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MAA Student Chapters Newsletters - Spring 2005

Spring 2005

Introduction Atlanta Aftermath Call for Student Papers Albuquerque Activities Credits



Introduction

MathFest 2005 in Albuquerque

Plan on participating in the activities planned for the Albuquerque, New Mexico, MathFest this summer, starting with the MAA-Pi Mu Epsilon reception for undergraduates Wednesday evening, August 3, and continuing through Saturday, August 6, 2004. The activities for students will include the Student Hospitality Center, the MAA Student Paper Sessions, the presentations of the MAA Mathematical Contest in Modeling winners, the MAA Student Lecture, the MAA Student Activities Session (formerly called the MAA Student Workshop), and the Student Problem Solving Competition. In addition, students and advisors will likely be interested in the parallel Pi Mu Epsilon student papers sessions, the PME banquet, and the PME J. Sutherland Frame lecture. Information on these activities may be found inside in the section ’Albuquerque Activities.â?

MAA Student Activities at the Atlanta Joint Mathematics Meetings

Warm and sunny weather welcomed those who attended the JMM at Atlanta in January. Once again, a record number of students participated in the MAA student poster session, about one hundred students and advisors attended the MAA student lecture by Robin J. Wilson, many folks attended the special session on ’Mathematical Experiences for Students outside the Classroom,â? and students and others enjoyed the diversions offered at the Student Hospitality Center throughout the meetings. Thanks to the Diversity Initiative, some students from underrepresented groups received assistance with travel and registration expenses. For a report on these activities, check out the ’Atlanta Aftermath.â?


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Atlanta Aftermath

MAA Student Lecture at 2005 JMM


Dr. Robin J. Wilson of the Open University, U.K. delivered the MAAStudent Lecture at the 2005 Joint Mathematics Meetings. Over 300 students and mathematicians attended. Professor Wilson, son of former British Prime Minister Wilson, discussed the famous Kirkwood Schoolgirls Problem, polyhedral, trees, partitions, and map colorings, all illustrated by colorful slides. (Professor Wilson is also known for his colorful attire.) He delighted the audience with interesting stories of Cayley, Syvester, Clifford, Kempe, De Morgan, and others. After the talk, Professor Wilson remained to meet individual students and answer questions.

Dr. Robin J. Wilson


Dr. Robin J. Wilson delivers the Student Lecture


Diversity Initiative 2005


Diversity Grant Initiative recipients
Some of the Diversity Initiative Grant recipients posed with Robin Wilson and members of the committee


CUSAC administers a small grant program called the MAA Diversity Initiative, designed to help college faculty bring students from under-represented groups to the Joint Meetings. Institutions may apply for travel mini-grants of up to $500, to cover some of the costs of registration, travel, and housing. This year the program was featured in a poster session at the meetings, for Special Programs and Strategies to Reach Underrepresented Populations.

Fourteen schools were awarded grants this year: Armstrong Atlantic State University, Atlanta Metropolitan College, Austin Peay State University, California State University Chico, East Tennessee State University, Elon University, Georgia College and State University, Kennesaw State University, Meredith College, North Carolina A&T University, Pepperdine University, Southern Polytechnic University, and the University of South Florida. Two of the institutions were NREUP sites in Summer 2004 (see /nreup/).

Faculty from these institutions brought 53 undergraduate students to the meetings in Atlanta, where they attended the opening student reception, the student poster session, and the MAA Student Lecture by Robin Wilson, along with other meeting events. Eighteen of them presented posters ’ either in the CUSAC session or in another one -- or gave a paper. CUSAC is happy to welcome these new members of the mathematics community to the Joint Meetings, and hopes that they will return many times in the future.





Mathematical Experiences for Students outside the Classroom

On Saturday afternoon, the MAA Committee on Undergraduate Student Activities and Chapters hosted a session entitled Mathematical Experiences for Students outside the Classroom. The session, organized by Kay Somers of Moravian College and Jody Sorensen from Grand Valley State University, included fourteen exciting talks covering a wide range of topics.

