Fall 2012 KYMAA Newsletter

From the Chair Call for KYMAA Nominations
From the Chair-Elect The Annual KYMAA Meeting
The Governor's Corner From the Student Chapters Coordinator
KYMAA Teaching Award News from the Chapters!!!

    From the Chair

    Greetings from the Executive Committee of KYMAA! I hope you are off to a great start of the academic year. Our 2012 Spring Meeting at Bellarmine University was full of excitement. Our invited speakers included Erick Demaine, Robert Devaney, and Christie Perry. My most sincere thanks go to Daylene Zielinski and the faculty at Bellarmine for their great hospitality. The meeting was very successful. We are in the process of planning our 2013 meeting, which will be held April 5-6 at Transylvania University in Lexington, and is being coordinated by Ryan Stuffelbeam. Below you can read in Duk’s note about the outstanding invited speakers. It is going to be a great meeting. Begin encouraging your colleagues and students to plan to attend this terrific event.

    Congratulations to Carl Lee of the University of Kentucky, the 2012 recipient of the KYMAA Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. Receiving an award from your professional organization is prestigious. It is good for your department, your institution, and it gives your department national recognition. If you know of someone you should nominate, the time to begin the process is now. Begin putting your nomination together. Information about the award, including what is to be included in a nomination, can be found at http://www.maa.org/Awards/Haimo_EGN.pdf and at http://www.maa.org/Awards/Haimo_NF.pdf. Please send your nomination package to our Secretary, Robert Hebble.

    Once every five years, KYMAA recognizes one of its own for excellence in service to the section. Daniel Curtin from Northern Kentucky University will receive the KYMAA Meritorious Service Award at the 2013 Joint Meetings. Daniel Curtin has served the section in numerous ways. He held the offices of Chair-elect, Chair, Governor of the Section, and Historian, an office that he still holds. In addition, he has enriched our section meetings with his contributions on the History of Mathematics. Congratulations Dan!

    This year, at our spring meeting, we will be electing a new Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect, and Newsletter Editor/Webmaster. If you would like to be considered for one of these offices or you wish to nominate someone, please contact me. I will be delighted to add a new name to the list of candidates.

    Please feel free to contact any of the members of the Executive Committee if you have any questions or concerns about KYMAA. We welcome your comments and feedback.

    Have a great academic year,

    Dora Ahmadi

    From the Chair-Elect

    Our 2013 Kentucky Section Meeting of the MAA will take place at Transylvania University in Lexington on April 5–6, 2013. We are again very excited about all of the talks and presentations that will be given by our members and by the invited speakers.

    For KYMAA 2013, the invited speakers are:
    • Ron Gould: Goodrich C. White Professor, Department of Mathematics, Emory University.
    • Paul Zorn: Former President of MAA, Mathematics Professor, St. Olaf University.
    • Carl Lee: Recipient of the KYMAA Teaching Award 2012, Mathematics Professor from the University of Kentucky.

    You don't want to miss any of the presentations by these invited speakers. They will be awesome!!

    Abstracts for panels and talks will be solicited in January, so there's plenty of time for you and your students to make your plans to speak. Also, consider joining in our Friday night banquet at KYMAA Meeting; there will be good food, conversation, and live music by Transy students.

    We are also preparing for a team competition, like a Quiz Bowl, with prizes. We hope that many schools will be represented in this competition. Please encourage your students to be part of this competition. We will let you know about this in more detail later. Would you please plan to join in for our exciting annual event and encourage students and friends to come as well?

    See you at Transylvania University in April 2013!

    Duk-Hyung Lee


    The Governor's Corner

    The MAA Board of Governors met at MathFest in Madison, WI. As usual, much of the day-long meeting was routine, but several items deserve our attention.

    Meritorious Service Award to Dan Curtin: The Board of Governors approved the nomination by the Section officers of Dan Curtin for a Certificate for Meritorious Service. Since coming to NKU in 1979, Dan has been active in the Section. He has served several times as chair of the nominating committee and has served as Chair-elect, Chair, and Governor of the Section. In addition Dan has served on the MAA’s Notes Editorial Board and as chair of HOMSIGMAA. On a rotating basis, each section may make one nomination for meritorious service during a five-year period.

