Spring 2013, Volume 16, Number 1

Upcoming Meeting

Hope to See You at Gustavus Adolphus College!

Gustavus Adolphus College will host the MAA-NCS Spring Meeting, April 26-27.

A program for the Spring 2013 meeting will be posted approximately one to two weeks on the MAA-NCS website prior to the meeting.

Officer Reports

Govenor's Report

Steve Kennedy, Carleton College

I represented the Section for my last Governors’ meeting in San Diego in January. As always, the agenda was jam-packed. The financial situation of the Association remains a matter of serious concern. We have run deficits for each of the past eight years totaling over $1,000,000 for those years. This was the major topic of conversation during the all-day meeting. Recall, from my last report, that at our last meeting the Board approved the principle of investing heavily this year in activities that have the potential to generate more revenue in the future. At this meeting we approved the budget for this year that included much of that investment. There are five targeted areas:

  1. After many years of contracting with an outside provider for fulfillment (of membership, book orders, etc.) we will bring that back in-house. It is hoped that this will result in six-figure savings realized in a year or two.
  2. The MAA website is undergoing a major renovation and redesign, it is expected that this will result in some efficiencies.
  3. We received the final report of the Strategic Planning Working Group on Books and it made several suggestions for investments that could generate more revenue. MAA books are not marketed effectively to non-members, with some investment there is hope that sales will be generated. Also, MAA Textbooks are generally excellent and a serious bargain (compared to commercial options) but could be more widely adopted.
  4. The MAA will hire additional Development staff to attempt to increase fundraising, especially in conjunction with the upcoming Centennial celebration (2015).
  5. We will attempt to increase participation in the American Mathematics Competitions.

One of the recommendations of the Strategic Planning Group for Books made and accepted last August was that the MAA should hire a new acquisitions editor to keep the books pipeline flowing as the irreplaceable Don Albers retires next fall. As was announced in the Governors’ Meeting in San Diego, I will begin in that position (half-time) effective August 1. If you have a book in the works, or just on your mind, get in touch, I’d love to talk to you about it.

We had a report on membership levels, membership is down 16% from 2008. Some of this, no doubt, is a result of the financial downturn, but it is very worrying. Along with increased efforts at member acquisition and retention a drastic simplification of membership dues and membership type options was presented to the Board. We voted to accept this recommendation. You should notice this change in next year’s dues statement.

It has been an honor and a privilege to represent this section for the past three years. Thank you and I hope to see you in St. Peter.


Secretary's Report

Namyong Lee, Minnesota State University - Mankato

Our North Central Section is one of the most active sections in MAA in terms of serving the MAA. To continue this strong tradition, please consider volunteering or nominating other members in section to one of the MAA committees. Here is the information from MAA headquarter.

I am writing to ask you to think about MAA members who should be on one of our many committees. There are about 130 MAA Committees, offering many opportunities to be involved with MAA; each committee (except the Audit Committee) belongs to one of eight councils. These councils and committees are listed on the MAA website www.maa.org under About Us/Governance/Committees. Terms for most committees are three years and begin January 1; writing award committees have longer terms and some of these, along with AMC committee terms, begin July 1.

To suggest someone for an MAA committee, use the survey monkey form (surveymonkey.com/s/committeesuggestions2013); please give complete information about the person you are recommending. Remember that members of MAA committees must be members of the Association.

A summary of suggestions collected through the survey form are distributed to council chairs the first of April. The Committee on Committees and Councils (which includes all council chairs, president-elect, secretary, and executive director) reviews and discusses committee appointments at the end of April and makes recommendations to the President. Those recommended are asked by e-mail if they will serve; this is usually completed by mid June; those who accept the appointment receive a letter in early October.

Questions regarding this process should be sent to me at faires@westminster.edu.

Thank you for your ideas and assistance.

With best wishes,

Barbara Faires

MAA Secretary

Treasurer's Report

Dale Buske, St. Cloud State University

I would like to thank the following colleges and universities for becoming institutional members of the North Central Section. As in previous years all proceeds will be used to support our Section NExT program.

Augsburg College Augustana College Carleton College Concordia College (Moorhead)
Concordia University, St. Paul Gustavus Adolphus College Lakehead University Minot State University
North Dakota State University Northern State University Southwest Minnesota State University St. Catherine's University
South Dakota State University Southwest Minnesota State University St. John's University/College of St. Benedict St. Olaf College
St. Cloud State University St. Olaf College University of Minnesota - Duluth University of Minnesota - Morris
University of Minnesota - Twin Citiees University of Saskatchewan University of Winnipeg

If your institution is not listed and you would like to become an institutional member the cost is $25 and checks (made out to NCS-MAA) can be sent to me at the address below. If you would like an invoice, please let me know and I will send one out. Thanks again and I'll see you at the spring meeting.

