Fall 1993 Newsletter


Hendrix Alumni Ph.D.'s in Mathematics

Out of 914 colleges (private, 4 year, non-doctoral, AAUP rank IIA or IIB), Hendrix ranks as 29th in the number of its graduates receiving Ph.D.'s in mathematics with 6 Ph.D.'s received over the years 1981-1990. Including all disciplines, Hendrix ranks 169th with 105 doctorates. This statistic was reported in Baccalaureate Origins of Doctorate Recipients: A Ranking by Discipline of 4-Year Private Institutions, 7th Edition, 1920-1990 Data, Office of Planning and Institutional Research, Franklin and Marshall College, March 1993. If you are one of the six alums who received a doctorate during this period, please let us know.

Alumni Symposium

A symposium for mathematics alumni has been planned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of undergraduate reasearch in mathematics at Hendrix College. The symposium will be held Friday, April 15, during Alumni Weekend. Presentations will be made by Phillip Parker '69 and Dr. Cecil McDermott. Phillip Parker was the first Hendrix mathematics student involved in undergraduate research and the department's undergraduate research award is named for him. Other activities will include an open house, a panel discussion involving math alumni from teaching, research and industry, undergraduate research presentations by students and a dutch-treat dinner at a local restaurant. More details will be mailed in February with information about Alumni Weekend. We hope to see you there.

Science Facilities

With the completion of the new library, the college has begun planning for new and renovated science facilities in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and psychology. With the help of an architect and a laboratory design consultant, these departments are in the initial phase of planning. We will keep you posted on developments.

S.U.R.F. Grant

Junior Kevin Hutson and Dwayne Collins have received a SILO Undergraduate Research Fellowship (or S.U.R.F grant) for a project entitled "Characterization of Wavelets by the Dilation Equation."

Personal News

Dwayne and Judy Collins have a new daughter, Kay Laura, who was born in October. They have two other children: Seth, age 13, and Zachary, age six. David and Pebble Sutherland are expecting their second child any day now. They have one daughter, Susanna, who is almost four. Bob Eslinger's sons, David and Danny, play on the Grinnell College soccer team which won their conference championship by beating St. Norbet (Wisconsin) 4-2. David was selected all-conference and elected co-captain for next year.

Experiences in Mathematics & Computer Science

Last summer I participated in an NSF sponsored REU program at the University of Texas in San Antonio. I worked with five other students and two professors studying wavelets. This is a relatively new area of math so none of us had even heard of wavelets, much less worked with them. We worked in a classroom setting the first part of the summer while we were getting background material. The last three or four weeks we split up and worked on individual projects which ranged from theoretical to applied. This provided a great opportunity for me to see firsthand the world of mathematical research. Marla Eason [senior]

Last summer I worked as a computer programmer at Oscar Software, Inc. in Arkadelphia. I corrected programming bugs and worked on an automated scheduling routine for a program used in public school administration. Rusty Frizzell [junior]

During spring term last year we participated in an internship at Edge Consulting, a division of Axiom Corp. here in Conway. Last summer we continued our internship. During the summer most of our time was spent using MPWC and HyperCard to build applications. Our projects included working on the Production Reporting System, the FC Editor and the Uses Statistics. Kristen Allbright [senior] Rob Bland [senior]

Ze'ev's Checkered Pie

A circle is divided into six sectors and one checker is placed in each sector. Then the following procedure is performed in steps: At each step one checker is moved one sector clockwise and one checker (a different one or the same one) is moved one sector counterclockwise. Is it possible to move all checkers to one sector in finitely many moves? Send your solution to Mathematics at Hendrix, Hendrix College, P. O. Box 3478, Conway, AR 72032 by February 1. We will draw three names randomly from those alumni submitting correct solutions and send each of them a Hendrix coffee mug.

1994 Seniors

Kristen Allbright and Rob Bland, computer science emphasis students, are both considering graduate studies in computer science. Charlie Loften, a computer science emphasis student, is entering Christian missions work on a college campus. Marla Eason, Carissa Hurst, John Steward and Scott Wagner, mathematics students, are considering graduate school in mathematics.

Hogan Mathematics Award

Several people have asked about the portrait at the top of the last issue. The portrait is a drawing of Dr. Walter Edwin Hogan who is the namesake for the Hogan Mathematics Award. Dr. Hogan was born in Izard County, Arkansas, in 1872 and received a somewhat haphazard education in whatever schools were available in the general area. He was determined to receive a college education and entered Hendrix College in 1893, graduating with a B.A. degree in 1897. For the next three years, he taught, recruited students for Sloan Hendrix Academy in Imboden, Arkansas, and did graduate work at the University of Chicago in mathematics. In 1900 he returned to Hendrix as professor of mathematics and German. In 1910 he was called to Nashville, Tennessee, to become assistant secretary of the Board of Education of The Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In the church merger of 1938-40, he became treasurer of the Board of Education of the Methodist Church, retiring in 1944. He received a masters of arts degree from George Peabody College in 1917 and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Hendrix in 1932. His wife, Mary Young Hogan, attended both Galloway and Hendrix. They were married by Dr. A. C. Millar, former president of Hendrix. Throughout his life, which ended in 1949, Dr. Hogan never lost his love for, nor interest in, Hendrix College. The Hogan Mathematics Award was established in 1913 and has been awarded every year since.

New Computer Lab Operational

One of the mathematics classrooms has been rewired and furnished as a computer lab thanks to a grant from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The two faculty computers and four of the planned 12 Macs are in use and others will be purchased as matching funds for the NSF grant are raised.

Mathematica: Student Views

Mathematica was a big help on problem sets. If our group was working a problem and needed to know if we were on the right track, all we had to do was graph the equation on Mathematica to see how we were doing. Mathematica was also useful for doing tables. If we didn't use Mathematica we would have spent hours plugging in values on our calculators; instead, we just told Mathematica what numbers to put in and it made a table for us. Mathematica was also helpful with checking derivatives, but the thing that Mathematica did the best was graphing complicated equations fast and with more detail than a calculator. Brad Carter

Mathematica is a useful tool that compliments the math courses quite well. As opposed to high school, where most of the ideas were taught but only limited examples could be worked due to strenuous calculations, Mathematica offers the chance to incorporate many other more complex factors into the equations. Recently I talked to a friend currently attending Notre Dame and we discovered we both were introduced to Mathematica this year. The only problems he had with the program were that the computers he was allowed to work on were an older style of Mac. But with the newer Macs here, tedious calculations are done in a matter of seconds. Our only problem is that there are not enough machines because of all the competition among calculus, programming and science students. Robert Pruss