Liaison Newsletter

December 2003

In this issue:


Liaison Breakfast at Phoenix meetings

The annual liaison’s breakfast will be held on Saturday morning, January 10, from 7:00-8:30, in the Regency D room at the Hyatt Regency. We hope you plan to join us. If you haven't registered for the 2004 Joint Meetings yet, you still have time; the deadline for advance registration is December 12. Please visit http://www.ams.org/amsmtgs/2074_intro.html for more details.

Assessing the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics

First session: March 5-8, 2004, at High Point University in High Point, NC

Second session: January 8-10, 2005, inAtlanta, GA

Final session: January 10-11, 2006, in San Antonio, TX

Application deadline February 2, 2004.


In his recent article “The Four A's: Accountability, Accreditation, Assessment, and Articulation,” Lynn Steen pointed out that “as higher education has become more important, more prevalent, and more costly, those who pay the bills - administrators, trustees, legislators, parents - are beginning to ask for evidence of value.”

With support from the National Science Foundation, the MAA Supporting Assessment in Undergraduate Mathematics (SAUM) project aims to assist faculty develop effective methods of assessing courses, blocks of courses, or entire programs within the mathematics department, not only to answer the external calls for accountability, but even more important, to assist faculty as they make critical decisions about course and curricular revision. (For more information about SAUM, including the full text of Steen’s article, visit http://www.maa.org/saum.)

This three-session workshop, designed for teams of two-three members, will focus on assessment of entire degree programs for undergraduate mathematics majors. For additional information, including application material, visit the PREP site, http://www.maa.org/prep

Membership renewals

This is the time to renew your MAA membership for 2004. You should have gotten your renewal notice in the mail by now. If for some reason you didn’t get yours, you can renew by calling the MAA service center at 800-331-1622.

New on MAA Online

In addition to regular news and information of interest to the mathematical community, MAA Online offers an array of regular features, such as columns and book reviews. Two recent additions are Ed Pegg's "Math Games" and Ed Sandifer's "How Euler Did It." 

PREP 2004

Information about the 2004 Professional Enhancement (PREP) workshops is now available at http://www.maa.org/prep. Registration for 2004 will open right after the Phoenix meetings. More details will appear in the February issue of FOCUS.

Also for summer 2004, eight new Preparing Mathematicians to Educate Teachers (PMET) workshops will be offered to help mathematics faculty become more informed about the mathematical issues that arise in school mathematics, and the special training that future teachers need to properly address those issues.

CUPM announces new curriculum guide

The MAA Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics has completed work on "Undergraduate Programs and Courses in the Mathematical Sciences: CUPM Curriculum Guide 2004." CUPM began issuing reports in 1953, updating them at roughly 10-year intervals. The committee began work on CUPM Guide 2004 in 1999, culminating in recommendations approved unanimously by CUPM in January 2003. CUPM has held panel discussions, met with focus groups, and solicited position papers from prominent mathematicians. Through its Curriculum Foundations project, CUPM's subcommittee on Curriculum Renewal Across the First Two Years (CRAFTY) has conducted workshops with participants from a broad range of partner disciplines.

While earlier CUPM reports have focused primarily on the major, CUPM Guide 2004 makes six broad recommendations for the entire college-level mathematics curriculum. These six recommendations have been endorsed by the Board of Governors of the MAA. Additional recommendations concern specific student audiences: students taking general education and introductory courses, those majoring in partner disciplines and preparing for K-8 teaching, and mathematical sciences majors. In addition to recommendations for all majors, CUPM Guide 2004 addresses the special needs of majors who intend to teach or seek nonacademic employment as well as those preparing for graduate study in the mathematical sciences or in related fields.

The volume is now in production, and will be printed sometime in January. A copy will be mailed to every department. The document is already available online at http://www.maa.org/cupm.

Project ACCCESS: Advancing Community College Careers: Education, Scholarship and Service

The American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, AMATYC, and the Mathematical Association of America, MAA, announce the creation of Project ACCCESS, a mentoring and professional development initiative for two-year college faculty funded by the ExxonMobil Foundation.  Project ACCCESS is a program for new or recently hired faculty interested in advancing the teaching and learning of mathematics in two-year colleges.  Its goal is to develop a cadre of faculty who are effective teachers and who engage in a full range of professional activities in the mathematics community. For further information, visit http://www.maa.org/ProjectACCCESS.

Reserve your spot now for a mathematical tour of England

Those who have an interest in the history of mathematics, and want to visit sites of special interest to modern mathematics, will no doubt want to make reservations to join the MAA's Second Annual Mathematical Study Tour. This year's tour, scheduled for May 20-June 3, 2004, offers a range of opportunities for learning and relaxation. For details, visit http://www.maa.org/england.