2012 Trevor Evans Award Winners
The Mathematical Association of America has selected Nathan Carter and Dan Kalman as the 2012 winners of the Trevor Evans Award for their article ?Harvey Plotter and the Circle of Irrationality,? Math Horizons, vol. 19:2 (2011), p. 10-13. Full citations and biographical information are available below.
The Trevor Evans Awards, established by the Board of Governors in 1992 and first awarded in 1996, are presented by the Mathematical Association of America to authors of exceptional articles that are accessible to undergraduates and published in Math Horizons. The Awards are named for Trevor Evans, a distinguished mathematician, teacher, and writer at Emory University. The award is $250.
Read more about the award.
Awards were presented during the MAA Prize Session on Friday, August 3, 2012, at the 2012 MAA MathFest in Madison, Wisconsin.
’Harvey Plotter and the Circle of Irrationality,â? Math Horizons, vol. 19:2 (2011), p. 10-13
The evil Lord Voldemorphism is trying to find the rational points on
the unit circle. Harvey Plotter and his faithful companions, Hymernie
and Rong, must try to determine the rational points before Lord
Voldemorphism. Rong mentions that a line between two rational
points always has a rational slope. He suggests they begin with (0, -1) and draw a line with rational slope; then the other point will be
rational. Hymernie knows Rong is confusing the converse with
the contrapositive. With some work they prove Rong's conjecture.
They begin finding one rational point at a time, but they need all
the rational points. A friendly suggestion by Professor Alphas
Jumblemore reminds them to use a general p/q for the rational slope.
Once done they realize that the rational points are Pythagorean
Nathan Carter uses computer science to advance mathematics. He
studied both subjects at the University of Scranton and at Indiana
University, earning a Ph.D. in mathematical logic in 2004. He
then joined the faculty of Bentley University and has worked in
logic, written the book Visual Group Theory, and dabbled in social
network analysis. He writes open source mathematics software,
including Group Explorer for group theory visualization, and Lurch, a
general validation environment for mathematical reasoning.
Dan Kalman has been a member of the mathematics faculty at
American University, Washington, D.C., since 1993. Prior to that he
worked for eight years in the aerospace industry and taught at the
University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Kalman has a B.S. from Harvey
Mudd College and a Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin, Madison.
He has been a frequent contributor to all of the MAA journals, has
published two books with the MAA, and has served on the editorial
boards of both MAA book series and journals. Kalman has served
the national and regional MAA in several capacities, including a
term as associate executive director for programs, as the current
governor for the MD-DC-VA section, and as a cast member of both
productions of "MAA: The Musical!"