Mathematics Department News Archive

Fall 2008

Professor Kate McGivney was re-elected Secretary/Treasurer of the Eastern PA / Delaware (EPADEL) Section of the Mathematical Association of America.

Professors Ji Young Choi, Doug Ensley, Kate McGivneyand Kim Presser attended the Fall meeting of EPADEL at Ursinus College. At the conference, Shippensburg student John Ensley gave the presentation, "How to Lose at Chutes and Ladders."

Professor Doug Ensley was the keynote speaker for the induction ceremony of the Pi Mu Epsilon Honor Society at Mount St. Mary's University in November.

Professors Terry Baylor, Tom Evitts, Dave Kennedy and Mike Long attended the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics in the Poconos. At the conference, Dr. Baylor presented the workshop, "Bowling for Probability and Statistics," and Dr. Long presented the highlighted session, "Why are Rock Stars Always Tuning their Guitars?" In addition, Dr. Evitts and Dr. Long gave presentations for the "Pre-Service Teacher Day" that kicked off the conference.

Professor Doug Ensley traveled to MAA Headquarters in Washington, DC to participate in a planning meeting for outreach activities and future development of the Mathematical Sciences Digital Library project.

Professor Dave Kennedy organized a trip with five Shippensburg students to appear as presenters at Halifax Elementary School’s 2008 Math and Science Day.  He presented a session on Native American Game Sticks for four classes of 5th graders, while the students made presentations to grades 2-4 using Miras, NIM games, and skip counting.

Professor Luis Melara joined the SU Mathematics Department faculty in August. Welcome Luis!

Summer 2008

Professor Doug Ensley attended the 2008 PI Conference for the National Science Foundation's Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) program in Washington, DC. The conference, co-sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), consisted of posters and workshops by CCLI Principle Investigators for CCLI Principle Investigators with a goal of building collaborations, sharing ideas, and shaping the future direction of the CCLI program.

Professor Lenny Jones received a grant to travel to Australia in Summer 2008 to conduct research on Iwahori-Hecke algebras with Professor Andrew Francis of the University of Western Sydney. The topic of the research was: “A New Approach to the Jones-Brauer Homomorphism.” He also gave a talk while he was there, via video web-conferencing, simultaneously to three campuses of the University of Western Sydney. The title of the talk was: “Generalizations and Variations of a Theorem of Sierpinski.”

Professor James Hamblin and Professor Kate McGivney traveled to the MathFest meeting in Madison, WI. Prof. Hamblin gave a talk on "Assessing General Education Math Courses." Prof. McGivney gave her talk on "Frontloading Statistical Inference Topics in an Introductory Statistics Course." Kelly Dirks, a senior mathematics major, represented Shippensburg University and the 2008 US National Collegiate Mathematics Championships.

Professors James Hamblin and Doug Ensley attended the three-day workshop, "Creating a Successful Emerging Scholars Program" held at the Mathematical Association of America headquarters in Washington, DC. The workshop, part of the MAA's Professional Enhancement Program (, focused on positive experiences in freshman calculus courses aimed at retaining underrepresented groups in science and mathematics disciplines, in the model of the original ESP founded by Uri Treisman at UC - Berkeley over thirty years ago.

Professor Doug Ensley and his collaborator, Barbara Kaskosz of University of Rhode Island, have had their website named as one of the twelve best websites for learning Flash/ActionScript by and, two of the leading developer resource sites in the Flash community.

Professor Doug Ensley directed the one-week professional development workshop "Flash in the Valley" on the SU campus in June. The focus of the workshop was in teaching educators in higher education how to use Adobe Flash software to create effective teaching and learning material for the web. The workshop was part of the Mathematical Association of America's Professional Enhancement Program ( involved 22 mathematics and science professors around the world, including individuals from Minnesota, Wyoming, California, Australia and Singapore. SU professor James Hamblin served as local coordinator for the program, and SU professor Marc Renault attended as a workshop participant . Program material can be viewed at

Spring 2008

Professors Terry Baylor, Tom Evitts, Dave Kennedy and Mike Long, attended the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics annual meeting in April, held this year in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • Dr. Baylor presented the workshop, "Bowl Your Way to a Better Understanding of Probability and Data Analysis."
  • Dr. Evitts presented the session, "Can I Become the Math Teacher I Am Destined to Be? Certainly!"
  • Dr. Kennedy presented the session, "What’s the Deal with Deal or No Deal?"
  • Dr. Long presented joint work with Jane Wilburne at the research pre-session.

