The purpose of this Annual Report is to collect information about the operation and activities of all the SIGMAAs (Special Interest Groups of the MAA) in an effort to establish a record for archival purposes. This information will be maintained by the MAA Department of Programs and Services and shared, in a variety of forms, with the SIGMAAs, with various MAA administrative units, and with the MAA general membership. This effort will enable the Department of Programs and Services, along with the MAA Committee on SIGMAAs, to better serve the needs of SIGMAAs and their members as well as provide SIGMAAs an opportunity to share best practices, new ideas, and concerns. Reports were submitted by seven SIGMAAs.
Table of Contents
The reports were submitted by the following officers:
EM: Ben Fusaro, Coodinator
STAT-ED: John McKenzie, 2004-2005 Chair
RUME: Eric Hsu, Secretary
HOM: Amy Shell-Gellasch, Secretary/Treasurer 2002-2004 (Program Chairman 2005-2007)
POM: Roger Simons, Chairperson
QL: John Bukowski, Secretary/Treasurer
WEB: Kirby A. Baker, Chair of the WEB SIGMAA Executive Committee for 2004
Reported SIGMAA Activity during 2004:
Events at National Meetings
JMM 2004 - Council Meeting (followed by . . . ) Business Meeting, prefaced by Marcia Sward's presentation, America's Low Energy IQ, Dinner Banquet at the Teeter House, Heritage Square, with speaker Frank Wattenberg, USMA Historian Mathematical Models of the Environment, a CPS Environmental Mathematics, a Panel Discussion Math-Geology Bus Trip with ASU Geologist Steve Semken
Mathfest 2004 - Providence, RI The Challenges of Environmental Consulting, Invited Lecture, Charles Hadlock, Bentley College, MA Providence-to-Newport Ferry Trip with Fisheries Expert Saul Saila (SIGMAA EM Members: $10; others: $15) Environmental Walking Tour of Providence with local resident and Environmental Mathematician Barry Schiller. (Free) T'ai-chi with Ben Fusaro (Free) Council Meeting Business Meeting
Judging student papers and the awarding of SIGMAA EM prizes - (This was an extremely energy/time intensive event. It also involved - and still involves -- some very touchy negotiations with PME and CUSAC over the dollar amount of prizes and "double" awards. Perhaps there will be closure at Mathfest 05, in which case it will be part of our 2005 report.)
STAT-ED: Contributed paper session at the JMM entitled "Statistical Education Discourse on Inference" Panel Discussion at the JMM entitled "The Undergraduate Mathematical Statistics Sequence" Open meeting of the MAA/ASA Joint Committee on Statistics Education participation at the JMM A copy of the minutes of our annual business meeting at the JMM is being sent in a separate file with this report.
RUME: The SIGMAA on RUME had two contributed paper sessions at the January 2004 Winter Meetings. In addition, we held our business meeting, which included a special address on research in undergraduate mathematics education by Chris Rasmussen, San Diego State University, as well as an election of officers. Business meeting minutes are available at <http://rume.org/minutes.html>.
JMM 04: The annual meeting of HOMSIGMAA was held on Friday, January 9, and included a screening of Vicki Hill's video biography of Constatin Cartheodory (previewed at the Baltimore meeting) and a presentation by Peggy Aldrich Kidwell, Curator of Mathematics at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution and by Amy Ackerberg-Hastings, an independent scholar, entitled Making Sense of your Department's Material Culture. MAA Session on Teaching a History of Mathematics Course MAA Session on Truth in Using the History of Mathematics in Teaching Mathematics Panel Discussion on The history of applications in teaching undergraduate mathematics: 1950--2000. MAA Short Course, The History of Mathematical Technologies: Exploring the Material Culture of Mathematics.
Math Fest: HISTORY OF MATHEMATICS SIGMAA SPECIAL LECTURE Noted historian of mathematics Ruediger Thiele of the University of Leipzig will speak on "What is a Function?: A Historic Investigation from Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century." The main focus of the lecture will be the evolution of the concept of a function from geometric constructions to the analytic approach developed by Euler to the nineteenth century formulation.