    Budget: Once again budget issues were a focus of the discussions. The MAA traditionally has skated on the edge “budget-wise.” The organization is financially lean and uses volunteers for many of its operations. Last year’s budget included some cuts that were expected to result in no deficit this year. However, that does not seem to be happening, and another $243,000 deficit might occur. It appears that the MAA, at the end of 2012, will have experienced eight years of deficits with the total exceeding $1,000,000. This would leave a free reserve of around $700,000. Some services are supported by endowments, and the MAA is not in debt, but the present level of spending cannot be continued for many more years without additional revenue or additional cuts in spending. All the “easy” budget cuts have been made. The Board of Governors approved a proposal from the Executive Committee that “endorses significant investment to substantially improve” the organization’s financial performance by attempting to increase revenue from non-members through sales of products (primarily books) and by targeting non-members in an upcoming capital campaign. The Board decided to take some financial short-term risk and see whether additional revenues can be obtained. The alternative is to make additional budget cuts.

    Double-Blind Reviewing: This was an issue tabled at the Board of Governors meeting during the January JMM. The proposal was to institute double-blind reviewing for MAA journals to avoid an appearance of bias. The CMJ already does double-blind reviewing. This discussion was spirited and frank and resulted in some interesting parliamentary maneuvering. There was opposition from some MAA journal editors. The Committee on Journals recommended a period of further consideration – essentially a cooling off period. The Board of Governors, however, did implement double-blind reviewing but did not require present editors to adopt it.

    MathFest: The MathFest last year in Lexington had very poor attendance. It appeared that this year’s MathFest in Madison might have set a record high attendance.

    Michael Pearson in The Chronicle: The MAA’s new executive director Michael Pearson is quoted in an article that appeared in the April 1, 2012, The Chronicle of Higher Education. The end of the article “Scholarly Groups’ Choices Yield Diverging Fortune” by Dan Berrett notes that in 1940 the MAA and the AMS jointly supported Mathematical Reviews; however, in the 1950s the MAA stopped supporting the journal, and the AMS continued it. Mathematical Reviews has now morphed into the valuable online database MathSciNet which provides over $10,000,000 a year of revenue to the AMS. The AMS ran a $1,800,000 surplus.

    Chris Christensen
    KYMAA Governor

    KYMAA Teaching Award - Call for Nominations

    Nominations for the Kentucky Section's 2013 Distinguished Teaching Award are now being accepted. The Kentucky Section Selection Committee will choose one of the nominees for the Section Award. The awardee will be honored at the KYMAA Annual Meeting in Spring 2013. The awardee will also be the official Kentucky Section candidate for the pool of teachers from which the national recipients of the MAA Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Awards for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics will be selected, although the committee does also consider direct nominations from MAA members. More information on the award, and nomination instructions can be found on the national MAA website at: http://www.maa.org/awards/teachingawards.htm . Past winners of the KYMAA Distinguished Teaching Award can be found at: http://sections.maa.org/kentucky/teaching.html .

    We urge you to submit a nomination of someone who is eligible and qualified in your department. Even if the nominee is not selected this year, it is an honor to be nominated. Your department will receive recognition for its commitment to excellence in teaching, and the work done in preparing a nomination folder for your candidate is not wasted, since your candidate can be nominated again in a future year. Self-nomination is not permitted.


    • College or university teachers assigned at least halftime during the academic year to teaching a mathematical science in a public or private college or university (from two-year college teaching through teaching at the Ph.D. level) in the United States or Canada. Those on approved leave (sabbatical or other) during the academic year in which they are nominated qualify if they fulfilled the requirements in the previous year.
    • At least five years teaching experience in a mathematical science.
    • Membership in the Mathematical Association of America.

    Guidelines for Nomination
    The nominees should:

    • be widely recognized as extraordinarily successful in their teaching*;
    • have teaching effectiveness that can be documented;
    • have had influence in their teaching beyond their own institutions**;
    • foster curiosity and generate excitement about mathematics in their students.

