Trends in Mathematical and Computational Biology, organized by Raina Robeva, Sweet Briar College,Timothy Comar, Benedictine University and Carrie Eaton, Unity College; Wednesday, 8:00–10:50 am. Mathematical and computational biology encompasses a diverse range of biological phenomena and quantitative methods for exploring those phenomena. The pace of research at this junction continues to accelerate and substantial advancements in problems from gene regulation, genomics, RNA folding, evolution, infectious disease dynamics, neuroscience, growth and control of populations, ecological networks, drug resistance modeling, and medical breakthroughs have increasingly ensued from utilizing mathematical and computational approaches. The session samples from this diversity of important questions from biology and medicine and their mathematical treatments. Speakers will present novel research at a level appropriate for general mathematics audience. This session is sponsored by SIGMAA on Mathematical and Computational Biology (BIO SIGMAA).
Teaching for Equity and Broader Participation in the Mathematical Sciences, organized by Darryl Yong, Talithia Williams, Rachel Levy, and Lisette de Pillis, Harvey Mudd College; Wednesday, 2:15–5:35 pm. Inquiry based learning, cooperative problem-solving activities, and other forms of active teaching strategies have been demonstrated to produce more equitable student learning outcomes. This is one of the reasons that the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences has called on higher-education institutions, mathematics departments, and mathematics faculty to ensure that effective active learning is incorporated into post-secondary mathematics classrooms. In this interactive session, mathematics education researchers will share current thinking on teaching practices to pursue, and which pitfalls to avoid, to best promote equity and broader participation in the mathematical sciences.
MAA Instructional Practices Guide, organized by Doug Ensley, MAA, Martha Abell, Georgia Southern University, and Lew Ludwig, Denison University; Thursday, 8:00–10:50 am. For several years, members of the mathematics and mathematics education communities have been developing the MAA Instructional Practices Guide (IP Guide), which serves as a companion guide to the MAA CUPM Curriculum Guide. In this session, specific sections of the IP Guide and its implementation will be presented by members of the development team from the three main areas of the IP Guide, Classroom Practices, Design Practices, and Assessment Practices. This session will help in the dissemination efforts so that the mathematics and mathematics education communities can become more familiar with the IP Guide and make use of the effective and evidence-based instructional practices included.
Quandle Questions, organized by Alissa Crans, Loyola Marymount University, and Sam Nelson, Claremont McKenna College; Thursday, 1:00–4:20 pm. Recent exciting advances have been made in the study of knot invariants, a field with strong connections to physics, biochemistry, and other areas. In particular, much work has been done in quandle theory, an analogue of group theory in which axioms capture the essential properties of group conjugation and algebraically encode the Reidemeister moves from classical knot theory. New developments in this area has enabled us to relate knot theory to other branches of mathematics including number theory, Lie theory, and statistical physics, employ tools beyond the traditional ones from algebraic topology, and develop a rich algebraic theory through an investigation of the self-distributive properties of the quandle operation. This MAA Invited Paper Session accompanies Alissa Crans’ invited address on the same topic.
Research in Improving Undergraduate Mathematical Sciences Education: Examples Supported by the National Science Foundation’s IUSE: EHR Program, organized by Ron Buckmire, Karen Keene, Sandra Richardson, and Lee Zia, National Science Foundation, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE); Friday, 8:00–10:50 am. This session will highlight research from ongoing IUSE-funded projects, with a focus on the study of the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematical sciences. Session topics will include research findings from one or more of the following themes related to undergraduate mathematical sciences education: (1) Systemic structures to support effective teaching and broadening participation; (2) Curricular and pedagogical innovations to strengthen student experiences in mathematical sciences learning; and (3) Effective use of digital tools and other sources as teaching and learning resources. Because some projects are in early stages of project development and analysis, research findings may be preliminary.
Polyhedra, Commemorating Magnus J. Wenninger, organized by Vincent Matsko, University of San Francisco; Friday, 1:00–3:50 pm. In February 2017, one of the world’s most respected polyhedron model builders, Magnus J. Wenninger, passed away. His work was instrumental in inspiring many mathematicians, artists, and geometers to build polyhedron models as well as conduct research into classical polyhedra. This session commemorates Magnus’s expertise as a model builder, his remarkable ability to connect those interested in polyhedra, and his warm, generous nature.
As a result of Coxeter’s work, an interest in looking at classical ideas—for example, stellations of polyhedra and uniform polytopes in four dimensions—from a more advanced mathematical standpoint has surged. With the advent of increasingly sophisticated computer software, an interest in using mathematical tools to create virtual polyhedra has grown enormously. Talks in this session will reflect this revitalization of an interest in classical geometry.
Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education: Highlights from the Annual SIGMAA on RUME Conference, organized by Megan Wawro, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Stacy Brown, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and Aaron Weinberg, Ithaca College; Friday, January 6, 8:00–10:50 am. The 2018 MAA Invited Paper Session on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education will showcase 5 exemplary research papers that were presented at the 20th Annual SIGMAA on RUME Conference, which took place in San Diego, CA in February 2017. The invited papers were chosen to represent a diverse range of high quality research in this area.
Differential Equations and Their Applications to Neuroscience, organized by Pengcheng Xiao, University of Evansville, and Lixia Duan, North China University of Technology; Saturday, 1:00–4:15 pm. Neuronal systems are featured by nonlinear and complex patterns in spatial and temporal dimensions. These phenomena carry significant biological information and regulate down-stream biological mechanisms. Understanding the mechanisms underlying such events by quantitative modeling represents a mathematical challenge of current interest. Yet all these systems share the similar dynamical system issues in ordinary/partial different equation such as bifurcation, stability, oscillations, stochastic noise as well as issues in determining model parameters from experimental data sets and computational errors of the models. This IPS offers a forum to exchange the state of the art theoretical advances related to this promising area as well as computational tools.
Accessible Problems in Modern Number Theory, organized by Jeremy Rouse, Wake Forest University, and Kate Thompson, De Paul University; Saturday, 9:00–11:50 pm. Number theory is a subject with many simple-to-state and open problems, while also playing host to a number of striking developments in the past few years. The goal of this session is to put a focus on mathematics that is accessible to undergraduate students with a reasonable background, but which also is closely connected to current number theory research.