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Social Events and Other Sessions

Exhibit Hall & Grand Opening Reception

Wednesday, July 31, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Grand Ballroom B


The MAA MathFest Grand Opening Reception will launch this year's MAA MathFest on a high note. This event is intended to draw attendees together in a spirit of camaraderie. We warmly invite you to enjoy complimentary light hors d'oeuvres while you mix and mingle in the Exhibit Hall with other registered participants and guests, sponsors, and exhibitors.


MAA MathFest Registration & Information

Wednesday, July 31, 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Grand Ballroom Lobby
Thursday, August 1, 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Grand Ballroom Lobby
Friday, August 2, 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Grand Ballroom Lobby
Saturday, August 3, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Grand Ballroom Lobby


MAA Prize Session

Friday, August 2, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Grand Ballroom A


The session is organized by MAA Secretary James Sellers, Penn State University, and is moderated by MAA President Michael Dorff, Brigham Young University.


MAA Section Officers Meeting

Thursday, August 1, 3:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Junior Ballroom C


This session is moderated by Lisa Marano, West Chster University, Chair of the MAA Committee on Sections. It is open to all section officers and their guests.


The President’s Membership Jubilee

Thursday, August 1, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Duke Energy Convention Center, Grand Ballroom A


Magic tricks, popular movies, achievements in sport, games and puzzles, mimes, soap bubbles are not what the general public associates with mathematics. But for many of us, these are another fun and exciting side of mathematics. During the MAA President’s Jubilee, different presenters will highlight some of these areas of mathematics. Come join us.


Alder Award Session

Friday, August 2, 2:30 p.m. – 3:50 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Grand Ballroom A


The MAA established the Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member to honor beginning college or university faculty members whose teaching has been extraordinarily successful and whose effectiveness in teaching undergraduate mathematics is shown to have influence beyond their own classrooms. Each year, at most three college or university teachers are honored with this national award. The awardees are invited to make a presentation in this session. The session is moderated by MAA President Michael Dorff.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the School

2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.
PJ Couch, Lamar University


Much of what a student takes away from school is knowledge of the system, teaching styles, and the status quo of education, in addition to (or at the expense of) the intended curriculum. I would like to offer some of my experiences in the classroom and explain how (and why) they influenced my approach to teaching. Topics include: pyrrhic victories, taking the path of least resistance, and how to break the news to someone that you're a mathematician.


The Undergraduate Mathematics Classroom as a Publishing House: A New Type of Learning Community

3:00 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.
Pamela Harris, Williams College


I recently led an undergraduate senior seminar course with the following lofty goal: coauthor an accessible book on research in a wide range of topics in the field of algebraic combinatorics. Imagine the students' surprise to learn of this during the first day of the course. Not to mention the level of work such an undertaking entails, both on the students and on the professor! Fourteen students took on the challenge and in this talk I discuss the process of building a learning community and how through this community we reached our goal of writing a book.


Teaching with H

3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.
Alicia Prieto, Youngstown State University


In this talk we will discuss the idea of “meaning and purpose” and how it connects to teaching mathematics. These ideas have slowly infiltrated my own learning and the way that I teach helping me connect with my students and greatly enhancing the pleasure of teaching and learning mathematics. I will discuss some particular example of ways in which I have tried to improve my teaching with various degrees of success and consider what other might try if they want to include this ideas in their own teaching.


Committee Meeting

MAA Business Meeting

Saturday, August 3, 1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Junior Ballroom D


The meeting is organized by MAA Secretary James Sellers, Penn State University, and is chaired by MAA President Michael Dorff, Brigham Young University


MAA MathFest Mentoring Workshop for Women (MMWW)

Saturday, August 3, 8:30 a.m - 1:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 201


A half-day workshop providing information for undergraduate women interested in advanced study in mathematics. Information will be provided on graduate study in mathematics, careers available to women with an advanced mathematics degree, and constructing a life as a mathematician.

