2004 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 life long advocate of excellence in teaching at all levels. In addition to a $50 honorarium, the recipient receives a certificate and an invitation to deliver the opening lecture at the next Section Meeting.

Any section member may nominate any other section member for the award. A nominee must be assigned at least half time to the teaching of mathematics in a U.S. or Canadian college or university, and have at least five years teaching experience.

A nominee should also be widely recognized as extraordinarily successful at the post-secondary level; have documentable teaching effectiveness, where "teaching" should be interpreted in its broadest sense; have had influence in their teaching beyond their institution; and foster curiosity and generate excitement about mathematics in their students.

We know there are many extraordinary teachers within our section who fit this description. To begin the nomination process for one of these outstanding individuals, simply submit the one-page nomination form (available on the section website) by 26 October 2003.

Complete nomination, including a narrative description of nominee's credentials (not to exceed five pages), no more than three additional pages of evidence to document the nominee's teaching success, and as many as five letters of recommendation, should reach the Secretary by 30 November 2003. For additional information, please contact the Section Secretary.


Chair's Report

Submitted by Lou Talman, Metropolitan State College of Denver.

The 2003 Joint Meetings of the AMS and the MAA in Baltimore are now history, and I begin this note in the airplane home over the mountains of western Maryland. As always at the Joint Meetings, I renewed some old friendships, began some new ones, heard some good talks, had some good food, and enjoyed the general feeling of being away from home for a few days.

Now it's time to give serious attention to the Rocky Mountain Section's Annual Meeting three months hence at the Air Force Academy. We have already completed some arrangements; for example, Tina Straley and Tom Trotter have both promised to speak at that meeting. But other arrangements have yet to be made, and the Executive Committee will be thinking about these matters soon.

While in Baltimore, I attended the usual Section Officers' Meeting. Many items of interest to the Section membership were brought to our attention there. Some of those items can wait for my report to the Section at the Annual Meeting, but a few are of more immediate interest. Tensia Soto-Johnson, our Governor, will report that in the future a former Governor will be permitted to represent the Section with a full vote, as a substitute for the current Governor at meetings of that Board. In another change, the next election for President of the MAA will be permit electronic voting.

The MAA has published a new course, Mathematics for Business Decisions, entirely in electronic form. The course was developed at the University of Arizona (Tucson). It appears to me, on the basis of a cursory inspection to contain some very new and very careful thinking. It is probably too late to make arrangements for this year's Section Meeting, but it is possible to arrange a workshop intended to familiarize faculty with this course at a Section Meeting. Such workshops are of no cost to the Section, though registrants will be asked to pay a nominal fee. I hope that Section members who are interested in such a workshop will get in touch with me or ask another member of the Executive Committee to relay their interest to me.

Money will soon be available from the MAA for promoting undergraduate conferences. These conferences may, but need not, be sponsored by a Section. They may also be sponsored by institutions. This will come as a three-year program, about which details are as yet very sketchy. They told us to watch for an announcement "possibly" in the May issue of Focus. Or possibly at MathFest in Boulder next summer.

Finally, the National wants to promote interaction between the Sections and the SIGMAAs (Special Interest Groups of the MAA). Members of SIGMAAs who are also members of the Rocky Mountain Section should consider requesting special sessions at our Annual Meetings. Such requests may be directed to Mike Brilleslyper at the Air Force Academy, Mike.Brilleslyper@usafa.edu.


Governor's Report

Submitted by Tensia Soto-Johnson, University of Southern Colorado.

Below are items of interest from the national MAA meeting in Baltimore.

1. Paul and Ginger Halmos have donated approximately $3,000,000. This money will be used to convert the Carriage House in the MAA headquarters complex into a Conference Center that will accommodate groups of up to 60 people, with one large meeting room and several smaller rooms suitable for breakout sessions. I am excited to be a member of the advisory board, which will outline the direction of programs that the Conference Center will host.

2. A donation by Henry Alder will provide for the Henry Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty. More information will follow in the Focus.

3. The Board of Governors voted to allow for electronic voting in the future. This will save the association quite a bit of money. It will still be possible to vote using a mail-in ballot for members who do not wish to use the electronic voting-system.