Presenters spoke about successful math club activities, student service projects, and undergraduate conferences. There were great talks about student contests, including Mathematical Jeopardy and tic-tac-toe on affine planes. The talks were well attended, and we thank all the participants for their contributions. Look for a similar session at next year’s meeting in San Antonio

Jody Sorensen


Jody Sorensen opening the session on Mathematical Experiences for Students outside the Classroom



Student Hospitality Center

Student Hospitality Center




Once again Richard and Araceli Neal organized and set up the Student Hospitality Center, a popular retreat and gathering place for students attending the Joint Mathematics Meetings. The SHC provided refreshments, puzzles and games, MAA literature, and a place to talk math or merely to socialize. The Neals regret that an emergency situation back home called them away. Nevertheless, the official grand opening went ahead as planned, and throngs of students enjoyed the mixer.
Students enjoyed the treats, the puzzles, and the company at the Student Hospitality Center




Mario Martelli's Report on the Undergraduate Student Poster Session

The Undergraduate Student Poster Session was, for students, judges and visitors, one of the highest points of the Joint Meeting of the AMS, MAA, and AWM in Atlanta. The Committee on Undergraduate Student Activities and Chapters (CUSAC) sponsored the event; Dr. Mario Martelli of Claremont McKenna College organized it; the money for the prizes was generously provided by the Moore Education Foundation, the AMS, MAA, SIAM, CUR, and AWM; and Dr. Suzanne Lenhart from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, brought the $3700 dollars donated by the six organizations. Over 120 teams of students from across the USA and Canada displayed the results of their research, and 150 professional mathematicians evaluated them, following the precise guidelines established by the organizer.

The complete list of all posters recognized with a prize can be found in the student section of the MAA website. The Southern California-Nevada Section of the MAA is well represented in this group with six posters done by undergraduates of four different institutions: California State University San Bernardino, Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College (3 posters), and Pomona College. Other REU programs received particular recognition. Among them I would like to mention the programs at Trinity University, at Central Michigan University, and at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. High in the judges' evaluation was one poster done at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, under the guidance of Dr. Suzanne Lenhart, and two posters done at Williams College with Dr. F. Morgan and Dr. A. Pacelli. I was very pleased to notice that two students from Montclair State University were among the presenters and each one received a prize. The advisors of the two posters were Drs. D. Thomas and L. Billings.


Undergraduate Poster Session

Ed Keppelmann and Mario Martelli


The Undergraduate Poster Session attracted a curious crowd

Ed Keppelmann and Mario Martelli tallied the scores for 123 posters



However, the best recognition for every undergraduate was to be selected by a professional advisor, and to be accepted by the organizer. To receive one of the prizes is a recognition coveted by many, and some presenters may have been disappointed by the outcome of the evaluation. These students, and everybody else, should keep in mind that all posters receiving a prize were concentrated in an interval of only seven points and in four cases the secondary evaluation had to be used as a tiebreaker. Let me also share with you this information. The discrepancies I noticed this year among the judge’s evaluations were definitely more pronounced than the ones I had observed in the past. Close to one third of the posters received either a high evaluation from two judges and a low evaluation from the third, or the other way around. The most dramatic example was a poster that received 27 points (out of 30) from one judge and only 14 from another. Therefore, I want to stress again, and all advisors should do the same, that the most important prize is to have been part of this incredible event, in which so may talented undergraduates had the opportunity to display their work and to talk about their results with professional mathematicians.

I was particularly pleased by the presence of five or more posters from the following REU locations: Arizona State University, California State University San Bernardino, Central Michigan University, Trinity University, and Texas A&M University. Topics in Applied Mathematics, Graph Theory, Knot Theory, Group Theory, Linear Algebra, and Combinatorics were among the subjects more frequently selected by the teams. Some of the results presented have already been published in professional journals or are in the process of being submitted for publications.

I want to express my sincere appreciation to all judges who donated their time to this worthy cause. Some of them have already done it several times. I refrain to mention names since I am afraid I will miss more than one. You know how much I value your help. I am so happy when your name appears on the screen of my computer with a "yes" answer to my request for help. I want to express my appreciation to Jim Tattersall, Associate Secretary of the MAA, to Robin Hagan Aguiar and Donna Salter from the AMS, to Michael Pearson and Katarina Briedova from the MAA, to all members of CUSAC, to my Administrative Assistant Patty Castro, to my daughter Lisa, my wife Ann, and my student Allison Westfahl for their invaluable help. Dr. Diana Thomas from Montclair State University coordinated the accommodation of the students. Thank you, Diana. The great success of the Undergraduate Student Poster Session would not have been possible without the collaboration of so many people. Finally, I want to extend a special thank to all advisors who worked hard with the students. They are making a difference in the life of these young kids, and their time and energy could not have been put to a better use. The future of mathematics is in great hands. I hope to see all of you in San Antonio in January 2006!