Professor Mike Long presented the workshop, "Painting Pictures at the Amusement Park" to the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics at their conference in Flatwoods WV.  Mike, along with SU students Michelle Baker and Eric Sifford, also presented "Some Tropical Math Treats."

Professor Doug Ensley presented the two-day workshop, "Maple 11 in the Classroom," to secondary mathematics teachers through the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) program. The workshop, held at the Mathematical Association of America building in Washington, DC, was attended by 14 KSTF fellows from all across the country.

Professor James Hamblin gave the keynote address at the West Chester University Pi Mu Epsilon induction ceremony.  His hour-long talk, "Alternative Voting Methods: Choosing a Winner," was attended by over 100 students and faculty, and kicked off their activities for Math Awareness Month, which this year has the theme "Mathematics and Voting."

Professor Mike Long presented his work in collaboration with Jane Wilburne on pre-service secondary mathematics teachers' content knowledge in a poster session at the American Education Research Association Conference in New York City.

Professor James Hamblin organized the 2008 Math/Computer Day, which was held on Thursday, April 3.  Over 60 high school students from 13 regional high schools came to SU to compete in a programming contest as well as individual and team math competitions.  Professor Dudley Girard organized the programming portion of the event, and Professors Paul Taylor and James Hamblin wrote the questions for the math competitions

Professors Kate McGivney and Tom Evitts recently served on the selection team that interviewed 23 applicants, from across the United States, for the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation 2008 Mathematics Teaching Fellowships. The Knowles Foundation provides financial and professional support for up to five years for persons with bachelor’s degrees in physical science, biology, chemistry, and mathematics who want to teach high school.

Professor Doug Ensley attended the 20th annual meeting of the International Conference on Technology in Teaching College Mathematics in March. At the conference, Dr. Ensley presented a 2-hour computer minicourse entitled "Steal this Applet!" that was attended by 30 conference participants.

Professor Tom Evitts has begun a three-year term as a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Nominations and Elections Committee.

Professor Mike Long recently led a workshop “Calculus: A Hands-On Approach”  and presented a poster, “Prospective Secondary School Math Teachers. Precollegiate Matheatical Content” at the 7th Hawaii International Conference on Mathematics, Statistics, and Related Fields held January 17th – 19th in Honolulu.  The conference provides those with cross-disciplinary interests related to statistics and mathematics to meet and interact with others inside and outside their own discipline from around the world.

Professors Ji Young Choi, Doug Ensley, Lenny Jones, Kate McGivney, Kim Presser, Marc Renault and Paul Taylor attended the Joint Meetings of the American Mathematical Society/Mathematical Association of America in San Diego, California in January 2008.

  • Dr. Choi presented the paper, "Boundaries of the minimum Pk total weights , AMS Session on Combinatorics, and she judged the MAA Student Poster Session.
  • Dr. Ensley gave presentations, "Steal this Applet!" at the MAA Session on Mathlets and Web Resources for Mathematics and Statistics Education (with Dr. Barbara Kaskosz ), and "Induction: It's Only Natural" at the MAA Session on the Power of Inductive and Recursive Thinking (with SU professor Winston Crawley). He also sat on the panel "Dueling Platforms: Java v. Flash."
  • Dr. Jones presented the papers "Sums of cyclotomic polynomials" in the AMS Session on Algebra and Number Theory (with SU alumna Dr. Carrie Finch), and "Bases for the Center of the Symmetric Group Algebra Using Jucys-Murphy Elements" in the AMS Special Session on Groups, Representations, and Character Theory (with Dr. Andrew Francis). He also served as a judge for the MAA Student Poster Session.
  • Dr. McGivney presented the paper, "Origins of Trigonometric Functions”  in the MAA Session on Using Ideas from Asian Mathematics in the Classroom and sat on the panel,  “Tenure and Promotion:  You Know You Want It” sponsored by the Young Mathematicians Network.
  • Dr. Renault presented the paper, “A New Proof of the Ballot Theorem” in the AMS session on Combinatorics.
  • Dr. Presser presented the paper, "JavaScript Simulations for a Probability Course for Middle and High School Teachers" in the MAA Contributed Paper Session Demos and Strategies with Technology that Enhance Teaching and Learning Mathematics, and she also coordinated the session "Countering "I Can't Do Math": Strategies for Teaching Under-Prepared Math-Anxious Students Interested in Business and the Sciences" (with SU professor Winston Crawley) as well as serving as a judge for the MAA Student Poster Session.
  • Dr. Taylor presented the paper "Bochner-Riesz Means With Respect to a 2 by 2 Cylinder" at the AMS Session on Analysis and Functional Analysis.