Certificate of Meritorious Service
The Certificate for Meritorious Service program was created by the MAA Board of Governors in 1983. Under this program, each Section is entitled to nominate one person for the award every five years. Nominees are expected to have played a significant role in the section over a sustained time period, and to have made extraordinary contributions and outstanding efforts consistent with our mission. Past Rocky Mountain Section recipients rre David Ballew (1987), Duane Porter (1992), and Bill Ramaley (1997).
Professor Dick Gibbs became the fourth recipient of the Rocky Mountain Section Certificate for Meritorious Service recipient at the San Diego 2002 Joint Meetings. His citation and response for the award appear below. Many congratulations, Dick!
Citation: Professor Emeritus Richard A. Gibbs joined the faculty of the Department of Mathematics at Fort Lewis College in 1971, after completing a Ph.D. in mathematics at Michigan State University in 1970 and spending a year teaching at Hiram Scott College. He is currently a member of the Mathematical Association of America, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the School Science and Mathematics Association, Sigma Xi, Kappa Mu Epsilon, the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Four Corners Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
During his tenure at Fort Lewis College, he has served, often as chair or director, on numerous professional bodies, among which are the MAA Committee on the American Mathematics Competitions, the Colorado Mathematics Awards, Kappa Mu Epsilon, the American High School Mathematics Examination, and the Four Corners Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He has chaired his department, and he has served as the director of four NSF grants and one NSF Summer Conference. He chaired the Rocky Mountain Section of the MAA for the 19881989 term. He has furthered the education of numerous students of mathematics through his activities coaching 30 Putnam Teams from his institution, through encouraging their efforts to prepare presentations for MAA and Kappa Mu Epsilon, and through the weekly puzzles column he has edited for the Durango Herald over nearly 30 years.
The Rocky Mountain Section of the Mathematical Association of America therefore takes great pleasure in awarding Professor Richard A. Gibbs, of Fort Lewis College, this Certificate of Meritorious Service in recognition of his outstanding contributions to his discipline, to his institution, and to the Rocky Mountain Section.
Response: This is a wonderful award and I thank the members of the Rocky Mountain Section of the MAA for this recognition. I am honored, humbled, and very pleased to accept this award. I accept it as well on behalf of the many members of the Rocky Mountain Section who are at least as deserving of it as I. It is particularly gratifying to be recognized for work that has been so enjoyable over the years.
Submitted by Lou Talman, Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Jeff Berg, the Section Vice-Chair, Bill Emerson, the Section Governor, and I all attended the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego earlier this month, and all of us attended the Section Officers' Meeting on January 6. The agenda was full, the meeting lasted for two hours, and we did not cover all of the items.
Nancy Baxter Hastings and Ed Dubinsky gave presentations on PREP workshop programs. The PREP program is a series of professional enhancement workshops funded by NSF. Details (both for those interested in attending such workshops or for those who are interested in presenting such) can be found at
Bernie Madison gave a presentation on the MAA's Assessment Project. This workshop series is a continuing education program to help teams of two faculty members lead their departments in the conceptualization, formulation, and implementation of assessment of some component of their academic programs. Participants would be provided with ongoing support and consultation throughout the entire process. For details, see
There was a brief mention of Project NExT. There is now a thrust to develop Project-NExT-like activities at the Section level. For further information, see
There was a considerable amount of discussion concerning the new data-base being implemented at the national level. With the new software, we will be able to generate e-mail and snail mail lists for MAA members by just about any criterion. There is major concern that the new software will be misused, and this concern is currently the main reason why we don't have these capabilities at the section level now. The current thinking is that each Section should develop its own policy about the circumstances that justify mass mailings to its members (not to mention from whom) and should then implement that policy itself. This will certainly be a topic of discussion for the executive committee and, probably, for the general section membership as well.
Other discussions involved issues raised by individual sections, MAA SIGMAAs, and recent scarcities of nominees for Distinguished Teaching Awards.
In other matters: We are now looking forward to the Annual Section Meeting in Laramie this April. The Section's Executive Committee is discussing agenda items for both the Executive Committee Meeting and the general business meeting of the Section then. We have secured Ron Graham, of the University of California at San Diego, and President-Elect of the MAA, and Roger Horn of University of Utah, and former editor of the Monthly, as the keynote speakers. I hope to see all of you in Laramie.
Submitted by Bill Emerson, Metropolitan State College of Denver.
