Mathematical Association of America
Southern California-Nevada Section

Newsletter Fall 2018
Table of Contents

Message from the MAA Southern California-Nevada Section Chair

Candice Price, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA

Candice Price

Section Chair Candice Price

As the incoming chair of our MAA section for this year, I want to give you a warm welcome to this year to our SoCal-Nevada section. I hope to see many of you at our various events this year, including the Fall and Spring meetings!

At our Fall meeting hosted at Scripps College, we are excited to feature talks by Edray Goins of Pomona College, Carol Schumacher of Kenyon College and Stacy Brown of Cal Poly Pomona! We also look forward to sessions of contributed talks by members of our community. This meeting also marks the debut of our new Section Vice Chair Eddie Tchertchian of L.A. Pierce College and Francis Bonahon of USC as 2nd Vice Program Chair. If you or someone you know would be interested in joining our board, please contact Past Chair Sam Nelson, myself, or any of the other officers.

I welcome you and wish you all a wonderful and productive Fall!



Congress of MAA Report

Curtis Bennett, 2016-2019 Representative to the Congress of the MAA
California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA

October 5, 2018

Curtis Bennett

This summer the MAA Congress met to discuss how the organization is moving forward. Deputy Executive Director Doug Ensley will be stepping down from his role, and Rachel Levy will be replacing him. All of us are grateful to Doug for the excellent work he did during his term.

One of the strengths of the MAA is the many circles that make up the community, the SIGMAAs, Project NExT, Committees and the links to other mathematical organizations. If you are interested in finding subgroups of the MAA for networking, professional development, or just to see what they are doing, please visit and browse around. While you’re there, please think about volunteering for committees that might interest you.

A topic of continuing discussion has been to better define the role of the Congress. As you may remember, the new by-laws that were passed at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in 2017 led to changing the old Governor’s Board to a Congress; meanwhile the old Executive Board of the MAA (and a few more members) became the new Governing Board. Consequently, 18 months into the new era, we are still sorting out what is the best way for the Congress to work, to advocate for changes, and to help the Governing Board collectively manage the association. One crucial concern is that because certain actions of the Governing Board require confidentiality, as currently set, there are items that can only be shared with Congress after they have ceased being confidential. I anticipate the Congress will be addressing this issue at their next meeting.

One such item was the decision to terminate the long-standing agreement between the AMS and MAA to manage the Joint Mathematics Meetings beginning in 2022. Be sure to read Deanna Haunsperger’s upcoming column on this in the MAA Focus. The MAA asks everyone to remember that the AMS made the decision to withdraw from the summer meetings in 1998, so this splitting is not unprecedented. Indeed, we anticipate (and the AMS has indicated) that there will continue to be sessions hosted by the MAA at the Joint Mathematics Meetings. However, it also seems likely that MAA activities will decrease somewhat too. Please know that Congress has been informed that we will help set priorities for the future.

Let me take this chance then to say how important it is that we select motivated individuals to run as our representatives to Congress this spring. Please forward any names you have for who should be our next representative to me, and I will make sure the nominating committee gets those names. We also need to find new officers this year for several of our positions. As is the case every year, we need a Vice Chair and a 2nd Vice Program Chair. In addition, it is time to select a new Secretary for the Section. If you are interested, please let us know!

Until next newsletter… Curtis Bennett

Fall Meeting at Scripps College, Claremont, California

Meeting Web Site

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

The Fall Meeting of the MAA Southern California-Nevada Section will be held at Scripps College, October 27, 2018. The meeting will feature three invited addresses:

The meeting also will feature a Contributed Paper Session, organized by Francis Bonahon of the University of Southern Califronia.

Deadlines for the Fall Meeting

For more details and to register, please visit the Meeting Website and download the Meeting Poster (6 MB). See you in Claremont!

Jennifer Switkes Receives the Section's 2018 Teaching Award

Jennifer Switkes

Professor Jennifer Switkes of California Polytechnic University Pomona is the winner of this year’s Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics and a nominee for the national MAA’s 2019 Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics.

Dr. Switkes is recognized for bringing her educational core values of excellence, honor, integrity, love, and purpose to all students, and specifically to traditionally underserved students.

Dr. Switkes makes extensive use of projects in all her courses, and always includes some content which forces the students to address issues not specifically asked for. Students extend and apply the concepts and algorithms that have been learned in class to large-scale and hands-on problems. The inclusion of a research component allows the students to challenge themselves and gives them an opportunity to see how mathematical research can be conducted. As a former student describes her experience with Dr. Switkes’ methods, “During this time we expanded a recently developed iterative numerical integration technique to higher dimensions, programmed the method in MATLAB, and used difference equations to derive closed-form formulas for specific examples. Working on this project with Dr. Switkes introduced me to the extensive community of mathematics by presenting our work at five undergraduate research conferences and publishing a paper in The Mathematical Scientist. This was my first research project, and it sent me on a trajectory to become a research intern at MIT and subsequently to be accepted to MIT’s Ph.D. program.”

