Mathematical Association of America
Southern California-Nevada Section

Greetings from the MAA Southern California-Nevada Section Chair

Mike Krebs, California State University, Los Angeles

Mike Krebs

Our Section Chair, Mike Krebs, is Associate Professor of Mathematics at Cal State Los Angeles.

Get your taxes done early this year! Why? So that you can attend our Spring section meeting on April 12 at Concordia University Irvine, that's why. Leading off the April 12 meeting is Hal Stern from UC Irvine, whose talk "Watching Sports Through the Eyes of a Statistician" will discuss various ways in which sets of data have been used and abused in the world of sports. Rachel Levy from Harvey Mudd College is, among many other things, the founder of a hugely successful blog called "Grandma Got STEM" whose purpose is "to counter the implication that grannies . . . might not easily pick up on technical/theoretical ideas" by compiling a compendium of counterexamples. In her talk "A Mathematician Meets the Media" Rachel will discuss lessons she learned about mass communication in the course of developing that blog. Jamie Pommersheim, from Reed College, will discuss the problem of dissecting a square into triangles of equal area---how many triangles are possible? The talk will involve a blend of elementary combinatorics, geometry, and number theory. Finally, Perla Myers, from the University of San Diego, will present “Smile … It’s Mathematics: Deepening the Mathematical Understanding of Future Teachers.” Perla was the recipient of our 2013 Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. In addition, our Spring section meeting will feature a student poster session as well as the announcement of this year's section teaching award recipient.

The Fall 2013 section meeting was, as usual, a rousing success. Held at Cal State Dominguez Hills, it featured Jennifer Quinn from University of Washington, Tacoma, who gave a thoroughly accessible talk on combinatorialization of linear recurrences; Ann Watkins from Cal State Northridge, who discussed issues caused by a separation of statistics from mathematics; and Jesús A. De Loera from UC Davis, who enlightened us on the geometry of tables of numbers such as Sudokus and magic squares.

Our Fall 2014 section meeting will take place at Pomona College in Claremont. This coming summer, the MAA will hold its national meeting (MathFest) in Portland, Oregon from Aug. 7 to Aug. 9 and will include Invited Addresses, Invited Paper Sessions, Contributed Paper Sessions, Minicourses, and more.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the extraordinary group of people who have worked diligently all year to make these magical events happen. They've reduced the job of the chair to the trivial case by taking on their own responsibilities with competence, intelligence, and initiative. The thankees are Janet Beery, University of Redlands (Newsletter Editor); Julie Bergner, UCR (incoming Student Chapters Coordinator); Geoff Buhl, CSUCI (Section NExT Liaison); Satish Bhatnagar, UNLV (Las Vegas Liaison); Gizem Karaali, Pomona College (1st Program Vice-Chair); Min-Lin Lo, CSUSB (Past Section Chair); Herbert Medina, LMU (Section Vice Chair); Shawnee McMurran, CSUSB (Treasurer); Ioana Mihaila (Student Chapters Coordinator); Steve Morics, University of Redlands (Program Chair); Perla Myers, U of San Diego (Governor); Florence Newberger, CSULB (Web Page Editor); Melinda Schulteis, Concordia U. (Secretary); and Ernie Solheid, CSUF (Meetings Coordinator). Thanks also to everyone else who contributed in any way, and to all of you for attending.

I look forward to seeing you in Irvine on April 12! And be sure to get that 1040 signed and in the mail no later than April 11.

Spring Meeting at Concordia University, Irvine

Meeting Web Site

Visit the meeting web site for a program, speakers' abstracts and bios, directions, and information about registration.

The Spring Meeting of the MAA Southern California-Nevada Section will be held in Grimm Hall at Concordia University in Irvine. The meeting will feature four dynamic speakers on four exciting areas of mathematics, mathematics education, and statistics:

The meeting also will feature the popular Student Poster Session, organized by Ioana Mihaila of Cal Poly Pomona.

The MAA Book Sale, offered throughout the day by Michael Hoffman and Richard Katz of Cal State Los Angeles, will have a large selection of new MAA books, along with almost all of the other titles in the MAA booklist. MAA members will receive a 35% discount on MAA books at the Spring Meeting.

Deadlines for the Spring Meeting

For more details and to register, please visit the Meeting Website. See you in Irvine!

Great Books, Great Bargains at MAA Book Sale!

