Table of Contents
The reports were submitted by the following officers:
BIG: Michael Monticino, Chair
EM: Ben Fusaro, Coodinator
STAT-ED: Ginger Holmes Rowell, Chair
RUME: Eric Hsu, Secretary
HOM: Janet Beery, Secretary/Treasurer
POM: Bonnie Gold, Newsletter Editor/Web Page Manager
QL: John Bukowski, Secretary/Treasurer
TAHSM: Daniel J. Teague Co-Chair: SIGMAA TAHSM
Reported SIGMAA Activity during 2005:
Events at National Meetings
BIG: Hosted annual reception for BIG mathematicians at 2006 Winter Meetings. Held contributed paper session on applications of mathematics in business, industry and government at 2006 Winter Meetings. Held Executive Committee Meeting at 2006 Winter Meetings.
JMM - Atllanta: EM SIGMAA Council Meeting , Invited Address, B.B. Mandelbrot, Yale University The Fractal Geometry of Nature and Culture SIGMAA EM Business Meeting Contributed Paper Session Environmental Mathematics & the Interdisciplinary Invited Paper Session Modeling the Environment Panel Discussion
Mathematical Outreach and the Environment Note: The CPS attracted a very large number of attendees, up to ~70. The Mandelbrot lecture attracted several hundred.
MathFest – Albuquerque: SIGMAA Council Meeting, CPS Environmental Mathematics
Judging Student Papers
EM SIGMAA judged MAA Student Paper Sessions. Our EM SIG awarded one $150 prize (out of three allowed) to Nochole Casacchia for her paper, “Statistical analysis of downed trees in a riparian valley”
Conversations about Mathematics & the Environment
Fred Chichester, an engineer with a long- time interest in math. education, and Stephanie Fitchett of Florida Atlantic Univ., will lead off with short statements. The audience will then be invited to join the conversation.
Saturday field trip to the Rio Grande Nature Center
This Nature Center is a restored riparian woodlands. Our guide was Bill Stone of the NM Institute of Mining & Tech. Bill is a modeler, environmentalist, and 20-year resident of this picturesque & geologically fascinating area. We packed 17+ of us in a car plus a van.
Sponsored the MAA Contributed Paper Sessions Using Real-World Data to Illustrate Statistics Concepts, I and II. This event included 21 presentations demonstrating how to use real-world data in courses ranging from introductory to advanced statistical levels.
SIGMAA on Statistics Education Business Meeting, Active Learning Activity, and Reception, Thursday, 5:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., organized by John D. McKenzie, Jr., Babson College and Thomas L. Moore, Grinnell College. After the business meeting, there was an active learning activity based upon the proposed Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) College Report. At that time attendees discussed the report's six recommendations for teaching the introductory statistics course (emphasize statistical literacy and develop statistical thinking, use real data, stress conceptual understanding rather than mere knowledge of procedures, foster active learning, use technology to develop conceptual understanding and analyze data, and use assessments to improve and evaluate learning). This activity and the subsequent reception allowed attendees to network with each other. Minutes from this meeting are located at the end of this document.
During some years, we sponsor events at MathFest. We did not do this in 2005.
Winter Mathematics Meetings, Atlanta, 2005: Two contributed papers sessions and an invited talk by Barbara Edwards at the Annual business meeting.
Math Fest, Albuquerque, 2005: A contributed paper session with invited talks focusing on selected chapters from the forthcoming MAA Notes volume on the connection between research and practice.
JMM 2005, Atlanta, GA: The HOMSIGMAA Annual Meeting and Guest Lecture were held on Friday, January 6. Minutes of the annual meeting are attached. The guest lecture, “John Charles Fields: A Career in Mathematics,” was given by Tom Archibald, then of the Dibner Institute at MIT and Arcadia University.
Other sponsored events: MAA Contributed Paper Session: Mathematics in the Islamic World, MAA Contributed Paper Session: History of Undergraduate Mathematics in America, 1900-2000. Associated events: Minicourse on Euler by Bill Dunham and Ed Sandifer, Joint Special Session on History of Mathematics Student Lecture on Victorian Mathematics by Robin Wilson
MathFest 2005, Albuquerque, NM: Sponsored event: Count Her In! (A Play About Women in Mathematics), Joanne Peeples (El Paso Community College) and Hamide Dogan (University of Texas at El Paso) received an MAA Tensor Grant to develop this play together with a dozen women high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Associated events: Minicourse on Teaching a Course in the History of Mathematics Minicourse on Geometry with History for Teaching Teachers Two-day Short Course on Recreational Mathematics in Honor of the 300th Birthday of Benjamin Franklin
January, 2005 joint meetings: Business meeting, guest lecture, and reception. Guest lecturer: Jonathan Borwein, Dalhousie University, “Philosophical Implications of Experimental Mathematics.” Also, we organized a contributed paper session, “Philosophy of Mathematics.”
