A Newsletter of the Seaway Section of the Mathematical Association of  America


Volume 30,  Number 2                                                   Spring, 2007


Spring Meeting:   SUNY-Oneonta,  April 27-28

SUNY at Oneonta will host this spring's meeting on Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28. This will be the third time the section has met at SUNY Oneonta. The last meeting there was in the spring of 1991.

The College at Oneonta was founded in 1889, and became a charter member of the State University system in 1948. In 1942, it began conferring baccalaureate degrees. It is a liberal arts college with several pre-professional and cooperative professional programs that prepare students for degrees in law, medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, engineering, accounting, management, and fashion. The College currently enrolls over 5700 students, and offers 69 undergraduate majors, nine graduate programs, and several specialized certificate programs. In recent years SUNY at Oneonta has become extremely selective. For example, the College has received more than 12,000 applications for about 1400 places in the Fall 2007 freshman class.

The Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics is comprised of 15 full-time, tenure-track faculty and a number of supporting lecturers and adjunct faculty. Nine of the 15 tenure-track faculty are in the area of mathematics. The Department offers degree programs in mathematics, computer science, and statistics. Over the past 25 years, the addition and/or deletion of course offerings has been directly related to the number of department faculty in conjunction with their specialty areas of expertise. The number of mathematics majors has continued to increase over the past several years. There are currently 179 mathematics majors at SUNY Oneonta.

Information for the Spring 2007 MAA Seaway  Section meeting at SUNY at Oneonta on April 27th and 28th is at the following website:

Friday evening’s activities will take place in the Holiday Inn  starting with the ever-popular social hour at 6:00 pm, followed by the banquet at 7:00 pm.   After dinner,  Robin Lock of St. Lawrence University will speak on “Getting MAD in Class”. 

Bio Robin Lock: Robin H. Lock is a professor of mathematics, statistics, and computer science and the Jack and Sylvia Burry Chair in Statistics at St. Lawrence University in New York.
In 2004, he received two major awards at the Joint Statistical Meetings held in Toronto in August the Mu Sigma Rho 5th Statistical Education Award and the American Statistical Association award for Outstanding Contributions to Statistics in Sport.
As a founding member of the Statistics Liberal Arts Workshop (SLAW), he has been a valued contributor to a network of like-minded educators. He originated the idea of the Isolated Statisticians network and helped organize its first national meeting. He has presented successful workshops on teaching introductory statistics at Mathematics Association of America and ASA national meetings. He has been a leader in the ASA Sections on Statistical Education and Statistics in Sports. He was elected in 2000 as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.
After graduating from SUNY Oneonta, he earned a master's degree and PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Lock has been a faculty member at St. Lawrence since 1983. He received the J. Calvin Keene Award from St. Lawrence University in 2001, and was the first faculty member appointed to the Jack and Sylvia Burry Chair in Statistics upon its establishment in 2000.

The meeting resumes Saturday morning on campus in the E.R. Hodgdon Instructional Resources Center [IRC] (see map) with a welcoming statement, at 8:40 am,  by Dr. Alan B. Donovan, President of the College followed by a talk at 8:45, by John F. Hamilton of Eastman Kodak,  titled “Mathematics in Digital Imaging”.   At 9:45, James Matthews of Sienna College will speak on “Can We Improve the College Education of Future Secondary Mathematics Teachers? - Questions, Observations, Suggestions and Discussion”.  Abstract: What mathematics should prospective teachers learn? What skills and abilities are important for secondary mathematics teachers? How do colleges and universities produce talented secondary mathematics teachers? During this session we will ask these types of questions. We will also describe observations of secondary mathematics classrooms. For example, we will describe how the Pythagorean Theorem for Right Triangles is taught in a typical middle school math class and how high school instructors usually teach a square root property. These observations should make us question our preparation of pre-college level mathematics educators. We offer suggestions for improving this preparation, and encourage a discussion about the ideas that are presented.
Brief Bio: Jim Matthews has been teaching at Siena College for 25 years. Officially he is a faculty member in the Mathematics and Computer Science Departments, usually teaching Discrete Mathematics and Analysis of Algorithms. He also teaches a Mathematics Education course and supervises mathematics student teachers (about 100 observations in the past 4 years). Jim has given hundreds of presentations for mathematics educators, directed grant supported programs for teachers and worked as a consultant in many schools in the Capital District of NY including Albany and Troy City schools. He is a long time member of the MAA, NCTM and AMTNYS. He has served on many of these organizations committees including a term as President of AMTNYS.

