Skip to Content - Skip to Navigation

Stright Lines, January 2000, Vol. 3-1

Stright Lines


The Official Newsletter of the IUP Mathematics Department

January, 2000___________________Volume 3, Issue 1

Welcome to another issue of Stright Lines. For any of you receiving this as a first issue and thinking that those IUP Mathematics Faculty can't spell "straight", I observe the Mathematics Department is located in Stright Hall.

One highlight of this issue is the continuing column of letters from graduates. We hope to hear from you. After a request from Jerry Buriok, Joe Kirchner tells two humorous stories of his days in Calculus. Perhaps you can send us a humorous story from your days at IUP. This issue also includes two profiles of former IUP students, an article on the history of the SEQual project and one in the continuing series by Gary Stoudt on IUP's curriculum through the years. We close with a note and joke from Wally Morrell. Jim Reber, Editor.

New Freshman Scholarship Fund

The Mathematics Department is excited to announce that 5 Freshman Scholarships will be awarded to freshmen entering in the fall of 2000 as majors in a program offered by the Mathematics Department (Applied Mathematics, Mathematics, Mathematics/Economics, Secondary Mathematics Education). These scholarships were made possible by gifts from alumni, faculty, and others. One of these scholarships is a "Barry Day Scholarship" (see the profile later in this issue).

The purpose of the scholarships is to recognize students who show potential for further study in the field of mathematics and to provide an incentive for choosing an IUP Mathematics program for their major. Eligible students should have an SAT Mathematics score of at least 650 and be in the top 20% of their high school graduating class. The amount of the award will be based on available funds and the number of qualified students. A committee of faculty from the Mathematics Department will review credentials of applicants for each incoming freshman class and inform selected students of the award at the earliest possible date.

Anyone who would like to support this effort may write a check to the Foundation for IUP, account #5257, and mail it to the Foundation for IUP, Sutton Hall, IUP, Indiana, PA 15705.

We Get Letters

I am a 1974 Math graduate of IUP, and am happy to receive Stright Lines. Having lived in Atlanta for most of the last 21+ years, it is easy to lose touch with the important things from the past.

I have worked in the Materials Management field in Manufacturing & Distribution companies for the last 25 years. Although I have not necessarily used my Math education directly, it has provided me with a firm foundation in logic and the conceptual ability to use computers in my jobs for 25 years. I often think back to my Calculus classes with Professor Joe Peters (4 of them) and realize how they really opened my eyes to the intricacies of Mathematics. Professor Peters was one of the few professors I had that went out of his way to try to inject a little humor into a rather dry subject matter. I started out with Algebra and Trig. at 8:00 AM, 5 days per week in my first semester. I figured it was the Math department's way to see how badly we really wanted a degree in Math. Overall, I wouldn't trade the Math experience at IUP for anything.

I remember when the only electronic calculators (Wangs) on campus were in the chemistry department, hard wired to a computer deep in the bowels of the building. A good quality calculator cost $150, so very few students owned one.

Yes, I was a student when Streaking was popular.

As one of 7 siblings (and one niece) who have graduated from IUP, I have a very special attachment to the University. I will never forget the incredibly true words spoken to me by my advisor, Professor Wallace Morrell. He told me, as I was completing my studies and preparing for graduation, "Now you are ready to learn." I was put off by his statement at first, but he was right on the mark. I have spent the last 25 years continuing to learn from the companies I have worked for.

I am currently a Manager with Deloitte Consulting in their SAP software practice. I hope some of my classmates respond to the Newsletter as well.


Joe Kirchner (Class of 1974)

2908 Delcourt Drive; Decatur, GA 30033

Humorous Stories

After receiving Joe Kirchner's letter, Jerry Buriok (Chairperson of the Mathematics Department) asked him for any humorous stories about Joe (Peters) and Wally (Morrell). Jerry also suggested a section of the newsletter for humorous stories. Joe Kirchner thought "it might be a little tough getting funny stories from a bunch of math majors." Perhaps alumni and retired faculty reading this newsletter can prove him wrong. We would welcome humorous stories about your days at IUP. Here are two from Joe Kirchner.

My claim to fame came in my Calc III class with Joe Peters, when he asked us to help him name a 3 dimensional graph that looked like a ribbon coming out of the blackboard. I told him that it looked like bacon after it had been fried for awhile. He just shook his head and tried to laugh. My roommate had the same class later in the day with Joe and came to dinner that night with a story that started with, "Peters told us a story about some jerk that named this graph Bacon! Can you believe anyone would be so dumb?" In fact, I did know someone.