Mathfest 2005: Guest lecture and reception, Reuben Hersh, “Subversive essays on the nature of mathematics.”
JMM 2005: SIGMAA QL sponsored a panel discussion, “System Wide Quantitative Literacy Initiatives,” organized by Judy Moran and Caren Diefenderfer. We also had a reception and our first-ever business meeting.
MathFest 2005: SIGMAA QL held an informal evening reception.
SIGMAA TAHSM hosted two sessions at the 2005 MathFest in Albuquerque. The sessions, AP Calculus Workshop: Focusing on the Fundamental Theorem and Preparing Students for Mathematics Competitions were designed to appeal to high school mathematics teachers working with talented students.
SIGMAA TAHSM hosted the panel discussion “AP Calculus: Friend or Foe” at the 2005 Annual Meeting in San Antonio.
Events at Section Meetings
POM: New Jersey MAA section meeting, November 6, Philosophy of Mathematics lunch discussion table, led by Bonnie Gold
QL: There was a QL panel discussion at the MAA Pacific Northwest Section meeting in June. SIGMAA QL member Mike Boardman organized the panel, and four of the five panelists were SIGMAA QL members.
TAHSM: SIGMAA TAHSM organized three workshops at the 2005 Southeastern Region meeting. The workshops were designed for high school teachers to encourage them to attend the section meeting. The workshops included an introduction to Bayesian Statistics for AP Statistics teachers, Mathematical Modeling in AP Calculus, and a workshop for Math Team coaches.
Events at Meetings Other than Regular MAA Meetings
STAT-ED: Open meeting of the ASA/MAA Joint Committee on Undergraduate Statistics participation at the JSM (Joint Statistical Meetings)
RUME: Our Annual Research Conference was held in Phoenix in February 2005 and attracted 120 attendees. We invited four plenary speakers: Patrick Thompson, Anthony Kelly, Joan Ferrini-Mundy, and David Hestenes, and heard contributed talks from 57 additional researchers in undergraduate mathematics education. One important feature of the conference is that significant time is provided for either graduate students or new researchers to give preliminary reports of their research and receive suggestions from more experienced researchers.
POM: Just the listserv, see below.
QL: There were a few QL-related activities in 2005 in which SIGMAA QL members were involved. David Bressoud led a PREP workshop on “Creating and Strengthening Interdisciplinary Programs in Quantitative Literacy” at Macalester College in June (which was followed immediately by the first annual meeting of the National Numeracy Network, an organization with interests related to QL). In July, there was a workshop on “Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum,” in Olympia, WA. In August, the Mathematics Across the Curriculum Summer Institute was held at the Sleeping Lady Conference Center in Leavenworth, WA. Although these programs were not sponsored by SIGMAA QL, there was involvement by SIGMAA QL members as well as officers in some cases.
TAHSM: SIGMAA TAHSM has organized a list-serv for high school teachers of Multivariable Calculus. The list has not generated much activity, but it is there if teachers choose to use it.
Meetings of Your Executive Committee/Board
BIG: Officers discuss issues primarily through e-mail. Topics have included organizing paper sessions, election/nomination process, increasing member participation, and participating in the listserve. Officers contacted each other several times a month. Annual meeting of EC held at Winter Meetings. All officer but Vice Chair for Membership attended.
EM: OEM Council met at Atlanta. It had a quorum. We alos had a well-attended business meeting. EM Council met at Albuquerque but had a quorum for only a few minutes. This was mainly due to low attendance of our Council members at MathFest, exacerbated by conflicts. After several embarrassing attendances, we do not even try to have a business meeting at MathFest .
STAT-ED: At the January Joint Mathematics Meetings, the SIGMAA officers met to plan for the next year. After that, most business was conducted by email and telephone calls.
RUME: We meet at every Joint Meetings (last in January 2006) and at our annual research conference (most recently February 2005). We conduct the bulk of our business by email – e.g. in 2003 there were over 300 emails just on Executive Committee business (not including other committee business).
HOM: Frequent email communication is very successful.
POM: We didn’t meet physically in 2005, but discussed things as they came up electronically.
QL: The SIGMAA officers held an officers’ meeting prior to the business meeting at the 2005 JMM. The officers conducted most of the SIGMAA business by e-mail throughout the year.
TAHSM: The executive committee has not met formally. We have had numerous e-mail conversations to discuss plans for sessions at MathFest and the Annual Meeting.