The 2014 Spring Meeting at Concordia University, Irvine, will include the ever-popular MAA Book Sale. MAA members will receive a discount of 35% off the regular prices of MAA books, not only at the meeting, but also online at the MAA Bookstore from April 6 through April 19, 2014, using code SCNV2014. Almost all of the books in the MAA Catalog will be on display at the meeting and available to order, including a number of brand new titles. Recent titles by MAA Southern California–Nevada Section members include:

  • A Historian Looks Back: The Calculus as Algebra and Selected Writings, by Judy Grabiner of Pitzer College, and
  • Biscuits of Number Theory, co-edited by Art Benjamin of Harvey Mudd College and Ezra Brown of Virginia Polytechnic University.

Book Sale organizers are Michael Hoffman and Richard Katz of California State University, Los Angeles.

Proposed Section Bylaws Provide More Continuity (and Differentiability)

During the Business Meeting at our Spring Section Meeting on April 12 at Concordia University Irvine, we'll vote on whether or not to approve a revised set of bylaws for the section. The proposed bylaws, which have been approved by the Section officers and the MAA Committee on Sections, are available here.

The main change is the addition of a Past Chair position, to provide guidance and continuity from one year's Chair to the next. If approved, the Section Chair would serve three years, one each as Vice Chair, Chair, and Past Chair, instead of two years, one year each as Vice Chair and Chair. In addition, several other changes have been made to bring the bylaws into compliance with the guidelines from the national MAA organization and its Committee on Sections.

Teaching Award

Perla Myers

2013 Perla Myers

Francis Su

2012 Francis Su

Cindy Wyels

2011 Cindy Wyels

Erika Flapan

2010 Erika Flapan

More past recipients

Call for Nominations for Section Teaching Award

Melinda Schulteis, Section Secretary, Concordia University, Irvine

Nominations will be accepted now through Nov. 7, 2014, for the 2015 recipient of the Southern California-Nevada Section Teaching Award. The winner will be recognized at the 2015 Spring Meeting of the MAA Southern California-Nevada Section. The awardee will also be nominated by the Section for the MAA Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics.

Successful nominees are individuals who are widely recognized for their extraordinarily successful teaching effectiveness and for teaching that has had influence beyond their own institutions. To be eligible, nominees must be current MAA members who teach mathematical science courses at least half-time during the academic year and have at least seven years experience teaching at the college or university level. Because the Section Award winner will be nominated for consideration for the national Haimo award, successful nominees will have an extended record of teaching success. (For greater detail on eligibility requirements, please see:

Preliminary nomination deadline is November 7, 2014.

Click here for the full Call for Nominations for the MAA Southern California-Nevada Section Teaching Award.

The Students' Column

Ioana Mihaila, Student Chapters Coordinator Cal Poly, Pomona

Visit the MAA Southern California-Nevada News for Students page, featuring

  • Benefits for students who join the MAA (check out Math Horizons Magazine),
  • An invitation to present a poster at the Spring 2014 Section Meeting,
  • Suggestions for summer learning, and
  • A list of the Southern California-Nevada students who received prizes in the Undergraduate Poster Session at the 2014 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore. Congratulations, everyone!

What Else is Happening in the Mathematical Community?

April is Mathematics Awareness Month!

With its theme of "Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery," the April 2014 Mathematics Awareness Month will celebrate the centennial of the birth of mathematics writer and populizer Martin Gardner (1914-2010). Watch the Mathematics Awareness Month website for one new activity per day during April 2014.

Upcoming Math Conferences, Exhibits, and Events

March 15 - June 22, 2014:  Lost & Found: The Secrets of Archimedes Exhibit, Huntington Library, San Marino, California

The Archimedes Palimpsest will be on display at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, from March 15 through June 22, 2014, in an exhibit titled "Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes." This exhibit has been organized by the institution that successfully stabilized and imaged the manuscript, the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore, Maryland).

October, 2014:  HPM Americas Section Fall Meeting, San Jose area, California

The History and Pedagogy of Mathematics (HPM) Americas Section plans to hold its Fall Meeting in or near San Jose, California, on weekend dates to be announced, most likely Oct. 18-19. Watch the HPM Americas website for additional details.

April 18-19, 2015: AMS Spring Western Sectional Meeting, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

October 24-25, 2015: AMS Fall Western Sectional Meeting, California State University, Fullerton

Save these dates for future national MAA meetings!

Summer 2014 Portland, OR August 7-9
Winter 2015 San Antonio, TX January 10-13
Summer 2015 Washington, DC August 5-8
Winter 2016 Seattle, WA January 6-9
Summer 2016 Columbus, OH August 3-6
Winter 2017 Atlanta, GA January 4-7
Summer 2017 Chicago, IL July 26-29
Winter 2018 San Diego, CA January 10-12
Summer 2018 Denver, CO August 1-4
Winter 2019 Baltimore, MD January 16-19
Summer 2019 Cincinnati, Ohio July 31-August 3
Winter 2021 Washington, DC January 6-9
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