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Contents for the Fall 2016 Issue

The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Illinois Section of the MAA

The Ninety Sixth Annual Meeting of the Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America will be held March 31 and April 1, 2017, on the campus of the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

This conference marks the 100th anniversary of our section, as well as the 50th anniversary for our host institution—definitely not one to miss!

This year’s conference will include:

Additional information is available at: http://sections.maa.org/illinois/2017AnnualMeeting.html

From the Section Chair

Timothy D. Comar
Benedictine University

Dear ISMAA Community,

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the great things going on with the ISMAA. The Programming Committee is in the process of putting together an engaging program for the entire ISMAA community with some excellent speakers and sessions. If you haven’t been to an ISMAA Annual Meeting in awhile or ever, I strongly suggest that you come to our meeting at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL, March 31- April 1, 2017. This meeting has lots to offer faculty, both in terms of research and education, graduate students, and undergraduate students. I would like to tell you about a few of the exciting things to find at this year’s meeting. We have a full line up of four excellent plenary speakers. (Please see the report from the Program Committee Chair, Keven Hansen, in this newsletter for more details.) As many of our undergraduates will be entering the workforce upon graduation, we plan on having a panel session with representatives from business and industry to talk about their careers and how to get started in similar careers. This session would be great for both students and faculty who advise students. In an effort to increase participation from faculty at two-year institutions, we will have a session devoted to issues specific to the first year of college mathematics, which will provide viewpoints from faculty at both two-year and four-year institutions.

We will continue to have the undergraduate student problem solving competition and an opportunity for undergraduate students to present research or expository work from a class project. I do want to encourage undergraduate research students to present their work at the meeting and, if far enough along in their work, submit their work for the Outstanding Undergraduate Research (OUR) Awards. Additionally, I want to encourage graduate students to consider competing for the Outstanding Graduate Research Exposition (OGRE) Awards. The OGRE awards are designed for graduating or near graduating graduate students in mathematics who have an interest in academic careers at undergraduate teaching-oriented institutions. Please see other places in this newsletter and on the ISMAA website for details about both of these competitions. I would like to encourage you to present talks on your research or your latest educational innovations. Better yet, I would like to encourage you to organize sessions on a research topic or a current topic related to mathematics education. This way, you could encourage colleagues from inside or even outside the Section to share expertise and network with fellow ISMAA members. In fact, my most valued collaborators are active ISMAA members. I would also like to encourage newer faculty to apply to participate in the ISMAA Section Project NExT Program at the Annual Meeting. This is a great way for newer faculty to network with other members of the ISMAA and get advice about navigating their careers. Another great aspect of the Annual Meeting is the MAA book sale. Many MAA books are available at a discount, and a portion of the funds from the purchases made benefit the ISMAA. So, please buy MAA books at the ISMAA Annual Meeting!

Planning is underway for the Tri-Section Meeting between the ISMAA and the Michigan and Indiana Sections, which will take place at Valparaiso University March 23-24, 2018. The organizing committee has confirmed a list of six nationally known speakers. I hope that you will attend this meeting in 2018. The ISMAA has graciously accepted the invitation of the Department of Mathematics at Southern Illinois University to host the ISMAA in Spring 2019.

I would also like to encourage you to have your institution become a sponsor of the ISMAA. All levels of sponsorship include free registration for students at the Annual Meetings, with the higher levels providing perks for faculty as well. The rates are $50 for ordinary sponsorship, $100 for sustaining membership, and $200 for speaker sponsorship. If your institution is not currently a sponsor and you would like additional information about sponsorship, please contact Pat Kiihne, Secretary-Treasurer of the Section, at pkiihne@mail.ic.edu. This form of support is greatly appreciated.

The ISMAA is committed to engaging all of its constituents, ranging from faculty at high schools, community colleges, colleges, and research institutions, undergraduate students, and graduate students. If you would like to become more involved with the ISMAA or have ideas for the ISMAA to better serve your particular constituency, please contact me at tcomar@ben.edu. I would be very happy to speak with you.

I wish you a good remainder of the term and look forward to seeing you at the Annual ISMAA Meeting in March/April!

