Mathematics Awareness Week 1996

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Outreach Activities at Institutions Nationwide

Outreach Activities at Institutions Nationwide

The following activities are illustrative of those celebrating Mathematics Awareness Week across the United States. In many instances, Mathematics Awareness Week activities and publicity were reinforced by the NSF's National Science and Technology Week and by the NCTM's Math Month. When available, links have been made to additional Web-based information.

Adams State College - Alamos, CO
  • Distributed copies of their recently-published "ASC Mathematics Computer Science Student Journal" to all junior and senior majors and to central administrators.
  • Two undergraduate students presented the results of their research in seminars.

    Allegheny College - Meadeville, PA
  • Dimensions, the MAA student chapter, sponsored four activities, including an exhibit of posters and information about careers and applications of mathematics.

    American Mathematical Society - Arnold Ross Lectures
  • Hyman Bass, Columbia University, "Symmetry: Continuous and Discrete."
  • Barry Mazur, Harvard University, "Questioning Answers."

    American University - Washington, DC
  • Members of the university community solved mathematical puzzles and problems as part of their annual problem solving contest.
  • Designed a T-shirt with the slogan "Do math to decide ---- Decide to do math."
  • Sonya Kovalevsky day brought freshmen and sophomore high school girls to campus for a celebration of mathematics and science. This year's theme was cryptography.

    Augusta College (now Augusta State University) - Augusta, GA
  • Submitted an elementary logic problem as a contest problem in the student newspaper. All of the correct solutions to the problem were numbered and a grand prize winner was selected using a random number function on a calculator to demonstrate the MAW theme.
  • Math club MAW lecture - Academic VP Bill Bompart, spoke on "Math Humor."
  • Math display at the Student Activities Center was filled with math related objects like a cone sliced to show conic sections and the M.C. Escher picture of a mobius strip with ants on it.
  • Electronic banner at the Student Center said "National Mathematics Awareness Week".

    Bellarmine College - Louisville, KY
  • Posted mathematics jokes around campus.
  • Announced a mathematics contest in the student newspaper.

    Boston University - Boston, MA
  • Felice Frankel, Artist-in-Residence and Visiting Lecturer at MIT, presented her work in a slide show entitled, "Science Imaging: Creating the Nexus Between Art and Information."

    Bradley University - Peoria, IL
  • Held a high school essay contest.
  • Invited address by SJO Asset Management's trading systems analyst, Han Mutlu, entitled "The Mathematics of Trading."

    Cedar Crest College - Allentown, PA
  • MathConn96: career panels and hands-on activities to interest girls in mathematics-related careers; special presenters and workshops to help teachers deal with both the technology explosion and the NCTM Standards. In attendance were 324 seventh and eighth grade girls from 53 schools in PA, NJ, and DE, and their teachers.
  • Dean Theodore Hartz, College of Business, Kutztown University, "The Answer Is?"
  • Kay B. Somers, Moravian College, "A Variety of Decisions."
  • Carla Schultes, Salisbury State University, "Mathematical Models in Middle School Teaching."
  • Other talks by Paul McHale, Member of Congress; Peter W.C. Mather, Vice President, Management Information Services, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.; and Norman G. Schaffer, Engineering Associates.

    Central College - Houston, TX
  • Produced a mathematics newsletter and bulletin board displays.
  • Panel discussion: Mathematics and Decision-making - used statistical data to support opinions relating to affirmative action.
  • Mathematics Riddles Contest for seventh and eighth graders - students used decision-making to guess the answer to number theory problems.
  • Colloquium Speaker: James Ginn, Texas Southern University, "Mathematical Expectations."

    Central Missouri State College - Warrensburg, MO
  • Mathematics Awareness Banquet at which 11 endowed scholarships were awarded and students and teachers from 13 area high schools were honored.
  • Terry Goodman, "The History of Mathematics."
  • Displays in the student union and the library.

    Centre College - Danville, KY
  • Presentation of an award-winning student paper.
  • UNDERCUT Tournament.
  • The annual Path vs. Physics volleyball game and picnic.
  • Road Rally to illustrate decision making in the face of uncertainty.

    Clarke College - Dubuque, IA
  • Second Annual Math Scavenger Hunt for area 7th and 8th graders.

    College of the Desert - Palm Desert, CA
  • The math, engineering, and science students scheduled a Friday afternoon meeting during MAW to explore the ideas and mathematics of quantum physics.

