Illinois AlphaUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chapter Report


Advisor and Officers

Advisor: Professor George K. Francis

President: Vimal Rao

Vice-President: Heather Wolf

Treasurer: Heather Johnson

Secretary: Rebecca Brenza

Number of New Members Inducted:


Number of Continuing Members:


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

1) In September of 2007 the Alpha Chapter (Illinois) hosted a talk by Prof. John Stillwell or Monash University (Australia) and the University of San Francisco. His talk, titled “A Brief History of Space”, related how the shape of the universe has been a controversial subject since ancient times, and has evolved alongside mathematical concepts of space.

2) In January, we had a double induction since a blizzard and ice storm cancelled out our December induction. The double size crowd was wellentertained by Prof. Rick Gorvett’s talk on mathematics and the financialsciences. Prof. Gorvett is conducting one of the REU programs summer 2007

3) In the fall, PME jointly with the MATRIX mathematical social club, had mathmovies and in the spring we made a field trip to the CAVE virtual environmentof the Beckman Institute. Pizza parties and invitations to departmental colloquium parties rounded out our social program.

Do any of your chapter members plan to attend or present a paper at the PME national meeting at MathFest in San Jose, California?

Not at this moment. But this could change once our REUs are in fullswing.

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. :

Members of PME, but not of our chapter, who developed interesting projectsin our Geometrical Visualization in Virtual Environments REU presented theirwork at Mathfest in Knoxville, August 2006.

Do you have a report for a PME grant?

Well, since we didn’t report last year, I should mention that Prof. Robert Smith of Miami University, Ohio, launched our rebirth and renaissance inthe fall of 2005. In that year we inducted 29 new members in the fall,and 19 new members in the spring. PME at UIUC had been dormant foralmost a whole generation. Prof. Smith inspired us to reverse this deplorable trend, for which we thank him, and PME for making his visti possible.