Summer 1997 Newsletter

Summer 1997


Eslinger Honored

Bob Eslinger has been named as Elbert L. Fausett Professor of Mathematics. An installment convocation and luncheon has been scheduled for October 1. Bob invites all of you to attend. For luncheon reservations please call 501-450-1254 by Sept. 15. Bob has also accepted the position of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. His new responsibilities will include working with Dean Churchill and the Committee on Faculty in the overall work of the academic affairs area, with specific responsibilities in the areas of faculty evaluation and development and curricular planning. Bob will continue to teach one mathematics course each term.

NCUR in Austin in April

In April thirty Hendrix students gave research presentations at the Eleventh National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of Texas in Austin. Among these students were six mathematics and computer science students. Ali Kooshesh had the dubious pleasure of planning the trip for the thirty students and four other faculty members attending. Although he says he had fun, he is avoiding the question of whether he will volunteer to plan next year's trip to Salisbury State University in Salisbury, Maryland. Senior mathematics major Jac Cole spoke on "Semigroups Determined by the Ranks of Certain G-Graphs," junior mathematics major David Warren spoke on "Partitions and Young's Lattices" and sophomore computer science major Seth Harder spoke on "Visibility in the Plane in the Presence of Geometric Objects." The other three mathematics and computer science students made presentations in other academic areas. Senior mathematics minor Michelle Hendrix gave an economics presentation, senior mathematics major Jennifer Powell gave a biology presentation and junior mathematics major Brian Raines gave a presentation in literature.

NCUR Travelers: Dr. Ali Kooshesh, Jennifer Powell, David Warren, Jac Cole, Michele Hendrix and Seth Harder.

What's in a Name?

Our department is now the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. This name reflects the evolution of the computer science program. We now offer two majors and two minors. The traditional mathematics major has not changed. A combined major in Computer Science and Mathematics has been added. The first computer science course teaches Java and subsequent courses use C++. Unix, Macintosh and Windows NT platforms are all available. Computer science courses required for the new major include Programming Fundamentals, Programming and Software Engineering, Data Structures and Algorithms, Computer Organization and Architecture, Principles of Programming Languages, Theory of Computation and two advanced topics courses. The topics courses may be individual projects or chosen from rotating classes in networks, operating systems, databases or graphics. The required mathematics courses in the new major include Calculus I & II, Linear Algebra, Intro. to Advanced Mathematics and one jr-sr level course. The department also offers minors in both mathematics and computer science.

New Faculty

Lars Seme '95 joins us this year in a one-year position as mathematics instructor. Lars recently received a masters in applied mathematics from the University of Missouri - Rolla. Lars and his wife Melissa live in Little Rock where Melissa is entering medical school this fall. Lars plans to return to Rolla to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics.

Campus Visitors

Three noteworthy mathematicians visited campus during the past year. Dr. Steven G. Krantz from Washington University in St. Louis visited in February. Dr. Krantz gave lectures on mathematics, teaching and technical writing. He also discussed his book How to Teach Mathematics: A Personal Perspective which is published by the AMS. Dr. Keith Devlin, Dean of Science at St. Mary's College, visited Arkansas Governor's School this summer. He currently serves as the editor of the MAA's newsletter Focus and has recently completed work on a video series which will be shown on PBS next winter. While at Governor's School, Dr. Devlin spoke on topics related to his new book Goodbye, Descartes: The End of Logic and the Search for a New Cosmology of Mind which was recently published by John Wiley and Sons. Dr. Tom Ingram from the University of Missouri - Rolla was the invited speaker for the Hendrix-Rhodes-Sewanee Symposium at Hendrix this year. Dr. Ingram is know for his work in dynamical systems and he was Dwayne Collins' dissertation advisor at the University of Houston.

Dr. Ingram and Dr. Eslinger at the Hendrix-Rhodes-Sewanee Picnic

1997 Seniors

From left to right the seniors and their research projects are: Jennifer Powell, "Writing HyperText Laboratory Exercises for Mathematics Classes;" Diana Hua, "Growth Models in Economics;" Angela Jones, "Simple Harmonic Motion;" David Lee, "Perfect Graphs;" Wendy Thibault, "A Mathematical Analysis of the Cobb-Douglass Production Function; Mark Noernberg", "Interdisciplinary Units as a Model for Effective Teaching of Mathematics;" and Jac Cole, "Semigroups Determined by the Ranks of Certain G-Graphs." Jennifer Powell will attend the University of California - Berkeley in biology, Diana Hua will attend the University of Missouri in economics, Angela Jones will study engineering in Louisiana and Jac Cole will attend Vanderbilt in mathematics. Mark Noernberg will be working in Little Rock. Wendy Thibault recently married and will also be in Little Rock. Her plans and those of David Lee are still indefinite. David Felio was the first graduate with a computer science minor. Brad Carter, Hillary Haskins, Michele Hendrix and Jennifer McMillan all received minors in mathematics.

Ze'ev's Puzzle Corner

New Problem: A truncated cone is circumscribed around a sphere. If the radii of the two circular bases of the conical frustum are 2 and 3, find its exact height. Explain your work. You may also try to find the height h in terms of the two radii, R and r. Send your solution to Mathematics & Computer Science at Hendrix, Hendrix College, Box 3478, Conway, AR 72032 by December 1. Or e-mail your solution to Ze'ev. We will draw two names from those submitting correct solutions and send each a Hendrix coffee mug.

The problem in the last issue was to find all three digit numbers which are twelve times their sum of digits. Fifteen alums sent in the correct answer of 108.

Alumni News

Marla Eason Hutson, '94, received a M.S. in statistics from Clemson. Marla was Outstanding Masters Student and was awarded the Mathematical Sciences Graduate Assistant Award for Excellence in Teaching. Kevin Hutson, '95, received a M.S. in operations research from Clemson. This fall he begins Ph.D. work at the Univ. of Texas in Austin.

Next Issue

In the next issue we will focus on the building plans for mathematics and computer science. By that time we should have final plans and drawings for the renovation and addition to Reynolds Hall. Construction should begin in early 1998.


Dr. J. Sutherland Frame (shown with Donna Sword, '96) died in February. Dr. Frame, known by many as Dr. Pi Mu Epsilon, founded the Pi Mu Epsilon Journal in 1949.