Illinois Section of the MAA

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Fall 1998 Newletter

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Message From the Chair

Robert Hathway
Illinois State University

The fall semester is almost half over and we are busier than ever. In my comments in the spring newsletter I mentioned the dilemma presented by the algebra content in the college and community college curriculum. The problems of the needs of the universities the methods of placement and the content of the courses needed to make up the deficiencies that the placement processes reveal are a concern that has consumed many hours of committee time. They have challenged the efforts of the curriculum committees of ISMAA and IMACC and of the panels if the IAI (the Illinois Articulation Initiative). I am pleased to announce that the Boards of ISMAA, IMACC and ICTM have called for an ad hoc committee consisting of two representatives from each organization to investigate these issues and recommend ways to improve the transition from high school with regard to algebraic skills and understanding.

This fall the usual letter went out soliciting mathematics departments to become an institutional member of ISMAA. I would like to encourage all of you who are mathematics faculty to encourage your chairperson in this decision or to thank him/her if your school is a member for the 98/99 year. Also as the number of retirements grows (and they will grow significantly over the next several years) departments will be hiring new young faculty. We all need to encourage these people to get involved in MAA and to consider becoming NExT fellows.

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Larry J. Morley, Western Illinois University

My first duty as governor began with representing the Illinois Section at the Board of Governor's meeting at the 1998 Toronto MathFest. Although I missed the orientation session for new governors because of a family illness, I did arrive in time for the full Board Meeting and was able to participate in a very well organized and interesting meeting. I am pleased to be serving the Section as Governor and look forward to representing the issues and concerns that are of particular interest to our membership. I hope to hear ideas and suggestions from members across the state as well as those active on the ISMAA Board of Directors.

One issue that continues to be of interest to the Board is the future of summer meetings. The Toronto MathFest seemed to be a success. The program was strong with regard to appropriate mathematical content, the entertainment was great, and there were excellent opportunities for meeting colleagues. It appeared that attendance would exceed the 1997 summer meeting in Atlanta (787 pd.), but the details and cost of the meeting are still not known. The question is "How important is the MAA Summer MathFest to the membership?" Now that it is not a joint meeting with AMS, the cost factor, which is closely related to attendance, is of some concern. MathFest 1999 is set for July 31- August 2 in Providence, RI. Scheduling MathFest 2000 has been a problem. AMS is having a meeting focused on the research agenda in mathematics for the 21st Century August 7-12. There is also the International Congress on Mathematics Education in Japan the latter part of July. Current plans are to schedule MathFest 2000 just prior to the AMS meeting at a nearby location. Have you attended a summer meeting lately? Think about coming to RI next summer and let me know if you have strong feelings about the value of summer meetings.

The national MAA financial picture seems to be improving. The Finance Committee appears to have a good understanding of ways to control expenses and increase revenues while continuing to provide the kind of services that have been valued over the years. The number of MAA publications is high and prospects for the future are good. But do we have in place the services and activities consistent with our purposes that will make the MAA an attractive part of the professional life of an emerging new generation of mathematicians and mathematics educators? How can we improve?

Finally, let me mention that I have been invited to serve as a member of the Committee on Student Chapters and expect to begin my three-year appointment at the conclusion of the annual meeting this January. I am pleased that Illinois has a number of active student chapters and look forward to working with Section coordinators, chapter advisors, and student leaders to advance this important part of MAA. There are 1,070 members of ISMAA and 10.3 percent are students. Forty percent are college/university personnel, 7.6 percent at community college personnel, and 6.2 percent K-12 teachers. Ten percent are retired, 9 percent in government or business, and 15 percent categorized as none/other.

Let me hear from you if you have ideas or suggestions or would like to volunteer to help with some project. My e-mail address is:

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In 1991, the Board of Governors of the Mathematical Association of America established the Section Awards for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics to recognize teachers of mathematics who have been extraordinarily successful at the post-secondary level. Award recipients are outstanding teachers who foster excitement about mathematics in their own students, and whose influence in teaching has gone well beyond their own institution. Simply being nominated for the award is a distinct honor.

Each year, a Selection Committee chooses a recipient for the Illinois Section Distinguished Teaching Award from nominations made by the section membership. The awardee is honored with a certificate at that year's spring meeting of the section, and is invited to deliver a lecture at the following year's spring meeting of the section. This individual becomes the official Section nominee for the Deborah and Franklin Haimo Awards for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. These national awardees (at most three) are honored at the January meeting of the MAA and receive a $1000 check and a certificate.


The nominee must: be a member of the MAA; be a college or university teacher assigned at least half-time during the academic year to the teaching of a mathematical science in a public or private college or university (from two-year college teaching through teaching at the Ph.D. level) in the United States or Canada; and have at least five years teaching experience in a mathematical science. Those on approved leave (sabbatical or other) during the academic year in which they are nominated qualify if they fulfilled the requirements in the previous year.


