North Central Mathematical Bulletin

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

Volume 8 Number 2 September 2005

Table of Contents

Governor's Report Fall Meeting
President's Report Campus News
Secretary's Report

Conferences and Courses

Treasurer's Report

Future Section Meetings

2003 Section Team Competition

Meetings of Other Sections

2003 Section Distinguished Teaching Award Information for Contributors

Governor's Report


            The Board of Governors met in Albuquerque on August 3, 2005, the day before MathFest 2005 began, at the Hyatt Regency hotel.   President Carl Cowen only took eight and one-half hours to lead us through our 143 page agenda.  Most of the business was routine approval of various items.  Some of the highlights are discussed below.

            President Cowen has been busy representing the MAA at numerous events including a celebration for the winners of the USA Mathematical Olympiad in Washington, DC.  That celebration included a dinner at the State Department dining room.

            You’ll be happy to know that the MAA is now in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

            The next few MathFest dates are:

2006   Knoxville, Tennessee            August 10 – 12          [Thursday – Saturday]

2007   San Jose, California             August 3 – 5              [Friday – Sunday]

2008   Madison, Wisconsin             July 31 – August 2     [Thursday – Saturday]

            The next few Joint Mathematics Meetings dates are:

2006   San Antonio, Texas              January 12 – 15        [Thursday – Sunday]

2007   New Orleans, Louisiana       January 4 – 12           [Thursday – Sunday]

2008   San Diego, California           January 6 – 9 [Sunday – Wednesday]

If you’re looking for a northern Winter Meeting to attend you’ll have to wait for 2012 when the meetings will be held in Boston, January 4 – 7.  Apparently there are only a few sites that meet the needs of both the MAA and AMS for the Joint Meetings and they need to be booked years in advance.  Often the negotiations for a meeting site will extend over several years.  If you have suggestions for a meeting site send it to the MAA Executive Director, Tina Straley.

            The MAA is in very good financial shape.  Nevertheless there is going to be a dues restructuring proposal made at the Joint Meetings in San Antonio to address inequities in fees.  One idea the Membership committee is considering is charging full price for a second or third journal with membership.

            The NExT program is also in good shape.  There were 68 new Nexters from 26 of the 29 MAA Sections (Benton Duncan, NDSU and Rochelle Pereira, College of St. Catherine from the North Central Section) this summer making a total of 864 since the program began in 1994.  Eighteen Sections have Section NExT programs, including the NCS.   Only two Sections sponsor a national NExT fellow, probably because it costs $2500 each year.

            There are several NCS members who very active in the national MAA.  Joe Gallian, UMD, is President-Elect and Deanna Haunsperber, Carleton, is Second Vice President Elect and is one of five new members of the Editorial Board of Mathematics Magazine.  The Board meetings are run by ‘Roberts Rules’ since Wayne Roberts, Macalister, is the official Parliamentarian for the meetings.

            MAA book sales continue to be strong, both on Amazon and the MAA web site.  They are a primary income source for the organization.

            The MAA is soliciting applications for Visiting Mathematicians to work at the national headquarters in Washington, DC.  The most recent one was Steve Carlson, a former NCS member.

            You are encouraged to find new MAA members.  One simple thing we could all do is ask our colleagues if they are members and encourage them to join if not.  They can join (and you can pay your dues) online at  Currently the average age of an MAA member is 54.

            The next MAA Mathematical Study Tour will be to China in June of 2006.  Look for information online in September.

            If you want to publicize your department’s activities in Focus send the appropriate news to the editor, Fernando Gouvéa.  His main criteria is that news be interesting.

            Finally, there was another plea for Departments to submit nominations for the annual Section teaching awards and for Sections to submit nominations for the annual Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching.

            In addition to the above interesting happenings there were lots and lots of tedious and mostly meaningless discussions, but I put up with them because the lunch was really good.


President's Report


As fall begins, it is once again time to decide which committees we would like serve on at our institution (and which committees we would like to avoid).  Luckily we’ve been fortunate in the section to have people step forward and volunteer when needed.  I hope this trend continues.  If you are interested in serving the section in some capacity, please let a member of the executive board know. 

It is great to see a new Section NExT in place.  Please encourage new faculty in your department to participate.  The national NExT experience played (and continues to play) an important role in my professional development.   I think Section NExT can expand the role that Project NExT plays in the profession.

