Whitman College Mathematics Newsletter

DATE:  May 9, 2002

Welcome to our first edition!

The department newsletter was created to disseminate information to all of our math majors, alumni, and faculty.  In the newsletter, we will be posting such information as:

It will be published at least twice a year- If you'd like to submit something, if you have questions or comments, send an email to Doug Hundley at hundledr@whitman.edu

Congratulations to our graduating seniors!

The department had its annual banquet at La Casita's on Tuesday, April 30th.  If you weren't there, you missed a good time- but you can check out the pictures.  There's a link from Doug Hundley's web site.

Here are our seniors that will be graduating- if you see them, congratulate them!  

Still Not Sure What to Take Next Fall?

If you weren't sure about what we were going to do in Math 467 (Numerical Analysis) in the fall, Professor Hundley has the course outline up- your questions should be answered there.  If you're suffering from math withdrawals this summer, feel free to start without him-  It will be an exciting adventure into the world of algorithms and solutions to those pesky real world type problems!

Professor (Laura) Schueller will be offering Special Topics courses in Number Theory and Cryptology- If you've been interested in these fields, be sure and sign up!!

As always, if you've got a hankerin' for a topic not normally covered by the courses in the catalog, you can speak to your favorite faculty member to see if it is possible to do an independent study.  On that note, you should realize that it will be an independent study with faculty supervision, so you also should be realistic about the workload!  Another option is to make your request to a faculty member so that we can include that topic in our annual survey of what courses you'd like to have offered (the survey normally takes place early in Spring semester for the following year).  For example, this past year we had courses in Chaotic Dynamics and Neural Networks.

Faculty News:

Our colleague and chair, Larry Anderson, has announced his retirement beginning next January 2003- this Fall may be your last chance to take a class from him!

Russ Gordon will be going on sabbatical next year.

David Guichard will be our fearless leader beginning in the Fall.

THANK YOU to all the students who participated in our search for a sabbatical replacement for next year- your time and your thoughtful comments play an important role in the process.  Stay tuned- we're still looking for that special someone, and next year may bring candidates for a tenure-track position.

Sigma Xi Dinner

Sigma Xi (The interdisciplinary research/honor society) had it's annual dinner on May 1st.  Two of our math majors, Jake Jensen and Lane Burgette, were nominated and accepted for membership.  Doug Hundley was elected chapter Secretary, so if you want more information on what the society is, you can visit its website at  http://www.sigmaxi.org, or speak to him.  Sigma Xi publishes the American Scientist magazine- an excellent source of information from a wide variety of scientific disciplines.


We had a reception on Thursday, May 2d, for Dr. Jerry Purcell, a Whitman Alumnus, a current member of the Board of Overseers at Whitman, and president of his company, Momentum Data Systems.  Thanks to Laura Schueller for putting it together, and to the students who attended.  It was great to hear from someone in industry talk about his experiences and give advice!  And, of course, a big thank you to Dr. Purcell for coming and spending some time with us!

Goings on this Summer-

Are you part of the Math Community?

In general, all math majors should sign themselves up for membership in the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).  It's an excellent organization, and it will keep you in touch with what's happening in the math community-everything from interesting mathematics to issues in education and teaching.  For more information, go to their website at http://www.maa.org.  To see what's going on, you can also go directly to their news and events page at http://www.maa.org/news/news.html

If you're interesting in applied math, or wonder what mathematicians do in industry, you might also consider joining the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).  For more information, go to their website at http://www.siam.org.  SIAM also lists Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) sites.  If you were too late this year to apply, make a note for next year-  applications are usually due in February and March, so one normally needs to start working on them in January!

Both of these organizations are very welcoming to students, and offer substantial discounts for membership.