EMU Mathematical Sciences Department
Spring 2010
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EMU Hosts MSC Math Conference

Each spring, EMU hosts Mennonite high school teachers or administrators for special sessions in a given discipline. This year, it was EMU’s turn to host mathematics teachers for a Mennonite Schools Council conference. Because these MSC conferences rotate locations and disciplines, it’s been twenty years since EMU last hosted mathematics teachers ― well before any of the current Mathematical Sciences faculty were working at EMU! Eight math teachers from seven different Mennonite high schools traveled to EMU for about forty-eight hours at the end of March, coming from as far away as Kalona, Iowa and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The EMU Mathematical Sciences faculty organized five sessions for the conference: Math Applications in Physics and Engineering (Dr. Leah Boyer), High School Math Used in Computer Graphics (Dr. Dee Weikle), Red Hat, Blue Hat: An Introduction to Coding Theory (Dr. Deirdre Smeltzer), NFL Passer Ratings: Is it Rocket Science? (Dr. Owen Byer), and What We’re Looking for in our Students (a whole group discussion). The conference also included a dinner with President Swartzendruber and time for informal conversations among the participants. The conference participants expressed appreciation for the opportunity to interact with each other and get to know the EMU faculty. We, the EMU Mathematical Sciences faculty, agree that it was quite a treat to get to know some of our Mennonite high school colleagues! We’re hoping it won’t be another twenty years before a similar opportunity presents itself!

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Alumni Matching Game

Thanks to all of the alumni who responded to our e-mail request for information! We found it fascinating to hear from you and learn what you’ve been doing. The response was so good that we don’t have room to include everyone in this paper version of the Integram. See how well you do with matching the alumni below with a fact he or she provided for us; then, check out the extended version of our alumni matching game on line!

[Editor’s note: We’ve published the original content of the matching game here for reference but since you’re on the web already you want to use the extended online version instead.]

Name, Major(s), Graduation Year

____ Joshua Akers, Computer Science, 2007
____ Ben Browand, Mathematics, 2003
____ Anna Creech, Mathematics, 1998
____ Steve Gibbs, CS, 2004
____ Andi Hennig, CS, 2001
____ Jeff Hoover, Math Education, 1992
____ Phil Horst, Mathematics, 1976
____ Phil Hostettor, Mathematics, 1980
____ Eric Kurtz, Mathematics, 1989
____ David Lehman, Math Education and Ag. Dev., 1981
____ Joyce Bontrager Lehman, Mathematics, 1965
____ Dan Miller, Mathematics, 1959
____ Dave Rush, Math Education, 1999
____ John Weaver, Mathematics and Physics, 1950
____ Allen J. Wyse, Math Education, and Physics, 1971
____ Judy Wyse, Math Education, 1969
____ Denton Yoder, CS, 1985

“Factoid” (current location, employment, or other)

  1. She and her husband have been foster parents for seventeen children.
  2. Currently serving as an MCC service worker in Egypt.
  3. Really enjoys working with the Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale.
  4. Hosts a weekly electronica/dance-rock show on the local community radio station.
  5. Has developed flood study models for Caldwell County, NC, and written automation tools for General Electric.
  6. Had Loren Swartzentruber as an Algebra II student at Iowa Mennonite School (and reports that Loren was already in love with Pat at that time).
  7. Owns a business in which he does design, construction, consultation, facilitation, safety inspections, and training on ropes courses and climbing walls.
  8. Currently working as a software engineer in Uruguay and teaching seminary classes after work.
  9. Worked for five years with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Jos, Nigeria.
  10. Works as Senior Financial Analyst at Texas A&M University (and says he is part owner of Texas!).
  11. Earned a PhD with Distinction in Computer Engineering; currently sings in a Russian Orthodox choir.
  12. Worked in Research and Development for a water treatment industry before returning to education.
  13. Works for Information Systems at EMU, and reports that Blokus is his favorite new board game.
  14. Received a Masters degree in Spirituality and Spiritual Direction.
  15. Spent four years living and working in Kabul, Afghanistan, and was a practicing CPA for twenty years.
  16. Will be leaving the teaching profession after twenty years to pastor Williamsburg Mennonite Church.
  17. Works as a water/civil engineer and volunteers with Engineers Without Borders.

Answers to Matching Game

You can fold this page back if you want to avoid peeking at the answers as you play. Answers are provided in the order the names are listed on the left with the person’s initials before each number to help you keep track (but there are two pairs of duplicate initials.)

JA 2, BB 7, AC 4, SG 13, AH 8, JH 12,
PH 14, PH 9, EK 17, DL 16, JL 15, DM 6,
DR 3, JW 11, AW 10, JW 1, DY 5.

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Congratulations Graduates

We have five graduates this year spread between the three EMU graduation dates (in December, May, and August). Dirk Holsopple graduates with a double major in mathematics and chemistry (and minors in Physics and computer science). Anton Artemyev, Brent Beachy, Caleb Hartman and Carlin Kreider are all computer science graduates.

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Department News

This year the department held its first departmental advising night. Faculty and students gathered on Wednesday, April 7, in the Physics Lab for a pizza dinner and dessert to share advice and settle on academic schedules for the fall. Everyone was able to enjoy food and fellowship in addition to getting advice from multiple faculty on course selection. Much fun was had by all and the brownies and ice cream were a big hit!

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Problem Corner

We did not receive any correct submissions for the Fall Integram problem involving a bicyclist. Please refer to our webpage to see the problem — we will leave it open for awhile before posting a solution.

New Problem:

Our new problem is a combinatorics problem adapted from the website Suppose eight fence posts are lined up in a row and each must be painted either red, white, or blue. How many ways are there to paint the posts if each color must be used at least once and if no two colors can be used the same number of times?

Submit solutions to Owen Byer at

What have you been doing since leaving EMU?

Send your personal and professional updates to Deirdre Smeltzer at

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Spring 2010

Published by the Mathematical Sciences Department
Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Editor: Charles Cooley