Cogwheel Archive

Northfield Rotary Cogwheel | 9.10.09

September 9, 2009

Today’s Program: Todd Ginter, SE Minn. Tourism (Williams)

Happy Birthday: Bob Reitz (9/8)

Next Week: Lynne Pederson Classification (Blaha)

Last Meeting:

If Paul Zorn had his way, Northfield’s community slogan would read: “Cows, Colleges and Calculations.”

Paul is two heartbeats away from the presidency of the Mathematical Association of America, a 25,000-member organization dedicated to promoting and advancing the cause of mathematics. Paul takes over the organizational reins in 2011. In the meantime, he keeps his day job as a mathematics professor at St. Olaf College.

Paul said Northfield has distinguished itself as a hot-house for math students. Fourteen hundred students are enrolled in a math class at St. Olaf, almost half of the student body. Of the 14,000 math majors in the United States, St. Olaf claims 60 to 75 in any given year. And when you combine Carleton’s numbers and math programs with St. Olaf’s, Northfield’s star shines even brighter in the mathematics firmament.

Northfield and St. Olaf have a long association with the Mathematical Association of America. Lynn Steen, now retired, took a turn as president when he was on the St. Olaf faculty.

Paul said mathematics is important because, among other things, it is the language of science, both old and new and helps make sense out of data. And in terms of our cultural evolution, it represents a triumph of human achievement.

Guests: Luisa Teixeira de Paula, our inbound student from Stet Lagoas, Brazil; Michelle, Sarah and Mark Murphy and Kelly, Sofia, and Zac Scheuerman (Taylor); Kyle Snesrud (Quinnell)

Scholarship Enhancement: Scott Davis


Mark Abbot provided an update on our participation in international projects. We are contributing to a generator for the hospital in Togo, solar panels for a clinic in Togo and a Tanzania water project initiated by the Owatonna Rotary Club.

Tickets are available from Kyle Snesrud for Rocktoberfest, the Farmington Rotary Club’s music fundraiser. It is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Dakota County Fairgrounds.

Laurie Williams, chair of the President’s Council, invited ideas for two major Rotary initiatives for the coming year, one local and one international. Be creative and think big. The local project could be in the $30,000 to $300,000 range; the international project, $50,000 to $500,000. The deadline for proposals is November 1.

Two club socials are planned for the coming months, one for Friday, Oct. 23, and another on Saturday, Jan. 2. Mark your calendars. Details to follow.

Mark Cashman reported that Sam Haugen is recovering at Three Links from a gall bladder issue. He expects to come home soon. A program was circulated for members to send their well-wishes.

Coming Up:

Sept. 12Bike Tour

Sept. 24 – District Governor Newell Krogmann

Oct. 1 – Jim Grabau

Oct. 8 – Jim Hunt, Returning GSE team from India (Dilley)