Fall 2003
Introduction
The Joint AMSMAA
Winter Meeting in Phoenix
Enjoy the warmth of Phoenix when the AMS and MAA hold their Joint
Winter Meetings at the Phoenix Civic Plaza from Wednesday, January 7,
through Saturday, January 10, 2004. The activities for students
will include the Student Hospitality Center, the Undergraduate Students
Poster Session, the MAA Student Lecture, and Mathematical Experiences
for Students Outside the Classroom. In addition, students may want
to cheer on the competitors in the session, Who Wants to Be a
Mathematician?, or attend the session, What Can You Do with a Degree in
Mathematics? Information on these activities may be found inside
in the section ’Whassup in Phoenix.â?
MathFest 2003: Math at the Edge of the Rockies
Beautiful weather and the majestic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains
greeted the math people who attended MathFest 2003, held in Boulder,
Colorado. Many students participated in the MAA and PME paper
sessions, the problemsolving workshop, the MAA Student Lecture, and the
National Collegiate Mathematics Championship. For a report on
these and other activities, check out the Boulder MathFest Report.
Back to topBoulder MathFest Report
Student Reception in Boulder
The annual MAA/PME Student Reception was held on Wednesday afternoon,
July 31st, in the delightful outdoor pavilion of the Millennium Hotel in
Boulder, Colorado. Many of the conference participants turned out
to support over one hundred undergraduate students who attended MathFest
this year. CUSAC cochairs Richard Neal and Jean Bee Chan welcomed
everyone and invited all to enjoy the ample refreshments.
The student reception has become a tradition at the summer meeting of
the MAA. It is generally held right before the Opening Banquet and
precedes the first full day of mathematics talks. It is a relaxed,
fun event at which students can meet each other and be welcomed by
established mathematicians. We hope to see you at the reception in
Providence next year! 




Students and faculty enjoy the Student
Reception in Boulder

MAA Student Lecture


Professor Art Benjamin,
Professor and Chair of the Mathematics Department at Harvey Mudd
College, delivered the MAA Student Lecture, ’The Art of Mental
Calculationâ?. The lecture was extremely well received and
was attended by a full house.
Mathemagician Benjamin demonstrated his wizardry in doing calculations
in his head with lightning speed, getting the answers before students in
the audience who used handheld calculators. In addition to
multiplying numbers in his head, he mentally squared numbers up to five
digits long, and he figured out the day of the week of the dates of
birth of people in the audience. Further, he constructed a
fourbyfour magic square on the spot! The most significant part
of his lecture was that he revealed his secret method of mental
calculation. All were mesmerized and awed. When the lecture ended,
the applause went on endlessly! 
Mathemagician Art Benjamin constructed
Anna's magic square in a flash



Students
do ’Higher Mathâ? at the 2003 Boulder MathFest:
MAA MATHFEST 2003 ’STUDENT PRESENTATION
AWARDS
Student paper sessions highlighted the 2003 MathFest program for
student and faculty attendees. This year, thanks to the generosity
of Pi Mu Epsilon, the MAA Committee on Undergraduate Student Activities
and Chapters (MAACUSAC) was able to organize nine student sessions
(instead of the usual eight), four on July 31st and five on August
1st. The 24page program of student paper sessions listed
presenters, titles, and abstracts for 53 presentations by 56 students in
MAAsponsored sessions, along with the parallel information for the six
Pi Mu Epsilon sessions. A complete list of the MAA student
speakers, titles, and abstracts can still be found at
http://adm.hfcc.net/~tkelley/
(look for the MathFest 2003 section on the web page).
Students traveled to Boulder from all across the country. Many
students came in groups representing their institutions, such as those
from Augustana College and Sam Houston State University. Some came
as members of REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates), such as
those from Williams College and Grand Valley State University.
Twentyfive student presenters took advantage of their membership in the
MAA or in their home institution’s MAA Student Chapter and received
travel grants (up to $600) to help defray the cost of attending the
meetings.
The
Council on Undergraduate Research
Council Award winner was
Neil Hoffman
of Williams College for his paper
Double
Bubbles in Other Universes.
The MAA awarded cash prizes of $150 each for nine presentations judged
as outstanding, and the Council on Undergraduate Research also gave one
$150 award. The recipients’ names, institutions, and presentation titles
appear below.
