Section Meetings

Spring 2017 meeting

Saturday, April 29, 2017, Hostos Community College, Bronx, NY

Register online!

Parking, map, and directions

Complete program
Tentative agenda (Word format)

Invited Speakers (Word format)

Tentative Schedule

8:30 - 12:00 Registration and refreshments
8:30 - 3:30
Book exhibits open
9:15 - 9:35
Welcome and introductions
9:35 - 10:35 Invited Speaker:

Carl Simon, University of Michigan

Mathematics Is Contagious and Contagion Can Be Mathematical
10:35 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 12:20 Panel on Strategies and Research in Teaching:

Rosa Orellana - Dartmouth College

Dante Tawfeeq - John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Bronislaw Czarnocha - Hostos Community College

Ron Buckmire, National Science Foundation
12:20 - 1:30 Lunch 
1:30 - 1:55
Awards ceremony and business meeting
2:00 - 3:00
Invited Speaker:

Rosa Orellana, Dartmouth College

Symmetry and Coloring
3:15 - 5:15
Contributed paper and poster sessions
3:15 - 4:15 Hostos College Session
3:15 - 5:15 Project NExT Panel

Tentative food menu

Simon Photo
Invited speaker: Carl Simon, University of Michigan

Title: Mathematics is Contagious and Contagion Can be Mathematical

Abstract: Analyses of mathematical models of the spread of contagious infections have suggested effective interventions to stop or slow disease spread – interventions such as vaccination regimes (who and when), prophylactic treatments, hospital procedures, and behavioral recommendations. A key component in these analyses has been the basic reproduction number as a threshold between endemic disease and no disease. This lecture will present some background on these analyses and describe recent efforts to extend them to smoking and crime. Why do teenagers start smoking? What difference does it make? What are the advantages and disadvantages of different interventions in the fight against crime, interventions such as harsher or gentler prison sentences, increased or decreased police presence, more or less intense social programs? What data do we need to evaluate these interventions and how can we find such data?

Biography: Carl P. Simon is Professor of Mathematics, Economics, Complex Systems and Public Policy at The University of Michigan. He was the founding Director of the UM Center for the Study of Complex Systems (1999-2009). He has served as the Associate Director for Social Science and Policy of the Michigan Energy Institute and as Director of the U-M Science and Technology Policy Program. His research interests center around the theory and applications of dynamical systems. He has applied dynamic modeling to the spread of AIDS (in particular, the role of primary infection), staph infection, malaria and gonorrhea, to smoking initiation, the spread of crime, and the evolution of ecological and economic systems. His research team won the 1995 Howard M. Temin Award in Epidemiology for Scientific Excellence in the Fight against HIV/AIDS and the 2005 Kenneth Rothman Epidemiology Prize for paper of the year in Epidemiology, He was named the U-M LS&A Distinguished Senior Lecturer for 2007 and received the U-M Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in 2012.

Orellana Photo
Invited speaker: Rosa C. Orellana, Dartmouth College

Title:  Symmetry and Coloring

Abstract: The theory of symmetric functions has many applications to enumerative combinatorics, group theory, Lie Theory and algebraic geometry. This talk is a short introduction to the theory of symmetric functions and their applications. We'll discuss a particular case of these functions - symmetric chromatic function, and the connection between the symmetric chromatic function and graph coloring.

Biography: Rosa Orellana received her Ph.D. from UCSD in 1999 under the guidance of Hans Wenzl. After graduation she won a University of California President's Posdoctoral Fellowship at UC San Diego. In 2000, she joined the department of mathematics at Dartmouth College. She is currently Full Professor at Dartmouth where she is lucky enough to teach some of the best students in the country. Rosa has mentored many students on research projects and during the summer of 2013, she lead a group of eighteen minority students for MSRI-UP. In 2006, she received the John M. Manley Huntington Memorial Award at Dartmouth for outstanding research, teaching and mentoring. Rosa is very interested in making students feel welcome, so at Dartmouth she has served as the advisor for the math club. In addition, Rosa co-funded a chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics in an effort to increase the number of women taking and majoring in mathematics at Dartmouth. She has also organized Sonia Kovalevsky Math days to encourage middle and high school girls in our community to study mathematics. Her area of research is algebraic combinatorics. Algebraic combinatorics is an area of mathematics that studies objects that have combinatorial and algebraic properties. An example of such object is the ring of symmetric functions. In algebraic combinatoics, algebraic methods are used to answer combinatorial questions, and conversely, apply combinatorial techniques to problems in algebra. Recently her work has focused on the Kronecker product of two irreducible representations of the symmetric group.

Buckmire Photo
Invited speaker: Ron Buckmire, National Science Foundation

Title:  Funding Opportunities at the National Science Foundation in Mathematical Sciences

Abstract: We shall present examples of funding opportunities at the National Science Foundation to support mathematical sciences. We will discuss programs that reside in the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) and in the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR). Examples of currently funded projects will be included and questions and inquiries encouraged.