Dale Buske, Treasurer

North Central Section - MAA

ECC 139, 720 4th Ave. South

St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498


Campus News

Augsburg College

After a long career, including over twenty-five years at Augsburg, Professor Ken Kaminsky is retiring at the end of this academic year. He will be greatly missed.

John Zobitz is having an exciting year. First, he was granted tenure and promotion to associate professor. Congratulations! And now we are pleased to welcome his new twins, Grant and Phoebe, born on February 18. Congratulations to John and Shannon!

Augsburg was happy to host the third annual metro area Math Jeopardy tournament this fall. Thanks to Matt Haines for organizing, and congrats to Macalester on the win.

We are looking forward to hosting the NCS-MAA Summer Seminar this year. Hope to see you here July 21-24! (submitted by Jody Sorensen)

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

We are pleased to be hosting the Pi Mu Epsilon conference on April 12-13. The invited speaker is Annalisa Crannell, who will be speaking on "Math and Art: The Good, the Bad, and the Pretty."

Gary Brown will retire at the end of Spring 2013. We will miss him.

Jennifer Galovich and Tom Sibley continue to enjoy their sabbaticals. Jennifer is part of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute this year, and Tom will be rewriting his geometry text, among other things. (submitted by Bret Benesh)

Gustavus Adolphus College

We are busy getting ready to host the spring meeting of the North Central Section of the MAA. We look forward to seeing all of you in St. Peter on April 26-27.

Tom LoFaro is on leave this spring in New York City, doing research work with a group at NYU. Tom also co-led the MAA mini course “Teaching Differential Equations with Modeling” at the Joint Math Meetings in San Diego in January.

Karl Knight will be retiring this spring, capping off a distinguished career of 30 years of teaching at Gustavus. We will miss Karl's many outstanding contributions to the department. (submitted by Mike Hvidsten)

Minnesota State University - Mankato

The department of mathematics and statistics has been busy to search three new tenure track positions in Geometry, Stochastic Processes & It’s Applications, and Mathematics Education. These positions will fill the gap of recent retirements. Brian Martensen is moved to Associate Dean position of the college and Charles Waters has been elected as a new department chair. We also have two new visiting professors this semester; Both Drs. Seon Jeong Kim and Eun Ju Cheon are from South Korea and specialized in algebraic geometry. Currently, we have about two dozens of graduate Teaching Assistantship positions. If you have any motivated undergraduate seniors, please encourage them to apply to our graduate program in mathematics/statistics. (submitted by Namyong Lee)

Minnesota State University - Moorhead

This academic year seems to be the year of sabbaticals at MSU Moorhead. Fall semester Wayne Chen, Sayel Ali and Adam Goyt were on sabbatical, and this semester Tim Peil, Kris Montis, Ellen Hill and Justin James are on sabbatical. While Chen was away, Ellen Hill served as acting department chair.

This spring MSUM hosted the Tri-College Math Contest for middle and high schools in the region. Over 2000 students were registered to take part in the contest (March 13th), from as far away as Bismarck, Grand Forks, Wadena, Alexandria, and Wahpeton. Concordia wrote the contest problems and North Dakota State University provided some of the workers for the contest. Awards were given for high scoring individuals and teams.

Dr. Aggie Chadraa developed a course to prepare students for the second actuarial exam and is giving it this spring. He also is organizing an Actuarial Club for students interested in the discipline. (submitted by Wally Sizer)

North Dakota State University

Sean Sather-Wagstaff was awarded a two year grant "Homological Aspects of Module Theory" through the National Security Agency's Mathematical Science Program. Josef Dorfmeister was awarded a five year Collaboration Grant from the Simons Foundation. Dogan Comez was awarded an EPSCoR start-up grant, funds to continue GraSUS Project activities, and funds for the third-year implementation of the ND-PRIME project.

Assistant Professor Maria Alfonseca won the College of Science and Mathematics teaching award. Graduate student Erin Brownlee won the College of Science and Mathematics Student Teaching Award. Two graduate students, Ben Anderson and Richard Hasenauer, were awarded Ph.D. degrees.

