Mathematical Association of America
in Arlington, Texas on
April 14-16, 2005
The Texas Section of the MAA held its 2005 annual meeting in Arlington, Texas on April 14, 15 and 16, 2005 on the campus of The University of Texas at Arlington.
The program of events scheduled at this meeting was exciting, in formative, and different. One of the innovations adding interest this year was the Calculus Bowl for students on Thursday evening. It attracted enthusiastic participants from all over the state. Also, because of the recent record-breaking number of student contributed papers, the student paper sessions were moved to Friday morning. This allowed for fewer competing sessions and more opportunity for faculty to attend student presentations. Finally, a conference luncheon was held on Friday at noon.
Research. expository, and pedagogical papers, technology presentations, and demonstrations were presented. There were special sessions for student presentations, as well as Texas NExT research papers.
Several of the invited addresses provided an outstanding program at the University of Texas at Arlington. Keynote addresses were presented by Arlie Petters, Duke University, Martin Isaacs, University of Wisconsin, Italo Simonelli, Texas A&M-Comnmerce, Cora Sadovsky, Howard University and Carl Cowen, MAA President. Other speakers, panels and activities rounded out a full and interesting program for members, students, Texas NExT fellows, and department chairs.
Carl Cowen, MAA President, was born and raised mostly in Indiana. He was educated at Hanover College, Indiana University, the University of War (England), and received the Ph.D. in pure mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. He was at Purdue University from 1978 to 2004, but before that had a post-doctoral position at the University of Illinois and teaching experience in junior high school and small colleges.
He was Director of Purdue’s Actuarial Science Program from 1992 to 1997 and was Head of Purdue’s Mathematics Department from 1997 to 2002. Since August 2004, he has been Dean of the School of Science at IUPUI (Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis) where he promotes research and education at this rapidly developing young institution.
His primary research interests have been in operator theory and complex analysis, specifically, studying operators on a space of analytic functions given by composition with fixed functions. His primary pedagogical interests have been in teaching linear algebra, both to math majors and to engineering students. He has directed about 25 undergraduate students in research mostly on topics in linear algebra, and has supervised several Ph.D. students. In 2002-03, Dr. Cowan spent a sabbatical year at the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at The Ohio State University, turning his research attention to the mathematics of neuroscience. Last year he worked with biologists at Purdue to develop a mathematical model of parts of the sensory system of the medicinal leech and to develop and teach a course on computational neuroscience for senior mathematics and biology majors.
Arlie 0. Petters, Student Forum Speaker, is Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Duke University. lie earned a mathematics Ph.D. in 199! from MIT with a 1986 BA/MA. from Hunter College — CUNY. lie was an Assistant Professor at Princeton University from 1993 to 1998. In 1998, he became the first African-American to be tenured in the Department of Mathematics at Duke and elected to Duke’s Bass Society of Fellows. Professor Petters’ work has pioneered new mathematical methods in gravitational lensing and played a key role in establishing gravitational lensing as an area of research in mathematical physics.
He is the leading author of the book, “Singularity Theory and Gravitational Lensing,” which he co-authored with Harold Levine of Brandeis University and Joachim Wamhsganss of Potsdam University in Germany. Professor Petters has received many honors and awards, including an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Career grant, and the first Blackwell-Tapia prize in mathematics.
Martin Isaacs, the Polya Lecturer for this year, has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and a PhD from Harvard. In addition to being at University of Wisconsin – Madison since 1969, he has held visiting positions at University of California, Berkeley, Oxford University, Australian National University, University of Mainz, Germany, University of Essen, Germany, University of Valencia, Spain, and the Center for Communications Research, San Diego.
His main mathematical interests are in finite groups, specifically, character theory. He is the author of more than 100 research papers and three books. He has also received numerous teaching awards.
Cora Sadosky is Professor of Mathematics at Howard University in Washington, DC, U.S.A. Her research interests are in harmonic analysis and operator theory, in which she has published more than fifty-five papers. She is also the author of an advanced graduate textbook, Interpolation of Operators and Singular Integrals, M. Dekker, Inc., New York and Base!. 1979, and editor of Analysis and Partial Differential Equations, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York and Base!, 1990, and Harmonic Analysis and Partial Differential Equations, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1999.
Dr Sadosky is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is a former President of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), has served twice in the Council of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), and in the Section A (Mathematics) of the AAAS.
Currently she is an elected member of the Nominating Committee of the AAAS, and a member of the Human Rights Advisory Committee of MSRI. In 1994 Dr Sadosky was an AMS Invited Lecturer. Dr Sadosky has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (1978-79 and 1983-84), a Research Professor (1995-96) and a member (1987-88) at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, a Visiting Professor at the Institut d’Hautes Etudes Scientifiques in France (1999), and has visited on several occasions the Mittag Leffler Institute of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, the Center of Mathematical Research in Barcelona, the Center for Pure and Applied Mathematics in Nice, and the Mathematics Research Insitute at Oberwolfach.
