# Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego, Jan. 6-9

December 27, 2007Providence, RI: Over 5,000 mathematicians will attend the annual meetings of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and Mathematical Association of America (MAA) at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego (CA), January 6-9. Researchers will present over 1,900 papers from all specialties of mathematics. The website for the Meetings is http://www.ams.org/amsmtgs/2109_intro.html.

The Press Room will be in the Registration area of the San Diego Convention Center, offering free wireless access, fact sheets, the book of abstracts, the complete program of the Meetings, a phone, and a place to conduct interviews. Hours: Sunday January 6 through Tuesday January 8, 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., and Wednesday January 9, 7:30 a.m.-noon. The press room phone number is 619-525-6204.

The annual meetings provide an opportunity for mathematicians in all fields of mathematics to present talks and participate in panels on topics ranging from high-level research on new approaches to unsolved theoretical problems to recent applications of math to issues such as global warming, voting, biology, and how to improve math education.

Topics include:

- The Environment and Climate Change

- Voting

- Education

- Math in Other Cultures

- Math in Film and Entertainment

- Mathematics and Art

- Recent Advances in Mathematical Biology, Ecology, and Epidemiology

- Who Wants to Be a Mathematician

- A New Mathematical Frontier: The Social and Behavioral Sciences

- The Riemann Hypothesis

- Current Events Bulletin

- Math and Roller Coasters

- Benjamin Franklin's Numbers

- Fingerprints

- Selected Events at the Joint Mathematics Meetings:

**The Environment and Climate Change**

Climate models are based on a considerable amount of data and involve complex dynamics. Mathematics is necessary to make sense of the data and to generate good predictions. Speakers at the sessions below detail mathematics' role in modeling the climate and accurately describing other aspects of the environment. [Note: SIAM stands for the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.]

- AMS-SIAM Special Session on Environmental Mathematics: Some Mathematical Problems on Climate Change and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Sunday, January 6, 8:00-10:40 a.m., 2:15-6:05 p.m., and Wednesday, January 9, 8:00-10:50 a.m., organized by Samuel S. Shen (San Diego State University) and Gerald R. North (Texas A&M University).

- SIAM Minisymposium on From Global Predictions to Local Action, Monday, January 7, 8:00-11:00a.m., 1:00-4:15 p.m., Tuesday, January 8, 8:00-11:00 a.m. and 1:00-5:00 p.m., organized by Inez Fung (Berkeley Institue of the Environment, University of California Berkeley), Christopher K. Jones (University of North Carolina), and Mary Lou Zeeman, (Bowdoin College).

- From Global Predictions to Local Action: Mathematical Challenges in Global Warming, Monday, January 7, 11:10-noon, Inez Fung (Berkeley Institute of the Environment, University of California Berkeley), the SIAM Invited Address.

**Voting**

You may have noticed that 2008 is an election year. Mathematics plays an important role in elections, not only in the counting of the votes, but also in analyzing different voting methods, apportioning the 435 congressional representatives among the states, and making decisions. The session below and the invited address highlight some of the aspects of how mathematics relates to voting. In addition, the first mathematics Ph.D. elected to the U.S. Congress, Jerry McNerney (D-CA), will hold a town meeting about federal funding of math and science.

- AMS Special Session on Voting Theory, Monday, January 7, 8:00-11:40 a.m., and 1:00-3:50 p.m., organized by Michael A. Jones (Montclair State University), Eric I. Gottlieb (Rhodes College), and Brian P. Hopkins (Saint Peter's College).

- Mathematics and the Law: The Apportionment of the House of Representatives, Sunday, January 6, 3:20-4:10 p.m., Paul H. Edelman (Vanderbilit University), MAA Invited Address.

- Town Meeting, Tuesday, January 8, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Representative Jerry McNerney (D-CA). McNerney, who represents California's 11th District, will speak to mathematicians about the state of science funding and about his experience as a first-term Congressman. An AMS Committee on Science Policy Presentation.

**Education**

A mathematically literate public and workforce is essential to the growth of the country and to its technological future. Mathematical knowledge and expertise begin in the nation's schools and are founded on the mathematical abilities of teachers. Among the many sessions and talks dealing with math education are the following:

- AMS Special Session on Mathematics for Teaching: Educating Elementary and Middle School Teachers for Success, Monday, January 7, 8:00-11:55 a.m., and 1:00-3:55 p.m., organized by Babette M. Benken (California State University, Long Beach), Lynn C. McGrath (University of San Diego), and Perla C. Myers (University of San Diego).

- Countering "I Can't Do Math": Strategies for Teaching Under-Prepared Math-Anxious Students Interested in Business and the Sciences (MAA Contributed Paper Session), Tuesday, January 8, 8:00-10:55 a.m., organized by Kimberly J. Presser (Shippensburg University), and J. Winston Crawley (Shippensburg University).

