Short Courses and Workshops

There are workshops available at no additional change, but for which participants must pre-register.

Randomly Generating Exams Using Python and Latex, Organizer: John Bush (University of Tennessee at Martin)

Making different versions of the same exam can be a great deal of work. There are test generators out there and some of them do a good job. Most do not give the user a great deal of control on how tests will look or even the types of problems that will be on the tests.LATEX is a typesetting application that can make beautiful mathematical text documents, including exams, but cannot be used easily to make different versions of the same exam. Python is a programming language that can, along with a few packages, randomly create and solve all kinds of mathematics problems. Python can also manipulate text, read files, and write to files. Most important to what we want to do is that Python can write text in LATEX form to LATEX files. Both Python and LATEX are relatively easy to learn. Both Python and LATEX are available for Mac and PC users. Both Python and LATEX are free! Topics that will be covered in this workshop (time permitting) are: setting up the LATEX document using Python script files; lists, sets, expressions and solvers using the SymPy package in Python; matrices and graphs using the NumPypackage in Python; statistics using the SciPy package in Python; importing problems from Excel documents; making multiple-choice tests and keys using Python script files; and making fill-in-the-blank tests and keys using Python script files.

One-Cut Origami, Organizer: Carol Schumacher (Kenyon College)

Suppose you have a piecewise linear drawing on a piece of paper.  Can you fold the piece of paper in such a way that you cut out the shape with a single, straight cut?  The surprising answer is yes— No matter how many straight line segments there are.  This is even true if there are “holes” to be cut out of the middle.  You can cut out a capital letter A or a notched arrow       or a lightning bolt        .  Or more complicated shapes like fish drawn with straight lines.  (Well, in principle.   If you have 30,000 straight line segments, the paper and the scissors may object, but math doesn’t care.)  We won’t discuss the proof of the general theorem, but we will play with paper and scissors and we will discuss some fairly simple facts from Euclidean geometry that help us think about how to fold and cut.  No experience with origami or one-cut origami is needed to participate.

Graduate Student Workshop, Organizer: Sarah Ann Fleming (Belmont University), Friday, March 8 from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Are you unsure how to proceed after graduation? Do you have questions about teaching? Would you like to expand your network of contacts? This workshop is designed for graduate students at both the Masters and PhD level. Topics include different types of jobs available, job application materials, interviewing, and negotiating. The workshop will also include a discussion on teaching and offer networking opportunities with those recently and not-so-recently out of graduate school. A limited number of travel grants are available. Visit for more information.

Workshop Registration