    El Centro College - Dallas, TX
  • Held a poster contest to highlight the theme "Mathematics and Decision Making."
  • Conducted a "Decision Exam" contest with questions involving mathematical applications in everyday decisions.

    Fairfax County Public Schools - Fairfax, VA
  • Daily showings during Mathematics Awareness Week on its cable channel of a 30-minute TV program, "Real-World Applications of High School Mathematics," which featured Saul Gass, Univ of MD; Thomas Gulledge and Karla Hoffman, George Mason Univ; and Tom Nuttall, FCPS High School Mathematics Coordinator, presenting their uses of mathematics in connection with the 1996 MAW theme - Mathematics and Decision Making. The program was produced with the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) which also showed it during its May 5-8 National Meeting in Washington, DC.

    Finger Lakes Community College - Canandaigua, NY
  • Hosted a mathematics competition among area high schools for participating 9-12 graders. In order for a school to win, students in all grades needed to participate.

    Georgia Southern University - Statesboro, GA
  • Faculty member Dr. Stuart Davidson presented "Mathematics In Sports."

    Gettysburg College - Gettysburg, PA
  • Campus-wide reception honored the school's championship modeling team which earned an outstanding designation in the 1996 Mathematical Contest in Modeling.
  • Delegation visited with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge; the governor presented a Mathematics Awareness Week proclamation and the pen he used to sign it.
  • Sponsored a T-shirt contest in which area high schools were invited to submit T-shirt designs with a mathematical theme.
  • Organized a department Undergraduate Research Symposium at which top students presented the results of their independent investigations in a setting similar to that of a professional mathematics meeting.
  • Celebrated with a mathematics/computer science/physics picnic.

    Groton School - Groton, MA
  • Jonathan Choate, mathematics department chair, and the members of his advanced 10-12th grade mathematics class developed the computer-based game, COMPUTER UNDERCUT, to illustrate the MAW theme. Both Mac and PC versions were made available on the world wide web and used as the basis for MAW contests. In April alone, 359 visits were recorded to the COMPUTER UNDERCUT web page.

    Goucher College - Towson, MD
  • The traditional Torrey Dinner where awards were presented to the most outstanding mathematics and computer science students.

    Harper College - Palatine, IL
  • Talk on "Some Perils and Paradoxes of Game Theory" by Ed Packel of Lake Forest College.
  • Showing of PBS TV program Breakthrough (see PBS below).
  • Computer terminals dedicated for MAW games such as MAW surfing and UNDERCUT.

    Hawaii Alliance of Math and Sciences - Honolulu, HI
  • The Governor signed a State Proclamation for MAW.
  • The Mayor of the County of Honolulu signed a County Proclamation.
  • State Mathematics Championship involved high school teams from throughout the state.
  • Math banquet honored outstanding students on the American High School Mathematics Exam and the American Junior High School Mathematics Exam.

    Hood College - Frederick, MD
  • Posted an e-mail message on the campus system each day of MAW using quotes about mathematics - some serious, some silly. Following MAW people said, "Hey! I miss those math messages."

    Howard Community College - Columbia, MD
  • Speaker: Brent Morris, National Security Agency, performed card tricks and explained the underlying mathematics.
  • Showcase display in library reflected mathematics in many forms.
  • Several contests for the students - prizes included a scientific calculator, school supplies, magnets, and puzzle games.

    Hudson River Undergrad Math Conference - Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Ronald Graham, "Juggling Permutations of the Integers."
  • Laura Taylor, "The Mathematical Modeling of Some Environmental Issues."

    Illinois State University - Normal, IL
  • Research seminar entitled "Optimal Graph Constraint Reduction," and a presentation, "Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications for Decision Making."

    Johnson & Wales University - Providence, RI
  • Third Annual Mathematics Contest.
  • Poster Display.
  • NES/MAA Regional Dinner Meeting.
  • Lecture: "Afro-American Mathematicians," Dr. Patricia Kennedy.
  • Lecture: "Why I HATE Math But Love Museums," Dr. Edward Burger.
  • Establishment of host site for NEMATYC Web Pages

    Lycoming College - Williamsport, PA
  • Held a day-long MAW event for area middle schools which invited teachers and students to attend numerous sessions.

    Maharishi University of Management - Fairfield, IA
  • Fourth Annual Southeast Iowa Mathematics Festival for high school students.
  • Mathematics Movie Theater.
  • Career panel with Scott Hickey, Vice President of Sterling Software, Ramin Shahidi, software developer for Vital Images, and John Price, MUM math department chair.

