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


Volume 30,  Number 1                                                   Fall, 2006


Joint Metro and Seaway Spring Meeting:   Marist College, October 13-14.


 Marist College will host this Fall’s meeting on Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14.   Founded in 1929, Marist's 180-acre campus overlooks the Hudson River in the heart of the historic Hudson Valley, midway between New York City and Albany.  What started as a seminary for the training of future Marist Brothers has developed into a college of the arts and sciences with 200 full-time faculty members.  Marist College is now home to approximately 4,100 traditional undergraduate men and women and 850 graduate students enrolled in one of 30 Bachelor’s or 10 Master’s degree programs. The Department of Mathematics at Marist consist of eight full-time faculty members and offers BA degrees in mathematics and mathematics education and a BS degree in applied mathematics.


Both the Friday evening and Saturday programs will take place on campus.  Friday evening’s activities will take place in Student Center starting with the ever-popular social hour at 6:00 pm, followed by the banquet beginning at 7:00.    


After dinner, at 8:30 in the Student Center,  V. Frederick Rickey of the United States Military Academy at West Point will speak on “Some History of the Calculus of the Trigonometric Functions”.   V. Frederick Rickey, a logician turned historian, became Professor of Mathematics at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY in the summer of 1998. After earning three degrees from the University of Notre Dame (Ph.D. 1968) he went to Bowling Green State University where he rose through the professorial ranks to the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus. He has broad interests in the history of mathematics and is especially interested in the development of the calculus.  He has been on leave five times, most recently in Washington D. C. where he was Visiting Mathematician at the MAA Headquarters. While there he was involved in the founding of Math Horizons, a magazine for mathematics undergraduates; became the first editor of electronic services for the MAA and built its first gopher and web pages; and wrote a successful NSF grant for an Institute for the History of Mathematics and Its Use in Teaching.  He loves teaching and enjoys giving lectures to mathematicians about the history of their field. He received the first award from the Ohio Section for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics, and one of the first MAA National Awards for teaching.


The meeting resumes Saturday morning in the Student Center.   Registration begins there at 8:45 am in the Lobby of the Nelly Goletti Theater.   The business meeting for the Seaway Section will be held between 9:25-9:55 in the Nelly Goletti Theater followed, at 10:00 by a welcoming statement by Dennis Murray, President of Marist College. 

This will be followed by two talks.


From 10:10 to 11:00, Nancy Hagelgans of Ursinus College will speak on "Planar Linkages"

Nancy Hagelgans is Professor Emerita of Mathematics and Computer Science at Ursinus College, where she taught a great variety of mathematics and computer science courses for 26 years and served two terms as department chairperson. She earned a Ph.D. in algebraic topology at Johns Hopkins University and later an M.S. in computer science at Villanova University. Her A. B. in mathematics was awarded by Goucher College, which she entered on a Ford Foundation Early Admissions Scholarship and where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Her interests include discrete mathematics, computer solutions to mathematics problems, and student learning. She was a co-author of the MAA book “A Practical Guide to Cooperative Learning in Collegiate Mathematics”. Currently she is a member of the MAA Executive Committee, Chair of the MAA Committee on Sections, Chair of the MAA Strategic Planning Working Group on Professional Development, and an adjunct faculty member in graduate computer science at Villanova University. She plays the violin in a symphony orchestra and various chamber music groups.


From 11:10 to 12:00, William Y. Velez from the University of Arizona will speak on"Increasing the Numbers of Mathematics Majors".  Professor Velez writes:  “I was born in Tucson, Arizona and grew up in the nurturing embrace of the Spanish-speaking part of the town.  My parents were both born in Mexico, in the state of Sonora.  Education was heavily emphasized in our home: my mother worked three jobs in order to send us to Catholic schools, through high school.  All of my brothers earned their degrees from The University of Arizona, and our career paths, though much different, have focused on educating the community.

     “I earned all of my degrees from The University of Arizona, completing my doctoral degree in mathematics in 1975.  My research interests have been in number theory and algebra.  I have always been interested in the ways that mathematics is applied and I have held positions at various military labs, where I have applied mathematics to solve problems that have arisen in military communication systems.

     “I was a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation, where I directed the Algebra and Number Theory Program.  I am a Founding Member of Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science and served as President of this organization from 1994-96. I served as the Director of the NSF funded Southwest Regional Institute in Mathematical Sciences from 1994”.