I want to take this opportunity to thank two outgoing members of the executive committee – Tom Sibley (for his many years of service as Treasurer) and Jennifer Galovich (for making my transition to this role as seamless as possible).  

Thanks in large part to our section Secretary Wally Sizer, everything appears to be running smoothly behind the scenes in the section.  I look forward to seeing everyone in Brookings in October. 


Secretary's Report



Treasurer's Report


First, I would like to thank Tom Sibley of St. John's University for six years of service as our Section's treasurer.    I took over for Tom this summer and am happy to report that the Section's finances are in good order.   As the school year begins I would like to encourage each of our section's colleges and universities to consider becoming an institutional member of the NCSMAA.  The cost is $25.00 per academic year.  Checks can be sent to me at the address below.  If your institution requires a bill before issuing a check, send me an email at and I will mail you a letter for this purpose. 


2005 NCS Team Competition

The eighth annual NCS/MAA Team Contest will be held on Saturday, November 12, 2005, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Colleges and universities are invited to enter as many teams as they wish, of up to three undergraduate students each.

An announcement and call for registrations has been sent by email this month 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.

2005 Distinguished Teaching Award

The North Central Section of the Mathematical Association of America presented its 2005 Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics to Ivy Knoshaug from Bemidji State University at its Spring 2005 meeting, held at St. Olaf College.

This newsletter will be updated soon with a complete citation summarizing Professor Knoshaug's noteworthy accomplishments.



Let's Meet in Brookings!

South Dakota State University will host the MAA/NCS fall meeting, October 14-15.  More information can be found by clicking here.  For more information on contributing a paper, click here

The MAA/NCS spring meeting will be held April 21-22, 2005, at Minnesota State University - Mankato.

Campus News

College of Saint Catherine

We welcome new faculty member Rochelle Pereira.  Rochelle received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in June 2005.  Her research area is algebraic topology.  As a new member of Project NExT, she participated in the summer meeting and MathFest 2005 in New Mexico. 

Sue Molnar, Dan O’Loughlin, and Adele Marie Rothan, CSJ, are in the third and final year of the MAA’s PREP Program Assessing the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics.  Dan served as a grader for the AP Stat Exam in Omaha in June.  Adele attended JSM2005. 

Yvonne Ng, computer science, presented a paper “Taste of Engineering: Integrating Engineering into a Liberal Arts Curriculum” at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).  She also served as an external evaluator for UMN’s Computer Science NSF-CCLI grant with Augsburg College and Berea College. 

Ann Sweeney serves as director of the “3M Virtual Mentoring Program” for science and math education majors as well as virtual mentor for MCTM’s CONNECT Program for 50 preservice and beginning teachers.  Ann continues as department chair.  (Submitted by Adele Marie Rothan)


Concordia College - Moorhead

Dr. Jessie Lenarz is our new Assistant Professor of Mathematics.  Her e-mail address is  She and her husband, Bill, live in Grand Forks while he is attending graduate school in Geology.  She commutes from Grand Forks four days a week.  They were married this June in St. Cloud, Minnesota,  Bill’s original home town.   She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Iowa State University in May 2005; Dissertation: Enumeration and Symmetry of Edit Metric Spaces.  Her M.S. in Mathematics was from Iowa State University in August 2003; Thesis: Sphere Packing Bounds on Edit Metric Codes.  She received her B.S. in Mathematics and Biology from Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, IA.

Dr. Ahmed Kamel is the new Assistant Professor of Computer Science.  His e-mail address is  He and his wife, Dr. Mona Ibrahim, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Concordia College, live in Fargo and have three children.  He came to us from North Dakota State University where he was Assistant Professor of Computer Science since August 1999.  He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science in May 1994 from Michigan State University; Major Study Area: Artificial Intelligence/Knowledge-Based Systems.  His M.Sc. in Computer Engineering in 1988 was from Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; Study Area: Artificial Intelligence.  He received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering in 1985 from Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt. (Submitted by Jerry Heuer)


Concordia University - St. Paul

The Department of Mathematics would like to announce that tenure-track faculty member Sarah Jahn successfully defended her dissertation on July 5, 2005.  The title is Blowing Up Algorithm for Calculating Rings of Integers under the direction of Dr. Jeremy Teitelbaum at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Sarah is in her second year at Concordia University.  (Submitted by Robert Krueger)



Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato, has four new instructors in fixed-term positions:  Ms. Laura Buch, Mr. William Lee, Mr. Rick Powers and Ms. Janett Van Veldhuizen.  They will be teaching sections of College Algebra, Trigonometry and Introductory Statistics. 

