North Central Mathematical Bulletin

The newsletter of the North Central Section
of the
Mathematical Association of America

Volume 4 Number 2 September 2001


Table of Contents

Governor's Report Farewell to Wayne Roberts
President's Report Campus News
Secretary's Report

NCS Team Contest

Treasurer's Report

Demos with Positive Impact

Student Presentations at MathFest 2001

Conferences and Courses

Section Distinguished Teaching Award

Future Section Meetings

Section Meritorious Service Award Information for contributors
Edyth May Sliffe Awards  

Governor's Report

MIKE HVISTEN
GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS COLLEGE

Here is my report of the meeting of the Board of Governor's which met in Madison in early August. This was my first meeting as governor of our section. I came away from the Board meeting with a renewed sense of optimism about MAA activities and a deeper respect for the depth and breadth of activities that the MAA carries out on our behalf at a national level. Here are a few of the major highlights from the meeting:

1. One of the most exciting sections of the meeting was a report on the 42nd International Mathematical Olympiad. The United States hosted the competition this year, which took place July 1-14 in Washington, DC. The US team did extremely well this year, tieing for second place with Russia. Also, one of the team members, Reid Barton, received his fourth Gold Medal, an unprecedented event in the history of the competition. During the report from the committee on competitions it was pointed out that sections rarely celebrate winners of the American Matematical Contests or the US American Mathematical Olympiad. Did you know that we had a USAMO national winner right in our section? Luke Gustafson, a senior from Breckenridge High School, was a US Olympiad winner and was honored in Washington, DC on June 5 of this year. Perhaps our section could do more to celebrate outstanding success by high school mathematicians?

2. The MAA is working to give many of its programs long-term financial security by identifying foundations and corporations that are interested in providing financial support. This year the Akami Foundation provided scholarships of $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000 to the top three students in the American Mathematical Competition. The Exxon/Mobil Foundation has agreed to continue its support for the NExT program, along with several new donors for that program.

3. Project NExT continues to be an extremely successful program. As noted above the program now has several funding sources and seems to be finacially in good health. This year the program received over 125 applications, the most ever. In total 559 faculty have participated in this program since its inception eight years ago. Our section has one new Project NExT Fellow: Kevin Dennis of St. Mary's University in Winona. One of the challenges facing the NExT program is that the number of spots available each year, about 70, has not increased as the number of applications, most of which are extremely strong, has grown. Sections are being encouraged to create and nurture local Section NExT programs. Joe Gallian co-led a session at the Madison meeting titled ``Creating and Sustaining NExT-like projects in the MAA Sections" and would be a good resource for our section in this regard.

4. A significant new initiative for the MAA is the development of the Mathematics Digital Library. The first issue of a new on-line journal, the Journal of Online Mathematics, appeared in January, 2001. This journal will be a part of the MAA's Digital Library, along with collections of online reviewed instructional material.

5. Membership in the MAA continues to be strong and the financial picture of the Association is also looking solid. The installation of the new TIMSS management software is on schedule and within budget and should significantly improve the Association's ability to offer on-line services in the future.

6. The next joint math meeting will be held in San Diego on January 6-9, 2002. The next MathFest will be in Burlington, VT on August 1-3, 2002.

See you all in October.


President's Report

RALPH CARR
ST. CLOUD STATE UNIVERSITY

Once again the North Central Section had a successful summer seminar, this one hosted by Bemidji State University, thanks to all the hard work of Ivy and Clayton Knoshaug and the BSU Mathematics Department. Dr. Fred Rickey spent four days providing us with new and useful information about the history of mathematics. Attendees included many North Central Section regulars as well as mathematicians from around the country. Fortunately the weather cooperated nicely with a refreshing cool spell in the midst of a stifling heat wave. Our seminars have been held regularly every two years since 1977, the first of which was also held at Bemidji State University.