    * "teaching" is to be interpreted in its broadest sense, not necessarily limited to classroom teaching (it may include activities such as preparing students for mathematical competitions at the college level--for example, the Putnam Prize Competition or the Mathematical Contest in Modeling--or attracting students to become majors in a mathematical science or to become Ph.D. candidates).

    ** "influence beyond their own institutions" can take many forms, including: demonstrated lasting impact on alumni; influence on the profession through curricular revisions in college mathematics teaching with national impact; influential, innovative books on the teaching of college mathematics; etc.

    Nominations must include the appropriate "Evidence of Extraordinary Success in Teaching," the first page of which is the "Nomination Form." Please follow the instructions on that form precisely to assure uniformity in the selection process both at the Section and National level. The form and instructions can be obtained by clicking on Evidence of Extraordinary Success in Teaching(pdf).

    If the Nomination Form is received by the Section Secretary by November 3, 2012, the Secretary will ask the nominee's Department Chair to work with the nominator in supplying the additional required materials. Ultimately, a complete nomination must also include Evidence of Success in Teaching as described on the back of the nomination form. Final deadline for receipt of all materials is December 1, 2012. If the file on the Section's awardee significantly exceeds the limits prescribed, it will not be considered for a national award and will be returned to the Section. Please send one copy of all materials to the Section Secretary (electronic submissions preferred):

    Robert Hebble at KYMAAsecretary@gmail.com
    Division of Mathematics and Science
    Kentucky State University
    400 East Main St.
    Frankfort, KY 40601

    We look forward to your participation in this exciting MAA venture of taking substantive action to honor extraordinarily successful teaching. We want to see such teaching recognized at all post-secondary school levels. We depend on you to help us identify those who merit such recognition.

    This year the Teaching Award Committee members are

    Call for KYMAA Nominations

    This spring we will be holding elections for Chair-Elect, Vice-Chair, and Newsletter Editor/Webmaster. All new officers will begin their terms at the Executive Committee Meeting immediately following the Annual Business Meeting in the spring. The Chair-Elect carries a two-year term, the others are for three years each.

    If you have any questions about these positions, please feel free to contact the current people in these positions or read the "job descriptions" in our bylaws, to be found at http://sections.maa.org/kentucky/bylaws.html.

    Please forward the name and affiliation of any Section member you would like to nominate for one of these offices to any member of the Nominating Committee. Self-nominations are entirely appropriate. If you'd like to get involved, JUMP IN!

    This year the members of the Nominating Committee are

    The Annual KYMAA Meeting:
    A Bluegrass Mathematics Extravaganza

    Our 2013 KYMAA Annual Meeting will be held April 5-6, 2013 at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Further information will appear on our 2013 Annual Meeting and 2013 Meeting Program pages in the coming months.

    Some of the relevant dates and deadlines:

    • January 5, 2013 - Call for Contributed Papers in Winter Newsletter
    • February 22, 2013 - Deadline for Abstracts for Contributed Papers
    • March 4, 2013 - Publication of Meeting Program on KYMAA website
    • March 15, 2013 - Deadline for Meeting Registration
    • April 5-6, 2013 - Mathematics and Fun at the Annual Meeting!

    In spring 2014, Murray State University in Murray will host the KYMAA Annual Meeting. Please contact any officer of KYMAA if you would be interested in hosting a future meeting.

    Hey Students!

    My name is Ryan Stufflebeam, and I'm the Student Chapters Coordinator for the KYMAA. I hope your fall term is going well so far. If your institution does not have a student chapter or a math club, talk to your professors about starting one. Chapter or club meetings are a great place to share summer research experiences with other students and faculty. Here's a link to the MAA page with information on starting a student chapter at your school http://www.maa.org/students/chapter_index.html

    Whether or not you have a chapter or club, there are several competitions you may want to attempt. The first competition is the Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Competition (VTRMC). You need to have a faculty member who is willing to register your institution and proctor the exam. Information is available from http://www.math.vt.edu/people/plinnell/Vtregional/. Institutional registration (email or snail mail) must reach Peter Linnell at Virginia Tech by Monday, October 8, 2012, and the competition will take place on Saturday, October 27, 2012, 9:00a.m. to 11:30a.m., at your institution.

