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Invited Paper Sessions

MAA Invited Paper Sessions

Bridging Network Science and Graph Theory

Thursday afternoon, August 2


The current session aims at bringing together researchers from different areas to learn or apply their knowledge to network science. While the foundations of Network science are in graph theory, the discipline evolved to include sociologists, computer scientist and others that are interested in understanding and analyzing social networks, technological network, biological networks and networks of information. The network science field bloomed as big data emerged, yet mathematicians are a minority at these conferences. The types of contributions for this session are either state-of-the art overviews of network science research topics, or newly developed theory/applications in network science that is of interest to the mathematical community.

Ralucca Gera, Naval Postgraduate School

Category Theory for All

Saturday afternoon, August 4


Category theory can be thought of as being "very abstract algebra". It is typically taught at graduate school or in some select cases to advanced undergraduates. In this session we will show ways in which category theory can be taught in a meaningful way to undergraduates and those without particularly aptitude or expertise in math, even high school and middle school students. In the process, we will emphasize important aspects of mathematics that are not to do with solving problems, proving theorems, or getting the right answer, including: making connections between different situations, illuminating deep structures, finding fundamental reasons for things, and improving the clarity of our thinking. The talks will be of interest for general enrichment as well as pedagogy.

Eugenia Cheng, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Modeling Biological Rhythms

Friday afternoon, August 3


Periodic oscillations are a characteristic feature of many living systems. Cells, organs, and whole organisms often exhibit regular clock-like behavior. Examples include cell division, circadian rhythms, heartbeats, and brain waves. Researchers seek to understand how these oscillations are generated, how they interact with external cues, and how disruptions in biological rhythms may be associated with pathologies. One indication of the current level of interest in these topics is the awarding of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to a group of researchers who investigated the molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms.

Mathematical modeling has proven to be an invaluable tool for investigating biological rhythms. Drawing on the theory of dynamical systems, mathematical biologists have made important contributions to understanding the structure and behavior of biological oscillators. In addition, biological oscillators are a rich source of topics for classroom explorations and student research projects.

Speakers in this IPS will illustrate the breadth of biological questions and mathematical techniques that are used to study the rhythms of life. They will highlight recent advances and open questions.

David Brown, The Colorado College

Strategies to Synergize Culture in the Learning and Doing of Mathematics

Saturday, August 4, 1:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.


How do we embed various cultures into the learning and doing of mathematics? What are the ways that we can enhance the learning of mathematics through culturally-responsive teaching? Mathematics grounded in the African American, Latinx, and Native American traditions as well as other international traditions can stimulate connections and a sense of belonging in the mathematical community. Presenters will provide implementable strategies to synergize culture in the learning and the doing of mathematics. By infusing various cultures into our mathematics, we enhance the learning experience as well as broaden the inclusion of those doing mathematics.

Talitha Washington, Howard University and the National Science Foundation

The MAA Instructional Practices Guide in Action

Thursday, August 2, 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.


The goal of the session is to bring the new MAA Instructional Practices (IP) Guide to life for the mathematical community. Talks will demonstrate how members of the community are using the IP Guide in their classroom practice or for professional development.

Martha Abell, Georgia Southern University
Carolyn Yackel, Mercer University

Click here to read abstracts for the talks in this session


Professional Development for Collegiate Instructors with the MAA Instructional Practices Guide

1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.
Hortensia Soto, University of Northern Colorado

Graduate Teaching Assistant Development via the MAA Instructional Practices Guide

2:00 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.
Gulden Karakok, University of Northern Colorado

Developing Persistence in Problem Solving in relation to the MAA Instructional Practices Guide

2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.
Angie Hodge, Northern Arizona University

Paired Board Work is Definitely Not Bored Work

3:00 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.
April D. Strom, Scottsdale Community College

Five Essential Elements for Cooperative Learning described in the MAA Instructional Practices Guide

3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.
James A. Mendoza Álvarez, The University of Texas at Arlington


AWM-MAA Invited Paper Session

Geometric Ideas and Where to Find Them

Friday afternoon, August 3


Results from geometry have long captivated the attention of mathematicians because of the surprising beauty, wide utility, and intriguing proofs behind the results. Geometric concepts are often a thread connecting areas of mathematics as well as a link between mathematics and other fields. In this session, we focus on new ways of looking at geometric theorems as well as applications to various fields of mathematics, including linear algebra, complex analysis, and dynamics.

Ulrich Daepp, Pamela Gorkin, and Karl Voss, Bucknell University