M3 Math Majors Matter ----------------------------------

EDITORIAL ARCHIVE

Issue 1 : November 2005

So What Is This? .....




THIS is the first issue of a newsletter devoted to the interests and concerns of the Math Majors at UCDHSC. Sponsored by the Undergraduate Committee of the faculty of the Department of Mathematical Sciences (see the news article on the new name), it is hoped that this will become a major source of information, entertainment and an avenue for feedback for our undergraduate majors.

THIS issue is rather barebones compared to what we envision this newsletter will grow into. You can see some of the ideas that we are working on listed in the "Coming Soon" Departments, but the final shape of this newsletter will be determined by YOU because we'd like you to let us know what kinds of items you'd like to see. Even more than that, we'd like you to contribute and work on this newsletter so that it will eventually become your newsletter. As we get started we really need volunteers willing to be:

  • Department Editors
  • Reporters
  • Feature Writers
  • Bloggers
Issue 2 : December 2005

Are you there? .....




With this second issue of the Math Major Newsletter we open a new department of student surveys. There will be a different survey in each issue of the newsletter. The information we collect will be passed on to the Undergraduate Committee to help them "fine tune" the program. We hope that you will take the few minutes needed to respond to these surveys. In the next issue we will start a prize contest department.

My plea for feedback and help did not generate any response from the first issue. Hopefully that will change with this issue, so let me repeat ... the final shape of this newsletter will be determined by YOU because we'd like you to let us know what kinds of items you'd like to see. Even more than that, we'd like you to contribute and work on this newsletter so that it will eventually become your newsletter. As we get started we really need volunteers willing to be:

  • Department Editors
  • Reporters
  • Feature Writers
  • Bloggers
Issue 3: February 2006

Welcome back .....




Welcome back to a new semester. In this issue we start a prize contest and hope that this generates a little more interest than the student survey did in our last issue (to date no one has responded to the survey ... so we'll let it run another month). If you are reading this, please help and get the word out that this newsletter exists.

My plea for feedback and help did not generate any response from the first issues. Hopefully that will change with this issue, so let me repeat (again)... the final shape of this newsletter will be determined by YOU because we'd like you to let us know what kinds of items you'd like to see. Even more than that, we'd like you to contribute and work on this newsletter so that it will eventually become your newsletter. As we get started we really need volunteers willing to be:

  • Department Editors
  • Reporters
  • Feature Writers
  • Bloggers
Issue 4: March 2006

The Problem with Problems .....




Ask any math teacher and you'll find out that problem selection is a very ticklish proposition. They shouldn't be too tough nor should they be too easy and hopefully they should be interesting to solve. We have the same difficulties in selecting problems in this newsletter. Our prize contest last month, while interesting, was probably too tough. Perhaps, if we run that kind of contest again, we should put in some hints. What do you think?

This month's caption contest will have to generate a winner (that is, if anyone enters) and doesn't require any intimate knowledge of the faculty. The problem of the month is sent to us by the editor of The Problem Solving Competition, Prof. Richard S. Neal. We do not originate these problems and so, don't control their level of difficulty. We are also having some communication difficulties concerning these problems. They are supposed to be delivered at the beginning of the month, but we haven't been getting them until mid-month. We currently have a work-around this problem, but problem submissions from our readers would be greatly appreciated and will help with the scheduling.

Many thanks to Jennifer Ward for her contribution to this month's newsletter. And once again, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ... we really need volunteers willing to be:

  • Department Editors
  • Reporters
  • Feature Writers
  • Bloggers
Issue 5: April 2006

So, you throw a party and no one shows up .....




Last month's extravaganza went off without a hitch. Howie Movshovitz lead an interesting discussion on the movie "Proof", there was lots of pizza and drink, and everyone there enjoyed the experience. The only problem was that there was not a single undergraduate in the audience. Oops, something went wrong, this was supposed to be a program for undergraduates. The post-party analysis came up with two reasons for this. First of all, the timing was bad (actually, very bad) since most undergraduates were deeply involved with exams and/or projects which are typically given the week before spring break. Secondly, the Monday morning quarterbacks felt that the program seemed more like work than a fun event. Having a prerequisite (seeing the film) and not really dealing with mathematics (there is no mathematics in the film, just some talk about mathematics) appear to have doomed the event even if the timing wasn't so bad. There is a lesson to be learned here. We (the undergraduate committee) really need to have input from students to make sure that we don't make mistakes like this again. Last month there was a request for a student representative and no one volunteered, and I have been asking for some help with this newsletter with the same result. We realize that everyone is busy and a time commitment seems like a terrible burden, but the need is real and the benefits, while subtle, can be very rewarding. We are attempting to make a better undergraduate experience for all of you, but we need your help to do this, so think about volunteering again.

Any comments?

Press this button to submit this entry or this button to redo it.

And once again, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ... we really need volunteers willing to be:

  • Department Editors
  • Reporters
  • Feature Writers
  • Bloggers
Issue 6: May 2006

Summertime .....




is what you can look forward to ... if only you can survive these last few weeks of the semester. This is the last newsletter for this semester, and like you, it is a very hectic time for me, so this issue is a bit thin (meaning that I haven't updated all the departments). Over the summer I will be making some changes to the newsletter, but will not produce a new issue until the Fall. I plan on adding a department on textbooks and will introduce and update an informational page on course enrollments for the Fall courses.

I hope you have enjoyed the newsletter. I've certainly had fun putting it together, but it has now grown to the point where I can't continue to do it alone. As I take on the chairmanship of the Undergraduate Committee, I will have even less time to devote to the newsletter, so please think about helping out. Have a good summer!

Any comments?

Press this button to submit this entry or this button to redo it.

And once again, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ... we really need volunteers willing to be:

  • Department Editors
  • Reporters
  • Feature Writers
  • Bloggers


Return to Editorial Page