North Central College - Naperville, IL

Nicholson has article published in mathematics journal

Neil Nicholson, assistant professor of mathematics
Neil Nicholson, North Central College assistant professor of mathematics, had an article published in the Journal of Knot Theory and Its Ramifications.

Neil R. Nicholson, North Central College assistant professor of mathematics, recently had an article published in the Journal of Knot Theory and Its Ramifications. His article, titled “Piecewise-Linear Virtual Knots,” both investigates how various classical knot theory results carry over to the space of virtual knots and classifies piecewise-linear virtual knots up to edge index six.

D-Term Verandah courses offer experiential learning

North Central College offers a record 17 Verandah experiences during D-Term, including four for first-year students only. Register on Merlin; space is limited.

During 2011 D-Term, North Central College is offering a record number of Verandah course offerings for students. These experiential learning opportunities connect faculty and students in informal environments outside the classroom around topics of interest.

McMahon gives talks to parents, educators

Mary McMahon, associate professor of mathematics
Mary McMahon, North Central College associate professor of mathematics and mathematics education coordinator, gave talks to parents, to teachers at conference.

Mary McMahon, North Central College associate professor of mathematics and mathematics education coordinator, gave a presentation titled “College on the MIND?” on Oct. 19 at Math Night for Parents, an event sponsored by the mathematics department at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville. Other presenters included Jim Fox ’00, math major and secondary education minor, and Amy Van Vlerah, who completed her teacher certification at North Central. Both are teachers at Neuqua.  

North Central College hosts AMC 8 math contest

Harold and Eva White Activities Center, 325 E. Benton Ave.
North Central College will host a testing site for the American Mathematics Contest 8 (AMC 8) for students in grades 8 and below Nov. 15.

Oct. 3, 2011—North Central College will host a testing site for the American Mathematics Contest 8 (AMC 8) for students in grades 8 and below. Students who are either home-schooled or enrolled in area junior high schools are invited to participate. The contest will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the College’s Harold and Eva White Activities Center, 325 E. Benton Ave., Naperville.

Google internship leads to job offer for computer science, math major

North Central College student Jonathan Rascher’s experience as a summer intern with Google has led to an offer of a full-time job with the company.

Oct. 13, 2011—North Central College computer science and mathematics double major Jonathan Rascher’s experience as a summer intern with Google has led to an offer of a full-time job with the company.

McMahon presents session at ACI Teacher Induction Academy

Mary McMahon, associate professor of mathematics
Mary McMahon, North Central College associate professor of mathematics, gave a presentation for K-12 teachers at the ACI Teacher Induction Academy at Concordia.

Mary McMahon, North Central College associate professor of mathematics and mathematics education coordinator, co-presented “A Reasoning-Based Approach to the Algebra Strand of the Common Core Standards” for K-12 teachers at the Associated Colleges of Illinois Teacher Induction Academy at Concordia University in River Forest on Sept. 23.

Wilders and Van Oyen publish article on symmetry of math and art

Professors Richard Wilders and Lawrence Van Oyen
North Central College Professor of Mathematics Richard Wilders and Professor of Music Larry Van Oyen publish article on art and transformations in math class.

Lawrence Van Oyen (photo, right), professor of music, and Richard Wilders (left), Marie and Bernice Gantzert Professor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of mathematics, had their co-authored article, “Turning Students into Symmetry Detectives,” published in the September issue of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The article discusses how the mathematical concept of symmetry can be used to analyze certain kinds of art.

McMahon leads workshop at school in Chicago

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon, North Central College associate professor of mathematics, co-leads session on teaching math to staff at Chicago elementary school.

Mary McMahon—associate professor of mathematics and mathematics education coordinator—co-facilitated a workshop titled “Teaching Mathematics Using the Common Core Standards: What’s Really Changed?” to the staff at Goldblatt Elementary School in Chicago on Sept. 2.  

Darrin Vogt, education certification student who completed his certification at North Central College in 2010, was a participant and is in his second year of teaching physical education at Goldblatt.

Chinese CDC looks to Gao for answers

Linda Gao, professor of mathematics with Maria Gommel ’13 and Sam Jaros ’12
Research assistance from North Central College could help determine whether residents of China receive government-funded vaccinations for chicken pox.

Research assistance from North Central College could help determine whether residents of China receive government-funded vaccinations for chicken pox. This summer, Linda Gao, professor of mathematics, hosted a representative of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  Dr. Dapeng Yin, M.D., an epidemiologist who works for the agency in Beijing, visited North Central for five weeks to consult with Gao. She has been using mathematical models to research trends of the spread of the disease and the cost-benefits of various vaccination strategies in China.

Sarah Bikukcius

As an aspiring educator, Sarah Bikulcius finds that North Central is preparing her well to become a mathematics teacher at a high school or middle school.

“At North Central, you make connections,” she says. “The professors here know people and are really good at networking. My advisor knows everyone, which gets my name out there.”

Sarah gained experience student teaching at nearby Waubonsie Valley High School, where she met North Central alumni working as teachers. Sarah says her North Central education sharpened all her skills—not just mathematics and education, but communications as well.

“I’ve learned English is important because as a teacher I will have to write a lot of things, like letters to parents,” she says.

After graduating from North Central Sarah plans to secure a position teaching mathematics and hopes to pursue a graduate degree in education.

“North Central helped me obtain a better perspective of what is out there,” she says. She enjoyed experiences like studying abroad in Costa her junior year. “Costa Rica completely changed my life. It was completely out of my comfort zone. I was a homebody. But once I got there, I wasn’t even homesick.”

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