The Annual Meeting of the Texas Section
of the
Mathematical Association of America
in Wichita Falls, Texas on
April 6 - 8, 2006

The Texas Section of the MAA held its 2006 annual meeting in Wichita Falls, Texas on April 6, 7 and 8, 2006 on the campus of Midwestern State University.

The program of events scheduled at this meeting was exciting, informative, and different.† One of the innovations adding interest this year was a student problem solving carnival 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.

Texas Section of the MAA
Problem Solving Carnival

On Thursday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. a student problem solving carnival was held in the Ballroom of the Holiday Inn.

Undergraduate students from each college or university attending the section meeting were invited to enter a team to compete in this problem solving competition. Twenty teams were accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Institutions could enter more than one team; however, a second or third team from an institution was accepted pending full accommodation to institutions that only enter one team.

Each team had 2 to 5 members and each team member was given a set of problems. No calculators were allowed. When a team solved a problem, one member took the team's solution to the carnival events line. The first person in the carnival events line selected an event such as throwing a dart at a board filled with balloons, throwing a ball into a hoop, etc.

If the team member was unsuccessful in the carnival event, he or she had to move to the back of the line. A different team member could replace the member at the end of the line but only one member from each team could stand in the line at any given time.

If a team member was successful in the carnival event, he or she took the team's solution to the judge. The judge awarded 8 points for the first correct solution, 7 points for the second correct solution, 6 for the third, etc. After 8 teams solved a problem, that problem was retired.

The top 8 teams competed in a final round with a second set of problems. Prizes were awarded to the top 3 teams.

Here are some pictures of one of the teams consisting of:

Eunice Gray, Amanda Hoffman, Melissa Mauck, Leslie Pacher, and Kennon Silence
from Sam Houston State University

Thanks to Dr. Jacqueline Jensen for sending me these pictures of her team.

And here are some pictures of the team from Stephen F. Austion State University consisting of:

In the picture on the left in the front row: Elissa Craig, Voke Gbemre, Sarah Stovall, Anny-Claude Joseph, Casandra Wright, Tarcia Jones
2nd row: Robin Keng, Meghan Ward, Yoshi Kobayashi, Ken Reddix, Fred Poage, Clint Richardson, Pam Roberson
Last row: Keith Hubbard, Justin Jander, Patrick Sugrue, Carl Price.

In the photo on the stairs, on the left from the top: Yoshi Kobayashi, Patrick Sugrue, Meghan Ward, Robin Keng, Keith Hubbard
On the right from the top: Ken Reddix, Fred Poage, Justin Jander, Tarcia Jones

Thanks to Dr. Sarah Triana Stovall for sending me these pictures of her team.

If anyone else can send me pictures and/or names of more team members, I would be happy to post them here.

Speaker Biographies

Andrew G. Bennett

Kansas State University

Andrew Bennett received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1985 under Elias Stein and, after a post-doc at UT-Austin, joined the Department of Mathematics at Kansas State University in 1988, where he is now professor and director of the Center for Quantitative Education. He has long been interested in effective instruction using technology and currently serves on the editorial board of the MAA Journal for Online Mathematics and its Applications and is on the national MAA subcommittee on Curriculum Reform and the First Two Years (CRAFTY).

He has received numerous teaching awards, including the Commerce Bank Award for outstanding teaching in the College of Arts and Sciences at KSU. He has supervised the research of five Ph.D. students and six undergraduates who have won national Goldwater Scholarships.

Dr. Bennett offered the Short Course on Thursday from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM in the Holiday Inn Kell Room.

The title of his talk was Soft Computing -- Soft computing is sometimes defined as the study of algorithms for solving ill-posed problems. Standard techniques include neural networks, support vector machines, fuzzy computing, and cluster analysis. This is a hot area in computer science, statistics, and operations research, largely because of its connections to data mining. This course will give a brief overview of the subject with particular emphasis on cluster analysis.

Dr. Bennett also presented an Invited Address on Friday at 1:10 PM in the Fain Theatre.

The title of his second talk was What Really Happens When Students Work Online? -- There are now many tools for teaching mathematics online, ranging from interactive mathlets that illustrate a single idea to complete systems of online instruction and assessment. With most of these tools, students work outside the class and outside the view of the instructor. This talk will discuss how students really interact with some online tools in actual course settings and how these interactions contribute (or fail to contribute) to student learning.

Jerry Dwyer

Texas Tech University

Jerry F. Dwyer (Ph.D. National University of Ireland) is an assistant professor (outreach mathematician) in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics at Texas Tech University. He has taught a wide range of mathematics and engineering courses and has published mostly in the area of applied mathematics with applications in mechanics. In recent years he has organized numerous outreach and service learning programs at Texas Tech University, the University of Tennessee and the University of Colorado.

He is active in presenting teacher workshops and enrichment activities to K-12 students and assessment of college faculty interventions in K-12 education is one of his current research interests.

Dr. Dwyer presented the Student Forum on Friday at 11:00 AM in room BO 127.

The title of his talk was Games and Problem Solving in the Mathematics Classroom -- Several mathematical games were presented. Many of these have been used as motivational and enrichment tools in classrooms at all levels from grade 1 to college. The connections between the games and the techniques of problem solving will be described. The model of college faculty (outreach mathematicians) presenting enrichment at the K-12 level were also discussed.