Deanna Haunsperger, Carleton College


Graduate Student Paper Session

Great Talks for a General Audience: Coached Presentations by Graduate Students

Saturday, August 3, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Junior Ballroom D


While graduate students gain experience speaking about their research to experts in their field, many do not have the opportunity to speak to non-experts. This session gives graduate students the chance to give a 20-minute talk, similar to one they might give during a job interview (but not necessarily), aimed at an undergraduate audience who has had only calculus and possibly some linear algebra. Both the talks and abstracts should be designed to excite a wide range of undergraduates about mathematics. Participants will work with session organizers and mentors throughout the entire process. Before MathFest, participants will receive feedback on their abstracts from the organizers. On the first day of MathFest, participants should attend the graduate student workshop, “What’s the Story?,” that gives guidance on creating such talks. Optional Q&A sessions with the organizers will also be offered, where participants can receive feedback as they prepare their presentations. After they give their talk at the “Great Talks” session, participants will meet with an established faculty member and an undergraduate student to receive private feedback. Session organizers welcome questions about preparing abstracts or talks.

Jim H. Freeman, Cornell College
May Mei, Denison University
Ranjan Rohatgi, Saint Mary's College
Aliza Steurer, Dominican University

Sponsor: MAA Committee on Graduate Students


Speed Interview Marathon for Graduate Students

Thursday, August 1, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Junior Ballroom D


Employers suggest communication skills are a critical component of job interviews. This session for undergraduate students, graduate students and early career mathematicians helps participants hone these skills, with best practices and tips on job interviewing and three speed interviewing sessions to practice what participants have learned. Sessions include individual feedback for participants and opportunities to network with fellow interviewees.

Edray Goins, Pomona College
Jenna Carpenter, Campbell University

Sponsor: MAA Committee on Graduate Students


Graduate Student Reception

Thursday, August 1, 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Junior Ballroom B


Graduate students are invited for some refreshments and to meet several of the invited speakers.

Edray Goins, Pomona College
Eric Eager, University of Wisconsin at La Crosse

Sponsor: MAA Committee on Graduate Students


Read the Masters Session: Euler's Introductio in Analysin Infinitorum

Thursday, August 1, 3:40 p.m. - 5:40 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 201


Leonhard Euler's Introductio (1748) is a key text in the history of mathematics. In it, Euler provided the foundation for much of today's mathematical analysis, focusing in particular on functions and their development into infinite series. At this event, a brief description of what is entailed in engaging historical texts, especially through small reading groups, will precede an open reading session of a portion of the Introductio (in English translation, with guiding questions) by attendees in small groups, followed by a general discussion. No experience with the history of mathematics is required.

Erik Tou, University of Washington Tacoma
Daniel Otero, Xavier University
Lawrence D'Antonio, Ramapo College
Robert Bradley, Adelphi University
Amy Shell-Gellasch, Eastern Michigan University




Saturday, August 3, 3:00 p.m - 5:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 264


Learn to play backgammon from expert players. It’s a fun and exciting game where players with a good mathematics background have a decisive advantage. Boards and free lessons will be provided by members of the US Backgammon Federation. Stop by anytime!.

Art Benjamin, Harvey Mudd College


Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival

Saturday, August 3, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Junior Ballroom B


The Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival (JRMF) consists of interactive and varied mathematical games, puzzles, problems, and activities. Participants choose which activity to engage and for how long. Facilitators guide but don't demonstrate or teach so participants can discover, explore, and enjoy mathematics. The event provides an opportunity for faculty and teachers to learn how they could host a JRMF locally.

Japheth Wood, Bard College
Thomas Clark, Dordt College


A Conversation with AMS and MAA on the Future of Meetings

Friday, August 2, 11:20 a.m. - 12:10 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Junior Ballroom C


Last year's announcement that AMS and MAA would discontinue shared management of the Joint Mathematics Meetings has raised questions among many in our community about how we can sustain the value of the collaboration associated with this annual event beyond 2021.

This session will allow leadership of both organizations to share their vision for the future, including annual and section meetings, and new initiatives to provide professional opportunities for members of our community. You are also invited to provide feedback directly to AMS at  and

J. Michael Pearson, Executive Director of the Mathematical Association of America
Catherine A. Roberts, Executive Director of the American Mathematical Society

Sponsors: MAA, AMS


PIC Math Showcase

Student Presentations: Saturday August 3, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Junior Ballroom C
Industry Speakers: Saturday, August 3, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Junior Ballroom C
Poster Session: Saturday, August 3, 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Junior Ballroom C


PIC Math prepares mathematical sciences students for industrial careers by engaging them in research problems that come directly from industry. In this session students who participated in PIC Math will give talks and poster presentations about their research, and mathematicians in industry will talk about what it is like to work in industry and what students need to do to succeed.