One other time, in Calc II, Joe Peters decided to start a new program of starting every class with a joke. Of course my name was magically selected first. I spent all weekend trying to find a joke that was clean enough to tell in public. My result was a drawing of two stick figures standing next to each other, with a circle drawn between them, touching each of their hands. A dot was drawn in the center of the circle. My question was for the class to identify the drawing. The answer was, "Two men walking abreast." Joe Peters just said, "Is that the best you could do with a weekend to work on it? The program is canceled."


More Letters

I received Stright Lines Vol. 2 in May, and I am writing to let you know what I am doing now. After graduating, I moved to California in search of a teaching job, and now I am teaching at John Burroughs High School in the Burbank Unified School District. I have two Pre-Algebra, one Algebra 1, and two Integrated Math 2 classes. My school district is changing its mathematics curriculum from an integrated mathematics approach to a traditional Algebra 1,2, and Geometry curriculum. That is good for me coming from the traditional approach, but the integrated math is not that bad. It lumps Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and some Statistics into three courses.

If anyone is interested in applying to any school districts in California, there are a few web sites devoted to posting openings. The ones that I used were: and

I did have to take a California Basic Educational Skills Test which is similar to the Praxis General Skills exam, in order to apply for a California Teaching Certificate, but you can get an emergency certificate with just a Pennsylvania credential. My high school just hired 20 new teachers this year, and most of them are from out of state. Having a PA certificate is as good as having a CA one. If anyone has any specific questions that you might want to ask, just email me and I'll reply as soon as I can.

Brian J. Kukan ('98 graduate)


I was pleased to receive the Stright Lines newsletter and to hear what graduates are doing with the experience they gained as mathematics majors at IUP. Since I graduated in 1990 I have spent my entire 9 year career with PNC Bank in a variety of positions within the investment department. I completed my MBA from the University of Pittsburgh in 1996, and have worked with many mutual fund managers who value a quantitative approach to investment analysis.

I would say to those students who are still undecided about a career choice to keep an open mind and a broad perspective on your options. As an investment manager I am applying mathematical techniques in many different areas of my job responsibilities. Many of my colleagues are very strong in mathematics, either with majors or minors in math as undergraduates. I'm certain many fields appreciate a person with an analytical approach to solving real world problems that are encountered every day in the course of doing business.

I believe that my experience at IUP as an applied mathematics major was very instrumental in my professional success. Although many professors are to be credited with my education, I would mention Dr. Stillwell, Dr. Reber, Dr. Frank, Dr. Buriok, Dr. Smith and Dr. Busovicki as my favorites. I continue to look forward to receiving the newsletter in the future and would encourage other alumni to provide an update on what they are doing.

Frank Aloi (

Applied Mathematics, 1990


Dear Dr. Reber:

It is interesting to read Stright Lines so I thought I would add my status and memories to the others in hopes of hearing about more of my friends.

I graduated from IUP in 1970 with a BS in elementary education with a concentration in mathematics. I signed a contract to teach in the Indiana Area School District a week before I graduated and got married at the Newman Center a week after graduation. In attendance at our wedding was math professor Edwin Bailey and his wife.

We returned from our honeymoon in order to begin summer school classes at IUP. I started on a ME in Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers. At the time there were only three colleges of universities in the United States offering a masters program in mathematics for elementary school teachers. Stanford offered a doctoral program with a masters on the way. Webster College and IUP offered masters programs.

One of my professors that summer was Edwin Bailey. I talked to him after class one Friday as he told me about a mathematics meeting he was to attend that weekend. As I returned to class the following Monday, we had a new teacher. Mr. Bailey had been killed in an automobile accident.

In addition to Mr. Bailey I remember the following teachers: Miss Mildred Reigh, Dr. Joseph Angelo, and Mr. Edwin Smith. Dr. Willard Henneman was my advisor. As an undergraduate I also remember taking a Computer Math I class with Mr. Coates in the fall of 1968 to learn FORTRAN. In the fall of 1969 I took a Mathematics Seminar: Creative Thinking of Great Mathematicians with Mrs. Vallowe and Probability and Statistics with Dr. Hradnansky.

In 1968 I joined the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) as a result of a suggestion by an IUP professor, probably Miss Reigh. I have been a member ever since. Later I also joined the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Mathematics Council of Western PA. I do enjoy going to the regional meetings and have helped on several committees for meetings held in the Pittsburgh area.

I completed my ME in 1976.

At Ben Franklin Elementary School in Indiana I taught third, fifth, and sixth grades. While there, I served on the Indiana Area School District Mathematics Curriculum Committee and occasionally conducted mathematics workshops.