The Harry M. Gehman Lecture will take place at 11:00 am.   Mark Watkins of Syracuse University will give a talk titled “Generalization to Infinite Graphs of a Theorem of W.T. Tutte”.

Mark grew up in the Philadelphia area, majored in mathematics at Amherst College, and obtained his advanced degrees at Yale University under the supervision of ystein re. After four years at University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill and one year at the University of Waterloo (Ontario), he joined the Mathematics Department at Syracuse University, where he is now in serving his 39th year.  Mark was a visiting associate professor at the Technische Universitt Wien (Vienna) in 1973-74 and at the Universit de Paris-Sud in 1986 and has given invited lectures at international conferences in Europe, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand. Mark is an author of over 60 publications in refereed journals and invited collections of papers, all in the area of combinatorics, mainly graph theory.  He and his Syracuse colleague Jack Graver coauthored Combinatorics with Emphasis on the Theory of Graphs, published by Springer-Verlag in their Graduate Texts in Mathematics series (1977).  He coined the now widely used terms "generalized Petersen graphs" and "graphical regular representation", as he wrote the seminal papers on these subjects.  His subsequent work has involved infinite graphs and embeddings of highly symmetric graphs in orientable surfaces. Outside of mathematics, Mark enjoys individual sports:  swimming, canoeing, kayaking, wilderness camping, bicycling, and cross-country skiing.  He is also a lover of classical music.  He was an accomplished oboist until January of 2006, when a neuroligical problem in some fingers of his left hand forced him to put the oboe aside for the indefinite future.  Until then he had played oboe and English horn with a fine wind quintet (The Lake Effect Winds) in the Syracuse area.  Last summer, Mark began studying the trombone, about which he says, "It's quite an upper at my age to be actually improving at something!"

After lunch at noon in the HUNT College Union Ballroom (see map),  the conference resumes in the IRC.  Starting at  1:30, there will be several parallel sessions of contributed talks (see for details).  

Some links to details:


The meeting website: , where you can find the Program, Abstracts, On-line registration forms, list of accommodations,   maps, and local information.


The Seaway section website: .



And Thanks very much to our Local Organizer:

Leo Alex,


The MAAthematical Tourist


Oneonta, New York, as depicted on an 1884 panoramic map.

Oneonta, New York, as depicted on an 1884 panoramic map.

The City of Oneonta is located within Otsego County, New York, and is surrounded by the Town of Oneonta, a separate political unit. The city was established in 1908 and as of the 2000 U.S. Census, had a population of 13,292. Oneonta is home to the National Soccer Hall of Fame, State University of New York at Oneonta, Hartwick College, and the Oneonta Tigers baseball club of the New York-Penn League. Oneonta is the birthplace of Henry E. Huntington, George Winthrop Fairchild and Sherman Mills Fairchild.  The city is in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains.

Some miscellany: On the sitcom King of Queens, Jerry Stiller's character exclaims that he once played for the Oneonta Red Dragons.  Oneonta was once home to the largest locomotive roundhouse in the world.  Mark May, the former college All-American at the University of Pittsburgh and the long time Washington Redskins lineman.   John Elway, the football quarterback, played minor league baseball for the Yankees affiliate in Oneonta in 1981.

Source:  Wikepedia- The Free Encylopedia (



Future File


The Fall meeting for 2007 will be at Monroe Community College in Rochester.  One of our invited speakers will be Joseph Gallian.


Chairman’s Report

            Gary Towsley

I look forward tong many of you at the upcoming meeting at SUNY Oneonta. The lineup of speakers is impressive. We will have a few new business items to attend to. First we will consider some changes in the Section's By-Laws. Namely we plan on separating the office of Secretary-Treasurer into two offices. The duties of the position have steadily increased over the past few years and it seems like an appropriate move. Also, several positions and committees will be formally defined in the by-laws, for example the webmaster. We will vote on the changes and then send them to MAA to be approved by the Board of Governors.

