Spring 2018 Meeting

April 20-21, 2018
Minnesota State University
Mankato, Minnesota
Contact: Namyong Lee

The Spring 2018 meeting of the North Central Section of the Mathematical Association of America will be held April 20-21 at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota.

We hope you'll make time to join us!

Other information including the invited speakers, lodging, lunch and directions are found Meeting Information See details of this information below as well.


The program for the spring meeting is now available (here).

Invited Speakers

Reassembly of Broken Objects

Peter Olver

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Abstract: The problem of reassembling broken objects appears in a broad range of applications, including jigsaw puzzle assembly, archaeology (broken pots and statues), surgery (broken bones and reassembly of histological sections), paleontology (broken fossils and egg shells), and anthropology (more broken bones).  I will discuss recent progress on such problems, based on advances in the mathematical apparatus of transformation groups and groupoids, symmetry and equivalence problems, moving frames, invariant signatures, and invariant numerical approximations. 

Peter J. Olver received his Sc.B. from Brown University in 1973 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1976.  He has been at the University of Minnesota since 1980, and has been serving as Head of Department since 2008. He is the author of over 140 research papers in a wide range of subjects, mostly revolving around applications of symmetry and Lie groups, as well as five books, including two undergraduate texts: Applied Linear Algebra, coauthored with his wife Cheri Shakiban at the University of St. Thomas (second edition appearing soon), and Introduction to Partial Differential Equations.  He is also the middle member of a three-generation mathematical family; his late father Frank was a professor at the University of Maryland and his son Sheehan is now a professor at Imperial College, London.

Transforming the Mathematics Classroom to Truly Embrace Diversity

Cindy Kaus

Metropolitan State University

Abstract: Mathematics students from diverse backgrounds have the power to serve as invaluable resources for their classmates, teachers and the community. They bring a broad range of experiences and perspectives that enrich the learning environment. How do we transform the classroom to support and encourage students from all backgrounds to adopt the identity of a mathematical thinker? What structural barriers are in place that we must move beyond? How do we change our students’ mathematical stories so that they learn to appreciate the beauty and applications of mathematics and also have confidence in their mathematical ability? I will present a model that addresses these questions for a group of students who have taken me on a professional path I never expected.

Cindy Kaus is a professor of mathematics at Metropolitan State University, where she has taught for 17 years. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering at Arizona State University and her Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Arizona. As Co-PI on the NSF grant, Engaging Mathematics, Cindy led the project in developing civically engaged mathematics curriculum and creating a national community of practice among four and two-year faculty. In 2014, Cindy was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Seychelles, Africa where she assisted in the development of a mathematics education program. She has a long-standing commitment to increasing the representation of women and persons of color in the STEM fields.Cindy is also the winner of the 2017 NCS Teaching Award.

Discrete Flows on Simplicial Complexes

Brandon Rowekamp

Minnesota State University, Makato

Abstract: Morse theory and related fields show that many topological properties of manifolds can be understood through analyzing possible vector fields on them, or equivalently by analyzing flows.  Discrete Morse theory, which has found applications in many different fields throughout the last decade, does the same sort of analysis starting from a CW complex.  Using the framework developed by discrete Morse theory we can discuss notions of vector fields and flows on a simplicial complex in simple and purely combinatorial terms.  This framework allows us to attack problems by either using intuitions from our experience with vector fields and flows in the smooth case, or by applying results and techniques from graph theory to the combinatorial interpretation.  In this talk we will develop the notion of combinatorial flows from the ground up, and examine some related problems which illustrate how they connect topology to graph theory.

Dr. Brandon Rowekamp has been an assistant professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato for five years.  Before that, he completed his graduate work at the University of Notre Dame, specializing in Differential Geometry.  He is a member of the 2013-2014 Project NExT, and maintains a commitment to finding new and effective teaching methods.  His mathematical interests consist primarily in various ways of using discrete structures to approximate smooth geometric objects.

Here is a copy of the invited speaker information as a Word document Invited Speaker nformation

Conference Registration

Lunch Details Saturday, April 21

  • The Saturday lunch is in the Students Union (SU) and costs $15. The registration deadline for lunch is 5 PM, Friday, April 13 .
  • To reserve your ticket, please email Namyong Lee
  • Driving Directions to MNSU and Campus Map

  • Here are the Driving Directions to campus, and
  • A general campus map can be found by following the link: Campus Map
  • Parking is free Friday after 4 pm and all of Saturday. There is no handicap or Fire line parking.