August, 2012

Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia has been elected to a 3-year term as Governor of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America. In this position, she represents the Ohio Section in the twice-yearly Board of Governors meetings of the national MAA, where various policies of the organization are set. Her first meeting in this position was in conjunction with the MAA’s MathFest, which was held in early August in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Department welcomes Dr. Victor Lee as its latest addition to the faculty. Victor received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and his Ph.D. from Kent State University. Victor’s background includes a variety of experiences in both teaching and industry. His research interests include bioinformatics, database design, and data mining in social networks. This year he will be teaching courses in web design, software development, design patterns, and bioinformatics. Welcome to JCU, Victor!

May, 2012

On May 14, Dr. Tom Short presented a symposium titled “Data Analysis: Statistical Storytelling from Graphs to Inference” to students and teachers at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, held in Pittsburgh, PA.

Congratulations to the graduating senior Mathematics and Computer Science majors who won Department awards for their outstanding academic performance! Robert Short received the Eugene R. Mittinger Award for Mathematics, and Eric Levicky was the recipient of the Award for Academic Achievement in Computer Science. The awards were presented at the Department Senior Award Ceremony on May 4.

Also at the award ceremony, three undergraduates mathematics students were inducted into Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society: Mary Doyle, Katherine Duncan-Chamberlin, and Teresa Noewer. After the induction and award ceremony, the students and faculty, along with family members, gathered for a picnic at Wiley Park in Mayfield Village.

April, 2012

Senior Mathematics major Robert Short presented a talk titled “Trading Vertices for Edges: A Reversible View of Graphs” at the spring meeting of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America. The meeting was held at Xavier University on April 13-14. Dr. Paige Rinker was Bob’s advisor for his research.

March, 2012

Dr. Brendan Foreman presented a talk titled “A Deweyan Approach to Teaching Mathematics to Early Childhood Education Majors” at the spring meeting of the Western Section of the American Mathematical Society. The meeting was held in Honolulu on March 3-4.

Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia and Dr. Carl Spitznagel attended the 24th annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics in Orlando, on March 22-24. At the conference they presented an invited session titled “Creating Calculus Demos with Geogebra 4.” Click here to see some of the applets they have created for demonstrating concepts in calculus.

February, 2012

Dr. Tom Short gave an invited presentation at the inaugural American Statistical Association Conference on Statistical Practice, which was held February 16 through 18, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. The title of Tom’s presentation was “ASA Professional Statistician Accreditation: Why it might be right for you!” More information about the 2012 conference and plans for future conferences can be found at the following site: http://www.amstat.org/meetings/csp.cfm.

January, 2012

Math alumnus Greg Nachman (class of 2009) was recently featured in a news story on Cleveland’s WKYC TV Channel 3. Greg, who is now a math teacher at Cleveland Heights High School, had a learning disability as a student, and is now using his experiences to help kids with similar problems. Click here to see the video of this story.

December, 2011

On December 3, Dr. Linda Seiter, in conjunction with the JCU Center for Service and Social Action and US Together Cleveland, organized a “Technology Tasting Event” in the computer labs at the Dolan Center for Science and Technology. Students from Linda’s First Year Seminar class and from two other FYS sections provided hands-on technology literacy training for a large group of refugee families from Bhutan, Nepal and Iraq, many of whom have very limited education and English skills. Details and pictures of the event are available here. For a number of years, Linda has actively engaged all of her students in service-learning projects, and in 2010 was the recipient of the David Hoch Memorial Award for Excellence in Service, awarded by Ohio Campus Compact.

Professor Jerry Moreno, along with David Spohn, a high school mathematics teacher from Hudson, has been conducting Saturday morning Q&A sessions for teachers of Advanced Placement Statistics. The next session is planned for January 21. Teachers armed with lots of questions are especially encouraged to attend, and should contact Jerry for details.

November, 2011

The local Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics, in joint sponsorship with the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics, hosted Cutting to the Core, a regional workshop for over a hundred teachers from Northeast Ohio, November 12, 2011. It was held at Mayfield Middle School. Professor Jerry Moreno and Kenston High School teacher, Mary Beth Hearns, facilitated the part of the workshop for middle school teachers, grades 6-8. The two areas of concentration for this fall workshop were on furthering topics in The Number System, and representing and analyzing quantitative relationships in Expressions and Equations. The workshop also focused on the eight Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMP) that are to be incorporated into all content standards. The purpose of the SMP is to help all students develop a “habitual inclination to see mathematics as sensible, useful, and worthwhile coupled with a belief in diligence and one’s own efficacy.”

October, 2011

Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia, Dr. Paige Rinker, and Dr. Carl Spitznagel attended the fall meeting of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America at the University of Findlay. At the conference, Barbara presented a 2-hour workshop titled “Introduction to GeoGebra 4.0,” in which she provided instruction to a group of mathematics professors from across the state on how to use the GeoGebra software to create mathematical applets for teaching purposes. Carl presented a talk on his experiences with using a Livescribe smartpen to record classroom sessions, complete with handwriting and audio, for students to access after class. The whimsical title of his talk was “Slip Away to the Ohio Section Meeting…And Still Hold Class!”

The 61st annual conference of the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics was held at the Convention Center in Toledo, October 13-14, 2011. As part of a large number of efforts throughout Ohio to instruct Ohio’s teachers in the new internationally benchmarked Common Core State Standards in Mathematics that 45 states have adopted including Ohio, Professor Jerry Moreno gave a workshop on Common Core Statistical Inference for All High School Students. The focus of his presentation was on making inferences and justifying conclusions by using randomization/resampling techniques and emphasizing that statistical problem solving is an investigative process that involves four components: formulate a question that can be answered by data, design and implement a plan to collect appropriate data, analyze the data by graphical and/or numerical methods, interpret the results in the context of the original question. Standardized student assessment in the new CCSS is to take place in academic year 2014-15.

