Section Website: http://sections.maa.org/rockymt

Spring 2016 Newsletter in PDF Format for Printing

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Table of Contents

Spring 2016 Newsletter in PDF Format for Printing
Table of Contents
2015 - 2016 Section Officers and Committee Members
2017 Distinguished Teaching Award Call for Nominations
Chair's Report
Governor's Report
21st Annual Colorado Mathematics Awards Ceremony/Reception
Big Data on the Great Plains South Dakota State University June 22-24, 2016
Section News
Colorado School of Mines
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Rocky Mountain Section History
Mathematics Awareness Month: The Future of Prediction April 2016
Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics (CCTM) News
Colorado Mesa University to host the Joint Meeting of the Rocky Mountain and Intermountain Sections April 8 - 9, 2016
Plenary Speakers
Contributed Paper Sessions and Panel Sessions
Preconference Workshop
Student Activities
PPRUMC Seeks Funding Arrangement
Rocky Mountain Section Fall 2015 Survey Results
MAA Rocky Mountain Section Suggestions for Speakers
Grants Available
Section Activity Grants Available
Student Recognition Grants Available
About Our Logo
Meetings Calendar
Burton W. Jones Award Nomination Form
Voluntary Section Dues
MAA Rocky Mountain Section Voluntary Dues Contribution Form
MAA Rocky Mountain Section Mission Statement

2015 – 2016 Section Officers and Committee Members

Section Website: http://sections.maa.org/rockymt

Section Executive Committee Officers for 2015–2016
Chair ElectMike Jacobson michael.jacobson@ucdenver.edu
 University of Colorado Denver303-315-1708
 Denver, CO 80217
ChairKyle Riley kyle.riley@sdsmt.edu
 South Dakota School of Mines and Technology605-394-2471
 Rapid City, SD 57701
Vice-ChairErica Hastert ehastert@ecarvada.org
 Early College of Arvada720-858-2334
Secretary/Heidi Keck hkeck@western.edu
TreasurerWestern State Colorado University970-943-3167
 Gunnison, CO 81231
GovernorBill Emerson emersonb@msudenver.edu
 MSU Denver303-556-3930
 Denver, CO 80217
ProgramTracii Friedman tfriedma@coloradomesa.edu
 Cathy Bonan-Hamada970-248-1667
 Colorado Mesa University cbonan@coloradomesa.edu
 Grand Junction, CO970-248-1838
Other Committee Members and Representatives
Section Nominating Committee
 Gus Greivel (Chair), Colorado School of Mines ggreivel@mines.edu
 Mike Brilleslyper, USAFA mike.brilleslyper@usafa.edu
 Mary Pilgrim, Colorado State University pilgrim@math.colostate.edu
Awards Selection Committee
  Mike Jacobson, (Chair), UCD michael.jacobson@ucdenver.edu
  Erica Hastert, Early College of Arvada ehastert@ecarvada.org
  Janet Barnett, CSU-Pueblo janet.barnett@csupueblo.edu
  Carl Leinert, Fort Lewis lienert_c@fortlewis.edu
Section Student Activity Coordinator
  Carl Lienert, Fort Lewis College lienert_c@fortlewis.edu
  Beth Schaubroeck, USAFA beth.schaubroeck@usafa.edu
Higher Education Representative on CCTM Governing Board
  Mary Pilgrim, Colorado State University pilgrim@math.colostate.edu
Section Book Sales Coordinator
  Janet Heine Barnett, CSU - Pueblo janet.barnett@csupueblo.edu
Section NExT Committee
  Diane Davis (Co-Chair), MSU Denver ddavi102@msudenver.edu
  Bob Cohen (Co-Chair), WSCU rcohen@western.edu
  Kim Fix, WSCU kfix@western.edu
Public Information Officer and Section Liaison Coordinator
  Heidi Keck, Western State Colorado University hkeck@western.edu
Website Editors
  George Heine, Math and Maps gheine@mathnmaps.com
  Janet Heine Barnett, CSU - Pueblo janet.barnett@csupueblo.edu
Newsletter Editor
  Linda Sundbye sundbyel@msudenver.edu
 Metropolitan State University of Denver303-556-8437
 Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
  P.O. Box 173362, Campus Box 38FAX: 303-556-5381
 Denver, CO 80217-3362

2017 Distinguished Teaching Award Call for Nominations

Each year, the section recognizes one outstanding teacher of collegiate mathematics with an award named in honor of Burton W. Jones, a lifelong advocate of excellence in teaching at all levels. In addition to an honorarium, a certificate and an invitation to deliver the opening lecture at the next Section Meeting, the recipient is eligible to be the section's nominee for the Deborah and Franklin Haimo Awards for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. These national awardees (at most three) are honored at the MAA winter meeting with a certificate and $1000 check. All nominators also receive a certificate of in recognition of their efforts to support the section mission of promoting excellence in teaching; nominators and nominees both receive free meeting registration at the next section meeting. To begin the nomination process for an outstanding teacher that you know, simply submit the one-page nomination form (available in this newsletter, and at our website) by 15 December 2016. Complete nomination materials (described on the website) are due 15 January 2017.

