This is the web edition of the Iowa Section Newsletter. To receive a printed copy of the newsletter or to make suggestions/comments, please contact the editor, Mark Mills,


Governor's Report

The MAA Board of Governors met on August 11in Providence, RI, just before MathFest. As this was my first meeting, I spent most of the meeting trying to figure out exactly what was going on. As a new Governor, my initial impression of MAA is that the organization is maturing. For the second year in a row, the external auditors found no material weaknesses and no reportable conditions. While the MAA has been getting its financial house in order, it is also taking on new responsibilities. MAA is now totally responsible for planning and running all future MathFests. One consequence of this change is that MAA must have the operational structure to handle more on-line interaction with its members. I hope you noticed that you can renew your MAA membership on-line ( you haven't already done so, pleasetake the opportunity to renew on-line. Another expansion of MAA on-line services is MathDL, now hosted my MAA. If you have not stopped by MATHDL (, please take a look at the wealth of information to be found there.

Later in the week, I had the opportunity to visit the headquarters of AMS in Providence. It is impossible not to be struck by the differences between MAA and AMS. The staff of MAA is about one tenth the size of AMS, while themembership in the MAA is about 85% the membership of AMS. It is clear the MAA is attempting to do a tremendous amount with a relatively small staff and fewer financial resources. It is a testament to the current staff of the national office and the rest of the MAA membership that, in spite of its limited resources,the association has the impact on mathematics in the United States that it does. So a major challenge for the MAA will be to decide what it can and can't do with its limited staff and resources. At lunch during the Governor's meeting, we discussed how the MAA should do strategic planning.

Other bits of news:

  1. Tina Straley was given a new five year contract to be the Executive Director of MAA.
  2. Iowa may be the only section without a Section NExT. I wasn't able to verify whether this is true, but it is clear that Iowa is one of the last to create a Section NExT.
  3. In collaboration with AMATYC, MAA is starting a Project ACCCESS modeled on Project NExT.
  4. Discussion of the American Mathematics Competitions. It was asked how sections can support AMC. Would the Iowa Section be interested in sending letters to participating high schools thanking them for their participation and letters to students with the top scores in the State?
Don't forget to submit nominations for the section teaching award!

Respectfully submitted,
Jim Freeman

2005 Iowa Section Teaching Award

Each year, the section solicits applications for the Iowa Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. The section winner is then a candidate for the MAA Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Awards for Distinguished College or University Teaching. The deadline for applications for the 2005 award is February 1, 2005. For more information and an application, visit the award web page.

(Editor's note: There are a lot of good teachers in our section. Let's try to have a couple of nominees this year!)

2005 Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Teacher

Beginning this year, the MAA will be giving an award specifically targeted to beginning college or university teachers. The Henry L. Alder Award is to honor beginning college or university faculty whose teaching has been extra ordinarily successful and whose effectiveness in teaching undergraduate mathematics is shown to have influence beyond their own classrooms. An awardee must have taught full time in a mathematical science in the United States or Canada for at least two, but not more than seven, years since receiving the Ph.D. Each year at most three college or university teachers are to be honored with this national award and are to receive $1,000 and a certificate of recognition from the MAA. Award recipients will be expected to make a presentation at one of the national meetings of the MAA. Nominations for the award may be made by any member of the MAA or by any section of the MAA. The deadline for applications for the 2005 award is December 15, 2004. For more information and an application, visit the MAA's Alder Award web page.

(Editor's note: There are a lot of good young faculty in our section. Let's try to have at least one nominee from our section!)

Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition

There had been some discussion on when to hold the competition and possibly about moving it to the Fall. There was no overwhelming support for moving it, but there did seem to be some good reasons not hold it at the meeting time. So I think this year we will go back to holding the competition a couple of weeks before the meeting. No date or location has been set at this time, I am open to suggestions on the matter. Let me know what you think.

Ruth Berger
Luther College

Dates of Importance

January 5-8, 2005 - National MAA Meetings in Atlanta. Visit MAA Online at for more information.

??? - Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Contest

April 1-2, 2005 - Annual Meeting of the Iowa Section, Wartburg College, Waverly.

This page was last revised on November 11, 2004.