The department hired three new faculty on tenure-track positions. Abraham Ayebo earned his bachelor’s degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana in 1996. At the University of Nevada Reno, he earned a master’s degree in 2002 and a Ph.D. in 2010 under the supervision of Professor Lynda R. Wiest with the dissertation "Teachers’ Perspectives on Teaching Mathematics to Gifted and Talented Students". He held a position as a lecturer at Purdue University Calumet for two years before coming to NDSU. Indranil SenGupta joined the faculty as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Mathematics. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2010. His thesis titled “Analysis of the three-dimensional superradiance problem and some generalizations” was created under the guidance of Professor Goong Chen. He did his postdoctoral work at the University of Texas at El Paso from 2010-2012. Artem S. Novozhilov joined the faculty as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Mathematics. He received his Ph.D. from Moscow State University of Communication Means in 2002 with the dissertation “Mathematical models of interaction between pollutant and environment” under the supervision of Professor Alexander S. Bratus. He did his post-doctoral work at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland in 2004-2009.

After long years of distinguished service at NDSU, Professor Warren Shreve and Senior Instructor Lonnie Hass will be retiring by the end of this academic year. (submitted by Friedrich Littmann)

St. Cloud State University

Due to a one-semester medical leave by Janis Cimperman, an old colleague, Mr. Melvin Wahl, joins our unit. Dr. Michael Ernst and Dr. Richard Sunheim are two statisticians at the university transferring to our department from Information Systems where they taught business statistics. This brings us to a total of six full-time, permanent statisticians in our unit. We are currently searching a tenure-track opening in math education focused at the elementary level. We are also currently in discussions to make significant revisions in our mathematics curriculum. (submitted by Dale Buske)

St. Olaf College

The Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science is happy to welcome back Julie Legler, who spent 5 months leading St. Olaf's Global Semester. Just as Julie is returning, Rich Allen is beginning his half-year sabbatical.

Congratulations go to Ian Pierce, who will be starting a tenure-track position at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado. Ian spent two years at St. Olaf. We will miss him, but wish him well.

Congratulations also goes to students Nick Gantt, Warren Shull, and Boyang Wei who won the Konhauser ProblemFest, held at Carleton College on Feb. 26. The contest started in 1993 in honor of the late Joe Konhauser, a long-time professor at Macalester who was a very active problemist. The winning college gets the traveling trophy, a granite sculpture of the pizza theorem and its proof.

St. Olaf's Tina Garrett and Macalester's Chad Topaz have spent the year working on an Associated Colleges of the Midwest project at the behest of the ACM presidents and deans to offer the first all ACM online summer course. Their modeling approach to calculus will be offered for the first time this summer. A link to an article about their project is here: http://www.acm.edu/features/feature/426 (submitted by Jill Dietz)

University of Sioux Falls

USF is proud to be this year’s host of the annual Math on the Northern Plains Undergraduate Research Conference. The event will be held on Saturday, April 20, and will feature undergraduate student presentations, a panel discussion on careers in mathematics, and keynote talks from Jose Flores (University of South Dakota) and Todd Mateer (National Security Agency). For more information, including registration details, visit the conference website at www.usiouxfalls.edu/mnpurc, or contact conference director Chad Birger.

With support from an NSF grant, Joy Lind continues to serve as the coordinator of a Careers in Mathematics Speaker Series at the University of Sioux Falls. The 2012-2013 program has included Sommer Gentry from the U.S. Naval Academy and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Carol Meyers of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and John Petri of IBM Watson Solutions.

Later this spring, Joy Lind will be returning to her graduate school alma mater (University of Kentucky) as the keynote speaker for “UK Math Alumni Day.” (submitted by Jason Douma)

Conferences and Activities

34rd Annual Pi Mu Epsilon Conference

Plan to come with your students to the 34rd Annual Pi Mu Epsilon Conference April 12 and 13 at St. John’s. Have your students submit titles and abstracts of talks to Kris Nairn (knairn@csbsju.edu), whom you can also contact for more information. Or go to our web site http://www.csbsju.edu/Mathematics/Pi-Conference.htm.

This spring, we are please to announce that our guest speaker is Annalisa Crannell from Franklin and Marshall College. Her talk on Friday will be "Math and Art: The Good, the Bad, and the Pretty" and her talk on Saturday will be "In the Shadow of Desargues". Please see our website for further details of the the talks: http://www.csbsju.edu/Mathematics/Pi-Conference.htm.

Future Section Meetings

Fall 2013 South Dakota State University, Brookings October 18-19
Spring 2014 St. Cloud State University April 25-26

Information for Contributors

Submissions should be sent electronically (preferred method) to the shawn.chiappetta@usiouxfalls.edu or mailed to:

Shawn Chiappetta

Natural Sciences Area

University of Sioux Falls

1101 W. 22nd Street

Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57105

Comments or corrections can be sent to the webmaster.