She has been the organizer or co-organizer of several mathematical events, including a Special Session on Classical Analysis at the Joint Meeting of the LMS and the AMS, held in Cambridge, England, in 1992, and a Special Session on Operator Theory and Spaces of Analytic Functions at the Joint Meeting of the RSME and the AMS, held in Sevilla, Spain, in 2003. Dr Sadosky is a correspondent of The Mathematical Intelligencer, a referee for several mathematical journals, and a reviewer for American and foreign foundations. Currently she is Principal Investigator in a research grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, and for a collaborative research grant from the Binational Science Foundation (U.S-Israel).
The short course was presented by W. Ted Mahavier, Lamar University. Professor Mahavier has degrees from Auburn University, Emory University, and the University of North Texas. He has published articles, organized panel sessions, and given numerous presentations about discovery learning and the Moore Method.
He is also one of the founders of ”MathNerds,” a web based company providing free mathematical services to the internet community through a network of volunteer mathematicians. The title of the short course was: The Modified Moore Method — A Demonstration.
OF INTEREST TO STUDENTS
The Texas Section welcomed all students to this year’s meeting. There were over flfty students who presented contributed papers. A highlight of the meeting was the Calculus Bowl for students on Thursday evening. All of the invited addresses, especially the student forum, were of interest to students. The annual student pizza and puzzle party was a popular event. There was a breakfast meeting for students and MAA student chapter advisors, and an opportunity to meet students and faculty from other campuses. Students could also browse through the interesting exhibits offered by publishers, software and hardware vendors, and others. There was no registration fee for students and the pizza party was free too!
TEXAS SECTION PROJECT NExT
The Texas NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) program is now in its tenth year of operation. This program, sponsored by the MAA with support from the Exxon Education Foundation, is designed to help new mathematics faculty in Texas be more successful. Dr. Montie Monzingo, Southern Methodist University. is the director of the Texas NExT program.
Special activities for Texas Project NExT Fellows were scheduled for Thursday evening, April 14, and Friday morning, April 15. For the remainder of the meeting. Texas Project NExT Fellows participated in the regularly scheduled activities of the Annual Meeting.
If you know a new faculty member in Texas, please encourage them to become involved. A Texas NExT web page can be found at faculty.smu.edu/mmonzing/texnext.html. An application form is available there. We appreciate the work of Dr. Monzingo, and the support of the Exxon Education Foundation. The activities do much to further mathematics and mathematics education in Texas.
Dr. John Quintanilla, Associate Professor at the University of North Texas, has received the 2005 Texas Section College Distinguished College or University Teaching Award. When John first arrived at UNT about 8.5 years ago, it was clear then how seriously he took his teaching responsibilities. One of the distinguishing characteristics of John’s teaching is his ability to include illuminating and interesting real examples in his class. I I does this in two ways. First, he uses applied examples in his lectures to make the material more concrete. Second, he assigns challenging projects that are based on real applications.
Students leaving John’s class have a very good sense of how the concepts taught in class are actually used. John devotes a great deal of time and effort to the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS). The fact that he requests to teach TAMS classes every year indicates his strong commitment to this program. In their first year, most TAMS students take a five-hour Pre-calculus course, followed by a four hour Calculus I course. As his teaching load is two courses per semester, he willingly teaches three extra hours each year. He also volunteers to help students move in, he is completely responsible for the placement of students in their first math classes, and he is on the TAMS Selection Committee.
Good teachers either care about their students or care about the subject matter. Great teachers, such as John, care deeply about both. lie invests extra time and effort to show his students that he values them as humans. For example, he learns all his student’s names by the second day of class, he helps with special events, and he invites groups of students to dinner.
John’s student evaluations are outstanding. His student evaluations have been among the highest in the department for several years. This is especially impressive since John often teaches Math 1680, an introductory statistics course for non-majors that often results in low student evaluations for other instructors. Dr. Quintanilla won the University of North Texas President’s Council Teaching Award in Spring, 2004. In his application for that award, several letters form his former students were included. Each of the students had nothing but praise for Dr. Qunitanilla’s teaching.
John Quintinalla received his BS and MS from Stanford University in 1992. He received a MA in 1994 and PhD in 1997 in Civil Engineering at Princeton University.
Members of the Selection Committee are Professor John Sieben, Texas Lutheran University, Chair; Professor Don Edwards, Texas Women’s University; Professor Rhonda Hatcher, Texas Christian University; Professor Edwin Hewit, Hardin-Simmons University; Randal Hoppens, Blinn College.
Here are some pictures I took of the festivities as "official photographer" of the meeting. Enjoy!