North Central Mathematical Bulletin

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

Volume 9 Number 1 March 2006

Table of Contents

Governor's Report MAA-NCS Section NExT
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

2006 Section Team Competition

Meetings of Other Sections

Report from 2005 Section Team Competition Information for Contributors

Governor's Report

Daniel Kemp
South Dakota State University


President's Report


Dale Buske

St. Cloud State University

One of the many successful activities of the North Central Section is our summer seminar held every other year. Our last summer seminar, hosted by our friends at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, on mathematics and biology was no exception. Due largely to the efforts of Steve Kennedy, we are already well along in our planning for the 2007 summer seminar. I am pleased to report that Carleton College will host this seminar on the topic of computational mathematics.  More information on the seminar will be announced at the spring meeting and will  appear on the section website.

As president this year I have been able to see how much work goes on behind the scenes to make our section activities successful.  As hard as those serving on committees in the section work, they can't be successful without the help of the entire membership.  Please consider taking time to nominate deserving colleagues for the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Meritorious Service Award.  Also, encourage new faculty to apply to become Section NExT fellows (see %20for%20more%20information) %20section for more information). 

Please join us for the Spring Section Meeting in Mankato.  We have three (yes, three) invited speakers and will no doubt have wonderful contributed talks as well.  I also want to put out an invitation to next year's Fall Section meeting at the University of Minnesota, Morris in October. We are planning on having a "games" theme to the meeting so start thinking now about ways you can share in the fun.  As always, encourage others (especially new faculty and students) to attend as well.  Both students and new members can go to their first section meeting with free registration.


Secretary's Report

Walter Sizer

Minnesota State University Moorhead

The Fall 2005 section meeting was held at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota.  Roughly fifty-four people attended.  Invited speakers were Stephen Walk from St. Cloud State University and Daniel Schaal of South Dakota State University. 

The Spring 2006 meeting will be at Minnesota State University-Mankato, April 21-22.  Preliminary details and a call for papers are elsewhere on the web page.  The Fall 2006 meeting will be at the University of Minnesota-Morris.

Treasurer's Report


Randy Westhoff

Bemidji State University

I am pleased to report that the section is in good financial shape.  We had a total of 20 colleges and universities who supported the section through institutional memberships this year.  They are Bemidji State University, Bethel University, College of St. Benedict, College of St. Catherine, Concordia College, Concordia University St. Paul, Gustavus Adolphus College, Hamline University, Macalester College, Mayville State University, Minnesota State University Mankato, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Minot State University, North Dakota State University, South Dakota State University,  St. Cloud State University, St. Mary's University, St. Olaf College, the University of Minnesota Duluth,  and the University of Minnesota Morris. The section appreciates the support of these institutions and their faculty.


Student Chapter Coordinator's Report


2006 NCS Team Competition

The tenth annual NCS Team Contest is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, November 11, 2006.  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 2005 NCS Team Competition

Jerry Heuer
Concordia College

The ninth annual NCS/MAA Team Contest was held on Saturday, November 12, with 65 teams from 27 universities and colleges participating.  The number of participating institutions broke last year's record of 26.

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 contest is intended to reach a somewhat wider pool of students than the Putnam.

The problems count 10 points each, and scores this year ranged from 15 to 100, with a median of 50.  The teams MAC 1 from Macalester College and LOONS from the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities tied for first place with perfect scores of 100. Close behind was CARL-MAIZE from Carleton College with 97.

A listing of the top 23 teams and their scores as well as problems and solutions from the 2005 NCS Team Competition are available through the MAA-NCS Team Competition page.

MAA-NCS Section NExT

Designed for new college and university faculty in the mathematical sciences, Section NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) is a professional development program that addresses the full range of faculty responsibilities including teaching, scholarly activities, and service. 

Each year, applications will be solicited for new MAA-NCS Section NExT fellows to serve for a two year term. We will accept applications from faculty who are within the first four years of beginning full-time employment with teaching responsibilities at the college or university level.  The application consists of a short personal statement and a letter of support from the department chair, guaranteeing financial support for transportation, meals, and lodging at the fall and spring meetings of the North Central Section. 

The MAA-NCS Section NExT will meet on April 21, 2005 at Minnesota State University-Mankato, immediately prior to the NCS Spring Meeting.