Chair's Report

Greetings Section Members! It is amazing how time flies, but I just realized that this next section meeting will be my last meeting as section chair. It turns out that two years is not a lot of time and I can only hope I left things in good enough shape for Michael Jacobson to take the wheel and lead our section to the centennial meeting for our section in Pueblo for 2017. In this newsletter you will find the results from the survey we conducted this past fall. There were many useful nuggets of information that we gathered from the survey and I would like to thank everyone that took the time to complete the survey. The survey did lead to one strong conclusion; our section could really use a strategic planning retreat. There are several issues that we need to sort out:
  1. How do we attract more people to the section meetings?
  2. Should we move the section meetings to October?
  3. Can we sustain a Section NExT or should we have a more general Professional Development program that includes a more diverse audience?
  4. The Pikes Peak Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (PPRUMC) has lost one of their major sources of funding. The section has regularly contributed to support the conference, but should our role increase? The PPRUMC organizers have asked the section to be more involved in terms of being the nonprofit that handle the management for many of the donations that can be raised to support the conference. The executive committee has agreed to a stronger supporting role for this year, but a long term commitment is something the section should talk about.
  5. Is it time to separate the duties of secretary and treasurer? The secretary/ treasurer has been a combined role, but if the section were to increase our role in supporting PPRUMC then the treasurer duty would become much more complicated.

    At our next section meeting, I plan to hold an open strategic planning session where anyone from the section can attend. We plan to drop the traditional chairs luncheon on Friday (April 8) and replace the event with the strategic planning session. The session will be 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (location to be announced at a later date) and I hope we can use the time to discuss these larger issues. Everyone from the section is invited to the strategic planning session.

    I am very excited about the next section meeting and I have special thanks for Tracii Friedman, and her team at Colorado Mesa University, for all their hard work in organizing this meeting. Please remember that this is a joint meeting with the Intermountain Section and anyone that has ever planned one of our section meetings would have to respect the extra effort it takes to make two sections happy instead of just one. The meeting will be in Grand Junction and is scheduled for April 8-9. I also want to make sure everyone is getting excited about our section centennial meeting that will be at CSU-Pueblo, April 21-22, 2017.

    I would like to thank everyone that I have had the pleasure to work with as Section Chair. Michael Jacobson, Chair-Elect, is going to make a great Section Chair. Erica Hastert has been our rock for Vice-Chair and Bill Emerson has been a great Governor. I have enjoyed working with George Heine as our Web Page Editor and of course Janet Heine Barnett has always been great to work with in promoting the section and book sales. I have always marveled at the work of Linda Sundbye as our Newsletter Editor and her ability to produce such a great product every time while dealing with contributors that are late with their reports and cleaning up their articles to make them presentable for the public. I also appreciate the efforts of Beth Schaubroeck and Carl Lienert as student activity coordinators. My biggest thanks goes to Heidi Keck as the heart and soul of the section. Our section has always been very lucky with recruiting fantastic people for Secretary/Treasurer. Heidi has been great to work with and everyone in the section should take the opportunity to thank her for all the work she does for our section. You will still be stuck with me for another year as Past-Chair, but it has truly been my honor to serve the section. Thank you to everyone that has helped me navigate the work that needed to be done and I look forward to seeing you in Grand Junction.

    Kyle Riley, SDSMT
    Chair, Rocky Mountain Section

Governor's Report

At the January 2016 the Board of Governors approved a change in the Governance Structure of the Mathematical Association of America creating a Board of Directors and an Assembly. The new Board of Directors will consist of 9 members, including:

The responsibilities of the Board of Directors include the following:

The Assembly will consist of 29 Section Representatives with 3-year terms, 7 council chairs selected by the Board of Directors for 4year terms with at most one term, all members of the Board of Directors and 3-6 members at large determinedly undetected by the Assembly.

The responsibilities of the Assembly include the following:

During the coming year new Bylaws will be written and approved by the Board of Governors before being submitted to the national membership for approval.

Bill Emerson, MSU Denver
Governor, Rocky Mountain Section

21st Annual Colorado Mathematics Awards Ceremony/Reception

Plans are in the works for CMA XXI -- the 21st Colorado Mathematics Awards Ceremony and Reception to be held on Tuesday, May 17 at the Grant - Humphreys Mansion in Denver. At the school level we'll be recognizing the top ten participants on MATHCOUNTS, the AMC 8, 10, and 12 contests, and the outstanding members of the Colorado American Regions Mathematics League team. At the collegiate level we'll be recognizing all Section Putnam scorers in the top 500, and the top team(s) on the Mathematical Contest in Modeling. We expect to recognize between 50 and 60 winners. With the winners, parents, and teachers, we expect between 120 and 130 to attend the event.

We appreciate the support that the Rocky Mountain Section has provided for this event over the years.

Other sponsors of the Colorado Mathematics Awards are the American Mathematics Competitions, CH2MHill, the Professional Engineers of Colorado, and individual and past members of the Colorado Mathematics Awards Steering Committee.

Suggestions for additional sources of funding are always welcomed. Please contact me at gibbs_d@fortlewis.edu.

Dick Gibbs
Co-Chair, Colorado Mathematics Awards Steering Committee
Emeritus Professor of Mathematics
Fort Lewis College

Big Data on the Great Plains South Dakota State University June 22-24, 2016

Those attending the Mathematical Association of America North Central Section's Biennial Summer Seminar will get a peek into the world of big data as it relates to various fields from both mathematical and statistical perspectives. Mathematician, Peter Bubenik, Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Florida (UF) and member of the UF Informatics Institute will be our invited speaker. Dr. Bubenik specializes in visualization of big data, using topology, a branch of mathematics which serves as a good tool for extracting global qualitative features from complicated geometric structures. Topological data analysis uses topological methods to summarize the "shape" of data. Its main tool, persistent homology provides a summary of how this shape changes with respect to changes of a parameter. For example, if the parameter is scaled, then persistent homology provides a multiscale descriptor of the data.

