**SHORT
COURSES**

There are five
short courses, and these run from 8:30 to 11:30 on Friday. Pre-registration for
these courses should be made through John Harris by Monday, March 10, 2008. An
insufficient number of pre-registrations could lead to cancellation of one of
the courses; on-site registration may be possible, subject to availability of
spaces.* *

*Mathematics and Social
Justice *** ****- Grimsley
Rm 114**

** -- **Andy Miller (`Sheila
Weaver (`

*Prime Numbers: Finding
and Applying Them ***- Grimsley Rm 112**

** -- **Jeffrey Ehme (

*Active Learning
Strategies for the College Liberal Arts Mathematics Course ***- Grimsley Rm 328**

--
David Cochener and Nell Rayburn (

*Engaging Students in
Advanced Analysis via Fractal Geometry and the Hausdorff
Metric *** ****- Thompson Rm
203**

-- Doug
Burkholder (

*A Short Course in
Information Retrieval ***- Canceled**

** -- **Amy Langville, Emmeline Douglas, Kathryn Pedings,
Shaina Race, and Anjela Govan (

The **registration
form** for a short course is attached. Mail this completed form with a check **payable to the MAA**** **in the amount of $25.00
(non-refundable) before **March 10, 2008**** **($30 after March 10 and on-site registration) to the
Secretary-Treasurer:

John Harris, Secretary/Treasurer, MAA-SE

Department of Mathematics

__Abstract__

*Mathematics** and
Social Justice *** **

** -- **Andy Miller (

Mathematicians are well aware
of the wide variety of applications of interesting mathematics to real-world
problems. One of our challenges as educators is to effectively communicate the
power of mathematics to students, many of whom have little interest in
mathematics beyond its ability to meet a graduation requirement. Many
applications are either artificial (“Train A
approaches Train B …”) or use tools that are beyond the scope of a general
education course. Attempting to bridge this gap, a group of mathematicians have
been developing course materials for use in entry-level and general education
courses that teach mathematics through social justice applications. Intriguing,
accessible mathematics can be applied to understand and attempt to remedy
compelling social issues. In this short course, we will examine some of these
materials and discuss how I and others have used them in class. Attendees will
also be invited to join the community working on these materials.

*Prime Numbers: **Finding
and Applying Them *

** -- **Jeffrey Ehme (

Since the advent of public key
cryptography, the prime numbers and their properties have been an active area
of interest. We begin this short course by reviewing some cryptosystems that
require large prime numbers. Then for the remainder of the course, we consider
different types of approaches to finding large prime numbers. Mathematicians
would prefer methods that yield numbers that are unambiguously prime, but these deterministic methods are slow.
Probabilistic methods are fast and yield “industrial grade” prime
numbers. That is, numbers that are extremely likely to be prime
and will work in the context where they are used, but we can’t be sure if
they are really primes. Examples of the later methods include the Miller-Rabin
test and a test involving Lucas sequences. No previous experience with these
topics is assumed.

*Active Learning **Strategies
for the College Liberal Arts Mathematics Course *

--
David Cochener and Nell Rayburn (

We will model the active
learning instructional strategies which we employ in our “liberal arts
mathematics” course at

*Engaging Students **in
Advanced Analysis via Fractal Geometry and the Hausdorff
Metric*** **

--
Doug Burkholder (

We
shall call the space of all compact subset of *R2 *the *Space of
Fractals*. By studying this space participants will see an interesting example
of, and hence reinforce their understanding of, metrics, compactness, the
triangle inequality, Cauchy sequences, and complete metric spaces. Participants
will also see how the fixed-point theorem applied to our space guarantees a
unique attractor for any iterated function system. Participants will see how to
use this knowledge to supplement an Advanced Analysis course. No prior
experience with the Space of Fractals or the Hausdorff
Metric is required.

*A Short Course **in
Information Retrieval *

** -- **Amy Langville, Emmeline Douglas, Kathryn Pedings,
Shaina Race, and Anjela Govan (

Topics in both
traditional and web information retrieval, including query processing, ranking,
link analysis, and clustering, will be covered during this course. Mathematical
concepts such as the vector space model, the singular value decomposition, and
the nonnegative matrix factorization will be presented. Popular algorithms such
as Google's PageRank and Ask.com's
HITS will be discussed. Examples and hands-on tools will be emphasized
throughout. Also, a list of introductory and advanced references will be
supplied.