A Brief History of the Michigan Section of the MAA

A Brief History of the Michigan Section
of the
Mathematical Association of America

by Yousef Alavi
Western Michigan University

Originally published in the
Michigan Section Newsletter, Vol. 12, No. 1
December 1985
Updated June 1990 and May 1999 by John W. Petro
Western Michigan University
Updated May 2005 by Jerrold W. Grossman
Oakland University  

This history is dedicated to the memory of Professor T. H. Hildebrandt, the long-time chairman of the University of Michigan Department of Mathematics. Not only are the early recollections herewith his direct contributions; he was unquestionably the father and the early shepherd of our Michigan Section. — Yousef Alavi, 1985

 


Contents
The Early Years of the Michigan Section



In the State of Michigan in the early 1920's the state organization which concerned itself with mathematics and its teaching was the Michigan Schoolmasters' Club, organized in 1894 to give high school teachers an opportunity to meet and discuss their problems. It met once a year, usually around April 1, and had sections called conferences which reflected the various disciplines of the high school program at the time. So it included also a Mathematics Conference.

At the 1922 meeting of the Mathematics Conference of the Schoolmasters' Club, T. H. Hildebrandt noted that there were present a number of staff members of the University of Michigan, the normal schools of the state, and some of the colleges. However, the meeting concerned teaching. It occurred to him that it might be possible to organize a section of the Mathematical Association of America for the State of Michigan as had been done in other parts of the country. As a consequence he brought the matter up for discussion at a meeting of the Mathematics Club of the University of Michigan, which then consisted in the main of staff members. It was decided that the best procedure was to write to the heads of departments in the colleges and normal schools of the state and find out whether such a project would be of interest to their departments. The result of this survey was that there was general approval for such a move and it was suggested that perhaps the organizational meeting could be held in connection with the meetings of the Schoolmasters' Club in April of 1923.

The chairman of the Mathematics Conference of the Club for that year was Professor Harold E. Blair of then Western State Normal School at Kalamazoo (now Western Michigan University). With his collaboration the material on the program of the meeting for that year included aspects of the relationship between high school and collegiate mathematics teaching. It was also arranged that the last part of the afternoon session of the Conference would be set aside for taking steps towards the organization of a Section of the Mathematical Association of America. To expedite matters a committee of the staff at the University of Michigan had drawn up a tentative constitution and by-laws in advance of the meeting.

The meeting was held as planned. About 35 members of the Association from the State of Michigan were present, as well as some potential members. T. H. Hildebrandt was elected temporary chairman. W. B. Ford, who was at the time the editor of the American Mathematical Monthly, gave a talk outlining the history of the Association, its organization, and its aims, particularly in meeting needs of the collegiate teachers of mathematics. The constitution and by-laws submitted were adopted with few changes.

Officers for the ensuing year consisted of T. H. Hildebrandt as chairman, John P. Everett of Kalamazoo as secretary/treasurer, and E. R. Sleight of Albion as third member of the Executive Committee. It was voted to apply for a charter to the Mathematical Association of America with those who wished to join before June 1 becoming charter members of the Section. It was agreed to meet as a separate body in April of the next year, but have some sort of joint session with the Michigan Schoolmasters' Club. The following institutions were represented at the organizational meeting: University of Michigan, Michigan State College at East Lansing (now Michigan State University), Normal Schools at Ypsilanti, Kalamazoo, and Mount Pleasant (now Eastern, Western, and Central Michigan Universities); Albion, Alma, Hope, and Olivet Colleges, and Detroit Junior College.

The first regular meeting of the Section was held on April 3, 1924 with 57 persons present, of whom 36 were members of the Association. Six papers were presented at the meeting. The Section acknowledged its indebtedness to the Mathematics Conference of the Schoolmasters' Club and met with the conference at lunch. During the year preceding, the question of the relation of the Section to the Michigan Academy of Sciences was explored. This academy was started mainly by college teachers of the natural sciences and did not have a section devoted to mathematics. It did not seem to be advisable to have two groups in the State of Michigan devoted to collegiate mathematics. So consultation with the officers of the Academy yielded the idea of establishing a Mathematics Section in the Michigan Academy of Sciences, whose program would be presented by the Michigan Section of the Mathematical Association of America. The chairman of the Michigan Section would function in both organizations. At this first meeting it was decided to request such an organization in the Michigan Academy of Sciences, which was approved. For many years thereafter, the Michigan Section of the MAA functioned as the Mathematics Section of the Michigan Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences. Two mathematicians served as president of the Michigan Academy of Sciences: Alfred L. Nelson, 1946-47, and J. Sutherland Frame, 1958-59.