Election of Officers
BIG: A nomination committee was formed and approved by the EC in October 2003. Nominations were solicited from membership via listserve for all officer positions.
Three officer positions were up for elections: Chair, Vice Chair for Programs and Vice Chair for Services. Single nominations were received for two positions: Chair and Vice Chair for Services. Ballots were e-mailed via the listserve for these positions at the first of December. A total of 14 completed ballots were received. The BIG SIGMAA charter requires 20 vote quorum for officer elections. So the then current officers will continue until the next election.
The BIG EC discussed the issue of member participation during the 2006 annual meeting in San Antonio. The consensus of the EC was to submit to the membership a motion to revise the charter to allow officers to be elected by a majority of votes received.
EM: The Assoc. Coord. carries this out electronically. We have to beat the bushes for officers. Voting participation was in the low double-digits. We have a continuing problem of the same 4-5 officers doing almost all the work. We plan to use this recent call to re-write our By-laws as an opportunity to eliminate a few Council positions.
STAT-ED: The Past-Chair will serve as the Nominations Officer, working with the rest of the Executive Committee to select a slate of candidates for the two offices (Chair-Elect and either Secretary or Treasurer) open in any year. The Past Chair will solicit suggestions and volunteers for serving as officers from the membership.
Election of officers will take place by e-mail ballot of the membership. By the end of October the Past-Chair will select two candidates for each of the two open positions and distribute an electronic ballot to members via e-mail with instructions for voting by December 15. The e-mail ballot will indicate that write-in votes are permitted. A minimum of 20 members must vote for each position. The winner will be the candidate receiving the most votes. The Past-Chair will be responsible for overseeing the tabulation of the ballots. Ties will be broken by a fair, unbiased random device supervised by the Past-Chair.
If the minimum number of 20 members does not vote, the current officers will remain in office until a quorum is achieved.
Members may always request hard copy rather than e-mail notification regarding election ballots and/or proposed charter changes.
RUME: The last election was January 13th, 2006 at the Joint Meetings in Atlanta. The Nomination Committee for 2005 consisted of Karen Marrongelle (chair), Bill Martin and Margaret Kinzel. They presented a slate of candidates for three offices: Secretary, and Program Chair. At the Atlanta meeting there were approximately 40 attendees. (Quorum is 25 members including 2 officers.) Recently we have begun to discuss the possibility of an electronic vote if that becomes available through the MAA.
HOM: A Nominating Committee is formed from the general membership, usually including an outgoing Executive Committee member. A slate is presented to the membership via email in October or early November. Email ballots are gathered in December and the results are announced at the annual meeting. Only a small percentage of our membership votes in our uncontested elections, but our sense is that our active members vote.
POM: We had an election in November, 2005, as required by our charter, for Chair-elect, Program Director, and Newsletter Editor/Web Page Manager.
The call for nominations was sent out on the listserv on October 4, with a deadline for nominations of October 31. (We also sent out a postcard earlier in the fall alerting members to the upcoming elections and telling all those who wanted to nominate and vote by regular mail that they must notify the secretary in advance of the election, as the charter specifies.) There were two nominations for chair-elect: Martin Flashman and Richard Kirby. The other two positions each only had one nominee (Kevin Iga for program director, and Bonnie Gold for newsletter editor/web page manager).
Ballots sent out (on the listserv) 11-25-05, ballot deadline December 7, 2005. 45 members cast ballots.
QL: In November 2005, we solicited nominations for Chair-Elect via the listserv. After coming up with two candidates, we held an election by e-mail in December, initially over a period of two and a half weeks. We then extended the deadline another week in order to receive enough votes for the election to be valid, according to our charter (which specifies that one-third of the membership must vote). We did eventually get one-third of the membership to participate in the election.
TAHSM: We will hold our first election this spring when we will elect our new Chair-elect. Ben Klein will shift to the responsibilities of Past-chair and Dan Teague will serve as Chair.
Electronic SIGMAA Services
BIG: Not answered
EM: Our communications are mainly e-mails. Our members seem to be very layed back when it comes to responding (even for subsidized activities.) We finally seem to have a Webmeister who will start to update our site.
The STAT-Ed SIGMAA uses electronic services as a primary means of communication. Examples include
E-mail distribution list for
Officers to communicate with members about elections, opportunities such as workshops, information about SIGMAA sponsored events, etc.
Members to send questions to each other soliciting assistance about issues related to teaching statistics, statistical analysis questions, etc.
Webpage for members which includes SIGMAA business items (charter, minutes, letters from the chair), links to useful websites for teaching statistics, and newsletters from the SIGMAA.