Eric Bengtson
(Augustana College):
A Traffic
Simulation Program Natalie
Puckett (Grand Junction Central High/Mesa State College):
Center of Art Moshe Cohen
(Binghamton University, SUNY):
New
Results in Magic Square Enumeration Christopher
Bay (Truman State University):
The Geometry of the Hausdorff Metric Kristina Lund
(Grand Valley State University):
A
Generalization of the Area Principle
Andrew Baxter & Stephen J. Weaver (Millersville
University):
Periodic Orbits in
Triangular Air Hockey Ariana Dundon
(Pomona College):
Commutative
Algebra, Part III: Local Rings with Controlled Formal Fibers Nicholas
McClure (College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University):
A Competing Population Model for Mosquitoes Eric Engler (Williams College):
Configuration Spaces, Part IV:
Geometric Properties
These titles are a nice mix of pure, as well as applied mathematics,
and give an idea of the depth and range of the student presentations one
sees at any MathFest. Congratulations are due, not only to these
award winners, but also to every student who presented at the
conference. Many thanks are due to the faculty advisors of these
students who worked with the students on their presentation and helped
them get to MathFest. The MAA Committee on Undergraduate Student
Activities and Chapters looks forward to continuing this fine tradition
at the 2004 MathFest in Providence, Rhode Island.
Two MCM Teams Win
MAA Awards
From a field of almost 500 undergraduate teams entered in the 2003
Mathematical Contest in Modeling, two teams emerged as MAA Winners’the
University of Washington, Seattle, with faculty advisor James Morrow,
and Youngstown State University, Ohio, with faculty advisor Angela
Spalsbury. The Washington team’Ernie Esser, Jeffrey
Giansiracusa, and ShengFong Pai’met the challenge of determining the
size, location and number of cardboard boxes needed to cushion a biker’s
fall. The Youngstown State team’Sarah Grove, Chris Jones, and Joel
Lepak’came up with an algorithm for optimal dosages in the use of a
Gamma Knife to treat brain tumor cells.
The teams had three and a half days to digest their problems, analyze
them, come up with solutions, and then type their
solutions. These teams made their presentation at
MathFest as part of the SAC’s program, and a large audience had to
opportunity to see these extraordinary undergraduates in action.
Jeffrey and ShengFong of the Washington team were able to travel to
Boulder for their presentation. In a demonstration showing how his
team obtained needed empirical data, Jeffrey donned a helmet, goggles,
and a lab coat, and then startled the audience by launching himself onto
a large cardboard box so that we could witness how his energy was
absorbed.
The Youngstown team was fully represented, with Sarah, Chris and Joel,
as well as advisor Angela Spalsbury, all in attendance. It was a
pleasure for the audience to see how the three presenting
undergraduates students worked together so smoothly.
CUSAC cochairs Jean and Richard attended the session and presented
each student with an MAA certificate. Each team’s school also
received a bronze plaque to commemorate their MCMMAA winning solutions.
Problems, Problems,
Problems
Clayton Dodge, Professor Emeritus, University of Maine, provided the
Student Workshop at the recent MathFest meeting in Boulder.
Professor Dodge’s workshop, titled ’Problems, Problems, Problems,â? was
enjoyed and appreciated by dozens of students. The former editor
of the Pi Mu Epsilon Journal for more than two decades, Dodge engaged
the audience in a plethora of problems, along with strategies for
solving them.
After detailing some problems, related techniques, and strategies,
students were challenged to solve some of the more interesting problems
on their own. Sheets of problems, pencils, and paper were passed
out to the students. The students busily engaged themselves for a
good portion of the twohour workshop, delighting in working out
problems. Some of the more interesting solutions were actively
shared with the group. Many students spoke to the group about the
strategies they used to solve problems and the ideas behind their
solutions.
Gracing Professor Dodge and also attending the workshop was his
daughter from the Los Angeles area, who flew in to spend some time with
him in the beautiful Boulder region. The MAA Committee is most
grateful to Professor Dodge for providing this super opportunity for
students to meet him, to be challenged, and informed by him.
Twentysix Finalists
Competed at the Collegiate Mathematics Championship
The 7th annual U. S. National Collegiate Mathematics Championship was
held at the MathFest in Boulder. A group of 26 students, finalists
in The Problem Solving Competition, were present to compete. The
Problem Solving Competition is a monthly problem solving activity
conducted locally at 500 colleges and universities in the United
States. The participating colleges enter their students in the
final competition for the national championship each year.