- Making Teacher Preparation Our Business (an AMS Committee on Education Panel Discussion), Tuesday, January 8, 1:00-2:30 p.m., organized by William G. McCallum (University of Arizona); Panelists: Solomon Friedberg (Boston College), Theodore W. Gamelin (University of California Los Angeles), James Lewis (University of Nebraska), and Magnhild Lien (California State University, Northridge).

**Math in Other Cultures**

- The Mathematics of the Mayan Cross, Sunday, January 6, 10:00-10:15 a.m., M. Alejandra Sorto (Texas State University - San Marcos), part of the AMS Session on History of Mathematics.

- Maya Calendar Conversions, Sunday, January 6, 10:20-10:40 a.m., Waclaw Szymanski (West Chester University) and Ximena Catepillan (Millersville University), part of the MAA Session on Ethnomathematics and Its Uses in Teaching.

- Heavenly Mathematics: The Mathematics of the Chinese, Indian, and Islamic Calendars, Sunday January 6, 4:15-4:35 p.m., Helmer Aslaksen (National University of Singapore), part of the MAA Session on Using Ideas from Asian Mathematics in the Classroom.

**Math in Film and Entertainment**

- Mathematical film festival. Three mathematics films will show on consecutive nights:
- "Flatland" (MAA Special Film Presentation), Sunday, January 6, 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. An animated film inspired by Edwin A. Abbott's classic novel. Set in a world of only two dimensions inhabited by sentient geometrical shapes, the story follows Arthur Square and his ever-curious granddaughter, Hex.

- "Julia Robinson and Hilbert's Tenth Problem" (Clay Mathematics Institute Film Presentation), Monday, January 7, 7:00-8:30 p.m. A film by George Paul Csicsery about Julia Robinson, a pioneering woman in American mathematics, who became the first female president of the AMS.

- "Hard Problems" (MAA Film Presentation), Tuesday, January 8, 6:00-8:30 p.m. A documentary by George Paul Csicsery about the USA team's participation in the 2006 International Mathematical Olympiad, an intense competition among the world's best high school math students.

- "Flatland" (MAA Special Film Presentation), Sunday, January 6, 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. An animated film inspired by Edwin A. Abbott's classic novel. Set in a world of only two dimensions inhabited by sentient geometrical shapes, the story follows Arthur Square and his ever-curious granddaughter, Hex.

- Mathematics and Hollywood: A Conversation with Mathematical Hollywood Writers and Mathematics Faculty (MAA Special Interest Group Panel Discussion), Sunday, January 6, 2:15-3:35 p.m., organized by Christopher Goff (University of the Pacific) and Sarah J. Greenwald (Appalachian State University). The panel, which includes writers from The Simpsons and Futurama, furnishes insiders' perspectives on the effect of mathematical training on the creative process and the challenges of representing mathematics and mathematicians in Hollywood. The panel will also discuss how Hollywood affects mathematics education and public perceptions.

- The Proof is in the Pudding: Humorous Theater of the Mathematical Variety (MAA Special Presentation), Monday, January 7, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Colin C. Adams (Williams College). Adams presents several skits and proves the proposition that math can be funny.

- Using Blue Man Group and Sound Waves to Introduce Fourier Analysis in Calculus (part of an MAA Session on Demos and Strategies with Technology that Enhance Teaching and Learning Mathematics), Monday, January 7, 1:20-1:40 p.m. Phil Gustafson (Mesa State College). Gustafson shows how aspects of Blue Man Group's performances,YouTube videos, and student-generated sound waves can be used to motivate and understand Fourier series, and basic sound file compression.

- How Would Muppets Multiply? Using Base 6 in Courses for Future Mathematics Teachers (part of an MAA General Contributed Paper Session), Tuesday, January 8, 1:00-1:15 p.m. John R. Prather (Ohio University-Eastern). How would we count if we only had six fingers, like the Muppet Gonzo" Prather begins his course for future elementary school teachers with the preceding question, which leads to a new system of counting, in which the teachers gain a fundamental grasp of the principles behind the algorithms for basic operations like addition. A bonus from the course is that the future teachers understand what it is like to learn mathematics from the beginning just as their students will.

**Mathematics and Art**

Whether it's analyzing perspective in Renaissance art or determining the best way to fold origami figures and space telescopes, mathematics has a role in art.

- MAA Session on Mathematics and the Arts, Monday, January 7, 1:00-3:55 p.m., Wednesday, January 9, 8:00-10:55 a.m., and 1:00-3:35 p.m., organized by Douglas E. Norton (Villanova University).

- The History of Origami Geometric Constructions, Thomas Hull (Merrimack College), Sunday, January 6, 8:45-9:00 a.m., part of the AMS Session on History of Mathematics.

