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The Mathematical Association of America

North Central Section

Fall 2006 Meeting

October 27-28, 2006

University of Minnesota, Morris

Morris, MN

 

Preliminary Program

Friday, October 27, 2006 

7:00-8:00  Registration, Science Atrium

                  $10; students, first time attendees, and speakers free; $5 for MAA-NCS section NExT members

7:00-8:00  Book Sales, Science 2200

7:00-8:00  Display of Logical Games and Puzzles, Science 2185

8:00-9:00  Evening Session    Dr. David Roberts presiding,    Science 1020

      Lecture:  Professor Ivy Knoshaug, Bemidji State University

                                “Caught in the Middle”


Abstract:  To be "caught in the middle" is most often not an appealing or desirable position. No longer elementary but not yet high school is the location of the middle in this case. This can be a critical time for mathematical growth.  To help middle school students as well as pre-service middle school teachers avoid seeing this position as academically unproductive and unfulfilling, institutions are designing courses specific to this audience. We will look at one such course, its structure, activities and content.

9:00-10:30  Reception, Student Center Alumni Room

Saturday, October 28, 2006

8:15-11:00     Registration, Science Atrium


8:15-11:00     Book Sales, Science 2200

8:15-11:00     Display of Logical Games and Puzzles, Science 2185

9:00               Morning Session    Dr. Peh Ng presiding,    Science 1020

                      Greeting: Dr. Jacqueline Johnson, Chancellor, University of Minnesota - Morris

9:05     A Tribute to P. M. Cohn, Prof. Walter Sizer, Minnesota State University Moorhead
9:25     When is a Ring "Ideal", Prof. Tom Sibley, St. John's University
9:50     Differential Equations Satisfied by Elliptic Functions, Prof. Bill Schwalm, University of North Dakota Physics Dept.

10:15   Lingo -- It's not just Words, Prof. Dale Buske, St. Cloud State University

10:30-11:00  Break

11:00-12:00  "Introducing New Games"

                     Professor David Wolfe, Gustavus Adolphus College


Abstract:  New games invented (or discovered) in the last few years include Toppling Dominoes, Shove (and Push), and Maze (and Maize).  These games have simple, playable rules and include our favorite game values such as numbers, ups and stars, but the values can appear in surprising ways.  Work is in conjunction with Michael Albert and Richard Nowakowski.

 

12:00-2:40  Book Sales, Science 2200

12:00-2:40  Display of Logical Games and Puzzles, Science 2185

12:00-1:00  Lunch, Student Center Alumni Room

1:00-1:30    Business Meeting, President Steve Kennedy presiding,  Science 1020
                 

1:30            Afternoon Session      Dr. Barry McQuarrie presiding, Science 1020

1:30  Video Segmentation and Analysis of Botanical Fluorescence Patterns, Prof. Aaron Luttman, Bethany Lutheran College
1:55  The Complexity of Computing the Graver Complexity, Prof. Kris Nairn, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University

2:15  The Trouble with Trouble (or how I can never understand probability), Prof. Matt Richey, St. Olaf College

 

Abstracts

 

Evening Session

Ivy Knoshaug, "Caught in the Middle"

To be "caught in the middle" is most often not an appealing or desirable position. No longer elementary but not yet high school is the location of the middle in this case. This can be a critical time for mathematical growth.  To help middle school students as well as pre-service middle school teachers avoid seeing this position as academically unproductive and unfulfilling, institutions are designing courses specific to this audience. We will look at one such course, its structure, activities and content.

 

Morning Session

Walter Sizer, "A Tribute to P. M. Cohn"

In observance of the death of P. M. Cohn (my thesis advisor) earlier this year I will sketch some of his work on embedding rings in (skew) fields of fractions.

 

Tom Sibley, "When Is a Ring “Ideal”?"

Over 50 years ago algebraists characterized finite groups all of whose subgroups are normal.  We consider analogous situations for rings:   Finite rings all of whose subrings are ideals and finite rings all of whose subgroups are ideals.

 

Bill Schwalm, "Differential Equations Satisfied by Elliptic Functions"

A review of elliptic functions as trigonometry and a general procedure for solving certain common types of nonlinear differential equations. These are of either of two forms:   fourth degree polynomial in f(x) or third degree polynomial in f(x).

 

Dale Buske, "Lingo – It’s not just Words"

Recently, the Game Show Network introduced a game show called Lingo hosted by Chuck Woolery (of Love Connection fame).  Knowledge of five letter words, along with a little luck, helps win the game.  This talk will explore the luck angle.

 

David Wolfe, "Introducing New Games"

New games invented (or discovered) in the last few years include Toppling Dominoes, Shove (and Push), and Maze (and Maize).  These games have simple, playable rules and include our favorite game values such as numbers, ups and stars, but the values can appear in surprising ways.  Work is in conjunction with Michael Albert and Richard Nowakowski.

 

Afternoon Session

Aaron Luttman, "Video Segmentation and Analysis of Botanical Fluorescence Patterns"

In order to engage in photosynthesis, plant leaves absorb CO2 via the opening of pores in their surfaces called "stomata." The opening of stomata, however, results in water loss for the plant through evaporation. Thus a particular leaf will seek stomatal apertures through which its need for CO2 is balanced by its aversion to H2O loss. In order to visualize stomatal apertures in a particular leaf, an experimentalist injects the leaf with dye so that it fluoresces when closing its stomata. The regions with a higher relative intensity then correspond to areas in which the stomata are closed and the darker regions where the stomata are open. A camera measures the fluorescence pattern, and images are continually recorded as these patterns change with time, resulting in a video sequence.  Each leaf video is preprocessed before being analyzed, then the regions of fluorescence are extracted using a partial differential equations model for image segmentation, which is solved numerically using a three-dimensional semi-implicit numerical scheme.  Once extracted, the fluorescence patterns are analyzed using information-theoretic methods for two-dimensional pattern analysis.

 

Kris Nairn, "The Complexity of Computing the Graver Complexity"

We discuss some circumstances in which the Graver complexity is known and address various complications in computing the complexity when working with contingency tables.
 

 

Matt Richey, "The Trouble with Trouble (or how I can never understand probability)"

The board game Trouble involves rolling a single die and then moving markers around a board. In this talk we'll see how even this simple game has interesting probability questions, questions that challenge our "naive" intuition. We will consider simple variations on the rules of the game and investigate their consequences. The material is appropriate for any undergraduate probability course.