I was part of the first SEQual class in 1993 and served on the MAQUAL committee with Jack Shepler. I have encouraged my classes to participate in the American Statistical Association's poster contest and have presented workshops on this approach to hands-on involvement with statistics and mathematics.

After 27 years of teaching in Indiana, I took an early retirement in 1998 to join my husband whose company had transferred him to Atlanta, GA. I began substituting and then was given a temporary job to relieve overcrowding in the fourth grade at an elementary school.

I am currently looking for a teaching position, hopefully in a middle school where I can concentrate on teaching math.

I was pleased to read about Chuck Breindel. I met him at IUP as he and I were inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, a international honorary society in education. Later he became District Governor of Lions Club International from District 14-J which includes Indiana. My husband also served as District Governor of that District so we would see Chuck at Lions meetings. I was in attendance when Chuck received his distinguished alumnus award from IUP.

I would suggest that in addition to listing the IUP faculty retirees that you also mark with an asterisk or some other symbol the ones who have died. I know that Willard Henneman had died.

My best wishes to the Reber and Buriok families, and my thanks to you for taking your time to compile this newsletter.

Mrs. Gertrude "Trudy" Leck Rudert

4852 Scotts Mill Way

Duluth, GA 30096


36th Annual Math Contest

The Mathematics Department sponsored its 36th Annual High School Mathematics Contest on May 4, 1999. 222 students from 28 schools participated.

Team Winners in Division II were Annville Cleona (3rd), Youngsville (2nd), and Bishop McCort (1st). Team winners in Division I were Altoona (3rd), Kiski Area (2nd), and State College Area (1st).

Students have 150 minutes to complete 50 questions. The scores are based on the: # correct - # wrong. The overall winner had 39 correct and 7 wrong.

Math faculty contribute problems which are reviewed by a department committee, with John Henry Steelman putting the test together. Gary Stoudt was in charge of the contest and preparations for it. Bill Rettig and John Busovicki were given awards for their long service to the contest. Many other Mathematics faculty were involved in preparing and operating the contest.


Scholarship Established

Beginning in the year 2000, a scholarship will be presented annually to a deserving freshman in the name of Barry Day. An account established by Barry Day will contribute the interest to an IUP Foundation account which will in turn fund the scholarship. The IUP Mathematics Department appreciates Barry's contribution to IUP and looks forward to teaching the students encouraged to attend IUP by this scholarship.

Profile: Barry Day

Barry Day was born and raised in Somerset, PA and graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1972 with a BS in Applied Mathematics. Through ROTC he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Immediately after his IUP graduation, he served on active duty for two years at Ft Bliss, Texas and at Ft. Jackson, SC. On reserve duty he was the Commanding Officer of the 946th Terminal Transfer Company in Lewis, DE.

In 1974 Barry accepted an employment offer from the DuPont Company as a Computer Programmer. During his 23-year career at DuPont, Barry advanced through several management positions. He was Chief Information Officer for the global $3 Billion Imaging Systems / Medical Products / Electronic Materials Sector, Manufacturing Plant Manager for DuPont Medical Diagnostics and SAP Manager for the 250-person Global SAP Group in DuPont Information Systems.

While at DuPont, Barry and the organizations which he led received numerous awards including designating the DuPont Enterprise Resources Planning implementation using SAP as the "Best of the Best" in the Chemical Industry. He has often been quoted in Chemical Industry and Information Technology professional publications.

In 1997, Barry influenced the DuPont Company's decision to outsource the DuPont Information Systems organization in the largest information technology outsourcing ever. In the 10-year deal valued at nearly $4 Billion, Barry joined Computer Sciences Corporation in Falls Church, VA. Presently employed by CSC, Barry is a Business Development Director specializing in outsourcing information technology organizations and their Enterprise Resource Planning organizations. Barry usually is "on the road" working with prospective clients that have included Pratt and Whitney, Bristol - Myers Squibb and General Motors.

Barry has been actively involved in the IUP Computer Science Department where he has been a member of the Corporate Advisory Board.

Barry's son Josh is a first term student at the Art Institute of Philadelphia where he is studying Multimedia and Web Design. Barry and his fiancee, Sue-Ann Roades (MEd in Special Education from Temple University) are presently building a new home in Buckingham Township in Bucks County, PA

IUP Memories

Barry is an avid IUP sports fan with a passion for IUP football. While at IUP he traveled to see the Indians play in numerous contests, including the 1968 Boardwalk Bowl in Atlantic City, NJ. He also attended the Division II National Championship Game in 1993 in Florence, AL.

