Fall 2016 Meeting

October 14-15 2016
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contact: Jonathan Rogness

The Fall 2016 meeting of the North Central Section of the Mathematical Association of America will be held October 14-15 at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Come celebrate the North Central Section's Centennial Celebration!


The program for the fall meeting is now available (here). (updated 10-12)

Invited Speakers

The North Central Section Contributions to the MAA and Mathematics

Joe Gallian

University of Minnesota-Duluth

Joe Gallian received a Ph. D. from Notre Dame in 1971. He has been at the University of Minnesota Duluth since 1972. He is the author of the book "Contemporary Abstract Algebra" (9th edition) and coauthor of the book "For All Practical Purposes" (10th edition). His research interests include groups, graphs and combinatorics. He has published more than 100 articles and given over 500 invited lectures at colleges, universities and conferences. He has directed summer research programs for undergraduate students since 1977. He has received the MAA Gung and Hu award for distinguished service, the MAA Haimo award for distinguished teaching, and two MAA awards for exposition. He is a past President of the MAA and an inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.

Abstract: North Central Sections members have a rich tradition of service to the MAA and mathematics going back over 90 years. This service includes holding MAA offices, membership on MAA editorial boards, authoring of MAA books, involvement with MAA math competitions, promoting undergraduate research, and hosting summer programs for undergraduate women. We highlight many of these contributions.

Halving Your Cake

Deanna Haunsperger

Carleton College

Deanna Haunsperger is a professor of mathematics at Carleton College in Minnesota. Since her own undergraduate days at a small liberal arts college in Iowa, Deanna has been interested in increasing the number of students who pursue advanced degrees in mathematics. That passion has guided her as a former co-editor for Math Horizons (the Mathematical Association of America’s magazine for undergraduates) and as co-founder and co-director of Carleton's Summer Mathematics Program for Women (a successful, intensive four-week summer program to encourage talented undergraduate women to pursue advanced degrees in the mathematical sciences). She has chaired the MAA’s Strategic Planning Committee on Students and the Council on Outreach. Currently Deanna is President-Elect of the MAA. Deanna is married to fellow mathematician Steve Kennedy, and together they have two grown children.

Abstract: Here is a problem as old as humanity: given a resource to be shared (water, land, cake), how can it be shared fairly between several people? The answer, in the case of two claimants, is simple and ancient and known to every five-year-old with a sibling: I cut; you choose. Things get much more interesting, and challenging, if one has more than one sibling. How do we make fair divisions?

A Brief History of the North Central Section of the MAA

Wally Sizer (retired)

Minnesota State University-Moorhead

Abstract: Highlights of the history of the Minnesota/North Central Section will be given, in honor of the centennial.

Putting Humpty-Dumpty Together Again

Rob Thompson

Carleton College

Rob Thompson is an Assistant Professor at Carleton College, where he joined the faculty in 2015. Before that, he had postdoctoral positions at Macalester College and Harvey Mudd College, preceded by a Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Minnesota supervised by Peter Olver. His research is in applied math of various kinds. Rob lives with his wife Rita (also a mathematician and teacher) and children Luisa (3) and Hugo (0) in Northfield. In his spare time, he likes to play the double bass and take care of chickens.

All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't do it, but what about a computer? Inspired by the problem of reassembling a broken egg, we'll visit the mathematical ideas that help us to reassemble broken objects. In particular, we'll examine the idea of an "invariant signature" (a way of encoding the shape of an object while ignoring its position and orientation) and the ways that student researchers have used the signature idea to help assemble flat and curved jigsaw puzzles.

Treasures from the MAA Attic

Paul Zorn

St. Olaf College

Born and raised in India, Paul Zorn is a professor of mathematics at St. Olaf College. His professional interests include complex analysis, mathematical exposition, textbook writing, and the role of mathematics among the liberal arts. His 1986 paper "The Bieberbach Conjecture" was awarded the 1987 Carl B. Allendoerfer Award for mathematical exposition. He has co-authored several calclulus textbooks with his St. Olaf colleague, Arnold Ostebee. His most recent book is Understanding Real Analysis (AK Peters, 2010). From 1996 to 2000, he was editor of Mathematics Magazine, and also served a hitch (2011-12) as President of the Mathematical Association of America.

Abstract: Over its 100 years of life the MAA has accumulated a bursting metaphorical attic, stuffed with reports, books, articles, journal problems, Putnam Exam problems, journals, curricular recommendations, and much more.

Most centenarians' collections contain some things that should have gone to Goodwill decades ago. Conceivably there is some of this in the MAA attic, too, but surely not much. The MAA's 100-year collection is full of wise, interesting, surprising, and sometimes quirky mathematical and pedagogical treasures. I'll dust off and describe some of my personal favorites, some old, some new, and some with North Central roots.


Banquet Details Friday, October 14 at 7pm

Campus Map and Parking


There is a long (but not comprehensive) list of hotels near the University of Minnesota campus maintained by our admissions office: https://admissions.tc.umn.edu/visit/hotel.html. Hotels near campus are expensive; the discounted rates for University visitors range from $150-$300 per night. In our experience the “discounted” rates for University visitors are often higher than the rates offered online to the general public.

We therefore suggest attendees use Kayak, Orbitz, or other sites to find a hotel room in the Twin Cities. It is nearly always cheaper to stay off campus and pay for parking (or use the light rail) than to stay in one of the nearby hotels.

Among the expensive, nearby hotels, the Marriott Courtyard Minneapolis Downtown is the closest, about three blocks away from the meeting. The Commons Hotel is a 10 minute walk away. The cheapest option near campus is the Days Inn University, which is a 25 minute walk (or light rail ride) away.

Hotels in Roseville, a 10-15 minute drive from the meeting, generally range from $100-120 per night. Hotels further from downtown, near the Interstate 494/694 ring, range from $70-$100 or more.

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