Mathematics Department News Archive

Fall 2007

  • Professor Dave Kennedy successfully defended his doctoral dissertation at West Virginia University. Congratulations, Dr. Kennedy!
  • Professor Marc Renault has had his paper "Four Proofs of the Ballot Theorem" appear in the December issue of Mathematics Magazine, a journal of the Mathematical Association of America.
  • Professors Terry Baylor, Tom Evitts, Dave Kennedy and Mike Long and a bevy of SU students attended the Annual PCTM Conference at Valley Forge in November. Dr. Baylor presented a session entitled, "Problem Solving, Calculators and the PSSA," and Dr. Evitts presented a workshop entitled, "Trapezoidal Trouble and Technological Helplines" and a session entitled, "Central Pennsylvania Mathematics Association - Bridging our Communities."Professor Kennedy presented a workshop entitled, "Problem Solving with the Game of Kalah," and Dr. Long presented a minicourse entitled, "Mini Golf Math," and a workshop entitled, "The Amusement Park Math Lab."
  • Alumnus Ian Winn has been named New Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics (PCTM). Ian is one of only two winners of the award this year. He received the award on November 8 at the PCTM banquet.
  • Professors Tom Evitts and Mike Long traveled to the NCTM Regional Conference in Richmond in October. At the meeting Dr. Evitts presented a session entitled "Proactive Preparations for a Positive First Year in the Classroom," and Dr. Long presented a workshop entitled “Painting Pictures at an Amusement Park with Data and Functions” with Elementary Education studentJoe Gambino and featuring a computer program for teaching functions created by the two presenters. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is the premiere organization focused on the teaching of mathematics.
  • Alumnus Ben Anderson has been named winner of the 2007 Student Paper Competition sponsored by the Eastern Pennsylvania & Delaware (EPADEL) Section of the Mathematical Association of America. Ben's paper, entitled Melodic Progressions with Harmonious Connections, was the culmination of an SU-sponsored Undergraduate Research Project completed during his senior year. His research combined his love of music with his interest in mathematics. The $200 prize for the competition, which is open to all undergraduate students in the EPADEL Section, was presented to Ben at the November 10 EPADEL meeting at Drexel University.
  • Professor Doug Ensley received word in September that his NSF grant project (with Barbara Kaskosz of the University of Rhode Island) Tools and Training for Developers of Mathematics and Science Teaching Materials in Flash has received $22,000 in supplemental funding and a one year extension. This supplement brings the award for this three year project to over $137,000. These funds have been used to fund software, travel, summer stipends, professional development workshops, and student wages in support of the project.
  • Professor Ji Young Choi presented the research talk Minimum k-total weights of graphs at the Mathematical Association of America's MathFest in August in San Jose, CA.
  • Professor Terry W. Baylor conducted the workshop “An Introduction to the TI-83/4 Graphing Calculator” at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Institute on Integrating Mathematics in Career and Technical Education in August in State College, PA.
  • Professor Mike Long served as a workshop presenter at the 2007 Pennsylvania Governor's Institute for Integrating Mathematics Standards in Career and Technical Education (Math-in-CTE) Programs in August. The Governor’s Institute for Math-in-CTE is a dynamic week of professional development activity for secondary instructors. The focus of the institute, funded by the PA Department of Education, is collaborating across disciplines to help students learn Mathematics while learning in Career and Technology courses. Mike's workshops focused on implementing measurement and data analysis into such courses.
  • Professor Lenny Jones hosted Professor Andrew Francis of the University of Western Sydney in Australia during July and August of 2007 to conduct research on monomial bases for the center of the symmetric group algebra and its corresponding Iwahori-Hecke algebra. This research resulted in a twenty-page paper which has been submitted for publication in the Journal of Algebra. Professor Francis' trip was funded in part by monies from the office of Dean James Mike, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of Shippensburg, and the Shippensburg University Foundation Mathematics Fund.
  • Professor Doug Ensley was an invited participant for two separate one-week workshops this summer. The workshops, entitled "Better Practices for Math on the Web" and "Enhancing the problem authoring capabilities of WeBWorK," facilitated experts on online mathematics teaching from across the country to make progress on techniques, pedagogy and standards.. The former workshop was held in Washington, DC in July while the latter took place in Palo Alto, CA in August.
  • Professor James Hamblin attended the week-long PASSHE (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education) Summer Academy for the Advancement of College Teaching in June. This year's Academy focused on the Millennium Generation of students and their unique impact on today's college classroom. Participants in the Academy discussed and shared ideas on advising, teaching, and student-centered research.
  • Professor Paul Taylor participated in the 2007 AP Calculus reading this summer. The reading took place June 12-18 in Louisville, KY, where the free response portions of approximately 300,000 Calculus AB and Calculus BC exams were graded.
  • Professor Tom Evitts was recently named co-editor for the 2007/2008 Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics yearbook, Focusing on the Curriculum. He is also the current editor of the “Connecting Research to Teaching” department of theMathematics Teacher, the flagship journal of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
  • Professor Mike Long is currently working on revising and updating the Physics Activity Book for Six Flags Great Adventure. The activities are used by science and math teachers who take students on field trips to the amusement park. Mike recently revised and updated the Middle School Math Activity Book for Six Flags Great Adventure and it was used for the first time this past spring at the park's Education Days.
  • Professor Doug Ensley served as Director for the workshop Flash at the Beach, run through the Mathematical Association of America's Professional Enhancement Program. The one-week workshop took place on the campus of the University of Rhode Island in June . Twenty participants from across the country learned how to construct interactive mathematics learning material using the Adobe Flash CS3 programming environment.
  • Professor Ji Young Choi participated in a one-week workshop run through the Mathematical Association of America's (MAA) Professional Enhancement Program (PREP) In June. This workshop, run on the campus of the University of Rhode Island, focused on the use of Adobe Flash for the construction of online interactive learning material. Dr. Choi plans to design and implement some Flash-based websites to help students in her classes with difficult concepts.
  • Professor Kate McGivney participated in the one-week workshop “Mathematics of Asia’s Past” run through the MAA's PREP program In June. This workshop was held at the MAA in Washington, DC and focused on the historical mathematics contributions from China, India, and Islam. Participants read work from original sources, attended lectures given by scholars in the field, and worked in small groups to develop classroom materials.
  • Professor Gene Fiorini was invited to an international Service Learning conference in Hong Kong in June to talk about the history of his service learning project – how it went from a project involving shipping educational resources to the Philippines to becoming the pilot project for an Honors Selected Topics course and the support the project gave to Maseno University in Kenya, tribal colleges in South Dakota and schools affected by Katrina.

