Summer 2003 Newsletter

Faculty News

Bob Eslinger has returned to the department from his position as Associate Provost. Bob will be on sabbatical during the fall but will be back in the department in the spring teaching calculus and our introduction to theorem proving.

Ze'ev Barel will endure his third year as chair of the department and looks forward to possibly chairing searches in both mathematics and computer science.

Dwayne Collins continues his segue into computer science. After his sabbatical year at Acxiom Corporation Dwayne began taking computer science graduate courses at the University of Memphis. This year, for the first time, he will teach more computer science than mathematics.

David Sutherland has traded places with Bob Eslinger and has accepted a position as Associate Provost. He will continue to teach one mathematics course each semester.

Duff Campbell starts his fourth year at Hendrix. He spent his summer as Associate Director of PROMYS for Teachers, an intensive six-week course in Number Theory at Boston University.

Gabe Ferrer begins his second year and is looking forward to his new robotics course.

Sadly we have to say goodbye to Ali Kooshesh who has accepted a teaching position at Sonoma State University. Ali single-handedly transformed the computer science program from a minor in computer science to a major in computer science. Ali was a wonderful colleague and we will miss him. We wish him the best of luck in California.

We also continue to use adjuncts from local industries to help in computer science. This year we have Dr. Doug Hoffman and Dr. Mike Clark from Acxiom.


Karen & Gabe Ferrer with Denice & Bob Eslinger

Robotics

This fall Gabriel Ferrer is team-teaching a new course entitled Robotics Explorations Studio with physics professor Ann Wright.

The new Hendrix core curriculum requires every student to take two natural science courses from different departments with at least one a laboratory course. With no science prerequisites, the Robotics course will enable non-science majors to meet this requirement.

The course will provide an introduction to classical mechanics, computer programming, and the basics of artificial intelligence, using robotics as a unifying theme. Students will build their robots using Lego Mindstorms kits and program them using a special Java library.

The focus of Dr. Ferrer's research is the development of algorithms for autonomous robot control. Dr. Wright has extensive experience in building robots as part of the FIRST robotics competition.

Computer science senior Kyle Rimkus assisted them this summer in developing the course and continues to work with students during the course.

2003 Seniors

Computer Science majors above from left to right: Jeff Fendley, Patrick Cowan, Craig Falls, James Horey, Don Porter, Tim Morey. Mathematics majors below from left to right: Dane Dormio, Jared Williams, Greg Spencer and Carter Price.

Another Goldwater

Junior mathematics major Peter Horn was named a Goldwater Scholar for the 2003–2004 academic year. The scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,093 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. Peter makes the 16th Hendrix Goldwater Scholar since 1989. Three of the last five Hendrix Goldwater Scholars were mathematics majors.

Student Publications

During the past year three graduating seniors have had research papers accepted for publication.

Computer Science student Don Porter's paper from his NSF REU program last summer at Hope College appeared in the proceedings of a SIGCSE meeting in Reno, Nevada last winter. The paper Using Java to Teach Networking Concepts with a Programmable Network Sniffer was co-authored by Professor Mike Jipping (Hope College) and students Agata Bugaj and Lilyana Mihalkova. [SIGCSE is the special interest group in computer science education of the Association of Computing Machinery.]

Mathematics student Jared Williams' paper Exploring Finite- Time Blow-Up appeared in the Spring 2003 issue of The Pi Mu Epsilon Journal. Co-authored with Duff Campbell, the paper grew out of a question posed by Jared as a sophomore in Duff's differential equations class.

Mathematics student Dane Dormio's paper Analysis of Subtangent has been accepted by The Pi Mu Epsilon Journal and should appear soon. His paper was motivated by a homework question about the subtangent from freshman calculus.

Putnam Exam

For the first time since 1985 the department will be displaying the plaque for the highest score in the Arkansas-Oklahoma region of the Mathematical Association of America on the The Putnam Exam.

Senior Jared Williams' name joins that of Gary Thacker from 1985, Scott Roberts from 1984 and Michael Tieffenback from 1975 and 1976.

CS Students Compete

For the first time ever, computer science students from Hendrix College competed in the ACM [Association of Computing Machinery] Mid-Central USA Programming Contest.

The students competed in two teams. The first team included senior Craig Falls and juniors Jed Daily and Billy Autrey. The second team included seniors Don Porter, James Horey and Patrick Cowan. Of the approximately 100 teams, the first Hendrix team placed 25th and the second team placed 48th.

Ze'ev's Puzzle Corner

Two circles externally tangent to each other at A, one of radius 3, the other of radius 1, have a common tangent line BC (B and C are the respective points of tangency). Find the exact area of the "triangle" ABC bounded by the line and the two circles. Note: The area can be written as a rational function of pi and the square root of 3.

E-mail your solutions to Ze'ev by December 1 to have a chance at winning a Hendrix mug.

Nap M. Smith ('40), J. Ralph Reed ('54), and Shiloh Harder ('98) won Hendrix mugs for solving Ze'ev's puzzle in the last newsletter.

Faculty

Ze'ev Barel
Duff Campbell
Dwayne Collins
Bob Eslinger
Gabe Ferrer
David Sutherland