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The Newsletter for the

at Olivet Nazarene University

In this issue:

Greetings from the Department of Mathematics

Outstanding MathematicsGraduate Award

Dr. Atkinson travels the world

Pi Mu Epsilon

Mathematics Scholarship

Math Club News

Scavenger Hunt

A Mathematical Couple

Mathematics professors visitMathFest 2008

Greetings from the Department of Mathematics at Olivet Nazarene University! This is our second annual alumni newsletter, filling you in on the events and happenings in the Department of Mathematics.

It has been a challenging year, but the Lord has been faithful walking with us through the difficulties faced by the department. The department was not successful in our attempt to hire a new faculty member last year so we hope to try again this year. We also lost our two permanent adjuncts as Mark Howard and Dan Voudrie both left Olivet this summer for other positions. Together this means that we have been very busy. We do have a faculty member, Ben Cornelius, coming for just this spring to help us cover the courses while Dave Atkinson is on sabbatical. Ben is taking a sabbatical from his institution, Oregon Institute of Technology to help us out.

The Lord has blessed us in other areas. Last year we did receive approval to offer a major in actuarial science. As of the fall of 2008 we have four actuarial science majors, several of whom are pursuing a double major with mathematics. Also Olivet now has its own chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society. Some of you may have joined Pi Mu Epsilon through another ACCA school while at Olivet. Now Olivet students can join our very own chapter. Last spring four teams participated in the ACCA calculus contest and our best team achieved a second place finish. This past summer a lab with 13 computers was added to the department and the old orange carpet was finally replaced. The basement of Burke actually looks presentable.

Let me give you a quick update on faculty news from the summer. There may be more information on some of these items elsewhere in the newsletter. Dave Atkinson traveled to southern Africa. Steve Brown and Dan Green both attended MathFest in

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NONPROFIT ORG.U.S POSTAGE

PAIDBOURBONNAIS,IL

PERMIT NO. 61

Department of Mathematics

Number 2 · January 2009

Madison, Wis., in August. I worked on the petition for our Pi Mu Epsilon chapter and rode my bike more than 1200 miles.

If you are ever on campus or in the area stop by and visit the department. You can also contact the department by e-mail at hathaway@olivet.edu.

God Bless,

Dale K. HathawayChair, Math Department

Pi Mu Epsilon

On October 3, 2008, the 330th chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon was installed at Olivet Nazarene University. Olivet will be known as the Illinois Mu chapter, signifying that we are the 12th chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon in Illinois. Pi Mu Epsilon is a national mathematics honor society incorporated in 1914 at Syracuse University. Students are eligible to join Pi Mu Epsilon if they have at least a 3.0 GPA, both overall and in their major, and have taken at least two mathematics courses beyond Calculus II.

Dr. Leo Schneider, the secretary-treasurer of PME, from John Carroll University traveled to Olivet to perform the installation ceremony. He presented the charter (on display in the Department of Mathematics) to Dr. Gregg

Chenoweth, vice president for academic affairs.

The charter members are the four faculty members and the following students: Chelsea Freed ’10, Julia Goodman ’09,

Greetings from the department (cont.)

Outstanding Mathematics Graduate Award Established

This past year the department honored two of our graduates with the designation of Outstanding Mathematics Graduate. We now have a plaque in the department commemorating those honored.

Brittany Booton ’08 Brittany graduated in January of 2008 and immediately started in a Ph.D. program at Illinois Institute of Technology. Brittany completed a double major in mathematics and psychology in two and a half years with a 4.0 grade point average.

Amanda Lee ‘08Amanda graduated in 2007 with a B.A. in religion and in 2008 with a B.S. in mathematics. Amanda, who spent parts of two summers doing work overseas.

2

Mark Lockwood ’11, Sondra Lynn ’09, Staci Martens ’10, Amy Meyer ’10, Kristin Wininger ’09 and Joshua Woods ’10. We hope to induct additional members early in the spring semester.

Much more information can be found at the Pi Mu Epsilon Web site, www.pme-math.org, including a picture of our charter members as the newest chapter (at least at the time of this printing).

Dr. Atkinson travels the world

Dr. David Atkinson and his wife, Ann, have done some extensive world travels in recent years. After doing an eight-week, ten-country "student excursion" through Europe in 1970, they stayed in the United States until 1997 when they traveled to Costa Rica and then a Christmas a trip to Israel and Egypt. Since 2000 they have made a number of trips, including central and eastern Europe (2000, 2003, 2007); Thailand (2001); Scandinavia and Russia (2002); Ecuador and Peru, including the Galapagos Islands (2004); China and Tibet (2005); and Australia, New Zealand and Fiji (2006). Other trips have included Mexico, Hawaii and the Canadian Rockies. Many of these trips were taken with Dr. Larry Ferren (Chemistry) and his wife, Alice. Beginning with the Thailand trip in 2001 the major trips have been with either Grand Circle Travel or their sister company, Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). The 2008 trip was a 23 day trip with OAT to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. Also Dr. Atkinson will be on a sabbatical leave for the spring of 2009 and this will include a 15 day trip to Antarctica and Argentina. This will complete his quest to visit every continent. Dr. Atkinson is often asked what his favorite trip was. He says that he has so many great memories that he can't single out a favorite, but he's got lots of pictures to show anyone who's interested.

