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MAA Math Alert - July 2011

News and Views

2011 International Mathematical Olympiad in Amsterdam
The USA team (team members), sponsored by the MAA, will arrive for the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Amsterdam on July 15. The competition will take place July 18 and July 19. The Closing Ceremony and medal awards will be on July 23. Look for IMO news, updates, and Internet feeds on Facebook and YouTube. The full schedule and other information is available on the 2011 IMO website. Check the MAA website for updates and results.

USAMO Medalist Benjamin Gunby Profiled in D.C. Paper
A Washington, D.C., community newspaper recently profiled2011 USAMOwinner and IMO team member Benjamin Gunby. Article.

Data Mining the Monthly's Greatest Hits
From Joe Gallian, a look at the most-accessed and most-cited American Mathematical Monthly articles available through JSTOR. Article



2011 MAA T-Shirt Design Contest Winner
Check out the new design at MAA MathFest in Lexington.

Study of the Future of Mathematics
The National Academy of Sciences' Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications is assessing the current state of the mathematical sciences, in both research and education, and their prospects for the future. This NSF-sponsored study, "The Mathematical Sciences in 2025," seeks input from members of the mathematics community. See The last date for submissions is August 31, 2011.

Loci: Convergence HOM SIGMAA 2011 Student Paper Contest Winners
Winner: "Kepler's Development of Mathematical Astronomy" by Paul Stahl, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Looking for Information on MAA Film Program
The MAA produced a significant number of films in the 1960s and 70s. We are assembling a history of that endeavor and exploring the possibility of digitizing some of the films. If you have information on how any of these films came to be made or on other aspects of this MAA initiative, we are interested in hearing from you. Please contact Ivars Peterson at

New MathDL Course Communities
MathDL Course Communities in Undergraduate Mathematics is now up, with more than 250 recommended online resources for the following courses: One-Variable Calculus, Multivariable Calculus, and Ordinary Differential Equations. These resources were identified as particularly useful by a team of mathematicians. Users may rate resources, make comments, and start discussions.

In Memoriam

Featured Articles

"The Worst Way to Teach"
David Bressoud's July Launchings column argues against the belief that "calculus students learn best from lectures, provided they are clear and well-prepared."Article.

Devlin's Angle Tackles Student Learning
Keith Devlin argues that students should learn everyday math the way they learn to play a musical instrument. Article.

"Out Out This Whirled (The Odds Are Not Even)"
Colm Mulcahy's latest Card Colm column.

"Creating Discussions with Clickers and Classroom Voting"
Kelly Cline and Holly Zullo (Carroll College) discuss the new NSF-funded Project MathVote. Article.

"Math Archives Expands Content and Access"
Archivist Carol Mead describes the addition of Pi Mu Epsilon's records and the digitization of the Paul Halmos photo collection at the Archives of American Mathematics. Article.

"Math Teachers Should Really Know the Basics"
Brent Davis (University of Calgary) claims there is little evidence that advanced courses in mathematics contribute to more effective teaching of the subject. Math in the News.

"Tiling 3D Space by Tetrahedra and Octahedra"
Researchers have solved the long-standing conundrum of how to fill a three-dimensional space with objects other than cubes. Math in the News.

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Publishing Date: 
July, 2011