Electronic Newsletter is distributed periodically. This newsletter reports on events that have past, such as reporting about what was presented at the Joint Mathematics Meeting sessions or announcing conferences and meetings that would be useful to statistics educators, such as the US Conference on Teaching Statistics.
We have not really had any problems with these electronic means of communication.
RUME: During 2005 the Website Committee maintained and added to the SIGMAA on RUME pages, hosted at http://www.rume.org . The maintenance was done by Shandy Hauk and Eric Hsu. Revamping and new page creation as noted below. Among the pages that were revamped and/or created on the SIGMAA on RUME web site this year:
Updated in 2005: Doctoral programs in mathematics education, linked to their respective home department/school web pages; with degree programs in RUME highlighted. Expanded and maintained by Shandy Hauk, the page is used regularly by those advising undergraduate and master's degree students interested in doctoral work in Math Ed, particularly in RUME.
A page of links to upcoming conferences and meetings with embedded links to their sponsoring groups; revised and updated quarterly by Shandy Hauk and Annie Selden.
The list of periodic publications in RUME - including links to information for each; revised and updated by Shandy Hauk. Members of RUME use it regularly and other web sites refer to the listing by linking to it.
An archive of SIGMAA on RUME meeting minutes - including links to information for each; revised and updated by Shandy Hauk and Eric Hsu.
http://betterfilecabinet.com: Update and expansion of the searchable bibliographic database of mathematics education references; organization, programming, and hosting by Eric Hsu.
Information about job searching and the interview process; updated and hosted by Eric Hsu.
HOM: We have three email lists: Executive Committee, our larger advisory council, and the membership as a whole. We also have a website. These seem to be effective.
POM: We keep the web page (url above) up-to-date, and began an electronic discussion group, which was very active when first started in March, 2005, but has had little activity so far in 2006.
QL: The listserv was used for general announcements and an election in 2005. There was very little discussion among listserv members during the year. It came to our attention late in the year that some members were not receiving any messages from the listserv. We then learned that members needed to “opt in” rather than “opt out” of participation in the listserv, and that very few people were doing this. The membership then voted at the business meeting to add all SIGMAA QL members to the listserv with an “opt out” policy instead, since much of our activity is electronic. Webmaster Aaron Montgomery has been improving and maintaining our SIGMAA QL web site. During 2005, the SIGMAA QL home page received 150-200 hits in a typical month, with over 300 hits during its busiest months (just before and after the JMM).
TAHSM: We have contacted membership with a welcome message and also forwarded requests for information from the MAA Working Group on Professional Development as part of the MAA’s Strategic Planning Initiative. We will shortly (next few weeks) send an update to prepare for out first election. We will also begin a discussion of possible PREP-type workshops for the members.
Other Benefits of SIGMAA Membership Provided
BIG: Periodic e-mail messages are sent to membership by Chair and VC for Services. These are mainly announcements of upcoming activities (elections, meetings, and special paper sessions). The BIG listserve is fairly active forum for discussion among the membership. Topics include challenges of being a mathematician working industry, technical mathematical questions, evaluations of open source and how to prepare for particular careers. A website exists but needs to be become more dynamic.
EM: Our communications are built mainly around announcements of activities, especially subsidized activities. We subsidize our field trips and have begun to subsidize attendance at environmentally-oriented Short & Minicourses. Our activities are will attended, MAA members seem to like our programs, but it is difficult to get folks to do the necessary support work.
STAT-ED: At this time, electronic means of communication are the primary means. Members can request hardcopies of ballots for voting on officers.
RUME: Our annual conference (see above) has been a very important and central activity for our membership.
HOM: Announcements of events in mathematics history, especially at the annual meeting. Student writing contest.
BIG: Budget has been relatively straightforward to prepare. Primary expense is annual reception at winter meetings.
EM: Our budgets are increasing as we thin of more environmentally-oriented activities that should be subsidized, or even rewarded (student activities).
STAT-ED: Our expenditures have been pretty consistent for the past several years, matching pretty well with budgeted items. We have a larger than desired carry-over budget from previous years and have started discussions about what we would like to do with these funds to better serve the members. During the 2005 year, the officers decided that it would be nice to support a “Best Contributed Paper” award for the speaker earning the best score on an evaluation form for the contributed paper session. This will be implemented in 2006 at the San Antonio Joint Math Meetings. And the first award (plaque and small monetary award) will be given at the 2007 JMM.
In general, revenue is derived from member dues and a large expense is the reception food at the JMM.