January 2004: Contributed Paper Session and Business Meeting.
Mathfest 2004: Invited Address by Philip Davis, "The Decline, Fall, and Current Resurgence of Visual Geometry" and Business Meeting.
QL: SIGMAA QL held a reception at the 2004 MathFest. This was our first-ever event.
January 2004: Joint Mathematics Meetings in Phoenix. A reception with panel discussion was held; the topic was ways in which members of WEB SIGMAA can contribute to MAA efforts to facilite use of the World-Wide-Web in instruction.
August 2004: Summer MathFest in Providence. WEB SIGMAA co-sponsored a well attended contributed-paper session (jointly with CTiME, the MAA Committee on Technology in Mathematics Education) on the topic, "Uses of the World-Wide Web that Enrich and Promote Learning".
Events at Section Meetings
POM: New Jersey section meeting, lunch discussion tables: March 27, 2004, "What is Mathematics?" November 13, 2004, "The Applicability of Mathematics: Is it magic?"
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.
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: As part of its on-going activities to foster research in undergraduate mathematics education and the dissemination of such research, we held our seventh Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education in Fall off 2003 and our eighth in February 2005. The 2003 conference was held in October 2003 in Scottsdale, AZ and the 2005 event was held in February 2005 in Phoenix, AZ. The 2006 is currently planned to take place on the East Coast, and we hope to distribute the locations geographically in the future. There were about 120 attendants at each of the 2003 and 2005 conferences.
QL: Judith Moran and Caren Diefenderfer, both officers of SIGMAA QL, were members of the resource faculty for the 2004 QL PREP workshop in Washington State in August 2004. Many SIGMAA members were there with interdisciplinary teams from their respective campuses.
Meetings of Your Executive Committee/Board
EM: Our intention had been to meet physically at JMM and Mathfest.However, we never met our quorums until Phoenix, JMM 04. (The SIGMAA BIG President had warned me that our thresholds were much too high, and we have since lowered them to more realistic percentages.) Most of our "delegated" business is done by phone or e-mail, with the lead being taken by the Coord., Assoc. Coord. or other Council member. E.g., the Formal Activity Coord. would take the lead on CPS's. However, there is a great deal of cooperation that crosses titles.
STAT-ED: Meeting of officers and business meeting at JMM E-mails and telephone calls throughout the year
RUME: We meet at every Joint Meetings (last in January 2005) and at our annual research conference (most recently October 2003, and 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. Officers meetings at the JMM.
POM: We met during the January 2004 joint meetings; otherwise, we correspond via e-mail. This seems to get things done.
QL: During 2004, the officers conducted all business through frequent e-mails. We planned to meet in person for the first time at the 2005 Joint Meetings.
WEB: Executive Board meetings are held by email in accordance with the WEB SIGMAA Charter, as issues arise. Issues handled during 2004 included the membership of the Nominating Committee and events to be held.
Election of Officers
EM: These were our first elections and they were carried out by the Assoc. Coord. (As per our Charter) It was mostly a case of beating the
bushes for volunteers - no positions were contested.
STAT-ED: In July and August, the Past Chair, Carolyn Cuff, solicited nominations for officers from the membership via e-mail. In September she sent out the e-mail ballot with directions for voting and one-paragraph biographies for each of the candidates. Later in the same month she announced that Ginger Holmes-Rowell had been elected Chair-Elect and Sue Shou had been elected Secretary. Both winners assume their positions at the end of 2005 JMM. The election followed the SIGMAA's charter. One of the defeated candidates requested the actual count of that candidate's race. This was initially denied by the SIGMAA's Executive Committee based upon information from MAA Central. After obtaining revised information from MAA Central, the SIGMAA's Executive Committee agreed to provide this information. The level of participation by SIGMAA is only known by the Past Chair and any candidates who request that information, but it is known that the necessary number of members participated in the election.
RUME: From our charter V.2.d.: The Executive Committee will appoint a Nominating Committee of three members and will designate one of the three as Chair. No more than one member of the Executive Committee may serve on the Nominating Committee. The Executive Committee will notify the membership of SIGMAA-on-RUME regarding the composition of the Nominating Committee at least two months prior to the meeting at which elections are to be held and will request that suggestions for nominations be sent to the Chair of the Nominating Committee.