Fond memories of IUP include computer programming with punched cards in the basement of Sutton Hall, going to dances at "the Branch", eating Capital Rolls in town, riding to and from home in John Johnson's VW Bus (John is presently an Associate Dean at IUP), attending ROTC drill, wearing a freshman "dink", seeing the group Chicago perform in Memorial Field House, and living through the dramatic changes that took place in the 1968 - 1972 time frame as IUP grew dramatically and experienced some of the turmoil rocking the nation during the Vietnam War.

Barry believes that the discipline and rigor associated with his IUP mathematics experience have served him well in the varied, challenging assignments he has had in his career. He often recommends IUP to others and periodically has employed IUP Computer Science Interns in his organizations.


SEQuaL Continues

by Larry Feldman, Jack Shepler, Isabel Wiggins

One of IUP's largest teacher education grants has been housed in the Mathematics Department since 1992, with funding tentatively continuing through 2002. The Statistics Education through Quantitative Literacy (SEQuaL) project has provided professional development for over six hundred K-12 Pennsylvania teachers through workshops, conferences, and the operation of the Center for Statistics Education in PA (CSEPA). CSEPA is currently housed in the Secondary Math Lab in Stright 211, with Isabel Wiggins as the Program Coordinator, Jack Shepler as Program Director, Larry Feldman as Assistant Director, and Francisco Alarcon as Budget Director. Other team members have included Debbie Gressley Gurcsik, Barbara Lamberski, Ann Massey, Fred Morgan and John Uccellini. Through the years, the program has grown both in size and scope.

(continued on page 5)

(SEQual, continued from page 4)

Now K-12 workshops are offered at regional sites throughout Pennsylvania. A Multi-Disciplinary SEQuaL workshop ran from 1996-1999 to link statistics with other subject areas. The Data-Driven Approach to Teaching Middle School and Secondary Math (1999-), finds ways to use hands-on data approaches in the teaching of pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry using real-life data.

The idea for SEQuaL was born in the minds of a group of IUP professors in 1990, led by Jack Shepler. Statistics and probability were given greatly increased emphasis in the 1989 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) mathematics standards for grades K-12. At that time, the American Statistical Association (ASA) offered to assist universities in presenting a Quantitative Literacy (QL) workshop for secondary mathematics teachers that had been developed through previous NSF grants in conjunction with NCTM. Larry Feldman and Ann Massey with John Uccellini created an elementary grades workshop since no national model had been implemented at that time. Funded by an Eisenhower Professional Development Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), the first K – 12 SEQuaL workshop in Pennsylvania and one of the first in the country was launched in the summer of 1992 at IUP.

By 1995, word of the program had spread throughout the state. With the encouragement of Linda Benedetto, Higher Education Coordinator of the Eisenhower program at PDE, and the enthusiasm and hard work of Elaine Carbone, the Program Coordinator at the time, the K-12 SEQuaL program was offered at four sites across Pennsylvania (Dickinson College, Mansfield U., Slippery Rock U., and Villanova U.). In 1998/1999 SEQuaL sites were held at Clarion U., Mansfield U., and at a school near Lancaster.

The K-12 SEQuaL program has proven to be an exciting, standards-based approach to teaching statistics in K-12 classrooms. Through stimulating and practical activities, participants in the K-6 and 7-12 workshops explore real data and focus on classifying, graphing, sampling, probability, and simulation. Workshops are taught by the original staff supplemented by dozens of new instructors who have come up through the ranks. ASA statisticians volunteer to help the teachers during the summer. Participants experience first-hand the value of QL and gain confidence in their ability to incorporate it into their curriculum. Participants are required to give a presentation near the end of the academic year in which they describe some of the activities they have done with their students.

For example, on the first day in the summer, we frequently have had teachers do a project at a local cemetery. They would develop a question to be studied, work to determine how to collect data including sampling techniques. They then actually collected the data in the cemetery, and finally graphed and interpreted the data to answer the original question.

In 1996, teams of teachers representing various subject areas developed cross-curriculum statistics projects for their schools at the first Multi-Disciplinary SEQuaL Workshop, offered at IUP. Each team was composed of at least one mathematics teacher who had previously taken a SEQuaL workshop and at least one teacher from the same school who taught a subject other than mathematics. The mathematics teachers were taught inferential statistics (led by Fred Morgan and Jack Shepler), while the non-mathematics teachers were taught content appropriate for teachers who will not teach statistics but who will be working with data collection and analysis (led by Larry Feldman and Ann Massey).

One example of a multi-disciplinary project was a middle school that used a variation of the cemetery project. The English teacher had students reading about scary cemetery stories, the science teacher had them learning about the types of stones used in the tombstones, and the social studies teacher assigned students to write a letter imagining they were an assigned person from the cemetery. The math teacher had students working with numerical data about age at death.