September, 2011

“Assignment Planner” is currently the 29th most popular free application in the Android market in the Education category and is quickly climbing. At over 14,000 active installations, the application has seen over 12,000 of these installs in the past month, due mostly to students going back to school. The application was created by alumnus Gene Cahill, class of 2011, and was inspired by the 2010 summer research project “JCU Assist,” which was funded by a Huntington Grant and supervised by Dr. Linda Seiter. “JCU Assist” featured a more primitive version of the “Assignment Planner” and was targeted only to John Carroll students, while the current version of “Assignment Planner” is much more useful to a broader audience of students. “JCU Assist” is still available on the Android Market and was presented at JCU’s Celebration of Scholarship in 2011. While the Android Market has numerous applications for organizing homework, “Assignment Planner” is popular for its usability and simplicity. The latest update took place on September 5 and features both an ad supported free version of the application and an ad-free version available for $0.99. August, 2011 The Department welcomes Dr. Paige Rinker as its newest addition to the faculty. Paige received her bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College, and her Ph.D. from Dartmouth College. She is currently teaching calculus and elementary statistics, although her future teaching responsibilities will also include combinatorics, graph theory and number theory. Paige’s research crosses several mathematical boundaries, utilizing ideas from applied algebra, combinatorics and cluster analysis. Welcome to JCU, Paige! At the beginning of August, Dr. Tom Short took his talents to South Beach to participate in the 2011 Joint Statistical Meetings. He presented a session titled “Results for the 2011 ASA ‘Promoting the Practice and Profession of Statistics’ Video Competition.” He also presented a workshop on “Logistic Regression” as part of the “Beyond AP Statistics” session for high school AP Statistics teachers. Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia, accompanied by four present and former JCU math students, attended MathFest, the annual summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of America, which was held this year in Lexington, Kentucky. At the Pi Mu Epsilon student conference within MathFest, junior math major Brian Harrison presented a talk titled “From Primes to Polygons,” and senior math major Bob Short presented a talk titled “Variations on the Collatz Conjecture.” Michael Joseph, a spring graduate of the JCU master’s program, presented a poster in the Early Career and Graduate Students PosterFest, titled “The Lambert W Function.” July, 2011 Dr. Paul Shick has been appointed Chair of the Department for a 4-year term. Paul, a graduate of John Carroll, has been on the JCU faculty since 1985, and was named full Professor in 2000. Dr. Douglas Norris, the previous Chair, has returned to full-time teaching after serving two consecutive 4-year terms as Department Chair. Thanks for your many years of dedicated service, Doug; and congratulations, Paul! May, 2011 The Department bids a fond farewell to Dr. Eric Fuglister, who has retired after 25 years of service to John Carroll. While at JCU, Eric taught a wide variety of courses in both mathematics and computer science, including Programming Languages, Computer Architecture, Language Processors, Discrete Mathematics, Combinatorics & Graph Theory, and Operations Research, as well as Calculus and Statistics. Eric and his wife, Jayne, have moved to Wisconsin, where they will be closer to other family members. They also plan to escape some of the cold northern winters by visiting their winter home in Florida. Best wishes, Eric! Also leaving the Department is Scott Zimmerman, who served as a Visiting Instructor for the past year. Scott received his M.S. from John Carroll in May of 2010, and was hired to fill in for Leo Schneider during this year. He will now be moving on to the University of Pittsburgh, to pursue doctoral studies in mathematics. We wish you all the best, Scott! Congratulations to the graduating senior Mathematics and Computer Science majors who won Department awards for their outstanding academic performance: Pamela Castricone, Benedict Curatolo, Nicholas Hermez, Boban Josipovic, Mitchell Kearney, Daniel Klufas, and Rachel Widman. At the Department award ceremony on May 6, five undergraduates and three graduate mathematics students were inducted into Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society: Charles Hamilton, Alyssa Harford, Brian Harrison II, Alketa Henderson, Mitchell Kearney, Leigh Matthews, Benjamin Scott, and Ala’a Wadi. After the induction and award ceremony, the students and faculty, along with family members, gathered for a picnic at Wiley Park in Mayfield Village. Click here for pictures from the award ceremony and picnic. April, 2011 Dr. Eric Fuglister and Mrs. Kim Balk were inducted into the John Carroll Silver Circle, in recognition of their twenty-five years of service to JCU. Dr. Linda Seiter and Dr. Brendan Foreman, along with Dr. David Shutkin of the JCU Education Department and faculty from Trinity College, University of New Hampshire, and Connecticut College, recently submitted a$1 million grant proposal to the National Science Foundation, entitled “HFOSS Mobile — A Strategy for Introducing Computer Science Principles in Grades 9-14.”

March 2011

JCU’s Celebration of Scholarship week, March 28 – 31, included presentations by both students and faculty of the Math & CS Department, as well as contributions to the Celebrate the Arts exhibit:

• Dr. Dan Palmer presented a session-length talk titled “E-Portfolios: Potential Benefits to a Liberal Arts Institution.”
• Pam Castricone (math major) presented a poster titled “An Analysis of Ohio’s Value-Added Assessment.”
• Kaylee Sutton (math major) presented a poster titled “Using Statistics to Analyze the Effects of a Tree’s Production of Nutrients.”
• Greg Gutmann (computer science) served as a panelist in the panel on “East Asian Studies: Directions in Student Scholarship.”
• Gene Cahill (computer Science) presented a poster titled “Android Application Development.”
• Dr. Carl Spitznagel contributed three photographs to the Celebration art exhibit.

Two JCU math majors presented talks at the meeting of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America at Youngstown State University on March 25-26. Sophomore Brian Harrison II (pictured at the left) presented the results of his research in his talk “From Primes to Polygons,” and junior Bob Short (right) presented his research in number theory in his talk “Generalizing the Collatz Conjecture.” See pictures.

Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia and Dr. Carl Spitznagel attended the 23rd annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics in Denver, on March 17-19. At the conference they presented an invited session titled “Exploring Symmetry with Geogebra.” Click here to see some of the applets they have created for exploring plane symmetry.

The Department celebrated National Pi Day (3/14) on March 14, with a large group of students and faculty coming together for some mathematical fun. With computer-generated background music provided by rendering the first 5,000 or so digits of Pi as musical notes, the 41 people in attendance each signed their names to a paper band representing one of the first 41 decimal digits of Pi. The bands were then made into links of a “Pi-chain,” to which additional links will be added in future years. There was a Pi trivia contest, Pi-related web videos and, of course, lots of pie to eat!

Dr. Linda Seiter attended the Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) Symposium, which was held in conjunction with the SIGCSE conference in Dallas, on March 9. Linda was an invited panelist on the topic of “Collaboratibng with Local Non-Profits.” Linda’s students are all involved in service-learning projects, in which they use open source software such as Drupal, Joomla, Google Sites, Scratch and Android.

On March 8, Dr.Tom Short gave a presentation titled “An Overview of the ASA Accreditation Program” to a small gathering of members of the Cleveland Chapter of the American Statistical Association. The talk was held at JCU.

On March 2, Dr. Eric Fuglister presented a hands-on talk on Flexagons to members of the JCU Math Club. Flexagons are geometric models that are constructed from flat strips of paper. By appropriate folding (or “flexing”), a flexagon reveals faces in addition to the original front and back. In spite of having to reschedule the talk because of a winter storm that closed the university on the original scheduled date, the talk was very well attended and was a huge success! (See pictures.)

February, 2011

On February 26, sophomore mathematics major Brian Harrison II presented a talk titled “From Primes to Polygons” at the annual Regional Pi Mu Epsilon Conference at Youngstown State University. Accompanying Brian to the confrence were JCU junior Bob Short and Brian’s research advisor, Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia. (Pictures)

On February 16, senior mathematics major Nick Hermez traveled to the Ohio Statehouse with three other JCU undergraduates and accompanied by Dr. Tom Short and two other JCU faculty for the 2011 Undergraduate Research Symposium sponsored by the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC). Nick’s poster, titled “Bootstrapping Methodolgy Applied to Selecting an Optimal Cutoff Value,” was one of 121 posters shared by OFIC students at the symposium.

On February 14-16, the world watched “Jeopardy!” as the representatives of humanity, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, were soundly defeated by IBM’s natural language processing computer, Watson. Just prior to thebroadcasts on the 14th and 16th, Dr. Dan Palmer presented talks explaining how Watson works, titled “What is WATSON? How to Build a Computer to Play ‘Jeopardy!,’” and “Seriously, WATSON–Toronto? How to Build a Computer to Play ‘Jeopardy!,’ Part II.” After each talk the audience watched the episode of “Jeopardy!” and discussed the performances of humans and computer during the muted commercials.

Mr. Jerry Moreno was an invited speaker at the Greater Akron Math Educators’ Society (G.A.M.E.S.) Mathematics Mini-Conference on February 5. His talk was titled “Common Core’s Statistical Inference for All High School Students–Resampling.”

On February 12, Jerry gave a presentation titled “Mathematical Practice Standards in Action for Middle School” to around 30 middle school teachers, as a part of the Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics program called “Back to the University Workshop.” The theme of the workshop was on the new Common Core mathematics standards for grades k-12. The CC standards comprise two sets: Mathematical Practice Standards and the Content Standards. The eight Practice Standards are meant for students to internalize as the means for them to learn, understand, and retain the Content Standards. In essence, they define what is needed to be a quantitatively literate citizen.

November, 2010

As part of his Faculty Technology Fellowship, Dr. Dan Palmer presented an introductory virtual world workshop, “Second Life in the Classroom.” The workshop’s purpose was to introduce and promote John Carroll University’s presence in Second Life, and give faculty ideas for how to use the technology to enhance students’ learning experiences. The workshop was repeated for a total of three times, and then a follow-on, in-world workshop is planned, for those who participated in the introductory workshop.

October, 2010

Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia and graduate assistant Michael Joseph presented talks at the fall meeting of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America, held at Ursuline College. Barbara’s talk, titled “Using GeoGebra to Explore Symmetry,” demonstrated the creation of interactive applets to illustrate symmetries in the plane. Mike’s talk, titled “The Lambert W Function,” explored a variety of properties of this interesting but little-known function.

September, 2010

The Department welcomes Scott Zimmerman as a Visiting Instructor for the current academic year. Scott received his B.S. in Mathematics in 2008, and his M.S. in Mathematics in 2010, both from John Carroll. His master’s thesis, written under the direction of Dr. Patrick Chen, was titled “A Characterization of Banach Spaces via Complemented Subspaces.”

August, 2010

From July 30 through August 5, Dr. Tom Short attended the 2010 Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to attending meetings of the American Statistical Association (ASA) Council of Chapters Governing Board and the ASA Board of Directors, Tom participated in a panel discussion titled “Ask Good Questions.”

Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia and Susan Schneider accompanied JCU graduate student Michael Joseph to the Mathematical Association of America’s annual MathFest in Pittsburgh, August 5-7. Mike was awarded a cash prize for his talk in the Pi Mu Epsilon Student Paper Session, titled “Patterns in Primitive Pythagorean Triples.” Mike had done his research in this area under the direction of Dr. Leo Schneider.