In addition to Dr. Bubenik's lectures, the seminar will include many workshops. Dr. Bubenik will give a hands-on tutorial on using topological data analysis (TDA). Participants will be able to take this tutorial back to their classrooms and/or be able to start using TDA in their research. Faculty members from South Dakota State University will also be leading workshops to demonstrate various statistical techniques used to analyze data in various fields such as biology, forensics, agriculture, finance, and education. We'll also hear from Chet Wiermanski, Global Chief Data Scientist for Transunion and Visiting Scholar for the Federal Reserve Bank, who will speak at the opening banquet, discussing challenges associated with handling vast volumes of real time, time series, metadata.

The Summer Seminar will take place June 22-24 on the campus of South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD. The opening banquet will be the evening of June 21st. Also, on June 21, there will be an optional one-day workshop on programming with R, for those new to the program. For those unable to attend the one-day workshop, materials will be provided for study prior to the summer seminar. Follow this link for more information.

Respectfully Submitted,
Kyle Riley, SDSMT
Chair, Rocky Mountain Section

Section News

Colorado School of Mines


picture of Karen Kazor
Karen Kazor

Applied Mathematics and Statistics (AMS) PhD student Karen Kazor, advisee of Amanda Hering, was selected as a winner of the 2016 ENVR (the American Statistical Association's Section on Statistics and the Environment) Student Paper Competition for her paper, "The role of regimes in short-term wind speed forecasting at multiple wind farms." She will present her winning paper at the 2016 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) this August, in Chicago, Illinois.


Attendees, Nebraska Conference for 
Undergraduate Women in Mathematics
Left to Right: Bianca Verlangieri, Jessica Deters, Madison Kellar, Taylor Chott, Carrie Kralovec

Five Mines students attended the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics in January. The conference provided students an opportunity to learn about careers in mathematics, graduate school, and mathematics research, as well as an opportunity to meet their peers at institutions across the country. All five students participated in the poster session where they presented research from either an REU or a class at CSM.

The Society for Women in Mathematics (SWiM), a student organization at the Colorado School of Mines and an AWM chapter, hosted monthly speakers who shared their mathematical stories, how they used mathematics in their jobs, and any advice they had for the members. Additionally, SWiM sponsored a salary negotiation workshop, held a panel on summer REU and internship opportunities, participated in an elementary school math and science night, and held other social events. Faculty advisors are Debra Carney, Rebecca Swanson, and Kelley Tatangelo. Approximately 20 students and faculty attend the bi-monthly meetings. SWiM is generously supported by FAST Enterprises, a local software and information technology company and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics. FAST has also recently endowed an annual scholarship, which is awarded to one SWiM member each year.


picture of Kelsey Kalmbach
Kelsey Kalmbach

The Fall 2015 Outstanding Graduating Senior Award was presented to Kelsey Kalmbach.


AMS Professor Paul Martin is an associate editor of the recently published The Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics. The book introduces readers to applied mathematics and its uses; explains key concepts; looks at research; and explores areas of application. The book also includes articles by Willy Hereman and Paul Constantine, faculty in the AMS department.

Paul Constantine, Ben L. Fryrear Assistant Professor, authored Active Subspaces Emerging ideas for Dimension Reduction in Parameter Studies, describing techniques for discovering a model's active subspace and proposes methods for exploiting the reduced dimension to enable otherwise infeasible parameter studies.


The Office of Naval Research is awarding $542K over three years to a Mines effort to produce graduates with both technical knowledge and the ability to work well with others as leaders and followers as part of its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics initiatives. Physics Teaching Professor Pat Kohl spearheaded the proposal, titled "Horizontal and Vertical Integration of 21st Century Skillsets: Leadership, Computation, and Open-ended Problem Solving at an Engineering University." His team includes fellow Physics faculty Vince Kuo, Tim Ohno, and Mark Lusk; Applied Mathematics and Statistics faculty Gus Greivel and Scott Strong; and Leslie Light of EPICS. The seven faculty members will work together to revise some of the introductory core courses that affect all students at Mines, along with upper division courses that feed into programs of direct interest to the Navy and civilian contractors: physics, nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering. The changes will revolve around three pillars -- leadership and group management skills; competence with software and computational tools; and confidence with hands-on diagnostics and problem-solving.

2016 Outstanding Philanthropic Partner Award

The award from the CSM Foundation recognizes outstanding commitment among faculty, staff and administrators for their efforts in building and creating relationships with Mines alumni and friends. Willy Hereman, Department Head and Professor of the AMS department, received the Award from the Mines Foundation for his involvement with the ongoing Sayers Fund, the yearly Ryan Sayers Memorial Award and Scholarship celebrations, π–mile run, Sayers Computing Laboratory, Michelle Vivona Fund, and AMS Honor Fund in memory of the late Carol Job (adjunct faculty).

picture of Willy Hereman
Willy Hereman

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Our department saw six students compete in the Putnam this past December and were are eagerly awaiting the results along with the Mathematical Contest in Modeling where we had a team compete earlier in February. The big news we are celebrating is that Dr. Kyle Caudle and Erica Daniels won an award for their paper that was published in Teaching Statistics. The Peter Holmes Prize is dedicated to honor outstanding papers in this international journal and this paper came from Erica's senior research project that she presented at the section meeting a couple of years ago. We are so very proud of both Dr. Caudle and Ms. Daniels and hope 2016 contains more awards and honors for our faculty and students.