Participation in the meetings of the Section was limited initially to staff members of colleges and universities in Michigan. However, some members of the staff at the University of Toledo expressed an interest in meeting with the Section and an invitation was extended for them to do so. This group participated even to the extent of furnishing a chairman of the Section at one time. This contact was dropped after World War II. Attendance at the meetings increased gradually from the initial 57 persons with 36 members of the Association present until the beginning of World War II, during which it dropped to 43 and 33, respectively, for the meeting of 1943, while the meeting for 1945 was omitted entirely. Since 1945 the attendance again increased with the increase in collegiate mathematics faculty in the state, so that in 1965 the attendance was 140, in 1975 it was 160, in 1985 again 140, and in 1989 it was over 200, most being members of the MAA.

At the beginning, the Michigan Academy of Sciences was holding all of its meeting in Ann Arbor in the spring, and the Section met with them. However, some members of the Section felt the need for having the Section meeting at their institutions. As a consequence it was decided in 1934 to hold two meetings each year, one being around Thanksgiving at a place other than Ann Arbor, and continue with the spring meeting in Ann Arbor in conjunction with the Academy. This was done in alternate years until World War II, and while the attendance for the fall meeting was not quite as good as for the spring, the Section enjoyed being the guest of the collegiate institutions of the state. After World War II the Michigan Academy decided to meet in places other than Ann Arbor in alternate years, which of course included the Mathematics Section, so the second meeting of the Section in the fall of the year was dropped.

In 1963 the Michigan Academy adopted a policy that only members of the Academy could present papers at the meetings of the Academy. Although the additional expense would be small, this action resulted in a resolution being proposed to the Section in 1963 that the Section withdraw as the Mathematics Section of the Michigan Academy. Action was not taken on this proposal immediately, but the Section did begin meeting later in the spring of each year, separately from the Academy. Finally, after the Academy decided to enforce its policy on membership in the Academy, it was voted at the annual meeting of the Section in 1970 to disassociate the Section from the Academy.

In the business meeting of 1935, the question of stimulating mathematics among undergraduates was brought up, and the suggestion was made of possibly inaugurating prize contests. A committee was appointed to investigate the matter. The committee, with Professor E. R. Sleight of Albion College as chairman, reported the following year that the matter of a prize contest seemed to involve too many difficulties and proposed instead that undergraduates be encouraged to prepare papers on mathematical topics and that they be allowed to speak at meetings of the Section. This idea was carried through, and most of the meetings of the Section for a time offered a period devoted to student presentations. The Section agreed to mimeograph the papers and present them for distribution among the college departments.

Interest in undergraduate participation increased until it was evident that undergraduates could have a meeting of their own, which happened in 1941. The war intervened and the idea was not reinstated. In the early 1950's the question of what could be done to spread the gospel of mathematics among college students was brought up again, and the suggestion was made that a pamphlet be prepared outlining ways in which a knowledge of mathematics was desirable, with the attractiveness of mathematics as a profession outlined. The pamphlet, prepared under the chairmanship of C. C. Richtmeyer of Mount Pleasant, was entitled "The Mathematics Student, To Be or Not To Be" and was distributed for a small fee to the different colleges of the state. It aroused considerable interest to the extent that the sale of the pamphlet resulted in a small contribution to the treasury of the Section.

When the Section was formed, it was hoped that members of the Section from the smaller institutions would participate by giving papers and that the sessions would not be preempted by the larger institutions. This hope was not realized, so in the main the papers came from the larger institutions in the state. Because of a feeling that perhaps members from the smaller institutions felt that their contributions were too small for a regular paper, it was proposed to devote some time in the afternoon meetings of the Section to five-minute talks, or to have an open forum, which had no set program but at which any member of the group could, on the spur of the moment, offer something in the nature of a five-minute note, which might be of interest to other members of the Section. The idea caught on pretty well; many interesting short notes were offered, and many members participated. In the ensuing years this idea was dropped as the number of regular contributed papers from various institutions increased.

