Grand Valley Mathematics Department Hosts Three Major Conferences

Grand Valley Mathematics Department Hosts Three Major Conferences

On Saturday, October 25, 2003, more than 140 students and faculty from 19 universities across the state and surrounding region gathered at GVSU’s DeVos Center in Grand Rapids for the 6th Annual Michigan Undergraduate Math Conference. Approximately 100 of the attendees were students, 27 of whom gave presentations on scholarly work they’d done in summer research programs or special class projects.

In addition, there were multiple presentations on graduate programs, REUs, and career opportunities in mathematics. Dr. Suzanne Lenhart of the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Lab gave a keynote address on her research in applied mathematics involving differential equations and optimal control.

Of particular note are three talks given by GVSU students Kristina Lund, Micah TerHaar, and Benjamin Vugteveen, who conducted research in the summer of 2003 with, respectively, Professors Will Dickinson, Jon Hodge, and Matt Boelkins. More information about the conference can be found here.


Left to right: Benjamin Vugteveen, Micah TerHaar, and Kristina Lund.

Math in Action 2004

Another great installment of the Mathematics Department’s annual Math In Action Conference was hosted on Thursday, February 26, 2004. This event provides sessions where K-12 educators and pre-service math teachers experience an active learning environment through a variety of means. With 22 small group sessions on different topics, we drew a large range of interested mathematics teachers and were delighted that over 220 people were in attendance.

Many current and former GVSU students participated. Alumnus Shanna Scholten Greer, ’03, (West Ottawa High School) led a session called “Can you Fathom It?” on the use of the program Fathom in the classroom. For the third year in a row, Tara Maynard, ’97, (Creekside Middle School) presented, this time on “Spinners - What Can They Teach Us?” In addition, we were pleased to have Professor Deborah Ball, an internationally known mathematics education researcher from the University of Michigan, give two outstanding addresses on the teaching and learning of mathematics.

This event has become a popular gathering for Grand Valley faculty and alumni who are involved in mathematics education. We invite and encourage those of you who work as teachers in the area to join us in 2005. Should you be interested in participating in or leading a session, contact Marge Friar at 616-331-2304 or

Conversations Among Colleagues

On Saturday, March 20, 2004, the first Conversations Among Colleagues conference was held in the DeVos Center of Grand Valley State University. Participants and speakers represented most of the universities in Michigan and many of the two- and four-year colleges. Speakers shared their respective mathematical education research, curricular work, and/or state standards and the implications each of these hold for preparing teachers of mathematics.

Michigan State University has agreed to sponsor the conference in 2005, and Conversations Among Colleagues is expected to continue annually. This year’s conference was organized by Char Beckmann of GVSU and a joint committee of members of the Michigan Mathematics Teacher Educators (MMTE), Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM), and the Michigan Section of the MAA. The event was sponsored by these and several other organizations.

The themes of Conversations will also continue to be addressed through sessions to be held in conjunction with the Michigan MAA Section meeting, May 7–8, 2004 at Oakland University (program is available online at, the University of Michigan Mathematics Education Leadership Conference, May 21, 2004 at the U of M School of Education (contact Teresa McMahon at for information), and the MCTM Annual Conference at the Marriott Renaissance Center in Detroit, October 29–30, 2004. Interested speakers for the MCTM conference can find the speaker proposal online here.

Page last modified July 26, 2017