University of Colorado at Boulder

After 25 years as editor of our Alumni Newsletter, "Prime Bits," Professor Emeritus Bill Jones is stepping down from the role. The Department will continue reaching out to our Alumni, Friends, and Community with the annual publication of Prime Bits. Dr. Albert Bronstein has been hired as an instructor in the Department. We are searching this spring for Instructors and a Director of Undergraduate Research: See our advertisements on mathjobs.org We ran a new special topics courses this spring: One on Quantum Computing (taught by Mines Professor Mark Coffey) and (with our Applied Math Department) one on Interest Theory (taught by Denver Actuary, Lauren Aronson.) We are raising money for a Graduate Fellowship in honor of our beloved colleague Richard Laver who succumbed to Parkinson's disease in 2012. Please follow this link for more information.

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Putnam Exam

Students from the UCCS Mathematics Department participated in the 2015 Putnam exam.

The Putnam exam is a mathematics competition open to undergraduate students in the United States and Canada. The exam has been given annually since 1938. It is held on the first Saturday of December. There are 12 questions, which are typically elementary but very challenging. It is not unusual for about half the test takers across North America to score zero. Any number of students may participate individually. Schools may also designate a team to compete in the team competition.

picture of Benjamin Griffith, Clark Mourning, Katrina Eidolon, and Shane Richmond
The UCCS participants were Benjamin Griffith, Clark Mourning, Katrina Eidolon, and Shane Richmond. We wish them luck. The results should be available in March.

Rocky Mountain Section History

Section History information is now on the website!

Go to history page on the section website and just click on one of the of the "HISTORY" links. This is still a work in progress! Anyone with historical documents, photos, or time and interest to work on section history is welcome to contact us at:

George Heine
Janet Barnett

Mathematics Awareness Month: The Future of Prediction April 2016

Information on this year's Math Awareness Month will be available soon at http://www.mathaware.org

Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics (CCTM) News

The Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics (CCTM) continues to provide great opportunities for both pre- and in-service teachers! Here are some recent updates:

  1. Colorado Mathematics Teacher was recently honored by NCTM with a 2016 Publication Award for outstanding newsletter! CCTM is very proud of this honor and the hard work that goes into the journal. Don't forget that the Colorado Mathematics Teacher (CMT) Journal is available to everyone. If you are interested in submitting a paper, please see the articles published in this issue and feel free to contact the editor, Sandie Gilliam.
  2. Annual Math on the Planes conference presented by Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities will take place February 26-27, 2016. This conference is supported by supported by the Colorado Metro Math Intervention Team and CCTM. The theme is "Creating a Classroom Environment that Supports Students Who Struggle with Learning Mathematics". Info for the conference can be found here.
  3. The NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition will take place April 13-15, 2016 in San Francisco, CA. The theme is "Building a Bridget to Student Success". This is a great opportunity for pre- and in-service teachers to learn about new ideas for the classroom, implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, and best practices. The conference also provides opportunities for teachers to network and build collaborative, working relationships with other teachers. Registration information can be found here.
  4. NCTM Regional Conferences: NCTM will be holding regional conferences in October and November 2016. Information on these conferences, including registration and proposal submission, can be found here.
  5. NCTM Summer Intensive Workshops: NCTM will be doing two summer intensive workshops in Denver in July. On July 18-20, they will do a 6-8th grade institute on Algebra readiness, and on July 21-23, they will do a PreK-5 institute on Number and Operations. Check here for information on the upcoming institute workshops.
  6. CCTM Regional Workshops: 2016 regional workshops will be held in February, March, late October, and early November. Both preservice and in-service teachers would benefit from these workshops. More information about upcoming workshops can be found at the CCTM website. Workshops will emphasize topics such as aligning curriculum to standards, bestpractices, exploring the role of tasks, etc.
  7. 2015 CCTM Annual Conference: The annual CCTM conference took place at the Denver Merchandise Mart September 24-25, 2015. The theme was "Putting the Pieces Together for Mathematical Success." Materials from the conference can be found here. Steve Leinwand gave the Keynote presentation, which can be found here.
  8. Clark Dollard and Richard Kitchen's work on certificate for K-8 specialist: work is still in progress.
  9. Nominations are now open for six positions with CCTM. Due to the number of positions available, this will be an important year for CCTM elections. For more information, please check out election information on the CCTM website.

Mary Pilgrim, CSU
CCTM Representative

Colorado Mesa University to host the Joint Meeting of the Rocky Mountain and Intermountain Sections April 8 – 9, 2016

Colorado Mesa University is excited to host the 2016 Joint Meeting of the Intermountain and Rocky Mountain Sections of the Mathematical Association of America, April 8–9 on the CMU campus in Grand Junction, Colorado.The meeting will be held on the second floor of the University Center — building 35 on the CMU campus map.

You are invited to the 2016 Joint Meeting of the Intermountain and Rocky Mountain Sections of the MAA! Conference registration, abstract submission, hotel information and much more is now available at our conference website.