    Mathematical Association of America
  • Prominently displayed a Mathematics Awareness Week banner on the MAA building.
  • Held a COMPUTER UNDERCUT contest.

    Mathematical Sciences Research Institute - Berkeley, CA
  • Lecture by Hal Varian, University of California, Berkeley, on "Network Economics: Mathematical Models of the Evolution of Telecommunication."
  • Lecture by Andrew Rudd on "Mathematical Models for Portfolio Management."

    Moravian College - Bethlehem, PA
  • Mathematics contest for local high school students
  • Jerry King, "The Poetic Image of Mathematics."

    Morehead State University - Morehead, KY
  • Held a Math Carnival featuring puzzles, games, and problem solving competitions.

    New Jersey Mathematics Coalition - throughout NJ
  • Coordinated 1,000 hands-on parental involvement events for Math, Science and Technology Month which includes MAW and National Science and Technology Week.

    New Mexico State University, Grants (2-year) Branch - Las Cruces, NM
  • Provided a mathematical display during April.
  • Two student mathematics contests were held and awards were given.

    North Carolina A&T State University - Greensboro, NC
  • Sessions on technology & teaching.
  • Student Demonstrations.
  • Contest on differentiation & integration.

    Ohio Northern University - Ada, OH
  • The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science sponsored a Jeopardy-like contest with a top prize of $100 from the department faculty.

    Ohio State University - Columbus, OH
  • Honored 69 mathematics majors at an Undergraduate Recognition Ceremony.

    Ohio State University - Lima, OH
  • The Mathematics Learning Center sponsored a mathematics contest for students.

    Public Broadcasting Service - Nationwide
  • Distributed "BREAKTHROUGH: The Changing Face of Science in America on three Monday evenings in April. Program six - "A Delicate Balance" - was scheduled during Mathematics Awareness Week and featured mathematicians Freda Porter-Locklear and Richard Tapia.

    Purdue University - Hammond, IN
  • Don Saari, Northwestern University, gave a lecture about the mathematics of voting theory.

    Rochester Institute of Technology - Rochester, NY
  • Talks by Paul Schweitzer, William Simon School of Business Administration, University of Rochester and William Zwicker, Union College, Schenectaday.
  • Display of articles and other information about Mathematics and Decision Making.

    St. John's University - Jamaica, NY
  • Hosted its fifth annual Sonia Kovalesky High School Mathematics Day which focused on the role of mathematics in making decisions about health, crime solving, and money.

    St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley - St. Louis, MO
  • Held an activity each day of the week with prizes to match including a scavenger hunt, an open house at the math learning center, and several presentations related to the MAW theme.

    Schoolcraft College - Livonia, MI
  • Distributed a special newsletter and awarded an annual student- mathematics prize.

    Shepherd College - Shepherdstown, WV
  • Math department, with the cooperation of the Shepherdstown Opera House, sponsored a mathematical problem-solving contest.

    Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics - Washington- Baltimore Section
  • Sponsored a lecture by Thomas Saaty, University of Pittsburgh, on the MAW theme, "Mathematics and Decision Making."

    Southeastern Louisiana University - Hammond, LA
  • Hosted the First Annual SLU Mathematics Technology Conference, inviting middle school and secondary teachers as well as university faculty, administrators and students. Sessions focused on using technology in the classroom through decision making activities.
  • Problem of the Day contest open to all students.
  • Poster contest.
  • Reception for SLU math majors.

    State University of New York College - Oneonta, NY
  • Frank Kost and Lisa Gordon (student), "The Buffon Needle Problem."
  • Esmat Nouri, "Mathematical and Statistical Models for Management Decisions."
  • Lisa Gordon (student), "Statistical Quality Control."
  • Connie Feldt, "Activities and Games for the Elementary and Secondary Classroom."
  • William O'Dea, "Mathematics in Economics."
  • Ken Morgan, IBM Labs, "New Innovations in Computer Science Programming."
  • The Math Club and MAA student chapter sponsored a reception for faculty and students.
  • 1996 marked their highest-ever attendance for MAW events.

    Swarthmore College - Swarthmore, PA
  • Designed, hosted, and maintained the MAW national world wide web site. Encouraged and assisted other institutions in designing their own MAW pages. During April, the main MAW page was accessed 1,351 times.