At the Board of Governor's meeting we approved Albuquerque as the site for the '05 Math Fest giving the following list of approved sites:
2002 Burlington, Vermont, August 1-3
2003 Boulder, Colorado, July 31-August 2
2004 Providence, RI, August 12-14
Future Joint Mathematics Meetings sites are
2003 Baltimore, January 15-18
2004 Phoenix, January 7-12
2005 Atlanta, January 5-8
2006 San Antonio, January 12-15
2007 New Orleans, January 4-7
Membership in the MAA seems to have stabilized and the staff reports that this has been a good year for membership. The Board approved a recommendation that dues be increased by 4% for the coming year. A little over 40% of the MAA's income comes from dues, with publications providing an additional 40%. Rather than wait several years and then have a large increase the consensus seems to be that it is better to adjust the dues each year.
The MAA has proceeded with establishing its own in-house database and has been working on the conversion from a vendor supplied database. The staff is very excited about how well the new system is working but the conversion costs have been about double the estimates. As a result the conversion will be written off over 5 years instead of 3. Access to thedatabase by sections and their officers is still being worked on. Eventually, we should be able to use the database for Rocky Mountain Section activities.
The MAA is establishing special interest groups, SIGMAAs, for people interested in particular areas. The three initial groups were for Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education; Business, Industry and Goverment; and Statistics Education. A new group in History of Mathematics has just been approved and held its initial meetings in San Diego.
My three-year term as governor of the Rocky Mountain Section will draw toa close this spring when we elect a new governor on a written ballot from MAA headquarters. Let me say that serving as governor for the last three years has been an honor. The opportunity to contribute to both the section and the Board has been truly enjoyable. Thank you very much.
Call for Nominations
Each year, the section recognizes one MAA member as an outstanding teacher of collegiate mathematics with an award named in honor of Burton W. Jones, a life long advocate of excellence in teaching at all levels in our section. In addition to a $50 honorarium, the award recipient receives a certificate and an invitation to deliver the opening lecture at the following year's Section Meeting.
Any member of the Rocky Mountain Section of the MAA may nominate any other member of the Section for the award. A nominee must be an MAA member assigned at least half time to the teaching of a mathematical science in a college or university in the U.S. or Canada with at least five years teaching experience.
A nominee should also be widely recognized as being extraordinarily successful at the post-secondary level; have teaching effectiveness that can be documented, where "teaching" is to be interpreted in its broadest sense; have had influence in their teaching beyond their own institution; and foster curiosity and generate excitement about mathematics in their students.
We know there are many extraordinary teachers at the institutions in our section who fit this description. To begin the nomination process for one of these outstanding individuals whom you know, simply submit the one-page nomination form (available on the section website) to the Section Secretary no later than 26 October 2002.
Complete nomination materials should reach the Secretary by 30 November 2002. In addition to the nomination form, complete materials include a narrative description of nominee's credentials (not to exceed five pages), no more than three additional pages of evidence to document nominee's extraordinary teaching success, and as many as five letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the nominee's credentials.
For additional details on the nomination and selection process, please contact the Section Secretary.
Submitted by George Donovan, Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Metro State's Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences has, since the 80's, annually published the Denver Metropolitan Journal of Mathematics and Computer Science. The Journal includes non-refereed articles submitted by Metro faculty, mainly of a pedagogical and expository nature. There is also a separate Newsletter published by the Department.
Metro faculty have found that the Journal is a valuable communication organ for alumni and other community stakeholders, because its articles demonstrate the faculty's areas of research interest, the pedagogical changes the Department is undertaking, and the special projects in which our students are involved.
Department faculty are also positive about the Journal because it provides a creative outlet for interesting ideas they wish to share. While some Journal articles make their way into FOCUS or other publications, the intent is not necessarily to have articles that make the cut for a national publication. Additionally, Journal articles count as a professional development activity for annual evaluations. For faculty needing dissemination outlets for basic research, such articles would not be relevant, of course, but those faculty are not the core of the MAA membership.
We have noticed, over the years, that there are always articles in the Journal that wind up as presentations at the MAA Spring Section Meeting. We also know that MAA faculty at other institutions share many of the same needs and interests as those at Metro. Following these observations to their logical conclusion, the MAA faculty at Metro are sponsoring a discussion of the idea of expanding the Denver Metropolitan Journal of Mathematics and Computer Science to a new name and the regional MAA level, provided there is sufficient interest in doing so and a path is found that can be supported in terms of cost and time.
One path that does not seem supportable would be publishing all presentations at the MAA Spring Section Meeting. This is based on both the large number of presentations and the conference philosophy of accepting all presentation requests.
