Mathematics News Archive

Fall 2009

Professor Mike Long has had the article, “Secondary Pre-Service Teachers’ Content Knowledge for State Assessments: Implications for Mathematics Education Programs” (co-authored with Dr. Jane Wilburne of PSU-Harrisburg), accepted for publication in the journal, Issues in the Undergraduate Mathematics Preparation of School Teachers.

Professor Tom Evitts attended the 2009 Regional Conference and Exposition of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, held November 18-20, 2009 in Nashville. At the conference Dr. Evitts presented a session on formative assessment strategies entitled "Will this be on the test?"

Alumnae Stephanie (Lawrence) Mader, mathematics teacher at Dauphin County Vo-Tech High School and a graduate of the class of 2007, won PCTM’s New Teacher of the Year Award at the PCTM Conference Banquet on November 5th.  The award is given to a new teacher (within her first three years) who has demonstrated outstanding teaching skills, who uses innovative strategies in the classroom, and who has engaged in the activities of professional organizations. 

Professors Dave Kennedy and Mike Long attended the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Pittsburgh. As part of this conference, Dr. Kennedy presented the session, "Four Ways to Make a Sierpinski Gasket Appear," and Dr. Long presented the session, "Demystifying Fractions" as well as co-organizing the conference's Preservice Teacher Day.

Professor Lance Bryant attended the AMS Regional Meeting at Penn State University, and presented the paper, "Filtered Numerical Semigroups and Applications to One-Dimensional Rings," in the Special Session on Commutative Algebra and Applications to Algebraic Geometry. In addition, Dr. Bryant has had the paper, "Goto Numbers of a Numerical Semigroup Ring and the Gorensteiness of Associated Graded Rings," accepted for publication in the journal Communications in Algebra.

Professor Mike Long and student Shaun Thompson presented a talk on the "Honors Seminar: The Game" at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference held October 30-31 in Washington DC.  "The Game" seminar is an upper division interdisciplinary class created for the Honors Program at Ship which explores the mathematics of puzzles and games through time.

Professors Ben Galluzzo and Paul Taylor organized and ran the first annual Cumberland Valley Math Modeling Challenge with the assistance of Dr. James Hamblin and Dr. Luis Melara. This new regional math contest gave undergraduate students the opportunity to apply their math skills to real world problems. In teams of three, students had 23 hours to develop and test a model and write a one-page summary of their findings; an additional (24th) hour was used for teams to finalize a 10 minute presentation explaining their results.

Professors Tom Evitts and Dave Kennedy attended the 2009 Regional Conference and Exposition of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, held October 21-23 in Boston. At the conference Dr. Evitts presented a session on formative assessment strategies entitled "Will this be on the test?" and Dr. Kennedy ran the gallery workshop "Look in the MIRA" on a classic mathematics manipulative.

Professors Kim Presser and Paul Taylor attended the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) Workshop on Increasing Student Success in Developmental Mathematics in Nashville, TN in October 2009.

Professors Lance Bryant and Ben Galluzzo have joined the Mathematics Department at Shippensburg University. Dr. Bryant hails from Kentucky where he received his undergraduate education at Berea College. He completed his PhD at Purdue University during the summer of 2009. Dr. Bryant's research expertise is in algebra. Dr. Galluzzo received his PhD from the University of Iowa in 2009, and his primary interest is in applied mathematics and in particular mathematical modeling of environmental issues.

Summer 2009

Professor Marc Renaults and Diane McNichols attended the Conference on the History of Mathematics and its Use in Teaching at Elizabethtown College. As part of the conference, Dr. Renault presented the talk, "Historically Motivated Group Projects in Calculus."

Professors Doug Ensley, Ben Galluzzo and Paul Taylor traveled to MathFest, the annual summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of America, held in Portland, OR. At this meeting, Dr. Ensley gave a presentation on "Proof across the Major" in a paper session on Getting Students Involved in Writing Proofs and was a discussant on a panel on the use of online homework systems in mathematics. Dr. Galluzzo organized a discussion session on undergraduate mathematical modeling contests. Dr. Taylor gave a presentaion on "Introducing Secondary Certification Students to Mathematical Modeling" in a paper session on Effective Ways to Teach Upper Level Mathematics Courses for Secondary Mathematics Education Majors. In addition, John Ensley, a student working over the summer with Dr. Luis Melara, gave the presentation "A Numerical Study of an SIR Model," and won an MAA prize for outstanding presentation. The $150 prize was sponsored by the Environmental Special Interest Group of the MAA.

Professor Luis Melara traveled to the Annual National Meeting of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in Denver, Colorado. At this meeting Dr. Melara presented new research results in a talk entitled, "A Homotopy Method in Regularization of TV Minimization Problems for Image Denoising."