    The second competition is the Seventy-Second Annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. Information is available from http://math.scu.edu/putnam/index.html. The faculty advisor needs to request a registration packet as soon as possible in order to return the registration materials by Monday, October 15, 2012. The competition, which lasts eight hours (including a two-hour lunch break), will take place at your institution on Saturday, December 1, 2012.

    The final competitions that I'll mention are the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) and the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM). These are multiday competitions. This year the MCM competition starts on Thursday, January 31, 2013 and ends on Monday, February 4, 2013. ICM is a part of MCM, and is held during the same time. These competitions are for three-student teams. Your institution may have more than one team, but a student may be on only one team and each team works on only one problem. More information is available from http://www.comap.com/undergraduate/contests/mcm/.

    Students who are planning to go to graduate school in Fall 2013 should be preparing to apply. Application deadlines may be as early as November for the most competitive programs. Ask your professors for recommendation letters as soon as possible so they have time to write good letters. If you'll still be an undergraduate in the 2013-2014 school year, you should consider applying for a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program for Summer 2012. I'll provide more information on REUs in an upcoming newsletter, but it's never too early to start to update your resume so that you'll be ready to apply for REUs and summer internships. A start for a search of math-related REUs is available at http://www.ams.org/programs/students/undergrad/emp-reu.

    News from the Chapters

    Centre College

    reported by Forrest Stonedahl (http://forrest.stonedahl.com/ )

    Centre College is pleased to welcome Ellen Swanson as Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics. Swanson earned her BS in Mathematics at Wittenberg University, and her MS and PhD in Applied Mathematics at North Carolina State University. She comes most recently from a post-doctoral research appointment at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests are in applied mathematics (in particular using partial differential equations to model fluid flow).

    Alex McAllister is on sabbatical this fall, spending time writing a book on the history of mathematics.

    The student math club continues to flourish, with the usual array of annual activities, including mathematical pumpkin carving around Halloween, croquet and cornhole matches with other academic programs, a celebration of Pi Day, friendly math competitions, and more.

    Other events worthy of note:

    In fall 2011, Ryan Stuffelbeam (of Transylvania University) gave an invited talk on Weird Fractions.

    In winter 2012, Alex McAllister co-led a study-abroad course to Greece wherein students simultaneously learned ancient Greek mathematics and theater.

    Centre College recently hosted the second annual Bluegrass Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium (BUMS) on September 22, 2012. This conference (which highlights research by students in mathematics and closely related disciplines) was a great success, thanks to all of the students and faculty from around the region (including Ohio & Tennessee) who attended and participated. The symposium included a keynote lecture on Cantor's Real Numbers by Dr. Katherine Ott from the University of Kentucky. (See the BUMS website http://web.centre.edu/bums/ for other details). )

    Kentucky State University

    reported by Andy Martin (andrew.martin@kysu.edu)

    We welcomed back Karen Heavin to a full-time position, as well as April Pilcher, Finley Helm, and David Karsner who are assisting us with our Developmental Math classes.

    In March 2012, KSU student Devrion Wells gave a talk at the KYMAA meeting at Bellarmine, as did former KSU student Virgil Barnard, who has transferred to the University of Kentucky. The meeting was also attended by Sue Foege, Robert Hebble, Fariba Kashan, and Andy Martin. In addition Andy Martin gave two talks there.

    Andy Martin spent a week in Kansas City in June grading AP Calculus Exams. He claims to have enjoyed the experience…

    Sue Foege, Fariba Kashan, and Andy Martin all gave talks at Mathfest in Madison,WI in August. Andy also judged undergraduate talks there, and he and Fariba took part in Colm Mulcahy’s minicourse on mathematical card tricks.

    Kentucky Wesleyan College

    reported by Leanne Faulkner(LeanneF@kwc.edu)

    We wish a fond farewell to Dr. Kirby Chelgren as he enters into full retirement after 42 years of service.

    Dr. Raciel Valle joins us as an assistant professor of mathematics. He received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.