Some important planning information and deadlines to keep in mind:

Plenary Speakers

Dr. Janet Heine Barnett, Professor of Mathematics at Colorado State University – Pueblo; 2015 Burton W. Jones Distinguished Teaching Award

History as Travel Guide and Companion: Mathematical Itineraries to Excite, Educate and Entertain

As a travel companion, history intensifies our experiences by enhancing our understanding and appreciation of mathematics' rich culture, world-famous landmarks and exquisite natural landscapes. In addition to the usual fare of any travel guide — tips on recognizing and avoiding tourist traps, practical advice to make the journey run safely and smoothly, and suggested itineraries that enable travelers to make informed choices — history offers opportunities to create memorable experiences through unexpected discoveries and the rewards of wandering off the beaten track. By encouraging us to explore and respect the unfamiliar, history also has potential to broaden our intellectual horizons beyond mathematics, and to teach us new ways of measuring the quality and value of our work in mathematics and teaching.

In this talk, I share highlights from 20+ years of travels that my students and I have enjoyed with history as our companion in a variety of mathematic courses. In addition to specific examples of how I have used history in the classroom to enhance students' mathematical understanding, I discuss some less explicit ways in which history has informed my teaching practice and philosophy. In closing, I comment on how historical expeditions have shaped my broader thinking about mathematics and its teaching, and offer travel tips and resources for those who wish to venture out on historical journeys in their own classrooms.

Dr. Robert L. Devaney, Professor of Mathematics at Boston University; Immediate Past-President of the Mathematical Association of America

The Fractal Geometry of the Mandelbrot Set

In this lecture we describe several folk theorems concerning the Mandelbrot set. While this set is extremely complicated from a geometric point of view, we will show that, as long as you know how to add and how to count, you can understand this geometry completely. We will encounter many famous mathematical objects in the Mandelbrot set, like the Farey tree and the Fibonacci sequence. And we will find many soon-to-be-famous objects as well, like the "Devaney" sequence. There might even be a joke or two in the talk.

Dr. Robin Wilson, Emeritus Professor at the Open University, U.K.; Visiting Professor at Colorado College

The History of Mathematics in 300 Stamps

In this talk I cover the entire history of mathematics in one hour, from earliest times to the modern age, illustrating the narrative with attractive (and sometimes bizarre) postage stamps from around the world, featuring mathematics and mathematicians.

Dr. Robert Palais, Associate Professor, Mathematics, Utah Valley University; Research Professor, Pathology, University of Utah

Math, DNA, and Precision Medicine

Analyzing variations in DNA sequence, quantity, and activity and their medical consequences is leading to many interesting mathematical problems that can be studied and solved at the undergraduate level, with beneficial clinical outcomes. Some examples include using calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations to develop a rapid economical test for Ebola and other pathogens, and mining big data for genes associated with tumor aggression, and therapies that suppress them.

Contributed Paper Sessions and Panel Sessions

Contributed Paper Sessions:

Two Panel Sessions held on Friday afternoon:

On Friday, there will be Strategic Planning Session for the Rocky Mountain Section, hosted by Dr. Kyle Riley, the current Chair of the section. It will take place from 11–12:30 and all Rocky Mountain Section members are encouraged to participate. During the same time period, the Intermountain Section will have their Liaison meeting.

Preconference Workshop

Grappling with Chaos: How Simplicity gives rise to Chaos

This will be an interactive workshop where participants will be exposed to introductory concepts in the world of nonlinear dynamical systems. We will begin with a brief lecture designed to familiarize participants with fundamental concepts in dynamical systems including maps, flows, difference and differential equations, periodicity, chaos, period-doubling cascades, the Feigenbaum ratio, fractals and bifurcations.

This will be followed by an interactive lab where we will investigate some of the central ideas of nonlinear dynamics. We will explore the logistic map, using tools like time series analysis, cobweb diagrams and interactive bifurcation plots. If time allows, participants will also explore flow dynamics with a force driven pendulum. Many of the examples in this workshop can be incorporated into activities intended for use in an undergraduate classroom. They are chosen with the direct intent of sparking new and interesting undergraduate research projects.

Joshua Garland received a B.S. from Colorado Mesa University in Mathematics, an M.S. from University of Colorado in Applied Mathematics and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado at Boulder in Computer Science. Garland is also an instructor and project coordinator for the Santa Fe Institute's Complex System Summer School and a recipient of the Intelligent Data Analysis 2013 Frontier Prize. His research interests focus on using the tools of nonlinear dynamics, time series analysis, and information theory to better understand the mechanics of complex systems.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact Tracii Friedman We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Best Regards,
Tracii Friedman
Program Committee Chair

Committee Members:
Lisa Driskell, CMU
Shawn Robinson, CMU
Cathy Bonan-Hamada, CMU
Danae Romrell, BYU-Idaho

Conference website: http://www.coloradomesa.edu/maa/

Student Activities

Please join us at the Rocky Mountain Section Meeting in April. Enjoy these great activities!

Free lunch and games session on Friday April 8. When you arrive at the conference, there is a free student lunch and board games session. Please come and join us! Please direct student lunch questions to Beth Schaubroeck.

Give a talk! This conference is a great place to give a talk to fellow students and faculty members. Prepare your 20-minute talk and sign up to present in a student session! Please direct questions to Beth Schaubroeck.

This is Jeopardy! This year our friends in the Intermountain Section are hosting a Jeopardy tournament at the conference. Get together a team of 4-5 students from your school; or sign up to be put on a team that will represent our section. There is a limited number of teams; they will be entered in the competition on a first-come, first-served basis. There is also a limit of 5 students on the inter-school section team, so register early! To register yourself or your team for Jeopardy, email

Emma Schafer.

