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

This is my last report as you section governor. It is my pleasure to announce that Jim Freeman has been elected as my successor, and he will be taking over on July 1. Attending the national board meetings for the past three years was very interesting. I learned a lot about the way the MAA operates and all the different projects that the MAA is involved in. There are many different MAA committees that need members to serve on them, and you can see for a listing. If you think you are able to contribute to one of them, please let your governor know.

The January 2004 joint meetings were held in sunny Phoenix, Arizona. The Iowa section was very well represented; we could have had a section meeting right there! The MAA Board of Governors met on January 6 in Phoenix. We heard many reports from MAA officers, staff, editors and committees. Even during the lunch break we had a topic to discuss: “Is Calculus a college level course that should not be taught in high schools?” I don’t have an answer for you on that (opinions vary, depending on how Calculus is taught…..), but here a report on some of the rest of the meeting:

 The next board of Governors meeting will be in August 2004 in Providence, Rhode Island. 

For a complete list of upcoming national meetings see

Respectfully submitted,

Ruth I. Berger
Luther College

Treasurer's Report

    Iowa Section Financial Report: Spring 2003 - Spring 2004
(A) BEGINNING BALANCE (4/6/2003)       $3,827.33
MAA Subvention     $500.00    
2003 Meeting - Registrations (62 at $5)   $310.00    
2003 Book Sales (Display Copies:  cash/check)   $374.02    
2003 Book Sales (MAA reimbursement)   $97.33    
2003 Book Sales (Ordered:  cash/check)   $23.35    
Interest on Checking (April 2003 - March 9, 2004 )   $21.25    


Spring 2003 Meeting   $3.75    
Fall 2003 Newsletter   $6.00    
Call for Nominations for 2004 Haimo Award   $4.40    
Spring 2003 Newsletter   $47.69    
Fall 2003 Newsletter   $48.18    
Call for Nominations for 2004 Haimo Award   $23.68    
Spring 2003 Newsletter   $9.68    
2003 Meeting (ballots,registration,receipts,printing)   $8.88    
Fall 2003 Newsletter   $16.14    
Call for Nominations for 2004 Haimo Award   $8.00    
Meeting Expenses   $340.47    
Speakers Travel/Lodging   $73.83    
Students Lecture Program        
 2003 Book Sale (Display)   $374.02    
 2003 Book Sale (Ordered)   $23.35    
Project NExT          
Miscellaneous Office        
        (C)TOTAL EXPENSES    


(D) ENDING BANK BALANCE,  4/16/2004       $4,165.21
  (A + B - C = D)        


    Iowa Section Competition Report:  Spring 2003 - Spring 2004
(A) BEGINNING BANK BALANCE, 4/6/2003     $584.32
Interest on Checking (April 2003 - March 9, 2004) $2.83      
            (B) TOTAL REVENUES   $2.83
  Printing  photocopies for 2003 Competition   17.04      
    envelopes for 2003 Competition   7.00      
  2004 Contest Exam     420.00      
            (C) TOTAL EXPENSES   $444.04
(D) ENDING BANK BALANCE,  4/16/2004     $143.11
  (A + B - C = D)            


Respectfully submitted,

Wendy A. Weber
Central College

Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition Matched Donations Campaign

At last year's Iowa Section business meeting, it was noted that the fund that currently supports the annual Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition would not be sufficient to fund the contest after 2004.  During the ensuing discussion about how to replenish the fund, Dr. Stephen J. Willson generously offered to match up to $5,000 in donations.  This has lead to a campaign to raise at least $5,000 from the section to receive Dr. Willson's matching funds.

A letter describing the details of Dr. Willson's match and a donation form are available on the Section web page under College Math Contest.

Nominating Committee Report

The 2004 MAA-Iowa Nominating Committee (David Manderscheid, Murphy Waggoner, and Justin Peters) has submitted the following nominations.  Elections will be held at the business meeting at Central College on Saturday, April 17, 2004.

Chair Elect:  

Mariah Birgen Wartburg College
Tom Moore Grinnell College

Mariah Birgen, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Scholars Program Director, has been at Wartburg College since 1997. She studied engineering physics as an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley and completed her Ph.D. in global and microlocal analysis at the University of Michigan. Since arriving at Wartburg, she has been involved in combining the homework group concepts she learned at Michigan with a heavy emphasis on Maple that she discovered at Wartburg into what the students refer to as “Insanely Hard Maple Homework”. Additionally, she has been instrumental in bringing Wartburg faculty into the twenty-first century technology of classroom management systems and has been co-administering a free ware version from a server in her temporary office. She has also worked to design new computer labs/classrooms in the new Science Center at Wartburg. Her latest hobbies are child-juggling with her husband Dr. Brian Birgen and starting a Socrates Café with her Scholars Program.

Tom Moore:  I am a professor of mathematics at Grinnell College, where I have taught since 1980. I have been an MAA member for over 25 years. I earned my Ph.D. in probability at Dartmouth and a few years later earned an M.S. in statistics from the U. of Iowa. My main interests today are statistics and statistics education. I have served on several MAA committees and am currently chair-elect of the SIGMAA on Statistics Education. I have organized several events over the years, including an MAA CRAFTY workshop in statistics held at Grinnell in October of 2000. The relevance of this information is that organizing the 2005 Section meeting would be the first important task of the chair-elect, a task I would enjoy doing. I thank the Nominating Committee for asking me to stand for election.

Announcements and Dates of Importance


Dates of Importance

August 12-14, 2004 - MathFest in Providence, Rhode Island

January 5-8, 2004 - MAA-AMS Joint Meetings in Atlanta, Georgia

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

This page was last revised on April 7, 2004.