Lee News

MAA Conference to be Held on Campus


Lee University will host the 98th annual meeting of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), Southeastern Section on Thursday, March 7, through Saturday, March 9.

The MAA SE includes Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Last year, Clemson University hosted the meeting, which attracted 542 attendees from 115 colleges and universities.

“This is the first time Lee will host a mathematical conference, and one of this magnitude,” said Dr. Caroline Maher-Boulis, professor of mathematics at Lee and organizer of the conference. “It is a great opportunity for us to serve the mathematical community.”

Maher-Boulis helped co-organize a special session, “Mathematical Experiences and Projects in Business, Industry and Government (BIG).”

“We hope local industries will attend this session to learn more on how they can invest in education and benefit from the skills and knowledge mathematicians have," said Maher-Boulis.

Dr. Richard Moy, assistant professor of mathematics at Lee, will present “The Distance to a Squarefree Polynomial.” Lee associate professors of mathematics Dr. Debra Gladden and Dr. Jason Schmurr will present “PIC [Preparation for Industrial Careers] Math and Beyond.” Schmurr will also present “3D Technology in a Multivariable Calculus Course.”

Other special sessions include topics such as “Supporting the Success of Women in Math,” “Innovative Teaching Methods,” and “Math and Sports.”

“More than 100 presentations are scheduled that will feature faculty from prestigious universities throughout the five-state region,” said Dr. Debbie Murray, vice president for academic affairs at Lee.

A poster session will be held to display students’ work. Lee University undergraduates Asia Grzegrzolka and Leah Terrian will present on “Cayley Graphs on Billiard Surfaces” and “Experimenting with Electricity: Analyzing Irreversibly Electroporated 293-T and HeLa Cells,” respectively.

Students will also have the opportunity to participate in “Math Jeopardy.” They will enter their names into a drawing and be randomly divided into teams of four. Each student on the winning team will be awarded an MAA press book.

“This is a fun but challenging event,” said Dr. Michael Berry, a professor in the University of Tennessee’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “By such a random draw, we usually get diverse teams spanning schools all across the country.”

In another effort to provide experience in collaborating with students from other universities, a treasure hunt is held every year. In this event, teams of students move to different rooms where faculty volunteers lead them in activities and reward them with clues upon solving the problem. In the end, students must piece together all of their clues to find the treasure.

The conference will also host a graduate school fair. Georgia Southern University, Tennessee Tech University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the University of Alabama, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville will take part in the fair.

The conference is, in part, sponsored by education technology companies and publishers Hawkes Learning, Cengage Learning, and McGraw Hill/ALEKS.

According to Maher-Boulis, the meeting is open to anyone interested in mathematics, as “there is something for everyone.”

For more information on the conference and to register, visit MAA.
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