4. The MAA has received funds for a new program entitled Preparing Mathematicians to Educate Teachers (PMET). The three major components of the PMET program are: (1) faculty training, (2) information and resources and (3) mini-grants and regional networks. An extensive article on the PMET program and how MAA members can participate will appear in the March issue of the Focus.

5. One of the most exciting parts of the BOG meeting is having the opportunity to look at the new books published by the MAA. Currently one can order the MAA books through Amazon, but in the next few weeks the books will be available through the MAA website. The MAA makes more money if you order from them so get your credit cards ready.

One other thing; remember that April is Mathematics Awareness Month. This year's theme is Mathematics and Art. I recommend that each department try to implement at least one activity that promotes mathematics. [Editor's note: An online version of this year's theme poster, essay and related resources can all be found at the MAM 2003 web site at http://www.mathforum.org/mam/ .]

I look forward to seeing you at the section meeting and the Mathfest meeting.


News from Executive Committee


Vice-Chair Position on Executive Committee To Be Filled

Nominees are now ought for the position of 2003 - 2005 Section Vice Chair. This position on the Executive Committee is reserved for a faculty member from a junior or community college within the Rocky Mountain Section. In addition to acting as a contact between the Executive Committee and the two-year\community colleges within the section, duties of the Vice Chair include serving as a member on the Program Committee, the Awards Selection Committee, and the Committee on Professional Linkages.

The election will take place at the 2003 Spring Section Meeting at the U.S. Air Force Academy. For information about the responsibilities of either position, please contact the Section Secretary jbarnett@uscolo.edu.

To make a nomination, please contact the Nomination Committee Chair Jane Arledge (MesaState College) at arledge@mesastate.edu.


Section Activities Grants Available

Applications for Section Activities Grants are again being accepted to assist Section members with projects in support of the Section Mission. Proposals may request up to $500; 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 Logo Shirts a Success

At last year's Spring Section Meeting in Laramie, the first - ever Rocky Mountain Section Logo shirts were unveiled and available for purchase. These 100% -cotton long-sleeved button-front denim shirts feature the section logo in color embroidery over the front left pocket. Created in 2001 by Mark Petersen, then a graduate student in the Applied Mathematics Department at CU - Boulder , the logo is also featured on the front cover of this newsletter.

Given that the primary purpose of the project was to promote awareness of the MAA and the Rocky Mountain Section in a tasteful way, the Executive Committee was pleased with the high quality of the shirts and the logo embroidery. Section members seemed to agree, with the demand for some sizes exceeding our initial inventory. Currently, only two shirts (one Ladies' Small and one Men's 2XL) remain from that initial inventory. (Both are available for purchase at the introductory price of $35; contact Janet Barnett at address below.)

We are now looking into the possibility of a second production run of the shirts. Proceeds, if any, would be used to support section activities. However, prices would be set primarily to ensure that production costs are covered, rather than as a section fund-raiser. In particular, every effort would be made to keep prices at approximately $35.

If you are interested in obtaining one of these special (limited availability!) shirts for yourself, a colleague, a friend, a student, or a loved one, please contact Janet Barnett jbarnett@uscolo.edu  with information on desired quantities and sizes. Replies by February 28th are appreciated. If the level of interest makes a second run financially viable, shirts will be available for purchase at the 2003 USAFA Meeting, as well as through the mail. Additional information, including price and "reservation procedures", will be included with the final meeting mailing in April.


Voluntary Section Dues Program Continues

Many thanks to those members who have made a voluntary dues contribution to the section in 2002. The additional funds raised through these donations helps to maintain support for existing initiatives, such as student activities at section meetings, as well as special iniatives, such as the History of Mathematics lecture by William Dunham at the University of Wyoming last summer, that was sponsored in part by a Section Activity Grant.

Members attending the section meeting at the USAFA can submit a contribution for 2003 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 2002 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.


2003 Spring Meeting at Air Force Academy

Plans continue to take shape for an exciting 2003 Spring Section Meeting at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, to be held jointly with the Service Academies Student Math Conference.

