Liaison Newsletter – Apr 2008

In this issue:

Call for Proposals: Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conferences (RUMC)

The primary objective of RUMC grants is to provide as many undergraduate students as possible with the opportunity to present mathematically-oriented talks and to better expand their knowledge of the wide range of theory, history, and applications of the mathematics sciences at conferences that are within their geographic region. Conferences may assume any format that accomplishes the object of the grant, but deviations from successful formats should be fully explained.

RUMC grants are intended to cover a portion of the typical expenses involved with hosting the conference. It is anticipated that most awards will be between $1,000 and $4,000, but smaller and larger requests will be considered where appropriate. Preference for Fall 2007 conferences will be given to proposals for grants that are submitted by May 15. Proposals for Spring 2008 may be submitted at this time as well, but will also be considered with proposals submitted by October 15. For additional information and application instructions, visit

MathFest 2007: Submit Your Abstract Now

MathFest 2007 will be held in San Jose, CA, August 3-5. We are excited about the program, and hope you'll plan to join us there. This year, the Society for Mathematical Biology and the Euler Society will meet with us. Special lectures are scheduled around these themes.

The April issue of FOCUS has a detailed look at this year's program. Registration and abstract submission is currently open at Deadline for abstract submission is May 22 for all contributed papers sessions. For student paper sessions, the deadline is June 15. Note that travel grants for students are also available, and can be requested with abstract submission.

MAA Online Has New Look

Check out the new look of MAA Online. Look for frequently updated news reports, highlights, and bulletins, including a daily "Math in the News" column hosted by the Math Gateway, a portal to undergraduate mathematics resources in the National Science Digital Library.

Current featured items include the problems and solutions to the 2007 USAMO, and a 13x13 Sudoku puzzle created by Laura Taalman especially for the grand opening of the Carriage House Conference Center.

Register for 2007 PREP Workshops

The MAA PRofessional Enhancement Program (PREP) provides a range of activities to support growth for mathematicians at all stages of their careers. Whether you are seeking new ideas for research and teaching, development of leadership skills or simply looking for a chance to interact with colleagues on one of the annual MAA Mathematical Study Tours, PREP has a program for you.

For details on all of this years' workshops and to register, visit

Webinar on MAA/Maplesoft Placement Test Suite

Placement testing has become a critical issue on campuses throughout North America. Join our expert panel this Wednesday, May 2nd, from 2:00-3:00pm EDT as they answer your questions and provide advice on how you can use the Maplesoft-MAA Placement Test Suite.

The Maplesoft-MAA Placement Test Suite helps institutions like yours place their students in the right courses quickly, easily and at a fraction of the cost normally associated with traditional placement methods. It's an online solution that gives you easy administration, instant results, and flexible scheduling for your incoming students. Key discussions will include:

Women Count: A Conference for Directors of Mathematics Outreach Programs for Young Women

Applications are invited for participation in the fourth Women Count Conference. This year's conference will be held in San Jose, California, on August 2, 2007, preceding the Mathfest. Organized by the Women and Mathematics Network under the auspices of the MAA Committee on the Participation of Women, the purpose of this conference will be to share information about current successful outreach programs for young women and to encourage the establishment of new program.

Partial travel support (approximately $350) will be provided for participants. Additional details regarding the conference as well as application instructions are available online at Applications will be reviewed after May 21, 2007. Support is provided by the Association for Women in Mathematics, National Security Agency, and the Tensor Foundation.

New Books from the MAA

Hesiod's Anvil: Falling and Spinning through Heaven and Earth is about models of motion as enunciated by poets, philosophers, story-tellers and early scientists, beginning with Hesiod, a contemporary of Homer. The purpose of the book is to use popular literature and philosophy to bring the mechanics of motion alive. Hesiod's Anvil is aimed at students who have finished a year-long course in calculus, and can be used as a text supplement for Calculus II, Vector Calculus, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, or for modeling courses. It will appeal to professional mathematician as well who will encounter interesting material about motion and the people who thought about it.

The MAA is proud to co-publish Calculus: A Genetic Approach with the University of Chicago Press. When first published in 1963, this book presented a radically different approach to teaching calculus. In sharp contrast to the methods of his time, Otto Topelitz did not teach calculus as a static system of techniques and facts to be memorized. Instead, he drew on his knowledge of the history of mathematics and presented calculus as an organic evolution of ideas beginning with the discoveries of Greek scholars such as Archimedes, Pythagoras and Euclid. This classic text belongs on every mathematician's bookshelf.