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

First, let me thank you for the opportunity to serve as a governor of the MAA. My responsibilities began with the receipt of the agenda for the day-long meeting of the Board of Governors in conjunction with MathFest. Attached to the Agenda were 144 pages of various reports. I also participated in a day of orientation for new governors, which went far to make me feel less like a rookie. I'll provide a summary of the Board meeting below.

The most interesting item that arose in Pittsburgh was outside the Board meeting. Rick Gillman, chair of the Committee on Sections, suggested that the Iowa section consider joining with the Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska-Southeast South Dakota sections to form a 4+ state section. The Iowa section officers have been invited to a meeting in Kansas City in early November to discuss possibilities with the officers of the other three sections. I think there are good arguments both in favor of remaining an independent section and joining with the others, but in any case, the discussion in Kansas City, and discussions within our section, should help clarify the issues. Ultimately, no change in our status as a section can happen without our consent. I'd suggest sharing any comments or questions you may have on this issue with the officers of the section or with me.

On to the summary. Routine business included the approval of the previous meeting's minutes, committee appointments, etc.

In President Bressoud's report, he asked that departments who received surveys for the NSF project, Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus (CSPCC), please complete them. Christian Knowles has been hired as the new Associate Director for Development. (in an update to his report, I'd note that the revised by-laws for the MAA that Cal van Niewall helped birth were approved at the business meeting at MathFest.) In Secretary Faires' report, it was noted that attendance at MathFest has risen from less than 900 in 2000 in Los Angeles to more than 1500 last year in Portland, with the expectation of similar attendance this year. Attendance at the Joint Meetings has been relatively steady among non-student mathematicians (3100-3600), but the number of students attending has grown from less than 800 in 2000 in Washington, DC to more than 1600 in San Francisco. While I'd take this as cause for rejoining, it is causing a financial strain, as the students pay less than the marginal costs of their attendance at the meeting. Treasurer Kenelly reported that the MAA is doing well, especially considering the context of these trying economic times. The Audit report was satisfactory. The MAA staff cut expenses to come in close to budget in 2009. Overall, the MAA expects to have an even smaller deficit this year and next. First Vice-President Su reported on the MAA's continued interest in ensuring equity across gender, race, and ethnicity in the organization and profession, focusing on MAA awards. Strategic planning continues or is beginning on periodicals, MAA books, and SIGMAAs.

Reports from staff members included continued analyses of the best structure for membership and journals.

Included in the reports from the editors was the information that, of 884 submissions to the Monthly in 2009, only 37 articles and 39 notes were accepted, with 16 articles and 7 notes still under consideration. The College Mathematics Journal will devote its January 2010 issue to the mathematics of Martin Gardner. Short (4-10 pages, double spaced) articles are sought that address topics that Gardner introduced in his Scientiifc American column. Potential authors are encouraged to write the editor, Michael Henle (, describing their proposed articles.

The Board did approve a policy on College Placement Testing; I'd be glad to share this with anyone interested in the topic.

With respect,
Joel Haack

Section Chair's Report

No report submitted.

Section Treasurer's Report

No report submitted.

Iowa Section NExT Announcement

The Iowa Section NExT (iNExT) is going strong! We are happy to announce the fall 2010 cohort of fellows: Angie Kohlhaas (Loras), Travis Peters (ISU doctoral student), Chris Spicer (Morningside), and Jitka Stehnova (Mt. Mercy). iNExT activities will take place on Friday, October 22 starting at 9am on the Coe College campus. The schedule will soon be posted on the iNExT informational page at

The Iowa NExT Steering Committee is Russ Goodman (Central), Theron Hitchman (UNI), Neil Martinsen-Burrell (Wartburg), and Jon White (Coe).

2010 Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition

The 16th annual Iowa Collegiate Undergraduate Mathematics Competition was held on Saturday, March 13, at Grinnell College. The winner is "Math 414" from Iowa State University, with team members Nathan Rehfuss, Kevin Moss, and Long Su. Congratulations! Second Place is "The Chiss Ascendancy" from Grinnell College. Third Place is "Sausage Egg McMuffin" from Luther College. Problems and solutions can be viewed on the competition web site. The trophy will be presented to ISU at the Fall meeting.

The tentative date for the 2011 competition at ISU will probably be February 19 or 26. We will discuss the date during the business meeting time at the Fall meeting. The 2011 competition date will be published on the competition web site by late October; see

Dates of Importance

October 22-23, 2010 - Annual Meeting of the Iowa Section, Coe College, Cedar Rapids.

November 6, 2010 - Fourth annual Millikin Undergraduate Mathematics Research Conference, Millikin University, Decatur, IL. Details

January 6-9, 2011 - Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans.

August 4-6, 2011 - MathFest 2011, Lexington, KY.