The meeting will officially open at 1:00 on Friday, April 25th, with an address by our 2002 Burton W. Jones Distinguished Teaching Award Recipient, Dr. Gene Abrams of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. For more information about his talk Teaching Mathematics:  Sharing Passions, Sharing Perspectives, please see (and return!) the survey below the speaker registration form in this newsletter.

Additional invited talks will be delivered by Dr. Tina Straley of Kennesaw State University in Georgia and Executive Director of the MAA, and Dr. William T. Trotter, Chair of the School of Mathematics at the Georgia Institute of Technology and managing editor of ORDER: A Journal on the Theory of Ordered Sets and Its Applications.

Preceding the "official" opening on Friday morning, Dr. Jim Rolf (USAFA) will conduct on a workshop on Writing Math Applets in Java. Jim has used Java programming to develop some especially good applets in support of USAFA's calculus reform efforts. A modest familiarity with Java or other computer programming language will be assumed, and a modest $10 workshop fee is requested.

Also preceding Friday's scientific program, there will be a special Luncheon for Mathematics Department Chair, hosted by USAFA Department Chair, Col. Daniel Litwhiler. Further information about the luncheon, including location, will be mailed to chairs in late March or early April.

Rounding out the scientific program will be contributed talks on a variety of topics in mathematics and mathematics education, including a special panel discussion on Teaching Introductory Statistics Courses. A Second Call for Papers is located on page 9; please be sure to send in your abstract by March 14 to become a part of this exciting program.

Student presentations, both graduate and undergraduate, are especially encouraged. Through the Service Academies Student Mathematics Conference, student talks from cadets and midshipmen at USAFA, the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and the U.S. Naval Academy will be incorporated into this year's Student Papers Sessions. This is a wonderful opportunity for students within our section ... please make liberal use of the special Student Flyer located in the center of this newsletter to encourage your students to attend, and to present!

Additional meeting information, including accommodations and security procedures, is located on pages 7 - 13 of this newsletter.



Preliminary Schedule - 2003 Spring Section Meeting

Friday, April 25

9:30 - 12:00     Writing Math Applets in Java Workshop

                        Dr. Jim Rolf, United States Air Force Academy


11:30 - 12:45   Luncheon for Mathematics Department Chair

                        Hosted by Col. Daniel Litwhiler, USAFA Department Chair

                            All Department Chairs in the section are encouraged to attend;

                            further information will be mailed to chairs in March or early April.


12:30 - 4:00     Registration, Publisher Exhibits and MAA Book sales


1:00- 1:10        Opening Remarks and Welcome


1:15 - 2:00       Burton W. Jones Distinguished Teaching Award Invited Lecture

                        Dr. Gene Abrams, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

                        Teaching Mathematics:  Sharing Passions, Sharing Perspectives


2:10 - 4:20        Parallel Sessions - Contributed Papers, Special Sessions & Panels


4:30 - 5:30       Friday Keynote Address

                        Dr. William T. Trotter, Georgia Institute of Technology


5:45 - 6:15       Departmental Liaison Meeting

                        Please forward agenda items to any section officer by April 15.


6:15 - 7:00       Reception (cash bar), Radisson Inn


7:00 - 9:30       Banquet and Awards Ceremony, Radisson Inn

                        Banquet Address:

                        Dr.Tina Straley, Kennesaw State University, MAA Executive Director



Saturday, April 26


8:00 - 8:50       MAA Rocky Mounatin Section Business Meeting

                        Please forward agenda items to any section officer by April 15.


9:00 - 10:00     Saturday Keynote Address:

                        Tina Straley, Kennesaw State University, MAA Executive Director


10:10 - 1:00     Parallel Sessions - Contributed Papers, Special Sessions & Panels

                        MAA Book Sales


Second Call for Papers

The deadline for submission of abstracts for the 2003 Spring Section Meeting is March 14, 2003. 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 be received by the deadline.

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.


Innovative Teaching Methods for Undergraduate Mathematics

Organized by Mike Brilleslyper (USAFA) and Jim Rolf (USAFA)

Faculty at USAFA are developing a new calculus curriculum that uses technology 

in a number of innovative ways. We are eager to share what we are doing, as well as hear what other folks are up to.