- From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: the Modern Science of Origami, Monday, January 7, 3:00-3:45 p.m., Robert J. Lang, the MAA Special Interest Group on Business, Industry, and Government Guest Lecture.

- Mathematical Art Exhibit, open when the exhibit area is open (Sunday, January 6, 12:15 p.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday, January 7, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 8, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Wednesday, January 9, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.), organized by Robert Fathauer (Tesselations Company), Nathaniel A. Friedman (ISAMA and SUNY Albany), and Reza Sarhangi (Bridges Conference, Towson University). On display are works in various media by artists who are inspired by mathematics and by mathematicians who use visual art to express their findings. Fractals, symmetry, and tiling are some of the ideas used.

**Recent Advances in Mathematical Biology, Ecology, and Epidemiology**

An AMS Special Session that runs Sunday, January 6, 8:00-10:55 a.m., 2:15-6:10 p.m., and Monday, January 7, 8:00-11:55 a.m., organized by Linda J. S. Allen (Texas Tech University), Sophia R. Jang (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), and Lih-Ing W. Roeger (Texas Tech University).

**Who Wants to Be a Mathematician**

An AMS Special Presentation, Tuesday, January 8, 10:00-10:55 a.m. Eight of San Diego's best high school mathematics students compete for up to $3000 in cash in this very exciting and entertaining contest. Organized by Mike Breen (AMS) and Bill Butterworth (DePaul University).

**A New Mathematical Frontier: The Social and Behavioral Sciences**

An AMS Invited Address by Donald G. Saari (University of California, Irvine), Tuesday, January 8, 10:05-10:55 a.m. Mathematics' role in the physical sciences is well known and has existed for many centuries, but mathematics is now playing a more important role in areas such as political science and economics. Saari explains mathematics' importance in these areas and what the future may hold for mathematics in the social and behavioral sciences.

**The Riemann Hypothesis**

The MAA Lecture for Students, by J. Brian Conrey (The American Institute of Mathematics), Tuesday, January 8, 1:00-1:50 p.m. There is a $1,000,000 prize for solving this 150-year old problem. Considered by many to be the most important unsolved problem in mathematics, the Riemann Hypothesis deals with the distribution of the prime numbers, the basic building blocks of arithmetic. Conrey explains exactly what the Riemann Hypothesis is and gives some of the colorful history that has grown up around efforts to solve it.

**Current Events Bulletin**

An AMS session with four hour-long lectures about current developments in mathematics, Tuesday, January 8, 1:00-4:45 p.m., organized by David Eisenbud (University of California, Berkeley). Two of the talks are "Invisibility," by Gunther Uhlmann (University of Washington), which begins the session, and "Why are Solitons Stable"" by 2006 Fields Medalist Terence Tao (UCLA), at 4:00.

**Math and Roller Coasters**

"Integrated Calculus and Physics Projects Based on Roller Coaster Design," Sunday, January 6, 10:00-10:30 a.m., K. R. Fowler, J. Skufca, A. Alkahim, and T. Nishikawa (Clarkson University). Fowler present projects used in Calculus I that are based on designing a safe and thrilling roller coaster. The projects use a programmable virtual reality roller coaster. This talk is part of the SIAM Minisymposium on Education and Applied Mathematics.

**Benjamin Franklin's Numbers**

This talk is Wednesday, January 9, 10:00-10:30 a.m., part of the AMS-MAA Special Session on History of Mathematics. Paul C. Pasles (Villanova University) speaks on the mathematical abilities of Ben Franklin. Although Franklin did not prove any major theorems, he did apply basic mathematics to situations where only qualitative arguments had been applied before. Pasles examines a few examples and explores the mathematical climate of colonial Philadelphia.

**Fingerprints**

"An Examination of Fingerprint Analysis Using the Fourier Transform," Tuesday, January 8, 2:00-2:15 p.m., Micah J. Smith and Jonathan Hunt (Berea College), part of the AMS Session on Analysis and Functional Analysis. Although digital fingerprint analysis is commonly used for personal identification and is generally believed to be flawless, certain cases, such as that of an Oregon lawyer misidentified as a terrorist suspect, show that errors can occur. What are the causes of such identification errors, and what measures can reduce them" The main mathematical tool used is the Fourier transform.. Hunt focuses on two factors that may affect digitized fingerprint images: the resolution at which an image is sampled, and enhancements that may then be performed on the image. Detailed visual examples are included.

-end-

The up-to-date meeting program is online and searchable at http://www.ams.org/amsmtgs/2109_program.html .The Joint Mathematics Meetings are held for the purpose of advancing mathematical achievement, encouraging research, and to provide the communication necessary to progress in the field. These meetings serve to preserve, supplement, and utilize the results of the research of mathematicians the world over. Keeping abreast of the progress in mathematics results in the furtherance of the interest of mathematical scholarship and research.Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, the 30,000-member American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.

American Mathematical Society

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