Planning and executing a successful summer seminar takes two years. Please begin thinking about what topics and speakers would interest you for our next summer seminar in 2003. Just as important, consider having your institution be a host for the seminar. Members of the Executive Board are eager to hear your suggestions for topics, speakers, and host institutions.

Each year the Section chooses a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, and each year we have a very tight schedule for the committee that must make this difficult decision. This year we hope that you will select at least one outstanding teacher at your institution and then use our short nomination form, available at the Section web site http://maa.org/northcentral and send the completed form to Colleen Livingston, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Bemidji State University, 1500 Birchmont Drive, Bemidji, MN 56601 before October 31, 2001. The Committee will then notify finalists who will be required to fill out the long form including letters of support from students and colleagues.

Please join us for the Fall Section Meeting at the University of North Dakota on October 26 & 27, and at next year's Spring Section meeting at St. Cloud State University in April. If you have new colleagues please encourage them to attend as well, and don't forget students. Both students and new members can go to their first section meetings with free registration. I look forward to seeing you in Grand Forks.


Secretary's Report

DAN KEMP
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY

1. The Spring 2001 meeting was held at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota the first weekend in April. The Fall 2001 meeting will be held at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. See the call for papers in this newsletter and on the Section Web Site. The Spring 2002 meeting will be at St. Cloud State University. Try to make attending NCS/MAA meetings a priority for you and your Department this academic year. If you have suggestions or ideas that would make the meetings more attractive to you, please write one of the officers (names and addresses listed elsewhere) or talk to your Department Chair/Head and/or your Departmental MAA Liaison.

2. Although not a formal job in our section (perhaps it should be?) the responsibilities of Webmaster remain with past Secretary Mike Hvidsten. Please bookmark the URL for the North Central Section

http://www.maa.org/northcentral
and visit it often. It will be the primary means of communicating with the section membership. In particular, the Call For Papers for the Fall and Spring Meetings will appear there before you see it in the newsletter. The Preliminary Program for the Meetings will be posted on the Web site and not mailed to the general membership. Only Department Heads and Departmental Liaisons will receive hard copies.

Treasurer's Report

TOM SIBLEY
ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY

For a brief time the section's balance is larger than normal because most of the bills from the very successful summer seminar haven't yet arrived. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard and well on it. I will provide a more realistic, but I'm sure still healthy, accounting at the Fall meeting in North Dakota. See you there.


Student Presentations at MathFest 2001

There were over 80 student presentations given at the MathFest this past August in Madison, Wisconsin. Four of the presentations were given by students from schools in the Section:

Brenda Johnson's paper, ``Disjunctive Rado Numbers," was awarded one of eight $150 PME prizes. She was the only Section presenter to be awarded a prize. Her paper was based on some research done jointly with Dr. Dan Schaal of SDSU, partially sponsored by an EPSCOR grant.


Section Distinguished Teaching Award

Dr. Ted Vessey, Professor of Mathematics at St. Olaf College, was awarded the Section's Distinguished Teaching Award for 2001. The award recognizes Vessey's career achievements in the classroom, and his remarkable success in maintaining a supportive teaching and learning environment for mathematics at St. Olaf College.

``Ted Vessey, more than any other single person over the last 30 years, deserves credit for St. Olaf College's successful mathematics program," says fellow St. Olaf colleague Paul Zorn. ``As a department member and department chair for many years, Ted has been instrumental in developing a curriculum, hiring and supporting good faculty, mentoring students, fostering a challenging but supportive atmosphere and guiding discussions on how a mathematics department can maintain high standards yet be inviting to a wide variety of students."

St. Olaf students major in mathematics at percentages far higher than the national average, and they enroll in mathematics graduate schools at higher-than-average rates, too. Many of the college's mathematics majors are ``home-grown": they arrive at St. Olaf with no intention of majoring in mathematics, but soon find themselves drawn into the program, often through extracurricular mathematics activities.