Timothy D. Comar

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From the Section Governor

Jon Johnson
ISMAA Governor
Elmhurst College

I attended my first meeting of the Board of Governors on August 3, 2016 at MathFest in Columbus, Ohio where over 1500 mathematicians attended MathFest. It is a pleasure to relay some of the highlights to you. I am going to concentrate on four areas: MAA governance, MAA finances, national liaisons, and the results of the 57th International Mathematical Olympiad.

First of all, MAA members at the 2017 Joint Meetings in Atlanta will be asked to vote on a change in MAA governance. Structurally, the MAA, which was incorporated in Illinois, is ruled by its Articles of Incorporation and its Bylaws. The Articles of Incorporation of the MAA were last changed in 1923, at which time the governing board was listed as consisting of 19 members – it currently has around 50: the 29 section governors plus numerous special governors and MAA officers. Furthermore, similar not-for-profit bodies incorporated in Illinois have to follow more recent rules and laws related to incorporation. In short, the time was right for examining the governance structure! So, a little over two years ago the MAA Executive Committee (MAA President, Vice Presidents, Treasurer, etc.) and the Board of Governors studied the structure with the goal of 1) compliance with current laws, 2) conforming with best practices for similar organizations, and 3) increasing the responsiveness of the MAA. The proposed governance will include a “Board” and a “Congress.” The new nine-member Board of Directors has oversight responsibility for all the activities of the MAA, including: setting policies and direction to activities of the MAA; receiving reports from the Officers, committees, and senior staff; and exercising fiduciary responsibility. The proposed Board of Directors is essentially the current Executive Committee of the Board of Governors plus two representatives from the Congress. The Congress will mimic the current Board of Governors in structure where “Governors” will now be called “Representatives.” Under this new governance structure, the Congress sets long-term strategic goals, advises the Board of Directors, and is a conduit for communication among constituencies of the MAA. MAA members will be asked to vote on this change in governance at the MAA Business Meeting at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlanta. So, if you do attend the Atlanta meeting, please participate in the Business Meeting with your vote.

As Sharon Robbert, our prior Section Governor, indicated in her earlier reports, the MAA has faced financial difficulties and is, like many colleges and universities, in the process of trying to generate revenue and contain costs, while still maintaining quality. In that regard, these past two years have seen an emphasis on increasing membership in the organization, the American Mathematical Competition (AMC) coming under direct MAA control, and outsourcing book and journal printing. Although the outsourcing of the printing has not had as smooth a transition as anticipated, the quality of the publications remains high. Jim Daniel, the MAA Treasurer, is cautiously optimistic and believes that the MAA is “on the way to financial stability” even though “more significant steps need to be taken.”

The (national) Department Liaison program has been discontinued. Very little has been done in the past few years with the program. With easy access to the MAA website and other means to get information to the mathematical community, inactivity (e.g., the last Liaison newsletter was in 2011), and the added costs of keeping the liaison list up-to-date, the Committee on Liaisons brought to the Board of Governors the following resolution, which passed unanimously: Recognizing that the department liaison network no longer functions as an essential and effective mechanism for communicating information from the MAA, and that a national liaison list is very difficult to maintain, the Committee on MAA/Department Liaisons unanimously recommends that the current liaison program be discontinued. However, sections may continue the liaison program at a sectional level.

It is with great pride that the MAA announced that the U.S team won first place in the 57th International Mathematical Olympiad. This is the second year in a row that the U.S. team placed first! As you may know, the six members of the team are chosen through a series of competitions organized by the MAA. Please see U.S. Wins First Place at International Mathematics Competition in Hong Kong for additional information.

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Looking for ISMAA Awardees--- Support Your Colleagues!

The deadline for the ISMAA’s Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Service Awards is February 21, 2017. We strongly encourage you to nominate your colleagues for these awards. The winner of ISMAA’s Distinguished Teaching award will be the ISMAA’s section nominee for the national Haimo Award.

The 2016 Distinguished Teaching Award was given to Michael McAsey of Bradley University.

To make a nomination for one of these awards, please submit a 1-page pdf letter of recommendation detailing the nominee’s qualifications. Submit the nomination to the ISMAA Awards Committee Chair, Heather A. Dye via email at heatheranndye@gmail.com with “ISMAA Distinguished Teaching Award” or “ISMAA Distinguished Service Award” in the subject header.

