Liaison Newsletter

 September 2004

In this issue:

Proposals Solicited for MAA Undergraduate Mathematics Conferences

  The MAA has received funding from the NSF to provide support for institutions or groups of institutions that wish to initiate or expand undergraduate mathematics conferences. Proposals for conferences held between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2005 are now being accepted. The deadline for these proposals is October 1, 2004. Details, including applications and information on previously funded conferences, are available at 

CUPM to Offer Series of Sessions at Section Meetings

Undergraduate Programs and Courses in the Mathematical Sciences: CUPM Curriculum Guide 2004
, published earlier this year and sent to all mathematical sciences departments along with the CRAFTY report, Curriculum Foundations Project: Voices of the Partner Disciplines, provides an up-to-date perspective on the mathematics curriculum for many different student audiences, including of course our own majors.

As part of the broad effort to assist departments as they reassess their own programs, CUPM will send representatives to section meetings during the 2004-05 academic year to lead sessions on the new Guidelines. To arrange for a session at your section meeting, the program chair (or other meeting organizer) can contact David Bressoud, chair of CUPM ( The full CUPM Guide 2004 is available on the web at

Your section may also be interested in organizing sessions around the broad themes of interdisciplinary cooperation discussed in CRAFTY’s Curriculum Foundations report. Some support for such sessions may also be available. To discuss options, you should contact Bill Haver, chair of CRAFTY ( Voices of the Partner Disciplines is also online at

MathDL has
New Home on the Web 

The MAA’s Mathematical Sciences Digital Library is one of the first
collections in the NSF-supported National Science Digital Library. If you have not yet seen the newly revamped site, now hosted and maintained by the MAA at our offices in Washington, DC, you are invited to do so and explore the expanded resources now available. The web address for MathDL is

The first component of MathDL, the Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications, was launched in January 2001, and our reviewed collection of online interactive materials, Digital Classroom Resources, appeared soon after. In April of 2004, Convergence, an online magazine devoted to the use of the history of mathematics in the teaching of mathematics, joined the other two components of MathDL. 

Many new components of MathDL are in the works. One of the most exciting will be the MAA Reviews, an online continuation and expansion of the MAA's Telegraphic Reviews, previously presented in print form in The American Mathematical Monthly . It will contain short reviews of many mathematics books and will feature an up-to-date online version of the MAA's Basic Library List . This component of MathDL will is scheduled to appear in early 2005. Other planned components include an edited online collection of Classroom Capsules compiled from 111 years of MAA publications, and Illustrative Resources , a collection of materials edited and organized to support mathematics departments in implementing the new program guidelines from the MAA Committee on Undergraduate Programs in Mathematics (CUPM).

SAUM Offers On-line Guide for Assessment of Student Learning

With support from the National Science Foundation, the MAA Supporting Assessment in Undergraduate Mathematics (SAUM) project aims to help faculty develop effective methods of assessing courses, blocks of courses, or entire programs within the mathematics department, not only to answer external calls for accountability, but even more important, to assist faculty as they make critical decisions about course and curricular revision.

Over the past three years, a series of workshops have brought together teams of faculty from mathematical sciences departments with more experienced colleagues from a variety of institutions to construct plans for assessment. In order to reach a broader audience, a self-paced on-line guide, “Designing and Implementing a Program for Assessing Learning in the Major,” has now been posted on the SAUM website, Whether you are just beginning to think about assessment, or trying to refine existing mechanisms, you can find the resources to help you understand and improve student learning in your courses.

, Illinois and Kentucky to hold “Tri-Section” meeting 

On November 5-6, 2004, the M.A.A. sections from Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky will hold a combined meeting at the University of Evansville, in Evansville, IN. The Midwest History of Mathematics Group is also helping to organize this meeting.

The featured speakers will be:

In keeping with the title of the meeting, Prof. Dudley will be reprising his well-known talk on trisectors.

Abstracts for submitted talks will be due on October 8. This is also the deadline for advanced registration.

Information on submitting an abstract, registration, local arrangements, Project NExT activities, etc., will be available on the website of the Indiana section, (or through the section links at MAA Online).

Thanks from David Bressoud, Chair of the AP Calculus Development Committee

I want to thank everyone who participated in the College Board’s Calculus Curriculum Survey this past spring. The results of this survey are available on-line at Thanks to help from many of the MAA Liaisons, we were able to collect responses from 169 institutions. One of the concerns of the College Board was whether colleges are starting to teach more material from several variable calculus in the second semester of calculus. If this were a noticeable trend, then it might necessitate some changes to the AP Calculus syllabus. The conclusion from the survey is that most colleges are doing very little with several variable topics in second semester calculus. In fact, the one surprising finding was that the AP Calculus syllabus does far more with parametric motion than is found in most of the current calculus courses.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

David Bressoud, Chair of the AP Calculus Development Committee,

MAA’s SUMMA Announces 2005 Call for NREUP Proposals

The Mathematical Association of America (MAA), through its Strengthening Underrepresented Minority Mathematics Achievement (SUMMA) program, supports the participation of mathematics undergraduates from underrepresented groups in focused and challenging research experiences to increase their interest in advanced degrees and careers in mathematics. Through funding from the National Security Agency (2003-05) and the National Science Foundation (2004-05), the National Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (NREUP) supports a minimum of four students at each of six local sites annually, each site running for six weeks in the summer. 

Proposals for summer 2005 are now being solicited, with a deadline of January 31, 2005. Further program information and application instructions are on-line at

Return to Newsletters