The newest workshop, A Data-Driven Approach to the Teaching of Middle School and Secondary Math, enables teachers to replace lessons from the standard pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry curriculum with lessons that use data collection and analysis to teach the same content. Data-Driven Mathematics, a series developed by the ASA with a NSF grant, was the main text for this first year of this workshop. Pat Hopfensperger and Henry Kranendonk, two of the authors of the Data-Driven Mathematics series from Wisconsin, were part of the workshop team for 1999.

SEQuaL has been at the forefront of many innovations in the teaching of probability and statistics since its beginnings in 1990. Besides the K-12 workshops, SEQuaL has accomplished the following.

• Mathematics Academic Alliance in Quantitative Literacy meetings three times a year for all teachers, a joint effort with the local ARIN Intermediate Unit

• Integration of multiple QL assessment techniques for K-12 classes

(continued on page 6)

(SEQual, continued from page 5)

Quantitative Literature newsletter issued 3 times per year

• SEQuaL Facilitator’s Guide developed

• Sequel to SEQuaL Conference to assist teachers in leading their own QL workshops

The Center for Statistics Education in PA at IUP coordinates the SEQuaL workshops throughout the state, produces the newsletter, houses an extensive library of teacher-made lesson plans and maintains a web site:


index.html). If you would like more information or to be put on the Quantitative Literature mailing list, you may contact: Center for Statistics Education in PA, Stright Hall, Room 211, 210 South Tenth Street, Indiana, PA 15705-1087, or 724-357-6239, or email



The following profile is another in a series of profiles of graduates of the IUP Mathematics Department. If you know someone that you would like to see profiled or if you would be willing to be profiled yourself, please let us know. Thanks to Ann Massey for work on this profile.

Profile: Randy Charles

Class of 1971

Randy Charles graduated in 1971. We asked him a few questions.

What mathematics program were you in at IUP? Why did you choose that major? I started as a pure mathematics major with no idea of what I wanted to do for a career. Also, I had no idea of what kinds of careers I could pursue with a degree in pure mathematics. At the end of my sophomore year, I heard that there were plenty of job opportunities in education. Also, as a senior in high school, one of my mathematics teachers thought I would be a good teacher and so, as a senior, I taught a ninth grade algebra one class for one week. My uncertainty of what I wanted to or could do with a degree in mathematics, the availability of jobs in teaching mathematics at the secondary level and my teaching experience in high school led me to direct my studies to mathematics education.

What particular memories do you have of your days at IUP and your time in the IUP Mathematics Department? Perhaps you can relate an anecdote about your days at IUP. The Department Chair at the time I was there was Dr. Woodard. He was one of my better instructors and one of the better advisors. So, I got to know him quite well. As a result of knowing each other, he asked me to be the coach of his church's elementary school-age boys basketball team on Saturday mornings. How can one refuse the department chair?! I did that for one season and had a great experience. I was glad he asked me to do it. Although I do not remember names, I do recall of few of the professors I had, and most memories are fond.

What did you do immediately after graduating from IUP? I took a position teaching high school mathematics in Salisbury, Maryland.

What work have you been doing recently? I have been a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at San Jose State University for 12 years. I teach undergraduate mathematics content courses for prospective elementary and middle school teachers, and undergraduate and graduate mathematics education courses for practicing elementary, middle, and high school teachers. I have been an author of elementary, middle, and high school mathematics textbooks for 20 years with Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, now Scott Foresman Publishing Company. I am currently directing the development of a new program for grades K-8.

In what way did the education you received at IUP prepare you for your career? Would you select IUP again? Why? I recall that the program at the time I was there called for breadth of study rather than depth in any area. This was good preparation for my high school teaching experience as well as my subsequent graduate work in mathematics. Yes, I would choose IUP again.

What thoughts do you have on your choice of a career related to Mathematics, or what advice might you have for students thinking about a choice of major? I have stayed alive, so to speak, in mathematics education, because I decided to make mathematics education a profession not a job. I got involved early in NCTM activities and subscribed to as many publications as I could. I have been a member of NCTM since 1971 and continue to use that organization as a springboard for my work. Every year I have been teaching I identify some course or some area of study as a focus for the year. Then I use NCTM conferences and publications to guide my work. This has kept me abreast of new developments in the profession and has always made me excited about starting a new school year. Also, I continue to feel that my work is making a difference for teachers and children.