I want to express my sincere appreciation to all judges who donated their time to this worthy cause. Some of them have already done it several times. I refrain to mention names since I am afraid I will miss more than one. You know how much I value your help. I am so happy when your name appears on the screen of my computer with a "yes" answer to my request for help. I want to express my appreciation to Jim Tattersall, Associate Secretary of the MAA, to Robin Hagan Aguiar and Donna Salter from the AMS, to Michael Pearson and Katarina Briedova from the MAA, to all members of CUSAC, to my Administrative Assistant Patty Castro, to my daughter Lisa, my wife Ann, and my student Allison Westfahl for their invaluable help. Dr. Diana Thomas from Montclair State University coordinated the accommodation of the students. Thank you, Diana. The great success of the Undergraduate Student Poster Session would not have been possible without the collaboration of so many people. Finally, I want to extend a special thank to all advisors who worked hard with the students. They are making a difference in the life of these young kids, and their time and energy could not have been put to a better use. The future of mathematics is in great hands. I hope to see all of you in San Antonio in January 2006!
Poster Session award winners

Poster session award winners pose with organizer Mario Martelli



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Call for Student Papers

Call for Student Papers to be presented at MathFest 2005 in Albuquerque

Students who wish to present a paper at MathFest 2005 in Albuquerque, New Mexico must be nominated by a faculty advisor familiar with the work to be presented. To propose a paper for presentation, the student must complete a form and obtain the signature of a faculty sponsor. The deadline for submitted abstracts is June 28, 2005.

Nomination forms for the MAA Student Paper Sessions are located on MAA Online at www.maa.org/students/undergrad/, or can be obtained from Edward C. Keppelmann at the University of Nevada Reno (775-784-6773) keppelma@unr.edu.

The MAA Committee for Undergraduate Student Activities has limited funds to support travel to Math Fest by student presenters. Student presenters who are also members of MAA student chapters are eligible for up to $600 and non-chapter members are eligible for up to $300 with a maximum of at most one student being supported from any given institution. Travel funds are limited this year so early application is encouraged. The deadline for receipt of travel grant applications for confirmed presenters with completed abstracts is June 21,2005 although to assure the availability of funds students should apply as early as possible.

In addition to the MAA student paper sessions at Math Fest there are also sessions sponsored by Pi Mu Epsilon. Pi Mu Epsilon student speakers must be nominated by their chapter advisors. Application forms for PME student speakers can be found on the PME web site at www.pme-math.org or can be obtained from PME Secretary, Treasurer, Dr. Leo Schneider leo@jcu.edu>. Students making presentations at the Annual Meeting of PME are eligible for partial transportation reimbursement. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is Tuesday, June 28, 2005.







Some of the Best-in-Session award winners with Prof. Benoit Mandelbrot

Some of the students who won best-in-session awards in the MAA Student Paper Sessions at the 2004 MathFest pose with Professor Benoit Mandelbrot





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Albuquerque Activities

MAA/Pi Mu Epsilon Reception

Wednesday, August 3, 5:30-6:30 pm
Invite your undergraduate students to attend this reception sponsored by the MAA and Pi Mu Epsilon.


Student Hospitality Center

Hosted by Richard and Araceli Neal, the American Society for the Communication of Mathematics

Thursday, August 4,

Friday, August 5, Saturday, August 6,

The Student Hospitality Center (SHC) provides a place for stu­dents and other MathFest attendees to meet for informal con­versation, refreshments, and mathematical diversions. The SHC also provides programs for the MAA and Pi Mu Epsilon stu­dent paper sessions, packets for the MAA student presenters, and information on MathFest activities of interest to students. Special information for students can be found on MAA Online at / and http://www.pme-math.org/.


MAA Student Paper Sessions

Thursday, August 4, Friday, August 5,

Edward C. Keppelmann, University of Nevada, and Mary S. Hawkins, Prairie View A&M University, are the organizers of these sessions.