Details about the MAA-NCS Section NExT program and its spring meeting may be found at  Questions may be addressed to any of the program organizers:  Mike Hvidsten (, Shawn Chiappetta (, Donna Flint (Donna.Flint@SDSTATE.EDU), Randy Westhoff (


Spring Meeting to be held at Minnesota State University-Mankato!

Minnesota State University-Mankato will host the MAA-NCS Spring Meeting, April 21-22.  More information can be found by clicking here.  For more information on contributing a paper, click here.  The North Central Section NExT will meet at the same site immediately prior to the spring section meeting.  A program for the Spring 2006 meeting will be posted on this website prior to the meeting.

The MAA/NCS Fall 2006 Meeting will be held at the University of Minnesota-Morris, October 27-28.


Campus News

College of St. Scholastica

Dr. Luther Qson has been promoted to associate professor and granted tenure in the Math Department at the College of St. Scholastica (Submitted by Guanshen Ren).


Concordia College, Moorhead

Jessie Lenarz has been hired for a tenure-track position in mathematics.  Jessie is a graduate of Buena Vista University (IA), with a Ph.D. from Iowa State University; her thesis was on the enumeration and symmetry of edit metric spaces.

Daniel Biebighauser has accepted a tenure-track position in mathematics.  Dan is a graduate of Concordia and is just finishing his Ph.D. work in graph theory at Vanderbilt University

Douglas Anderson and students Tyler Anderson ('06) and Mathew Kleber ('06) had their paper, Green's function and existence of solutions for a functional focal differential equation, published on the Electronic Journal of Differential Equations.

Douglas Anderson and student Zackary Kenz ('08) had their paper, Global asymptotic behavior for delay dynamic equations, accepted for publication by the journal Nonlinear Analysis.

The paper, Final Digit Strings of Powers where the Exponents End in 1,3,7 or 9, by Dan Biebighauser and Gerald Heuer, appeared in the November 2005 issue of The Fibonacci Quarterly.  It was based on work that Biebighauser did for his senior honors thesis under Heuer’s supervison at Concordia. 

Senior Tara Steuber has been accepted for a graduate teaching assistantship at Clemson University.

Jessica Gehrtz, a sophomore from Moorhead, has been accepted for an REU at Valparaiso.

Zack Kenz, a sophomore from Moorhead, has been accepted for an REU at the Applied Mathematical Sciences Summer Institute, co-hosted by Loyola Marymount and Cal Poly Pomona.  Zack was also just elected President of the Student Government for 2006-2007.  (Submitted by Gerald Heuer)


Gustavus Adolphus College

Gustavus math major Alex Zupan won the Council on Undergraduate Research award for the best research talk in the MAA Student Papers sessions at MathFest 2005 in Albuquerque. Zupan's talk on Numbers and Patterns in Segments in the Hausdorff Metric Geometry was based on his summer work in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program at Grand Valley State University. This fall he is a student in the Budapest Semester program.

Department Chair Max Hailperin has written a new textbook on the principles of operating systems and middleware. This book, Operating Systems and Middleware: Supporting Controlled Interaction, was published January 19, 2006, by Thomson Course Technology. (Submitted by John Holte)


Minnesota State University - Moorhead

The Mathematics Department at Minnesota State University Moorhead is pleased to announce that Justin James has accepted a tenure track position in the department beginning next fall. Justin will be receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska this spring.

Also, Don Mattson will be retiring from the department this spring after 33 years . He has been a member of MAA-NCS during this entire period (Submitted by Don Mattson).


North Dakota State University

Jim Coykendall was awarded the College of Science and Mathematics Research Award in 2005 and was the North Dakota winner of Carnegie Foundation's "U.S. Professor of the Year".

After successful completion of the GraSUS project, GraSUS II continues to bring funds to NDSU. Involved in the department are Dogan Comez (principal investigator) and Bill Martin. In other grant news, Joe Brennan in collaboration with faculty from Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering obtained a grant from the National Science Foundation for the investigation of nanoparticle models.