Marvin Harrell

Emporia State University

Dr. Marvin Harrell is a mathematics educator at Emporia State University who oversees ESUís elementary/middle school mathematics programs. His primary interest is developing inquiry-based activities for use in the elementary and middle school classroom. He served as the director of ESUís Science and Mathematics Education Center for six years. For over 12 years he and Dr. Yanik have co-directed ESUís mathematics and science outreach programs for young women.

Betsy Yanik

Emporia State University

Dr. Elizabeth Yanik is a mathematician at Emporia State. Her interests include issues involving mathematics education and interdisciplinary studies at the undergraduate level. She is currently the national director of the Women and Mathematics Network and president of Women and Mathematics Education. Dr. Yanik is a recent recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering mentoring.

Drs. Harrell and Yanik presented an Invited Address on Friday at 11:00AM in room BO 100.

The title of their talk was Encouraging Young Women in Mathematics and Science -- Drs. Harrell and Yanik presented a variety of outreach programs designed to encourage young women to continue their studies in mathematics and science. Programs discussed included both one day conferences and a summer residential program. Hands-on investigations from these outreach activities were shared with the audience.

John Quintanilla

University of North Texas

Dr. John Quintanilla earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Stanford in 1992 and his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1997. He is an associate professor at the University of North Texas, where he has taught for the past ten years. With Neal Brand and Marvin Bittinger, he has co-authored the textbook Calculus for the Life Sciences. He works extensively with UNT's Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science and was named an honorary alumnus in 2005. His research interests include the application of stochastic geometry toward problems in materials science.

Dr. Quintanilla is the Teaching Award Winner. He presented a talk on Saturday at 8:30 AM in the Holiday Inn Ballroom.

The title of his talk was Inspiring Students Beyond Computational Proficiency - As instructors, we want our students not only to recognize when and how to perform mathematical computations but also to engage them in the process of mathematical thought. Different instructors use different points of emphasis in their courses, and it's good that students see a broad range of perspectives from their professors. In this talk, we discuss the use of applications --- both scientific and silly --- to motivate course content and impress upon students the utility, power, and beauty of our discipline. Specific sample topics that have been used successfully, either in lecture or as a group project, will be presented.

Lowell Beineke

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

Lowell Beineke earned his Bachelor's degree from Purdue University and his Master's and Ph. D. from the University of Michigan. His entire career has been spent at the shared campus of Indiana and Purdue Universities in Fort Wayne, where he is currently the Schrey Professor of Mathematics. His research has been in the area of graph theory, in which he has written about a hundred papers and co-edited half a dozen books. He is currently Editor of The College Mathematics Journal.

Dr. Beineke presented an Invited Address on Saturday at 10:30 AM in the Holiday Inn Ballroom.

The title of his talk was Splendor in the Graphs -- Graphs can often be used to provide solutions and insights to puzzles and games, and in this talk we will discuss some of these connections. Our examples will (probably) include Asteroid, Bridg-It, Curious Coins, and Dots-and-Boxes, and others.

Panel Discussion

Building Effective Student Groups

Saturday at 9:10 AM in the Holiday Inn Ballroom

Panelists were:

Jennifer McCloud-Mann, UT-Tyler
Jacqueline Jensen, Sam Houston State University
Carl Sequist, Texas Tech University
Pamela Roberson, Stephen F. Austin State University
Moderator: Dawn Slavens, Midwestern State University

Awards Presented at the Annual Banquet

Jackie Jenson
Sam Houston State Univeristy
received the

"Distinguished Contributions to Students"

If anyone has any information about Jackie that I could include here, please email it to me.

Stuart Anderson
Texas A&M University at Commerce
received the

"Distinguished College or University
Teaching of Mathematics"


Dr. Anderson received his Bachelors and Masters of Mathematics from the University of North Texas and received his PhD from the University of Oklahoma. As a member of the Mathematical Association of America, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society and the Texas Association of Academic Administrators in Mathematical Sciences, Dr. Anderson has received many awards throughout his career including the Barus Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching in 2004, the Distinguished Service Award, Texas Section, Mathematical Association of America in 2000, the Sigma Xi Research Award in 1992 and Honors Professor of the Year in 1988.

Dr. Anderson is a dedicated professional with a true love for teaching. His genuine concern for the well being of his students, which he demonstrates daily, has set him apart as a roll model, friend and mentor. Dr. Anderson has an innate ability to ease tensions and help students remain attentive and responsive to his innovative teaching methods. He best accomplishes this through his use of appropriate humor and flexible teaching style. Dr. Anderson has taught a variety of courses from undergraduate through graduate and his reputation as an excellent teacher has spread throughout the university community.

Dr. Anderson has performed extensive service for his department, college, university and profession. He has served with distinction as member or chairman of many committees. His warm personality has opened dialogues with other departments creating a true spirit of collegiate cooperation. Dr. Anderson has created original courses and has worked closely with students and mathematic clubs including Alpha Gamma Alpha, Pi Mu Epsilon and the Mathematical Association of America. Needless to say, Dr. Anderson has had a profound influence on many individuals.

Jasper Adams
Stephen F. Austin State University
received the

"Distinguished Service"

If anyone has any information about Jasper that I could include here, please email it to me.

Here are some pictures I took of the festivities as "official photographer" of the meeting. This year's picture are in color because the black and white centerfold of pictures in the fall newsletter has been discontinued. Enjoy!

See you in 2007 at

and in 2008 at

This web page designed by and photos taken by

Dr. John F. Lamb, Jr.

Official Texas Section Photograoher

Professor Emeritus of Mathematics
Texas A&M University at Commerce
Commerce, Texas

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

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