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MAA Math Alert - November 2008

News and Views

The Paul Halmos Commemorative Walk Grows by 100
The brick paths of the Paul R. Halmos Commemorative Walk represent the confluence of two bodies of water that help define the District of Columbia: the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. The number of inscribed bricks in the walk grew this week as the MAA installed the third set of 100 bricks. Watch as the third set of 100 bricks is installed and be sure to look for your brick! Read More

Rebecca Goldin on Use and Abuse of Statistics in the Media (with audio and video)
Rebecca Goldin of George Mason University illustrated how the media miss the mark in the use and presentation of statistics in stories about the economy, health, science, and education. Goldin titled her talk "Spinning Heads and Spinning News: Statistics in the Media." Read More

From Math Major to NFL Assistant Coach
Football coachChris Meidtviews the world through a filter colored by mathematics, his friends and family say. Previously head of the football program at St. Olaf Collegein Northfield, Minn. , Meidt is now an assistant coach with theWashington Redskins. Read More


MAA Mathematical Study Tour to Egypt
Travel with the MAA on its 7th Annual Mathematical Study Tour from May 20 - June 1, 2009. Learn More

National Science Foundation
The Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) currently is not accepting Vertical Integration of Research and Education (VIGRE) proposals. The VIGRE program is under review by a National Academy of Sciences committee, and DMS is suspending the VIGRE program pending the outcome of that review. Please see the Revision Note in the relevant solicitation NSF 05-595.

Joint Mathematics Meetings Comes to Washington, DC
We hope you are planning on joining the Mathematical Association of America at the Joint Mathematics Meetingsin Washington, DC January 5-8, 2009! Register by December 15, 2008.

Membership Renewals
Renew your 2009 MAA Membership before December 31, 2008 to be sure your membership benefits continue! Renew online today!

Featured Articles

Card Colm – Monge Shuffle Cliques (with video)
This month’s column by Colm Mulcahy looks at the Monge shuffle, a special way of mixing a deck of cards, which may give the impression of randomization if done sufficiently often. Read More

Launchings By David Bressoud – Lessons for Effective Teaching
Bressoud discusses the MAA Notes volume, Making the Connection: Research and Teaching in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, a book he calls “a useful window into what is and is not known about how undergraduates learn.” Read More

LOCI Convergence - Triangles in the Sky: Trigonometry and Early Theories of Planetary Motion
This paper describes the prototype of the Greek and Indian models for planetary motion—the basic “epicycle-deferent” model invented byApollonius of Perga. It shows how to find the parameters of this basic model and how to use the model to compute planetary positions. Read More

New From the MAA

MAA Reviews
Take a look at our sample reviews or log in as a member to browse the full database of more than 1,600 book reviews.

Mathematical Figures
From Abel to Zygmund, you can find pictures of many famous mathematicians in the MathDL/Convergence portrait gallery, available for download for educational or instructional purposes.

Problems from Murray Klamkin, edited by Andy Liu and Bruce Shawyer, gathers all of the problems (with their solutions) proposed by master problemist, Murray Klamkin for Crux and Mayhem. This book is a must have for all problem solvers.

Aha! Solutions by Martin Erickson is a collection of problems with aha! solutions. The problems are at the level of the college mathematics student, but there should be something of interest for the high school student, the teacher of mathematics, the “math fan,'' and anyone else who loves mathematical challenges.

Uncommon Mathematical Excursions by Dan Kalman is for anyone who knows and appreciates the basics of algebra, geometry, and calculus, and would like to learn more. It offers teachers an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of mathematics, not by exploring the far reaches of the subject, but by returning to the core.

Creative Mathematics by H. S. Wall will help you lead students towards developing their mathematical abilities by allowing them to work through problems independently and creatively.

In Biscuits of Number Theory, Editors Ezra Brown and Arthur Benjamin have chosen articles that are exceptionally well-written and that can be appreciated by anyone who has taken (or is taking) a first course in number theory. This book could be used as a textbook supplement for a number theory course, especially one that requires students to write papers or do outside reading.

MAA Travel Mug
Etched with the MAA Icosahedron, this mug is the perfect gift for your favorite MAA member.

Publishing Date: 
November, 2008