After lunch at noon in the student center, there will be a talk in the Nelly Goletti Theater from 1:15 to 2:05 pm.  William S. Zwicker of Union College will speak on  "The Mathematics of *Not* Voting".  Bill’s 1976 Ph.D. is from MIT, where he received his training in mathematical logic.  After early work in combinatorial set theory, he became interested in applications of mathematics to political science.  He has published in the areas of voting, fair division, and cooperative game theory, and is on the editorial board of Mathematical Social Sciences and of the International Journal of Game Theory.  He is the inventor of the hypergame paradox, and is the author, with Alan D. Taylor, of Simple Games (Princeton University Press, 1999).  His entire career has been at Union College, where he is currently the William D. Williams Professor of Mathematics.  Bill’s hobbies include cooking, classical music, travel, and reading escapist fiction of dubious worth.


Starting at 2:15, a panel discussion and a series of contributed talks will be held at Donnelly Hall.  


Some links to details:






On-line Registration Form:  




Directions and Parking: http:


 The Whole Darn Thing:  


And Thanks very much to our Local Organizer:

Joe Kirtland, , (845) 575-3000 ext 2602


The MAAthematical Tourist


Poughkeepsie (see map) is a city in New York, USA and serves as the county seat of Dutchess County, located in the Hudson River Valley roughly midway between New York City and Albany. As of the 2000 census, the city of Poughkeepsie had a population of 29,871. The name derives from a Native American word (roughly U-puku-ipi-sing), meaning "campsite by small water," referring to a stream feeding into the Hudson River.  Poughkeepsie calls itself the "Queen City of the Hudson."


Poughkeepsie was founded in 1687. The community was set off from the Town of Poughkeepsie when it became an incorporated village 1799.  The City of Poughkeepsie was chartered in 1854.   Until 1972 Poughkeepsie was home to the Smith Brothers cough drop factory.  The city was the site of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution by New York in 1788.


The area is home to several colleges: Vassar (one of the Seven Sisters), Marist, and Dutchess Community, all of which are in the Town of Poughkeepsie. In nearby Hyde Park, to the north, is the Culinary Institute of America.   A branch of Adelphi University is also located here.  It is also home to Oakwood Friends School.


Nearby Hyde Park is famous as the birthplace and burial place of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd President of the United States (1933-1945). His estate, Springwood, is the site of the Home Of Franklin D Roosevelt National Historic Site maintained by the National Park Service. Also on the site are his presidential library and museum. Roosevelt used this residence throughout his life.  The town is named after colonial governor, Edward Hyde. The town includes one of the many mansions of Frederick Vanderbilt.  Valkill was the home of Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt.


Commuter service to New York City is available by train, served by the MTA Metro-North Railroad, the city being the northern terminus of Metro-North's Hudson Line (about two hours from Grand Central Terminal).  Amtrak also stops at the Poughkeepsie station, continuing north along the Hudson River to Albany-Rensselaer station; Amtrak trains serving Poughkeepsie are the Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express and Maple Leaf.


In Poughkeepsie, the Bardavon 1869 Opera House located near Main and Market is a theatre which has an array of music, drama, dance and film events. It is also the home of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic.  The Mid-Hudson Civic Center located down the street from the Bardavon 1869 Opera House hosts various events like concerts and wrestling.  The Chance, located on 6 Crannell Street in downtown Poughkeepsie, hosts live rock concerts with local as well as major artists.  Popular FM radio stations in the area are WPDH (album-oriented rock), WRWD (country), WSPK (top 40), WHUD (adult contemporary), WRRV (alternative rock), and WPKF (rhythmic top 40).


Poughkeepsie was the home of the noted judge and district attorney, Raymond C. Baratta, who was associated with the ouster of drug advocate Timothy Leary from a Millbrook estate. G. Gordon Liddy, later a key figure in the Watergate Scandal, was the arresting prosecutor who was employed by Judge Baratta.


The city is twice referred to by the character of "Popeye" Doyle (Gene Hackman) in William Friedkin's feature film The French Connection (1971 20th Century Fox). It also featured in an episode of Ally McBeal wherein a character attempts to cure his stuttering.   It is called out as a stop along the route of a train about to depart the station in Superman: The Movie. Various references to someone's "maiden aunt from Poughkeepsie" exist in literature, film and TV.  The city has been referred to on countless occasions in MAD magazine, to the point where a citizen wrote a letter questioning them about their ongoing ridicule of the city.