IUP's Curriculum Through the Years, Part 2

by Gary Stoudt

Last issue we looked at the curriculum of Indiana Seminary and Normal School. This issue we move to the opening in 1875 of the State Normal School of the Ninth District, in Indiana, Pennsylvania. The Board of Trustees reads like a tour of current IUP buildings: John Sutton (President), Silas M. Clark (Secretary), Daniel Porter, Alex M. Stewart, Andrew W. Wilson, and Irwin McFarland. There was no listing of faculty in the First Catalogue of the Officers and Students of the State Normal School of the Ninth District, Indiana, Pennsylvania, 1875. Just as with Part 1 in the last issue, we will look at the entire curriculum, since all students took the same courses. In what follows, all quotes are from "First Catalogue of the Officers and Students of the State Normal School of the Ninth District, Indiana, Pennsylvania, 1875."

Right off the bat one can see from the school's mission what it means to be a "normal school." From the catalog:

The purpose for which this school is founded, is pre-eminently the education and training of Teachers. To this end it will be our aim to impart instruction in all the various branches of study, in such a way as to illustrate by example the best methods of teaching; feeling assured that there is no more effectual means of making all our pupils skillful teachers, than by keeping constantly before them examples of such skill. "Persons cannot be made teachers by merely being told how to teach--they must themselves be taught in the right manner." In addition to this, courses of instruction by lectures or otherwise, will be given from time to time upon the best methods of organizing, teaching, and governing schools of every grade. And the members of the advanced classes, in all the courses of instruction, will also have the opportunity of teaching in the MODEL SCHOOL, under the supervision of the Superintendent of that School and the President of the Faculty.

Then as now, however, this is not just a "teacher's college":

But believing that the best methods of instruction for teachers, are also the best methods to be adopted in giving to all pupils clear conceptions and thorough knowledge of whatever branches of study they may wish to pursue, the Institution is open to all of proper age, whether they have teaching in view or not. We feel confident that there are no better opportunities to obtain a general business, and scientific, and liberal education, or to pursue studies preparatory to those that are strictly professional, than will be afforded at this Institution.

There were three courses of instruction, the Elementary Course, for "the training of teachers for the Common Schools," the Scientific Course, for "the education of Teachers for the higher departments of instruction in graded schools," and the Classical Course, "to qualify teachers for the classical department of instruction in graded and high schools and academies." It includes the studies of the Elementary and Scientific Courses, and the usual collegiate course in Latin and Greek. French and German may be substituted for an equivalent amount of Latin and Greek." The curriculum differs slightly from that of the Indiana Seminary and Normal School in 1858-59, but much remains the same. The biggest change is in what would now be called "methods courses." Here is the Elementary Course.

Preparatory: Orthography (spelling), Reading and Elocution; Writing and Drawing; Mental Arithmetic; Written Arithmetic; Geography; English Grammar, and Vocal Music.

Junior Year, Fall Term: Orthography, Mental Arithmetic, completed; English Grammar; Written Arithmetic; Reading and Elocution; Writing and Drawing; Lectures on Anatomy and Physiology; Etymology.

Junior Year, Winter Term: English Grammar, continued; Higher Arithmetic; History of the United States; Reading and Elocution; Writing and Drawing; Physical Geography.

Junior Year, Spring Term: English Grammar, completed; Higher Arithmetic, completed; Elementary Algebra; English History; Vocal Music; Writing and Drawing; Natural Philosophy (study of the physical universe, that is, physics).

Senior Year, Fall Term: Algebra, completed; Geometry; Rhetoric; Reading and Elocution; Theory and Practice of Teaching; School Economy; Physiology.

Senior Year, Winter Term: Geometry, Completed; General History; School Economy; Book-keeping; Theory and Practice of Teaching; Chemistry; Science of Government; Mental Philosophy.

Senior Year, Spring Term: Mental and Moral Philosophy; Botany; Constitution of the United States; Theory and Practice of Teaching; Chemistry.

It should be noted that these courses were offered every term.

(continued on page 8)

Curriculum, continued from page 7)

"While the above represents the general arrangement of study for those pursuing the regular course of study, from Term to Term, yet, for the accommodation of all, it is found necessary to have nearly all these studies taught every Term." It should also be noted that this course of study does not differ from the Preparatory Course at the Indiana Seminary and Normal School in 1859.

The Scientific Course is naturally more rigorous. It consisted of the following.

Preparatory: Orthography; Mental Arithmetic; Written Arithmetic; English Grammar; Geography; History of the United States; Reading and Elocution; Writing and Drawing; Steele's Fourteen Weeks in Natural Philosophy; Olney's Elementary Algebra.