Pi Mu Epsilon Paper Sessions

Thursday, August 4,

Friday, August 5,

J. Douglas Faires, Youngstown State University, is the organizer of these sessions.


Math Horizons Special Session

Thursday, August 4,

Meet the editors of Math Horizons, Arthur T. Benjamin of Harvey Mudd College and Jennifer J. Quinn of Occidental College. Math Horizons is the MAA’s magazine for students, filled with intriguing articles, profiles, problems, humor, and contests. We are interested in your suggestions, and we will be looking for students to join our Student Advisory Group

Pi Mu Epsilon Banquet

Friday, August 5,

All undergraduate students and their supporters are welcome to attend this banquet, sponsored by PME and MAA. See the registration form for more information on this ticketed event.


Pi Mu Epsilon-J. Sutherland Frame Lecture:
Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof

Friday, August 5,

Arthur T. Benjamin, Harvey Mudd College, is the featured speaker. Mathematics is the science of patterns, and mathematicians attempt to understand these patterns and discover new ones using various tools. In this talk, we demonstrate that many number patterns, even very complex ones, can be understood by simple counting arguments. You will enjoy the magic of Fi­bonacci numbers, Lucas numbers, continued fractions, and more. You can count on it! This talk is based on research with Professor Jennifer Quinn and many, many undergraduates.


Undergraduate Student Activities Session: Walking on Long Paths

Saturday, August 6,

John Harris of FurmanUniversity is the leader of the activities session. In this workshop several basic graph theory concepts will be presented, a few facts about paths will be described, and a few open problems will be shared. Student participants will work together to find examples that relate to the topics being discussed.


MAA Student Lecture: Lights, Camera, Freeze!

Annalisa Crannell,
Franklin & Marshall College, and Marc Frantz, Indiana University



Saturday, August 14,


Director/Producer Stephen ’Marcâ? Frantzberg teams up with the world-famous actress Annalisa Monalisa Cranberry to bring you the new blockbuster hit, Projection. Spanning the centuries between Renaissance perspective painting and modern cinematic special effects, Projection reveals the true secrets behind projecting a 3-dimensional world onto a 2-dimensional canvas (or movie screen). You’ll laugh; you’ll yawn; you’ll cry; you’ll reach the vanishing point. The movie includes a cast of thousands (or dozens, depending on how many people are in the audience).


Student Problem-Solving Competition

Saturday, August 6,

Richard Neal, American Society for the Communication of Mathematics, hosts the finals of the Problem Solving Competition. Univer­sities and colleges that participate monthly on their own cam­puses by holding problem solving contests are invited to send two contestants. Each contestant will be required to solve a se­ries of mathematical problems. Based upon the outcome, a champion and a runner-up will be named.


MAA Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) Winners

Ben Fusaro, Florida State University

Saturday, August 6,

About 450 teams, each consisting of three undergraduates, took part in the 2005 MCM in February. The contest consists of two real(istic) scenarios (one discrete, one continuous) that call for analysis and resolution. The teams have four days to deal with the challenge during which time they may use or consult any­thing inanimate ’ computers, libraries, the Web, etc. MAA judges choose one continuous and one discrete winner from the top contenders. The MAA subsidizes the teams’ travel to MathFest, where they will present the results of their four-day challenge.

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Credits & Contact Information

Credits

MAA Student Lecture’Jean Bee Chan, photo’Editor; Diversity Initiative and photo’Betty Mayfield; Mathematical Experiences for Students outside the Classroom, Atlanta’Jody Sorensen, photo’Editor; StudentHospitalityCenter and photo’Editor; Student Poster Session’Mario Martelli, photos’M. Martelli and Editor; Call for Student Papers’Ed Keppelmann, photo’Editor; Albuquerque Activities’April Focus


How to Reach the MAA

For Membership Information, Subscriptions, and Publication Orders contact:

The MAA Service Center


P.O. Box
9112


Washington
, DC 20090-1622


800-331-1622
or (301)617-9415


FAX: (301) 206-9789

For the MAA Headquarters:

The Mathematical Association of America


1529

Eighteenth Street, NW


Washington
, DC 20036-1385


800-741-9415
or (202) 387-5200


FAX: (202) 265-2384


How to Contact the Chapter Newsletter Editor

Suggestions, 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) 933 - 7465
holte@gustavus.edu

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