North Central Mathematical Bulletin

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

Volume 7 Number 1 March 2004

Table of Contents

Governor's Report Announcement for the Gung and Hu Award 
President's Report Spring Section Meeting
Secretary's Report Campus News
Treasurer's Report

Conferences and Courses

Student Chapter Coordinator's Report

Future Section Meetings

2004 Section Team Competition

Meetings of Other Sections

Report from 2003 Section Team Competition Information for Contributors

Governor's Report



The winter meeting of the Board of Governors was held in sunny Phoenix, Arizona on January 6, 2004. Here are a few of the major highlights from the meeting:

1. There are several construction projects at the MAA Headquarters in Washington, DC. The carriage house conversion to the Halmos Conference Center is proceeding well. A major upgrade to the plumbing and wiring of the Washington buildings has also begun. Due to good planning, funds had been accrued to cover the remodeling costs.

2. A major new project has begun to create a central location for MAA archival material. Christy Sorenson will be the MAA archivist and the repository of historical material will be housed at the University of Texas. Sections are encouraged to send their archival material to the archives, once it is fully operational.

3. Another new program is Project ACCESS, an MAA-AMATYC joint program for NExT-like activities for new community college faculty. Watch the MAA website for more info on this program.

4. There is a new brochure on Careers in Mathematics. All colleges should order a bunch! A new feature has been added for this printing - schools can customize a section of the brochure with info specific to that institution.

5. The MAA finances look very strong and membership is holding steady.  Dues for next year are up slightly. On-line membership renewal is being tested and will be available next year.

6. New CUPM guidelines for the mathematics major will be published this year. Watch the MAA website for an announcement.

7. The MAA's study tour this year will be a tour of England, with stops at London, Cambridge, and Oxford.

8. Sections were again encouraged to start NExT-like programs for new faculty. Sections were also encouraged to financially sponsor a national NExT fellow.

9. The MAA is offering grants of up to $400 per section to sponsor graduate student activities and programs at section meetings. This is a part of the MAA's drive to recruit new people into the organization.  Another plan is to have sections send "Welcome" letters to new members of a section. Sections can partner with Jim Gandalf at the Washington headquarters if they wish to do this.

10. The next MathFest will be in Providence, Rhode Island on August 12-14, 2004.  The next joint math meeting will be in Atlanta on January 5-8, 2005.

This is my final report as Governor. It has been my honor to represent the section and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity.

See you all in April.


President's Report


Secretary's Report



The Fall 2003 section meeting was held at the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota.  Forty-eight people attended, representing seventeen institutions.  Invited speakers were Karen Saxe form Macalester College and Underwood Dudley of DePauw University.  A forum on assessment was held, and there were sessions for contributed papers.

The Spring 2004 meeting will be at Winona State University in Minnesota, April 23-24.  Preliminary details and a call for papers are elsewhere on the web page.  The Fall 2004 meeting will be at North Dakota State University in Fargo.

Submitted by Wally Sizer, secretary


Treasurer's Report



The section's finances continue to be in good order.  Details will be presented at the spring section meeting in Winona.

Student Chapter Coordinator's

2004 NCS Team Competition

The eighth annual NCS Team Contest will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2004.  An announcement and invitation to participate will be sent by email in September to at least one member of the Mathematics Department of each college and university in the Section.  If you are unsure whether anyone from your department is receiving these announcements, contact Jerry Heuer at

Report on the 2003 NCS Team Competition


The seventh annual NCS/MAA Team Contest was held on Saturday, November 15, with 65 teams from 24 universities and colleges participating.  The number of participating institutions is up slightly from the record of 23 last year, although the number of teams is down slightly from the record 70 in 2002.  Complete problems, solutions, and top team results have been posted on the NCS Team Competition page.

The expenses of the competition are covered by a fee of $15 per team.  Teams of up to three undergraduate students work collaboratively at their home campuses on the ten problems, under the supervision of  local faculty members.  The problems count 10 points each, and scores this year ranged from 3 to 87, with a median of 30.  The winning St. Olaf team "Tangent"  was the only team scoring in the 80s, two scored in the 70s,  two in the 60s, eight in the 50s, nine in the 40s, thirteen in the 30s, sixteen in the 20s, thirteen in the teens and one in single digits.  The contest is intended to reach a somewhat wider pool of students than the Putnam.

The eighth annual NCS Team Contest will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2004.  An announcement and invitation to participate will be sent by email in September to at least one member of the Mathematics Department of each college and university in the Section.

Nominations Solicited For 2005 MAA Gung And Hu Service Award

The Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service for Mathematics, presented each January at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, is the MAA's most prestigious award for service. The award honors service to mathematics that has been widely recognized as extraordinarily successful.  The period of service may be long or short, and the award may be made on the basis of one or several activities.  The contribution should be such as to influence the field of mathematics or mathematical education in a significant and positive way on a national scale. For more information, please refer to

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2005 Gung and Hu Award.  Please send nominations, along with supporting materials, to the chair of the awards committee:

Robert E. Megginson, Deputy Director

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

17 Gauss Way

Berkeley CA 94720-5070

FAX (510) 642-8609


Spring Meeting to be held on the campus of Winona State University!

