Kudos - Sept. 27, 2010

September 27, 2010

Lawrence Berkove, professor emeritus of English, collaborated with his son, Ethan Berkove, who is a mathematics professor at Lafayette College, on an article called "Logic as a Matrix for Bierce's Thought: 'The Gem Puzzle'," which was published in the Spring 2010 issue of American Literary Realism. It quotes and explains an essay Ambrose Bierce wrote in 1880 that solved what was then a new mathematical puzzle variously called "The Gem Puzzle" or the "Fifteen Puzzle." It consisted of 15 consecutively numbered small squares in a large square that held 16 of the smaller pieces, and the object was to line up the smaller pieces by sliding so that they were in numerical order and the bottom row read 13, 14, 15 and blank. By combining their professional specializations, the father and son team were able to access Bierce's essay for both biographical and literary significance.

Montaha Macany, lecturer in mathematics and statistics, was selected to participate in the annual Reading and scoring of the College Board's Advanced Placement Examinations, which took place in June in Kansas City, Missouri. Each year, the AP Program, which is sponsored by the College Board, gives more than 1.5 million capable high school students an opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses and examinations. Based on exam performance, successful students can receive credit and/or advanced placement when they enter college. More than 2.9 million examinations from more than 30 AP courses were evaluated by more than 10,000 AP Readers from universities and high schools.

If you know of accomplishments by UM-Dearborn faculty or staff members that should be included in this column, please send information to jasroka@umd.umich.edu.