The nominee should be widely recognized as extraordinarily successful at the post-secondary level and have teaching effectiveness that can be documented. "Teaching" is to be interpreted in its broadest sense, not necessarily limited to classroom teaching. It may include activities such as preparing students for mathematical competitions at the college level (e.g., Putnam Prize Exam or Mathematical Contest in Modeling), or attracting students to become majors in a mathematical science or to become Ph. D. candidates. Nominees should have had influence in their teaching beyond their own institution. "Influence beyond their own institution" can take many forms, including demonstrated lasting impact on alumni, influence on the profession through curricular revisions in college mathematics teaching with impact beyond your institution, and influential innovative books on the teaching of mathematics, foster curiosity and generate excitement about mathematics in their students.


Any member of the Illinois Section of the MAA may nominate any other member of the Section for this award. Self-nomination is not permitted. Please send a completed nomination form or a letter of nomination (regular or electronic mail) by January 30, 1999 to:

Larry Morley
Department of Mathematics
1 University Circle
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL 61455-1390

The Committee will review all nominations and select at least two semifinalists. The Committee will contact the nominators of semifinalists and work with them to complete the enhanced nomination packets by February 15, 1999. A complete nomination packet should contain the following items:

NOMINATION FORM: The completed Nomination Form should form the first page of the application.

NARRATIVE: Please describe the nominee's success in teaching by providing a narrative of the nominee's background, experience, teaching style, special contributions, other teaching awards, and any additional related information.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION: Please submit no more than three additional pages of evidence to document the nominee's extraordinary teaching success. This documentation will vary greatly from institution to institution but may include summaries of peer or student evaluations, comments on teaching, possible increases in numbers of undergraduate or graduate degrees given in mathematics (with clear evidence of the nominees' substantial responsibility for them), possible student successes in mathematics competitions (with clear evidence of the nominees' substantial responsibility for them), etc.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: Please include no more than five letters of recommendation of no more than one page each, as follows: Two letters from the nominee's present or former students, Two letters from the nominee's colleagues (one of whom could be the department chair). One additional letter from anyone qualified to comment on the nominee's extraordinary teaching success.

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Claire Krukenberg

The seventy-eighth annual meeting of the ISMAA is scheduled to be held on the campus of Augustana College on April 9 and 10, 1999.

Details are still being worked on, but the program will feature short presentations by section members as well as student presentations. Please encourage your students to consider making a presentation.

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This is a special time for the American High School Mathematics Examination (AHSME) since 1999 will mark the 50th anniversary of the AHSME and some special things are planned. All registered schools will receive a special thank you prize in their exam package. In addition, there will be a random drawing for a TI-89 among schools in Illinois that registered for the exam in 1998 and another TI-89 from among newly registered schools or schools registered prior to 1998. A Geometry Sketchpad will also be awarded to a school in each of the 11 regions. This is all in addition to the great satisfaction you and your students have in taking the exam.

The 1999 AHSME is scheduled for February 9, 1999 with early registration encouraged. For further information contact

Herb Kasube, AHSME Director
Department of Mathematics
Bradley University
Peoria, IL 61625
(309) 677-2505

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James Marshall

The ISMAA conducted its inaugural Project NExT program in conjunction with the annual section meeting last spring at McKendree College. Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) is a successful program sponsored by the MAA and funded by the Exxon Education Foundation which helps new college faculty to improve the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics. It also helps these new faculty members to begin getting involved in the mathematical community beyond their own institution.

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, and last spring the ISMAA joined the ranks of these sections. Anyone within their first four years of full-time teaching (after finishing a master's or doctoral degree in mathematics or mathematics education) at any two or four year college or university in Illinois was eligible to become an ISMAA Project NExT fellow. Also eligible were any graduate students at universities in Illinois who were completing their Ph.D. studies.

Last spring's Project NExT program drew three new sectional fellows: Angela Gum of Lincoln Land Community College, Dave Klandermann of Trinity Christian College, and Andrew Leahy of Knox College. Joining them in the program were six of the nine national Project NExT fellows who are ISMAA members: Jon Clauss and Stacey Rodman of Augustana College, Jim and Mary Marshall of Illinois College, Lanette Poteete-Young of Judson College, and Sharon Robbert of Trinity Christian College. Other participants were current section chair Jane Swafford, Section chair-elect Bob Hathway, both of Illinois State University, and three past winners of the ISMAA distinguished service award: Carol Ann Bauer of Triton College, John Haverhals of Bradley University, and Larry Morley of Western Illinois University.

This year's program consisted of two components. The first was an opening lunch on Friday, March 27, at which the new sectional fellows had an opportunity to get to know the other participants. David Stone, one of the invited speakers at the meeting and an active participant in the national Project NExT, joined the others for this lunch.

The second part of the program came after the closing address on Saturday, with Chris Stevens, the director of the national Project NExT, in attendance. This portion of the program began with a box lunch followed by a panel discussion in which the three sectional distinguished service award winners talked about the motivations for active involvement in sectional and national MAA activities, and how to successfully integrate this participation into the fellows' busy personal and professional lives.

