Vermont Alpha
Saint Michael's College
2003-2004 Chapter Report


Advisor and Officers

Advisor: Professor Zsuzsanna Kadas

President: Patti Bodkin

Vice President: Whitney Sherman

Secretary: Jess Scheld

Tresurer: Jess Scheld

Number of New Members Inducted:

9 students; 1 faculty.

Number of Continuing Members:


Do any of your chapter members plan to attend or present a paper at the PME national meeting at MathFest in Providence, Rhode Island?


Describe the two most interesting or unusual chapter activities this year:

At the Induction Ceremony on October 18, 2003, we had a guest lecture by Dr. Steven Abbott of Middlebury College titled "A Brief History of Integration: From Cauchy to Riemann to Riemann". It was especially enlightening for the Real Analysis students to think about the integral in a broader context.

To celebrate Math Awareness Week we combined the final presentation of our Senior Seminar with a talk by one of our own faculty members. Senior PME member Whitney Sherman gave a talk on "Knots and the Kauffman Bracket", and Dr. Joanna Ellis-Monaghan gave a talk on "Modeling With Networks and Graphs" in which she described applications of graph theory to computer chip design, classroom scheduling, the "Kevin Bacon game", and the Instant Insanity puzzle.

PME co-sponsored a panel:
Teaching Mathematics with a Liberal Arts Education: Experiences of our Graduates
Which featured five alumni from the classes of 1983 through 2002 describing their experiences in teaching math.

Do you have any news about current students or recent graduates? For example, scholarships or other awards, acceptances to graduate school, paper presentations at conferences. :

A large group of students and faculty members attended the Hudson River Undergraduate Math Conference at Mount Holyoke College. Several PME members presented papers:

"An Introduction to the Tutte Polynomial" by Whitney Sherman and Patti Bodkin, "The Kauffman Bracket as an Invariant of the Tutte Polynomial" by Whitney Sherman, "Group theory applied to the Warlpiri tribe is proved to deter incest" by Natalie Skall, "The Potts Model Partition Function: An application of the Tutte Polynomial" by Patti Bodkin, and "Topology and The Cantor Set" by Benjamin J. Epstein.

At graduation the award for Outstanding Senior in Mathematics was presented to: Patti Bodkin.