This year’s first place winner was Michael Khoury. Michael is a
junior at Denison University and is a repeat winner from 2001.
Second Place went to Robin Baur of Harvey Mudd College. Third
place went to James Lawrence of Miami University of Ohio, with fourth
place going to Emily King of Texas A&M University. In the
competition, all finalists are handed a clipboard with an initial
problem face down. The students begin working the first of seven
problems, arranged in order of increasing difficulty. Only when
they have obtained the correct solution to a problem can they obtain the
next problem. The first person to solve all seven problems is the
overall champion.

2003 champions Emily King, James Lawrence,
Michael Khoury and Robin Baur 
In addition to beautiful red white and blue trophies, the firstplace
prize included a summer internship at Lawrence Livermore National
Research Laboratory. A TI Voyage Calculator was also
presented as a top prize. All 26 student finalists received red,
white, and blue tshirts along with beautiful silver medallions.
For information on how students from your college or university can
qualify to attend the US National Collegiate Mathematics Championship
held each summer during MathFest, contact Dr. Richard Neal at
rneal@ascm.org or write to Dr. Richard
S. Neal, University of Oklahoma Department of Mathematics, Norman, OK
73019.
Back to top Whassup in
Phoenix
Broadening Students’
Mathematical Experiences
As mathematics faculty members we know that ’mathematics happensâ? all
around us every day. This might not be so apparent to students in
mathematics courses. Just think of how hard it is for them to see
where the math is applicable even in their other coursework, like
physics or chemistry. So, as Student Chapter and/or Math Club
advisors we are always on the lookout for opportunities to expose
students to mathematical activities and events that happen outside the
classroom.
To help with this endeavor, the MAA Committee on Undergraduate Student
Activities and Chapters has sponsored a session at the annual Joint
Meetings for the past few years called ’Mathematical Experiences for
Students Outside the Classroomâ?. This winter, at the 2004 Joint
Meetings in Phoenix, there will be over 3 hours of presentations, (8 ’
10:55 AM and 2:15 ’ 3:30 on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2004) containing great
ideas for things to do with math students outside the classroom.
These include activities and projects undertaken during Math Awareness
Week held in April each year, experiences with problem solving groups,
mentoring and guiding undergraduate mathematical research, mathematics
competitions, summer enrichment camps, and field trips. Besides hearing
about ’whatâ? you can do with students, you can also hear about ’howâ? to
go about doing it, from the people who actually did the activity.
Perhaps you’ll be able to take an idea or two from this session and use
it during the current semester at your own institution.
Mathematical
Experiences for Students Outside the Classroom
Wednesday January 7, 2004
Session I: 8:0010:55 a.m.
8:008:15
DSU Student Chapter of MAA Promotes
Mathematics Awareness
Daniel P. Wisniewski, OSFS (dpw2@desales.edu),
DeSales University
8:208:35
Field Trips to Our Nation’s Capital
Betty Mayfield (
mayfield@hood.edu),
Hood College
8:408:55
A First Timer's Experience with an
Independent Study
Greg Cicconetti (
grego1074@yahoo.com),
Muhlenberg College
9:009:15
Enticing, Engaging and Enlightening
Examples of Mathematical Activities
Thomas Q. Sibley (
TSIBLEY@CSBSJU.EDU),
St. John’s University
9:209:35
Obtaining Student Research Sponsors
and Showcasing Student Research at
the United States Military Academy
LTC Michael J. Johnson* (
am2351@exmail.usma.army.mil),
USMA
LTC Edgar Rugenstein (
at4464@exmail.usma.army.mil),
USMA
9:409:55
A Mentoring Program for Math,
Engineering, and Computer Science Majors
Holly Zullo (
hzullo@carroll.edu),
Carroll College
10:0010:15
StudentCentered Department Events
Cheryl L. Olsen (
clolse@ship.edu),
Shippensburg University
10:2010:35
A Competition for Future Mathematics
Teachers
Vince Schielack (
vinces@math.tamu.edu),
Texas A&M University
10:4010:55
From Problem Solving Group to Summer
Research: ksets of Magic Squares
Dave Feil* (
dfeil@cc.edu), Carroll
College
Andrew Shulman, Carroll College
Session II: 2:153:30 p.m.