Student Papers

Organized by Beth Schaubroeck (USAFA)

Supervising a student research project? With talks from the Service Academies Student Mathematics Conferences 

incorporated into this year's meeting, the student sessions promise to be especially exciting. 

Encourage your student to join in the excitement with their own presentation.

The default talk length will be 20 minutes, with every effort made (within the constraints of the schedule) to accommodate requests for longer talks and other scheduling preferences. Please submit special requests early.

For non-electronic submissions, please use the Speaker Response Form located on the following page. E-mail equivalents of this form are encouraged! Please be sure to include all requested information if using e-mail.

Please direct questions and suggestions about the program to Program Chair Mike Brilleslyper at Mike.Brilleslyper@usafa.edu, or 719 - 333 -9514.


Note: The possibility of publishing a conference proceedings following the meeting is currently being studied.  Details will be announced as they become available.



Speaker Response Form - Due 14 March 2003

Speaker Name


Mailing Address (Please include affiliation if needed for U.S. mail)



Email Address 

Phone Number 

    Faculty Sponsor:

    (For student speakers only )   


    MAA Member Sponsor:

    (For non-MAA members/non-students only)


Abstract (100 words or less): 


Is this talk intended for any of the following special sessions?

Interesting Ideas in Number Theory and Geometry              

                                 Innovative Teaching Methods               

                                            Student Paper Session              

Special Equipment Needs: 

Schedule Preference Request: 

Special Talk Length Request: 


    (Note: e-mail submissions are strongly preferred.)


        Mike Brilleslyper

        Department of Mathematical Science

        United States Air Force Academy

        USAF Academy, CO 80840.





Last Name First Name:




Email Address 

Phone Number 

MAA member?                  AMATYC member?                  Other?                 

AMS member?                   NCTM member?                 


                 Student Registration ($0)

                 Non-student Registration ($12 before 4/23, $20 after)

                 Writing Math Applets in Java Workshop ($10 per person)

                 Friday Banquet ($23 per person - spouses and friends are welcome)

Please indicate the number of meals of each type required below.

Banquet reservations must be received by 4/15 to be guaranteed;

a limited number of Banquet Tickets will be available on site.


                 London Broil

                 Chicken Marsala (The default banquet choice is chicken.)


                 VOLUNTARY SECTION DUES CONTRIBUTION ($10 suggested)

                 TOTAL ENCLOSED

Please make checks payable to DFMS Protocol Fund (indicate "MAA" on item line)

and return this form with payment* to:


Mike Brilleslyper

Department of Mathematical Science

United States Air Force Academy

USAF Academy, CO 80840

*  Please note that there is a $17.00 charge for checks returned for insufficient funds.

    For pre-registration discount, form must be received no later than April 23.

Please return the following survey with your registration form (or by e-mail).


Sharing Passions, Sharing Perspectives - A SURVEY

During Spring Semester 2003, I am ‘teaching’ a campus wide interdisciplinary course titled ‘The Honors Senior Roundtable: Sharing Passions, Sharing Perspectives’. The general idea of the course is to have seniors in their graduating semester reflect on and share their passion for their major field, and perspectives as to why this field is important in the context of the university and society at large.

On the first day of the course, I spent fifteen minutes sharing with students my own thoughts about mathematics in this context. As you can imagine, it was extremely difficult to choose WHICH aspect of mathematics to share with a general, non-mathematical group.

This experience sparked my curiosity, and now leads me to the following favor / request. Suppose YOU were in a similar position. For instance, suppose you had the opportunity to spend fifteen minutes with a (captive) non-mathematical group, and you were asked to share with the group your passion for mathematics, and perspectives as to why mathematics is important in the context of both the university and society at large.


WHAT WOULD YOU SHARE?  (Just give a general one or two sentence description)


Please return your response with your Spring 2003 Section Meeting Registration Form, or e-mail your response to me at abrams@math.uccs.edu. Results will be presented at the meeting. Thanks in advance!

