The Annual Meeting of the Texas Sectionof the Mathematical Association of Americaat |

in Corpus Christi, Texas on April 1-3, 2004 |

## The Texas Section of the MAA held its 2004 annual meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas on April 1, 2 and 3, 2004 on the campus of Texas A&M - Corpus Christi: The Island University. |

The program of events scheduled at this meeting was exciting, in formative, and different. It attracted enthusiastic participants from all over the state.

In addition to some outstanding invited addresses, this year's program featured a Student Forum, Department Chairs meetings, and special meetings for Texas NExT fellows.

The short course was presented by Richard B. Thompson, University of Arizona. Professor Thompson has degrees from the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Wisconsin. He is the co-author of Mathematics for Business Decisions, Parts I and II, published by the Mathematical Association of America.

Title: MAA Workshop on Mathematics for Business Decisions

Abstract: After five years of development, and testing by thousands of students, the Mathematical Association of America has published the electronic texts Mathematics for Business Decisions, Parts 1 and 2. These are distributed as boxed software, with installation CD's and Student Notebooks. Jointly written by a mathematician and a professor of finance, these e-texts feature four interdisciplinary, multimedia projects for lower division students in business and public administration. The two course sequence, including probability, simulation, calculus, and optimization, is designed to replace the traditional combination of finite mathematics and brief calculus. We will demonstrate the new materials, discuss the challenges and rewards of teaching the program, and allow plenty of time for hands-on computer experimentation with the texts.

Dr. Thompson conducted the short course on Thursday, April 1, 2004 at 6:45 p.m. in the Beachcomber Room of the Holiday Inn, Emerald Beach.

Stephen Jackson, University of North Texas, gave the initial invited address on Friday morning. Professor Jackson holds the Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include the areas of logic, set theory, and descriptive set theory, especially the influence of the axiom of determinancy.

Title: Properties of Steinhaus Sets.

Dr. Jackson gave the invited address on Friday, April 2, 2004 at 9:00 a.m. in UC142 C, Lone Star.

The Student Forum talk was given by Minerva Cordero-Epperson. Professor Cordero-Epperson has degrees in mathematics from the University of Puerto Rico (B.S.), the University of California at Berkeley (M.S.) and The University of Iowa (Ph.D). Her research on finite semifield projective planes has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Security Agency and others. She has published several research articles and given numerous talks at national and international conferences. In addition, Dr. Cordero-Epperson has received several awards for her outstanding teaching including the prestigious President’s Excellence in Teaching Award at Texas Tech University.

Title: Combinatorics, Graph Theory and Computing: Connections and Interplay.

Abstract: In this talk we will look at several problems and long-standing conjectures and how they have been solved by using several areas of mathematics. We will study Euler’s conjecture, Kirkman’s schoolgirl problem, the Four-color Theorem, and the existence of a projective plane of order 10.

Dr. Cordero-Epperson gave the Student Forum talk on Friday, April 2, 2004 at 10:30 a.m. in UC142 C, Lone Star.

Ronald Graham is the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Professor in the department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. A very popular lecturer, professor Graham was the MAA speaker on Friday afternoon.

Title: Packing Equal Discs in the Plane.

Dr. Graham gave the MAA address on Friday, April 2, 2004 at 1:10 p.m. in UC142 AB, Lone Star.

Phil Straffin is Professor of Mathematics at Beloit College. He has a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.A. from Cambridge University, and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He was Beloit College's Teacher of the Year in 1975 and 1994. He has won the Mathematical Association of America's Haimo Award for Distinguished Teaching of College Mathematics, Allendoerfer Award for Mathematical Exposition, and Trevor Evans Award for mathematical writing accessible to undergraduates. He has research interests in game theory, social choice theory, ethnomathematics, chaotic dynamical systems and topology. His books include Topics in the Theory of Voting, Applications of Calculus, and Game Theory and Strategy.

Title: Spatial Models of Voting Power and Voting Stability.

Abstract: We will look at a class of geometric models developed by mathematicians and mathematical political scientists over the last 25 years to analyze two basic questions in politics:

1) How can we measure the power of different voters? For example, what is the relative power of states in the U.S. Electoral College?

2) How stable are voting outcomes? For example, if we voted on the same bill under a different agenda, would the outcome change?

The models considered are geometric models which place voters and voting alternatives in a Euclidean "issue space." They have turned out to give powerful and surprising political insights.

Dr. Straffin gave the keynote address on Saturday, April 3, 2004 at 10:30 a.m. in the Seabreeze/Sand Dollar room of the Holiday Inn, Emerald Beach.

Here are some pictures I took of the festivities as "official photographer" of the meeting. Enjoy!

I treated myself to a flight from Killeen to Dallas to Corpus Christi to avoid the long drive by myself. Of course I had my camera along to take pictures. To see them, click here.

Texas A&M University at Commerce

Commerce, Texas

Please send questions, comments, corrections, additions and deletions to me by e-mail.