The department will have four new tenure - track faculty members starting Fall Semester 2006. They are Maria Alfonseca in Harmonic Analysis who is currently at Kansas State University, Marian Bocea in Applied Analysis and his wife Cristina Popovici in the Calculus of Variations, both coming to us from the University of Utah, and Friedrich Littmann in Analytic Number Theory who held a visiting position in our department during the academic year. Eight new students joined our graduate program holds now 26 students (Submitted by Warren Shreve)


St. Olaf College

The St. Olaf College Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science has enjoyed new faces and developments during 2005-2006. We're especially excited to welcome Tina Garrett as the newest tenure-track member of the department. Tina, who came to St. Olaf in Fall 2005 as a visiting assistant professor, earned her PhD from MIT and does research in combinatorics. Mike Huberty, a teacher from Mounds View High School, is spending this year teaching mathematics and statistics at St. Olaf as part of our Visiting Master Teacher program, enriching our program with his energy and insight. Christine Kohnen, with a PhD in Statistics from Duke, joined our department this year as a two-year post-doc through an NSF grant for "A Statistics Undergraduate Mentoring Project". In addition to attracting more students to statistics through interdisciplinary, collaborative research experiences as undergraduates, the grant also funds post-doctoral candidates who are interested in exploring careers as faculty members in smaller undergraduate institutions. Katie Ziegler, who is currently finishing her PhD in Statistics at Johns Hopkins, will also join us in that capacity in Fall 2006. Christine does research work in Bayesian methods and data confidentiality, while Katie's work is in biostatistics. Another statistician, Paul Roback, was recently tenured and promoted to Assistant Professor.

This year saw one retirement, as Ted Vessey, who won the MAA-NCS Distinguished Teaching award in 2000, left the department after 35 years, many of them in the chair's chair. Another leave-taking looms this spring, when Judith Cederberg will retire after 37 years in the department. Both valued colleagues are, or will be, sorely missed (Submitted by Paul Zorn).


University of Sioux Falls

The University of Sioux Falls is proud to be the host of the eighth annual Mathematics on the Northern Plains undergraduate conference.  This event continues to serve as an excellent forum for undergraduates to share their work with other students and faculty from the region.  Recent conferences have included delegations from colleges and universities in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.  We hope to continue to grow the circle of participants by generating even greater representation from North Central Section schools.  The conference will be held on Saturday, April 29; registration is is lunch.  (Who said there's no such thing...?)

More information about the conference, including registration information, may be found at (Submitted by Jason Douma). 


Conferences and Courses


Annual Pi Mu Epsilon Student Conference

April 7-8, 2006
College of St. Benedict
St. John's University
Collegeville, MN

The Twenty-Eighth Annual CSB/SJU Pi Mu Epsilon undergraduate mathematics research conference will be held on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8.  The invited speaker is Edward Burger from Williams College. 

All interested faculty and students in the upper Midwest are invited to attend this conference, held in P. Engel Hall on the campus of St. John's University.  The conference will feature papers presented by undergraduate mathematics students.

To submit a talk, or for further information, contact

Michael Gass
Phone: 320-363-3090


Kris Nairn
Phone: 320-363-3087

or visit



Eighth Annual

Mathematics on the Northern Plains Undergraduate Mathematics Conference


April 29, 2006

University of Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, SD

The Eighth Annual Mathematics on the Northern Plains Undergraduate Conference is to be held at the University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on April 29, 2006.  Invited speakers will be Dr. Charlotte Chell from the Carthage College and Dr. Daniel Schaal from South Dakota State University.

Wanted: 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 20, 2006.

For more information visit, or contact Chad Birger (



MinnMATYC Spring 2006 Conference

April 21 - 22, 2006
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC)

For more information, go to



MCTM 2006 Spring Conference

April 21 - 22, 2006
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC)

For more information, go to



MAA PREP Workshops

Summer 2006

The Mathematical Association of America’s PRofessional Enhancement Program (PREP) provides a range of activities to support growth for mathematicians at all stages of their careers. Whether you are seeking new ideas for research and teaching, development of leadership skills or simply looking for a chance to interact with colleagues on one of the annual MAA Mathematical Study Tours, PREP has a program for you.  Visit the PREP web site, to see this year's schedule and to obtain registration materials.

Future Section Meetings

Spring 2006 Minnesota State University Mankato (April 21-22)
Fall 2006 University of Minnesota Morris (Oct. 27-28)
Spring 2007 College of St. Catherine (dates TBD)


Meetings of Other Sections

Wisconsin Section April 21-22   University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
Iowa Section April 7-8   Iowa State University
Nebraska / SE South Dakota March 31 - April 1   Dana College


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 March 23, 2006.