Also attending MathFest were recent JCU graduates Scott Zimmerman (B.S. 2008, M.S. 2010) and Sarah Downing (B.S. 2010). Scott presented a poster titled “A Characterization of Banach Spaces via Complemented Subspaces” in the session for early career and graduate students. Click here for a picture of Scott, Sarah and Mike (courtesy of the MAA’s Flickr site).

July, 2010

Although retired, Mr. Jerry Moreno remains very active, primarily in statistics education for grades K-12. In July he presented two talks at the International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS) held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. (ICOTS is held every four years at some international site.) His talks were on “A World Population Project: reasoning and sense making in probability” and “Statistics – the Link Connecting Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics.” In addition to teaching one statistics course a semester in the department, he is involved in three different projects sponsored by the Ohio Department of Education and the American Statistical Association concerning the writing of curriculum and activities in data analysis, statistics, and probability defining the new Common Core State Standard in mathematics for the K-12 curriculum.

June, 2010

Dr. Leo J. Schneider, a long-time and beloved member of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, died suddenly on June 6, 2010, en route to Kansas City to participate in the annual reading and grading of the country’s Advanced Placement Calculus tests. Click here for additional information about Leo’s career and legacy of professional service.

Dr. Tom Short participated in the reading and scoring of the 2010 Advanced Placement Statistics Exam. The reading was held in Daytona Beach, Florida. Tom, who served as a Question Leader and an aide at the reading, has participated in the A.P. reading for seven years.

Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia served as a Table Leader at the annual reading and scoring of the Advanced Placement Calculus exam in Kansas City. This was Barbara’s ninth year at the A.P. reading, and her third year as a table leader.

May, 2010

Congratulations to the graduating senior Mathematics and Computer Science majors who won Department awards for their outstanding academic performance: Jason Dengler, Jessica Driskell, Holly Girardin, Michael Joseph, Max Margolin, Patrick McDonnell and Irene Paparizos.

At the Department award ceremony on May 7, six undergraduate mathematics students were inducted into Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society: Pamela Castricone, Joseph Dottore, Jessica Driskell, Nicholas Hermez, Anthony Lanese and Rachel Widman. After the induction ceremony, the students, faculty and some family members gathered for a picnic at Wiley Park in Mayfield Village.

April, 2010

On April 28, Dr. Tom Short visited Cleveland State University, where he gave a talk entitled “The Interplay between Simulation and Theory” as part of CSU’s Pi Mu Epsilon induction ceremony.

The April meeting of the Math Club featured a hands-on talk by Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia on the Tangram puzzle. A tangram can be made by cutting a square into seven specific pieces, as shown in this link. The pieces can be rearranged into a myriad of patterns, including both geometric shapes and arrangements that bring to mind a wide variety of objects. After learning some of the mathematics of the puzzle, the student participants proceeded to construct the thirteen different convex shapes that are possible with the tangram. (The fact that exactly thirteen convex polygons are possible is proven by analysis of the angles and lengths of the sides of the pieces.)

The annual spring meeting of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America was held on the weekend of April 16 — 17 at Kent State University. Two JCU faculty members and one student presented papers at the meeting. Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia and Dr. Carl Spitznagel spoke in back-to-back sessions on “Calculus Applets Made Easy (Parts 1 and 2),” and senior math major Michael Joseph presented the results of his research with Dr. Leo Schneider on “Patterns in Primitive Pythagorean Triples.” (Pictures)

The University of Bristol in England hosts one of the longest running conferences on Unmanned Air Vehicle in existence. Begun in 1979, this year marked the 25th international conference. Dr. Dan Palmer attended the conference, April 12 — 14, and presented a paper entitled “Using Estimated Global Information to Increase Mission Effectiveness for Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) Swarms.” During the trip to England, Dan also went on an invited tour of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. Much to the relief of his family and himself, Dan was on one of the very last planes to leave Heathrow airport in front of the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.

Ohio Campus Compact, a non-profit membership organization of 46 Ohio colleges and universities with strong community service, service-learning, and/or civic engagement programs on their campuses, recently awarded outstanding college faculty service leaders the David Hoch Memorial Award for Excellence in Service. This year, one of the three award recipients in Ohio is Dr. Linda Seiter.

Linda has actively involved all of her students in service-learning projects. In her recently developed course titled “The Information Society/Digital Divide,” students are teaching Scratch 2D programming to kids at the Shaker Open Doors after-school program, and are also developing a web site for the Open Doors program using Google Sites. In her Database Systems course this semester, the students are working to improve the registration database for JCU’s Center for Service and Social Action. And in her Web Design and Programming course, the students are building a web site for the Montefiore Senior Center.

March, 2010

On Sunday, March 28, eleven human players and one online AI player participated in the First Annual Arthur T. Benjamin John Carroll University Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Invitational Backgammon Tournament. The tournament, which was organized by Dr. Tom Short, is nicknamed the “It’s All About the Benjamins Backgammon Tournament,” or the “IAATBBT.”

In the single elimination tournament, each match was played to three points, and the doubling cube was not used. In the final match, math graduate student Roy Bower beat undergraduate math major Mitch Kearney by 3 points to 1. Congratulations to Roy, the first winner of the IAATBBT! Roy’s prize was an autographed copy of Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician’s Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks, which was generously donated by Art Benjamin, one of the book’s co-authors.

