The purpose of this summary is to provide an archive of the activities of all of the Special Interest Groups of the MAA (SIGMAAs) for 2007. The following information is based on reports received from nine of the 11 SIGMAAs, with further information to be posted as it becomes available.
ARTS hosted a speakers session, art exhibition, and a tour of Arthur Silverman's home at JMM.
At MathFest, ARTS hosted another speaker session and art exhibition, and also sponsored a 90-minute presentation on Islamic tiling.
At JMM, BIG hosted a contributed paper session on 'Mathematics Experiences in Business, Industry and Government. This contributed paper session provided a forum for mathematicians with experience in Business, Industry and Government (BIG) to present papers or discuss projects involving the application of mathematics to BIG problems. BIG mathematicians as well as faculty and students in academia interested in learning more about BIG practitioners, projects, and issues, attended this session. Papers were presented on teller staffing in retail banks, enhancing range resolution on radar waveforms, complex adaptive systems, stress states in, ceramics using fractal analysis, GPS signal enhancement, harmonic analysis at the Norbert Wiener Center at the University of Maryland, environmental modeling at the Bureau of Land Management, and faculty consulting projects in industry. A report of this session by Phil Gustafson (Mesa State College) can be found in the March 2007 issue of Focus.
BIG also hosted a one-hour evening reception on the day of the above contributed paper session, which provided a pleasant opportunity for people interested in BIG SIGMAA to get together.
JMM: BIO SIGMAA sponsored MAA Session on Integrating Mathematics and Biology in Undergraduate Education on January 5 and 7-8, 2007. We held our business meeting on January 6.
MathFest: We awarded the first Janet L. Andersen award for undergraduate research in mathematical biology, including a prize of $150, to Andrew Matteson of Texas A&M University Further activities associated with our SIGMAA were:
MAA Short Course: Implementing Biology Across the Mathematics Curriculum; Wednesday & Thursday
Joint MAA-SMB Invited Address, by Carlos Castillo-Chavez, On the Dynamics and Evolution of Emergent and Re-Emergent Diseases: From Tuberculosis to SARS to the Flu; Friday 8:30 - 9:20
Invited Paper Session: Mathematical Questions in Bioinformatics; Friday 1:00 - 4:00
Poster Session: MTBI/SUMS Undergraduate Research Program Friday 2:30 - 4:30
MAA Minicourse: Some Deterministic Models in Mathematical Biology and Their Simulation; Saturday & Sunday
Contributed paper session: Biomathematics in the First Two Years Saturday 8:30 - 10:30
Panel Discussion: Curriculum Development and Research by Undergraduates in Mathematical Biology; Saturday 2:30 - 3:50
AWM-MAA Etta Z. Falconer Lecture, by Katherine St. John, On phylogenetic trees; Sunday 8:30 - 9:20
The HOM SIGMAA Annual Meeting and Guest Lecture were held at JMM. Robin Wilson, of The Open University (UK), delivered the guest lecture, entitled, "Hardy's Oxford Years".