Professors Luis Melara and Paul Taylor successfully petitioned to start a student chapter of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) at Shippensburg University. Dr. Melara will serve as faculty advisor for the chapter. SIAM ( is an international community of close to 12,000 individual members. Almost 500 academic, manufacturing, research and development, service and consulting organizations, government, and military organizations worldwide are institutional members. SIAM fosters the development of applied mathematical and computational methodologies needed in these various application areas. Applied mathematics in partnership with computational science is essential in solving many real-world problems. Through publications, research, and community, the mission of SIAM is to build cooperation between mathematics and the worlds of science and technology.

Professor Doug Ensley co-authored the article, “New 3D Methods of Display Objects in Flash Player 10,” which appeared in the March 2009 issue of Flash & Flex Developer’s Magazine, with Dr. Barbara Kaskosz of the University of Rhode Island.

The Mathematics Department has won the 2009 SU Academic Advising Excellence Award. The award, given annually to an academic department, includes $5000 to be spent by the department in the execution of its mission to serve SU students and the mathematics community in central PA. This award was based upon the department's holistic advising strategy that incorporates several creative approaches that can easily be adapted by other departments. During the fall semester, Professors Tom Evitts and Dave Kennedy will offer a university-wide session highlighting departmental best practices in advising.

Professor Doug Ensley has been elected Second Vice President for the Mathematical Association of America.

Professors Tom Evitts, Mike Long, Dave Kennedy, and Marc Renault and SU mathematics major Lisa Rundall participated in Halifax Elementary School’s annual Math and Science Day on May 11, 2009. Mathematics lessons and activities were presented to students in grades 2 through 5 throughout the day.

Spring 2009

Professors Doug Ensley and James Hamblin have received a grant from the State System of Higher Education's Faculty Professional Development Council (SSHE FPDC) for "Development of a Technology Supplement for a General Education Mathematics Course." This $6300 award fell into the category, "Academic Department Projects in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment," and it is part of a larger project to develop a specialized textbook for a general education mathematics course at SU. The grant work will be completed during the summer of 2009.

Professors Tom Evitts, Dave Kennedy and Mike Long attended the annual national meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Washington, DC. At the meeting, Dr. Long presented the workshop, "Promoting Calculus Concepts for All!" (with Nina Girard of Pitt - Johnstown) and Dr. Kennedy presented the workshop, "Problem Solving with African Stone Games." Also in attentance at the meeting were SU students Lisa R., Janelle D., Valerie K., Brenda B., Nathan W., Jennifer P., Lauren B., Bradley F., Lacie H., Kathleen I., Andrew R., and Bridget S.

Professor Paul Taylor announced that a team from Shippensburg received a Meritorious designation in the 2009 COMAP Matematical Contest in Modeling ( ). A Meritorius designation is given to the top 16% of all competing teams. This year, 1675 teams representing institutions from fourteen countries participated in the contest. The SU team consisted of Mathematics/Physics double majors, Tony Hamilton and Paul Rutledge, along with Chemistry major, Keri Kimes. All three students are juniors. Their solution produced a viable mathematical model for the timing of lights on a traffic circle (Problem A).

Professor Doug Ensley is on the ballot for the position of Second Vice President for the Mathematical Association of America.

Professors Dave Kennedy and Mike Long rolled out their first issue as co-editors of the PCTM Magazine. The Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics publishes the magazine two times each year.

Professor Doug Ensley and Barbara Kaskosz (of the University of Rhode Island) have been honored with the 2009 ICTCM Award for Excellence and Innovation with the Use of Technology in Collegiate Mathematics. The Twenty-first International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics (ICTCM) was held in New Orleans in March, and Dr. Ensley and Dr. Kaskosz received the award at that meeting.

Professors Tom Evitts, Dave Kennedy, and Mike Long attended the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators conference in Orlando, FL. At this conference, Dr. Kennedy presented the session, "Standards-based Curriculum Modeling in Mathematics Content Courses for Preservice Elementary Teachers," and Dr. Long presented the session, "The Content Gap: Identifying and Addressing Preservice Secondary Teachers’ Knowledge Gaps Before They Step Into the Classroom."

SU alumna Lindsay Housholder has taken a position as an Operations Research Analyst with Science Applications International Corporation. Lindsay graduated with her BS (statistics conentration) in 2008.

Professor Doug Ensley published the book, Flash and Math Applets: Learn by Example, which he co-authored with Dr. Barbara Kaskosz of the University of Rhode Island. The book teaches ActionScript programming for those individuals interested in developing web-based, interactive mathematics and science teaching applications using Adobe Flash.

Professors Ji Young Choi, Winston Crawley, Doug Ensley, James Hamblin, Lenny Jones, Kate McGivney, Kim Presser, and Marc Renault attended the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Washington, DC. At this meeting ...

SU student Josh Harrington presented the research paper, "On the Iteration of a Function Related to Euler's φ-Function " in the AMS Session on Number Theory at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Washington, DC. Josh worked with Dr. Jones on the research.

SU alumna Abby Todd is a 2008 Project NExT Fellow and a second-year faculty member at Greenville College. Abby (excuse me, Dr. Todd) completed the requirements for her PhD in Mathematics at UNC-Chapel Hill last year and is off to a great start in her new career.