The Nominating Committee will propose and publicize a slate of more than one officer per position, if possible, at least one month before the January business meeting at which the election is to occur. Additional nominations may be made from the floor at that annual meeting.
Voting for all officers will be by secret ballot at the appropriate January business meeting, provided a quorum is present. If there is only one nominee for a given office, that person will be deemed elected. For all other offices, the person receiving the most votes will be elected. If a quorum is not present, current officers will serve until the next business meeting at which there is a quorum and an election can be held.
The last election was January 9th, 2005 at the Joint Meetings in Atlanta. The Nomination Committee for 2005 consisted of Annie Selden (chair), Draga Vidacovic, and Margaret Kinzel. They presented a slate of candidates for three offices: Treasurer, Coordinator-Elect, and Organizational Chair. At the Atlanta meeting there were approximately 44 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 form the general membership, usually including on e outgoing officer. 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. Approximately 25% of the members vote.
POM: None: the first elections (after the original election of the first officers)(for new Chair-elect, Program Director, and Newsletter editor/Web Page Manager) will be held in November 2005.
QL: The initial slate of officers was in place at the time the charter was approved. We then decided to stagger the elections for officers, so we had two elections in late 2004/early 2005. In November 2004, then-Past Chair (and SIGMAA QL founder) Rick Gillman selected two nominees for Chair-Elect. An election was held by e-mail over a two week period. Just greater than one-third of the SIGMAA QL membership voted in the election. Then in December, then-Chair-Elect Caren Diefenderfer selected two nominees for Webmaster. An election was held at the business meeting in Atlanta, which was attended by approximately one-third of the membership.
WEB: Nominations and elections are the responsibility of a three-person Nominating Committee whose membership turns over on a three-year cycle. The Nominating Committee is appointed by the Executive Board but is otherwise independent of the Board. At its discretion, the Nominating Committee may nominate one or more candidates for each position, after consulting with the membership and the Executive Committee as it sees fit. During 2004 this process worked smoothly, with a well qualified slate of nominees proposed and an electronic election conducted.
Electronic SIGMAA Services
EM: We consider our most important activities to be the ones associated with doing things - bus trips, walking tours, workshops, etc. The MAA office handles most of the PR and collection of fees for us. We just supply the information. So far, it has worked very well. As for our Web, we have been slow to get this off the ground. (We are hoping our new Webmaster will take control - time will tell.)
STAT-ED: Our SIGMAA used e-mail, a website, and list serves during 2004. We did not send out an electronic newsletter, but did produce a letter from the Chair.
RUME: From its inception in 2001, the SIGMAA on RUME Website committee (Shandy Hauk (chair, '99-present), Eric Hsu ('99-present), Annie Selden ('03-present), Kathy Bonn ('99-'03)) has provided a number of services on the web (listed below). The membership has reported that it has found the many sites useful in their own work and in educating their peers and supervisors about the enterprise of RUME.
The web site has been successful because of the energy of the committee and the positive suggestions of the membership. As mentioned in last year's report, a result of concerns about timely posting through the MAA we now host our site elsewhere and have the MAA link redirect to it: http://www.rume.org
One notable addition to the web site arrived in 2004. As a result of a RUME listserv discussion, Shandy Hauk (chair) wrote and rume.org now hosts a linked-list of U.S. Doctoral Programs in Mathematics Education, with clear indication of those programs with a focus on RUME. This particular site has been quite successful in three ways: (1) it has generated discussion on the listserv of what is valued about different programs (e.g., what is valuable about a PhD in math ed housed in a department of mathematics); (2) it has provided a touchstone for recruiting new PhD students; (3) it has provided an alternate, moderated, site for information to be posted where doctorates focusing on RUME work are highlighted (i.e., promotes RUME-based research as valued dissertation research).
In 2004 the web site committee continued to update the linked lists for RUME research and policy related issues:
HOM: We have three email lists: officers, our larger advisory council, and the membership as a whole. We also have a website. we have no problem at present.
