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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

Report on January 4, 2005 Meeting of the Board of Governors:

The meeting was relatively uneventful, consisting of reports and routine business. There are several topics of particular concern to the Section which could be discussed at the next business meeting. First, the MAA is once again discussing the dues structure. Some of the areas of concern brought up by MAA staff using 2003 data were:

  1. Regular paid members taking one journal are subsidized by regular paid members taking more than one journal
  2. Retired paid members pay about $100 less than the cost to support that member.
  3. Income from membership dues and journal subscriptions is about $2.2 million while the cost of supporting members is about $4.4.  The short fall is made up from other revenue sources.

"The budget committee would like to get input from the governors on principles for a restructured dues system for the future that not only would be more fair but also recover a somewhat larger fraction of out costs." The Governors voted to raise dues for 2006 by $2 to $7. If you have input on the dues structure, please let me know.

The Iowa Section is one of the few sections which does not have a formal section NExT program. According the web page, 19 out of 29 sections have a section NExT program. Is this a concern to the section?

The American Mathematics Competition was discussed. Sections encouraging participation in the AMC is very important to get school participation. Does the Iowa section want to do anything in this area?

President Graham reported that NSF support is down, but that the director of NSF is interested in mathematics education.

The MAA is embarking on a new approach to strategic planning, which will consist of a five-year process of examination and planning, each phase lasting about a year. The types of items to be examined are Membership, Professional Development, Revenue, AMC, Books, and Web Resources.

Finally, please go to the MAA web site and look at all the resources for members and the long list of professional development opportunities.

If you have questions on the MAA, please let me know.

Respectfully submitted,
Jim Freeman

Chair's Report

Mark thought it would be a good idea to include a report from the Chair in the newsletter, in addition to the report from the governor. Since Jim and I attended the Officer's meetings in both Providence's MathFest and in Atlanta's JMM, there may be some overlap, so bear with.

The Committee on Sections has been working on a new version of Guidelines for Section Officers. We are putting a link to this document on our section's web page. This will be useful to review for those in an office and for those considering one, as well as other members.

A new initiative has been made for sections to send out a welcome letter to folks who have joined a section within the past year and invite them to attend the next section meeting with registration waived. We have participated in this and hope to see some new folks this spring.

The Chair of the Committee on Sections recommended sections to consider partially subsidizing section officers and governors to attend the national meetings, in particular to help enable officers to attend the meeting for officers. I have found these meetings long but fruitful.

There was further discussion about the logistics of starting a section NExT group. There will be a gathering during lunch on Saturday for those considering this issue for the Iowa section.

We were encouraged to send to the MAA nominations of members of our section for various national MAA committees. We should think about those around us who may make good committee members for an MAA committee.

It was noted that gifts and bequests can be given on behalf of a section. For those interested, please contact the national headquarters.

Regarding a more local issue, if you have your email address is in the section's database or you are connected with an institution, you should have received information about a proposal about some changes in the section's bylaws that will be considered at our April meeting.  The changes are meant to clarify which section positions are officers, which positions are on the executive committee, as well as splitting the Chair-Elect and Secretary-Treasurer positions.  The Chair-Elect would be split into two chair positions:  one that would host the Spring meeting and oversee the on-site details (called the Vice-Chair Elect) and one that would oversee the program of the Spring meeting (called the Vice-Chair).  The Vice-Chair Elect would become the Vice-Chair the next year, with the Vice-Chair becoming the Chair.  The Secretary-Treasurer would be split into a Secretary position and a Treasurer position.  The following links will take you to the current by-laws, the proposed changes, and the rationale for the proposed changes.