HOM also sponsored the following events at JMM:
An MAA Special Lecture, entitled, "The Story of the Euler Story", delivered by Ed Sandifer
An MAA Panel Discussion, entitled, "The Practice of Mathematics History", with Joe Dauben, Karen Parshall, and Fred Rickey
An MAA Contributed Paper Session on "Euler in the Classroom"
The following events at JMM were also associated with HOM:
A Short Course on "Euler: His Life and Legacy", led by Ed Sandifer and Rob Bradley, with Janet Barnett, Ron Calinger, Larry D’Antonio, Bill Dunham, Stacy Langton, and Jeff Suzuki
An Invited Address on "The Bernoulli Brothers in the Arena of the Early Calculus", by Jan van Maanen
A Student Lecture on "Mathematics: A Question of History", by Della Fenster
A Panel Discussion on "Euler’s Continuing Influence", with June Barrow-Green, Bill Dunham, and Chuck Hampton
A Minicourse on "Teaching A Course in the History of Mathematics", led by Fred Rickey and, in absentia, Victor Katz
An AMS-MAA Joint Special Session on "The History of Mathematics", organized by Joe Dauben, Patti Hunter, Victor Katz, and Karen Parshall
A reunion of the MAA Institute in the History of Mathematics and Its Use in Teaching
The MAA 2007 Beckenbach Book Award presentation to William Berlinghoff and Fernando Gouvea, for Math through the Ages: A Gentle History for Teachers and Others (2004)
At MathFest, HOM sponsored or was associated with the following events:
A Contributed Paper Session on "Teaching a History of Mathematics Course", organized by Joel Haack and Amy Shell-Gellasch
A Minicourse on "Using the History of Calculus to Enrich Our Teaching", led by David Bressoud and Paul Zorn
The Euler Tercentenary Conference
An Invited Address on "Why Did Lagrange ‘Prove’ the Parallel Postulate?", by Judy Grabiner
At JMM, POM hosted a contributed paper session on "The Philosophy of Mathematics", which was organized by Bonnie Gold, Monmouth University, and Charles Hampton, The College of Wooster.
The annual business meeting and reception was also held at JMM. There was an invited address by Klaus Peters, of AK Peters LTD, entitled, "Does a Proof Exist if Nobody has Read It?"
At MathFest, there was a reception and invited address by Michael Beeson, of San Jose State University, on "The Meaning of Existence in Mathematics".
At JMM, QL supported a panel discussion on "Current Practices in Quantitative Literacy: An Interdisciplinary Perspective", which was organized by Maura B. Mast, University of Massachusetts at Boston.
At MathFest, QL sponsored a panel discussion on "Quantitative Literacy, Mathematics, and Civic Engagement", which was organised by Kira Hamman.
In addition, QL hosted receptions at both MathFest and JMM.
At MathFest, RUME did not hold a contributed paper session. Instead, RUME sponsored a focused working group session connecting research to practice on the subject of "Essential Reasoning Abilities and Conceptual Foundations for Beginning Calculus". This session was led by Marilyn Carlson. It was held over two 90-minute periods and had roughly 40 people in attendance.
At JMM, RUME held three sessions. The first was a contributed paper session for which 26 submissions were received and 12 were accepted. The audiences for these averaged 60 people. The second activity was a special panel session, which averaged 30 attendees. The special panel was a new initiative aimed at disseminating selected high quality research to the broader mathematics community. The final activity was a business meeting that was unfortunately poorly attended.
STAT-ED hosted or co-sponsored the following events at JMM:
The MAA Contributed Paper Session on Innovative Examples of Using Graphs in Statistics, which was organized by Ginger Holmes Rowell of Middle Tennessee State University and Christopher J. Lacke of Rowan University, and included 10 presentations demonstrating how to use real-world data in courses ranging from introductory to advanced statistical levels
A Panel Discussion on 'Preparing Majors for the Nonacademic Workforce: Projects and Internships in Applied Mathematics and Statistics', which was organized by Thomas L. Moore of Grinnell College and Harriet S. Pollatsek of Mount Holyoke College. This panel, moderated by Thomas L. Moore, included Matt Richey of St. Olaf College, Nagambal Shah of Spelman College, and Suzanne Weekes of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
A business meeting, organized by Ginger Holmes Rowell
At MathFest, STAT-ED sponsored a session entitled 'Innovative Ideas for Teaching Concepts in an Introductory Statistics Course', which included 15 presentations demonstrating and discussing using other areas of mathematics, writing, technology, laboratory projects, and the press to increase understanding of statistical concepts and methods in an introductory statistics course.