The St. Olaf Mathematics Department and the local student chapter of the MAA sponsor many activities, including a Halloween pumpkin-carving party, a Christmas cookie-decorating event, an annual pig roast, a picnic, a mathematics department recital, weekly colloquia with guest speakers and problem-solving contests.

St. Olaf mathematical offerings are just as varied. Students also carry out independent study and research, do internships at major corporations or research centers, or go abroad with the Budapest Semester in Mathematics (a national program administered from St. Olaf).

Vessey has been instrumental in shaping the department into one of the nation's most student-friendly centers of mathematics education. Students and colleagues point to two qualities that account for his success at humanizing math for students, and encouraging others to do the same.

One quality is enthusiasm. Vessey believes deeply that mathematics is for everyone, and that students in every discipline can benefit from its beauty and power. It's each faculty member's responsibility to help students achieve a level of mathematical understanding.

He has always felt that mathematics is not the province of a select few, but can reward almost every student. ``Ted works for all mathematics students, not just for the talented few," Zorn says. ``His focus is on students; his goal is to make students love mathematics."

Another quality is Vessey's love of people. He uses a quick wit, a keen sense of the ridiculous, a natural rapport with students and plenty of common sense to convey his messages. And he uses examples from a wide variety of fields -the natural sciences, gaming, his wife's work (occupational therapy) - to illustrate his points.

``Ted is a perfect antithesis of the stereotype sociopath mathematician," Zorn continues. ``Ted knows his students well; he appreciates their strengths and variety. Women, men, ski bums, the graduate-school-bound, the work-bound - Ted supports and mentors all of them. His special interest and pleasure in students' achievements inspires us."

``Dr. Vessey has a genuine concern for my priorities," one student said. ``He is more than a teacher and advisor for me. I also consider him a role model and a friend."

``He is a champion for the students and would always give them honest and thoughtful advice," says another. ``I have met many of his former students all leading productive and successful lives, and all are appreciative of the care he demonstrated as a teacher, advisor and friend."

``He believes that our world is changing faster than we can imagine, but through rigorous analytic training we will be well prepared for the uncertain world that lies ahead of us," says a third.

Vessey also appreciates his St. Olaf colleagues as individuals and as a cooperating group. For many years he was chair of the St. Olaf Mathematics Department, building more flexibility into the curriculum, hiring and supporting good faculty and ensuring that first-year students were exposed to the very best teachers. Vessey continually insists on excellent, supportive teaching - a key to the department's success.

``His focus is on students; his goal is to make students love mathematics," says one colleague. ``He's taught the rest of the St. Olaf College mathematics faculty to do just that. In a very real sense he taught the nation how to make mathematics departments thrive."

Vessey came to St. Olaf in 1970, and before that taught for four years at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He served as Mathematics Department chair from 1975 to 1985 and from 1987 to 1990, and has held visiting appointments at Stanford University, East China Normal University in Shanghai, the University of Lund, Sweden, and the University of Virginia. He coached the college's alpine ski team for 12 years, and led the college's Term in Asia program in 1993. He earned a bachelor's degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Note: This article is taken from a St. Olaf press release, May 14, 2001.


Section Meritorious Service Award

The Section awarded its eighth annual certificate of meritorious service to Professor Ivy Knoshaug of Bemidji State University at the spring 2001 section meeting.

Ivy Knoshaug has been teaching mathematics to college and high school students since 1965, and has been a member of the faculty at Bemidji State University continuously beginning in 1981. In addition to her current efforts as director of the honors program, Ivy has also coordinated the student mathematics contest, was a leader in her department's implementation of graphing calculator technology and has served on departmental and college committees too numerous to mention. She has been a bulwark to her colleagues and an inspiration to many grateful students.

Ivy's contributions to the Section are awe-inspiring. Whether organizing summer seminars or section meetings, serving as newsletter editor, president or member of the executive committee, she is someone we all count on. She is one of the stalwart core that personifies our section at its best.

For dedicated service to her students and colleagues in the department of mathematics at Bemidji State University and for her unflagging devotion to the work of the Section, Ivy has clearly earned this citation for meritorious service and our many thanks. (Information submitted by Jennifer Galovich)


Edyth May Sliffe Awards

The 2001 Edyth May Sliffe awards for distinguished high school mathematics teaching have been announced and two of the twenty-four national winners are teachers in Minnesota high schools. They are Kim Rhody of Willmar Senior High School and John Winterhalter of Eden Prairie High School.

The purpose of the award is to recognize high school mathematics teachers whose teams have done well on the AHSME. The award recipients were selected from nominations received from the three students of each of the 60 highest scoring teams on the AHSME. These students were asked to recommend a teacher who in their opinion was most responsible for his or her success on the exam. In addition to a cash prize, the award winning teachers receive: a letter of congratulations from the President of the MAA; a certificate signed by the President of the MAA, Chair of the Committee on the AHSME, and the Executive Director of the American Mathematics Competitions; and a free one-year membership in the MAA.


Farewell to Wayne Roberts

JOHN SCHUE
MACALESTER COLLEGE

I am one of the few people still at Macalester who were here when Wayne arrived in 1965. As such I am put in the unique position of being able to review his entire career. I now realize what a multi-faceted three-dimensional person he has been. Even with such a marvelous tool as Mathematica available to view spatial objects, there is no way for one person to see it all at once, let alone describe it for others. This frees me then to discard any attempt at inclusiveness and to make this a more personal note of respect and affection.

Wayne's timing for his arrival here was impeccable. It coincided with the department's move from its previous quarters in Carnegie Hall to the then brand- new Olin Hall (predecessor of the new, now slightly used, Olin). He settled in quickly and soon made his presence noticed by lobbying for, and getting, the department's first ditto machine.

I mention this because it was a first small sign of one of Wayne's greatest strengths, his ability as an innovator and agent for change, working for the new and better. This is an unbroken thread through his whole career and has always been accompanied by rock-solid integrity and intellectual honesty. Here are several examples:

 

Anyone who has worked with Wayne soon realizes that out of his underlying religious faith and integrity he insists on dealing with others with disarming openness and honesty. He has shown this daily in his meticulous classroom presentations and his relationship to his student advisees who accept him as a life-long friend and confidant. It accounts for his colleagues' respect as shown in his being entrusted with leadership roles, first as department chair, then as Provost. He now moves toward a less demanding role but I am certain that he will continue to be a valued part of the department and Macalester College. He has served with dedication and distinction.

Note: John Schue retired from Macalester College in May 1999. This article is reprinted from the Macalester College Math/CS Department Newsletter.


Campus News

Augsburg College

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Matthew Haines joined the department this fall in a tenure-track appointment. His areas of interest include Number Theory, Cryptography, History of Math and preparing students to teach mathematics in grades K-12. Dr. Haines began his mathematical career in the Section as an undergraduate at St. John's University. (Submitted by Suzanne Doree)

 

Bemidji State University

Stephanie Edwards and Darren Parker left Bemidji State University this summer to take jobs at the University of Dayton. They will certainly be missed.

This year we welcome back Ivy Knoshaug and Clayton Knoshaug from their sabbatical and say goodbye to Eric Lund who will be on sabbatical.

There are many new faces in our department this year including new instructors Barbara Ranson, Marcella Melby and Michelle Dodds. The department also welcomes Todd Frauenholtz who will be joining our faculty as an Assistant Professor in December after completing his degree at the University of Minnesota.

Ivy Knoshaug received the Section's Meritorious Service award last spring and this summer organized the Section's very successful summer seminar on the History of Mathematics. (Submitted by Randy Westhoff)

 

Bethel College

A team of three students from Bethel College participated in COMAP's Mathematical Contest in Modeling in February 2001 and received one of the top nine ``outstanding" designations (out of 496 teams entered) for their solution to the problem of evacuating coastal South Carolina in the event of a hurricane.

The team consisted of Barb Hess (currently a graduate student in statistics at the University of Minnesota), Nathan Gossett (currently a senior math and computer science major at Bethel), and Mike Page (currently a junior math major at Bethel) with faculty advisor Bill Kinney.

It was the first time a team from Bethel entered the contest, and the results were very encouraging to all involved. ``I knew we had a strong group of students for this contest," said Kinney, ``but I really didn't know what kind of result to expect. This result gives us a lot of motivation to continue entering teams in the contest in the future." (Submitted by Bill Kinney)

 

College of St. Scholastica

Dr. Guanshen Ren is the Co-Principal Investigator and Coordinator of Faculty Mentors of the NSF Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics Scholarship Program at St. Scholastica for 2001-2003.

Dr. Luther Johnson worked with Marcy Barge at MSU developing geometric realizations of subsitution tilling spaces in summer under a research grant from St. Scholastica. (Submitted by Guanshen Ren)

 

Concordia College

Bill Tomhave, chair, went to China to begin work on setting up a mathematics education May Seminar to explore the way that eastern cultures approach the teaching of mathematics.

Tomhave also attended CCICME (Changchun China International Math Ed Conference) August 16-22, 2001, and gave a brief talk describing mathematics teacher preparation in Minnesota.

Daniel Biebighauser, senior from Farmington MN, worked at the National Security Agency in a summer REU.

John Bullock, senior from Rochester, MN, worked at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in a summer REU.

Dan and John gave a talk entitled ``Ending Digit Sequences of Cubes" on August 2, 2001, at the MAA MathFest in Madison, WI.

Dan and John, sponsored by Jerry Heuer, have been chosen for the student lecture series on campus this fall. Their presentation, entitled ``Initial and Final Digit Sequences of Integer Powers," is based on a research project directed by Heuer in which they are participating.

Haimeng Zhang was one of a select group of faculty chosen for Concordia's Centennial Scholars program, which supports a faculty member and two students in summer research. Zhang worked with John Gregoire, sophomore from New Orleans, LA, and Sam MacDonald, senior from Fertile, MN, on the statistical problem ``Periodic Inspection Plan and Interval-Censored Data-A Scheme Comparison." The problem is of interest in survival analysis when it is practically difficult or expensive to observe the full data.

Douglas Anderson went to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to work with Allan Peterson and his three REU students, including John Bullock from Concordia. They wrote a chapter ``Nabla Dynamic Equations on Time Scales" for a new book on time scales; this book will continue the work started in Peterson's text ``Dynamic Equations on Time Scales: An Introduction with Applications" (July 2001), written with Martin Bohner and published by Birkhauser. Anderson's trip was supported by a Concordia summer study grant.

Anderson led 12 students on a month-long trip to Egypt, Greece, Italy, Paris and London. The class, Mathematics in Another Light, is a long-running offering in Concordia's May Seminars Abroad program.

Jerry Heuer, Mathematician in Residence, worked as a coordinator at the International Mathematical Olympiad held in Washington DC from July 1 to 14. Coordinators serve to insure that the grading of each problem is uniform across all contestants from all countries. (From 1987 to 1990 Heuer was Leader of the USA team at the IMO and Director of the Mathematical Olympiad training session held in preparation for the IMO.)

Jim Forde as been appointed Co-interim Dean of the College for the year 2001-2002. His replacement in the Department is Bonita Schmidt, who has taught previously at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Mary Vanderschoot has just completed a year as an MAA Project Next Fellow.

An MAA Student Chapter has been established, with Doug Anderson as Faculty Advisor. (Submitted by Jerry Heuer)

 

Gustavus Adolphus College

We have a new Chair - Dr. Jeff Rosoff.

Dr. Steven Benzel joins our department this year, replacing Dr. David Wolfe who is on leave. Steve has an undergraduate degree from the University of California Riverside, and in 1997 he earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in mathematics. His area of specialization is Lie Algebras and homogeneous spaces, with applications to mathematical physics. Steve has had considerable teaching experience, including the Minnesota Academy of Mathematics and Sciences and, most recently, St. Cloud State University. Steve is also an accomplished woodworker, and is currently in the process of setting up shop after his move here from St. Cloud.

Karl Knight and Barbara Kaiser returned to the department after a year's sabbatical leave at the University of Edinburough in Scotland - they were accompanied by their son, Erik.

Mike Hvidsten and Charles Pastor received an NSF ILI grant to implement their WeBWork program, which will aid in the teaching of calculus. (Submitted by Jeff Rosoff)

 

Hamline University

Hamline University's math department is seeking to add a position in computation science to begin in September 2002. Colleagues with knowledge of Ph.D. 's (or Ph.D. candidates) in mathematics or computer science who have significant background in applications of computing are asked to encourage such persons to look for Hamline's ad in ``Focus", the AMS website, or Hamline's website. (Submitted by Nadine Myers)

 

Macalester College

Wayne Roberts is retiring.

A retirement party for Wayne Roberts will be held at Macalester College on Wednesday evening, October 17, starting with a talk by Tom Banchoff from 5-6pm in the Davis Auditorium of the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center, followed by dinner at 6:30 in the Smail Gallery in Olin-Rice, followed by testimonials. It is expected that the dinner will cost $20. For dinner reservations, contact Meridy Amsden at 651-696-6287. All other events are open to the public.

In a rare event, everyone in the Macalester Math/CS department is on campus and teaching this fall.

Michael Schneider takes over as chair of the department replacing David Bressoud, who was chair for 6 years from August 1994 to July 2001. We thank David for all his great work.

We have two new faculty members joining the department. Libby Shoop is now in her first year of a tenure-track position in Computer Science. Her research interests include extending database systems for scientific data, improving data visualization and exploration, designing data warehouses and distributed database systems, and bioinformatics. Before coming to Macalester, she conducted research at the Center for Computational Genomics and Bioinformatics at the University of Minnesota. Also joining the department this year is Mark Omodt from Anoka Ramsey Community College. Mark graduated from Macalester with a math major in 1992. He is on sabbatical from Anoka Ramsey CC and teaching at Macalester this year.

Stan Wagon has been chosen as the 2002 winner of the Chauvenet prize. Stan won the prize for his article ``A stroll through the Gaussian primes." The Chauvenet Prize is awarded to the author of an outstanding expository article on a mathematical topic by a member of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). First awarded in 1925, the Prize is named for William Chauvenet, a professor of mathematics at the United States Naval Academy. Winners of the Chauvenet Prize are among the most distinguished of mathematical expositors. Indeed, Stan joins a very distinguished group of recipients, as you can see at http://www.d.umn.edu/ jgallian/maaawards/chauvenet.html.

Tom Halverson was awarded tenure and appointed to associate professor. (Submitted by Tom Halverson)

 

Minneapolis Community and Technical College

New to the college this year as unlimited (= tenured/tenure track) faculty are Jane Gringauz, whose academic background is biostatistics, and Scott Storla, who is returning to us after some years with the U of MN's General College.

Lois Niemi will be on sabbatical for the full academic year. John Kronholm will be on sabbatical for Spring semester 2002.

As of last year, our College Algebra and Introductory Statistics courses are offered both on campus and on the web. Judy Willoughby handles the web version of College Algebra, and Becky Gamble the Introductory Statistics.

Everett Tollerud fell while hiking in Washington this summer, and fractured his femur. He will be on medical leave this Fall.

Marcella Jones will become department chair this Spring, as John Kronholm leaves for sabbatical. (Submitted by John Kronholm)

 

Minnesota State University - Mankato

We have hired Dan Singer for a tenure-track position. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, San Diego in 1992 and comes to us from a visiting position at Oakland University in Rochester Michigan. His area of specialization is algebraic combinatorics and discrete mathematics.

We have also hired Shawn Berry for a fixed-term appointment. He has a BS in mathematics and an MS in education from the University of Kansas. He will be working with our developmental mathematics program.

Tom Henry also joins us in a fixed-term appointment. He has his MS in mathematics and computer science from Mankato State University. He will be teaching the freshmen level courses in mathematics.

Hossein Shahmohamad and Maky Manchola, who had fixed-term appointments last year, have both moved on to other universities advancing their careers. (Submitted by Ernest Boyd)

 

Minnesota State University - Moorhead

The mathematics department at MSU-Moorhead has two new faculty members this fall. Ellen Hill is an assistant professor. Ellen's Ph.D. is from the University of Indiana where her dissertation was in the area of mathematical physics. (Ellen's undergraduate degree is from North Dakota State University.) Kristine Montis comes to MSU-Moorhead from Lake Superior State University and is an assistant professor of mathematics. Kris's area is math education and she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. The mathematics department is delighted to have both Kris and Ellen as colleagues. (Submitted by Don Mattson)

 

St. Cloud State University

New tenure-track faculty at SCSU this year are Keith Agre (Ph.D., University of Nebraska, 2001) and Dominic Naughton (Ph.D., Auburn University, 1999). Growing up in Renville, Minnesota and doing his undergraduate work at Concordia College in Moorhead, Keith is not new to Minnesota. Dominic is not new to the state either as he has been working at SCSU in a fixed-term position for two years.

SCSU has also lost a faculty member in Michael Fiske who left to take a department chair position at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. New fixed-term faculty this year include Clyde Ecklund (M.S., University of Minnesota), Tai Jen Liu (M.A., University of Pittsburg), Brian Rude (M.S., South Dakota State University), Christopher Smith (M.S., Purdue University), and Carol Theisen (Ph.D. in Physics, Iowa State University).

The department has a new chairperson in Dan Scully as our new Section president, Ralph Carr, has successfully completed (survived?) a six-year term in the position.

One change the department is making this year is the temporary reintroduction of large lecture style classes. This is a direct result of cuts in the state budget.

 

South Dakota State University

This past year, Ross Abraham and Dan Schaal were promoted to Associate Professor. Chris Larson was granted tenure. Three Master of Science in Mathematics degrees were granted during the last academic year. (Submitted by Dan Kemp)

 

St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict

Bob Hesse is a new tenure track member of the Mathematics Department at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. We are very glad to welcome Bob back. He received his B.A. from St. John's in 1991 and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He comes to us from Hillsdale College in Michigan. (Submitted by Tom Sibley)

 

St. Mary's University of Minnesota

The department of Mathematics and Statistics is enjoying having two new members, Stephen Aldrich and Kevin Dennis, starting their second year. Both Kevin and Stephen have had papers this summer accepted for publication. Kevin has been selected to be a project NExT fellow this year. Also Kevin and his wife Melissa, who also teaches in the department, are expecting their first child on December 1. We wish all the best to their growing young family. Kevin and Stephen graded AP calculus in Fort Collins this summer, and both attended MathFest in Madison.

Todd Iverson got married twice (to the same person, Jen Zimmermann), once in February, an elopement in Las Vegas, and then again in July in a church ceremony for family and friends. Congratulations to Todd and Jen. (Submitted by Paul Weiner)

 

University of Minnesota - Morris

At UMM's Undergraduate Research Symposium in April 2001, math majors Steve Formaneck, Daniel Hill, Lucas Nelson, and Lena Wollan presented their research projects. Specifically, Daniel Hill's poster session was on ``Area in Hyperbolic Geometry," Steve Formaneck's presentation was on ``Traffic Simulation and Modeling," Lucas Nelson's presentation was on ``Simpson's Paradox and Copulas," and Lena Wollan's presentation was on ``Uncapacitated Fixed Charge Network Flow Problems."

In Fall 2001, we welcome 3 new faculty members, Louis Blair (PhD Carnegie Mellon Univ), Josh Levy (PhD Univ of Wisconsin - Madison), and Luc Patry (PhD Brandeis University). Luc will be teaching mathematics; Louis and Josh will be teaching mathematics and statistics.

In Spring 2001, mathematics majors Steve Formaneck and Daniel Enderton received certificates for their successful participation in the 2001 Mathematical Contest in Modeling sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP).

The UMM's Science building renovation is well on schedule; the Mathematics and Statistics Disciplines will each have a new computer classroom by Fall 2002. (Submitted by Peh H. Ng)

 

University of North Dakota

Michele Iiams is our newest tenure track faculty member. Michele has an M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Colorado State University and has nearly completed work for a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education at UND. Her dissertation title is ``Pre-collegiate factors affecting student success in their first university mathematics course." Michele is married to Joel Iiams, also a member of our department. They have two children, Rachel and Jacob. (Submitted by Richard Millspaugh)


NCS Team Contest

The North Central Section Team Contest is scheduled for Saturday, November 10, 2001. All colleges and universities within the section are invited to enter as many teams of up to three students each as they like. At least one person within each department should be getting a formal announcement to pass on to the rest of the department. Further information, including samples of previous exams, is available on the Section website http://www.maa.org/northcentral/. To make an inquiry or register, send email to heuer@cord.edu.


2001-2002 Project NExT Fellow in the North Central Section


Demos with Positive Impact

Demos with Positive Impact is an NSF project to connect mathematics instructors with effective teaching tools. It is a web-based collection of instructional demonstrations for teaching mathematical concepts across the undergraduate curriculum. Demonstrations to accompany ideas and concepts are a requirement for effective instruction. What we have in mind is a vignette, incorporated within a lecture that engages the learner on a level in addition to the dialogue of the instructor. In contrast to student activities such as projects or lab activities, these vignettes are intended to be presented by the instructor. Experienced instructors have private toolboxes of demos, conceptual approaches, or physical gadgets they use to encourage students to tune-in to the mathematics. This rich, but largely unharvested source of tried-and-tested ideas forms the basis for Demos with Positive Impact. Currently there are about 30 demos in the collection, ranging in scope from elementary algebra and precalculus, probability, and calculus. We invite you to visit the web site at http://www2.gasou.edu/facstaff/lroberts/demos.

The success of Demos with Positive Impact depends on contributions of good ideas for demos from our colleagues. Although we cannot give you any money for your ideas, we will acknowledge your contribution to this NSF funded project. We will accept good ideas in any form; a description on paper, an electronic file or you may use our web form. We will take your idea, for which you will receive full credit, and fit it into our database format. You may submit your demo online at the Demos with Positive Impact web site or send it by mail to

David R. Hill Lila F. Roberts
hill@math.temple.edu lroberts@gasou.edu
Mathematics Department Math. and CSci. Dept.
Temple University Georgia Southern University
Philadelphia, PA 19122 Statesboro, GA 30460

Conferences and Courses

Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Fall Conference

19 OCTOBER 2001
NORTH HIGH SCHOOL
NORTH ST. PAUL, MN

The theme for the conference is ``Exploration in Math and Science." To submit a talk or to gather more information, visit

http://www.mctm.org/conferences.html.

Twenty-fourth Annual Pi Mu Epsilon Student Conference

12-13 APRIL 2002
COLLEGE OF ST. BENEDICT
ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY
COLLEGEVILLE, MN

The featured speaker will be Professor David Bressoud from Macalester College. Encourage your undergraduate students now to prepare talks for the conference.

For more information, contact

Marc Brodie
mbrodie@csbsju.edu
Phone: 320-363-5867

or visit http://www2.csbsju.edu/math/pme.html.


Future Section Meetings

Spring 2002 St. Cloud State University

Information for contributors

Submissions should be sent via mail to:

Dale Buske
139 ECC, SCSU
720 4th Ave. S.
St. Cloud, MN  56301

Or (and preferably) by electronic mail to:

dbuske@stcloudstate.edu

This newsletter was last updated May 30, 2003.