Fall 2014 Newsletter

Faculty Updates

Faculty scholarship and professional development:

In January 2014 Dr. Reza Abbasian and Dr. John Sieben delivered a presentation titled “Several Devices and Software for creating Math Videos” at the annual joint meeting of the Mathematical Association of America-American Math Society (MAA-AMS) held in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Abbasian and Dr. Sieben also presented “A Day in the Life of an Inverted Classroom” at Mathfest in Portland, Oregon, in August 2014. The 26th International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics (ICTCM) was held in San Antonio, Texas, in March 2014. The following TLU faculty attended: Reza Abbasian, John Sieben, Cathy Beicker, and Rebecca Clark. Drs. Abbasian and Sieben led a mini-course titled “Math Videos: Comparing Platforms and Software” at this conference. Also in March, Dr. Sieben spoke on “Error in Non-Linear Regression Due to Transformations” at the Annual Meeting of the Texas Academy of Science in Galveston, Texas. In April of 2014 five members of the Mathematics Department (Reza Abbasian, Will Hager, Betseygail Rand, John Sieben, Cathy Beicker, and Rebecca Clark) attended MAA’s 94th Annual Texas Section Meeting held in in Laredo, Texas. At the meeting Drs. Abbasian and Sieben presented “A note on Finding Non-Linear Least-Squares Parameters.”

In April 2014 Dr. Will Hager delivered a presentation titled “The Minimum Distance Energy Function and Knots with Dihedral Energy,” at the AMS Sectional Meeting in Albuquerque, N.M. Dr. Hager also attended two other conferences. In October 2013 he attended Texas Undergraduate Mathematics Conference in San Antonio, Texas, and in November 2014 he participated in the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Conference titled “Transforming STEM High Education,” held in Atlanta, Georgia. Cathy Beicker, in addition to the conferences listed above, attended the Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teachings (CAMT) in July 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Dr. Linda Wilson attended three conferences in 2014. In March, she participated at the ACM SIGCSE Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Wilson then attended Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE’s) Rock Stars of Cybersecurity in September in Austin, Texas in September. In October she attended the ACET Microsoft Private Cloud Workshop in San Antonio, Texas. At the Association of Computer Educators in Texas Convention, Dr. Sam Hijazi and Dr. Rodrick Shao delivered a presentation together titled “Flipped Classes: the Applications and the Pedagogy”. At the same

conference, Dr. Hijazi delivered two additional presentations titled, “Another Visit to Knowledge Management and Business Intelligence Model” and “Teaching a System Analysis Class as a Real Life Project – Preparing the Students for the Real World.” Dr. Hijazi was appointed the 2014-2015 president of the Association of Computer Educators in Texas and served as the lunch hour speaker with a presentation called “iAnxiety.”

Student –Faculty Research

During the summer of 2014, TLU’s Mathematics and Computer Science students and faculty were involved in several scholarly activities supported by TLU’s summer research grants. Melissa Johnson, Mathematics Major, and Dr. Reza Abbasian conducted research titled “Modeling the Olympics Track and Field Records: Was the 1988 Seoul Olympics an Anomaly?” Melissa will present her summer research at the upcoming Alpha Chi National Convention in Chicago, Illinois, from March 19-21, 2015.

During the summer, Gavin Harrison and James “Shamus” Taylor, both Computer Science majors, and Dr. Linda Wilson examined a topic titled “TLU 101 App Development.” Brandi Haliscak, Mathematics Major Graduate, and Dr. Betseygail Rand explored “The Necessity of Primes in RSA Encryption and Probable Primes.” In April 2014, Brandi presented the results of their research at MAA’s 94th Annual Texas Section Meeting in Laredo, Texas.

Promotions, Awards, and Recognitions

During the 2013-14 academic year, three faculty members were recognized for their achievements. Dr. Sam Hijazi was granted tenure. He joined TLU in Fall 2008. He teaches courses in Database Design, Web Programming, Information Systems, UNIX Programming, C Programming, and other information system classes. He is highly involved in community computer and information literacy and is an advocate for reducing the digital gap within our community.

Cathy Beicker was the recipient of the 2013-14 Student Government Association’s “Faculty of the Year” Award. This award was chosen from student nominations. She was also the recipient of one of the two 2014 Texas Lutheran University Outstanding Teaching Awards. This award was chosen based on nominations submitted by TLU faculty members and recommended by the TLU Center for Teaching and Learning Leadership Team.

Dr. John Sieben was the recipient of 2014 Distinguished Faculty Award. This award is presented to faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the areas of teaching and mentoring students, scholarly research and service to the university.