University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
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Departmental News for Fall 2005

     Several things have happened at Pitt-Johnstown over the past year.  Mike Ferencak, Steve Curran, John Thompson, and Susan Wieczorek, a faculty member from the Communication Department, created a new course titled “Technical Speaking in Mathematics” that was offered for the first time in the spring 2005 term.   They also gave a panel presentation entitled “Technical Speaking in Mathematics: The Development of a Primary Speaking Course for Students of Mathematics.” at the Eastern Communication Assoc. annual meeting in Pittsburgh, PA in April.  Curran and Ferencak also gave a related presentation entitled “Time for a Technical Speaking Course in Mathematics?” at the 2005 Allegheny Section Meeting of the MAA.  John Thompson gave a talk on the same course at the 2005 Joint Meeting of the AMS/MAA in January.

     Mike Ferencak had a paper appear early in the year.  "Outline and amalgamated transitive triple systems in the special case when just two vertices are amalgamated" appeared in Congressus Numerantium (Vol. 167). 

     Chris Morgan gave a talk about the use of Supplemental Instruction in math courses at the sectional meeting at Slippery Rock in April.

     John Thompson and Nina Girard were awarded a Preparing Mathematicians to Educate Teachers (PMET) mini-grant this past year from MAA.  The project incorporated the PA certification and academic standards in mathematics by placing an emphasis on utilization of technology in teaching and learning higher level mathematical concepts.  Terry Shustrick and Jackie Baird, along with Nina Girard and Karen Scanlon (Education), took part in presenting at the 53rd annual PCTM Conference in Erie last October.  Their presentation, titled “Improving the Mathematics Preparation of Pre-service Elementary School Teachers,” entailed a description of an ongoing Pitt-Johnstown project, begun in Fall 2000, the aim of which is to develop a more profound understanding of mathematics in students pursuing career as elementary school teachers.  The Pitt-Johnstown Math Department hosted the Annual Try-Math-A-Lot day, a team competition open to the 6th and 7th graders of local schools, in May 2005. 

     The department welcomed Elena Constantin as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics beginning the Fall 2005 term.  She comes to Pitt-Johnstown from Ohio University. 

     Mike Ferencak took over as Department Chair from Steve Curran at the beginning of the Fall 2005 term.

Last Reviewed: September 28, 2005