Based on what goes on in other disciplines, one alternative that could work would be to have a track within the meeting for presentations based on articles published in this new Journal. A given presentation might be a briefer or an expanded version of an article in the new Journal. A screening structure could be set up that called upon faculty in the region to review proposed articles/presentations for readability and basic mathematical correctness. Limits could be set on the number of articles accepted, and the entire review and submission process could be accomplished electronically. The Journal could be web or hard copy or both.
To join the discussion of Metro's proposal, please submit your comments to the current Journal Editor George Donovan at <email@example.com> .
12 - 13 April 2002
This year's meeting will officially open at 1:00 on Friday, April 12 with an address by our 2001 Burton W. Jones Distinguished Teaching Awardee, Professor Jim Loats of Metropolitan State College of Denver. Professor Loats has compiled a long list of accomplishments including leading the Rocky Mountain Teacher Education Collaborative Mathematics team for five years, and co-authoring two books (Algebra Unplugged and Calculus for Cats). His talk Growing Students will examine the need to rejuvenate our undergraduate mathematics programs, entice more students to learn mathematics, and rethink our curriculum and our roles as teachers.
We are also fortunate this year to have have two excellent keynote speakers:
Professor Roger Horn (University of Utah) studied mathematics and physics as an undergraduate at Cornell and earned his Ph.D. at Stanford. His published papers reflect research in number theory, differential equations, probability, health policy analysis, statistics, analysis, complex variables, and matrix analysis. He has just completed a 5-year term as Editor of the American Mathematical Monthly, and a 2-year term on the Executive Committee of the MAA. Roger's Friday afternoon keynote address is Matrix Factorizations and the Singular Value Decomposition, and his banquet address is 4000 papers later...some things I learned at the Monthly and a fundamental fact from matrix theory.
Professor Ron Graham (UC San Diego) and MAA President-Elect will deliver the Saturday Keynote address, Some easy(?) mathematical challenges for the 21st century. Chief Scientist Emeritus at AT&T Labs Research and a long time collaborator of Paul Erdos, Ron has played many roles within the MAA, ranging from a term as First Vice President to service on various committees and editorial boards. He is the winner of several awards, including the Polya Prize in Combinatorics, and the MAA Lester R. Ford and Carl Allendoerfer Award, both for expository writing.
Another special program feature is scheduled for Friday morning (9:30 - 12:00), when Professors Bill Emerson (MSCD) and Lou Talman (MSCD) will offer a workshop entitled Creating and Exporting Computer Animations to the Web. This workshop was presented at the Joint Meetings in New Orleans and in San Diego, and we are grateful to Bill and Lou for making it available to section members at a considerably lower cost, and much closer to home. Participants will use Mathematica to develop animations that illustrate concepts from the undergraduate curriculum and learn to export these animations to the Web via QuickTime. Some of the animation work done by Bill and Lou may be seen at http://clem.mscd.edu/~talmanl/MathAnim.html . A modest familiarity with Mathematica or other computer algebra system will be assumed. The $10 workshop fee can be paid on the meeting registration form.
Rounding out the program for April 12 - 13 will be contributed talks on a variety of topics in mathematics and mathematics education. Sessions planned to date include a talk by textbook author Ron Larson on the trends in teaching Calculus and a panel on Research Experiences for Undergraduates.
The Program Committee also continues to investigate the possibility of scheduling special sessions on assessment, to be led by assessment experts from the NSF-funded program Supporting Assessment in Undergraduate Mathematics, for Friday afternoon.
Information on other special sessions planned for the meeting can be found in the Second Call for Papers on page 9. Be sure to send in your abstract for a contributed paper by March 1 to become a part of this exciting program.
Student presentations, both graduate and undergraduate, are especially encouraged. Registration for students is free, and all student speakers receive a complimentary one-year membership in the MAA. The special Student Flyer located in the center of this newsletter can be used to encourage your students to attend the meeting.
The Program Committee invites all meeting participants to attend the Friday Evening Reception to be held at the Holiday Inn (cash bar) in Laramie. The Friday Evening Banquet and Awards Ceremony will follow the reception. The banquet buffet will feature prime rib, chicken marsala and vegetarian manicotti. Please note that banquet reservations must be received by April 6th to guarantee availability.
University of Wyoming Mathematics Department Chair Peter Polyakov will host a special Department Chairs Luncheon prior to the official meeting opening on Friday. All Department Chairs in the section are encouraged to attend; please conact Program Co-Chair Sylvia Hobart at <firstname.lastname@example.org> for more information.
MAA Publications will be available at special discounts (below membership prices) both Friday and Saturday. To provide further incentive for book sales at section meetings, MAA will return 10% of all proceeds from meeting sales to the section for our own use. Please note that only credit cards and checks (no cash) will be accepted for MAA book purchases, with all orders shipped to you at no additional charge.