PPRUMC Seeks Funding Arrangement

Pikes Peak Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (PPRUMC) Seeks "Financial Housing" Arrangement with the Rocky Mountain Section

Recently, the Steering Committee of the Pikes Peak Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (PPRUMC) approached the RMS Executive Committee with a request that RMS handle financial contributions to PPRUMC on our behalf. This request was granted on a temporary basis for the upcoming 2016 PPRUMC, to be held in Pueblo on Saturday, February 27, 2016. A proposal to continue this arrangement for future conferences will be brought before the Section membership for approval at the 2016 RMS Business Meeting in Grand Junction on Saturday, April 9, 2016. An overview of the proposal and its rationale is given below. Questions, concerns or other feedback on the proposal can be conveyed to the PPRUMC Steering Committee via Janet Barnett and to the RMS Executive Committee Kyle Riley


Founded in 2004, PPRUMC is a one-day mathematics conference held each year at one of four institutions in the Pikes Peak area. The focus of the conference is to give undergraduate mathematics students the opportunity to present their research and expository projects in a professional setting. Following a morning keynote address by a noted mathematician, student talks are scheduled in parallel sessions throughout the day. Faculty and students have opportunities to meet and mix between these talks, as well as during the conference lunch. The conference also features an afternoon panel discussion that aims to raise student awareness of career opportunities in mathematics, and to motivate undergraduates to consider pursuing a graduate degree in mathematics. Past conferences have drawn 50 - 115 students and 15 – 30 faculty from 20 different institutions of higher education.

During its first twelve years, PPRUMC was funded primarily by the Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conferences (RUMC) Program, administered by the national MAA with funding from the NSF, with additional funding provided by the RMS Section Activity Grant Program. Thanks to the generous amount of support available from RUMC, PPRUMC was able to offer the conference at no cost to participants, but to also provide important travel support to the many undergraduates who have to travel long distances in order to attend. Regrettably, the MAA's RUMC grant from the NSF is no more.

The PPRUMC Steering Committee has thus been thinking hard about how to sustain the conference into the future, preferably continuing to offer it at little or no cost to participants. Although we may eventually need to charge a registration or lunch fee, we feel strongly that doing so could affect the success of the conference.

Our fund raising efforts for the upcoming 2016 Conference have thus far resulted in contributions (from the MAA Rocky Mountain Section, CSU-Pueblo, UCCS, and private donors) that will cover all estimated conference costs (including lunch) for up to 100 student and 20 non-student participants.

As we sought these funds, it became clear that the long-term financial stability of PPRUMC is dependent on having some way to process private donations and institutional sponsorships via a mechanism that is independent of the host institution. Accordingly, the PPRUMC Steering Committee approached the RMS Executive Committee with a request that RMS house financial contributions made to PPRUMC on our behalf.

How it would work:

The PPRUMC Steering Committee will continue to be responsible for conference fund-raising by seeking donations from a variety of sources (see list below). These donations would be made to the RMS, but designated to support only costs associated with PPRUMC. Because of the status of the MAA-RMS as a non-profit organization, all private donations to PPRUMC would thus be tax deductible. Conference expenditures for each year would then be paid from the "PPRUMC Account", but only up to the amount of funds already on deposit with the section. The Section Treasurer would be responsible for writing and mailing the necessary checks upon receipt of invoices from the PPRUMC organizers; the cost of postage and other supplies needed to process these requests would be deducted from the account. Any unspent funds in the account following these payments would then roll forward for use when it was needed in the future. In some years (e.g., if a host institution would be able to support the full cost of the conference through gift funds to the institution), the balance in the account may even grow as contributions and sponsorships from annual supporters continue to come in. In the (unhappy) event that PPRUMC decides to completely disband at some point, any funds remaining on deposit with RMS at that time would then revert to the general RMS coffers (preferably designated for use to support student activities in some way).

Per consultations with the national MAA, there would be no tax implications for the section resulting from such an arrangement. The Associations' financial officer has also indicated that it is acceptable for the section to have an income and expense line in our annual budget notated for a PPRUMC account. As an officially sponsored event of that year's host institution, any legal liability associated with the conference would lie with that institution, so that the section would incur no legal liability either.

Both the current and past Section Treasurers who have been consulted about this proposal report that this arrangement would not involve setting up a separate banking account to process PPRUMC transactions, but simply some (minimal) bookkeeping to keep track of PPRUMC Account activity. However, an individual member of the PPRUMC Steering Committee would be designated as a PPRUMCRMS Financial Liaison and charged with the responsibility of assisting the Section Treasurer as needed (e.g., preparation of thank you letters to donors/sponsors) and for regular reporting to the RMS Executive Committee on PPRUMC financial activity. As desired by the RMS membership, the PPRUMC-RMS Financial Liaison could be an individual appointed to the PPRUMC Steering Committee by the RMS Executive Committee, or simply someone already serving as a member of that committee. A minimum three-year term is recommended for this position, to ensure some measure of continuity as the local organizers rotate between host sites.

Potential funding sources include the following:

Sponsorships may also be sought from other institutions in the section who regularly attend PPRUMC; however, it is more likely that these schools would contribute to the PPRUMC indirectly by providing travel funds for their students, rather than submitting requests to PPRUMC for funding costs.

Rocky Mountain Section Fall 2015 Survey Results

Please follow this link to view a PDF document with description of the survey, results, and analysis.