Gene Abrams, Professor of Mathematics, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs


USAFA Meeting Maps and Accommodations

Detailed maps including parking and shuttle bus service information will be mailed to all MAA members with the Final Program in early April.

The following motels are all located in the immediate vicinity of the South gate of the Academy. Participants should contact motels/hotels directly to reserve accommodations for the meeting.

Please note that, with the exception of the Radisson, rates are not guaranteed, so that reservations should be made as soon as possible in order to obtain the quoted rates.

A reserved block of rooms will be held for section members at the Radisson until March 24th. After that date, any rooms not reserved will be released back into the pool; the MAA rate will still be available after this date, subject to room availability.

Drury Inn

719 - 598 - 2500

Free Breakfast, High Speed Internet

$64.99 double occupancy

(some rooms available at $49.99)



Super 8

719 - 528 - 7100

$59.95 double occupancy



Red Roof Inn

719 - 598 - 6700

$49.99 , $44.99



Radisson Inn (location of Friday Reception and Banquet)

1 - 800 - 333 - 3333 ; 719 - 598 - 5770

Free Breakfast, High Speed Internet

DISCOUNT RATE: $64.99 double occupancy

Please request MAA Meeting Rate when you call.

Discount rate available for both April 24th and 25th.




The post 9/11 Air Force Academy is no longer an open-access facility. Whereas visitors are still permitted, access to the academic buildings and close parking is restricted. It is expected that people will need to park at the field house and ride shuttle buses up to Fairchild Hall. It is also possible to walk (uphill) ½ mile from the field house to Fairchild. Detailed maps concerning parking and shuttle bus service will be provided in the Spring Newsletter.


It is also expected that all visitors to Fairchild Hall will need to have some valid form of ID (e.g., driver's license).

The situation for non-U.S. Citizens is somewhat more complicated. Any non-U.S. Citizen who wishes to attend the meeting will need to submit the following information to the meeting organizers no later than March 31.


· individual's name

· date and place of birth

· passport number

· date of proposed visit

· purpose of the visit

Please mail the above information to Mike Brilleslyper, Department of Mathematical Science, United States Air Force Academy, USAF Academy, CO 80840. For further information, please contact Mike at Mike.Brilleslyper@usafa.af.edu, or 719 - 333 - 9514.


The Program Committee apologizes in advance for any inconvenience.


Other Meeting Information


News From (and About) You

Colorado College

The mathematics department at CC has been a fixed-point in its present location for almost as long as the gorgeous peachblow sandstone from which Palmer Hall is constructed, but next summer we move into our new digs in the brand spanking new Tutt Science Building, from where for the first time in a century we'll actually be able to see Pikes Peak. We'll have more space, new computer labs, classrooms with fixed projection systems, and a large lecture hall with a fancy smart board equipped with a camera to record lectures. Y'all come see us.

As we make this move into a new era it is fitting that Steven Janke is preparing to once again take over as chair, this time from Kathy Merrill who has guided us so generously and with such wisdom and caring and worry the past few years. One of our number, Jim Henderson, after a year as Dean of our Summer Session, has now left CC permanently for an administrative position at that rarely mentioned school-on-the-hill, The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. John Watkins, who preceded Jim in the Summer Session, is now safely back in Mathematics however. A new face you may not know, Jane McDougall, originally from New Zealand, has designed an interdisciplinary statistics course in environmental science, Analysis of Environmental Data, and is dreaming of taking a group of students to New Zealand to study the Mathematics of Maori Art (any volunteers to help out?). Another bright new face is Jonathan Bredin, a computer scientist fresh from Dartmouth, and he is full of ideas for revitalizing our computing program, including a new course on robotics. Jonathan has also been the driving force this year behind our faculty seminar on Kolmogorov Complexity. Still another bright face you all know, Dave Roeder, is now quasi-retired and dividing time equally between teaching, Jazz, and rooting for what's left of our hapless Rockies.