The number of contributed papers varied from the original six to about a dozen, so that a single day of meetings continued to suffice through the 1960's. At times the program committees, even when working through the chairmen of departments, had headaches in getting together enough speakers for meetings. The idea of having invited speakers give hour-long talks was a welcome resort, to add to the program, and the Section has had the pleasure of listening (fairly regularly) to some outstanding mathematicians, both within and outside the Section. These invited addresses also made it possible to invite speakers from related sciences. Thus in the early days speakers from astronomy, aeronautical engineering, physics and even archaeology (the Mayan calendar) addressed the Section. Early on, the height of outside speakers addressing the group was reached in 1965 when the Section had three invited addresses: R. P. Boas of Northwestern University on undergraduate curricula, R. L. Wilder, at the time president of the Association, on axiomatics, and Saunders Mac Lane of the University of Chicago on categories. Other examples include Peter Hilton presenting two talks in 1973 on "The Language of Categories in Undergraduate and High School Mathematics"; Cambridge University's John Conway speaking on "Life is Universal"; in 1979, Paul Halmos on "How to be a Mathematician"; and in 1985 Paul Erdös presenting "Recent Results in Geometric Number Theory".

In 1971 the Section's Executive Committee approved Western Michigan University's plan to extend the annual meeting in Kalamazoo to a two-day format and hold a Friday evening banquet. The success of this experiment, providing more time for additional hour talks and more student papers, as well as more time for informal socializing, led to the continuation of the Friday-Saturday format. Soon thereafter, several new activities were introduced. The High School Visiting Lecture Program was established in 1973 and began functioning in 1974. Institutional memberships were approved, with about 25 colleges and universities contributing to the Section coffers by their annual dues. The Upper Michigan Summer Seminars (Short Courses) began in 1974 at Northern Michigan University, attracting faculty from Michigan and neighboring states. Also, with the start of the academic year 1974-75, the Michigan Section Newsletter was born, with two issues each year. In the spring of 1975, upon the suggestion of the national office of the MAA and with its financial support, the annual meeting of the Section, held at General Motors Institute in Flint, was devoted to an Oxford-type seminar that included seven applied mathematics seminars conducted by representatives from industry.

Finally, in the light of increased efforts to include colleagues from two-year colleges in Section activities, the Section by-laws were revised to include in the slate of officers a Section vice chairperson from two-year college faculties, with the first one elected in 1976. In a like manner, the Section in recent years has increased its liaison with the Michigan Council of the Teachers of Mathematics and has introduced activities on various fronts dealing with the mathematics education of students and with the mathematics preparation of elementary and secondary teachers.


 

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Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition

The question of prizes to stimulate interest in mathematics was brought up again in 1957, but this time with respect to high school students. A committee was appointed to solicit university and industrial financial support for a competition among the high school students of Michigan, and to organize the project and proceed with the prize examinations. Financial support being forthcoming, the committee set up a procedure with two examinations, the first, which would be machine graded, would eliminate some of the contestants, and the second, more of an essay exam, would be individually graded and lead to the award of prizes. Much credit goes to the first exam committee. Their efforts to get the competition off the ground were monumental. This committee consisted of R. H. Oehmke (MSU), A. J. Lohwater (UM), A. W. Jacobson (Wayne), and F. L. Celauro (CMU). Bob Oehmke, now at Iowa, recently recalled "As there was no budget, we had to borrow money to get the competition started, and we invited graduate students to my basement to help stuff the envelopes!"