    Morehead State University

    reported by Kathryn Lewis(k.lewis@moreheadstate.edu )

    Wilson Gonzalez-Espada, Associate Professor of Physics and Science Education, was granted tenure.

    Christie Perry was granted tenure and promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor of Mathematics.

    Sherif Rashad was granted tenure and promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor of Computer Science.

    The Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics Club will continue to have weekly meetings with meals provided by faculty. The first meeting included a presentation by Career Services to encourage the students to maintain high quality resumes, not only for seniors seeking jobs, but also for students who find internship, co-op, and undergraduate research opportunities close to application deadlines. Future plans for the club include presentations from students who participated in REUs last summer or who are MSU undergraduate research fellows.

    Murray State University

    reported by Tim Schroeder(tim.schroeder@murraystate.edu )

    Veena Paliwal, from Southern Illinois-Carbondale started this fall as assistant professor. Her emphasis is in mathematics education.

    David Roach and Ted Porter were promoted to full professor.

    Kelly Pearson is on sabbatical leave.

    Murray State's Euclidean Math Club participated in MSU's All Campus Sing last spring. Check out the video on YouTube: "Party with a Smarty". Note the cool dance moves and the less cool taped glasses!

    Watch two earlier Murray State Euclidean Math Club productions on Youtube as well, "A Little Math Ditty" and "The Zero Matrix" , the latter having had over 9000 views.

    Northern Kentucky University

    reported by John Rankin(RANKIN@nku.edu)

    Brooke Buckley received tenure and was promoted to the rank of associate professor.

    Dhanuja Kasturiratna received tenure and was promoted to the rank of associate professor.

    Bethany Noblitt received tenure and was promoted to the rank of associate professor.

    Phil McCartney was awarded a sabbatical for the Fall, 2012 semester. Chris Christensen was awarded a sabbatical for the Spring, 2013 semester.

    Chris Christensen was named the 2012 Frank Sinton Milburn Outstanding Professor at NKU.He has long been a favorite of students of mathematics here at the university.

    Dan Curtin will receive the MAA Meritorious Service Award for the Kentucky Section at the Joint meetings in San Diego this January. [Editor’s note: Congratulations, Dan!]

    Western Kentucky University

    reported by Mark Robinson(mark.robinson@wku.edu)

    Kanita DuCloux (Ph.D., University of Georgia) has been hired as an Assistant Professor and Joy Curtis (M.A.E., Western Kentucky University) has been hired as a Continuing Instructor.

    We also have several visiting faculty this year. Kari Everett (Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi) is a Visiting Assistant Professor, and Patrick Brown (M.A., University of Colorado at Boulder) and Jan Wilson (M.S., Oklahoma State University) are Visiting Instructors.

    Bruce Kessler is serving as Interim Department Head of Mathematics for the current academic year.

    Tilak Bhattacharya has been promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor. Attila Por and Di Wu have been promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor and have been granted tenure.

    Wanda Weidemann begins full retirement this year after 23 years of service at Western Kentucky University.


    The 32nd Annual Mathematics Symposium at Western Kentucky University will be held on October 12 and 13, 2012. There will be a number of 20-minute talks by students and faculty, focusing on mathematics and closely-related topics. The talks can be expository, historical,research-related, or education-related. More than 200 people, primarily from Kentucky and surrounding states attend the conference each year.

    The invited speakers are Prof. Carlos Castillo-Chavez (Arizona State University, MIT) and Prof. John Ringland (SUNY at Buffalo). The speakers will give presentations on modeling nonlinear dynamical processes in the biological sciences.

    Student presentations are especially welcome. We can offer partial travel support to student speakers (please indicate that you apply for such support, and the amount you request at the time of abstract submission). There is no conference registration fee, thus attendance is free!

    Abstract submission opens on Sept. 1 and closes on October 5, 2012. Please see "WKU Math Symposium" for information on how to submit an abstract.

    Funding for the 32nd Annual Mathematics Symposium at Western Kentucky University is provided by: NSF grant DMS-0846477 through MAA Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conferences program, www.maa.org/RUMC; Ogden College of Science and Engineering; Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science; Department of Mathematics.