2:152:30
A First Experience Advising
Undergraduate Research
Lisa DeMeyer (
lisa.demeyer@cmich.edu),
Central Michigan University
2:352:50
Student Construction Projects for
Mathematics Awareness Week and
Related Mathematics Problems
Aaron Trautwein (
akt@carthage.edu),
Carthage College
2:553:10
Summer Math Enrichment Camp Experience
Lynn McGrath* (
lmcgrath@sandiego.edu),
University of San Diego
Perla Myers, University of San Diego
Jane Friedman, University of San Diego
3:153:30
The South Alabama Math Circles
Vasiliy Prokhorov* (
prokhoro@jaguar1.usouthal.edu),
The University of South Alabama
Natalya Prokhorova (
nprokhorova@asms.net),
The Alabama School of Math & Science, The University of South
Alabama
Undergraduate Students Poster Session in
Phoenix, January 9, 2004
The Undergraduate Student Poster Session will take place on January 9,
2004 in Phoenix, AZ, in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the
American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Association of
America (MAA).
The poster session is organized by Mario Martelli of Claremont McKenna
College, and it is sponsored by the Committee on Undergraduate Student
Activities and Chapters (CUSAC) of the MAA. Interested
participants should send by December 9, 2003, a title and a (no more
than) onehalfpage abstract either by regular mail to Mario Martelli,
Mathematics Department, Claremont McKenna College, 850 Columbia Ave.,
Claremont, CA 91711, or by email to
mario.martelli@claremontmckenna.edu.
Please list the name of the author(s), specify the presenter(s).
Include address, phone number, and email of one presenter who will
coordinate your participation with the organizer. List the address and
the name of the faculty advisor(s), and, when applicable, any source of
financial support you may have received for the research on which the
poster is based. The coordinating presenter will be notified of the
acceptance not later than two weeks after the above information has been
received. Expositors are strongly encouraged to apply early since the
space is limited and it will be assigned on a first come, first serve
basis.
The session is reserved for undergraduates, but firstyear graduate
students can submit posters on work done while they were undergraduates.
As the title of the session suggests, the content of each poster cannot
be purely expository. Typical contents may be either a new result, or an
interesting proof of an existing theorem, or an unpublished solution to
a problem that appeared in one of the MAA journals.
Each poster will be judged by three experts on the basis of
mathematical originality and content, inventiveness and clarity of
presentation, and appropriateness of answers given by the presenters to
questions posed by the judges. Monetary prizes will be awarded to the
best posters with funds provided by AMS, MAA, AWM, and CUR.
Abstracts of the posters will not be published in the printed program
of the meeting. However, the organizer will prepare a handout listing
all exhibitors together with contact information (email, phone,
address), a title of their poster, a short abstract and the name of the
faculty under whose supervision the work was done. Presenters may wish
to bring 2550 copies of more detailed accounts to hand out to
interested visitors. They may also wish to bring blank stickon mailing
labels for those visitors who want to receive a final copy of the work
presented in the poster.
The organizer cannot provide any financial support for the students
presenting the posters. Selfstanding tabletop posters that are 48"
wide, 36" high and are trifold, and "Spra Mount" will be available.
Additional material for setting up the posters, as well as computers
and/or other technological devices needed for the presentation, is the
responsibility of each presenter. Please notify the organizer at your
earliest convenience if you expect to need power outlet for your
presentation. The room will be open for setting up the posters at 3:00
p.m. on Friday. See you in Phoenix!
Mario MartelliMathematics Department Claremont McKenna College850 Columbia Ave.Claremont, CA 91711telephone: (909) 6078979 email: mario.martelli@claremontmckenna.eduStudent Lecture at Phoenix Meeting
Professor Mark Meerschaert will deliver the Student Lecture at the
Joint Meetings in Phoenix. He is extremely good at making complex
ideas accessible, so do not let any students be discouraged by
statements in this abstract that they do not (at first reading) follow.
Title: Fractional Calculus with
ApplicationsTime: Friday, 1:00 p.m.