Art Benjamin spent the Spring 1984 semester as a graduate student in the JCU Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Art, who is currently a professor at Harvey Mudd College and a practicing “mathemagician,” is also a nationally recognized backgammon player. Art’s brother Stephen Benjamin visited our tournament after playing in the 16th Annual Ohio State Backgammon Championships, which were played in Cleveland on the same weekend. Stephen observed some of our JCU matches, provided insights into the game, and defeated Roy Bower in an exhibition match to end the day. Art and Stephen’s cousin, Richard Benjamin, was also a JCU graduate student, and earned his M.S. in mathematics in 1995.
JCU’s Celebration of Scholarship week, March 22-25, included representation from both faculty and students in the Math & CS Department. Dr. Dan Palmer was the presenter of a session on “Virtual Learning Moments: Using Second Life as a Second Classroom”; Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia was the advisor for a poster presented by education major Anne Heller titled “The Maya Calendar in a Middle School Classroom”; Dr. Linda Seiter advised computer science major Holly Girardin for her poster on “Database Web Technologies”;and Dr. Tom Short co-presented a session on “Predicting Student of Color Persistence” with assistant dean Diane Campbell, and also advised mathematics major Nick Hermez for his poster on “Bootstrapping Methodology Applied to Selecting an Optimal Cutoff Value.”

The three winners in the Celebration Art Exhibit all have connections to the Math & CS Department. First place went to Chris Vecchio, a senior economics major with a minor in mathematics, for his photograph “Boy Selling.” The second place winner was Amy Zucca, a 1991 graduate of the M.S. program in Mathematics, and now working in the Boler School of Business, for her ceramic “Rose Window Bowl.” Third place went to Dr. Carl Spitznagel for his photograph “The Jim Bales Place.” Who says math and art don’t go together?!

Dr. Linda Seiter presented a paper entitled “Bridging the Digital Divide through Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software” on March 10 at the Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software Symposium (HFOSS 2010), held in Milwaukee, WI.

Dr. Paul Shick presented the annual Student Lecture at the Louisiana/Mississippi Section of the Mathematical Association of America Spring Meeting on “Understanding the Shape of the Universe” on March 5th at Southeast Louisiana University. He also taught a Faculty Minicourse on “Cosmology and Topology” at the same meeting.

Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia and Dr. Carl Spitznagel attended the 22nd Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics in Chicago, on March 11-13. At the conference they presented an invited session titled “GeoGebra: Dynamic Mathematics Made Easy.” Click here to see some of the applets they have created for visualizing concepts in calculus.

The JCU Math Club celebrated Pi Day by viewing pi-related web pages and mathematical videos on YouTube. Of course, there was pie galore–but the five pies and box of Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies were barely enough to feed the 25 students and faculty in attendance! Door prizes included a variety of pi and “Pi-in-Disguise” posters, as well as pi buttons.

February, 2010

The February meeting of the Math Club featured a presentation by Dr. Carl Spitznagel titled “Fractals and Matrices.” Fractals are sets that are characterized by an infinite level of detail, with self-similarity on all scales of magnification. In the presentation, which included hands-on work and computer demonstrations, the students learned how fractals can be created through iteration of transformations of the plane, represented by matrices. Carl has taught courses on fractal geometry at JCU since 1990.

The American Regions Mathematics League is the one national high school mathematics competition in which the teams of students meet at four common sites throughout the country. The Ohio team has a relatively new coach who would like to see the Ohio team place better in the contest. Because Dr. Leo Schneider is on the authors’ committee for the competition, the team invited him to give a three hour workshop on problem solving for the students and their coaches in Columbus on Saturday February 20.

January, 2010

Dr. Leo Schneider attended the Joint Mathematics Meetings of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of American in San Francisco January 10-13, 2010. His chief duties at the meeting revolved around his responsibilities as the national Secretary-Treasurer of Pi Mu Epsilon: Reports and taking minutes at the Pi Mu Epsilon Council meeting; Staffing the Pi Mu Epsilon information table in the exhibit hall to meet face-to-face some of the Chapter Advisors from the 340 Pi Mu Epsilon Chapters across the USA with whom he corresponds regularly by email; and assisting in judging the 400+ posters entered by undergraduates in the annual MAA mathematical poster contest.

The January meeting of the Math Club featured a hands-on presentation by Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia on “Origami Polyhedra.” Participants learned how to fold a single shape that combines with others just like it, to create a wide variety of stunning geometric solids.
Junior mathematics major Kaylee Sutton presented her paper Pell’s Equation and Quadratic Non-residues at the National Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, January 29-31, 2010.

Three JCU faculty members were invited speakers at the Greater Akron Mathematics Educators’ Society (G.A.M.E.S.) Mathematics Mini-Conference on January 30. Mr. Jerry Moreno spoke on “What’s Up in Data Analysis,” outlining some new ideas that may become a part of the school curriculum in grades 3-12. Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia and Dr. Carl Spitznagel presented an “Introduction to GeoGebra,” a software package that integrates dynamic geometry with algebra and calculus computational capabilites.

December, 2009

The Ohio Lambda Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national honor mathematics society in mathematics, held its meeting to elect Chapter Officers for the next year. The results of the election are: Kaylee Sutton, President; Roy Bower, Vice President; Louis Paumier, Treasurer; and Mike Joseph, Secretary.

November, 2009

Dr. Leo Schneider and Dr. Tom Short accompanied eight JCU students to the annual undergraduate mathematics conference at the University of Dayton on November 7. Sophomore Mathematics major Bob Short contributed a paper titled “Taking the Geometry of Flatland to the Limit,” and graduate student Marie Dailey presided at one of the sessions of undergraduate papers. Other JCU students attending the conference were Pam Castricone, Sarah Donnelly, Mike Joseph, Anthony Lanese, Luiyi Liu, and Leigh Matthews.

On Friday and Saturday, November 20 and 21, Dr. Tom Short and Dr. Leo Schneider accompanied JCU undergraduate Mathematics majors Bob Short and Kaylee Sutton to the Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at Pennsylvania State University. Bob contributed his paper on Flatland, and Kaylee contributed a talk connecting Quadratic Residue theory to solutions to Pell’s Equation. Click here for a photo.

The November Math Club meeting featured the ever-popular Set Tournament. If you’re not familiar with it, Set is a card game involving identification of groups of cards that form a “set” by virtue of having all similar or all different attributes. It has been a favorite pastime around the Math & CS Department for a number of years now. If you would like to practice for the next tournament, or just spend a few enjoyable minutes with pattern recognition, visit the Set game daily puzzle site.