The first contest was held in the spring of 1958 and drew 6100 students from 315 high schools. Since then the competition has mushroomed, reaching at times about 25,000 high school students from close to 600 schools participating in the preliminary contest. Along with competition committee members, one has to cite the untiring efforts of Jim McKay of Oakland University, who early on directed several competitions and helped to streamline the whole process. Computerization of some aspects of the competition began at Michigan State University, and later, at Western Michigan University, it was expanded to include most of the process. The host universities furnished computer time and facilities for the competition. Industry has been generous in its financial support, and the universities and colleges have greatly supported the program. Later on, as the competition evolved, it became known as the Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition (MMPC), with the director and a four-person examination committee appointed by the Section Executive Committee, and with a special awards program as the final feature of each competition. The winners, parents, teachers, and the 60 or so college and university faculty who had graded Part II of the examination, would be invited to the awards banquet. The awards, designated as Gold, Silver, and Bronze, consist of about 50 university scholarships, currently ranging from $500 to $2600, as well as 50 honorable-mention book awards.  For the past 25 years the figures for participating students and schools are given in the following table.
Years Competition Schools Students
1980-81 Twenty-fourth 561 23,793
1981-82 Twenty-fifth 557 25,853
1982-83 Twenty-sixth 517 20,903
1983-84 Twenty-seventh 519 22,848
1984-85 Twenty-eighth 504 22,455
1985-86 Twenty-ninth 529 23,000
1986-87 Thirtieth 513 25,500
1987-88 Thirty-first 499 22,369
1988-89 Thirty-second 502 19,652
1989-90 Thirty-third 502 19,292
1990-91 Thirty-fourth 478 18,593
1991-92 Thirty-fifth 426 18,099
1992-93 Thirty-sixth 396 16,291
1993-94 Thirty-seventh 393 16,228
1994-95 Thirty-eighth 360 14,969
1995-96 Thirty-ninth 344 16,806
1996-97 Fortieth 316 16,080
1997-98 Forty-first 324 15,696
1998-99 Forty-second 311 15,473
1999-00 Forty-third 317 15,140
2000-01 Forty-fourth 324 15,759
2001-02 Forty-fifth 310 15,482
2002-03 Forty-sixth 281 13,624
2003-04 Forty-seventh 261 12,554
2004-05 Forty-eighth 246 11,093

Support for the MMPC and the awards have come from Unisys Corporation (formerly Burroughs Corporation), Michigan Bell, Bell Communication Research Laboratory, Aeroquip, Clark Equipment, Consumers Power, The Upjohn Company, Ford Motor Company, Arvco Container Corporation, Mr. Jerome Kohler of Kalamazoo, Kuhlman Corporation, Dover Publications, and A K Peters, Ltd.  For the past several years the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics has underwritten the cost of the honorable mention book awards. In 1989 MMPC funds were used to provide scholarships for up to 20 non-seniors from the top 100 honored at Awards Day to attend the 1989 Seaborg Summer Academy at Northern Michigan University.
Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition Directors
1958 Robert H. Oehmke MSU
1958-60 Frank L. Celauro CMU
1960-62 R. K. Ritt UM
1962-66 James H. McKay MSU-O (Oakland U)
1966-67 Wilbur E. Deskins MSU
1967-69 William M. Fitzgerald MSU
1969-72 Ronald C. Hamelink MSU
1972-75 Robert A. Laing WMU
1975-77 Erik A. Schreiner WMU
1977-79 Andrew C. Dempster EMU
1979-81 James K. Bidwell CMU
1981-82 James K. Bidwell CMU
Edward Whitmore CMU
1982-85 Mangalam Gopal MTU
1985-87 Edward C. Ingraham MSU
1987-88 Daniel A. Moran MSU
1988-89 Christopher E. Hee EMU
1989-90 Christopher J. Gardiner EMU
1990-91 Christopher E. Hee EMU
1991-94 Ruth G. Favro LTU
1994-96 Steven J. Schlicker GVSU
1996-97 Karen Novotny GVSU
1997-99 Gerald D. Ludden MSU
1999-2002 Robert Messer Albion C
2002-2005 David Redman Delta C
2005-2008 Eddie Cheng Oakland U
2008-2011 Hasan Al-Halees SVSU
2011-2014 Stephanie Edwards Hope