MAA Rocky Mountain Section Suggestions for Speakers

The Rocky Mountain Section would like to offer the following suggestions, especially to first-time speakers, regarding preparation of a talk at the conference.

  1. The standard talk length is 20 minutes, (with longer times available upon request, subject to the limitations of the program). Thus, you should prepare your presentation to fit the time allotted. If possible, plan to leave a few minutes at the end of your presentation for questions.
  2. A moderator will be assigned to facilitate each session of presentations. The moderator will introduce the speaker, assist in distribution of any handouts, signal the end of the presentation, and ask for questions from the audience.
  3. If handouts are to be provided, give them to the moderator prior to the beginning of the session including your talk. Plan to bring about 35 handouts and be prepared to give attendees your e-mail address in case the supply runs out. It may also be possible to arrange for posting of electronic materials from your talk on the section website. Check with program organizers concerning this possibility.
  4. Do not include too much detailed technical material in your presentation. Focus on providing the audience with insight into your topic and its key notions. Remember that most members of the audience will not be experts in the field you are discussing, and that the audience is likely to include students.
  5. All session rooms will be equipped with a projector and a laptop hook up. Accordingly, you can present your talk using Power Point slides, PDF, or similar, which will greatly enhance the pace of a presentation. However, make sure that notes on the slides or transparencies are typed in a font big enough and with spacing adequate to be seen clearly 50 to 100 feet away.

Grants Available

Section Activity Grants Available

The purpose of the Section Activity Grants program is to assist Section members in funding projects in support of Section Mission. These projects must be clearly tied to one or more of the Rocky Mountain Section Mission Goals and the project director must be a member of MAA. Grants will not exceed $750 per project. Matching funds from host institution are preferred, but not required. To apply for a Section Activity Grant, submit the following to the Section Secretary/Treasurer:

  1. Description of project (no more than one page);
  2. Statement of how project supports Mission Goals (no more than one page);
  3. Estimated budget;
  4. Description of matching funds available, if any;
  5. Vitae of project director(s).

If funded, a report on the project will be filed by the Project Director upon completion (no more than one page) and a report will be made at the next meeting of the Section. Complete details on the selection process and application guidelines are posted on the section website. Grants will be reviewed once a year. All application materials are due November 1st of each year.

Student Recognition Grants Available

The establishment of a Student Recognition Grant Program was approved by the section membership at the 2003 Annual Business Meeting. In support of this program, the Section will set aside $500 every calendar year. From these monies, the Section will make grants for the purpose of recognizing superior achievement in mathematics on the part of (1) students enrolled in post-secondary institutions within the geographic region served by the Section and (2) high school students whose school districts, or other appropriate political subdivisions, substantially intersect the geographic region served by the Section.

Proposals for such grants must

  1. Originate from a member of the Rocky Mountain Section of the Mathematical Association of America on behalf of an agency, institution, or organization whose stated purposes are consistent with recognizing or encouraging superior academic achievement at the high school level;
  2. Be in the hands of the Chair of the Rocky Mountain Section no later than March 15 of the year in which the proposed recognition is to be made;
  3. Include the criteria under which superior achievement in mathematics is to be recognized, together with the time and the manner of such recognition;
  4. Report, insofar as possible at the time of the proposal, other potential sources of support together with proposals or requests made or intended; and
  5. Be limited to a maximum amount of $250.

The Executive Committee will review all proposals for grants under this policy and will make such grants as, in its sole judgment, it deems proper. In keeping with the section mission, funding priority will be given to grants that include recognition of undergraduate students. Funding decisions will be announced no later than the Annual Business Meeting of the Section. Monies not expended during any particular year shall revert to the Section’s general fund.

About Our Logo

The logo for the Rocky Mountain Section of the Mathematical Association of America was created in by Mark Petersen in 2001. A graduate student in the Applied Mathematics Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder at that time, Mark says of his design:

"The mountain symbols were chosen because analysis is the foundation for all of mathematics. The equation e + 1 = 0 must rank among the most beautiful formulas in mathematics. It connects the five most important constants of mathematics with the three most important operations - addition, multiplication, and exponentiation. These five constants symbolize the four major branches of classical mathematics: arithmetic, represented by 0 and 1; algebra, by i; geometry, by π; and analysis, by e. (Quoted from Eli Maor's e, The Story of a Number). I chose to portray this equation as a train because rail has historically been the life blood of the American West, and trains are complementary to any mountain scene."

Meetings Calendar

2016: Jan. 6–9 Joint Mathematics MeetingsSeattle, WA
 Mar. 11ColoMATYCPueblo Community College
 Apr. 8–9 MAA Rocky Mountain Section Meeting
(Joint meeting with the Intermountain Section)
Colorado Mesa University
Grand Junction, CO
 Apr. 13–16 NCTM Annual Meeting and ExpositionSan Francisco, CA
 Aug. 3–6 MAA MathFestColumbus, OH
 Nov. 17–20 AMATYC annual conferenceDenver,CO
2017: Jan. 4–7  Joint Mathematics MeetingsAtlanta, GA
 Apr. 5–8 NCTM Annual Meeting San Antonio, TX
 April 21–22 100thAnniversary MAA
Rocky Mountain Section Meeting
Colorado State University, Pueblo
 Jul 26–29 MAA MathFestChicago, IL
2018: Jan. 10–13  Joint Mathematics MeetingsSan Diego, CA
 Apr. 25–28NCTM annual meeting Washington,DC
 Aug. 1–4 MAA MathFestDenver, CO
2019: Jan. 16–19 Joint Mathematics MeetingsBaltimore, MD
 Apr. 6–9 NCTM Annual MeetingSan Diego,CA
 Jul. 31–Aug.3 MAA MathFestCincinnati, OH
2020: Jan. 15–18 Joint Mathematics MeetingsDenver, Co
 Jul. 29–Aug 1 MAA Math Fest Philadelphia, PA
2021: Jan. 6–9 Joint Mathematics MeetingsWashington, DC
 Aug. 4–7 Sacramento,CA