MAA members are encouraged to attend the Section Business Meeting on Saturday morning. A brief meeting of Department Liaisons will also take place Friday afternoon. Please forward agenda items either meeting to any section officer prior to April 7.
Friday, April 12
9:30 - 12:00 Creating and Exporting Computer Animations to the Web Workshop
Bill Emerson and Lou Talman, Metropolitan State College of Denver
12:00 - 1:00 Luncheon for Mathematics Department Chairs
12:30 - 4:00 Registration
1:15 - 1:30 Opening Remarks and Welcome
1:30 - 2:20 Burton W. Jones Distinguished Teaching Award Invited Lecture
Jim Loats, Metropolitan State College of Denver
2:25 - 3:25 Friday Keynote Address
Roger Horn, University of Utah
Matrix Factorizations and the Singular Value Decomposition
3:25-3:45 Coffee break
3:45 - 5:30 Parallel Sessions - Contributed Papers, Special Sessions & Panels
5:45 - 6:15 Departmental Liaison Meeting
6:15 - 7:00 Reception (cash bar), Holiday Inn , 2313 Soldier Springs Road
7:00 - 9:30 Banquet and Awards Ceremony, Holiday Inn, 2313 Soldier Springs Road
Roger Horn, University of Utah
4000 papers later...some things I learned at the Monthly
and a fundamental fact from matrix theory.
Saturday, April 13
8:00 - 8:50 MAA Business Meeting
9:00 _ 10:00 Saturday Keynote Address:
Ron Graham, UC San Diego
Some easy(?) mathematical challenges for the 21st century.
10:05 _ 1:00 Parallel Sessions - Contributed Papers, Special Sessions & Panels
Watch for meeting updates at
The deadline for submission of abstracts for the 2002 Spring Section Meeting is March 8, 2002.
Proposals received from students and MAA members after this date will be scheduled on a first-come, first-scheduled, space-available basis.
Proposals from non-members sponsored by MAA members must reach the program organizers by the deadline to be included in the program.
Although talks on all topics mathematical are welcome, special sessions are being organized around the following themes:
Interesting Ideas in Number Theory and Geometry
Organized by Jane Arledge (Mesa) and Rob Tubbs (CU - Boulder)
In this session, we will share interesting tidbits of knowledge and explore connections in the broad areas of number theory and geometry. Talks should be addressed to general mathematics faculty.
Organized by Sylvia Hobart (University of Wyoming)
What courses do you teach that are not just the traditional curriculum? Let us know about them!
The Training of Teachers of Mathematics
Organized by Charles Funkhouser (University of Wyoming)
This session invites talks about K-12 teacher training both the preparation of future teachers, and what the people teaching those future teachers should know.
History of Mathematics
Organized by Janet Barnett (University of Southern Colorado)
This session invites talks on historical topics and their use in teaching mathematics courses other than a history of mathematics course. Talks related to the life and work of Professor John Fauvel are particularly invited.
Default talk lengths will be 20 minutes. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate requests for alternate talk lengths and other scheduling preferences within the constraints of the schedule.
For non-electronic submissions, please use the Speaker Response Form located on the following page. E-mail equivalents of this form are encouraged!
Please direct questions and suggestions about the program to Program Co-Chair Sylvia Hobart <email@example.com>.
Speaker Name .
Mailing Address .
Email Address Phone Number .
Faculty Sponsor* .
MAA Member Sponsor** .
Title of Talk: .
Abstract (100 words or less): .
Is this talk intended for any of the following special sessions?
Interesting Ideas in Number Theory and Geometry .
Innovative Courses .
Training of Teachers of Mathematics .
History of Mathematics .
Special Equipment Needs: .
Schedule Preference Request: .
Special Talk Length Request: .
PLEASE RETURN THIS FORM OR AN E-MAIL EQUIVALENT TO:
(Note: e-mail submissions are strongly preferred.)
Professor Sylvia Hobart
Department of Mathematics
University of Wyoming
Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3036
* For student speakers only ** For non-MAA members/non-students only
MAA Rocky Mountain Section
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.
2. To foster the implementation and study of recent research recommendations for the teaching, learning and assessment of collegiate mathematics.
3. To support the implementation of effective mathematics preparation programs of prospective teachers at all levels.
4. To enhance the interests, talents and achievements of all individuals in mathematics, especially of members of underrepresented groups.
5. To provide recognition of the importance of mathematics, mathematical research and quality mathematics teaching, and promote public understanding of the same.
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.
Last Name First Name .