Professor Kil Lee has retired.  Unfortunately, the two professors whom we tried to hire for new tenure-track positions have elected not to come to Mankato for personal reasons.  Therefore we will continue our searches this year to fill a tenure-track position in mathematical education and a tenure-track position in statistics.  This leaves our department with fifteen tenure-track professors and nine fixed-term instructors covering approximately 12618 student credit hours.  (Submitted by Ernie Boyd)

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Last spring we sadly bid farewell to Dr. Stephen Aldrich and wished him all the best in his new position at Adams State College in Colorado.  Dr. Aldrich spent five years at Saint Mary’s. 

On the other hand, we are delighted to welcome Dr. Janel Schultz and Dr. Joe Shields back to being full time in the math department.  Dr. Shields just finished a five-year term as Academic Dean, and Dr. Schultz worked in the university’s Master of Education office last year. 

Dr. Paul Weiner was promoted to Associate Dean of Math and Sciences after being department chair for six years.

Dr. Kevin Dennis is starting a term (of indefinite, but probably not infinite, length) as department chair.  (Submitted by Kevin Dennis)



University of Minnesota, Morris

1) Kathryn Sullivan, UMM '05, presented her undergraduate research project, "Modeling Nutrient Yield in the Chesapeake Bay," at UMM's Undergraduate Research Symposium in April 2005 (advisor: Peh Ng).

2) UMM students Bill Cox, Ben Peterson, Matt Bryan, Matt Justin, Jay Clawson participated in the 2005 Putnam Competition; the UMM team ranked 91 out of 411 teams from 515 institutions.

3) In Fall 2005, we welcome a new math faculty, Dr. Imre Tuba, who is visiting us for a one-year sabbatical replacement.  Dr. Tuba's research area is in Tensor Categories, quantum groups, discrete dynamical systems, and bioinformatics.

4) During 2005-2006, a math faculty, Dr. Dave Roberts is on sabbatical leave.  (Submitted by Peh Ng)


University of North Dakota

The Mathematics Department is participating in the NSF funded MAA-CRAFTY Renewal of College Algebra project.

Bruce Dearden has returned to the Mathematics Department after a one year term as interim dean. We also congratulate Bruce on his recent marriage to Kathy Norman, a faculty member in the UND Music Department.

Finally, Richard Millspaugh begins a 3 year term as department chair this semester.  (Submitted by Richard Millspaugh)


University of Sioux Falls

Professor Wally Klawiter retired from his full-time position on the faculty at the end of the 2005 Spring semester, following 45 years of distinguished service to the university.  As an emeritus member of the faculty, Wally continues to teach some physics and mathematics courses for us on a part-time basis.

USF looks forward to hosting the Mathematics on the Northern Plains Conference this year.  This event, to be held on April 29, 2006, features contributed undergraduate talks, keynote talks, a panel discussion, and some food, fun and games.  (Submitted by Jason Douma)



Conferences and Courses


Twenty-eighth Annual Pi Mu Epsilon Student Conference

7-8 April 2006

Details for next year's Pi Mu Epsilon conference will be posted here as they become available.

For further information, contact

Michael Gass
Phone: 320-363-3090

or visit



Eighth Annual

Mathematics on the Northern Plains Undergraduate Conference


April 29, 2006



The Eighth Annual Mathematics on the Northern Plains Undergraduate Conference will be held at the University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on April 29, 2006.  This event features undergraduate student talks involving all areas of mathematics, mathematics education, and the mathematical sciences, in addition to keynote talks, a panel discussion, and some time for fun and games.

Details concerning the conference, including a schedule and registration form, will be made available in the spring.



MCTM 2005 Fall Conference

21 October 2005

The theme for the Fall 2005 Conference of the Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics is "Embracing Diversity in Mathematics and Science Education."  Please visit for conference details.

Future Section Meetings

Spring 2006       Minnesota State University - Mankato
Fall 2006       TBA
Spring 2007       College of St. Catherine


Meetings of Other Sections

Wisconsin Section     April 21-22       UW - Whitewater
Iowa Section     April 7-8       Iowa State University
Nebraska / SE South Dakota     April ??        


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, 2005.