Invited Speakers

   James Sellers Dr. James Sellers
   Secretary, Mathematical Association of America
   Department Head, University of Minnesota Duluth




James Sellers received his Ph.D. from Penn State University in 1992. After receiving his PhD, he taught at Cedarville University in Ohio for nine years before returning to his alma mater in 2001 to serve as a faculty member and the director of the undergraduate program in mathematics. In 2008, James served as a Visiting Fellow of the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge, and in 2012 he was privileged to be a Fulbright scholar, teaching and completing research at the Johannes Kepler University and the Research Institute for Symbolic Computation in Linz, Austria. Currently, James has over 100 papers listed in Mathematical Reviews, and he has won numerous awards for both his teaching and his service to the mathematical community. In February 2018, James turned his attention to a new and very exciting opportunity – serving as the Secretary of the MAA!  And in August 2019, he moved to the University of Minnesota Duluth to serve as professor and head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics there.

Abstract of talk:  Revisiting what Euler and the Bernoullis Knew About Convergent Infinite Series

All too often in first-year calculus classes, conversations about infinite series stop with discussions about convergence or divergence.  Such interactions are, unfortunately, not often illuminating or intriguing,  Interestingly enough, Jacob and Johann Bernoulli and Leonhard Euler (and their contemporaries in the early 18th century) knew quite a bit about how to find the *exact* values of numerous families of convergent infinite series.  In this talk, I will show two sets of *exact* results in this vein.  The talk will be accessible to anyone interested in mathematics.



Jessica Striker   Dr. Jessica Striker
   Associate Professor, North Dakota State University


Jessica Striker earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 2008. She taught at Macalester College and Augsburg College before joining the faculty at North Dakota State University in 2013. Her research is in combinatorics at the intersection of algebra, geometry, dynamics, and statistical physics. In particular, she has been active in the emerging subfield of dynamical algebraic combinatorics, a subject about which she recently wrote a feature article for the Notices of the AMS. She has also been developing innovative ways to implement active learning in large lecture calculus.

Abstract of talk:  Mind-boggling toggling

The toggle group is a simply presented permutation group generated by certain involutions, called toggles. Despite its simple description, the toggle group turns out to be a powerful gadget for finding surprising connections between various objects, discovering intriguing dynamical phenomena, and proving results related to statistical physics. In this talk, we give a tour of the toggle group, with connections to algebra, geometry, combinatorics, and physics.



Aaron Wangberg    Dr. Aaron Wangberg
   Professor, Winona State University
   2019 MAA-NCS Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics

Aaron Wangberg earned his Ph. D. from Oregon State University in 2007, working with mathematicians and physicists to understand the mathematical structure needed for “a theory of everything”. At Winona State University, he has primarily taught first and second year undergraduate math courses with a focus on engaging students in mathematics in the classroom. He is involved with both “Raising Calculus to the Surface” and “Raising Physics to the Surface”, national projects funded by the NSF which let students discover mathematical relationships prior to formal lecture.

Abstract of Talk:    Rethinking the role of 'math' in the mathematics classroom

Math instructors, just like students, evolve in their thoughts about the role of math and instruction in the mathematics classroom. Like many of my colleagues, what I valued as a student (lecture!) shifted (active engagement!) as I progressed through graduate school and into my early teaching career. But, as students and Raising Calculus adopters will attest, something went…. awry. In this talk, I’ll share how three ‘collisions’ in the physics classroom so impacted my view on who does, owns, and voices mathematics in the classroom that it even re-directed my understanding of what it means to teach ‘math’.