October, 2009

Mr. Jerry Moreno was invited to give four presentations in data analysis and probability at the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics (CCTM), October 8-9, 2009, in Denver. Jerry is one of the authors of the American Statistical Association’s Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (better known as the GAISE Report), a pre k-12 curriculum framework designed for various stakeholders to use. (www.amstat.org/education/gaise) For example, those in Colorado who are revising their state’s grades k-12 mathematics standards are basing their Data Analysis and Probability Standard on the GAISE Report. Jerry’s first CCTM presentation (2.5 hours) articulated the GAISE model across grades k-12. His three hour-long presentations focused on each of grades k-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

The Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics (OCTM) gives the Kenneth Cummins Award for Exemplary Mathematics Teaching to a mathematics educator at the post-secondary level. This award is in memory of one of Ohio’s exemplary university professors, Ken Cummins of Kent State, who was an inspiration to many students particularly those who chose teaching mathematics as their career path. Jerry Moreno is one of two recipients of this year’s award along with Barbara Moses of Bowling Green. The award will be presented at OCTM’s annual meeting in November in Cincinnati.

The October meeting of the Math Club featured a screening of the spoof The United States of Mathematics Presidential Debate. In the 45-minute film, mathematician/comedians Colin Adams and Tom Garrity played the characters “Figure-Eight Knot” and “Euclidean Algorithm,” the candidates of the Topology Party and the Algebra Party. Figure-Eight Knot represented the new, progressive mathematics, while Euclidean Algorithm represented tried-and-true, traditional mathematics. Near the conclusion, the film was paused while the student and faculty audience cast their votes for their favored candidate. To everyone’s surprise, the students voted unanimously for Euclidean Algorithm, while the faculty voted unanimously for Figure-Eight Knot! Go figure!

Three members of the department attended the Fall Meeting of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America, held at Kenyon College, on October 30-31. Dr. Leo Schneider presented a contributed paper on “Four-digit Year Numbers with Interesting Properties.”

September, 2009

The September Math Club event was a repeat of last year’s successful “Game Night.” Math Club members and faculty enjoyed a variety of games, mostly with a mathematical or logical basis. Click here for some pictures.

Dr. Linda Seiter has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure, effective with the 2009-2010 academic year. Linda’s teaching responsibilites are in the area of computer science, and her research has centered around aspect-oriented programming. Congratulations, Linda!

August, 2009

Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia was an invited panelist on “The Faculty Member as Teacher and Scholar” at the meeting of the 2009-2010 Project NExT Fellows. Project NExT is a national program for new Ph.D.’s in mathematics that is intended to ease the transition from graduate study to professional participation as a faculty member in a college or university. This summer’s meeting of Project NExT was held in conjunction with MathFest, the national summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of America, in Portland, Oregon.

The JCU Department of Math & CS was well represented at the 2009 Joint Statistical Meetings held in Washington, DC in early August. Dr. Tom Short, Mr. Jerry Moreno, and undergraduate Mathematics major Sarah Downing all attended the conference.

At JSM, Sara and Tom presented a poster titled “Student Analysis of ‘Favorite Datasets from Drug Research’” in the session “Contributed Oral Poster Presentations: New Statistical Developments Advancing Biopharmaceutical Research.” The poster included work representing projects completed in the Spring 2009 version of MT 422. In addition to Sarah, JCU students Mike Joseph, David Kuzma, and Rachel Widman all had samples of their work included on the poster. (Click here for a photo.)

Tom served as a panelist in a panel discussion titled “Words from the Wise: Mu Sigma Rho Education Award Winners Tell All!” and also presented a session titled “Logistic Regression” at the Beyond AP Statistics (BAPS) workshop for experienced teachers of Advanced Placement Statistics.

Also at JSM, Jerry served as a panelist in a discussion titled “From Evidence to Policy: ASA Members in Public Office,” and also organized and chaired a session titled “ASA and NCTM Collaborations on a Shared Vision for the Role of Statistics in Schools.” Jerry also presented to K-12 teachers at the “Meeting Within a Meeting” workshop.

Dr. Leo Schneider was featured in the Summer 2009 issue of the John Carroll newsletter Magis, in an article titled Musings of a Mathematical Mind. Click here to read the article.

As Secretary-Treasurer of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national honor society for college mathematics majors, Leo was head over heels in work at PME’s annual national conference, which included 53 undergraduate speakers. The conference was held in conjunction with MathFest in Portand, Oregon, on August 4-6,2009.

June-July, 2009

Dr. Dan Palmer will be participating in the Ingenuity Festival, Cleveland’s festival of art and technology, which will be held at Playhouse Square Center in downtown Cleveland on the weekend of July 10-12. Dan will be demonstrating concepts of swarm research by involving the audience in human swarm activities on July 11 and 12. In conjunction with these presentations, Dan will be featured in a pre-activity discussion in Science Cafe Cleveland on June 29. A follow-up discussion will be held on July 13. Click here for more information.

Undergraduate Mathematics major Sarah Downing was one of 20 students selected nationwide to participate in the Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics (SIBS) program from June 8 through July 17 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sarah earned the equivalent of six transfer credits for two courses completed as part of the program. The first course was “Introduction to Concepts in Biostatistics” and the second course was titled “Practicum in Basic Biostatistics.” The SIBS program gives students exposure to analyzing data from basic science experiments, clinical trials and observational studies.

Undergraduate Mathematics major Nicholas Hermez received a Huntington and Codrington Foundations summer research grant to work with Dr. Tom Short on a project to explore bootstrap estimation of cut values in determining predicted group memberships for binary logistic regression models. Nick hopes to have manuscripts based on his research ready to be submitted for publication during the Fall semester.