City State ZIP .
Email Address .
FAX Number Phone Number .
MAA member? AMATYC member? Other? .
AMS member? NCTM member? .
Student Registration ($0)
Non-student Registration ($12 before 4/6, $20 after)
Computer Animation Workshop ($10 per person)
Friday Banquet ($20 per person - spouses and friends are welcome)
Buffet entrees are prime rib, chicken marsala and vegetarian manicotti.
Banquet reservations must be received by 4/6 to be guaranteed;
a limited number of Banquet Tickets will be available on site.
VOLUNTARY SECTION DUES CONTRIBUTION ($10 suggested)
Please make checks payable to University of Wyoming - MAA Conference
and return this form with payment* to:
Professor Sylvia Hobart
Department of Mathematics
University of Wyoming
Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3036
* Please note that there is a $17.00 charge for checks returned for insufficient funds.
Note: For pre-registration discount,
form must be received before April 6.
Maps of Laramie and the UW campus will be mailed to all MAA members with the Final Program in early April.
Maps will also be available through the meeting website, which can be accessed through http://www-math.cudenver.edu/~maa-rm/ or http://math/uwyo.edu.
Participants should contact motels/hotels directly to reserve accomodations for the meeting.
Please note that these are not guaranteed conference rates, so that reservations should be made as soon as possible in order to obtain the quoted rates.
Also note that Friday's Reception and Banquet will be held at the Holiday Inn.
(Distance from campus) follows each Hotel Name .
Gas Lite Hotel (2 miles) Comfort Inn (1.5 miles)
960 N. 3rd. St. 523 S.Adams
$31.50 plus tax $54.00 flat rate
1st Inn Gold (2 miles) Foster's/Howard Johnson's (3 miles)
I-80 and US 287 I-80 at Snowy Range Exit
$44.99 plus tax $59.00 flat rate
Holiday Inn (2.5 miles) Sunset Inn (1.5 miles)
2313 Soldier Spring Rd. 1104 S. 3rd
$65 - $90 plus tax $36.00 plus tax
Motel 6 (2 miles) Super 8 (2.5 miles)
621 Plaza Ln. I-80 and Curtis
$33.99 plus tax $44.00 plus tax
Travel Inn (1 mile) Travelodge (1 mile)
262 N. 3rd 165 N. 3rd
$32.00 plus tax $43.50 plus tax
Tino Mendez Elected MAA Governor-at-Large
Celestino ("Tino") G. Mendez, Metropolitan State College of Denver, was recently elected to the MAA Board of Governors as Governor-at-Large Representing Minorities. One of two new governors-at-large on the board, Tino's term began at the close of the January 2002 meetings in San Diego.
Tino has been an active and valued member of the MAA for more than three decades. He has served the MAA in numerous capacities, including Rocky Mountain Section Governor (l993-l996), SUMMA Regional Coordinator (l996-present), SUMMA Carnegie Corp. of NY Grantee and Program Director (l995), and member of the Science Policy Committee (2000-present), the Development Committee (1990-2001), and the Coordinating Council on Awards (1993-96). In addition to these formal appointments, and perhaps more important than any of them, has been the support and advice that Tino has unselfishly provided to those students and younger colleagues whom he has mentored over the years.
The section is delighted to learn of Tino's new position, and congratulates both Tino, and the MAA Board for their wisdom in electing Tino to this important post.
Arapahoe Community College
The Mathematics Department at Arapahoe Community College has gone through a number of personnel changes. Patricia Hauss completed a transitional contract during the last academic year and is now officially retired. Patricia began her career at ACC when ACC was established as a local junior college in 1965 and was the last original Faculty member to retire from ACC. Although Patricia is still teaching on an adjunct basis, she now has more time to devote to her bicycle riding. Patrick Enright has become the Dean of Health, Mathematics, Science, and Engineering. Heidi Barrett is the newest member of the department. Heidi brings a Master of Science in Mathematics from the University of Iowa and 3 years of experience in the Mathematics Department at Littleton High School. The department is still struggling to convince administration to replace the other of the two positions that were vacated when Patricia and Patrick left.
The department is refining the definition of its Mathematics Support Area. The support area offers both personal and computer-based tutoring, internet access, viewing of videos that accompany course textbooks, and assistance on calculator operations and mathematical computer software. ACC mathematics students currently help support the area financially through a mandatory 1 credit hour co-requisite to the mathematics course they enroll in.
The common course numbering project mandated by the state higher education system continues to keep the department occupied.