Funding for the meals mentioned above, as well as to pay the meeting registration and opening banquet fees for the sectional fellows was provided by a grant from the Exxon Education Foundation, via the MAA, in accordance with the terms of the new Exxon Grant for funding the national Project NExT. This grant has been extended for an additional year, allowing a second ISMAA Project NExT program to be run in conjunction with the annual ISMAA meeting at Augustana College, April 9-10, 1999. Meeting registration and opening banquet fees will once again be provided for all ISMAA Project NExT fellows.

This year's Project NExT program will feature a panel discussion on using computer algebra systems in the classroom on Friday morning, followed by an opening lunch for program participants. The program will conclude on Saturday with lunch and a discussion on developing and maintaining a portfolio to document professional development, following the closing address.

Application materials for the ISMAA Project NExT program will be mailed to chairs of mathematics departments early in 1999. They should arrive by January 15, 1999.

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James Marshall

Last spring Jim Leitzel, co-founder, along with Christine Stevens, of Project NExT, passed away. To honor Jim's contributions to mathematics education, the MAA Board of Governors approved the establishment of an annual James R. C. Leitzel Lecture, to be given at the summer mathfest. A condition for the establishment of such a lecture is the development of an endowment of at least $25,000 to fund it. The effort to raise this endowment has been very successful, with a total of $24,641 raised as of September 23. If you would like to make a contribution to this endowment fund, send it to

Carol Shaw
Mathematical Association of America
1529 Eighteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036

Checks should be made payable to the MAA. Be sure to write ``In memory of Jim Leitzel'' or `` For the Leitzel Fund'' on the memo line of the check. The first James R. C. Leitzel Lecture will be given during Mathfest 1999, in Providence, R.I.

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Jon Johnson, Elmhurst College

Balance on hand (7/1/97) $6758.35


Item Final 97-98 Budgeted
Institutional Memberships $1255.00 1155.00
MAA Section Grant 1400.00 1400.00
Donations 18.55 450.00
Interest 268.69 160.00
1998 Annual Meeting    
Registration Fees 1652.00 1680.00
Mini-Course Fees 390.00 750.00
Banquet Tickets 1562.00 2200.00
Breakfast Tickets 176.00 600.00

Publisher/Vender Fees

0.00 75.00
MAA Book Sales 150.00 0.00
Newsletter Advertising 50.00 0.00
TOTAL 6922.24 8470.00


Item Final Budget
High School Math Contest Award 50.00 60.00
High School Lecture Series    
Printing 0.00 190.00
Postage 19.60 150.00
Travel Reimbursement 34.41 250.00
Newsletter Expenses 857.86 1290.00
Administrative Expenses 108.35 260.00
1997 Annual Meeting    
Program Announcements 596.47 700.00
Speaker Honoraria and Travel 849.66 2200.00

Banquet and Related

1160.00 2200.00
Mini-Course 390.00 750.00
Student Program 150.00 150.00
Student Memberships 40.00 300.00
Exxon Grant 88.00 0.00
TOTAL 4244.35 8470.00

Balance on Hand



Restricted Accounts

Distinguished Service Award Account

Balance on Hand 7/1/97










Balance on Hand 6/30/98





Project NeXT Grant Fund

Balance on Hand 7/1/97




MAA Project NeXt Grant




Registration/Banquet NeXT Fellows


Mailing/Office Expenses


Lunch and Meeting Expenses


Total Expenses


Balance on Hand 6/30/98


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Audit Committee

Rich Wilders, North Central College
Howard Saar, North Central College

Awards Committee

Shirley Wilson, Chair, North Central College
Neale Fadden, Belleville Area College
Iraz Kalantari, Western Illinois University

Finance Committee

Linda Sons, Northern Illinois University
Rich Wilders, North Central College
Ralph Czerwinski, Millikin University
Jon Johnson (Treasurer, Ex officio) Elmhurst College

Nominating Committee

Jane Swafford, Chair, Illinois State University
Dennis Schneider, Knox College
Al Otto, Illinois State University
Ruth Hartman, Blackhawk College

Program Committee

Claire Krukenberg, Chair, Eastern Illinois University
Pete Stuckey, McHenry County College
Tom Bengston, Augustana College
Robert Johnson, Augustana College

Secondary School Lectures

Jim Kulich, Chair, Elmhurst College
Alan Bishop, Western Illinois University
Mary Wright, Southern Illinois University

Teacher Education

Cheryl Hawker, Chair, Eastern Illinois University
Carol Benson, Illinois State University
Bill Messersmith, University of Illinois
John O'Dell, Richland Community College

Two-Year Colleges

Rita Fischbach, Illinois Central College
Andrew Leahy, Knox College
James Olsen, Western Illinois University
John Bradburn, Elgin Community College
James Marshall, Illinois College

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Did you notice that this newsletter is a bit shorter than last time around? It's all up to you! Please provide items of interest to the Illinois mathematical community to me via e-mail:

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