We also have several visitors you should know about. Peter Staab and Joel Glenn, both of whom came to us directly from Boulder, have stayed on another year. And Josh Laison from Dartmouth and Travis Kowalski from San Diego have just arrived. A frequent visitor to the department, Robin Wilson, will again be in Colorado from late-March to mid-April teaching graph theory of all things; and a less frequent, but nonetheless regular, visitor from Denison, Todd Feil, is also here until late-March spending his time teaching, skiing, bragging about the Buckeyes, and working with Marlow Anderson.


Community College of Aurora

CCA is, along with the other community colleges in the state, suffering from the budget crisis. Several faculty have not received tenure in the last three years as a result. There have been minimal "new" hires. CCA has expanded and now has another "site", the Lowry campus. Our Vice President of Instruction retired and, as a result of budget, is not being replaced for the time being.


Metropolitan State College of Denver

Jon Plachy retired at the end of the Fall 02. He was the first mathematics faculty hired when Metro opened its doors in 1965. Jon served as chair of the Division of Science and Math from 1965 to 1972. He developed the Department's first math major and minor, and organized and ran the first Math Day competition for high school students from 1967 - 1970. And Jon was one of the founding fathers of Metro's athletic program, serving as the college's first basketball coach and intermittent tennis coach.

Celestino Mendez, who retired in 01 - 02, was awarded emeritus status. Don Gilmore was tenured in 01 - 02. The Department welcomes new applied mathematics faculty Ken Prevot.

Lew Romagnano was on sabbatical during the Fall 2002 term and worked on his mathematics for elementary teachers textbook. Jim Loats is presently an executive on loan to the Denver Public School system for 02-03 working on curriculum revision in mathematics. Gail Gliner is serving as interim Associate Dean for the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences for 02 - 03. Don Gilmore received a grant to develop after school math/science projects for students at West Middle School in Aurora. The majority of these students are from low income families and live in unsafe neighborhoods.

Our annual Math Day competition in April attracts nearly 200 high school students from local high schools to compete in geometry and algebra/analysis competitions. Math Day was renewed in 1986 by Bill Emerson and is a huge success every year.

The Department is applying for accreditation for its B.S. degree in Computer Science. The Department received a $280,000 grant from the Colorado Institute of Technology matched with $396,000 from Metro to institute a certificate program in Computer Science. Under the direction of Noel LeJeune, the Department has developed six certificate programs: Computing Technology Literacy, UNIX System Administration, Dynamic Web Site Programming, TCP/IP Networking, Database Application Development, and Advanced Software Engineering Techniques.

University of Colorado at Boulder

Judith Packer rejoined our department in January 2002 after being away for 10 years at the National University of Singapore. Her research area is operator algebras, including connections with wavelets.

Alexander Gorokhovsky became our newest faculty member in the fall of 2002. Born in Kiev, USSR, he spent the last 3 years at the University of Michigan. His research area is Noncommutative Geometry in the sense of Alain Connes.


University of Colorado at Denver

After a year and half of searching, the Mathematics Department at CU-Denver hired Mike Jacobson as chair. Mike served most recently as faculty member, department chair, and associate dean at the University of Louisville. His specialty is graph theory. He will join the department in July 2003.


"Mathematics --- the Musical"

Submitted by Barbara Aaker, Community College of Denver

"The halls are alive . . . with the Sound of Music". Walk down the math department hall at the Community College of Denver most any day and sounds of music fill the air. From Tammy Wynnette's hit "Stand By Your Math" and Patsy Cline's "I Graph in Pieces" to the modern classics like "Take It To the Limit" and Sonny and Cher's "I Got du Babe", I have been teaching math with music for several years. Beginning algebra gets songs such as "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sal", intermediate algebra classes use "How Much is That X in the Equation" the very first day of class, college algebra gets down with the "Composition Rap", and starting off this semester for calculus was the song "Battle Hymn of the Integral".

The theory of Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences is the basis for these innovative techniques. The songs used were written by me in an effort to address the musical/rhythmic multiple intelligence found among the eight MI's identified by Dr. Gardner. The use of music as an important teaching tool has grown to a book of 40 songs called "Mathematics _ the Musical" and several workshop presentations around the country by me and my "partner in innovation", Monica Stoupa.