Mesa State College
Dr. Cathy Barkley was elected chair of the Department of Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics (CSMS) beginning Fall 2001. Cathy's background is in mathematics education. Her research interests focus on children's mathematical thinking and topics in ethnomathematics. She has been at Mesa State for 15 years.
Dr. Tod Shockey joined the CSMS department in August 2001, coming to us from the University of Wisconsin _ Stevens Point. Tod's emphasis in the department is in mathematics education and his research interest is in ethnomathematics. He is currently working on two federal grants directed out of the University of Alaska _ Fairbanks which are tied to the Yup'ik people of Alaska.
Several CSMS faculty have been working with students on interesting projects. Dr. Phil Gustafson is working with Nathan Atkinson on basics of wavelet analysis and their applications. Dr. Cathy Bonan-Hamada and Jeff Fowler are investigating continued fractions, and Cathy is also working with several other students on fundamentals of knot theory. Dr. Cathy Barkley and Ricci Belden are researching solstice markers of the ancient Anasazi/Fremont cultures and the geometry of these markers. Student Lee Pettijohn worked with Dr. Kim Schneider to present an article written by Ira Rosenholtz entitled "One Point Determines a Line" (Math Horizons). Dr. Arun Ektare and Thomas Rogers put together a video-conferencing system using Linux software.
Mesa State College hosted an international research conference entitled, "2001: A Mathematics Odyssey," on the analytic theory of continued fractions, orthogonal functions, rational approximation, and related topics during the week of August 6-10, 2001. The conference was organized by Mesa State College mathematics faculty members Dr. Cathy Bonan-Hamada and Dr. Phil Gustafson in honor of the 70th birthday of Dr. William B. Jones, Professor Emeritus from the University of Colorado, Boulder. The conference was attended by research mathematicians from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Norway, Scotland, Spain, and the United States. Cathy and Phil are also editors for the international journal Communications in the Analytic Theory of Continued Fractions, which is published yearly by Mesa State College.
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
We have recently changed our undergraduate mathematics degree program from a Bachelors of Science Degree in Mathematics, to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied and Computational Mathematics. This new program emphasizes computational methods and the use of technology applied to the mathematical problems in industry and the sciences. We believe this change will help us go after a particular niche market, and as a consequence further increase the employability of our mathematics graduates. The change takes advantage of a couple of our unique traits, that we are a combined department, housing both Mathematics and Computer Science faculty, and that we are primarily an engineering college. This change factors in suggestions from industry regarding the employment of academically trained mathematicians in industrial positions.
University of Colorado at Denver
Steve Sain joined the Mathematics faculty at CU-Denver in January as an assistant professor. Steve earned his Ph.D. in statistics from Rice University in 1994. Before coming to Denver, he served on the faculty at Ohio State University and Southern Methodist University.
University of Northern Colorado
Last year we hired Shandy Hauk fron ASU, a mathematician turned math educator, and Nat Miller , a mathematician from Cornell. We are now in the process of hiring 2 new Mathematics Educators (and are blessed with a great pool).
The UNC statewide mathematics contest is flourishing- now in its 10th year about 1800 students in grades 7-12 participate. UNC President Brown has secured a portion of the Bill Daniel's Foundation Money for prizes ($3200 annually).
The department was fortunate to receive two Arts and Sciences Awards last year: Jodie Novak, for Teaching, and Richard Grassl for Scholarly Activity.
We are now phasing out our actuarial science emphasis.
University of Southern Colorado
USC received one of five ExxonMobil Foundation Innovation Grants to develop a math education program at USC that will be responsive to the needs of middle schools throughout southeastern Colorado. Hortensia Soto-Johnson serves as Project Coordinator. The grant, announced at the recent National Summit on the Mathematical Education of Teachers, will allow USC faculty to collaborate with 17 partner school districts to develop a plan to supplement USC mathematics content courses to meet the needs of middle school teachers, revise the mathematics methods course, create alternative course delivery systems, and identify support and incentives for future students.
Although construction (and construction noise) is ongoing, the department is pleased to be back in our re-modeled building this spring.
Two Positions on Executive Committee To Be Filled
Nominees are now being sought for the position of 2003 - 2005 Section Chair. This individual will serve a one-year term as Chair Elect beginning April 2002, as well as a one-year term as Past Chair ending April 2006.
Nominees are also being sought for the position of 2002 - 2005 Secretary/Treasurer/Newsletter Editor.
Both elections will take place at the 2002 Spring Section Meeting in Laramie. For information about the responsibilities of either position, please contact the current Section Secretary <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
To make a nomination, please contact the Nomination Committee Chair LuAnn Linton at Arapahoe Community College, email@example.com, 303-797-5830.
