January 2012 Letter from the Editor Scott Chapman
For subscribers, read recent issues online (Requires MAA Membership)Time is always marching forward. We have again reached the quinquennial changing of the guard at the Monthly. It was a great pleasure for me to serve during 2011 as the Monthly's Editor‐Elect. This marks my first of 50 issues as Editor, and I wish to use this opportunity to take a look both backwards and forwards.
The Monthly, its readers, and the MAA owe a huge debt of gratitude to my predecessor, Professor Daniel J. Velleman of Amherst College. Few people understand the daunting task of managing this publication. The Monthly receives somewhere between 800 and 1000 submissions annually, and we are able to publish less than 10% of the manuscripts we receive. The process of juggling submissions, Associate Editors' reports, requests for referees, referees' reports, and sometimes multiple revisions, can be mind boggling. As many Monthly authors would profess, Dan was a master at whipping an accepted article into publishable shape. While many authors were frustrated by being asked to revise a paper as many as three times after it was accepted, the end result was unmistakably an article of the highest expository quality.
I thank Dan for his unending help during the transition and am glad he has agreed to remain on the Editorial Board for another 5‐year term. The Monthly remains the world's most‐read mathematics journal; this is in no small part due to the efforts of Dan during his Editorship. It would be a terrible omission for me to not also thank Dan's Editorial Assistant of 5 years, Nancy Board. We wish her well as she heads to New Mexico to begin her well‐deserved retirement.
In the ever‐changing world of academic publication, the future of the Monthly remains bright. The beginning of my term as Editor‐Elect saw the adoption by the Monthly of the Editorial Manager System for manuscript management. I thank the authors of submitted papers and referees for their patience with the system during its initial months of operation. While isolated problems and glitches do occur, we are confident that Editorial Manager has allowed us improve our administrative function.
As the year unfolds, I do not think you will notice many changes in the Monthly, but as with all organizations, there will be some. The incoming Editorial Board consists of 38 members. Of these, 19 are new appointments. Representation on the Board by members of most underrepresented groups has increased drastically. Moreover, the number of Board members with expertise in Applied Mathematics has increased from 1 to 3. The members of the Board hail from 22 states (including the District of Columbia and Alaska), Puerto Rico, Australia, and Germany. Of note in the group are Sergei Tabachnikov (Notes Editor), Jeffery Nunemacher (Book Reviews Editor), and Doug Hensley, Gerald Edgar, and Doug West (Problems Editors).
I wish to thank Sam Houston State University, most notably Provost Jaime Hebert, for providing the funds to renovate a set of offices we will use over the next 5 years. Bonnie Ponce has joined our staff as my Editorial Assistant. Please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org when you have questions or concerns. I look forward to serving you over the next 5 years.
Scott Chapman, Editor