Abstract: Fractional derivatives are almost as old as their
integerorder cousins. Recently, fractional derivatives
have found new applications in engineering, physics, finance, and
hydrology. In physics, fractional derivatives are used to model
anomalous diffusion, where a cloud of particles spreads differently
than the classical Brownian motion model predicts. A probability
model for anomalous diffusion is based on particle jumps with power law
tails. The probability of a jump length larger than
r falls off like
these particle jumps have infinite
variance, indicating a faster than usual spreading rate. Particle
traces form random fractals whose dimension
equals the power law tail exponent. A fractional diffusion
equation for the concentration of particles
c(x ,t) at time
t and location
x takes a form
that can be solved via Fourier transforms. Fractional time
derivatives model particle sticking or trapping in a porous
medium. In finance, price jumps replace particle jumps, and the
same models apply. In this talk, we give an introduction to this
new area, starting from the beginning and ending with a look at ongoing
research.
Biographical information: Mark M. Meerschaert is a Professor in
the Department of Mathematics and the Graduate Program in Hydrologic
Sciences at the University of Nevada as well as an active member of the
Fractal Calculus project. Professor Meerschaert has professional
experience in the areas of probability, statistics, and mathematical
modeling. He started his mathematical career in 1979 as a systems
analyst at Vector Research, Inc., of Ann Arbor and Washington, D.C.,
where he worked on a wide variety of modeling projects for government
and industry. Meerschaert earned his doctorate in Mathematics
(Probability) from the University of Michigan in 1984. He has taught at
the University of Michigan, Albion College, Michigan State University,
and most recently at the University of Nevada in Reno. His current
research interests include ground water and surface water hydrology,
partial differential equations and stochastic processes, time series
analysis, limit theorems and parameter estimation for infinite variance
probability models.
See
http://unr.edu/homepage/mcubed/
for a photo and more information (publication list, etc.).
Also for Students in
Phoenix
Student Hospitality Center
WednesdayFriday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Organized by Richard Neal, University of Oklahoma.
Who Wants to Be a Mathematician?
Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Organized by Michael A. Breen and Annette W. Emerson, AMS; and William
T. Butterworth, Barat College of DePaul University
Come watch ten of Phoenix's top high
school students as they have the chance to compete for cash and prizes
by answering questions about mathematics. There is no partial credit to
agonize over, and the top prize is $2,000. Contestants can ask for help
from the audience, so the more people in the audience who know
mathematics, the better it is for the contestants. You are invited to
come and take part in this educational and fun presentation.
What Can You Do with a Degree in
Mathematics?
Saturday, 1:00 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.
Organized by John A. Vano, University of WisconsinMadison; and Kim
Roth, Wheeling Jesuit University
Ever wanted to know what all of your
options are for careers with your math degree? This panel will talk
about some of the options, from industry to grad school and other
things in between. Undergraduate and graduate students are especially
encouraged to attend.
Back to topFinal Notes
CUSAC
CoChair Becomes MAA VP
Jean Bee Chan, who has devoted her talents, time, and energy to CUSAC
as cochair, was recently elected as a vice president of the MAA.
Because of the demands of her new post, she has resigned as cochair of
our committee. Richard Neal, who will continue as sole chairwan
of CUSAC, wrote: "She has done an excellent and valuable
job. We wish her well with her new expanded duties where she can
make even greater contributions."
Credits
Jean Bee ChanMAA Student Lecture in Boulder; Ben FusaroMAAMCM
Winners; John HolteChapter Newsletter Editor; Tom KelleyStudent
Papers; Laura KelleherMathematical Experiences for Students Outside
the Classroom; Tom KelleyBroadening Students' Mathematical
Experiences; Edward KeppelmannStudent Lecture in Phoenix; Mario
MartelliPoster Session in Phoenix; Betty MayfieldStudent Reception at
Boulder MathFest; Richard NealStudent Workshop & National
Collegiate Mathematics Championship.
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Contact Information
How to Reach the MAA
For Membership Information, Subscriptions, and Publication Orders
contact:
The MAA Service Center
P.O. Box 9112
Washington, DC 200901622
8003311522 or (301)6179415
FAX: (301) 2069789
For the MAA Headquarters:
The Mathematical Association of
America
1529 Eighteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 200361385
8007419415 or (202) 3875200
FAX: (202) 2652384
How to Contact the Chapter Newsletter Editor
Suggestion, concerns, and/or contributions of articles for the CUSAC
newsletter may be sent to:
John Holte
Department of Mathematics and
Computer Science
Gustavus Adolphus College
800 W. College Avenue
St. Peter, MN 56082
(507) 9337465
holte@gustavus.edu
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