The election for a new section governor is scheduled to begin soon. Per the Association By-laws, the election will be conducted by the Executive Director of the Association via a mail vote. Ballots will be mailed to all members in early February 2002, due back to national by 15 March 2002.
Our nominating committee has assembled a very fine slate of candidates:
Patrick Enright, Arapahoe Community College
Tensia Soto-Johnson, University of Southern Colorado
Don Teets, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
The individual elected will serve as our representative on the national Board of Governors for a three year term beginning 1 July 2002, when Bill Emerson's current term of office as section governor comes to closure. Please join the Executive Committee in thanking Bill Emerson for his fine service as our section governor over the course of his three-year term. Thanks, Bill!
Voluntary Section Dues Program Continues
Many thanks to those members who have made a voluntary dues contribution to the section in 2001. The additional funds raised through this program help us to maintain support for existing initiatives, such as student activities at section meetings, as well as special iniatives, such as the John Fauvel Memorial Conference held at Colorado College last September, and supported in part by the Section Activity Grant program.
Members attending the section meeting in Laramie can submit a contribution for 2002 using the meeting registration form. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you may submit a contribution using the coupon which appeared in the Fall 2001 Newsletter, or by contacting the Section Treasurer. Every little bit does help, and all contributors will receive a letter acknowledging the contribution for their financial records.
Applications for Section Activities Grants are again being accepted to assist Section members fund projects in support of the Section Mission. Proposals may request up to $500 per project; matching funds are preferred, but not required.
The project director(s) must be a current member(s) of MAA, and the proposal must be clearly tied to one or more of the Rocky Mountain Section Mission Goals. A copy of these goals appears on the inside back cover of this newsletter. All applications must include the following:
(a) Description of project (no more than one page);
(b) Statement of how project supports Section Goals (no more than one page);
(c) Estimated budget, including description of matching funds available, if any;
(d) Vitae of project director(s).
Applications will be reviewed by two non-officer members of the Section, with final funding decisions made by the Executive Committee on the basis of the reviewers' reports. Although applications may be submitted at any time, disbursal of funds to successful applicants may take up to two months (following receipt of the application) due to the time needed for the review process.
Upon completion of the project, the director(s) of the funded projects are required to file a brief report (no more than one page), and to present a project report at the next meeting of the Section.
Section Considers Electronic Newsletter
The Section Executive Committee is currently studying a proposal to move the section newsletter to an electronic format as a means to save costs. Our current cost for printing and (bulk) mailing two newsletters each years runs around $400; printing and (first class) mailing of final program materials each spring adds another $200. Thus, these costs account for about $600 of the $700 subvention we receive from national each year.
Under the proposed new plan, a postcard would be sent to all section members as soon as the newsletter is posted on the section website. A variety of format options (html, pdf, doc) could be used for the electronic version. At some future point, it may be possible to notify members via e-mail when the newsletter was available (with a hot link to the newsletter itself), thereby saving mailing costs for postcards. Those sections who are now experimenting with electronic newsletters, however, continue to offer members the option of returning the postcard to request that a hard copy version of the newsletter be mailed to them.
The Executive Committee continues to research projected costs involved in mailing postcards and any requested hard copy newsletters. We are also very interested in your input on the proposal! Please send your comments to any section officer no later than March 1 so that we may finalize a proposal for presentation at the Spring Business Meeting in Laramie.
CCHE Faculty-to-Faculty Update
Submitted by Ron Loser, Adams State College
The Mathematics Working Committee on Mathematical Competency from last fall's Faculty-to-Faculty Conference continues to work with the Colorado Council on Higher Education to develop criteria for general education mathematics courses at public higher education institutions in Colorado. Under the leadership of David Grant (CU-Boulder), the committee has worked with CCHE staff to develop and refine two documents that together define a guaranteed state-wide course transfer statement.
The first of these documents, which is essentially complete, defines mathematical competency as the ability to use mathematical methods, reasoning and strategies to investigate and solve problems. Based on recommendations from the MAA, the following criteria are specified for identifying competency in mathematics
· Use several methods, such as algebraic, geometric and statistical reasoning to solve problems.
· Estimate and verify answers to mathematical problems to determine reasonableness,
compare alternatives, and select optimal results.
· Recognize that mathematical and statistical methods have limitations.
· Interpret and draw inferences from mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, tables.
· Represent mathematical information symbolically, graphically, numerically and verbally
· Generalize from specific patterns and phenomena to more abstract principles,
and to proceed form abstract principles to specific applications.