THASM hosted the following sessions at MathFest:
A business meeting and reception to discuss the AMC survey and develop a plan for future activities
A Minicourse, hosted by David Bressoud and Paul Zorn, entitled, "Using the History of Calculus to Enrich Our Teaching"
A session exploring the state of calculus at the high school level
A contributed paper session on "Teaching Calculus in High School: Ideas that Work", including presentations by Bradley Stoll, Doug Kuhlman, Dave Renfro, Qibo Jing, Brad Huff, and Dan Lotesto
WEB cosponsored a panel discussion on "Best Practices for Expository Mathematics in the Digital Age", held at JMM.
Peter Littig organized a contributed paper session at the Pacific Northwest MAA meeting April. The title of the session was, "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Teaching Lower Division Mathematics". There were at least four talks discussing quantitative literacy.
BIO SIGMAA endorsed the TIMBER 2007 meeting on undergraduate mathematical biology research and education, held at Appalachian State University, Nov. 2-3, 2007 and a PREP workshop.
Maura Mast of the University of Massachusetts at Boston and SIGMAA-QL, Semra Kilic-Bahi of Colby-Sawyer College and SIGMAA-QL, Cinnamon Hillyard, Rebecca Hartzler, and Bernie Madison representing National Numeracy Network (NNN), and Carla Howery of the American Sociological Association organized a special program on quantitative literacy at the annual meeting of the Midwest Sociological Association and the North Central Sociological Association. The event was sponsored by a National Science Foundation grant, and included:
A pre-conference workshop on "Models and Strategies for Quantitative Literacy Across the Sociology Curriculum"
A contributed paper session on "Teaching Quantitative Literacy: Examples from Across the Disciplines"
Keynote speakers Joel Best and Bernie Madison, who delivered a presentation on "Democracy and Quantitative Literacy", which was followed by a reception
An invited session on "Assessment of QL in Sociology Courses and Related Fields"
A workshop on "Visual Representation of Data"
A panel discussion on "Teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences: A Conversation Between Mathematics and Sociology"
The National Numeracy Network’s (NNN) annual meeting, held in collaboration with SIGMAA-QL
The SIGMAA held its Tenth Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education in February, in San Diego, California. The event drew over 140 participants, making it largest conference in the history of the SIGMAA. A cash prize was awarded to the author of the best paper. In addition, to help researchers move their work toward eventual submission to a journal, an online proceedings is being published and to four new researchers will receive assistance from more established members of the RUME community with a pre-submission review. Three outstanding presentations from the conference were selected to be given again at JMM in January 2008.
A formal business meeting was held at JMM.
There was a meeting of the Executive Committee at the Joint Meetings in San Antonio in January 2007. The meeting was held in conjunction with a reception. Each of the executive board present gave a report and the outgoing chair, Michael Monticino, read a message from the newly elected chair, R. Peter DeLong.
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.
Our board met at the JMM on January 6, 2007.
Productive meetings were held at both JMM and MathFest.
The Executive Committee met both at Mathfest and at JMM. These meetings helped in organizing for upcoming programs, elections, preparing reports, budgets, and a revision of the charter.
Officers met at JMM before the general SIGMAA officers meeting to discuss plans for the upcoming year.
The Executive Committee met both at JMM and at the annual research conference in February.
The officers met during JMM to plan for the coming year.
The first slate of officers was done by a nomination process of the SIGMAA-ARTS organizing committee.
Elections were to be held in October 2007 for the offices of Vice-Chair for Programs, Vice-Chair for Services, and Vice-Chair for Membership. Not a single candidate for office came forward, although the need was advertised via e-mail and in the annual postal mailing to the membership. A proper election of officers was not held. The currently serving officers agreed to continue in office for the year 2008. The position of Vice-Chair for Membership remains vacant.
We formed an election nominating committee, consisting of Laurie Heyer (Davidson College), Tim Comar (Benedictine University), and David Brown (Colorado College), to seek nominations for the position of chair-elect. Nominations were solicited through email to SIGMAA members in September, 2007, with a nomination deadline of September 15, 2007. Elections were run electronically by the MAA in October, 2007. I do not have participation statistics.
