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MAA Math Alert - October 2009

News and Views

MAA Congressional Briefing Calls for Minority STEM Majors to Stem "Brain Drain"
At an MAA congressional briefing on Sept. 22, 2009, mathematics educators called for greater Federal funding to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities in science, engineering, and mathematics--and thus help keep the nation competitive. Read More

MAA President David Bressoud's October Launchings column, "MAA Speaks Out on Capitol Hill," provides more information on the event

Hard Problems Moves to Television
The MAA-produced documentary Hard Problems is being broadcast on many public television stations across the country. PBS World will show the filmfive times on 40 channels nationwide on October 22. Local PBS stations across the country will show the film at various times over the next few months. Interested viewers are encouraged to check the MAA website regularly for schedule updates and showings in your area. Read More
To find a free, local screening in your area here.

Frank Farris Unveils Hyperbolic Wallpaper at the Universe's Edge
A journey to an alternate universe based onhyperbolic geometrycan serve as an entrée to eye-popping wallpaper designs.Frank A. Farrisof Santa Clara University made this provocative notion the basis of a colorful, animatedpublic lecture, recently presented at the MAA's Carriage House. Read More
Also, check out an interview with Frank Farris.

Abstract Deadline for Student Posters at 2010 Joint Mathematics Meeting
The registration deadline for participating in the Undergraduate Student Poster Session is November 6. To submit an abstract, go to who register for the Poster Session will have the opportunity to apply for a travel grant up to $600. Questions about the Poster Session should be directed to Diana Thomas at Questions about the Travel Grants should be directed to Robert Vallin at

Mathematics Job Opening at NSF
TheNational Science Foundationhas an opening for a qualified mathematician: Director, Division of Mathematical Sciences, in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Read More

Featured Articles

How Euler Did It - The Moon and the Differential - A Guest Column by Rob Bradley
Most of Euler's papers fall decisively into one category or the other, but it wasn't at all rare for one of his works of applied mathematics to include new techniques or results in analysis. This month, we look at an astronomical paper that proposes numerical techniques for approximating a body's velocity and acceleration. Read More

Card Colm - The Bligreath Principle
This month's column takes a look at legendary "binary magic" creator Leo Boudreau's shufflingprinciple. Read More

New LOCI Article - Trisecting a Line Segment (With World Record Efficiency!)
This article finds the shortest trisection of a line segment, then the shortest construction using only circles (Mohr-Mascheroni) and using only lines (Poncelet-Steiner). Read More

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Publishing Date: 
October, 2009