POM: We e-mailed the membership prior to Mathfest to inform them of the upcoming talk by Phil Davis. We are about to start a listserv, but haven't done so yet. Of course, about 1/3 of the members don’t have e-mail addresses listed with the MAA, and so didn’t receive the message, and a few (but only about a half dozen) bounced back - and some of those were due to spam filters not accepting messages with such a long "to" list. The web page has some difficulties: under most browsers most of the pages linked from the main page (all except the charter) come up on only the left 1/3 of the screen and scroll bars aren’t always present; the list of contributed paper sessions still (after a year of requesting it) hasn't been posted.
QL: The listserv was instituted during the summer of 2004, and it was utilized to a fair degree after that time. The officers posted information about events at MathFest and the Joint Meetings, while members asked QL-related questions. Because we were a new SIGMAA without official membership in 2004, it was somewhat difficult to get an accurate list of people for the listserv. Now that we have official members for 2005, we should no longer encounter such problems. Additionally, then-Webmaster Matt DeLong created a web page for our SIGMAA.
WEB: With the assistance of MAA staff, a list server was implemented during 2004. It is used both for emailings to the membership and for discussion of issues of interest to the membership. The list server has been helpful but usage for discussion has been light. One problem noted is that some members have provided no email address to the MAA and addresses for some others are out of date. A postal mailing to these individuals elicited a few updates, but a few members remain out of contact with the organization.
Other Benefits of SIGMAA Membership Provided
EM: Our main benefits are associated with "hands-on" activities -- ) Early warning 2) Discounts (where there is a fee involved)
STAT-ED: The SIGMAA wrote a letter of support for the NSF ND grant proposal by the Consortium of the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE). If the proposal is accepted by the NSF, CAUSE will be able to provide numerous benefits for the members of our SIGMAA.
RUME: Our annual conference (see above) has been a very important and central activity for our membership.
HOM: Announcements of events in the subject area. Student writing contest.
POM: In late 2004 we sent a postcard to all members informing them of the upcoming events for 2005, and giving them contact information. We also wrote up a description of the SIGMAA's activities for Focus.
WEB: An on-line newsletter is in development. There is discussion of a discount program with some major vendors of products relevant for the purposes of WEB SIGMAA. The vendors have expressed interest, and the MAA, which would have to approve any such arrangement, is reportedly willing to consider a specific proposal.
EM: It took leaps of faith to plan so far ahead. However, our actual expenses seem to track our predicted expenses pretty well.
STAT-ED: We overestimated our expenses for 2004 because we based them upon previous years.
RUME: The budget submission and review process for 2004-2005 proceeded smoothly for the portion of the budget that dealt with dues monies. We did, however, experience complications with the budget money from the ExxonMobil Foundation grant. There was a discrepancy of approximately $15,000 between what SIGMAA on RUME was expecting and what was ultimately allocated. Leaders at the MAA were alerted to the discrepancy and provided documentation. Leaders at the MAA then worked with SIGMAA on RUME to resolve the dilemma to the best of their ability, given the unfortunate budget complication. Overall, we have found the MAA to be responsive to our budget needs and while working toward making the reporting process more systematic and more flexible in understanding our varied spending needs.
HOM: No Issues
POM: The one big problem was actually in January, 2005, when we found out that we hadn't been asked technology needs for our invited address and there was no lcd projector, which was essential. So we had to rent one out of our own pockets on the spot.
QL: The budget was a fairly simple process during our first year. The MAA awarded us startup funds of $1100, and our only expenses to date have been receptions at the 2004 MathFest and the 2005 JMM. John Bukowski prepared the 2005 budget, which was fairly easy to do.
WEB: During 2004, expenses consisted of catering at meetings. Income income has exceeded expenses by a considerable amount. There is discussion of using remaining income to support the proposed on-line newsletter or to co-sponsor invited speakers who require travel support.