The Winona State University will host the MAA/NCS spring meeting, October 23-24.  More information can be found by clicking here.  For more information on contributing a paper, click here.  A program for the Spring 2004 meeting will be posted on this website prior to the meeting.

The MAA/NCS fall meeting will be held at North Dakota State University.

Campus News

Concordia University, St. Paul

Many exciting events are taking place at Concordia University, St. Paul.  We have started a mathematics major on our campus.  The first two math majors will graduate this spring.  Our Department of Mathematical and Natural Sciences has started the Sigma Pi Seminar series.  This is the third semester we have brought in three speakers from education and industry to speak to our students about potential careers and research areas. Our new math club, TriPi, has been very active on campus.  The students participated in the North Central team math contest, helped with “Math Day”, are sponsoring a “Game Night” to promote a sense of community on campus, are selling T-shirts, and plan to travel to the Pi Mu Epsilon Conference at St. John’s.

Finally, we are happy to announce the filling of our tenure-track position in math.  Sarah Jahn from the University of Illinois-Chicago will be joining our faculty in the fall.  (Submitted by Robert J. Krueger.)


Gustavus Adolphus College

Three Gustavus mathematicians will be on sabbatical leaves in 2004-2005.  Tom LoFaro will spend fall semester in New Zealand doing a bit of teaching and doing research in applied math. Moira McDermott will take a full-year leave to carry on her research in commutative algebra. And Jeff Rosoff will enjoy his first year of freedom from his chair duties doing research in algebraic geometry and playing piano.

Max Hailperin will begin a three-year stint as chair of the department of Mathematics and Computer Science.  Gustavus Adolphus College will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of its computer science program with an event July 16-18, 2004. See for more information.  (Submitted by John Holte)


Macalester College

On February 25 a new square wheel bike was unveiled at Macalester. Designed by Wayne Roberts, it has many improvements over the old one. The ride on the catenary roads is now much, much, much smoother. It is always in place on the lower level of the science center for anyone who wishes to take a ride. For more information contact Stan Wagon (  (Submitted by Tom Halverson.)



Stan Wagon demonstrates the state-of-the-art square wheel bike.                    Macalester College president Brian Rosenberg takes a turn.



Normandale Community College

While Cheryl Coulter is on sabbatical this year, Tom Sundquist has joined the Math faculty. Louise Pugh is teaching two evening classes at Normandale this spring semester while remaining on staff at Fergus Falls Community College.

The department completed an Academic Program Review of college-level Mathematics courses last fall semester, with consultation provided by Prof. Max Jodeit from the University of Minnesota.

Sharon Harvey is a member of the MnSCU taskforce monitoring transfer-level Computer Science programs.

Matt Dempsey and Zika Perovic received a CTL grant to develop an online Finite Math class, which is being offered for the first time this spring semester.  (Submitted by Peggy Rejto)


St. Mary's University

St. Mary's University welcomes new department members William Davidson and Betsy LaPlant (a recent graduate of UND) to the department and welcome you all to Winona for the upcoming section meeting!  (Submitted by Stephen Aldrich.)


Conferences and Courses


Twenty-sixth Annual Pi Mu Epsilon Student Conference

26-27 March 2004

The 26th Annual Pi Mu Epsilon undergraduate mathematics research conference will be held at St. John's University on Friday, March 26 and Saturday, March 27.  The invited speaker is Frank Farris from Santa Clara University.  As always, undergraduate speakers will be featured; now is the time to start setting your students' sights on presenting a talk in March.

To submit a talk, or for further information, contact

Marc Brodie
Phone: 320-363-5867

or visit



Sixth Annual

Mathematics on the Northern Plains Undergraduate Conference

17 APRIL 2004

The Sixth Annual Mathematics on the Northern Plains Undergraduate Conference is to be held at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa on April 17, 2004.  Our keynote speaker, Dr. Glenn Ledder from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, will discuss A Simple Introduction to Integral Equations, and A Mathematical Model for a Mission to Mars.

Wanted: Undergraduate students to give short presentations

We are inviting undergraduate students to give 15-minute talks involving all areas of mathematics and mathematics education.  These talks do not need to involve original research.  To give a talk, please submit a title and short abstract by April 12, 2004.

For more information visit, or contact Rick Faber by email ( or phone (712-722-6287).



MinnMATYC Spring 2004 Conference

April 29 - May 1, 2004
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC)

For more information, go to



MCTM 2004 Spring Conference

April 30 - May 1, 2004
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC)

For more information, go to



MAA PREP Workshops

Summer 2004

The MAA's Professional Enhancement Program (PREP) will offer a wide variety of workshops during Summer 2004. PREP workshops offer you the chance to spend a few days exploring topics of mutual interest with colleagues from other institutions, with experienced leaders to guide the group towards a deeper understanding and broader perspective. Most of the cost of attending a PREP workshop is covered by the program, so what are you waiting for? Visit the PREP web site, to see this year's schedule and to obtain registration materials.

Future Section Meetings

Spring 2004 Winona State University (April 23-24)
Fall 2004 North Dakota State University
Spring 2005 St. Olaf College


Meetings of Other Sections

Wisconsin Section April 16-17   University of Wisconsin - Platteville
Iowa Section April 16-17   Central College, Pella
Nebraska / SE South Dakota April 2-3   University of Nebraska at Kearney


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 April 07, 2004.