Invited Speakers - A Closer Look

   
picture of Karen Lange

Karen Lange
Wellesley College

AMS-MAA Invited Address

Different Problems, Common Threads: Computing the Difficulty of Mathematical Problems

Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 11:10 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Four Seasons Ballroom 2, 3, 4, Lower Level, Colorado Convention Center

Abstract TBA

picture of Scott Adamson

Scott Adamson
Chandler-Gilbert Community College

MAA Invited Address

Mazes, Riddles, Zombies, and Unicorns!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 2:15 p.m.- 3:05 p.m. Four Seasons Ballroom 2, 3, 4, Lower Level, Colorado Convention Center

Can mathematics be an engaging endeavor worthy of academic pursuit? Can students be involved in meaningful learning experiences? Having observed many classrooms, it seems that the answers are a heartbreaking “No.” Reflect on what often happens in classrooms. Teachers may: unwittingly communicate that mathematics is so mind numbing and senseless, that they must “jazz it up”, tricking students to engage in mathematical activity; hijack thinking by telling students what to know without allowing them opportunities to grapple with ideas; write notes while students passively copy. There is no expectation or opportunity to make sense, to reason, to understand, or to engage in authentic mathematical thinking and discovery.

Reflect on what could happen in classrooms. Imagine experiences where students are: using manipulatives to represent real-world situations; building procedural fluency with algorithms by developing conceptual understanding; struggling productively to make sense of ideas while modeling with mathematics; collaborating as they make their reasoning visible while solving challenging problems.

I will highlight these issues and provide effective strategies for involving students in authentic mathematical thinking and discovery as they joyfully engage in joyful mathematics!

picture of Mohamed Omar

Mohamed Omar
Harvey Mudd College

MAA Invited Address

The Art and Craft of Problem Design

Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 3:20 p.m.- 4:10 p.m. Four Seasons Ballroom 2, 3, 4, Lower Level, Colorado Convention Center

How does one pick the right research problem to work on? How can we create assignment problems that are not decent nor good, but great? How does one make innovative problems for math competitions? These are questions that have been central throughout the speaker’s career, and common threads between them have had surprising influences on each other. Come hear how the art and craft of problem design plays a key role in a mathematical career.

picture of Nancy Reid

Nancy Reid
University of Toronto

AMS Josiah Willard Gibbs Lecture

Statistical Theory and Practice

Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 8:30 p.m.- 9:20 p.m. Four Seasons Ballroom 2, 3, 4, Lower Level, Colorado Convention Center

Abstract TBA

picture of Della Dumbaugh

Della Dumbaugh
University of Richmond

MAA Invited Address

Prospering Through Mathematics

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 9:00 a.m.- 9:50 a.m. Four Seasons Ballroom 2, 3, 4, Lower Level, Colorado Convention Center

Solomon Lefschetz, Emil Artin, Gertrude Cox and Rudy Horne all enjoyed successful careers in mathematics. These mathematicians, separated by mathematical discipline, nationality, time, institution and background also all faced---and overcame---hardships. They met the challenges of their human lives, in part, through their mathematical work at particular institutions. But what if we turn this lens around? What if we consider how mathematics created the space for these mathematicians to find success? Mathematics in particular allowed them to prosper, to the point where they had plenty to give to the next generation. Their lives prompt us to take up the natural next question of “how?” How can we use the space of mathematics to help shape students and colleagues into better human beings? And how can we accomplish this lofty goal with increasing demands on our time and rosters of students who may only take a single math class? This talk explores the professional experiences and personal lives of mathematicians to underscore the power of mathematics, not just as a career path, but as a place to grow into a full human being. It also outlines effective strategies for intentionally identifying the power of the discipline to direct students and colleagues toward meaningful lives.

picture of Federico Ardila

Federico Ardila
San Francisco State University

MAA Project NExT Lecture on Teaching and Learning

Todxs Cuentan: Difference, Humanity, and Belonging in the Mathematics Classroom

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 11:10 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Four Seasons Ballroom 1, Lower Level, Colorado Convention Center