We selected a new Communications Chair on a volunteer basis.
A three-person Nominating Committee was formed from the general membership, with immediate past chair David Zitarelli serving as its chair. The Nominating Committee decided the HOM SIGMAA would be best served if the two officers whose terms were to expire stood for re-election. Elections were held in November and the results were announced via email. While only a small percentage of HOM members voted in this uncontested election, it seems that most active members vote.
Nominations were solicited from all current members by the Secretary via email, and elections were held in the Spring. As a result, a new Treasurer, Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Program Director were all elected.
In October, elections for the positions of Chair and Webmaster were conducted online. Cinnamon Hillyard was elected Chair-Elect and Aaron Montgomery was re-elected to serve as Webmaster.
RUME's first electronic election of officers was conducted smoothly during October and November.
The Past-Chair served as the Nominations Officer, working with the rest of the Executive Committee to select a slate of candidates for the two open offices. Election of officers took place on-line in 2007 for the first time. The election for Chair-Elect was tied, and it was later decided to hold a second round of elections for this position.
An election for the position of Chair Elect was held in April, and was contested by Doug Kuhlman and Dan Lotesto. Dan Lotesto received the most votes, and was duly declared the winner.
Elections scheduled for fall 2007 were not held.
Announcements and news notices were done by email. There is also a website with resource materials and art exhibits.
The BIG SIGMAA E-Mail Listserv was active throughout the year. Key discussions included:
Is Math a Bit Like Seattle? (Making itself seem hard and unappealing, but actually fun and exciting when you get there).
Preparing for Mathematics Teaching as a Second Career
Courage in Profiles (Responding to an invitation from Andrew Sterrett for BIG SIGMAA profiles)
Questions about Math Programs (what are the best professional schools for Actuarial and OR careers?)
Who Knew Math was the Way to Riches (about the mathematician-billionaire Jim Simons)
Deal or No Deal (discussion of strategies for playing the popular TV game show)
3rd Grader Needs to be Challenged in Math (soliciting ideas for challenging a gifted 3rd grader)
Micro-conferences (discussion about planning small, focused conferences on topics of interest)
My favorite Math Conference Site
Are Mathematicians more Social Than We Think?
Thoughts on Linear Algebra (noting that man in industry seek instruction in Linear Algebra that was insufficient during college for the need they find for linear algebra in the workforce)
Math Relevance Disconnect
DARPA's 23 Mathematics Challenges
Reports back from the SIAM Mathematics for Industry conference
Forgotten Breakthroughs (discussion of several innovators whose breakthroughs have been forgotten or the credit given to others less deserving).
The April issue of the electronic newsletter, The BIG Notebook, included the following items:
'Six Sigma', by William Morrison, an undergraduate at Wooster College
'Philip Woodward, Father of the Radar Ambiguity Function', by Lars Falk
'Survey of MAA Section Meeting Participation Opportunities for BIG SIGMAA', by Greg Coxson
'Also', a special book review by Christopher Tong of Merck, on Bausell & Li, Power Analysis for Experimental Research: A Practical Guide for the Biological, Medical and Social Sciences(Cambridge U. Press, 2002)
An innovative Sudoku puzzle by Professor Laura Taalman of James Madison University
The September issue of the electronic newsletter, The BIG Notebook, included the following items:
Changing Horses in Mid-Stream (Experiences in Moving to Industry from Academia), by Dr. Peter Jarvis
'BIG Problem, or What I Did This Summer (An Academic Interviewing for Jobs in Industry)', by Dr. Paul Schuette
'BIG's First Invited Speaker, Dr. Robert Lang', by Greg Coxson
An innovative Sudoku puzzle by Professor Laura Taalman of James Madison University
We have set up a BIO SIGMAA web page.
HOM has a website and three email lists: one for the Executive Committee, one for the larger Advisory Council, and one for the membership as a whole. These all seem to be effective.