Summary for 2004:
Successful Ideas to Share
EM: As far as we can tell, the success of formal activities such as CPSs, IPSs and Panel depend more on scheduling than anything else. Our informal activities seem to be intrinsically attractive (and can be scheduled at what we think are optimum times). The Phoenix Geol-Math bus trip went from a 45-passenger bus to a 55-passenger bus, to a waiting list. The Providence walk ballooned to such an extent that a frenetic last-minute hunt went on for a second leader (Reminiscent of the Boulder walk.) The former had a fee and the latter was free, so it isn't a question of money. MAA members seem to welcome some kind of physical activity to complement the long hours of sitting and listening at various presentations or committee meetings.
STAT-ED: As part of our JMM business meeting we had a reception and a swap of favorite classroom activities session. After our JMM business meeting, interested SIGMAA members joined the Executive Committee for dinner. In preparation for our 2005 JMM business meeting, pledges of door prizes were obtained from a number of sponsors.
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. We have had a program of mentoring mini-grants which we offered to help collaboration in the field of Research on Undergraduate Mathematics Education. In this program we gave special priority to new researchers and connections to research math and science scholars. Funding for this program has ended, but we hope to get new funding for a new mini-grant program that will give small grants to collaborations among mathematics education researchers, as well as collaborations involving mathematics education researchers and mathematicians and/or scientists or science educators.
HOM: Our annual speaker has gone well. Our student writing contest also seems to be getting off to a good start.
POM: Our contributed paper sessions continue to be very popular. We put a break for discussion and refreshments twice during our session in January 2004, and that worked very well: there was a lot of discussion during it among members, and many more attended than attended the business meeting.
QL: Our only event during 2004 was our MathFest reception, a fairly typical SIGMAA event.
WEB: As our organization is still new, we'll defer to other SIGMAAs on this.
EM: According to our Charter, the Chair of the Committee on Math. in the Environment is an ex officio member of our Council. The former(?) CME chair (PCK) had the impression that the CME was being terminated. So we invited PCK to run for Secretary in the Fall 2004 elections. (We had had a Secretary in absentia and, happily, her term was up.) January rolled around, yet neither she nor members of the CME had gotten definite word that it had been terminated. If the CME has been terminated, there is no problem; if not, there is a problem - at least for the SIGMAA EM. We would like to see the status of the CME settled, hopefully before our Council meeting at Mathfest 2005.
STAT-ED: The MAA should consider making this annual report for the period between JMMs instead of the calendar year because that corresponds to the terms of office and major activities for most SIGMAAs. There is a need to include a listing of issues that each SIGMAA plans to address in the future in the annual report. For example, our SIGMAA plans to rethink whether the Web Editor should be an elected position. There is a need to provide the quarterly financial reports and three listings of the members on a more-timely basis. There is a need to revise the quarterly financial reports and three listings of members so that they may be more informative. For example, there is a need to explain the difference between paid and gratis members. There is also a need to revise the format of the financial report and the budget form so that they provide more information. There is a need to standardize the election procedure of all of the SIGMAAs. The votes should be tallied by MAA Central or outsourced by MAA Central. SIGMAA membership forms should be prominently displayed and provided at the MAA booth in the JMM exhibit area. Each SIGMAA should be provided a time slot and room for a meeting of its officers at the JMM before each SIGMAA's business meeting. The time of the Meeting of SIGMAA Officers should not conflict with an SIGMAA-sponsored session or meeting. In 2004 this meeting was scheduled during our contributed paper session. Ideally the time and place of this meeting (and the meetings of all committee meetings) should be announced before attendees make their travel arrangements and placed in the program. The Committee on SIGMAAs should eventually be replaced by a SIGMAA Coordinating Council made up of representatives from each SIGMAA, with elected officers nominated from the SIGMAAs.
HOM: We have several hundred members listed by the MAA. However, we think that many of them are memberships given out by the MAA. Most of the people listed are not involved. And occasionally someone doesn't know how they got on the list.
POM: Our invited address at Mathfest was reasonably well-attended, but not as well attended as we would have liked. The program unfortunately didn't include the speaker's name (a well-known speaker!) or title, much less the abstract of the talk, even though the organizer of the meeting had the speaker name and title by March 20. And there was the issue of technology needs for our speaker at the joint meetings in January 2005, mentioned above under technology.
WEB: None to mention at this point