--(mostly) from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


NYSMATYC Annual Conference:

Date:  April 20-22, 2007
Location:  Holiday Inn Select (soon to be Crowne Plaza)
           300 Third Street
           Niagara Falls, NY  14303
For more information, contact:  George Hurlburt
                                 NYSMATYC President-elect
                                 1 Academic Drive
                                 Corning Community College
                                 Corning, NY 14830

National elections for the offices of  MAA president, first vice-president, and second vice-president will be held next spring.  The Nominating Committee soon will be preparing ballots, which will contain a slate of three or more nominees for each office.  Please send your suggestions by November 1 to the chair, Ann Watkins at, or to one of the other Nominating Committee Members: Wade Ellis at, Barbara Faires at, Ron Graham at, or Betsy Yanik at The person elected president will serve as president-elect during 2008 and will take office for a two-year term as president in January 2009. The two newly-elected vice-presidents will take office in January 2008.

 Chairman’s Report

Gary Towsley


     Our joint Fall meeting with the Metro Section is coming up very soon – October 13 and 14 at Marist College. You can find links to Registration and Accommodations on the Seaway Website. I hope to see our section well represented at the meeting. The list of invited speakers is very impressive.

     We are in the process of scheduling future meetings right now. Our Spring 2007 meeting will be at SUNY Oneonta on April 27 and 28. The Fall 2007 meeting will be at Monroe Community College with the exact dates yet to be determined. This will be a joint meeting with NYSMATYC. We are nearly set for the two meetings for 2008 but if you would like to host a meeting at your school in 2008 let me know.

      There are several important jobs in the Seaway section that will need to be filled in the near future. In particular we are looking for an Editor of the Seaway Current. Let me know if you are interested in this or if you would like more information about what the position entails.




 Governor’s Report

Robert Rogers


I attended my first Governor's meeting at Mathfest in Knoxville, TN on August 9, 2006. As this was my first Governor's meeting, I tried to keep it simple and absorb the gist of events that were ongoing from previous meetings and put in my two cents whenever I thought it was appropriate. I came away with two main items. The first was the completion of the carriage house. The MAA has converted the Carriage house at the MAA headquarters in Washington, DC into a conference center that will accommodate groups of up to 60 people. Planning began in October 2003 with a meeting of the Carriage House Advisory Board. The work is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2006 with opening ceremonies scheduled to take place April 19-21, 2007. These will include a ribbon cutting, a tribute to Paul Halmos (a major contributor with his wife Virginia), several major speakers, and a Saturday program directed to students and (middle and high) school teachers. The aforementioned board is also charged with outlining the direction of programs that the conference center will host. Two subcommittees (local programs and national programs) are concerned with the long term use of the Carriage House (exclusive of rentals). Ideas for local programs include professional development for high school teachers; a middle school circle; AMC training, testing, and grading sessions; joint projects with the MD-DC-VA section; and an MAA book club. The idea of joint Smithsonian-MAA programs is being pursued. From what I can gather, this facility is supposed to provide members with a venue for smaller conferences in the DC area.

The second discussion item that I feel is of interest to the membership of the section deals with the issue of how the governors serve their sections. Historically, governors have brought back news from the Board of Governors to their constituencies. It has been suggested that the line of communication needs to travel both ways. Typically section concerns are directly addressed in the section officers' meeting. This system, in my opinion, insulates the Board of Governors (and the national association) from issues that are of concern in the sections. It was suggested that governors need to solicit concerns from section members. This is not meant to bypass the executive committee of the sections but to provide a two-way conduit between the membership and the Board of Governors. I think this is an excellent idea and, in fact, I urge you to email me your concerns so that I can make the national organization aware of them or at least to keep me informed of the section's viewpoints when the board is in a position to vote on decisions affecting the membership. Remember that I was elected to serve you.

As an aside, I found out from the editor's report that submissions are down slightly at The College Math Journal. They do not have a shortage of manuscripts but this could be of interest to potential authors.