May, 2009

Congratulations to the graduating senior Mathematics and Computer Science majors who won Department awards for their outstanding academic performance:Marie Dailey, Lester Eliazo, Harrison McCall, Louis Paumier, Jason Shifflet, Ricky Svoboda and Sara Sweeney. Click here for some photos.

At the Department award ceremony on May 1, four mathematics students (two undergraduates and two graduate students) were inducted into Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society: Brian Benander, Liuyi Liu, Brenda Stotesbery and Kaylee Sutton.

April, 2009

On April 3-4, three JCU mathematics faculty members and six students attended the annual spring meeting of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Assoociation of America. Two of our students presented talks: Sophomore Kaylee Sutton spoke on “Pell’s Equation and Hyperbolas,” and freshman Bob Short spoke on “Flatland Geometry.” Click here for a photo of the JCU contingent at the meeting.

The Cleveland Geometry/Topology Seminar is still going strong in its 34th year. The seminar meets weekly at JCU, with faculty participants from JCU, Case Western Reserve and Cleveland State. This year, our series centered around the topic of “Toric
Manifolds,” a recent development which straddles the areas of topology, algebraic geometry and combinatorics. Dr. John Oprea of CSU delivered the Fall semester talks,
looking at the geometry and topology of toric manifolds. The Spring talks were given by Dr. Paul Shick of JCU on the algebraic topology of quasitoric manifolds, culminating with the compuation of their K-theory.

Dr. Leo Schneider was in charge of the Power Question grading room, and conducted the Tie Breakers at the recent New York State Mathematics League meet held this year on April 24-25. In addition to the “Power Question,” which is a series of proof-type questions on a single topic, there are the Team Round of Questions, the Individual Round of Questions, and the Relay Questions, all of which are short-answer. Leo writes all the questions for this contest each year. About 30 teams of 15 students each from all over New York state participate annually. Leo has been writing this contest for NYSML since 2001, and a book about the contest including all the questions from 2001 to 2009 is his work for his sabbatical leave this semester.

Dr. Schneider gave a one hour address “The Wronskians and their Struggle for Independence” for mathematics majors, faculty, and others at the University of Findlay on April 16. This talk was given on the occasion of installing a new Chapter, the Ohio Tau Chapter, of the Pi Mu Epsilon Honor Mathematics Society at the University of Findlay. Leo has been the national Secretary-Treasurer of Pi Mu Epsilon since 2002.

The April meeting of the Math Club featured a talk by Dr. Dan Palmer on “Celtic Knots.” As part of the presentation, the group split into two teams to lock horns in a game of “Tara,” an abstract strategy game based on formation of Celtic knots.

March, 2009

Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia and Dr. Carl Spitznagel attended the Twenty-First Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics in New Orleans, March 13-15. At the conference, they delivered a paper titled “Using the TI-Nspire CAS Software as a Classroom Demonstration Tool.”

Three undergraduate computer science majors presented their research projects in JCU’s annual Celebration of Scholarship. Jason Dengler, Anthony Lanese and Lester Eliazo were advised in their research by Dr. Marc Kirschenbaum, Dr. Dan Palmer and Dr. Linda Seiter. Based on Ernest L. Boyer’s Scholarship Reconsidered, the event celebrates the four general views of scholarship: teaching, discovery, integration, and application. The annual campus-wide Celebration for students, faculty, and other University community members features workshops, panel discussions, poster sessions, paper presentations, and other activities. Click here for pictures.

In the March meeting of the Math Club, students and faculty were treated to a screening of the film The Great Pi/e Debate, in which mathematician/comedians Colin Adams and Thomas Garrity debate, in hilarious fashion, the relative merits of everyone’s favorite transcendental numbers. Which is your personal favorite?

February, 2009

On February 21, JCU math majors Leigh Matthews, Bob Short and Kaylee Sutton, accompanied by faculty members Leo Schneider, Barbara D’Ambrosia and Tom Short, attended the annual Pi Mu Epsilon undergraduate conference at Youngstown State University. Two of the students, Kaylee and Bob, presented talks. Click here for pictures.

The February Math Club event, “Game Night,” featured a variety of games–some mathematical and some not so much. But everyone agreed that it was a lot of fun! Click here for pictures.

January, 2009

Dr. Tom Short has instituted an on-campus statistical consulting service, the John Carroll Statistical Services lab, located in Dolan E224. During the Spring semester the lab will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 AM until 12:00 Noon. Staff members include Dr. Short and JCU student Sarah Downing. JCU Faculty and students in need of statistical advice for their research are encouraged to make use of this facility. Walk-ins are welcome, or you can call Tom (1626) for an appointment.

The JCU Math Club’s first spring event featured a hands-on presentation by Mr. LaMoyne Porter on “Mathematical Origami.” Origami paper and pizza were provided, making the presentation both intellectually and gastronomically fulfilling! Click here for pictures.

Dr. Leo Schneider is using the sabbatical provided by his Grauel Fellowship this spring semester to write a book, “New York State Mathematics League Contest Book Volume V — Contest Years 2001-2009.” Leo has been writing this annual contest since 2001. Unlike the previous volumes in this series which simply gave a historical record of the problems and their answers, Leo’s book will include commentary, alternative solutions, and references to higher level mathematics to which some of the problems lead. NYSML is a league of high school mathematics teams, many from the Long Island and Manhattan area, but with some as far away from the Big Apple as Buffalo and Ithaca.

Sophomore mathematics major Kaylee Sutton attended the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics at the University of Nebraska on the weekend of January 30 – February 1. At the conference, Kaylee presented her research in a talk titled “Using Hyperbolas to Approximate Square Roots.” Kaylee’s research was supervised by Dr. Leo Schneider. Kaylee is third from the right, in the front row of the picture.