Our Fall meeting will be held at Monroe Community College October 19-20. This will be a joint conference with NYSMATYC. Next spring we will meet at St. Bonaventure. We have not yet settled on a date for that meeting.

I will be leaving the position of Chair at the meeting at Oneonta having finished my term. I want to express my gratitude to all the officers and members of the section who have made this two year term easy and enjoyable. Thank you.

Governor’s Report

             Robert Rogers


I attended the Board of Governors' Meeting on January 4, 2007 in New Orleans, LA. Much of the business conducted during the actual full meeting of the board was somewhat minimal with very few action items on which to vote and those are more of an internal nature. The various committees spent much of time listening to reports with the opportunity for reaction. A number of these items can be found on the MAA website. Of particular interest to our section is that the Committee on Sections has its template for bylaws that we followed in updating our own section bylaws.

            By far the most interesting discussions occur during the focus group sessions where we break off into smaller groups to discuss various topics put forth by the executive committee. The first issue that came up in there was that of trying to bring more graduate students into the MAA. The perception is that the MAA does a good job of recruiting undergraduates, but typically is in the background for graduate students as they focus more on the AMS at this point in their careers since the AMS is more specific research oriented. The MAA seems to come back on graduate students' radarscope when they start looking for jobs. It was brought out that this is not really a competition between the MAA and AMS, but we need to be able to fill the needs of graduate students that the AMS cannot fill as well. Endeavors such as Project NExT and PFF have done a good job of this for graduate students who will be entering academia. There is an idea that the needs of graduate students entering industry are not being met as well. One of the suggestions was that the MAA would put together an MAA industry speakers list and would fund a speaker for each section, though no details for this have been discussed yet.

            In other news, the MAA Carriage House is scheduled to open this April. It is still not clear to me how the general membership is going to utilize this facility, as I was not a governor during the planning stages of this. I plan on finding this out at Mathfest this summer if I can.



Report of the Clarence Stephens Award Committee

            Olympia Nicodemi


        Dr. Alan Taylor of Union College is this year's winner of the Clarence Stephen's Distinguished Teaching Award. Alan Taylor is an extraordinary teacher of both students and faculty. In his 31 year career at Union College, he has been the most popular teacher in the mathematics department. Students love his ability to clearly explain complex material, communicate the excitement and beauty of mathematical ideas, and challenge them to learn more than they thought possible.
        Through the creation of two highly successful courses for liberal arts students, Topics in Mathematical Political Science and Game Theory and the Humanities, he has provided a model for such courses at Union and throughout the country. His publications have changed how and what we teach at every level. From his chapter on fair division in For All Practical Purposes to his challenging Mathematics and Politics: Strategy, Voting, Power, and Proof, he has taught all of us about the mathematics of social choice.


Treasurer’s Report

         Leonard T. Malinowski


Beginning Balance: (June 30, 2006) $12268.73


MAA Subvention 1370.00

Spring 2006 Book sale 39.40

Fall Meeting Receipts 2835.00

Total $4244.40



Honorariums 100.00

Meeting expenses 3591.79

Speaker Lodging/Travel 248.98

Total $3940.77


Ending Balance (December 31, 2006) $12572.36


MAA Fall 2006 Business Meeting

By Leonard T. Malinowski

The business meeting was the first formal session on Saturday morning October 14th of the joint meeting with the MAA Metropolitan Section. Gary Towsley called the meeting to order. The minutes of the fall 2006 meeting at Ithaca College and the Treasurer’s report were approved as they appeared in the Seaway Current.

The section’s Governor, Robert Rogers, stated that there will be a formal opening in October of the Carriage House in Washington. The national organization is asking for suggestions to optimize the role of the section governors. One suggestion is to allow a section governor to have two consecutive terms. Currently, a governor cannot have two consecutive terms in office. The reason for the suggestion is that the governor appears to completely understanding his role at the end of a three-year term. Having the ability to serve two consecutive terms would greatly contribute to the governors ability to represent a section.