For the guidelines on eligibility and nomination please visit the MAA Teaching Award web page. Questions about the ISMAA awards should be addressed to the ISMAA Awards Committee Chair, Heather A. Dye.

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Awards: OUR and OGRE Awards

OUR AWARDS --- Support Undergraduate Research!

The ISMAA invites submissions for the 2017 Outstanding Undergraduate Research (OUR) Awards. Up to three awards will be given for papers authored and presented by undergraduate students at the upcoming ISMAA meeting. Working in collaboration with a faculty advisor, undergraduate students who wish to apply for the OUR Awards should submit the following materials electronically (either as a PDF or MS Word document):

Submissions may be emailed to Heather A. Dye, Awards Committee Chair, at heatheranndye@gmail.com. Please include "OUR Awards" in the subject heading. Papers need not have been submitted for publication in a professional journal at the time of consideration, but must be complete manuscripts, even if only a subset of the research will be presented at the meeting.

Applicants should make arrangements (see the ISMAA meeting home page) to give a talk in the student session of the 2017 ISMAA Meeting on March 31-April 1, 2017 at the College of Dupage in Glen Ellyn, IL. Applicants will be evaluated both for quality of research and for quality of presentation. The deadline for OUR Awards submissions is Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

Questions? Email heatheranndye@gmail.com.

OGRE AWARDS – Support future college educators!

The ISMAA invites submissions for the 2017 Outstanding Graduate Research Exposition (OGRE) Awards. These awards are designed for graduating or near graduating graduate students in mathematics who have an interest in academic careers at undergraduate teaching-oriented institutions. Candidates for the award will submit a written statement by March 1, 2017 and present a talk at the 2017 ISMAA Meeting on March 31-April 1, 2017 at the College of Dupage in Glen Ellyn, IL as described below.

The written statement should take the form and tone of research statement for a job application to an undergraduate teaching-oriented mathematics department. The statement should include:

The written statement should be submitted as a PDF file by Wednesday, March 1, 2017 to Heather A. Dye, Awards Committee Chair, at heatheranndye@gmail.com. Please include "OGRE Awards" in the subject heading.

The talk should contain the content above and should be directed to an audience of non-experts in the particular area of mathematics and to undergraduate students. Candidates must be registered for the ISMAA meeting as well. Applicants should make arrangements (see the ISMAA meeting home page) to make arrangements for giving a talk.

Questions? Email heatheranndye@gmail.com.

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ISMAA Project Next Program

Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) is a professional development program of the MAA. This program is designed to support new college faculty in their teaching, scholarly, and professional activities and to help these new faculty members to get involved in the mathematical community beyond their own institutions. The success of Project NExT on the national level has prompted a number of MAA sections to organize their own local versions of this program.

The Nineteenth Annual ISMAA Project NExT Program will be held in conjunction with the ISMAA annual meeting at the College of DuPage on March 31 and April 1, 2017. Up to nine ISMAA Project NExT Fellows will be selected. Anyone within their first four years of teaching mathematics (after finishing a master's or doctoral degree) at any two or four-year college or university in Illinois is eligible, as well as any graduate students at universities in Illinois who are completing their PhD this year and have a position in Illinois for the upcoming academic year. Newly selected ISMAA Project NExT Fellows' meeting registration, pre-conference workshop registration, opening banquet fees, and Friday and Saturday lunches at the annual meeting will be paid for by the ISMAA for the current and next year’s ISMAA Annual Meetings.

The Fellows’ Program will begin on Friday morning March 31 with the pre-conference workshop. The workshop is followed by an opening lunch during which new ISMAA NExT Fellows will have an opportunity to get to know one another as well as other sectional Fellows and national NExT Fellows. The ISMAA Project NExT program will conclude on the morning of Saturday April 1 preceding the closing address of the ISMAA meeting. At the meeting, we will match new ISMAA NExT Fellows with a Mentor. It is expected that each Mentor-Fellow pair will continue to communicate about professional development issues throughout the following academic year.

Please send your questions to:

Ellen Ziliak, Ph.D
Benedictine University

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