November, 2008

On November 1, Dr. Leo Schneider took students to the University of Dayton for the annual Kenneth C. Shraut Lecture given this year by Dr. Robert Bolz, a vice president in the Lockheed Martin Corporation. The talk was followed by a panel discussion on careers in the mathematical sciences, followed by about a dozen breakout sessions where students could speak one on one with professionals in various careers who were undergraduate mathematics majors once upon a time.

Dr. Robert Kolesar was featured in an article in the Fall 2008 issue of the John Carroll newsletter, Magis. Click here to read the article.

October, 2008

The JCU Mathematics Club is off to a great start. The inaugural meeting, on September 19, featured a talk titled “The Mathematics of Voting” by Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia. On October 10, math students were treated to a screening of “Flatland: The Movie,” a 2007 animation featuring Martin Sheen as Arthur Square. Dr. D’Ambrosia, the moderator of the club, has planned a different activity for each month of the year.

On October 1 and 2, Dr. Leo Schneider visited the campus of St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana. He discussed possible math club activities with groups of mathematics majors, and with individual mathematics faculty members about academic and co-curricular opportunities for mathematics majors. He also gave an undergraduate colloquium lecture titled “A Reflection on a Study of Patterns — Mathematics in Action at an Elementary Level.”

On October 3, Dr. Schneider gave a talk on Pi Mu Epsilon, its purpose and ideals, in conjunction with installing a new Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon at Olivette Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Dr. Schneider is the Sectretary-Treasurer of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honorary society.

On October 16-17, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics held one of its three annual regional meetings at the Convention Center in downtown Cleveland. JCU mathematics faculty members Jerry Moreno and Brendan Foreman presented talks at the meeting. Brendan’s talk, a 60-minute “session,” was titled “Using Vygotsky’s Concept of Identity to Foster Critical Thinking in Precollege Mathematics.” Jerry’s presentation, a 90-minute “gallery workshop,” was on “The Really Fun Part of Math: Data Analysis and Probability.”

August, 2008

The Department welcomes Dr. Tom Short, who is joining us with the rank of Professor. Tom received his B.S. in Mathematics from JCU in 1986, and went on to earn a master’s and Ph.D. in Statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. Tom taught at Villanova University and at Indiana University of Pennsylvania before returning to John Carroll. His main teaching responsibilities are in statistics, replacing Mr. Jerry Moreno, who retired at the end of the 2007-2008 year.

Congratulations to the nine Mathematics and Computer Science majors who have been awarded scholarships by the Department for the 2008-2009 academic year! The Frank and Frances Guinta Scholarship recipients are Matthew Eliazo, Christine Gittinger, Sara Haldi, Craig Martin and Kaylee Sutton. Receiving Brother Raymond F. Schnepp scholarships are Marie Dailey, Greg Nachman, Irene Paparizos, Kaylee Sutton and Ricky Svoboda.

Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia has assumed the three-year position of Newsletter Editor for the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America. That post had previously been held by Dr. Carl Spitznagel.

July, 2008

Dr. Leo Schneider attended the quadraennial International Congress on Mathematics Education [ICME] in Monterrey, Mexico, July 4 to July 13, and presented a paper discussing sample problems from the New York State Mathematics League contests in ICME’s special interest group called the World Federation of National Mathematics Competitions. WFNMC is the group of those worldwide who are interested in regional and national mathematics contests. This was Leo’s second talk at WFNMC, the first being a keynote address at their 1990 meeting in Waterloo, Ontario.

Mr. Jerry Moreno has been honored as “Outstanding Educator” in 2008 by the Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics. In presenting the award, the GCCTM cited Jerry for being instrumental in developing strong programs for teachers in quantitative literacy and advanced placement statistics.

June, 2008

Mr. Jerry Moreno has retired after forty years on the faculty. Although no longer teaching a full course load, we expect to see a lot of Jerry around the Department, as he will be teaching a course in the fall, and also devoting considerable time to workshops and other outreach activities for teachers.

Dr. Leo Schneider and Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia were among the many mathematicians and teachers serving as Readers for the Advanced Placement Exam in Calculus. The AP Reading this year took place in Kansas City, from June 8 through June 15. During this time, approximately 900 readers were responsible for reading and scoring over 300,000 AP Calculus exams!

May, 2008

Congratulations to the graduating senior Mathematics and Computer Science majors who won Department awards for their outstanding academic performance: Gina Antonelli, Sarah Donnelly, Rodney Gallaway, Sandra Gliga, Anne Rollick, Pete Strada and Scott Zimmerman. Click here for a photo.

April, 2008

Dr. Leo Schneider spent the weekend of April 4-6 in Rochester, NY, judging the New York State Mathematics League annual meet, for which he writes the problems each year. Leo is also on the problem committee to write the annual American Regions Mathematics League contest. ARML opened a fourth site at the University of Georgia this year, and Leo was invited to assist and set the mathematical precedents for running the new site the weekend of May 30 to June 1.

Dr. Schneider visited Centre College in Danville, KY, on April 9. While at the college, he gave a colloquium talk titled “From an Arithmetic Curiosity to Three Proofs and a Generalization,” and also officiated at the installation of Centre College’s new chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon. Dr. Schneider is the Secretary/Treasurer of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society, a post he has held since 2002.

March, 2008

Dr. Barbara D’Ambrosia and Dr. Carl Spitznagel attended the Twentieth Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics in San Antonio, March 7-9. At the conference, they delivered a paper titled “Exploring Polar Coordinates with The Geometer’s Sketchpad.”

February, 2008

Undergraduate math majors Marie Dailey and Anne Rollick spent the weekend of February 8 to 10 at the annual Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics at the University of Nebraska. Both gave talks, and their travel was funded by the National Security Agency.