Dawn Jones thanked the members of the joint organizing committee for the meeting at Marist College. Specifically, she wanted to thank Dan King and Margaret Morrow for their help with organizing the program. A very special thank you goes to Joe Kirtland, who was the site coordinator at Marist College.

Future meeting dates and locations are April 27th-28th, 2007 at SUNY at Oneonta and Fall 2007 at Monroe Community College with the dates to be announced. Postcards no longer will be mailed to section members to announce the section meetings and the availability of the Seaway Current on-line. The notification of section meetings and the Seaway Current will be sent by email to members using the mailing services of the national headquarters. During the year of transition to electronic version of the Seaway Current only three members had requested paper copies. Paper copies of the current will still be made available by contacting the section chair, Gary Towsley.

The by-laws for the section need to be reviewed and possibly changed to comply with suggestions from the national organization or to make the operation of the section’s executive committee more efficient. Any change in the by-laws needs to be written in the section’s newsletter prior to a business meeting in order for a vote on the proposal to take place. There was a brief discussion concerning the splitting of the Secretary/ Treasurer position into two positions. One position would be the Secretary. The other position would be that of section Treasurer including book sale supervision. Another suggestion to changing the by-laws was to allow the Second Vice-Chair to have two consecutive terms.

There was no new or old business at this meeting. Gary Towsley reiterated the appreciation of the Seaway Section to all the members of the joint meeting planning committee and our host institution, Marist College for an excellent program and facilities.

The  section is always looking for people to serve on its standing  committees. If you are interested please give your name and interests  to John Maceli at


Departmental News


               Colgate University

Joaquin Rivera Cruz has accepted a tenure-track position in the Colgate Mathematics Department, to begin July 1, 2008. For the academic year 2007-2008 he will pursue a post-doc at Arizona State University University.
Theodore Frutiger, Professor of Mathematics Emeritus at Colgate, passed away on February 19 at the age of 78.  After serving in the U.S. Navy and a stint at Lycoming College, he taught at Colgate from 1966 until his retirement in 1995.


               Ithaca College

David Brown was tenured and promoted. We had three students attend the 9th annual Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics.


               Jamestown Community College

We lost two people on our JCC Cattaraugus County campus and hired two new full-time mathematics instructors:  Daniel Rabb and Sharyn Zias.   Amber Kautzman was teaching on the Cattaraugus County campus and now teaches on the Jamestown Campus.  Amber is replacing Sue Sandmeyer who retired August 2006.  Joe DeAlmo was also teaching on our Cattaraugus County campus and decided to look for a job closer to his home state.



Jeff Johannes was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor.

Armand Smith retired.  Aaron Heap (currently at Univ. of Rochester, PhD from Rice)  will start as an Assistant Professor in Fall, 2008.



Margaret Groman retired at the end of the fall semester. Somewhat less recently, Scott Preston was promoted to Associate Professor. Preety Tripathi has joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor. Preety got her doctorate from Syracuse University and her specialty is in mathematics education.



Sam Northshield will be on sabbatical next year.  One of his students, Marie Wass, attended the ninth annual Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics.  We will have several students attend and speak at the Hudson River Undergraduate Conference in Mathematics.  



The Seaway Current

 The Seaway Section of the Mathematical Association of America for the benefit of its members publishes the Seaway Current twice per year.  Its pages are open to all members of the MAA and, by invitation to others, for the exchange of information and opinion.  Contributed announcements, articles, and editorials are welcome and should be sent to the editor. 


Material may be submitted on paper, by e-mail, on 3.5’’ computer diskette, or on CD.  Presently, this newsletter is produced using Microsoft Word, which can import plain text files or files produced by most standard word-processing software.  The deadline for submission for the Spring 2006 meeting is Friday, April 14, 2006. 


Opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the editor or of individual contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of the MAA or of the Seaway Section.



Sam Northshield

Dept. of Mathematics

SUNY Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh, NY 12901

Tel:  518-564-4135

Fax:  518-564-4124



Editor’s note:  At this point, I leave my editorship of the Seaway Current.   It was fun and interesting and I hope that the next editor enjoys editing as much as I did.  SN