Professor Switkes’ teaching efforts in mathematics extend well beyond Cal Poly Pomona classrooms--she has a missionary dedication in her desire to volunteer to teach underserved student populations. A few years ago she began teaching calculus at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, CA through the Prison Education Project. She developed strategies to focus the students’ attention on the big ideas on calculus, but she didn’t even know if she would have the same students week after week.

The MAA Southern California-Nevada Section recognizes the great positive impact Dr. Jennifer Switkes has had on mathematics education and is honored to present her with the Secton Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics.

Teaching Award

Darryl Yong

2017 Darryl Yong

Shirley Gray

2016 Shirley Gray

Daphne Liu

2015 Daphne Liu

More past recipients

Call for Nominations for Section Teaching Award

Eddie Tchertchian, Section Vice Chair, Pierce College, Woodland Hills

We are happy to announce that nominations for the 2019 MAA Southern California-Nevada Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics are now being accepted. The Section Selection Committee will determine the recipient of the award from those nominated. As usual, the awardee will be honored at our Spring 2019 meeting, and will be widely recognized and acknowledged within the Section. As per tradition, they will also be given the opportunity to speak at the Fall 2019 meeting.

We welcome nominations from anyone, so please consider this as a wonderful opportunity to recognize your colleagues worthy of this honor. Even if not selected this year, it is always an honor for someone to have been nominated, and your candidate is likely to be nominated again in the near future. Along with the individual honor and prestige of the award, your department will receive nation-wide recognition for its commitment to excellence in teaching! Further, the winner is our Section’s nominee for the nationwide Haimo Award in Teaching.

Previous winners, eligibility list, and further instructions can be found here: Also available on that page page is the preliminary nomination form To submit an initial nomination, complete the preliminary nomination form, and submit it along with a 2-page letter to the MAA Southern California-Nevada Section Secretary, Bruce Yoshiwara.

The deadline to submit preliminary nominations is 5 PM, Friday, November 9 Monday, November 26, 2018.

Please share this correspondence with all your colleagues!

Call for new officers

Sam Nelson, Past Section Chair, Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA

The SoCal-Nevada Section of the Mathematical Association of America is looking for new officers! Currently available positions include Nevada Liaison, Newsletter Editor, and Program Vice Chair. Positions to be elected next spring include MAA Congress Representative (to the national MAA), 2nd Vice Program Chair, Section Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Serving as an officer looks great on your CV and gives you a chance to help shape mathematics in SoCal and Nevada. The officers organize the fall and spring sectional MAA conferences, select the annual Teaching Award winner and have opportunities to attend MathFest and otherwise get involved in the national MAA organization. Let us know if you are interested!

News of the Section

California State University mathematics professor Silvia Heubach received the prestigious Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award for her innovative teaching practices that have increased student success in mathematics. Silvia Heubach is one of only 26 faculty members in the California State University system to receive this award honoring faculty leaders who have implemented innovative practices that significantly improve student success.

The Advanced Mathematics Program (AMP) at UC Riverside, is devoted to equity through advancing the careers of our underrepresented undergraduate math majors. To accomplish this goal, AMP holds preparatory seminars in abstract algebra and real analysis. Also, it offers talks from active mathematicians, mentoring, and assistance in applying to conferences. The 2018 program took place from July 2 to July 27 and was funded by a 2018 MAA Tensor-SUMMA (Strengthening Underrepresented Minority Mathematics Achievement). The Advanced Mathematics Program will continue next summer, and we are now investigating grants to support our 2019 workshops.

Advanced Mathematics Program: Dr. Edray Goins with students

What Else is Happening in the Mathematical Community?

Upcoming Math Conferences, Exhibits, and Events

October 13, 2018: CMC3-South Fall Conference, Coastline Community College (Newport Beach Campus). Visit for more information.

January 16 - 19, 2019: AMS-MAA Joint Mathematics Meetings, Baltimore, MD. Visit for more information.

March 14 - 17, 2019: International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics (ICTCM), Scottsdale, AZ. Visit for more information.

Save these dates for future national MAA meetings!

Winter 2019 Baltimore, MD January 16 - 19
Summer 2019 Cincinnati, OH July 29 - August 3
Winter 2020 Denver, CO January 15 - 18
Summer 2020 Philadelphia, PA July 29 - August 1
Winter 2021 Washington, DC January 6-9
Summer 2021 Sacramento, CA August 4 - 7
Winter 2022 Seattle, WA January 5-8
Summer 2022 Washington, DC August 3 - 6
Winter 2023 Boston, MA January 4 - 7
Summer 2023 Tampa, FL August 2 - 5
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