On the first weekend of April, Miami University hosted the spring conference of the Ohio section of the Mathematical Association of America. Presenting at the conference was Wilmington College’s very own professor of math, Elizabeth Haynes.
Haynes has taught at Wilmington College for five years, and subsequently has attended the Ohio section of the MAA for the same duration. Raised and educated in Kentucky, she enjoyed the Kentucky section and likewise the Ohio section due to the similarities in the way both sections are run.
The Mathematical Association of America was founded in 1915; the Ohio section was founded in 1916 – the first local section to organize. The Ohio section meets twice a year and has a variety of events. Most notable are the invited addresses, but there are also shorter presentations, allotted time for networking, banquets, student competitions, and award ceremonies.
Haynes presented on an idea she came across while lesson-planning. She discovered that students who experience trouble with arithmetic and algebra understood the material better when exposed to cartoons describing the material. Her presentation, entitled “Lesson Planning from Cartoons,” illustrated how a cartoon from mathwithbaddrawings.com inspired her to approach graphing from a different approach.
“I was talking to Jim Fitzsimmons about the lesson, and he said I should present it at the conference. In academia, it’s considered good to present every once in a while,” remarked Haynes. This was her first time presenting at this section of the MAA.
After her presentation, Haynes was constantly answering questions her colleagues had for her: “it was a constant flow of people. Someone would come sit down, talk for a while, then leave to talk to someone else and someone else would come up.”
Haynes, when asked about her goals in the future, answered, “I like to present. I do not have any topics in mind right now, maybe I will return to topology, [the study of geometric spaces], but I would present again.”