There were about 150 messages exchanged through the listserv on various topics, including empiricism and, "What is Mathematics, really?". The web site has been kept updated and contains the newsletters that were published as well as other useful information.
New officers were recruited and elected electronically, and charter changes were discussed via email. Events of interest to members were described in emails distributed to the list.
The SIGMAA-QL website continues to provide information. A PowerPoint summary of the QL panel at MathFest was posted. It also contains links to QL programs at colleges and universities around the country, the National Numeracy Network, as well as conferences, workshops, and other events dealing with QL. Annual newsletters are also posted on the website.
The listserv has been well used, and job advertisements, conferences, and workshop announcements were distributed through it.
The Website Committee maintained and added to the SIGMAA on RUME pages, hosted at www.rume.org. All maintenance, creation, and revamping of pages was done by Shandy Hauk and/or Eric Hsu. Among the pages that were revamped and/or created this year are:
A page of links to upcoming conferences and meetings, with embedded links to their sponsoring groups, revised and updated quarterly by Shandy Hauk
The list of periodic publications in RUME, including links to information for each, revised and updated by Shandy Hauk
An archive of SIGMAA on RUME meeting minutes, including links to information for each, revised and updated by Shandy Hauk and Eric Hsu.
A searchable bibliographic database of mathematics education references
A page with information about job searching and the interview process
RUME also maintains an active listserve through which members discuss issues related to research and the teaching of undergraduate mathematics, relay information about conferences and employment opportunities, and post announcements. Information about the SIGMAA on RUME governance is distributed through the listserve in addition to the newsletter. The listserve had over 150 unique posts during 2007.
The listserv was used for:
Officers to communicate with members about elections, opportunities such as workshops, information about SIGMAA sponsored events, and;
Members to send questions to each other soliciting assistance about issues related to teaching statistics, statistical analysis questions, etc.
A webpage was maintained 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.
An electronic newsletter was distributed periodically.
There were 22 postings to the SIGMAA TAHSM listserv, made up of an announcement of the election and description of MathFest activities, a posting by a new member introducing himself, a request for suggestions for summer workshops, 18 responses to that posting, and an agenda for the business meeting at MathFest.
A wiki page was created for WEB, located at math.chapman.edu/websigmaa/index.php/Main_Page
Members may order a subscription to The Journal of Mathematics and the Arts at a discount.
Members are notified of the current issue of Hyperseeing, located at www.isama.org/hyperseeing, which can be downloaded in full color for free.
A postcard was sent out detailing opportunities for increased participation in September 2007.
A newsletter was mailed out to members in October, 2007.
The second annual HOM SIGMAA Newsletter was well received and appreciated by the membership.
Announcements of events and opportunities in mathematics history were made in the newsletter, on the website, and at the annual meeting.
The Student Writing Contest.
The Virtual Book Club.
Two newsletters were mailed: one electronically, the other by US mail.
A newsletter was mailed to all QL members during fall 2007.
RUME sent out its second newsletter. The newsletter provided members with updated information of upcoming conferences and special sessions sponsored by RUME, recent awards that members have received, information on publishing research, and information about upcoming elections.
A newsletter was sent out in the Spring.
There were minimal budget expenditures in 2007. Budget preparation for 2008 took place smoothly.
No issues. BIG increased the amount budgeted for the reception to $2,000, based on an estimate of the cost (keep in mind that the 2007 reception had already taken place by the time we do the budget for 2008). BIG also added $300 as an estimate for the required hard copy mailing.
Our revenue from membership dues as of May, 2007 was $120 and our start-up funds carried over to 2007 were $1100. We spent $319.73 on a reception at the 2007 JMM, $150 for the Janet L. Andersen prize awarded at the 2007 MathFest, and $24 for operating expenses, again as of May, 2007.