Mathematics Scholarship

If you would like to contribute to the mathematics scholarship fund you can mail tax deductable contributions to :

Office of DevelopmentOlivet Nazarene UniversityOne University AvenueBourbonnais, IL 60914

Make sure to indicate that it is for the mathematics scholarship fund. Once the scholarship is fully funded, we hope to annually post parts of the thank you letters from students in this newsletter so all who have contributed can hear the success stories.

Math Club News

The math club had another successful year with several new innovative activities. Pi Day was the best attended event with more than 30 students. Pies, pi trivia, and pi songs all contributed to this exciting occasion. Dr. Hathaway was once again the pi in the face recipient.

Two other events were particularly interesting because of their interactive approach. The first was the Mathematical Murder Mystery (MMM). Dr. Bowling was killed off (with his permission, of course) and the faculty members of the Department of Mathematics were the prime suspects. Students had to search through Burke and solve puzzles to uncover clues which when combined would reveal the culprit. Twenty-eight students combined their problem solving abilities to identify Dr. Atkinson as the culprit. A highlight of this event was the special guest appearance of Dr. Bowling near the end of the evening.

The other new activity was the Mathematical Photo Scavenger Hunt. Groups of students were sent out across campus with digital cameras to capture mathematics. One goal of this activity is to encourage students to see that mathematics is all around them. On the next page are a few pictures. See if you can figure out the mathematics in each.

Club Council Members 07-08

Brittany BootonSondra LynnBetsy KurtzMegan BowserAmy MeyerStephanie Meid

Club Council Members 08-09

Sondra LynnStaci MartensBetsy KurtzStephanie MeidAmy MeyerAmy Grubbs

Pi Day

The Arrest

Crime Scene

Scavenger Hunt

a.

c.

e.

b.

d.

f.

Solutions: a. Parabola, b. Pi, c. Integral sign, d. Asymptote, e. Multiplication principle lock (not combination), f. Graph (graph theory)

Mathematics professors attend MathFest 2008

Dr. Dan Green and Dr. Steve Brown took advantage of the close proximity of the MAA’s summer MathFest, held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this past summer.

Dr. Brown enjoyed talks with such titles as, “What is Mathematics and Why Won’t It Go Away?,” “Viewing Math as a Human Endeavor,” and “CAGD, Geometer’s Sketchpad and Secondary Mathematics.” But the ones he really got the most excited about were talks by Art Benjamin, “Biscuits of Number Theory,” and George Andrews, “Ramanujan’s Impact on Number Theory - Then and Now.” Dr. Andrews taught Analysis I his first semester at Penn State in 1964

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A Mathematical Couple!Darcy (Hanks) '03 and Kyle Ireland '02

Last year when sending out the first alumni newsletter we noticed that quite a few couples had graduated from the Department of Mathematics. We thought it might be nice to include some information on a mathematical alumni couple. Below is part of the story of the most recent couple.

Kyle ’02 majored in mathematics and minored in accounting. Darcy ’03 majored in mathematics education and minored in Spanish. They met in Dr. Hathaway’s Calculus I class in September 1998 and dated throughout college. While at ONU, Darcy played softball, was a resident assistant and a teacher’s assistant for the math department, and worked in the math tutoring lab. Kyle was also an RA and a TA and participated in Students In Free Enterprise. They married after graduation in December 2002 and reside in Bourbonnais with their 2-year-old daughter, Capri. After graduation, Kyle worked as an accounting clerk in the bookstore at ONU for a year and then was the resident director of Chapman hall for four years. During this time, he earned his master’s degree in teaching from ONU. He currently teaches mathematics at ONU in the Department of General Studies. Darcy is in her sixth year of teaching mathematics at Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, where she is also the head softball coach and freshman math team coach.

We are interested in trying to have at least one alumni story in each newsletter. If you have an interesting story or just want to update us on what has been happening since you left Olivet, please let us know at hathaway@olivet.edu.

and one of his first students was Steve Brown. (Dr. Andrews was the one who discovered Ramanujan’s Lost Notebook in a box of papers in the Cambridge University Library.) It was also exciting to pick up some new books, such as “Secrets of Mental Math,” by Art Benjamin, and to have the author autograph his new work.

Dr. Green attended equally interesting talks such as, “Calculus: Where we’ve been; Where are we going?” and “Stuck in a Sudoku,” as well as talks investigating new ways to teach “old” calculus problems and methods to incorporate spreadsheets into solving differential equations. He also enjoyed some time with students at the puzzle table in the exhibit hall. He solved some very interesting new puzzles and gave some students hints on solving others.

But perhaps the most exciting event for Dr. Brown and Dr. Green was riding the square wheeled bicycle built by a college mathematics class after they had learned about the mathematical curve that would be required for such a bicycle to produce a completely smooth ride.

Mathematics professors attend MathFest 2008(cont.)

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