The Mathematical Association of America
Maryland-District of Columbia-Virginia Section

Section History

The following is taken from The Mathematical Association of America: Its First Fifty Years, Kenneth O. May, editor, 1972, pages 86-87.


The triple-named Section was authorized at the December 1916 meeting of the Association, and the organizational meeting was held March 3, 1917 at Johns Hopkins University. Twenty-three of the thirty-eight persons present were members of the Association. One of the two papers presented considered "The aims and possibilities of this local section." The other covered "A college or university course for teachers of secondary mathematics." One would infer that the new Section was to concern itself with education of mathematics teachers, as well as the subject of mathematics itself. Professor Abraharn Cohen of the host institution was elected the first President [MONTHLY 24, 223-224].

The Section constitution provided for at least two meetings a year, in the fall and spring. In reviewing the records of these meetings, certain discussions command attention. For example, in December 1922 there was an exposition and criticism of the plan of reorganization of secondary school mathematics drawn up by the National Committee on Mathematical Requirements. The suggestion of calculus as a senior high school elective was approved but "with the accompanying expression of serious doubt of the likelihood of early adoption."

An unusual treat for the Section at its December 1931 meeting at the U. S. Naval Academy was a trip to the Library at St. John's College where an exhibit of some rare books on mathematics and related subjects had been arranged. Some of the most noteworthy were: Luca de Borgo Pacioli, Divina Proportione (Venice 1509), Colin Maclaurin,. Newton's Philosophical Discourses (5th Ed., 1794), Robert Boyle, Flame, Air and Explosives (London 1712), and vol. I of Ozanom's Mathematical Course (London 1712).

The speakers at the Section meetings have included many persons from government bureaus, as would be expected. The papers tend to be more technical than in some other Sections.

Here is our section's history, prepared by Caren Diefenderfer, Betty Mayfield, and Jon Scott. Below are many more pages of historical interest.




Histories of Schools in the Section


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