Dr. Darin Stephenson of the Hope College mathematics faculty has been elected chair of the Michigan Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).

He will serve during the 2009-10 school year.  He was elected during the section's annual meeting, held at Central Michigan University on Friday and Saturday, May 8-9.

Stephenson is a professor of mathematics and chairperson of the department at Hope, where he has taught since 1997.  His involvement with the MAA has included serving as the section vice-chair for four-year colleges during 2008-09.  He also served for three years on the planning committee for the yearly Michigan Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (MUMC), and chaired the Organizing Committee for the MUMC when it was held at Hope in 2006.

Within the field of mathematics he specializes in ring theory, geometry and probability.  He has also become involved in curriculum development, and is writing a textbook that is being used in Hope's sophomore-level mathematics courses, Multivariable Mathematics I and II.  Stephenson regularly involves students in research, and has collaborated with 19 students over the course of seven research projects since coming to Hope.

He has had articles concerning his research published in scholarly journals including the "Journal of Algebra," the "Transactions of the American Mathematical Society," the "Journal of Pure and Applied Algebra," and the "Pi Mu Epsilon Journal."  In January 2000 he presented the seminar "Cryptology: The Mathematics of Secrets" during the college's annual Winter Happening.

Stephenson graduated from the University of Kentucky with a major in mathematics in 1988.  He completed Master of Science and doctoral degrees in mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1990 and 1994 respectively.  After completing his doctorate, he served as the S.E. Warschawski Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego from 1995 to 1997.

Founded in 1915, the MAA is a forum for educators, students, professionals, and mathematics enthusiasts to share ideas, keep abreast of developments in the mathematical community, enhance their careers and make new friends.  The organization's membership includes more than 25,000 individuals and institutions nationally.  The Michigan section held its first formal meeting in 1924.