Spring 2007

  • Professor James Hamblin gave an hour-long presentation "Counting Origami Octagons" to a group of high-school students and teachers attending the PCTM (Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics) Math Contest in May. The participants learned to make a simple origami shape, and then learned some techniques for counting the number of ways shapes of different colors could be combined to construct a larger shape.
  • Professors Doug Ensley, Tom Evitts, Dave Kennedy and Mike Long traveled to Halifax Elementary School for their annual Math and Science Day in May. The professors made presentations to children in grades 2 through 5 on topics ranging from mathematical magic tricks to everyday probability.
  • Students Ben Anderson, Jennifer Smith, and Sara Smith traveled to Delaware State University with a contingent of S.U. math professors to the annual spring meeting of the Eastern Pennsylvania / Delaware Section of the Mathematical Association of America in April. At the meeting, Ben and Sara each presented 10-minute talks based on the results of their funded Undergraduate Research Projects.
  • Professors James Hamblin and Paul Taylor organized the mathematics component of the annual S.U. Math and Computer Science Day for area high school students in April. Thirty-five high school juniors from eight schools participated in the mathematics competition, consisting of an individual contest and a team "quiz bowl" contest.
  • Professor Marc Renault received news in April that his paper "Four proofs of the ballot theorem" was accepted by Mathematics Magazine.
  • Professor Kimberly Presser attended the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) conference in Nashville, TN in March 2007.
  • Professor Kimberly Presser presented the session Probability for Middle and High School Teachers: Using JavaScript or Excel for Simulations at the International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics (ICTCM) held in February 2007 in Boston, MA. At this same conference, Professor Doug Ensley presented a two-hour computer minicourse entitled Flash Programming for Creating Applets.
  • Professor Kimberly Presser presented the paper Balancing Mathematical Content with Classroom Applications: Experiences from our Third Year at the AMS-MAA Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans, LA in January 2007. At the same conference, Professors Winston Crawley and Kimberly Presser co-organized the contributed paper session Countering “I Can’t Do Math”: Strategies for Teaching Under-Prepared, Math-Anxious Students. They also presented the paper Transitioning to College Mathematics: Creating a Program to Help Developmental Level Students Succeed in College Level Mathematics as a part of this session.
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