Liaison Newsletter – Sept 2008

In this issue:

September 16 is Abstract Deadline for Contributed Papers for JMM 2009.

The 2009 Joint Mathematics Meetings will be held January 5-8 in Washington, DC. Because of the growth in the number of abstracts submitted in recent years and the extra time required to schedule talks in contributed paper sessions, the abstract deadline is earlier this year than in prior years. Please alert your colleagues to this change. For more information or to submit an abstract, visit the 2009 JMM website.

The annual meeting of MAA/Department Liaisons is tentatively scheduled for Monday, January 5 (the first day of the meeting), from 9:30-11:00 a.m. As the meeting approaches, we'll send an email with the location. Also be on the lookout for an announcment of an open house at MAA headquarters for JMM attendees.

MAA Trying New Approaches on the Web

The MAA has launched a number of enhanced electronic and web offerings that we hope our members will find interesting.

MAA Video: The MAA will take video from Carriage House Lectures and other such events and post clips on its new YouTube channel. This will also allow us to embed video in our own stories and on our pages, and to better report from the annual meetings.

MAA NumberADay: Every work day we will feature a new number, something interesting about the number's properties, and an image to go along with it.

MAA MinuteMath: Every work day we will feature a new problem from the AMC's bank of competition problems that links directly to the interactive multiple choice version of the problem.

MAA Distinguished Lecture Series: In our first use of video in a story, you can see highlights from Martin Golubitsky's lecture, delivered at the Carriage House on August 21. The bottom of the story also links to an interview Ivars conducted with Dr. Golubitsky which includes audio answers to a few questions.

MAA Math Alerts: A monthly update with math-related news as well as updates on upcoming meetings and information on new MAA books, our new e-newsletter is sent out the middle of each month. MAA members who aren't getting the Alert can update their email address by contacting Candace Baumann.

Hard Problems DVD Available Now

Hard Problems is about the extraordinary gifted students who represented the United States in 2006 at the world's toughest math competition: the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). The film shows the dedication and perseverance of these remarkably talented students and captures the spirit that infuses the mathematical quest at the highest level. You can learn more or purchase the DVD through the Hard Problems website or at the MAA Bookstore. We hope you'll encourage your library to get a copy.

Search Underway for New MAA Secretary

The Search Committee for MAA Secretary, chaired by former President and Secretary, Gerald L. Alexanderson, seeks suggestions and nominations of candidates for this office. The many critical roles that the Secretary fills require that candidates have previous experience in MAA governance, projects, and/or programs. The position will begin as Secretary-elect in Fall 2009 after election by the Board of Governors.

The Secretary of the MAA is responsible for all official correspondence, keeps the seal of the Association, assists the President in matters of governance and in the operation of all business meetings of the MAA, meetings of the Board of Governors, and meetings of the Executive Committee. The Secretary is one of the five Officers of the MAA and is a member of the Board of Governors and the Executive Committee. More details on the role and responsibilities of the Secretary and application details are available on the MAA website.

Student Poster Session at JMM 2009

The MAA Undergraduate Student Poster Session at the 2009 Joint Meetings will be held Wednesday, January 7, from 4:00pm - 5:30pm. The Poster Session started very modestly at the beginning of 1990 with fewer than fifteen student projects. It has grown to encompass about 150 projects, with more and more entries submitted every year. The deadline for submission of abstracts is November 7, 2008. Encourage your students to consider participating.

Subsidized Childcare Services at the 2009 Joint Mathematics Meetings

The American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America are pleased to announce that for the fifth year they are offering and significantly subsidizing childcare services at the Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM) — next in Washington DC, January 5-8, 2009. The childcare will be offered to parents through KiddieCorp, an organization that has been providing high quality programs for children of all ages at meetings throughout the U.S. and Canada since 1986.

The dates and times for the program are Monday through Thursday, January 5-8, 2009, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day, and it will be located at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Registration is now open, starting September 2008, with the deadline of December 8, 2008. Availability is limited and handled on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration fee is $30 per family (nonrefundable), plus $10 per hour per child, $8 per hour per child for graduate students. Full payment is due at the time of registration with KiddieCorp. To learn more about the service, please check the daycare page on the JMM website. For policies regarding cancellation and late child pick-up fees, and to register, go to KiddieCorp's website or call them at (858) 455-1718 to request a form.

New Books from the MAA

The catalog of great MAA books continues to grow. A Guide to Complex Variables by Steven Krantz is the first in an anticipated series of "MAA Guides" that will provide overviews of core areas of mathematics. Look for future guides on real analysis, algebra and number theory. Sink or Float: Thought Problems in Math and Physics by Keith Kendig is a collection of problems in multiple-choice format drawn from mathematics and the real world. The book's aim is to actively engage the reader and show just how much can be learned by using everyday common sense. Calculation vs. Context: Quantitative Literacy and its Implications for Teacher Education, edited by Bernard Madison and Lynn Steen, presents a powerful case for the need to prepare future teachers, and in turn their students, to cope intelligently in a world increasingly governed by numbers.

Look for the new fall catalog of MAA books to arrive in your mailbox soon.

Request for Input from David Bressoud on Calculus Study

The MAA is developing a large-scale study of first-semester college calculus during the 2010-11 academic year to determine what factors contribute to attracting students to mathematics, encourage their persistence through calculus, and ensure that they have the mathematical preparation needed for their intended major. We seek to involve as many two- and four-year colleges and universities in this study as we can. To determine whether or not such a study is feasible, we need a sense of how many individuals and departments might be interested in participating. Please take a moment to complete this survey to let us know how important such a study would be to you and to indicate your level of willingness to participate in this study. You can find more information about the study in College Calculus: What We Don't Know, my Launchings column for September.