Freshman Year, Fall Term: Olney's University Algebra, commenced; Harkness' Latin Grammar and Reader; Physical Geography; Higher English Grammar and Analysis; Theory and Art of Teaching.

Freshman Year, Winter Term: Olney's University Algebra, completed; Harkness' Latin Grammar and Reader, continued; Hart's Rhetoric; Elocution.

Freshman Year, Spring Term: Olney's Geometry; Latin Grammar and Reader, Steele's Fourteen Weeks in Astronomy; Shaw's English Literature.

Sophomore Year, Fall Term: Olney's Geometry and Conic Sections; Caesar's Commentaries; Chemistry; General History; English Literature; Methods of Instruction.

Sophomore Year, Winter Term: Olney's Trigonometry; Caesar's Commentaries, continued; German--Woodbury's Method; Dalton's Anatomy and Physiology; Chemistry, continued.

Sophomore Year, Spring Term: Olney's Surveying; Gray's Botany, Virgil's Aeneid; English Literature.

Junior Year, Fall Term: Olmsted's Natural Philosophy; German; Virgil; Logic; School Economy and the Art of Teaching.

Junior Year, Winter Term: Olmsted's Philosophy; Virgil; Day's Art of Discourse; German.

Junior Year, Spring Term: Chemistry; Olney's Analytical Geometry and Calculus; Zoology; French; Analysis of English Classics.

Senior Class, Fall Term: Paley's Natural Theology; Olmsted's Astronomy; Mental Philosophy (roughly speaking, psychology); Guizot's History of Civilization; Methods of Instruction.

Senior Class, Winter Term: Fairchild's Moral Philosophy; Political Economy; Evidences of Christianity; Lectures; Laws of Nations.

Senior Class, Spring Term: Geology; Lectures on History; Alison on Taste; Lectures on Art; Study of Dramatic Literature. Weekly Exercises in Composition, Declamation, and Extempore Speaking, throughout the Course.

The mathematics requirement consists of two terms of Algebra, two terms of Geometry, one term of Trigonometry, one term of Conic Sections and one term of Analytical Geometry and Calculus. Notice that calculus is now a requirement; it was only recommended at the Indiana Seminary and Normal School (see last issue). It is also striking how closely this follows much of what is currently in the core of the Liberal Studies Requirements: writing, literature, history of the modern era, philosophy or religion, art, and natural science. It is heartening that some (good) things never change! Others will surely notice that there are "teaching methods" courses every year.

The Classical Course naturally has more courses in the Latin and Greek languages.

Preparatory: Latin Grammar; Latin Lessons; Latin Reader.

Freshman Year, Fall Term: same as the Scientific Course except Physical Geography and Latin Grammar and Reader replaced by Caesar's Commentaries and Greek Grammar and Lessons.

Freshman Year, Winter Term: same as the Scientific Course except Latin Grammar and Reader replaced by Caesar, continued and more Greek Grammar and Lessons.

Freshman Year, Spring Term: same as the Scientific Course except Latin Grammar and Reader replaced by Virgil's Aeneid and more Greek Grammar and Lessons.

Sophomore Year, Fall Term: same as the Scientific Course except Caesar's Commentaries replaced by Virgil, continued and Xenophon's Anabasis.

Sophomore Year, Winter Term: same as the Scientific Course except Caesar's Commentaries, continued replaced by Virgil, continued and Xenophon, continued.

Sophomore Year, Spring Term: same as the Scientific Course except Virgil's Aeneid replaced by Cicero's Orations and Xenophon, completed.

Junior Year, Fall Term: same as the Scientific Course except Virgil is replaced by Cicero's Orations and Homer's Iliad.

Junior Year, Winter Term: same as the Scientific Course except Virgil replaced by Sallust's Conspiracy.

Junior Year, Spring Term: same as the Scientific Course

The entire Senior Class is the same as the Scientific Course.

At the end of one's studies, students had to pass examinations. It seems the current Four Step Process, standardized testing, and educational bureaucracy has its own predecessors. "The Examinations for Graduation are conducted by the Faculty of the school and by a Board of Examiners.

(continued on page 9)

(Curriculum, continued from page 8)

The Faculty first examine the candidates for graduation, and if satisfied with their qualifications, refer them to the Board of Examiners for further examination. The Board of Examiners will test the knowledge of the candidate upon all the branches of study in the course in which they are examined; special attention being given to the Science and Art of Teaching. A Thesis upon some educational subject will be required as a part of the examination." The diploma received by a graduate was one of Bachelor of the Elements, Bachelor of the Sciences, or Bachelor of the Classics.