The second of the two CCHE documents addresses content requirements. Early drafts of this document define what qualifies a Mathematics course as a General Education course as follows: A college level course is one that has required prerequisites at least as high, and a standard of rigor at least as stringent, as the levels maintained by a typical college algebra course.
Examples of prototypical mathematics general education courses listed in the document are College Algebra, Mathematics for Elementary Educators, Mathematics for Secondary Educators, Calculus I, II or III, Liberal Arts Mathematics, Finite Mathematics/Business Mathematics/Financial Mathematic, Survey of Calculus, Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus, Statistics (with an introduction to Probability). Any course with one of these courses as a pre-requisite would also meet the criteria for being considered a general education course.
The Committee continues to work with CCHE on the Content Requirements document, which will be finalized in mid-February. Each public institution in Colorado should have a representative on this committee who can provide you with additional information about these documents. If you are unsure who your representative is, or if you believe your institution does not have a representative, please contact Ron Loser (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2002 Professional Development Calendar
For more detail on the following, visit MAA's Professional Development Calendar at http://www.maa.org/pfdev/pfdev_calendar.html.
March 16: New Perspectives in Mathematics Education
Busch Campus Center, Rutgers University, Piscataway NJ
Contact: Valerie DeBellis, email@example.com
March 18-20: DIMACS Working Group on Data Compression
in Networks and Applications
DIMACS Center, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ.
Contact: Adam Buchsbaum, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 20-24: Structure and Decomposition of Graphs,
NSF-CBMS Regional Research Conference
East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
Contact: Debra Knisley (email@example.com)
June 2-7: V VIEWPOINTS 2001: Mathematics and Art
Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA
Contact: Annalisa Crannell, firstname.lastname@example.org
June 9-14: Outer Banks AMATYC Summer Institute, Duck, NC
Contact: Ed Laughbaum, email@example.com
June 9-14: Workshop Precalculus: Functions, Models, and Data
Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
Contact: Joanne R. Weissman, firstname.lastname@example.org
June 27-30: Leading the Academic Department: A Workshop for
Chairs of Mathematical Sciences Departments
Contact: Tina Straley, email@example.com
July 27-29: Bridges: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science
Towson Universtiy, Towson, MD
Contact: Reza Sarhangi, 410.830.4450, firstname.lastname@example.org
July 29-Aug. 2: AMATYC Hawaii Summer Institute, Hilo, HI
Contact: Jane Iida, email@example.com
August 11-17 DIMACS Reconnect Conference: Voronoi Diagrams
in the Undergraduate Classroom
DIMACS Center, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 732.445.5928
Odds and Endings
NCTM National Meeting, Las Vegas, 22 - 24 April 2002
MAA Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Laramie, 12 - 13 April 2002
MAA Mathfest, Burlington, Vermont, 1 - 3 August 2002
CCTM Annual Meeting, Denver, 4 - 5 October 2002
AMATYC National Conference, Phoenix, 14 - 17 November 2002
Joint Mathematics Meetings, Baltimore 15 - 18 January 2003
NCTM National Meeting, San Antonio, 9 - 12 April 2003
MAA Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, US Air Force Academy, April 2003
MAA Mathfest, Boulder, 31 July - 2 August 2003
AMATYC National Conference, Salt Lake City, 13 - 16 November 2003
Project NExT Application Deadline Approaching
The next application deadline for Project NexT is April 12, 2002. Project NExT is a program for new or recent Ph.D.s in the mathematical sciences who are interested in improving the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics. There is no fee for participation in Project NExT itself, and Fellows will be provided with room and board at the Project NExT Workshop in Burlington. Fellows also do not have to pay for the special short courses at the summer Mathfest that are organized by Project NExT. Institutions employing the Project NExT Fellows are expected to provide all other expenses associated with the meetings, and assurances of institutional support are of critical importance in the application process. For more information, visit <http://www.maa.org/news/nextapps.html>.
April is Mathematics Awareness Month
The theme for this year's MAM will be "Mathematics and the Genome". Recent work on the human genome, hoping to catalog and analyze all our genes, seems to have taken scientists quite close to significant breakthroughs, but there are still many difficult challenges to face. Both in the work on the genome so far and in the work still to be done, mathematics has a central role to play.
Sponsored by JPBM, Mathematics Awareness Month seeks to increase the visibility of mathematics as a field of study and to communicate the power and fascination of mathematics to as many people as possible. An online version of the theme poster, essay and related resources can all be found at the MAM 2002 web site at http://www.mathforum.org/mam/.
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 eip + 1 = 0 must rank among the most beautiful formulas in mathematics. It connects the five most important constants of mathematics ith 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 p; 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 complimentary to any mountain scene."