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MAA Iowa Section Newsletter
Spring 2016

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, Joy Becker,


Section Governor's Report

First, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that this is my last report as governor. Thank you for the trust in electing me. It has been a privilege to function in this capacity and I have learned a lot about the inner workings of the MAA. I pass the baton to Mariah Birgen, as she starts her term July 1.

The JMM in Seattle this past January was a productive meeting. I will briefly hit some of the highlights. President Francis Su spent some time talking to us about understanding membership issues, which is a critical area for the MAA organization. He shared some observations and some possible directions to consider to help avert declining membership.

There was considerable discussion on the continually evolving best candidate(s) of a new governance model. Two main models put forth in January both contained a core board of directors (president and those in that line, secretary and assoc. secretary, treasurer, chair of assembly, chair of committee on sections, and director at large) and 7 council chairs selected by board of directors and then some section representatives. One of the two models had 10 section representatives and another model kept the status quo of 29. There was considerable discussion of the these two models and further refinement will take place. A final proposal is expected to be presented at MathFest this summer.

Submitted by Section Governor Al Hibbard
Central College

Section Chair's Report

We are a busy section! We were pleased to have Francis Su, Dave Richeson, and our own Dan Alexander give plenaries last fall and to get to know Graceland in Lamoni at the same time. This past spring, we had excited undergraduate students from across Iowa compete in the ICMC. Looking more closely, you can find the Midwest Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium in the spring. Looking out of state, you can find a number of Iowa MAA representatives at the IBL Conference, Mathfest, JMM, and other national conferences. This fall, we have our centennial meeting at Grand View in Des Moines on October 7th and 8th featuring Art Benjamin, Stephen Kennedy, and Steve Butler. On November 19th, there will be a Midwest Sports Analytics Meeting.

On a separate note, I am pleased to give thanks to Al Hibbard for his great work as governor and to welcome Mariah Birgen as she takes on the position.

Submitted by Section Chair Amanda Matson
Clarke University

Section Treasurer's Report

Report from Treasurer

Submitted by Section Treasurer Jonas Meyer
Loras College

Iowa Section NExT Announcement

As usual, the MAA's Iowa section will be holding activities for our Iowa-NExT group on the Friday before the sectional meeting. Iowa NExT fellows are invited to join us for our informal workshops and lunch before the section meeting on Friday. All pre-tenure faculty and senior grad students can apply to be Iowa-NExT fellows. Download the application from Iowa-NExT part of this site. If you know of such people in your department, please encourage them to apply.

Iowa Section Teaching Award

Steven Butler of Iowa State University was awarded the 2015 MAA Iowa Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics.

Nominations for the 2016 MAA Iowa Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics are now being accepted and are due June 12, 2016. For more information, please see the call for teaching award nominations. Please send any questions to Section Secretary, Susan Crook,

Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition

The 22nd annual Iowa Collegiate Math Competition was held on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2016, at UNI. The problems and solutions can be found on the competition website. There were 21 teams from 11 different Iowa colleges and universities. Here are the 2016 winners:

1st place: "Hawkeye Mathletes" from the University of Iowa. The team consisted of only two students: Patrick Hiatt and Keely Sykesma. (69 points)
2nd place: "The Most Yellow Pigs" from Cornell College. The team consisted of Nate Dwyer, Ngac Nguyen, Collin Smith.(68 points)
3rd place: "Royal Univ of the Congo", a team consisting of 2 students from Cornell and one from Drake. (56 points)
4th place: "Fourier Musketeers" a team consisting of 2 students from ISU and one from Wartburg. (54 points)
5th place: "Sharks" from Luther College. (50 points)

Congratulations to all participants! Details on other teams and scores received for individual problems can be seen at: Results of Last Contest. Congratulations to the University of Iowa! The traveling trophy will be presented to U of I at the Fall meeting of the Iowa MAA. At that meeting we will also determine the date of the 2017 competition which will be hosted by U of I.

See the contest page for further information. For questions or comments, contact:
Ruth Berger
Luther College

Midwest Sports Analytics Meeting

The Midwest Sports Analytics Meeting (MSAM) is a one-day conference promoting faculty, graduate, and undergraduate research in sports analytics. The event will be an enthusiastic environment in which to hear and discuss myriad examples and projects in sports analytics. The conference will feature several keynote speakers, sessions for speaking or poster presentations, and opportunities to network with other participants. Professionals, faculty, and students of all levels to encouraged to attend and to consider giving a speaking or poster presentation. Lunch will be provided for registrants at our Central Market.

Information will be made available through the web conference page, email, Twitter (@MWSprtAnalytics) and Facebook. Please email to be put on the conference email distribution list.

Submitted by Russ Goodman
Central College

Dates of Importance

August 3-6, 2016 - MathFest in Columbus, OH

October 7-8, 2016 - Centennial Meeting of the Iowa Section at Grand View University, Des Moines

November 19, 2016 - 2016 Midwest Sports Analytics Meeting at Central College, Pella

January 4-7, 2017 - JMM in Atlanta, GA

Departmental News

The following items have been submitted by the liaisons for the corresponding departments. If your department has news that is not included, please contact your liaison so that it can be included and have them e-mail the editor, Joy Becker,

Ashford University
Glen Just

The Clinton Iowa campus of Ashford University is closing after the spring semester. The 7 May 2016 graduation ceremony will see the last four graduates of the Computer Science and Mathematics program cross the stage. Three of the graduates have tracks in education and the other graduate has a track in computer science. One of the graduates will complete student teaching in the Clinton area during the fall of 2016. Students in the CSM program that are not ready to graduate have made arrangements to transfer to other institutions.

Central College
Russ Goodman

Drake University
Michael Rieck

Lawrence Naylor, who has chaired the Mathematics and Computer Science Department for quite a few years, has just received Drake University’s Dean and Sue Wright Outstanding Teacher of the Year award.

Dan Alexander has been awarded the 2016 Luther W. Stalnaker Lecture Award, and will be giving his lecture on September 12 at 7 p.m. in Sheslow Auditorium. He will speak about the history of mathematics, but the exact title is yet to be decided. Dan will also be on sabbatical for the 2016-17 academic year.

Michael Rieck has been doing research into a camera-tracking problem for a number of years, and has published in the Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision. This work has led him to some tangential investigations into classical “triangle geometry,” with Thomas D. Maienshein, a visiting professor at Drake. Together they have a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Geometry and Graphics.

Drake is very pleased to announce three new tenure-track faculty members joining the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science:

University of Iowa
Keith Stroyan