For the most part, each year the MMPC Examination Committee consisted of four faculty members from various institutions, each member serving a four-year term with the last year as chairperson. The first committee in 1958 consisted of Robert H. Oehmke (MSU), Arthur J. Lohwater (UM), A. W. Jacobson (WSU), and Frank L. Celauro (CMU).
Members on the MMPC Examination Committees
Robert H. Oehmke MSU 1958-?
A. W. Jacobson WSU 1958-?
Arthur J. Lohwater UM 1958-?
Frank L. Celauro CMU 1958-?
Wilbur E. Deskins MSU ?
J. B. Eckstein U of Detroit ?
Charles F. Brumfiel UM 1965
Marvin L. Tomber MSU 1965-67
Robert C. Seber WMU 1965
Nicholas D. Kazarinoff U of M 1966-68
Murray S. Klamkin Ford Sc Lab 1966-69
Leroy M. Kelly MSU 1967-71, 81-83
John W. Dettman Oakland U 1969-72
Thomas F. Storer UM 1968-72
Stanislaw Leja WMU 1972-74, 75-77
Paul J. Zwier Calvin C 1969-73
David A. James WSU 1972-76
Joseph L. Ullman UM 1973-75, 1977-78
Edward A. Nordhaus MSU 1973-81
Stanley L. Rajnak Kalamazoo C 1974-78
Theodore A. Eisenberg NMU 1976-80
Thomas E. Elsner GMI 1978-82
M. S. Ramanujan UM 1978-81
John O. Kiltinen NMU 1980-84
Richard I. Loebl WSU 1981-85
Michael J. Gilpin MTU 1982-86
Melvin A. Nyman Alma C 1983-87
Jerrold W. Grossman Oakland U 1984-88
William W. Babcock NMU 1985-89
Allen J. Schwenk WMU 1986-90
Timothy B. Carroll EMU 1987-89
David G. McDowell CMU 1988-90
Rita Chattopadhyay EMU 1989-91
Ahmed Assaf CMU 1990-92
Andreas R. Blass UM 1989-93
Paul J. Eenigenburg WMU 1990-94
Kenneth Schilling UM-Flint 1991-95
Yury Ionin CMU 1992-96
Christopher E. Hee EMU 1993-97
Michael J. Merscher LTU 1994-98
Allan Struthers MTU 1995-98
William Arlinghaus LTU 1998-99
Renate McLaughlin UM-Flint 1996-2000
Daniel A. Moran MSU 1997-2001
Philip J. Hanlon UM 1998-2002
William Sledd MSU 1999-2003
Ed Aboufadel GVSU 2000-2004
Eddie Cheng Oakland U 2001-2005
John Clifford UM-Dearborn 2002-2006
Patrick Pan SVSU 2003-2007
Akalu Tefera GVSU 2004-2008
Lazaros Kikas U Detroit Mercy 2005-2009
Ada Cheng Kettering 2006-2010
Jennifer Zhao UM-Dearborn 2007-2011
Eddie Cheng Oakland 2008-2012
Sid Graham CMU 2009-2013
Hugh Montgomery UM-Ann Arbor 2010-2014
Dan Frohardt Wayne State 2011-2015
Robert Messer Albion College 2012-2016

Graphing Calculators and the MMPC

With the increased use of graphing calculators in the secondary mathematics classrooms it was inevitable that the question would arise concerning the use of graphing calculators on the MMPC. In the summer of 1994 the Executive Committee of the Section formed an ad hoc committee, chaired by Paul Eenigenburg (WMU), to investigate whether calculators should be permitted on the Michigan Mathematics Prize Exam. Other members on the committee were Melvin Billik (Midland H. H. Dow High School), Ruth Favro (LTU), John Fink (Kalamazoo C), Yury Ionin (CMU), Robert Messer (Albion C), Kenneth Schilling (UM-Flint), and Marcia Weinhold (Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center). The committee recommended that (1) calculators would be permitted on Part I, but not on Part II; (2) machines with QWERTY keyboards would not be allowed; (3) exam supervisors would not clear memories; (4) although some problems may require the technology of a scientific calculator, the exam committee should strive to ensure that no problem will give a significant advantage to someone having a calculator with graphing, programming, or CAS capabilities; and (5) exam supervisors should provide feedback after Part I is given. These recommendations were approved by the Executive Committee in its March 1995 meetings. Graphing calculators without QWERTY keyboards were first permitted for Part I of the thirty-ninth competition, given in fall 1995.  In 1999 the policy was changed to allow any calculator (but not computer) on Part I.

The MMPC and the ARML Competition

In spring of 1989 Professors Robert Messer of Albion College and John Fink of Kalamazoo College organized Michigan's all-star team of high school math students to enter the American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) competition as a follow-up to the MMPC. The members were selected from the top 100 students in the MMPC. Professors Messer and Fink, along with Mel Billik, head of mathematics at Dow High School in Midland, held two training sessions and accompanied the team to the competition at Pennsylvania State University. Michigan's team was pleased to place second in Division B of the 1989 competition. Participation in the ARML is now an annual event, with major funding coming from the Matilda Wilson Fund. In 1998 Robert Messer, John Fink, Ruth Favro of Lawrence Technological University, along with William Harris, chair of the Mathematics Department at Huron High School in Ann Arbor, recruited MMPC award recipients to represent Michigan in the ARML Competition. Support for the three practice sessions and travel to Iowa City was provided to the Michigan Section through a grant from the Matilda Wilson Fund, with additional funding from the Charles M. Bauervic Foundation.