If you believe that methods of teaching mathematics are in need of change, (and I truly believe that is the case), then it is an obvious decision to use multiple intelligence techniques to try to reach the different learning styles found in your classroom. Much more than singing, I use posters, group work, student demonstrations, classroom-made manipulatives, and even drama to teach concepts. For example, the calculus class uses a "trial" to introduce integration by substitution. The students have provided "proof" through earlier posters and quizzes that they indeed know how to integrate. The trial is then conducted (in costume, of course) with "exhibits", "witnesses" called forward to testify, and then ending with "The Case of the Missing Functions".

While presenting at a conference in Ashland, Kentucky, Monica and I heard this comment by one of the participants. "Those techniques are just fine for other classes but there is only one way to teach math. You can't use those things in math." How wrong he is! Students at CCD are being taught in ways that allow them to finally overcome their fears of math and be successful. The response from my students has been overwhelmingly positive. Some have even changed majors. I am especially happy when those entering the field of education tell me that they will also be using the multiple intelligence techniques that they have seen. I encourage all that read this, look at the needs of your students. Find out their learning styles. Work hard (and believe me, it is hard work) to present your material in a variety of ways. It will be hard but trust me, you will find out what REAL teaching is all about!

Please feel free to contact me for more information at my e-mail address: Barbara.Aaker@CCD.edu  or at my website: www.MaththeMusical.com.


General Education Mathematics at Adams State and Beyond

In Fall 2003, Ron Loser of Adams State College e-mailed the following to MAA Liaisons in the Rocky Mountain Section:

At the Adams State College Faculty Senate meeting yesterday afternoon, faculty from Arts and Letters registered formal complaints about the rigor of our Finite Mathematics classes and requested that the College explore other options for general-education mathematics requirements.

They averred that the course's attrition rate is excessive and that grades in the course are significantly lower than those of mathematics courses at other institutions. Without hard data from other institutions, I have no rational way to counter these accusations.

Ron asked liaisons to complete a web - based survey in an effort to collect the necessary data. Five faculty members completed the survey, representing Western State College, University of Colorado at Denver, Montana State University, and Colorado College. Responses identified four courses with significant content overlap with the two Adams State courses under discussion [Math 104 - Finite Mathematics and Math 102 - Mathematical Excursions I].

The conclusions of Ron's subsequent report to Adams' Faculty Senate are reproduced below. For a copy of the full report, contact Ron at reloser@adams.edu .

Report Conclusions

1. Adams State College is not the only institution dealing with complaints about mathematics requirements—many e-mail replies expressed similar concerns at other colleges and universities, including mathematics-faculty concerns about "dumbing-down" courses.

2. Student passing rates (including W) range between 66% and 80%—probably the best measure of success since withdrawal policies vary among institutions. ASC is neither highest nor lowest.

3. Beginning mathematics class' GPAs were similar among courses across colleges and universities—with universities and CC having somewhat higher student GPAs. Again, ASC averages were neither highest nor lowest.

4. While Music and Art faculty were most vocal in expressing concerns about ASC's General Education Mathematics requirement, their students perform above average for ASC, and on a par with students at other institutions.

5. The October 4, 2001, minutes of the CCHE gives ACT cut points for remediation (19 in mathematics) and states "According to national data, 50% of the students who received these scores received a C or better in the college level course". This means we should expect half would receive a grade lower than C. ASC students do somewhat better than this (44% are D-W-F, 56% are C or higher, as expected for a student body with an average ACT math score of 19.4).



Students Opportunities

Colorado Mathematical Olympiad at UCCS

Now in its twentieth year, the Colorado Mathematical Olympiad (CMO) will take place at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs on Friday, April 18, 2003.

An individual competition for high school and middle school students, the Olympiad poses unusual and exciting problems that truly challenge students' creativity. Participation is free to students, with no pre-registration requirement and no limit on the number of competitors from a school.

Problems and solutions from previous Olympiads can be found in the book Colorado Mathematical Olympiad: The First Ten Years and Further Explorations, written by Colorado Mathematical Olympiad Chair Dr. Alexander Soifer of UCCS. Additional information and problems can be accessed at <www.uccs.edu/~asoifer>.

