic membership as soon as membership software can be configured to make this available. The goal is to provide this option for 2010 renewals. Members choosing this option will not receive print journals. Instead they will have full electronic access to the Monthly, Math Magazine, CMJ and MathDL. Dues for an electronic member (with access to all three core MAA journals) will be comparable to those for individuals who receive a single print journal.

In addition the board voted to change student memberships, both undergraduate and graduate, to an all-electronic format. This change will allow the association to provide more content to students while containing costs. All-electronic student memberships will be phased in over the next year.

Governors were asked to remind members of their sections that the Committee on Committees always welcomes the names of MAA members who are be interested in serving on one of the Association's committees. If you are interested in serving on an MAA committee, please let me know so that I can forward your name to the Committee on Committees.

The next JMM will be held in San Francisco, January 13-16, 2010, and MathFest 2010 is August 5-7, 2010 in Pittsburgh. I hope to see you at one or both of those meetings.

While in Portland I saw Ben Galluzzo. Ben was excited about his new faculty position at Shippensburg University and was already planning a modeling contest for undergraduates. Ben asked me to let you all know that he really appreciated the help and support that he received from his friends in the Iowa Section as he was completing his degree and searching for a job.

My term as Governor is winding down. My last regular board meeting will be in San Francisco. It has been a great experience,

Calvin Van Niewaal
Governor, Iowa Section, 2007-2010

Section Chair's Report

The section meeting is almost here: October 9-10 at UNI. We are looking forward to many excellent talks from section members, as well as two national speakers. Steve Dunbar, Director of MAA Competitions, will speak Friday night on the MAA competitions, and Louis Kauffman will give a Polya lecture on "Knot Theory and its Ramifications" on Saturday morning. Members may submit talks using the Call for Papers link on the section web page.

We will be holding elections for a new vice chair elect, and a new treasurer at the meeting. The candidates for vice chair elect are Jon White, of Coe College, and Russ Goodman, of Central College. The candidates for treasurer are Sergio Loch, of Grand View University, and Scott Searcy, of Waldorf College. See the Meeting page for bios.

Members will also elect a new section governor this fall. The election will be conducted by the national MAA office; more information will be presented at the meeting.

We will also present the trophy to the Iowa Collegiate Contest winner for the competition held last spring, and make a presentation of an outstanding teaching award.

I am looking forward to the meeting, and hope to see you there.

Respectfully submitted,

Larry Naylor

Section Treasurer's Report

One can view the report from the treasurer that was submitted to the MAA and will be presented at our next upcoming meeting in October.

Iowa Section NExT Announcement

Applications for Iowa Project NExT are due September 9, 2009. The form is available at The steering committee is Brian Birgen (Wartburg), Russ Goodman (Central), Theron Hitchman (UNI), and Jon White (Coe).

2010 Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition

The 15th annual Iowa Undergraduate Collegiate Mathematics competition was held on Saturday, February 28, 2009, at Iowa State University. Thirty nine teams from 10 Iowa Colleges and Universities participated. The team "Cold Bus" from Grinnell College won with 76 points, beating the previous year's winners from Iowa State University by a single point. Congratulations to Grinnell Collge; they will be presented with the traveling trophy at the Iowa MAA business meeting.

The 2010 Iowa Collegiate Math Competition will be held at Grinnell College on a Saturday in March or late February. If the last two competition dates have conflicted with your student's Spring break let Ruth Berger ( know by Oct. 10 so we can avoid another conflict this year. The 2010 competition date will be published on the competition web site by late October; see

Dates of Importance

October 3, 2009 - Third annula Millikin Undergraduate Mathematics Research Conference, Millikin University, Decatur, IL. Details

October 9-10, 2009 - Annual Meeting of the Iowa Section, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.

January 13-16, 2010 - Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Francisco.

August 5-7, 2010 - MathFest 2010, Pittsburgh, PA.