 

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Michigan Section's Newsletter

The standard practice for many years was for the chair of the Michigan Section to send an annual letter to the membership with announcements of the year's activities and programs. At the 1974 summer meeting of the Section's Executive Committee, Yousef Alavi, chair of the Section, mentioned that some other sections had newsletters, and he wished that the Michigan Section would have one also. It was not an easy job. Just getting news items from the campuses proved to be an almost insurmountable task. Delia Koo lived in a suburb of East Lansing and taught at Eastern Michigan University. With the help of contacts and friends at other colleges and universities, she ferreted out enough information to put together four and a half pages of news for the first edition. With the help of the computing facilities at Eastern Michigan University, Volume 1, Number 1, was distributed in January 1975 to over 1000 mathematicians in colleges and universities in Michigan. Yousef Alavi stated in a cover letter, "It is our hope that this will serve a useful purpose by providing a medium for exchanges, communications, and dissemination of information between the various colleges and universities, the membership of the Section, and the Executive Committee." The full story of the start-up of the Newsletter is found on page 7 of the April 1988 issue of the Newsletter (Vol. 14, No. 2).

The Newsletter was an instant success and through the years has exceeded many times over the modest expectations that Yousef Alavi and Delia Koo had expressed in the beginning. The first issues were printed on letter sized paper. Most issues had six to ten printed sides. The mailing cost was 2¢ per item. The early editors of the Newsletter, besides Yousef Alavi and Delia Koo, were Robert Chaffer (CMU), Katherine Price (HPCC), Delano Wegener (CMU), and Don R. Lick (WMU).

When John Kiltinen (NMU) took over as the editor in 1984, with the assistance of William Babcock (NMU), the Newsletter took on a whole new shape and function. The Newsletter became a half-letter sized journal which included features, editorial columns, pictures, and reports, in addition to the usual announcements and news items in earlier editions. Over the ten-year period that Kiltinen and Babcock edited the Newsletter, it matured into being one of the best, if not the best, newsletter of any section in the MAA. The editors of the Newsletter have been the following.
1974-1976 Yousef Alavi WMU
Delia Koo EMU
1976-1977 Delia Koo EMU
1978-1979 Robert Chaffer CMU
Katherine Price Highland Park CC
1979-1980 Robert Chaffer CMU
1980-1982 Delano Wegener CMU
1982-1984 Yousef Alavi and Don Lick WMU
1984-1994 John Kiltinen and Bill Babcock NMU
1994-1996   John Petro and Allen Schwenk   WMU
1996-2001 Jerrold Grossman Oakland U
2002-2013 Norman Richert Math Reviews
2013- Katherine Ballentine Math Reviews

 

 

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Michigan Section's Award Recipients

Distinguished Service Award

In 1975 the Michigan Section presented a special distinguished service award to Professor Lyle E. Mehlenbacher of the University of Detroit upon his retirement as chair of the Committee on Sections of the MAA. In 1977 another such award was presented to Professor J. Sutherland Frame of MSU for his long service and his numerous presentations at the Section meetings, including service as Section governor 1950-52, as governor-at-large of the MAA 1958-60, and as vice president and president of the Michigan Academy 1957-59. In 1981 a third such award went to Professor Edward A. Nordhaus of MSU for his long service to the Section, especially for his service on numerous examination committees of the MMPC.

In 1986 the Michigan Section instituted an annual Distinguished Service Award. The first such award was to Professor Yousef Alavi of WMU at the annual meeting of the Section in May 1987. He received a special citation acknowledging his nearly 30 years of active participation and leadership in the Section, along with a special Michigan House-Senate Joint Resolution honoring his accomplishments. In 1989 it was decided to also present posthumous awards to the families of distinguished leaders in the Michigan Section who were deceased. The following Distinguished Service Awards have been made at the annual meetings of the Michigan Section:
1987 Yousef Alavi WMU
1988 Delia Koo EMU
1989 J. Sutherland Frame MSU
1989 T. H. Hildebrandt (posthumously) UM
1990 Lyle E. Mehlenbacher U of Detroit
1990 Ruel V. Churchill (posthumously) UM
1991 Harold T. Slaby WSU
1992 Wilfred Kaplan UM
1993 Don R. Lick EMU
1994 Jean M. Calloway Kalamazoo C
1995 John O. Kiltinen NMU
1996 Elliot A. Tanis Hope C
1997 Hugh L. Montgomery UM
1998 Robert Chaffer CMU
1999 John W. Petro WMU
2000 Renate McLaughlin UM-Flint
2001 Douglas W. Nance CMU
2002 Bette L. Warren EMU
2003 Melvin A. Nyman Alma C
2004 Thomas J. Miles CMU
2005 Jerrold W. Grossman Oakland U
2006 Janet Andersen (posthumously) Hope College
2007 Robert Messer Albion College
2008 Steven J. Schlicker GVSU
2009 Richard J. Fleming CMU
2010 Ruth G. Favro LTU
2011 Sidney W. Graham CMU
2012 Norm Richert Math Reviews
2013 Gerard Venema Calvin College

