October 5-7, 2012   

FRIDAY Arrival. No formal activities planned. But we usually have clear autumn skies. Bring a telescope or some binoculars if you can!


SATURDAY 10:00 AM "An Alternate View of Finding Eigenvalues", by Gregg Waterman, Oregon Institute of Technology

The standard approach to eigenvalues and eigenvectors in texts is to demonstrate algebraic techniques for finding the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix A, which then allows A to be "diagonalized" as A = PDP-1. We will instead use what we know about the geometry of a simple transformation in two dimensions to determine the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the transformation, and from them we will construct the matrix of the transformation. After doing this, we will analyze the product PDP-1 for our transformation. This analysis will reveal the richness of this simple example; we’ll see a variety of fundamental ideas from a first course in linear algebra.

11:00 AM  "Bifurcations in the Dynamics of Student Attitudes toward Undergraduate Mathematics Class," by Dr. Zaur Birkaliev, Chico State University

This study incorporates the ideas of complexity and chaos and is based on the series of daily surveys of 254 undergraduate engineering majors enrolled in 10 intensive mathematics classes over 73 days during the entire semester. The findings suggests a hypothesis that patterns of chaos in the dynamics of student attitudes toward mathematics class might represent not only random noise or measurement error but may develop through series of bifurcations associated with such educational parameters as SAT/ACT math score, GPA, course grade, and gender.

3:30 PM  Discussion Under the Oaks -- "N Great Problems, At Least N+1 Great Solutions," led by Prof. Irving Lubliner, Southern Oregon University

Do you enjoy problems that seem impossible and turn out to be simple?  How about the ones that seem easy but are devilishly challenging?  I’ll share some of my favorites, including one that took me over 25 years to solve!

8:00 PM Family Campfire and annual five minute business meeting.  B.Y.O. Marshmallows!

SUNDAY Departure

Directions:  Dry Creek Campground (Site #2) at Whiskeytown Lake is west of Redding along Highway 299.  A small donation towards campground cost (and parking) is the only registration fee.  For more information contact:  Kemble Yates, Southern Oregon University, kyates@sou.edu, (541) 552-6578; or Jeff Haag, Humboldt State University, jeffrey.haag@humboldt.edu, (707) 826-5345. 

Web site address: http://www.humboldt.edu/sojmc/

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