Biography: Ron Buckmire is the Lead Program Director of the Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program housed in the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Before coming to NSF in May 2016 as a permanent program director responsible for mathematics education, he had served as a rotator (temporary NSF Program Director) in DUE from 2011-2013. He has been a faculty member at Occidental College in Los Angeles since 1994, serving as chair of the Mathematics department (2005-2010, 2015-2016) and achieving the rank of Full Professor in 2014 after beginning his academic career as a Minority Postdoctoral Scholar-in-Residence. Ron holds Mathematics degrees (Ph.D., M.Sc. and B.Sc.) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was the Principal Investigator on an S-STEM project: DUE-1457943, Creating Opportunities in Science and Mathematics for Occidental Students (COSMOS). He has published peer-reviewed articles in an eclectic collection of journals such as Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations, IMA Journal of Management Mathematics, Works and Days and the Albany Law Review. His primary areas of research interest include mathematical modeling, applied mathematics, numerical analysis (specifically nonstandard finite-difference approximations of ordinary and partial differential equations), mathematics education and the scholarship of teaching and learning. He is an avid tennis fan, often active on social media (on Twitter @madprofessah and on Instagram @ronbuckmire) and has regularly updated the blog The Mad Professah Lectures since 2005.


Invited speaker: Rosa C. Orellana, Dartmouth College
Teaching Via Guided Discovery

Abstract: The philosophy behind guided discovery is that students can discover ideas and methods by themselves. The book for the course consists of carefully designed problems to lead the students to discover and prove the main ideas. There is considerable evidence that this leads to deeper learning and more understanding.

Invited speaker: Ron Buckmire, National Science Foundation
Formative Summative Assessments: Some of My Favorite Exam Questions

Abstract: Assessment is a key component of all teaching and learning. These are often categorized into two parts: formative and summative. Formative assessments are evaluation instruments used before the end of the learning period to provide students and teachers with feedback to assist in the learning process. Summative assessments are evluation instruments that are used at the end of a learning period to provide information about the level of learning that occurred compared to some benchmark or standard. In this talk I will present some examples of some summative assessments from undergraduate mathematics (primarily calculus) that I believe had a formative effect (i.e. profound and long-lasting) on both students and myself.

Invited speaker: Danté A.Tawfeeq, John Jay College

Title: Helping Students in Lower Division Mathematics Courses To Become Better Managers of Problems That They Perceive To Have No Apparent Solutions

Abstract: In this discussion I will engage issues related to college level at-risks students’ success in lower division mathematics course. This discussion will be grounded in issues related to efficacy and the possible repercussions on the learning of mathematics during post-secondary education do to assessment policies at the secondary level. Also, I speak about some of the curriculum and policy initiatives that were implemented in the Math Foundations Quantitative Reasoning program that helped in reducing the failure rates of at-risk students in college algebra.

Biography: Dr. Danté A. Tawfeeq is an associate professor of mathematics at John Jay College of the City University of New York. He is also the director of the Math Foundations Quantitative Reasoning program. As director he develops curriculum and policies that support students’ learning of mathematics at the college. His professional portfolio includes 9 years of teaching and program assessment at middle and secondary schools. Additionally, Dr. Tawfeeq has 14 years of experience teaching mathematics and mathematics teacher education courses at both majority and minority serving institutions of higher education. Dr. Tawfeeq was named a Massachusetts Institute for College and Career Readiness (MICCR) Senior Research Fellow. He will be in this role from 2015 to 2018. Dr. Tawfeeq also received a Fulbright Award in January 2015 to work with the Namibia University of Science & Technology (NUST). Dr. Tawfeeq's research interest includes the analysis of Black and Hispanic students’ performance on mathematical assessments; PD for in-service teachers of mathematics that work with large at-risk populations; the instruction of mathematics to underprepared college students; problem centered learning in algebra and calculus, the design and validity of mathematics assessments; and the intellectual identity of urban at risk male students. The results from several research and service funded projects that Dr. Tawfeeq directed has led to published work.

Invited speaker: Bronislaw Czarnocha, Hostos Community College

Title: The Creativity of Teaching-Research Methodology TR/NYCity Model

Abstract: Dr.Czarnocha will discuss the creativity of TR/NYCity methodology of teaching and doing research simultaneously. The methodology has been developed and practiced in the community colleges of the Bronx leading to deep understanding of learning pathways of its student population while at the same contributing to the general knowledge in the field. Central in grasping creativity of the TR/NYCity model is the concept of bisociation introduced by Koestler (1964). He defined bisociation "as a spontaneous flash of insight, which…connects previously unconnected frames of reference and makes us experience reality at several planes at once". Manifestations of student mathematical creativity will be discussed.

Biography: Dr. Broni Czarnocha is a quantum physicist PhD turned mathematics teacher-researcher. Faculty member in the Mathematics Department of Hostos CC since Sept. 1993, and in 2010 he was granted full professorship; one of the founding members of the RUMEC (Research in Mathematics Education Community), the nationally based research group which widely introduced the APOS theory of mathematical conceptual development into Math Ed profession. He was the Principal Investigator (with Vrunda Prabhu) on the 2002 - 2006 NSF/ROLE Grant # 0126141 ($400,000), 3 years for the Teaching Experiment Introducing Indivisibles into Calculus Instruction, and successful grant writer and coordinator of mathematics teaching-research for the 2005-2008 Comenius 2.1, European Commission (476,000euro) international grant Professional Development of Teacher-Researchers anchored in Poland with participation of Hungary, Italy, Spain and Portugal. He published 42 papers, edited two Handbooks of teaching-research. Originally interested in the Teaching-Research methodology, since the local CUNY grant received in 2010 he focused his investigations on the mathematical creativity of Aha! Moment proposing bisociation of Arthur Koestler as the new definition of creativity. He is also currently investigating the Mathematics of Fairy Tales and the application of mathematics to the detailed analysis of social events. His hobby is glider pilot.

Future meetings:

  • Wednesday, October 11, 2017, Delegate Assembly, York College (CUNY)

Nearby MAA sections: