North Central Mathematical Bulletin

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

Volume 6 Number 2 September 2003

Table of Contents

Governor's Report 2002 Section Meritorious Service Award 
President's Report Fall Meeting
Secretary's Report Campus News
Treasurer's Report

Wanted: New Editors for Math Horizons

Student Chapter Coordinator's Report

Conferences and Courses

2002-2003 NCS Project NExT fellows

Future Section Meetings

2002 Section Team Competition Information for contributors
2002 Section Teaching Award  

Governor's Report



The summer meeting of the Board of Governor's was held in Boulder, Colorado on July 30, 2003. Here are a few of the major highlights from the meeting:

1. My overall impression from attending the Governors meeting and the subsequent MathFest, is one of pride in being involved in an organization that is doing so much to enhance the mathematics profession and to support excellence in undergraduate mathematics education. If you haven't attended one of the national meetings lately, I encourage you to do so. They provide great opportunities for re-energizing one's intellectual batteries.

2. The Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by Beginning Faculty will be offered for the first time this year. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 1. Nomination forms can be found at It would be great for our section to have an Alder Award winner, so think of someone new in your department to nominate.

3. The MAA has started a new program titled "Preparing Mathematicians to Educate Teachers" (PMET). The purpose of this program, which has been funded through the National Science Foundation, is to do as the title suggests, help faculty better prepare K-12 teachers. There are several workshops organized for next summer and more information can be found at In particular, there are mini-grants ($3-$5K) available to any department for the enhancement of its program for the education of future teachers of mathematics.

4. The MAA's switch to electronic balloting for elections was very successful. The Committee on Elections reported that there was a 22% increase in the number of votes cast in the last election as compared to the election of 2002.

5. The MAA was chosen at random for an audit of its grants management by the National Science Foundation. There were a few issues of concern which are being addressed. Overall, the MAA received a very positive report, and its finances are sound.

6. There are two new positions in the national office: a Mananger of Grants and Programs, and a Building and Conference Coordinator. These positions reflect the growth in the MAA's grants program (over $6 million this year) and the need for management of the MAA's new conference center.

7. The MAA's study tour to Greece in May was quickly subscribed and, by participant reports, both educationally exciting and communally congenial. Another tour is planned for summer of 2004 to England. Check the MAA's web site for details.

8. The Exxon/Mobil grant to Project NExT was renewed for $100,000. The program also has three new donors: The American Statistical Association, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and the Association of Symbolic Logic. Sections were again encouraged to start NExT-like programs for new faculty. This is something our section should seriously consider.

9. The next joint math meeting will be held in Phoenix on January 7-10, 2004. The next MathFest will be in Providence, RI on August 12-14, 2004.

See you all in October.

President's Report




Secretary's Report



The spring, 2002, meeting of the North Central Section was held at St. Cloud State University on April 26-27.   Seventy-two people attended representing 17 institutions.  The fall, 2002, meeting is at Minnesota State University Moorhead on October 25-26 (see the call for papers and related information elsewhere on this site), and the spring, 2003, meeting will be in April at Macalester College in St. Paul.  Hosts for later meetings are needed, and institutions willing to have the section meeting should contact the chapter president.  Also, suggestions of ideas about future meetings are welcome and may be communicated to any section officer (names and addresses are listed elsewhere on this site).

Please continue to check this site periodically for new information, as it is now the main medium for communications with the section membership.  In particular, further information about this fallís meeting (including the schedule) will be posted on this site a week or two prior to the meeting.

Treasurer's Report


Our finances are fine and the accounting is dull and transparent, unlike some corporations' books.  I will provide more detail at our meeting.  I would like to thank publicly the fourteen schools that are institutional members of our section this year.  They are St. Cloud State, Normandale Community Coll., St. Benedict/St. John's, Hamline, Gustavus Adolphus, St. Olaf, Concordia (Moorhead), U. of MN Morris, Mankato State, U. of MN Duluth, Winona State, South Dakota State, Bethel, and U. of MN Twin Cities.

Tom Sibley
Math Dept.
St. John's University
Collegeville, MN 56321-3000

Student Chapter Coordinator's


The MAA Headquarters in D.C. lists (on the MAA web site) Bemidji State University, Carleton College, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Gustavus Adolphus College, Macalester College, Moorhead State University, North Dakota State University, Northwestern College, South Dakota State University, St. Olaf College, the University of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas, and Winona State University as having active Student Chapters.  

Departments that have Chapters but are not listed should contact me ( so that corrections can be made.  

Our Section goal should be to have an MAA Student Chapter at each of the institutions in the North Central Section.  Those wishing to begin a Student Chapter should write Katarina Briedova ( to initiate the (uncomplicated) process.  

The call has been made for students wishing to present papers at MathFest 2003, scheduled for Boulder, Colorado.  Students who belong to an MAA Student Chapter are elgible for up to $600 in travel support to present their work at MathFest 2003. Contact Tom Kelley ( to initiate correspondence on behalf of a student who wishes to present a paper at MathFest.  There will also be a Student Poster Session at MathFest.  

Advisors of MAA Student Chapters and PME Chapters are invited to the annual Advisors Breakfast (free of charge) at the Joint Meetings in Baltimore this coming January.  See the program of the meeting for details.

Student Chapters around the nation are thriving. Give your students an opportunity to belong to the MAA and one of its Student Chapters. It is easy to start a Chapter and easy to maintain one. See the MAA web site for a list of benefits to students.

2002-2003 Project NExT Fellows

Keith Agre -- St. Cloud State University 
Karen Horton -- North Dakota State University 

2002 NCS Team Competition

The sixth annual NCS Team Contest is (tentatively) scheduled for Saturday, November 16, 2002. The announcement and call for registrations will be sent by email in September to at least one person from each collegiate department of mathematics in the section. If you are unsure whether anyone from your department is receiving these announcements, contact Jerry Heuer at  More information on the contest can be found here.

Fall Meeting to be held in Sioux Falls!

More information can be found by clicking here.  For more information on contributing a paper, click here.

Campus News

Concordia College (Moorhead)

Ruth Rice retired from our department in the spring of 2002.

We have one new member in the department:  Vijay Shanmugasundaram has degrees in civil engineering as well as in computer science from North Dakota State University, and will be teaching primarily computer science.

Sophomore John Gregoire from New Orleans completed a summer REU at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.  Gregoire and Assistant Professor Haimeng Zhang presented their joint statistics paper at a conference in Hawaii.

Douglas Anderson's paper Solutions to Second-order Three-point Problems on Time Scales appeared in the August (2002) issue of the Journal of Difference Equations and Applications.

Sylvia Nasar, author of the John Nash biography "A Beautiful Mind", spoke to a capacity crowd in the Concordia Memorial Auditorium on August 29.  (Submitted by Jerry Heuer)

Gustavus Adolphus College

The Math and Computer Science department welcomes the return of Dr. Moira McDermott and Dr. David Wolfe from their leaves.

Two Gustavus students,  Adam Duffy and Garret Kolpin, took first prize at the Clobber Game Problem Competition that was held this past summer in Edmonton, Canada.   The students netted a $1000 prize for their work.  

This coming November, the Mathematics and Computer Science department at Gustavus will host Dr. Steve Smale in the position of Rydell Visiting Professor.    A  Fields Medalist, Dr. Smale is a world-renowned mathematician, economist, and gem collector.   He will be giving public lectures, visiting several classes, and speaking in our departmental seminar.    Dates of his visit are Oct. 27 - Nov. 7. 

This coming summer Dr. David Wolfe from our department will host an MAA Summer Seminar entitiled "A Tour of Combinatorial Games".   The featured speaker will be Dr. Elwyn Berlekamp, Professor of Mathematics, Electrical Engineering an Computer Science at Berkeley.    The dates are August 4-8.    More information on the seminar can be found at:

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato has one new probationary faculty this year.  Dr. Mark Zuiker received a Ph.D. in Education with minors in Mathematics Education and Statistics from The Ohio State University in 1997. The past 3 years Mark has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science, at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Before his position at Stout, Mark held a fixed term position at MSU for 2 academic years. Markís research interests include structural equation models and analysis of large data sets.

The department has three new fixed term faculty this year.

Donald Krocak received a Masters degree in Mathematics from MSU. Don has taught high school mathematics for over 35 years including Mankato West High School from 1981 to 2001. Don has also taught in the Minnesota Talented Youth Program for 6 years. Don taught 2 college algebra courses this past spring semester and we are glad that he is returning full time this fall.

Paul (Tony) Nelson received a Master of Arts degree in mathematics from MSU. Tony is currently a 6th year Ph.D. student in mathematics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Tonyís teaching experience includes teaching algebra, trigonometry, calculus and finite mathematics at both MSU and Univ. of Colorado.

Samuel Peterson received a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis in 2000. While working on his Masters degree Sam held one year appointments as a Teaching Assistant in mathematics and a Graduate Research Assistant for the dept of Geology and Geophysics. For the past 2 years, Sam has worked at Point Cloud, Inc. using mathematics to write software for 3D object reconstruction, data reduction and compression, and image processing applications.

The department has two visiting professors from Korea.

Dr. Ha Sik Sunwoo from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology arrived last February for a one year visit and will conduct joint research with Namyong Lee on approximation theory.

Dr. Dong Gweon Chung from the Graduate School of Konkuk University arrived last March and will conduct joint research with Kil Lee in mathematics education.

Dr. Malcolm Lee Riddle, our expert in algebraic topology, has retired from our department after 19 years, and has returned to his home in Philadelphia.  We wish Lee the best of luck in retirement.  (Submitted by Ernie Boyd)

Normandale Community College

Ignatius Esele, most recently a faculty member at Quincy University in Illinois, has joined the department as a full-time unlimited member. Milton Luoma is filling a one-year sabbatical replacement in the Computer Science area. Three faculty in the department have taken full year sabbaticals: Karen Rapp-Anderson, Tom Kersten and Jim Polzin. Peggy Rejto has been elected the new chairperson for the Math/CSci department at Normandale.

The Mathematics and Physics departments are cooperating under a PTK/NSF grant to improve the teacher preparation classes at Normandale for elementary education majors. Minnesota State University, Mankato offers a full four-year undergraduate degree program on campus at Normandale and is a partner in the grant.

Normandale Community College selected for Phi Theta Kappa & National Science Foundation Project to prepare future Mathematics and Science Teachers

In response to increasing interest both nationally and locally in improving teacher training programs, Phi Theta Kappa, the national two-year college honor society, has developed a grant program with the National Science Foundation. Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in higher education. Its 1,200 chapters, located in the United States, Canada, Germany and Japan induct over 80,000 students annually.

 A team of four faculty and administrators from Normandale Community College and Minnesota State University, Mankato has been awarded a PTK/NSF grant for "Preparing Tomorrow's Science and Math Teachers: The Community College's Approach". Members of the group are:  Julie Guelich, Dean of Mathematics and Natural Sciences; Julie Johnson, Physics Instructor; Steve Reuter, Professor and coordinator of the NCC-Mankato Elementary Education program; Peggy Rejto, Mathematics Instructor.  Eighteen colleges across the country were chosen from over sixty applicants who went through a highly  competitive selection process. According to Dr. Elizabeth Teles, NSF Lead Program Director, Advanced Technological Education Program, Division of Undergraduate Education, "NSF looks forward to the new teacher preparation courses and activities that these colleges will develop, and to the promise they hold for recruiting and preparing a new generation of science, mathematics and technology teachers to meet the nation's current critical shortage." The teacher preparation programs that the eighteen colleges develop will be broadly disseminated to the nation's 1,200 two year colleges via a website, national conference presentations, newsletters and a case-study monograph.

The grant  provides mentoring and advice from the nationally recognized program, Project TEACH, at  Green River Community College in Seattle and Central Washington University. The Normandale team attended the first National Teacher Preparation Conference in New Orleans from March 15 to 17 and developed an action plan to expand and strengthen mathematics and physics courses for students planning to enter the teaching profession.

This project is being conducted in cooperation with the American Association of Community Colleges under the direction of Diane U. Eisenberg, with Dr. Patricia Cunniff, Dean, Division of Science, Mathematics & Health Technologies, Prince George's Community College, MD as Co-principal Investigator. Rod A. Risley, Phi Theta Kappa Executive Director, serves as Project Administrator.  (Submitted by Peggy Rejto)

St. Cloud State University

The mathematics department at SCSU welcomes three new tenure-track faculty.  William Branson received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.  Bill spent the 2001-02 academic year at Carleton College.  His area of specialty is differential equations and dynamical systems.  Nick Fiala received his Ph.D. last year from THE Ohio State University and his area of research is combinatorics.  Roozbeh Vakil will be working for us in math education.  He was most recently located at Benedict College in South Carolina.  Roozbeh graduated with a Ph.D. in mathematics from Kansas State University in 1992.

Two faculty left the department at the end of last year.  Cathy Wick and Dominic Naughton have taken positions elsewhere.

Receiving tenure in 2002 were Sue Haller, Danrun Huang, and Dale Buske.  Dale Buske was also promoted to Associate professor.  Sue and Danrun were promoted prior to their tenure year.

Keith Agre was accepted as a 2002-2003 Project NExT fellow.  

St. John's University / College of St. Benedict

The College of St. Benedict and St. John's University welcome Jim Johnson to our department.  Jim tried to retire once (from St. Cloud State University), but found he missed teaching too much.  We are happy to indulge his love of teaching.  (Submitted by Tom Sibley)

Saint Olaf College

We have seen considerable going and coming in the last year. First, news of our veterans: Ted Vessey is back this fall from a sabbatical, divided among Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Thailand. Setting off on sabbatical this year are Jill Dietz (visiting New Zealand, among other places) and Paul Humke (visiting in Scotland). Richard Allen spent lastfall semester co-leading Saint Olaf's Term in the Middle East.  Enroute, Richard and his wife, Wendy, taught a course in Islamic art and its geometric background.

News of (relative) newcomers:

Steve Hamilton, new this year, earned his M.S. in Mathematics from Montana State University. When not teaching, Steve works as a computer consultant and cares for his sons, Benjamin and Andrew.  These fine young men are also the sons of Doreen Dumonceaux Hamilton---herself the daughter of a mathematician and member of our section---who joined our department last year. Doreen graduated from Saint Olaf, and completed her PhD in 2001 at Montana State, in dynamical systems.

A recent graduate of Carleton College, Matthew Bloss has returned to Northfield to join the our faculty. Matt earned his PhD under Georgia Benkart at the UW-Madison; he is delighted to return to his liberal arts roots. He looks forward to working closely with undergraduates and to exploring links among mathematics, the arts, and other fields.

Jim Halverson is this year's Visiting Master Teacher, joining us from Eastview High School in Apple Valley. Jim holds a BS from the U of M and an MS from Northern Illinois U. He has taught high school for 27 years, but describes his "real job" as deep-fat frying under the Golden Arches of Nimrod, Minn.

Craig Solid graduated from Saint Olaf in 1997 with majors in Mathematics and Economics; in 1999 he received his master's degree in Statistics from Iowa State. When not teaching, Craig does statistical research for Nephrology Analytic Services, a division of the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation.

On other fronts, our department recently inaugurated a student lounge; began on-line placement advising for almost 800 incoming students; participated in the design of new science/math facilities at Saint Olaf. In the coming year we intend to propose a new Computer Science major and---last but certainly not least---carry out tenure-track job searches in both Statistics and Mathematics.  (Submitted by Paul Zorn)

University of Minnesota, Morris

In late Fall 2001, the Math Discipline had the pleasure of having a SIAM Visiting Speaker, Dr. John Hamilton from KODAK, in residence for 3 days. Dr. Hamilton had informal discussions with students, faculty and the Math Club, and gave a formal talk on "What does an industrial mathematicican do?" to the UMM campus. (His visit was co-sponsored by the Math Discipline, the Math Club, Division of Science & Math, and UMM Alumni Association.)

At UMM's Undergraduate Research Symposium in April 2002, math majors Daniel Enderton, Steve Formaneck and Ivan Ramler presented their research projects; the titles of their projects are as follow.  Daniel Enderton, "Multidimensional Integration" (advisor: B. McQuarrie); Steve Formaneck, "Improving the Semidefinite Coordinate Direction and Semidefinite Stand-and-Hit Methods for Detecting Necessary Linear Matrix Inequalities" (advisor: Peh Ng); Ivan Ramler, "Statistical Tests for Vapor return Monitoring Systems" (advisor: Engin Sungur).

Steve Formaneck was the 2002 winner of the UMM's Edith Rodgers Farrell Memorial award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research.  This award was given at the 2002 UMM's Students' Honors and Award Day. Steve is now pursuing a PhD in Operations Research at the Dept of Combinatorics & Optimization at the University of Waterloo, CA.

In Fall 2002, we welcome 3 new faculty members, Mark Logan (PhD, University of Wisconsin - Madison), Farid O. Farid (PhD, University of Calgary, Canada) Jong-Min Kim (PhD, Oklahoma State Univ).  Both Mark and Farid are mathematicians while Jong-Min is a statistician.

Since Spring 2002, the mathematics discipline moved all its first year calculus classes from an old classroom with computers to a state-of-the-art computer classroom housed in the newly renovated Science Building. In Fall 2002, with funding from the UMM Technology Fee and the Division of Science & Math Building Funds, the classroom is equipped with brand new computers and video equipment.

During the academic year 2002-2003, faculty member Peh Ng is on sabbatical leave from UMM whereby she will be a visiting member at the Institute for Mathematics and Applications (IMA) on the U of M - Twin Cities campus.  (Submitted by Peh Ng)

University of Sioux Falls

This year, USF welcomes Shawn Chiappetta, the most recent addition to our mathematics and computer science department.  Shawn is a Project NExT fellow who has just completed his doctoral studies at UW-Milwaukee while teaching at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Shawn's research interests are related to numerical analysis; he will serve as director of the USF Math Center and will teach courses across much of the mathematics curriculum (especially the analysis courses).

The University of Sioux Falls is proud to host the MAA/NCS meeting this fall--for the first time in this institution's history, by all available reckoning.  (Submitted by Jason Douma)

University of St. Thomas

In addition to a major in Actuarial Science, a minor in Actuarial Science is now available.  Those interested may contact Prof. Heekyung Youn by email at:

We have a new faculty member, P. Dayananda. He will teach courses that support the Actuarial Science program. His current research interests include Executive stock options, modeling HIV, and analysis of prostate cancer data and modeling PSA level. Previous research interests include modeling and optimization of reinsurance, modeling epidemics and developing immunization and other health policies, soils data analysis and modeling, weather prediction, drug addiction model, HIV and Insurance, and HIV and insurance schemes. He received his B. Sc. (honors) Mathematics, from the University of Sri Lanka; Diploma in Statistics, University of Manchester, UK. ; Ph. D. (Statistics), University of Manchester, UK. He is an Associate of the Institute of Actuaries in UK.(1975) and an Associate of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia (1989). He has taught at Griffith University, Australia; University of Singapore, Singapore; University of Georgia; University of Iowa; University of Michigan; and BYU. 

GEMS - Girls Experiencing Mathematics in the Summer

Sixteen high school juniors and seniors attended the "GEMS - Girls Experiencing Mathematics in the Summer" Camp held July 28 - August 2 this past summer at the University of St. Thomas. Six participants came from the Twin Cities metro area, six from greater Minnesota, two from Texas, one from California and one from Wisconsin. This program was modeled after the very successful "All Girls - All Math" program run by Judy Walker and Wendy Hines of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Faculty members Radka Turcajova and Lisa Rezac (formerly Lisa Johnson) received a $5,000 grant from the Tensor Foundation and the MAA; the Center for Applied Mathematics (CAM), an endowed department at St. Thomas, matched this grant. This funding allowed the participants to attend with their only expense being travel to and from the camp. Two courses were run - Fourier Analysis and Fractals, Dynamics and Chaos. In the Fourier Analysis course, Radka Turcajova and student assistant Jaclyn Karlen helped the participants model sound waves and introduced them to image-processing techniques. For the Fractals, Dynamics and Chaos course, Lisa Rezac and student assistant Katie Joyce taught from "The Mandelbrot and Julia Sets," one of Bob Devaney's excellent books from the "Tool Kit of Dynamics Activities" series. 

Additional activities during the GEMS Camp included an interactive lecture on the Helaman Ferguson sculpture "Four Canoes" ( located on the St. Paul campus. Melissa Shepard-Loe was the speaker for this introduction to both topology and tiling. Theresa Jorgensen of the National Security Agency visited for a full day, speaking on coding theory and explaining how mathematics is used in many different aspects of communication. A career panel and banquet was held, which allowed the participants to meet and question more women who use math in their careers. Panelists included Elizabeth Hansen, actuarial vice-president from Guy Carpenter Corporation, Susan Rani from Rani Engineering, and Anne Cohen from the St. Thomas School of Business and Delta Designs of Woodbury. The participants also visited the Science Museum of Minnesota and viewed the new exhibits on Calculus (sponsored by NSF), with the unique opportunity of meeting one of the artists on the concept and design committee. Other fun activities included volleyball, a barbecue, and a visit to Lake Calhoun.

For more information on last year's camp, or to see pictures, visit or . Turcajova and Rezac hope to run the camp again next summer, pending support.  (Submitted by Doug Dokken)


Wanted: New Editors for Math Horizons

The MAA is searching for candidates to succeed Stephen Kennedy and Deanna Haunsperger of Carleton College as Editor of Math Horizons when their terms expire in December 2003.  Steve and Deanna began their terms as editors of Math Horizons in 1999.  The previous, and initial, editor of the magazine was Donald J. Albers.

For more information, click here.

Conferences and Courses

Twenty-fifth Annual Pi Mu Epsilon Student Conference

4-5 APRIL 2003

The 24th Annual Pi Mu Epsilon undergraduate mathematics research conference will be held at St. John's University on Friday, April 4 and Saturday, April 5.  The invited speaker(s?) is (are?) Colin Adams from Williams College and whichever of his alter egos shows up.  In addition, as always, undergraduate speakers will be featured, so start encouraging your students to prepare talks. 

To submit a talk, or for further information, contact

Marc Brodie
Phone: 320-363-5867

or visit

NCS Summer Seminar 2003


Though a precise date has yet to be chosen, Gustavus Adolphus has offered to host the Summer Seminar in 2003. The topic will be combinatorial games and the main speaker will be Elwyn Berlekamp. More information can be found at  David Wolfe ( of Gustavus Adolphus College is also a good contact person.

Project NExT-WI Fall Workshop

26-28 September 2002

Location TBD
This year's speaker is Michael Starbird of the University of Texas -- Austin.  The topic will be "Abandoning Dead Ends: Presenting the Heart of Mathematics to All Students"  For more information, contact Benjamin Collins at or visit the WI-NExT webpage at

MCTM 2002 Fall Conference

18 October 2002
Eastview High School

For more information, go to

Future Section Meetings

Spring 2003 Winona State University
Fall 2003 TBA
Spring 2004 TBA

Information for contributors

Submissions should be sent via mail to:

Jason Douma
Natural Sciences Area
University of Sioux Falls

1101 W. 22nd St.
Sioux Falls, SD  57105

Or (and preferably) by electronic mail to:

This newsletter was last updated September 22, 2003.