Autumn 2002
PNWMAA Newsletter

Meeting at Whitman College
2004 Meeting in Alaska
Notes from the Chair
Project NExT
Section News Briefs
New Faces
Section Officers


Section News Briefs

During the past year, the book Proofs Without Words: Exercises in Visual Thinking (MAA, 1993) by
Roger Nelsen of Lewis & Clark College was translated and published in Spanish and Japanese.

Larry Anderson, who has been in the math department at Whitman College for thirty-four years, is taking early retirement in December, 2002. Larry will be greatly missed for his contributions to the department and the college, his interest in students and in teaching, and his involvement in successful joint research with students. The department is currently conducting a search for a tenure-track replacement for Larry and has a special interest in someone whose research program has components suitable for collaboration with undergrads.

At Pacific University, Christine Guenther has assumed the duties of chair of the mathematics and computer science department while Michael Boardman enjoys a half-year sabbatical. Bogdana Georgieva participated in the Second International Conference on the Teaching of Mathematics at the Undergraduate Level, Crete, Greece this past summer. Her paper “New Approach to the Use of Solution Manuals in the Teaching of Higher Mathematics” will appear in the refereed proceedings. Nancy Neudauer has been selected to participate in the AWM workshop at the upcoming joint meetings in Baltimore.

This year, and only this academic year, the math department at Central Washington University can boast of having the components of a Pythagorean Quadruple. Until July 11, 2003 we have Stuart Boersma (36), Tim Englund (36) and Jim Harper (49) as “legs” to the Quadruple: 62 + 62 + 72 = 112. This Quadruple can be generated by (u,v,w) = (3,2,3) via the formula

a = 2uv/g, b = 2wv/g, c = (u2 + w2 – v2)/g and d = (u2 + w2 + v2)/g

where g = gcd(u2 + w2, v).

Also at CWU, Stuart Boersma (with Michele Hluchy) published a paper recently in Primus on the “The Angle of Repose”. The CMJ has accepted Aaron Montgomery’s “Hairy Parabola” and the Monthly has accepted Jim Harper’s “Another Simple Proof of 1 + 1/22 + 1/32 + . . . = π2/6”. Raza Choudary also published a paper in the Journal of Topology recently.

Grants Around the Section

Mathematics faculty at the University of Portland have three new grants. Greg Hill and Tamar More (Physics) have an NSF grant to teach calculus and physics as an integrated course, and they have begun teaching the integrated course this year. In addition, Greg Hill, Carmen Schabel, Jim Male (Engineering) and Steve Vegdahl (Computer Science) have an NSF CSEMS grant for scholarships for majors in mathematics, computer science and engineering. Carmen Schabel and Dave Damcke also have a grant for using the Math Excel Program in local high schools.

Stephan Glasby at Central Washington University was a member of a national team that was awarded a quarter million dollar NSF STEP grant. STEP is a pilot program designed to increase participation in science, technology and mathematics.

Faculty in the Mathematics Department at Seattle University have recently received grants to fund two interesting projects. Heather McGilvray and Kathleen Sullivan have received a grant from Coppin State College and the NSA, through the Association for Women in Mathematics, to host a Sonya Kovalevski Day on February 14, 2003. Seattle University is inviting teachers and girls from selected middle schools in the Seattle area to campus for a day full of mathematical activities. The girls will participate in small hands-on exploratory projects led by women volunteers from various scientific fields, including mathematics, engineering, and computer science. The teachers will attend two workshop sessions on using hands-on projects in their classrooms.

The second grant at Seattle University was received by John Carter, who is a participant in a National Science Foundation Focused Research Group grant. John describes the work in the following way: Waves play an important role in weather prediction, coastal erosion, and other phenomena. John and other group members (two experimentalists and a handful of pure and applied mathematicians) are researching the potential coherence of three-dimensional wave patterns over large scales. As part of this project, an undergraduate student, Erin Hunt, and John Carter are comparing data from physical experiments with results from various mathematical models of water waves.

Dr. Kenrick Mock and Dr. Patrick O’Leary, Assistant Professors of Computer Science in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Alaska Anchorage were awarded an NSF MRI Grant for the acquisition of research computational equipment. 


Copyright © 2002
Pacific Northwest Section, Mathematical Association of America.
Send questions or comments to Brian Gill, Newsletter Editor, or call (206) 281-2954.