  • 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.: Eight students talks at 15-minute intervals
  • 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.: Two mathematicians from industry speak in 30-minute intervals
  • 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: Break
  • 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.: PIC Math student poster session

Sponsors: PIC Math is an MAA program that is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF grant DMS-1722275) and the National Security Agency (NSA).


SCUDEM Gathering and Information Session

Friday, August 2, 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 236


SCUDEM-SIMIODE Challenge Using Differential Equations Modeling Gathering of interested colleagues interested in host site coordinator issues, team registration, coaching teams, etc. to learn about SCUDEM IV 2091 event to be held on 9 November 2019. See for complete details.

Brian Winkel, Director of SIMIODE (Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations)


Section NExT Leadership Meeting

Thursday, August 1, 5:00 p.m. - 5:50 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Junior Ballroom C


This informal discussion will provide Section NExT Leaders the opportunity to compare notes, including challenges and opportunities. We will focus on the ways that Section NExT supports the MAA values of community, inclusivity, communication and teaching/learning. We will also think about ways the sections can support each other and how we might identify some standard practices that enable MAA HQ to support Section NExT. The session will be developed in consultation with Section NExT leaders and facilitated by MAA Deputy Executive Director Ray Levy.

Ray Levy, Mathematical Association of America
Cheryl Adams, Mathematical Association of America
Lisa Marano, West Chester University


National Science Foundation Funding Opportunities in the Education and Human Resources Directorate

Friday, August 2, 10:10 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 232


NSF offers a variety of grant programs that promote innovations and research in learning, teaching and broadening participation in the mathematical sciences. Included in these programs are the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)and Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE). Following a presentation about these and other programs in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, the remainder of the session will feature opportunities to engage in small group discussions with NSF staff about program features, current NSF policy changes, proposal preparation guidance, and other related topics. The recommended audience for this presentation is undergraduates who may be considering graduate school, graduate students, and faculty.

Karen Keene, DUE NSF
Talitha Washington, National Science Foundation
Sandra Richardson, National Science Foundation
Minerva Cordero, National Science Foundation


Pi Mu Epsilon Banquet

Friday, August 2, 6:00 p.m. - 7:45 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Junior Ballroom B


All PME members and their supporters are welcome. See the registration form for more information on this ticketed event.


Math Jeopardy

Wednesday, July 31, 5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 206


Answer: A fun undergraduate mathematics contest to lead off MathFest.
Question: What is Mathematics Jeopardy?

Four teams of students will provide the questions to go with the mathematical answers in many categories. All interested students in the audience can enter their names to be chosen to play on one of the four teams of four players. There will be prizes for all the participants.

Come cheer for your favorite team. The session will be emceed by Michael Berry.

Robert W. Vallin, Lamar University
Michael W. Berry, University of Tennessee



Thursday, August 1, 4:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 232


They're called Fermi problems...
How heavy is the Eiffel Tower?
How many prime numbers have distinct digits?
How many calories would you be eating if you had "one of everything" at the Cheesecake Factory?

If you're looking for a mindbending mixture of math and trivia, look no further! Jane Street Capital presents The Estimathon contest: teams will have 30 minutes to work on 13 problems, ranging from totally trivial to positively Putnamesque. Can your team beat the all-time best score?? The top teams will receive prizes! As in past years, we will run 2 contests. Feel free to show up to either one!

(Please show up 15 minutes before the start time of the contest you want to join.)
Our target schedule is as follows:

4:00 pm. Welcome, overview of rules and scoring.
4:15 pm. Estimathon contest #1
5:00 pm. Estimathon contest #2

Organizer: Andy Niedermaier, Jane Street Capital


MAA Ice Cream Social

Friday, August 2, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Junior Ballroom C


Besides cake and ice cream, we will recognize all students who gave talks in the MAA Student Paper Sessions, and award prizes for the best of them. All are invited.


MAA-PME Student Reception

Wednesday, July 31, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 200


Undergraduate students are invited to come for refreshments and a welcome to MathFest.