The Rocky Mountain Section of
The Mathematical Association of America
Burton W. Jones Award
for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics

Burton W. Jones Award Nomination Form

Name of Nominee
(First name first)>
Email Address  
College or University Affiliation  
College or University Address  

Is the nominee a member of the MAA?  
Number of years of teaching experience in a mathematical science  
Has the nominee taught at least half time in a mathematical science
for the past three years (not counting a sabbatical period)?

On a separate page, briefly describe the unusual or extraordinary personal and professional qualities of the nominee that contribute to her or his extraordinary teaching success.

Name of Nominator
(First name first)
Address of Nominator  
Email Address  
Telephone:   Work  Cell  Fax  
Nominator's Signature  

Nomination forms should reach Section Secretary by December 15 of each year. Complete nomination materials should reach Section Secretary by January 15 of each year.

Section Secretary: Heidi Keck, hkeck@western.edu
Western State Colorado University; Hurst Hall; Gunnison, CO 81231.

Section Secretary: Heidi Keck, hkeck@western.edu
Please consult the Section Website for complete guidelines.

Voluntary Section Dues

Many thanks to those members who have made a voluntary dues contribution to the section along with their Spring Meeting Registration!

Although the section has found itself in good financial health in recent years, additional funds are always needed in order to pursue special initiatives suggested by the membership. The successful John Fauvel Memorial Conference and William Dunham Special Lecture, both supported in part by the Section Activity Grant program, provide excellent examples of what can be done with even a small amount of funding to support our section mission and goals.

A voluntary section dues contribution from you now can help build up funds in support of similar initiatives!

MAA Rocky Mountain Section Voluntary Dues Contribution Form

To submit your dues, simply return the coupon below with a check for any amount you wish - every little bit will help, and all contributors will receive a letter acknowledging the contribution for their financial records.

Note: If the form does not appear below, you may access it on the
Section Website


MAA Rocky Mountain Section Voluntary Dues Contribution Form


Please indicate in the space provided how you would like your dues to be used:

  Undergraduate Student Initiatives
  Graduate Student Initiatives
  Burton W. Jones DTA Fund
  Section Activity Grant Program
  Wherever needed most
  TOTAL DUES PAID ($10 recommended)

Please make check payable to: MAA Rocky Mountain Section and return to: Heidi Keck, MAA Rocky Mountain Section Treasurer/Secretary: Western State Colorado University, Hurst Hall; Gunnison, CO 81231

MAA Rocky Mountain Section Mission Statement

To promote excellence in mathematics education, especially at the collegiate level.

Mission Related Goals:

  1. To foster scholarship, professional development, and professional cooperation among the various constituencies of the mathematical community within the region.
    1. Foster professional exchange and development through presentations at Section Meetings.
    2. Foster sharing of expertise through short courses and workshops at Section Meetings.
    3. Disseminate information on professional development opportunities  through Section Newsletter.
    4. Promote dialogue between the Section and the National office through  network of Department Representatives.

  2. To foster the implementation and study of recent research recommendations for the teaching, learning and assessment of collegiate mathematics.
    1. Foster dissemination of recommendations through the network of Department Representatives.
    2. Foster dissemination of recommendations through bulletin boards, such as MAA GOPHER.
    3. Foster discussion of recommendations and implementation issues through presentations at Section Meetings.
    4. Disseminate information of professional development opportunities through Section Newsletter.

  3. To support the implementation of effective mathematics preparation programs of prospective teachers at all levels.
    1. Maintain Teacher Preparation Electronic Network.
    2. Promote participation in Project NEXT teaching mentoring program for new doctorates.

  4. To enhance the interests, talents and achievements of all individuals in mathematics, especially of members of underrepresented groups.
    1. Foster network of professional mathematicians to serve as mentors.
    2. Maintain Undergraduate Lecture Series to provide career and graduate school information.
    3. Foster student participation in Mathematics Competitions, including public recognition of top scores.
    4. Foster student participation in annual meetings.
    5. Promote participation in Pre-College Intervention Programs, under guidance of SUMMA.
    6. Provide public recognition of accomplishments of individual section members, including recognition of 25 year members at Spring Meeting.

  5. To provide recognition of the importance of mathematics, mathematical research and quality mathematics teaching, and promote public understanding of the same.
    1. Sponsor and publicize Distinguished Teaching Award.
    2. Promote participation in Mathematics Awareness Week.
    3. Maintain Colorado Mathematics Education Resource List with CCTM and COLOMATYC.

  6. To provide regional leadership in the promotion of systemic change in mathematics education, and in the enhancement of public understanding about the needs and importance of mathematical research and education.
    1. Develop and sustain working relationships with other professional math education organizations (such as state affiliates of the Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics).
    2. Maintain Colorado Mathematics Education Resource List with CCTM and COLOMATYC.
    3. Participate in Statewide Systemic Initiatives within the region.