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Contents for the Spring 2012 Issue


ISMAA Annual Meeting


The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Illinois Section of the MAA


Don’t miss the ISMAA annual meeting at Illinois State University in Normal, IL on March 29 - 31, 2012.

This year's plenary speakers include: Annalisa Crannell (Franklin & Marshall College), Joshua Holden (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology), Holly Gaff (Old Dominion University), and Mike Axtell (University of St. Thomas).

For more details and registration information see: http://ismaa.knox.edu/2012ISMAAAnnualMeeting.htm


From the Section Governor


Peter Andrews

ISMAA Governor

Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, IL 61920




The Board of Governors of the MAA met in Boston on January 3, 2012, the Tuesday before the Joint Mathematics Meetings. One of the interesting features of this meeting was the new faces of the MAA national office staff. While this was the second board meeting conducted by President Paul Zorn it was the first for the new Executive Director, Michael Pearson, and Treasurer, Jim Daniel. There are actually a few open positions in the MAA office. The Association is taking this opportunity to study the organization of the national office. A part-time consultant has been retained. He will be coordinating his work with that of a group of MBA students from Bentley University who are studying the organization of the executive staff.


As usual, much of the time at this meeting was taken up reviewing reports from the elected officers and executive staff, including a thorough review of the budget and finances of the Association. Most of the motions passed handled routine business like the awarding of prizes and confirmation of editors. There was considerable discussion over a new fee structure, the report of the strategic planning group on SIGMAAs, and the Calculus Study.




Although the books are not yet closed on 2011, Associate Treasurer Rick Cleary reported we were expecting to come in pretty much at the projected deficit of $144K. The 2012 budget is balanced and the 2013 budget is in preparation. It will be presented to the board at MathFest in Madison this coming August. The Treasurer reported on a very sound financial situation, with net assets in excess of $12.6M. Most of this is in real estate (we own the Carriage House in Washington DC which houses he national offices) and endowed funds whose use is restricted to specific purposes { usually prizes and awards. On the other hand, conventional wisdom suggest non-profits such as the MAA should have an unrestricted reserve fund of 50-100% of a year's operating budget. For us that would mean a reserve of $5-10M. We had been building this reserve, but the last three budget deficits and a few projects have brought it down to around $500K. Building this back is a priority. Along with providing a cushion against disaster, such a fund provides the means to respond to new opportunities and initiatives which might arise unexpectedly outside of the normal budgetary process.


The biggest change in the financial management of the Association is the hiring of an outside portfolio management firm -TIAA/CREF Trust Management - to manage our investments. They act based on guidelines from the Investment Committee.


Part of the budget process includes setting fees for the next year. The Board voted to accept the proposal from the Budget and Membership Committees for a fee increase in 2012. Regular membership will go up by $5 with corresponding increases for the Discounted and Retired categories. Student rates (including departmental student nomination rates) go up by $2 and the Department Base Rate increases by $10. The rate for e-memberships was held constant. This was designed to encourage e-memberships by putting a little daylight between them and the corresponding regular memberships. I should note that part of the report of the Publications Committee included the announcement that the Monthly (and soon other journals) are no available as a complete pdf download, not just article by article.


The Association is expecting a large donation from the Dolciani Fund. A substantial part of this will go toward supporting Project NExT. We expect to have 80 fellows in each of the next 3 years. Project NExT will also be supported from the Second Century Fund. This year will mark the launch of the quiet phase of the MAA Second Century Campaign, timed for a public announcement in 2015 to coincide with the MAA Centennial celebrations. The MAA Centennial

will involve activities on a number of fronts - including special publications, events, and this major fundraising effort.


Prizes and Awards


Along with approving the choices made by the Awards Committee, the Board approved a few changes in wording for some prizes. We also approved a small change in the conditions for the Haimo award. Section nominees must be submitted by March 1. The new wording for the award includes,


              “The section nominee may be the current recipient of the Section Award for Distinguished Teaching or a previous recipient of such an award.     

              (The previous award may have been awarded by a section other than the one submitting the current nomination.)"


