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Spring 2009 - Governor's Column

The MAA is a thriving organization because of its energetic membership, efficient staff, and quality activities.

Publications. Seventeen new books were published in 2008. Eleven titles are in production for publication in 2009. MAA Textbooks are thriving, and MAA Guides (100 page overviews) are under development in number theory, real analysis, and algebra. Remember that MAA Members receive a 20% discount on the entire list of over 250 books.

Web. MAA Online now has MinuteMath and NumberADay blogs, an MAA Video channel on YouTube, a revised format for the online edition of MAA FOCUS, and member access to back issues of Math Horizons. New at MathDL are links to the full text of award-winning articles, the on-line journal Loci combining JOMA, Convergence, and Digital Classroom Resources, and a Mathematicians Portrait Gallery and Mathematical Illustrations. Web Resources for Members includes MAA Reviews (eight new book reviews each week) and Classroom Capsules and Notes. The now out-of-print 1991 version of the Basic Library List has now been incorporated into MAA Reviews, and the BLL Committee is currently adding new books and revising the list.

Professional Opportunities. Project NeXT now has over 1,000 fellows. Encourage your new faculty to apply. The Professional Enhancement Program, with new funding from NSF, will run through 2013.

Student Travel Grants. In fall 2008, MAA received funding from NSF to support student participation in MathFest and the Joint Mathematics Meetings. Travel grants will be available to undergraduate students from across the U.S. for at least the next five years, providing a research capstone experience for over 600 students. Additional funding from NSA will expand the support available to undergraduates, as well as providing support for graduate students attending MathFest. Application for funding is part of the abstract submission process.

Study Tours. Twenty six travelers participated in the 2008 tour of the Ecuador and Peru. Reflective pieces by of five of the travelers are in the December 2008 issue of MAA Focus. The 7th Annual Study Tour of Egypt, May 20 - June 1, 2009 will be led by Professor Jim Ritter of the University of Paris. Information on the 2010 Study Tour of Portugal and Spain with an add on to Morocco will be available at MathFest 2009.

American Math Competitions. Almost 400,000 exams were taken at all grade levels. College and universities can host contests and strengthen ties with high schools and bright students. MAA co-sponsored participation of two four-member teams of high school girls in the 2008 China Girls Math Olympiad held in ZhongShan, China, August 14-21, 2008. All eight girls earned a medal. At the 2008 International Mathematical Olympiad held in Madrid, Spain, the USA team placed third place, earning four gold medals, two silver medals, and one perfect paper.

Financials. Despite the turbulent economic times, the MAA remains in a strong financial position. We have around $6 million in investments, more than $15 million in assets, and a nearly in balance budget of nearly $8 million. An analysis of programs that can be eliminated or made more efficient is being undertaken. The Treasurer's page is now available in the MAA members only section.

Membership. There was no change in membership dues in 2009, but they will go up 2.5% in 2010. The current 2009 member retention rates are slightly behind the 2008 pace. In Fall 2009 expect that student access to membership journals and subscriptions will be electronic.

Halmos Matching Fund. This endowment fund supports mathematical programming in the Carriage House, national, international, and local. Virginia Halmos pledged $600,000 to be matched on a two for one basis, and 36 donors have met that challenge. Virginia Halmos has pledged another $200,000 to be matched. Donations are encouraged for this and bricks for the Paul R. Halmos Commemorative Walk.

Strategic Planning. Reports on Professional Development, Revenue, American Mathematics Competition, Students, Membership and Governance have been completed and discussed. Reports on STEM Issues, Sections, Meetings, and Publications are being prepared for the 2010 JMM Board of Governors meeting. Then there will be an examination of the overall mission and vision of the MAA and some time to allow for integration of these reports and reflection.

More details can be found at Please contact me if you want more detail about any aspect of the Board's work, want to make suggestions, or would like to volunteer for a national committee.

Submitted by David Housman,
Governor of the Indiana Section of the MAA

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