Student Papers at MATHFEST 2003 - Boulder

The Section Executive Committee is delighted that we will soon be playing host at the 2003 Mathfest in Boulder, 31 July - 2 August 2003. We encourage all members of the section to support the event. Program details, including a call for contributed papers, will soon be available through FOCUS and MAA Online.

In the mean time, please encourage your students to take advantage of this opportunity to attend a national meeting in their own Front Range! Students who wish to present at MathFest 2003 must be nominated by a faculty advisor familiar with the work to be presented. To propose a paper, the student must complete a form and obtain the signature of a faculty sponsor.

Nomination forms for student presentations are located on MAA Online at www.maa.org under STUDENTS, or can be obtained from Dr. Thomas Kelley (tkelley@hfcc.net) at Henry Ford Community College (313) 845-6492. Students who are members of an MAA Student Chapter and make presentation at the MathFest are also eligible for partial travel reimbursement. The deadline for receipt of applications is June 27, 2003.

PME student speakers must be nominated by their chapter advisors. Application forms for PME student speakers can be found at www.pme-math.org  or obtained from Dr. Leo Schneider, email: leo@jcu.edu. Students who present at the Annual PME Meeting are eligible for partial travel reimbursement. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is June 27, 2003.



News From National

Assessment Workshops Come to the Southwest

The MAA, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, is engaged in a three-year project entitled Supporting Assessment in Undergraduate Mathematics (SAUM). SAUM's objective is to support faculty and departments in efforts to assess student learning using a variety of assessment tools. The project includes a volume of case studies and syntheses of case studies on assessment, a website, and workshops for faculty teams developing assessment plans at their home institutions.

There are currently openings for teams of 2 - 3 mathematics faculty members in the workshop "Assessment at the Department Level #3". Faculty from 26 institutions participated in the first two workshops, and reported the experience to be very useful. In fact, most teams from these workshops are now contributing assessment case studies based on experiences at their home institutions to add to the program's collection.

If your department has an assessment program in any stage of development or planning, you are invited to submit a team application. The workshop begins March 14 - March 16 with sessions at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, and continues with sessions immediately following the 2004 Joint Meetings in Phoenix. There will be follow-up activities for those who wish to participate over the next few years.

Materials for the workshop, as well as room and board, will be provided by the NSF grant, with travel the responsibility of participants and their departments. For more information and an application form, visit www.maa.org/saum/workshops.html.

Request for Feedback: CUPM Curriculum Guide

MAA's Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics (CUPM) is charged with making recommendations to guide mathematics departments in designing curricula for their undergraduate students. Work on the set of recommendations currently under development began in 1999. During this time, CUPM has held panel discussions, met with focus groups, solicited position papers from prominent mathematicians, and conducted workshops with participants from a broad range of partner disciplines through the Curriculum Foundations Project through its subcommittee on Curriculum Renewal Across the First Two Years (CRAFTY) .

The CUPM writing team, chaired by Harriet Pollatsek, now invites your comments on Draft 3.2 of the report that resulted from this 3-year study. The full text of this draft is available at www.maa.org/cupm/.  Draft 4.0, which is already in preparation, will be available early in March 2003 and widely circulated for comment. To inform Draft 4.0, responses to Draft 3.2 should be received by February 14, 2003.


Odds and Endings

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 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 p; and analysis, by e. (Quoted from Eli Maor's e, The Sstory 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."

Meetings Calendar

NCTM National Meeting, San Antonio, 9 - 12 April 2003

MAA Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, USAFA, 25 - 26 April 2003

MAA Mathfest, Boulder, 31 July - 2 August 2003

CCTM Annual Meeting, Denver, October 2003

AMATYC National Conference, Salt Lake City, 13 - 16 November 2003

Joint Mathematics Meetings, Phoenix, 7 - 10 January 2004

NCTM National Meeting, Philadelphia, 22 - 24 April 2004

ICME - 10, Copenhagen, Denmark, 4 - 11 July 2004

MAA Mathfest, Providence, 12 - 14 August 2004


For information on upcoming professional development workshops, 

including PREP, SAUM, PMET and Next, visit MAA's Professional Development Calendar at