MAA Certificate of Meritorious Service

In 1984 the Mathematical Association of America established the MAA Certificate of Meritorious Service, to be given to members of the Association for distinguished service at the national level or at the section level. The sections were placed on a five-year rotating schedule, with each section having the opportunity to nominate one recipient of this award every five years. The Michigan Section had its first turn at the 1987 summer meeting of the MAA in Salt Lake City. The following members of the Section have received the MAA Certificate of Meritorious Service:
1987 Yousef Alavi WMU
1992 Delia Koo EMU
1997 Don R. Lick EMU
2002 John W. Petro WMU
2007 Jerrold W. Grossman Oakland U
2012 Ruth G. Favro LTU

Distinguished College or University Teaching Award

The MAA established an annual Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics beginning in 1992. Sections are encouraged to present the award at their annual spring meetings. The awardees from all of the sections form a pool from which several will be chosen for the national Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award. The following Awards for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics have been made by the Michigan Section:
1992 Elliot A. Tanis Hope C
1993 Douglas W. Nance CMU
1994 Jerrold W. Grossman Oakland U
1995 Sidney W. Graham MTU
1996 Arthur T. White WMU
1997 Richard O. Hill MSU
1998 Donald A. Buckeye EMU
1999 Kalpana Godbole MTU
2000 Larry M. King UM-Flint
2001 John Fink Kalamazoo C
2002 Charlene E. Beckmann GVSU
2003 Steven Kahn WSU
2004 Brian McCartin Kettering U
2005 Ted Sundstrom GVSU
2006 Tim Carroll EMU
2007 Eddie Cheng Oakland U
2008 No award
2009 Lisa DeMeyer CMU
2010 Mike Merscher LTU
2011 Andrew Ross EMU
2012 Gavin LaRose UM-Ann Arbor
2013 Matt Boelkins GVSU


Ron Mosier Memorial Award for Student Presentations

The Ron Mosier Memorial Award started in the Spring 2010. This award is presented to the student (or students) with the most outstanding talk. Ron Mosier was a mathematician whose contributions to the subject spanned both pure and applied areas, from linear lattices to camshaft design. He loved mathematics, and he always was ready to listen, talk, or discuss any topic related to it. He was a regular attendee at the annual meeting, and one of the things he most enjoyed was the student talks. To honor Ron's memory, the Michigan Section instituted this prize in his name.

2010 Paul Downen & Matt Lanting LTU
2011 Kaylee Kooiman Calvin College
2011 Ethan Van Andel Calvin College
2012 Luis Sordo Viera WSU
2013 Meghan Peer SVSU

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Michigan Section's Activities and Services

Michigan Calculus Network

An important issue in the Michigan Section since early in the 1980's has been the challenge to the mathematics curriculum resulting from the increased use and power of calculators and microcomputers in the classroom. For the past several years special sessions at the annual meetings of the Section have been devoted to the use of graphing calculators and microcomputers in the classroom. The Michigan Calculus Network was established in 1987 to address the changes in the calculus curriculum due to this increased use of technology. Its Steering Committee, initially chaired by John Masterson of MSU, was established with eight members from campuses across Michigan. During 1987-88 more than 80 people from over 20 colleges and universities in Michigan participated in its two meetings. A Network Newsletter was established and instructional materials for using computers and graphing calculators for teaching calculus were prepared. In 1988 the Michigan Calculus Network was made an official Section activity. A total of five annual statewide conferences and several specialized conferences were sponsored by the Michigan Calculus Network. Due to the increased emphasis on calculus reform and on the introduction of technology across the mathematics curriculum at state and national meetings, the need for the Michigan Calculus Network began to diminish by 1994, and it was discontinued in 1995. The five conferences sponsored by the Michigan Calculus Network during its short existence are as follows.
Year Network Director Location
1989-90 James Angelos (CMU) Grand Rapids
1990-91 Charlene Beckmann (GVSU) Dearborn
1991-92 Charlene Beckmann (GVSU) Grand Rapids
1992-93 Marian Barry (Acquinas C) Dearborn
1993-94 Marian Barry (Acquinas C) Kalamazoo