MAA Spring 2006 Business Meeting at Ithaca College

By Leonard T. Malinowski


The meeting was held on Sat. April 29th, 2006 and Gary Towsley, the section chairperson, had sustained an injury and was unable to attend the meeting. Cheri Boyd assumed the role of chair for this meeting and called the meeting to order.  Cheri thanked the local organizing committee at Ithaca College for the excellent manner in which they are hosting the meeting under Tom Pfaff and John Maceli among others.


The minutes of the fall 2005 meeting and the Treasurer’s report for the end of the year 2005 as they appeared on the website and in the Seaway Current were approved.  Luise-Charlotte Kappe, the current Governor for the section, thanked both Jack Narayan and Bob Rogers for their willingness to run for the section’s governor’s position and announced that as a result to the election Bob Rogers will serve in that position.  Luise announced that plans are developing to have a joint meeting with the Metro section on October 13th and 14th of 2006 at Marist College.  Luise will be at the Metro section meeting next week to clarify issues to coordinate the joint meeting.


The Executive Committee report included remarks about the continuation of a strong Project NExT program for the MAA Seaway Section on the previous Friday afternoon.  Carol Bell stated that between 20 and 25 people attended and participated in the Project NExT activities.  Julie Held mentioned members of the section who work at two-year colleges have a comparable program to Project NExT called ACCCESS available to them on the national level.  The movement to an electronic version to the section’s newsletter, the Seaway Current, is progressing well and post cards will be sent at least one more time notifying the members of the availability of the electronic version of the newsletter.  It is the hope of the executive committee that the use of the postcards may be replaced with an email notifying the members of the availability of the Seaway Current each time a new edition is published.  Provisions will be made for those individuals that do not have access to email to receive copies of the newsletter sent to them thru the postal service.


Assuming that the joint meeting for the fall 2006 is held at Marist College, sites being considered for future meetings are St. Bonaventure, University of Rochester, Corning Community College and Monroe Community College.


Grace Orzech and Mark MacKinzie were thanked for their service on the nominating committee by John Maceli.  The election results are that Margaret Morrow is the Chair Elect and Dawn Jones is the First Vice-Chair.  The section will be looking for a new Secretary/Treasurer in next year’s election. Once again Cheri Boyd thanked the local organizing committee for all their efforts in hosting the meeting and the meeting was adjourned.






Beginning Balance: (Dec. 31, 2005)                                                                                $12849.52




                Spring MAA Book Sale                                         129.00

                Spring Meeting Receipts    (US funds)             4655.28


                Total                                                                                                                                       $4784.28




Spring MAA Book Sale                                         128.75

Postcards/Postage                                                  491.93

Project NExT                                                            240.00

Honorariums                                                            200.00

Meeting expenses                (US Funds)            4172.00

Certificate Postage                                                      8.89

Refund                                                                        60.00

Miscellaneous                                                           63.50

Total                                                                                                                                       $5365.07


Ending Balance (June 30, 2006)                                                                                        $12268.73




Departmental News


            Buffalo State College 

1. New hire Jane R. Cushman, PhD Mathematics Education, Univ Texas, area:
students' performance and attitudes in problem-based courses.
2. New hire Saziye Bayram, PhD Mathematics, Univ Buffalo, area:
Biomathemaics; Dr. Bayram will contribute to the ongoing development of the
department's applied mathematics program.


            Canisius College
The Mathematics and Statistics Department happily welcomes
Assistant Professor Byung-Jay Kahng (Ph.D., University of California at
Berkeley), who joins us after spending three years as a postdoctoral
fellow at the University of Nevada in Reno.  BJ works on quantum groups
and non-commutative geometry.  Efstratios (Stratos) Prassidis has been
promoted to Professor and Karl Schroeder has retired with the rank of
Professor Emeritus.
        Four of our students gave talks at the Hudson River Undergraduate
Mathematics Conference at Westfield State College in Massachusetts.  Our
NSF-sponsored REU program (Geometry and Physics on Graphs), directed by
Terry Bisson and Stratos Prassidis, has completed its second summer.
Each of our 8 participants gave a talk at the Young Mathematicians
Conference at Ohio State in August.  Our REU continues next summer.


