Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hergert Numbers & the Bronze Fonz

No trip to Milwaukee is complete without a visit to the Bronze Fonz.

I don't know how you celebrate Easter, but around the Hergert household we like to load up on as much really fattening Wisconsin-style cuisine as we can stuff into our digestive systems, go to a pop-punk concert, and then hunt down a local landmark for a Hergert Numbers photo op. It just happened that All Time Low and Yellowcard were playing on Good Friday at The Rave in Milwaukee, so we were all set for a weekend of music and gorging ourselves. It would have been a Great Friday had we not missed half of the Yellowcard set, but they weren't going to be playing long anyway. Although we weren't the oldest people in attendance, we were probably the oldest people not dragged there by teeny-boppers anxious to see how many bras Jack would have dangling from his microphone stand by the end of the show.

As for the artery clogging, we started with burgers at Sobelman's Pub & Grill which seats about 80 people and is about the size of a typical family room. They reportedly have the best burgers in Milwaukee (go to if you're in doubt) and they didn't disappoint. The jumbo shrimp torpedos were a great lead in to Mrs. HN's Sobelman burger (hold the jalapenos) and my Loser burger. Then, Saturday morning, we further increased our chance of heart attacks with breakfast at The Original Pancake House (although not the original Original Pancake House). To top it off, we ate dinner at Kopp's and finished with tiramisu frozen custard. We may not eat again until Memorial Day.

In between, we found time to wander down to the shores of the mighty Milwaukee River to snap a photo with the statue of Arthur Fonzarelli known as The Bronze Fonz before heading back to the Milwaukee Public Museum for a trip through the Mummies of the World exhibit and a matinee of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I on the IMAX screen. I'm sure my review of the mummy exhibit will show up soon on their celebrities page.

Well, that's the latest Hergert Numbers t-shirt sighting. Keep those photos coming and spread the word!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hergert Numbers @ IMACC 2011

The Hergert Numbers movement took a great leap forward at the 2011 IMACC Conference at the Allerton Park Conference Center in Monticello, IL this past weekend. As you can see in the photo above, 12 of the 118 attendees were from Rock Valley College - the largest group from any single institution. On Friday, I proudly displayed my t-shirt all day and night and into the next morning handing out the HN business cards as fast as possible.

I heard from at least 5 different teachers that they had been using the term when teaching Calculus over the past year. These were faculty from colleges such as Prairie State College, College of DuPage, Southwestern Illinois College, and Elgin Community College. The word is spreading!

On Saturday, I gave my talk titled "What's in a Name?" where I discussed the origin of several different names for mathematical theorems focusing on those that had interesting stories or unusual names. Of course, I threw in the Hergert Numbers a the end for good measure. Among the audience for this presentation was the president-elect of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC), so I'm hoping that he'll help us go nationwide. Paul McCombs helped out by wearing his HN t-shirt all day Saturday, including at my talk.

The IMACC Scholarship Fund holds a raffle each year to raise money for scholarships for IL community college students looking to major in mathematics or math education. I donated a t-shirt to the raffle, so it was prominently displayed on the registration table throughout the conference. And if its prominence was compromised, I periodically repositioned it to remain in plain view at all times. The winner of the t-shirt was Terra Stamps of Prairie State College and I'm sure we'll see her showing up in a picture here sooner or later.

In addition, to be sure Hergert Numbers got maximum exposure during the raffle, several people took turns wearing the Hergert Numbers baseball hat as they went up to claim their raffle prize. I believe the hat won at least 8 times during the 15-minute prize giveaway.

Now we need to keep the momentum from the conference going as the school year comes to a close. You can also keep up with the Hergert Numbers by "liking" them on Facebook, so do it today so you don't miss an exciting moment as the word spreads far and wide!