Morning Speaker

Aparna Aparna W. Higgins,
University of Dayton

"Demonic Graphs and Undergraduate Research"

My work with undergraduates on mathematical research has been one of the most satisfying aspects of my teaching career. This talk will highlight some of the beauty and depth of the research done by my former undergraduate students on line graphs and pebbling on graphs. We will consider iterated line graphs, some pioneering results in pebbling graphs, and pebbling numbers of line graphs. This work has inspired other students to investigate questions in these areas, and it has contributed to my research as well.

Dr. Aparna Higgins received a B.Sc. in mathematics from the University of Bombay in 1978 and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame in 1983. Her dissertation was in universal algebra, and her current research interests are in graph theory. She has taught at the University of Dayton, Ohio, since 1984.

Although Dr. Higgins enjoys teaching the usual collection of undergraduate courses and an occasional graduate course, her most fulfilling experiences as a teacher have come from directing undergraduates in mathematical research. She has advised eleven undergraduate Honors theses; she has co-directed an NSF-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates program; and she continues to help students prepare talks for regional and national mathematics meetings. She has presented workshops at mathematics meetings on undergraduate research. She enjoys giving talks on mathematics to audiences of various levels and backgrounds.

Dr. Higgins has been the recipient of four teaching awards -- from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Dayton, the Alumni Award (a University-wide award), the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America, and in 2005, the Deborah and Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching, which is the Mathematical Association of America's most prestigious award for teaching.



Keynote Address

"A slice of Pi"

Pi is a number surrounded by a timeless intrigue-we've been chipping away at its mystery for about 4,000 years now. We will use the ratio's history as an outline for journeying through stories of Pi's approximations, computations, and natural elusiveness. We will find Pi in culture, nature, religion, and American history, to name a few, and explore the quirky modern fixations that swirl around it. To all who still use 22/7 to approximate Pi: you have been warned.
Lukeanderson small Luke Anderson, Harvard University

Luke Anderson is a leading voice in the celebration of Pi Day (March 14) and the promotion of Pi's history as a tool for getting kids excited about learning math. He began speaking publicly about Pi in 1999 as a freshman at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, when his math professor convinced him to share his knowledge as part of the department's weekly Math Colloquium series. His talk became an annual fixture at St. Olaf for the next nine years, complete with musical tributes, feats of memory, and many servings of pie for those in attendance. (After graduating, he worked as an investment analyst and college administrator during these years.)

In 2004, alongside his college-level talks, Anderson sought a new audience and challenge in the middle school classroom. He brought his performance to hundreds of 5th-8th grade students in a variety of schools in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. In 2006, he founded TeachPi.org, a resource that has been widely adopted by teachers in planning Pi Day activities and celebrations.

Anderson's work has been documented in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, on WCCO-TV (St. Paul), and in a number of local newspapers around the country where his songs and methods have been employed. In 2006, he wrote an article for the Associated Press about Pi Day, and in 2007, he was quoted in Newsweek Magazine.

Anderson is currently a financial administrator at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He continues to correspond with teachers and students around the country, sharing his enthusiasm for the learning of mathematics at every turn.



Panelists

Career Opportunities in Mathematics