While there were no major issues, an extra expense during 2007 was a small grant (for expenses only) awarded to a HOM SIGMAA member doing a research project on the history of mathematics education in the U.S. HOM and the MAA deemed this project closely related enough to the MAA and its upcoming Centennial to warrant funding.
POM remains solvent. Recent data are not available, but the most recent report was healthy. Budgeting is difficult because speakers have generally not been invited by the budget deadline, and because attendance at receptions is difficult to predict.
There was no difficulty with the preparation of the budget. Effective ways to spend accumulated revenue are being explored.
There were no significant problems with finances this year. RUME began the year with significant reserves, and only ran a small deficit, so at the end of the year, the reserve fund was still sizable.
Expenditures have been pretty consistent for the past several years, matching pretty well with budgeted items. There is a larger-than-desired carryover budget from previous years and discussions have started about how these funds can be used to better serve members.
There are no significant issues to report from 2007, and it is anticipated that the finances will also run smoothly in 2008. This is at least partly owing to the fact that the budget is fairly small.
The SIGMAA had a healthy membership level in 2007 and revenues exceeded expenditures.
The most successful activities were the art exhibitions.
The listserv, electronic newsletter, reception, contributed paper session, and invited speaker session were successful. In particular, the invited speaker session was very well attended and generated significant audience interest.
The combined business meeting/guest lecture/social gathering (with food and cash bar) at JMM works very well. This format is to be recommended with the caveat to be sure the business meeting and guest lecture are listed separately in the program, e.g. at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. This is so that those who wish to hear the lecture only don’t show up an hour early and so that the SIGMAA doesn’t run out of food because those who showed up an hour early have nothing else to do but eat!
The student writing contest (or perhaps a student project contest) is to be recommended to other SIGMAAs.
Members enjoy the longer, 'newsy' newsletter.
The collaborative effort to organize the special QL event at a Sociology meeting was very productive.
At the annual Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, the second annual "Best Paper Award" was given. The recipient received $200 and recognition of this accomplishment. In addition to recognizing high quality work, this award serves the purpose of encouraging members to prepare their work for publication and broad dissemination.
In order to encourage conference participants to prepare their work for publication, authors of all accepted proposals were encouraged (but not required) to submit a previously unpublished paper. Accepted papers were published in an online conference proceedings, available on the RUME website.
As a way to mentor new researchers into the field, newer researchers had the option of having their paper considered for selection of pre-journal submission review by more experienced researchers. Up to four promising papers of newer researchers were assigned reviewers to help authors get their work ready for submission to a journal.
The "Best Contributed Paper" award is still successful. This not only serves as a "congratulations" to the presenter who wins the award, but also helps improve the quality of the presentations at the sessions. Revisions to the rating form are being discussed to deal with the variable size of the audience.
There is a need to be able to provide instructions to prospective new members of BIG SIGMAA on how to join the SIGMAA mid-year. The names and e-mail addresses of several potential members were collected at our January 2008 reception (as planned last year), but we want to give them clear click-by-click instructions on how to join. It isn’t clear to us from the MAA web site.
The BIG SIGMAA website is out of date, is hosted on an inaccessible server, and competes with the newsletter. It will be replaced by a relatively static page.
BIG can’t afford to host receptions at hotel prices any more. The cost of the January 2008 reception alone exceeded our annual income.
The MAA was asked two years ago to decide if it wishes to fund research and publications on the history of the MAA, especially in relationship to the MAA Centennial in 2015, through the HOM SIGMAA. There has been no formal response to this request, and, at least to the knowledge of the HOM Executive Committee, no decision has been made.
It is difficult for STAT-ED to sponsor events at MathFest because of the scheduling conflict with the Joint Statistical Meetings. These two conferences can be at opposite ends of the country and at almost the same time
There has been concern about the overlap between the SIGMAA Business Meeting schedules at the Joint Math Meetings.
The SIGMAA was in a weakened condition in 2007, with several offices vacant because of resignations.