RUME: For the 2005 calendar year, the SIGMAA on RUME carried forward a balance of $24,341.33. Revenue, in the form of dues, was projected to be $8200. Expenses, in terms of travel and meetings for SIGMAA on RUME officers, annual conference speakers, and the Joint Meetings plenary speaker, were projected to be $6000. Other direct costs, most notably RCME publication costs, were projected to be $5150. As of the end of the third quarter, the last point at which MAA submitted budget information, actual revenue for 2005 was $4730. Actual 2005 expenses were $3212. Approximately $2200 was spent on officer and speaker travel, and $1000 was allocated for RCME publication costs. The MAA reports that dues renewals, which are usually received during the first quarter, are usually credited to the prior year. This means that the actual revenue is understated and probably much closer to the budgeted figure of $8200. The current balance of the SIGMAA on RUME shows a balance of $25,858.84.
The leadership of the SIGMAA is currently investigating other funding sources other than annual dues to support its mission.
HOM: No Issues
POM: We have cut back on how much food we’ve been ordering for our receptions at the winter and summer meetings, because we don’t have that many people attending – at first we didn’t know how much to order. However, we have started inviting speakers who are primarily philosophers, and we need to pay at least some of their expenses when we do. Because our budget requests need to go in before we have invited our speakers, it is hard to estimate how much we will need. On the current budget request for 2007, we have requested more for speakers for the summer meeting than the winter one. This is probably reasonable, as it looks like we’ll have mathematicians speaking, but we hope the MAA is flexible about this. When the meeting is near a place that there is a significant philosopher of mathematics, we’re likely to invite such a person and pay both honorarium and expenses, whereas otherwise we’re likely to invite mathematicians who were already planning to attend the meeting.
QL: The budget process is still fairly simple for SIGMAA QL. Our revenues come from dues, and our only expenses are for receptions at JMM and MathFest. Secretary-Treasurer John Bukowski prepared the 2006 budget, which was fairly easy to do.
TAHSM: From Secretary-Treasurer David Stephens: The MAA office was helpful as we prepared our first budget as a new SIGMAA. There was some seed money to get the TAHSM started to supplement to dues from the new members. Our only expense was for the reception at the 2005 MathFest, and that event was catered through MAA and the transfer for funds was done seamlessly and internally. Any expenditures for 2006 will be similar, unless we initiated some new programs that would require some support money.
Summary for 2005:
Successful Ideas to Share
BIG: The list serve has been a great way to help BIG members connect. The contributed paper sessions at the winter meetings have been very well attended. Attendees have been enthusiastic about the talks and have encouraged enlarging the session.
STAT-ED: We are pleased about our “Best Contributed Paper” award for the MAA Contributed paper session(s) that are sponsored by the Statistics Education SIGMAA. We believe this will not only be a “congratulations” to the presenter who wins the award, but will also help improve the quality of the presentations at the sessions. We used (with permission) the survey instrument that is used at the Joint Statistical Meetings for Best Contributed Paper in Statistics Education. We are also in the planning stages for an award for the best student poster or for an outstanding graduate teaching assistant. More discussion is needed for the GTA award.
RUME: The Research to Practice proposed MAA Notes volume has been a successful way to pull together some of the most exciting and recent research in our field.
HOM: Our combined business meeting / invited speaker / social gathering (with food and cash bar, of course) at the JMM seems to be working very well. We recommend this format to other SIGMAAs. Our student writing contest also seems to be getting off to a good start.
POM: The electronic discussion group has been well-received in general, although a substantial number of members wanted to be removed – whether all should automatically be subscribed initially is certainly something other SIGMAAs should think about. For us, having discussion periods at our contributed paper sessions has gone very well, but that may well be more in the nature of philosophy of mathematics and not worth adoption by other SIGMAAs.
QL: We were pleased with the outcome of an informal evening reception at the hotel restaurant/bar at MathFest in Albuquerque, which provided a relaxed and casual atmosphere for SIGMAA QL members to interact.
TAHSM: None at this time.
STAT-ED: It is difficult for the STAT-Ed SIGMAA to sponsor events at MathFest because of scheduling conflicts with the Joint Statistical Meetings. These two conferences can be at opposite ends of the country and at almost the same time. The officers of the SIGMAA are usually involved with and often presenters at the Joint Statistical Meetings. Travel budgets as well as time schedules make it difficult to attend both the Joint Statistical Meetings and MathFest.
HOM: The Secretary/Treasurer much prefers electronic mailings (e.g. an online newsletter) to paper ones for both economic and environmental reasons.
POM: At the January 2005 meeting, we had never been asked whether we needed anything beyond a transparency projector for our invited speaker. We DID – we needed a data projector. We ended up having to rent one at the last minute at the meeting so that the talk could happen.
TAHSM: None to report.