John Wenzel is on sabbatical leave this spring. He is investigating interactions in technologically enhanced classrooms. Ron Fryxell will be on sabbatical leave next fall. He plans to increase his expertise in resampling methods and develop software to introduce this topic in introductory statistics courses. • Last November, Michele Intermont (Kalamazoo C) gave a colloquium talk on "An Artist's View of Curves and Codes". • The Math Department encourages people from around the world to show their support of mathematics by wearing plaid on International Plaid Day, April 27, as one of the events culminating Mathematics Awareness Month.
Recent colloquium talks included Brian Greene (Columbia U), "The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory", and Michael Starbird (U of Texas), "Abandoning Dead Ends: Resuscitating the Heart of Mathematics".
Mohammad Rafiq retired after 30 years of service. Barbara Leapard is a new faculty member. Gian Mario Besana is on leave of absence this year. • The EMU-MCTM Mathematics Education Conference was held on February 24.
David Coffey, Will Dickinson, Oleg Makhnin, and Akalu Tefera joined the faculty this year as assistant professors. Karen Brown was hired as a postdoc.
Darin Stephenson has received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor.
Last year, Eric Barth was a member of a group that was successful in securing a large grant for the College from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. As part of the award, Eric will have some release time this spring to develop computational chemistry laboratory modules with a member of the chemistry department. These modules will be used by several courses in the biochemistry program.
The department has increased the number of sections of courses it offers through the Virtual College. Now students can complete their College Algebra/Trig sequence on-line. Kay Barks developed and is teaching this course. In addition, the college continues to offer Introduction to Computers, Math for Business, College Algebra I, and Introductory and Intermediate Algebra on-line.
Gus Azar and Abdul Itani have joined the department. • Preparations are under way for Robofest 2001 on April 28. Last year's initial Robofest was a great success and we expect the same this year. • We are busily redesigning our courses now that each freshman student at LTU is required to have a laptop computer.
The department continued its series of industrial mathematics and statistics seminars with a session on Noise and Vibration in Mechanical Systems on March 13. Speakers included Wen Zhang from the department and engineers from Ford and General Motors. • Results for 2000-2001 are not yet in, but the department is very proud of its Putnam team last year for placing 36th in North America.
Randy Schwartz has won the National Education Association's 2000 Democracy in Higher Education Prize for his essay "Unity in Multiplicity: Lessons from the Alhambra". The article discusses the importance of including in college instruction the contributions that Arab and other non-European peoples have made to mathematics and science. Schwartz is to receive a $2,500 award and a complimentary trip to the NEA Higher Education Conference in San Diego on March 2-4 to make a presentation.
Lana Taylor has been elected division chair for a three-year term. • Rob Bobeldyk (Calvin C) presented a talk on "Using Blackboard Software to Enhance Teaching and Learning". Isaac Newton and Gottlieb Leibniz (their roles played by Tim and Toni Carroll) visited campus to reminisce about their priority claims regarding the invention of the calculus.
Emily Pixley, long-time mathematics professor, passed away last summer. Gerry Adelini retired due to illness; Norman Cornish also retired. • The 20th national meeting of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility will be hosted by the Michigan Chapter October 19-21. For more information contact John Dwyer (email@example.com). In December we hosted the third national LegoFirst tournament sponsored by General Motors for middle school students. Over 190 teams, ably directed by Dan Maggio, had great fun building robots which competed against one another.
New faculty this academic year are as follows: Mahdi Asgari (number theory), Tibor Beke (topology), Thomas Bieske (geometric function theory), Gilberto Bini (combinatorics, algebra, geometry), Marcin Bownik (harmonic analysis), Ana Bravo (algebraic geometry), Stephen Bullock (differential geometry), Daniel Chan (algebra), Brian Conrad (algebraic number theory), Harm Derksen (invariant theory), Mark Dickinson (arithmetic geometry), Anton Dzhamay (PDE, mathematical physics), Gavril Farkas (algebraic geometry), Tatyana Foth (automorphic forms), Angela Gibney (algebraic geometry), Trachette Jackson (mathematical biology), Hans Johnston (numerical analysis), Boris Kalinin (dynamical systems), Peter Miller (applied mathematics), Patrick Nelson (mathematical biology), Thomas Nevins (algebraic geometry), Ronghua Pan (PDE), Benjamin Richert (commutative algebra), Oliver Roth (complex analysis), Victoria Sadovskaya (differential geometry), Eric Schippers (complex analysis), Mark Skandera (permutation statistics), Chris Skinner (algebraic number theory), Michael Sullivan (differential geometry), Kaushal Verma (complex analysis), Thomas Weston (algebraic number theory), Ming Yang (probability), and Gang Yu (number theory). • Evelyn Granville Boyd, the first African-American woman to get a PhD in mathematics, gave the third annual Marjorie Lee Browne colloquium on Martin Luther King Day. • Pat Shure won the Louise Hay Award, Karen Smith won the Satter Prize, Chris Skinner was awarded a Sloan Fellowship, Brian Conrad was awarded both a Sloan Fellowship and a Career Award. • Hy Bass became the President of the AMS in February. Hugh Montgomery will be running for President of the MAA this spring.
Eugene Smith retired after a teaching career of 59.5 years. He was an adjunct professor at UMD following his retirement from Wayne State University in 1990. • Roger Verhey received the Outstanding Service Award from the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics for the year 2000. He is also the Council's President-Elect. • In January the department hosted the fifth annual alumni career event "Preparation for Jobs and Careers in Today's Job Market". Eight alumni of the mathematics program who graduated between 1978 and 2000 returned to the department to talk to the current mathematics students about careers. • The Undergraduate Mathematics Colloquium had two speakers in the Fall term: James Lepkowski (UM-AA) spoke on "Judging the Quality of a Survey", and Patricia Lamm (MSU) spoke on "Inverse Problems and Their Applications". • The department will host the Lower Michigan Mathematics Competition in April.
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