We also received a long report from the AWIS-MAA Joint Task Force on Prizes and Awards. This study looked at the percentages of women publishing in MAA journals, receiving MAA awards and being invited to give talks at Annual Meetings. The short version is that invitations and awards are received pretty much in the same percentage as publications. However, that rate is well below the percentage of women in the profession. This suggests our first efforts might well be toward increasing the representation of women among authors in MAA journals. A recommendation that all MAA journals begin a double-blind referee system was tabled.




We received a long report from the Strategic Planning Group on SIGMAAs. Recommendations were made for a more regular review process so that active SIGMAAs are encouraged and there is a process for dissolving inactive ones. The Board approved a revised funding system for SIGMAAs. About 60% of the available funds will now be made available to each SIGMAA on a pro rata basis depending on membership. Each SIGMAA can then submit a budget and may be funded for a larger amount should money be available.


Committee on Sections


I attended the Section Officers' Meeting. Subsequent to a discussion in this meeting at MathFest, this section officers' meeting included very short presentations from individual sections. The goal was to make this meeting more relevant and informative for those in attendance. There was also a long discussion of funding for officers who represent their sections at this meeting. As we discovered at MathFest, MAA has stopped providing funds for a section officer to attend annual meetings. The executive committee seems willing to consider building something back into the budget, particularly if it will result in more active representation at the meetings. We should discuss some of the proposals so we can provide feedback this spring.


From the Section Chair

Dale Hathaway


Olivet Nazarene University

Bourbonnais IL 60914






The Board of Directors held its spring meeting January 28, 2012 at the downtown campus of De Paul University and more information about that meeting will be coming to you in the form of the minutes of the meeting.

Permit me to list some important requests again:

I will be sending a letter to your department on Institutional Memberships which should arrive in Late February or early in March; please consider adding your voice to this important cause. 


Become an Institutional Sponsor


ISMAA offers three levels of Institutional Sponsorship. Free student registration at the annual meeting comes with each level. The base level, Ordinary Sponsorship ($50), allows unlimited student registration at the annual meeting. The higher levels, Supporting Sponsorship ($90) and Speaker Sponsorship ($150), have all of the benefits of Ordinary Sponsorship *PLUS* two free faculty registrations. Those who choose Speaker Sponsorship will be listed as an underwriter of a plenary speaker at the ISMAA meeting. Regular registration at the meeting is $20 (on-site would be $25), so those schools who would normally choose Ordinary Sponsorship may wish to consider the Supporting level. However, to make life easier on our secretary-treasurer (and faculty who wish to avail themselves of the "free" registration) please contact Jon Johnson <mailto:jonj@elmhurst.edu> by e-mail for the procedure prior to registering for the Annual Meeting. A copy of the form is available online <http://ismaa.knox.edu/out-of-focus/winter-2007/inst-member-2007.pdf>.

ISMAA Project NExT Program


The Fifteenth Annual ISMAA Project NExT Program will be held in conjunction with the ISMAA annual meeting at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, March 29 -31, 2012. Up to nine 2012 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 2012-2013 academic year. 2012 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 Project NExT for the 2012 and 2013 ISMAA Annual Meetings. The 2012 Program will begin on the morning (8:45 – 11:45 AM) of Friday, March 30, 2012 with Dr. Joshua Holden, Associate Professor of Mathematics at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, who will be presenting “An Interactive Tour of Public Key Cryptography (and of Number Theory)”.

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 afternoon of Saturday, March 31, 2012, following the closing address of the ISMAA meeting. After a brief box lunch, the group will reconvene for a discussion of triumphs and challenges specific to young faculty in the classroom.   Additionally, we hope to match new ISMAA NExT Fellows with a Mentor at the meeting. It is expected that each Mentor-Fellow pair will continue to communicate about professional development issues throughout the following academic year. 

Application materials for 2012 ISMAA Project NExT Fellows can be accessed via the links below. For further information, please contact the Director for the ISMAA Project NExT Program: 

2012 ISMAA Project NExT Application (MS Word)

2012 ISMAA Project NExT Application (pdf) 

Cindy Traub
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1653
email: cindytraub@gmail.com