            Colgate College

Brian Wynne will be a visiting assistant professor for 2006-07 and


            College of St. Rose

New hires over the past two years:

William Hardin, Ph.D., Mathematics Education, Syracuse University
Ion Coiculescu, Ph.D., Mathematics, University of North Texas
Roseann Allen, Ph.D., Mathematics Education, University at Albany
This past summer, The College of Saint Rose hosted the 2K+6 Conference of the Euler Society under the guidence of Prof. Mary Ann McLoughlin. The noted mathematical historian Henk Bos was the main speaker.  Professors Carmen Artino and Julian Kolod will be on phased retirement for the next four years.


               Genesee Community College

The Math Department is pleased to welcome James Goodwin to our team.  James has been hired as an Instructor of Mathematics and Chemistry.  He comes to us from the “Land Down Under”.  What an accent J!  Mary Knappen attended the 6th annual MERLOT International Conference at the beginning of August in Ottawa.  The theme of the conference was “Working With and Learning from the World’s Best.”  (MERLOT = Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching).  Mary presented at one of the sessions on “Creating Narrated PowerPoint Presentations.”


               Hobart and William Smith Colleges 

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science welcomes two new colleagues this year. Marc Corliss joins us in a tenure-track position in computer science. Marc has just completed his Ph. D. at the University of Pennsylvania. His main research interests lie in compilers and computer architecture. Moira McDermott joins us in a visiting position. Moira received her Ph. D. from the University of Michigan and had been teaching at  Gustavus Adolphus College but has recently moved to central New York. Her research interests are in commutative algebra, computational algebra, and biomathematics (phylogenetic trees).


               Ithaca College

We welcome Joanna Riccobono to the department.  Stan Seltzer has just started a three year term as chair. Two students gave presentations at the Young Mathematicians Conference at Ohio State University.  This is the first year of the new MAT program and the entire department participated in a four-day MAT Professional Development Workshop in August.  Lastly, thanks to everyone who attended the spring meeting at Ithaca. 


               Jamestown Community College
New hires on the
Olean campus: Sharyn Zias and Daniel Rabb
Moved from
Olean campus to Jamestown campus: Amber Kautzman
Amber Kautzman replaced Sue Sandmeyer who retired at the end of Spring
2006 semester.  Amber Kautzman and Stephanie Zwyghuizen both received tenure and
promotion to Assistant Professor at the end of spring 2004.


               Nazareth College

The Department of Mathematics now has a newsletter.
Everyone is welcome to read it!

               St. John Fisher College

Two new faculty members have joined the department:  Dr. Ryan Gantner (Math) who recently received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Scott Harrison
(Computer Science) who comes to us from the University of Idaho.


               Schenectady County Community College

Laurie L. Lacey was promoted to full professor beginning September 1.  I also published
"Flowcharting Proofs" with the MAA Focus On-line "Innovative Teaching Exchange" in July 2006.



Julia Wilson and Meral Arnavut were both tenured and promoted to associate professors. Julia is a topologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Meral is an algebraist with a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska.  Teodora and Jonathan Cox have joined us as new assistant professors. Jonathan's field is algebraic geometry. Jon was an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. His Ph.D. is from Oklahoma State University and he is a Sterling Dot, having just completed Project NExT. He is originally from Wisconsin. Tedi was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She is close to finishing her Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has an M.S. in mathematics from Oklahoma State University. She is originally from Bulgaria.  Jim McKenna retired at the end of the 2004 - 2005 academic year.  He helped us out by teaching a couple of classes last year until we could hire Jon as his replacement. 



Don Blais rejoins our department after several years in the School of Education.  Professor Margaret Morrow is, for the Fall 2006 semester, a fellow at the Institute for Ethics in Public Life here at Plattsburgh State;  this position entails a significant project.  


               Université du Québec à Montréal

Professors Gilbert Labelle and Nadine Bednarz have become « professeurs émérites ».

Professor Claude Pichet has received the « prix carrière en enseignement » form the Université du Québec.  Professor Denis Tanguay has received the « prix Fermat in didactique des mathématiques ».  Student Jean-François Maheu in M.Sc. math, concentration didactique des math received the Silver Prize in the « concours de vulgarisation » of the « Salon national de la recherche universitaire ».  Professor Bernadette Janvier has retired.

(for details:



 Some Important Links


Seaway Section Website:




Standing Committees:


Metro Section:



The Seaway Current


The Seaway Current is published twice per year by the Seaway Section of the Mathematical Association of America for the benefit of its members.  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. 


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