Respectfully submitted,
Al Hibbard

Treasurer's Report


    Iowa Section Financial Report: Spring 2004 - Spring 2005    
(A) BEGINNING BALANCE (4-17-04)           $4,166.80
MAA Subvention     $500.00      
2004 Meeting - Registrations (57 at $5)     $285.00      
2004 Meeting Income (City of Pella)     $100.00      
2004 Book Sales (Display Copies:  cash/check)     $323.90      
2004 Book Sales (MAA reimbursement)     $69.19      
2004 Book Sales (Ordered:  cash/check)     $0.00      
Interest on Checking May 2004 - Mar 8, 2005)     $29.56      
            (B) TOTAL REVENUES   $1,307.65
Section Contribution to Competition Fund (2003)     $200.00      
Section Contribution to Competition Fund (2004)     $200.00      
  Spring 2004 Meeting     $0.56      
  Call for Nominations for 2005 Haimo Award     $7.79      
  Spring 2004 Newsletter     $32.19      
  Fall 2004 Newsletter     $11.10      
  Call for Nominations for 2005 Haimo Award     $22.94      
  books returned to MAA     $11.35      
  Miscellaneous     $10.22      
  Spring 2004 Newsletter     $15.28      
  2004 Meeting (ballots,registration,receipts,printing)     $18.47      
  Fall 2004 Newsletter     $2.23      
  Call for Nominations for 2005 Haimo Award     $10.40      
Meeting Expenses     $106.13      
Speakers Travel/Lodging     $234.60      
 2004 Book Sale (Display)     $323.90      
 2004 Book Sale (Ordered)     $0.00      
            (C) TOTAL EXPENSES   $1,207.16
(D) ENDING BANK BALANCE,  4/18/2005           $4,267.29
  (A + B - C = D)            


    Iowa Section Competition Report:  Spring 2004 - Spring 2005
(A) BEGINNING BANK BALANCE, 4/14/2004         $143.33
Interest on Checking (May 2004 - Mar 8, 2005)   $15.54      
Section Contribution (2003)     $200.00      
Section Contribution (2004)     $200.00      
Donations       $1,885.00      
Matched Donation     $1,885.00      
            (B) TOTAL REVENUES   $4,185.54
Printing  photocopies for 2004 Competition   $14.85      
Engraving  (winners on trophy)     $29.96      
  2005 Contest Exam     420.00      
            (C) TOTAL EXPENSES   $464.81
(D) ENDING BANK BALANCE,  4/18/2005         $3,864.06
  (A + B - C = D)            


Respectfully submitted,
Wendy Weber

Nominating Committee Report

The 2005 MAA-Iowa Nominating Committee (Ruth Berger, David Manderscheid, and Bruce Sloan) has submitted the following nominations.  Elections will be held at the business meeting at Central College on Saturday, April 2, 2005.

Chair Elect:  

Elgin Johnston Iowa State University
Walter Seaman University of Iowa

Elgin Johnston is a Professor and Associate Chair of Mathematics at Iowa State University. He received his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1977, and started at Iowa State in the Fall of that year. His main area of interest is complex analysis, but enjoys almost all areas of Mathematics and very much enjoys teaching. He has been a member of the MAA for 37 years and has been active in the MAA for the last 20 years. He served as the Iowa Section Chair in 1990-1991 and as Iowa Section Governor for 1998-2001. He has been very involved in the MAA's American Mathematics Competitions, serving as Chair of the Committee to write the American Invitational Mathematics Examination for 1987-1993, as coach of the United States International Mathematics Olympiad Team for 1995-1998, and is now starting a second term as Chair of the Committee on American Mathematics Competitions. For the past five years, he has served as the Problems Editor for Mathematics Magazine.  In his spare time, he enjoys brewing his own beer, reading, and coaching the local High School Math Team.

Walter Seaman is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Iowa, where he has been for over twenty years. He received is Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1982 in Differential Geometry. He is actively involved in the integration of computing technology into the teaching of Calculus, Differential Geometry (see, and courses designed for school mathematics teachers. He is a member of professional education organizations including the Iowa Mathematics and Science Coalition, MAA, AMS, NCTM and ICTM.  He has been one of the organizers of the annual High School Mathematics Tournament at the University of Iowa (see every year since 1997. He spent two years (Fall 2000-Spring 2002) as a visiting Associate Professor of Education at The Pennsylvania State University.


Wendy Weber Central College

Wendy Weber is an associate professor of mathematics at Central College in Pella, Iowa.  She has been a Project NExT fellow (1999-2000) and served as the Iowa Section Secretary/Treasurer from 2002-2005.  Her interests include geometry and the mathematical education of prospective teachers.

Announcements and Dates of Importance


None at this time.

Dates of Importance

April 9, 2005 - Midwest Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium at Simpson College

April 16, 2005 - Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition at Iowa State University

August 4-6, 2005 - MathFest 2005 in Albuquerque, New Mexico

January 12-15, 2006 - 2006 MAA-AMS Joint Meetings in San Antonio, Texas

Please send corrections, comments and suggestions regarding the Iowa MAA Web pages to
Mark Mills,