Everyone can have joyful, meaningful, and empowering mathematical experiences; but no single mathematical experience is joyful, meaningful, and empowering to everyone. How do we build mathematical spaces where every participant can thrive? Audre Lorde advises us to use our differences to our advantage. bell hooks highlights the key role of building community while addressing power dynamics. Rochelle Gutierrez emphasizes the importance of welcoming students' full humanity. This talk will discuss some efforts to implement these ideas in mathematical contexts, and some lessons learned along the way.

picture of Vilma Mesa

Vilma Mesa
University of Michigan

MAA Invited Address

Instruction and Resources in Post-secondary Mathematics: How their Interplay Shape What We Do in the Classroom

Friday, January 17, 2020, 9:00 a.m.- 9:50 a.m. Four Seasons Ballroom 2, 3, 4, Lower Level, Colorado Convention Center

In this presentation I describe studies I have conducted to investigate how instructors, students, and resources interact in classrooms in order to create opportunities for mathematics learning in post-secondary settings. I showcase the evolution of two apparently independent research strands that together have helped me understand first, the centrality of resource use by instructors and students and its implications for student learning and, second, the complexity of the work that faculty do.

picture of Skip Garibaldi

Skip Garibaldi
Institute For Defense Analyses Center for Communications Research, La Jolla

AMS-MAA Invited Address

Uncovering Lottery Shenanigans

Friday, January 17, 2020, 11:10 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Four Seasons Ballroom 2, 3, 4, Lower Level, Colorado Convention Center

Abstract TBA

picture of Ami Radunskaya

Ami Radunskaya
Pomona College

MAA Invited Address - Lecture for Students

On the Scales of One to Infinity: Learning to Listen to Your Mathematics

Friday, January 17, 2020, 1:00 p.m.- 1:50 p.m. Four Seasons Ballroom 2, 3, 4, Lower Level, Colorado Convention Center

Many mathematical constructs can be manifested as sounds! The visual palette is three dimensional, or four if you include color; in some ways, the sonic palette is richer. Our ears can perceive along many axes, including pitch, loudness, timbre, harmonic complexity and time. How could you better understand your mathematical problem by hearing it, as well as seeing it? For example, why is the ``harmonic” series called by this name? Can we hear that the harmonic series diverges? Did you know we can “listen” to a dynamical system in order to understand its structure? Some features of common functions are better heard than seen! Together, we will explore the “route to chaos” via graphs and sounds, with live demonstrations.

picture of aBa Mbirika

aBa Mbirika
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

MAA Invited Address

Two Research Projects Birthed from Curiosity, Recreation, and Joy

Saturday, January 18, 2020, 10:05 a.m.- 10:55 a.m. Four Seasons Ballroom 2, 3, 4, Lower Level, Colorado Convention Center

This talk will center around two undergraduate research projects that were born from two specific recreational math topics. These topics brought me joy and then suddenly turned into full-blown research. The first topic emerged from a connection between the Fibonacci sequence modulo 10 and astrology. Oh No! Does the speaker believe in astrology!? Don’t worry, this topic will be strictly number theory with, of course, a foundation that gives its connection to astrology (in particular, the zodiac). The second topic arose from noticing the magical and mystic golden ratio appearing as an eigenvalue of a certain tridiagonal real symmetric matrix. Generalizing this matrix to ever-increasing sizes, a wondrous joy is born from the corresponding sequence of characteristic polynomials that emerge. And lo and behold the diagonal entries in Pascal’s triangle appear as the coefficients of these polynomials in an attractively inviting manner. Though the first project is one of number theory, and the second is one of combinatorial linear algebra, a cute connection between the two topics will be revealed at the end of the talk.

picture of Rajiv Maheswaran

Rajiv Maheswaran
Second Spectrum

MAA-AMS-SIAM Gerald and Judith Porter Public Lecture

The Fantastic Intersection of Math and Sports: Where No One is Afraid of a Decimal Point

Saturday, January 18, 2020, 3:00 p.m.- 3:50 p.m. Four Seasons Ballroom 2, 3, 4, Lower Level, Colorado Convention Center

Abstract TBA

   

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