    University of Alaska - Fairbanks, AK
  • Held a mathematical contest in modeling with presentations by undergraduates. High school students and the public were invited to attend. A pizza party followed.

    University of California - Davis, CA
  • Laurie Snell, "Chance in Our Daily Lives."
  • Blaise Morton, "Mathematics in Industry."
  • Joel Hass, "The Trouble with Double Bubbles."

    University of Central Oklahoma - Edmond, OK
  • Charles Cooper, "The Notion of Fixing a Topology and Its Space-time Motivations."
  • Elizabeth Francis, "The Concept of Limit in College Calculus, Assessing Student Understanding and Teacher Beliefs."
  • Mohammad Tabatabai, "A Faculty Hiring Model."
  • James Yates, "Methods of Estimating Parameters of the Johnson Distributions" (the annual L. Wayne Johnson lecture).
  • David Boliver," What is Algebra?" (for high school groups).

    University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC
  • Hosted an open house to begin Mathematics Awareness Week.
  • Held several lectures and a poster contest.
  • Showed the film: "Stand and Deliver."

    University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS
  • Honors Banquet for outstanding math students, instructors, and successful researchers.
  • K-12 teachers invited to Math Awareness Week Symposium:
    • Mathematical Connections: Fred Van Vleck;
    • Decisions About the Future of Math Education: Jack Porter;
    • Math Awareness in the Lawrence Community.
  • Workshop for 5th graders:
    • Walking with a Calculator: Jack Porter and Marian Hukle;
    • Random Walk: Tyrone Duncan and Peter Zimmer;
    • The Binomial and the Poisson: An Introduction to Probability Distributions: Nathan Welch;
    • Cookies and Magic: Tracy Atteberry;
    • Educational Activities and Computer Presentations;
    • The Magic of Superconductivity: Shane Haas;
    • Tinkering with Tiles: Stephanie Childs.
  • Applied Math Day presenting faculty and students' recent work:
    • Applied Mathematics Poster Session and Discussion;
    • Reception for Les Robertson (1930s graduate);
    • Ellis B. Stouffer Colloquium - Algorithms for Molecular Dynamics: Eric Barth, Courant Institute.
  • Faculty Math Awareness Dialogue - Between the Math Department and Economics, Chemistry, Physics, Business, Statistics, EE and Computer Science, and Biology.

    University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA
  • Lecture: Professor Joseph Horowitz, "Mathematics and Hard Decisions."

    University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
  • Displayed MAW posters in the mathematics and computer science building along with some old and current calculating devices (slide rule, mechanical calculator, mechanical card punch, HP calculator).

    University of South Alabama - Mobile, AL
  • Lecture: Daniel E. Flath, "Fermat's Last Theorem."
  • MAW Poster Exhibition.
  • Mathematics Contest and Chris Nash Scholarship Competition with cash prizes and commemorative coffee mugs for participants.

    University of Vermont - Burlington, VT
  • Poster contest for K-8 students.
  • Radio call-in contest on the campus broadcast station, and more.

    University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI
  • Three talks on mathematical finance and voting procedures by Madison math professors Thaleia Zariphopoulou and Anatole Beck, and Phil Straffin from Beloit College.

    US Air Force Academy - Boulder, CO
  • Held math majors' night: showed a video on Fermat's last theorem, had a pizza party.

    US Naval Observatory - Washington, DC
  • Issued a press release to celebrate Mathematics Awareness Week that emphasized one of the most pervasive uses of mathematics in daily life: the measurement, maintenance and dissemination of time.

    Virginia Wesleyan University - Norfolk, VA
  • Held an UNDERCUT tournament open to the whole academic community, offering $100 for the winner.
  • Showed "N is a Number" with free popcorn and soft drinks.
  • Advertised the PBS show and MAW events in campus publications.

    Washington State University - Pullman, WA
  • Held the seventh annual mathematical poster and model contest. Photographs of most of the winning entries may be seen on the WSU web site.

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Worcester, MA
  • Held display competition with cash prizes. Displays demonstrated the use of mathematics and decision making within another discipline.
  • Had a treasure hunt on the world wide web with a maze of rooms, one containing the trea$ure chest worth $500 (donated by United Technologies). Participants answered questions based on calculus, linear algebra, discrete mathematics and math history in order to move from room to room.

  • Mathematics Awareness Month is sponsored each year by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics to recognize the importance of mathematics through written materials and an accompanying poster that highlight mathematical developments and applications in a particular area.