Currently a teacher needs to take additional graduate courses to obtain permanent certification. Such an idea existed in 1875: "A regular graduate who has continued his studies for two years, and has practiced his profession during two full annual terms in the Common Schools of the State, may receive, upon presenting to the Faculty and Board of Examiners a certificate of good moral character and skill in the Art of Teaching, from the Board or Boards of Directors by whom he was employed, countersigned by the proper County Superintendent, a second diploma; constituting him a Master in the course in which he graduated, and conferring one of the following corresponding degrees: Master of the Elements, Master of the Sciences, Master of the Classics."

With all of the things that were similar to the IUP of today, we must still remember that this was 1875. Witness the following from the catalog.

"Expenses. Regular Charges--Tuition and Boarding, including light, heat and washing:

For the Spring Term $70.00

For the Fall Term $75.00

For the Winter Term $80.00"

"Appropriations to Students. By an Act of the Legislature the following appropriations are made by the State to Normal Students and Graduates:

1. Each student over seventeen years of age, who shall sign a paper declaring his intention to teach in the Common Schools of the State, shall receive the sum of fifty cents per week, toward defraying the expenses of tuition and boarding.

2. Each student over seventeen years of age, who was disabled in the military or naval service of the United States or of Pennsylvania, or whose father lost his life in said service, and who shall sign an agreement as above, shall receive the sum of one dollar per week.

3. Each student who, upon graduating, shall sign an agreement to teach in the Common Schools of the State two full years, shall receive the sum of fifty dollars."

In addition, even though the school is no longer a seminary school, certain rules needed to be obeyed.

"Association of the Sexes. Our purpose is to make the Pennsylvania State Normal School, in all Respects, a well-regulated home for those who attend it; in which they may become familiar with the usages of the best society. But while there are very great advantages that arise from the proper co-education of the sexes, special precautions are necessary to guard against all possible evil or scandal. Hence the following regulations; which will commend themselves to all as necessary and wise."

"Students shall not correspond, walk, or ride with those of the opposite sex; or meet in the reception room, parlor or else where, except by special permission from the PRINCIPAL and the PRECEPTRESS. Ladies and gentlemen are also expressly forbidden entering the halls appropriated to each other's respective departments without permission. They are on no condition allowed to visit each other's private rooms, except in case of severe sickness, and then only in company with the Principal or Preceptress."

"These regulations we deem vital to the very existence of the Institution, and the disregard of them will be visited with the promptest and severest punishment that may be necessary to secure their faithful observance."

I suppose each time period has its own "criminal record check."

It might seem that at this rate our travel through the years will be a long one, indeed. Please keep in mind, however, that the State Normal School of the Ninth District, in Indiana, Pennsylvania is just getting started and there will be changes associated with a growing school. As the school matures the curriculum will stabilize and the years will pass more quickly. So, rest assured, we will get to your time.

Thanks to Phillip Zorich, Special Collections Librarian, and Ms. Eileen Mountjoy Cooper, Historical Collections Specialist, in the Special Collections and Archives Department of the IUP Libraries.

Do you want to be involved? Send (via email, FAX or U.S. Mail) what mathematics/education courses you took, the professors' names, what textbooks you used, and when to:

Gary Stoudt;Department of Mathematics; Stright Hall;Indiana University of PA; Indiana, PA 15705

FAX (724) 357-7908

I have received some responses to the last issue. Please keep them coming. Dr. Ed Donley has also loaned me his old copy of Ray's "Algebra." Recall that this text was used at the Indiana Seminary and Normal School. I'll be reporting on the contents of this book in a later issue.

A Closing Note from Wally Morrell

Wally Morrell retired from the IUP Mathematics Faculty in the 1980's. Many graduates will remember him for his sense of humor. This note from Wally seems like an appropriate way to close this issue of Stright Lines.

Hi Jim:

Enjoyed being on the mailing list for Stright Lines and reading about all the interesting things going back your way. Hope you folks continue to send it along in the future. Bernice and I are well and we hope all of you there are in good shape. ...

Here's something that came over e-mail the other day. You may never contact me again after reading it. luv, wally...

My geometry tutor told me "A six-sided polygon is called a hexagon, five-sided ones are called pentagons."

"What about two sided ones?" I asked.

"They don't exist." was his response.

"I beg to differ! I think we should just let bi-gons be bi-gons."

Wally Morrell


Write to Us

Send us your comments and suggestions on the newsletter or let us know what you are doing. You can write us at:

Department of Mathematics

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

233 Stright Hall

Indiana, PA 15705-1072

You can visit our web page at

and send email to us at:



  • Mathematics Department
  • Stright Hall, Room 233
    210 South Tenth Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2608
  • Fax: 724-357-7908
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.