The Michigan Mathematics Early Placement Test

The Michigan Mathematics Early Placement Test (MMEPT) was started in 1986 as a pilot program under the leadership of John O. Kiltinen of Northern Michigan University and became established statewide the following year. This was an early placement testing program to be given high school juniors, which was modeled after a similar program in Ohio. Funding for the MMEPT was provided in higher education appropriation bills. The official sponsor of this program was the Presidents' Council of the State Colleges and Universities, and it was administered by the Glenn T. Seaborg Center for Teaching and Learning Science and Mathematics at Northern Michigan University. The Michigan Section gave its strong endorsement and support for this program. Unfortunately the program was discontinued in 1991 when its funding bill was vetoed by the governor. During its five years of operation, MMEPT served over 200,000 Michigan high school students, giving them an early indication of their math preparation for college.

Mathematics Awareness Week

The first Mathematics Awareness Week was established for the week of April 14-20, 1986 by a bill that Senator Pete V. Domenici (R-NM) introduced in Congress. The Michigan Section enthusiastically supported this first Mathematics Awareness Week and has continued to support it in subsequent years. The first Mathematics Awareness Committee for the Michigan Section consisted of Wilfred Kaplan (UM) as chair, Yousef Alavi (WMU), Doug Nance (CMU), Carole Lacampagne (UM-Flint), and Don R. Lick (EMU). Activities for Mathematics Awareness Week have included special programs, exhibits, and fairs about mathematics, civic proclamations in the support of mathematics, visits to high schools to give talks about mathematics and about careers in mathematics, and special press releases to publicize broadly the importance of mathematics.

Women and Mathematics

The Michigan Region of Women and Mathematics (WAM) was organized with 14 Michigan mathematicians attending its first meeting in September, 1986 in Flint. The objective of the WAM program is to encourage students, especially young women, to continue their study of mathematics. The first WAM Coordinator was Jean Simutis of Alma College. The Michigan Section has supported WAM by having special WAM speakers as a part of its annual meetings and by including announcements and articles about WAM regularly in the Section's Newsletter. In 1989 the Michigan Section established the Women's Study Committee, with Jean Simutis serving as its first chair. Subsequently, the chairs of the Women's Study Committee have been Toni Carroll (Siena Heights C) 1990-91, Gladys Rockind (Oakland CC) 1991-92, Bette Warren (EMU) 1992-97, Jeanne Wald (MSU) 1997-2000, and Toni Carroll (Siena Heights C) 2001-2005.

MAA Student Chapters

In 1988 the Mathematical Association of America initiated a program of student chapters at colleges and universities. Elliot Tanis from Hope College was appointed as the Michigan Section Student Chapters Coordinator in 1988. The following year, Matthew Wyneken from the University of Michigan-Flint took over the responsibility for coordinating student chapters. As of April 1990 a total of eight student chapters had been organized within the state. Several more were organized during the initial start-up phase, which continued until June 30, 1990. A special newsletter to be distributed to student chapters in Michigan was originally planned. In its place, a section on MAA student chapters, Pi Mu Epsilon chapters, Kappa Mu Epsilon chapters, and other mathematics clubs was introduced in the Section's Newsletter in 1996.  An annual Undergraduate Conference has been held since 1998-99, hosted by Grand Valley State University (2 years), Alma College (2 years), Calvin College, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Central Michigan University.

Dialogue with the MCTM

In 1988 steps were taken by the Executive Committee of the Michigan Section to initiate dialogue with the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) for the purpose of identifying areas for joint ventures. The first such venture was the agreement to publish jointly with the MCTM a monograph on the preparation of high school students for the calculus. In 1989 Professor Kyung K. Kwun, chair of the Michigan Section, appointed a Cooperation Study Committee consisting of Professors Wilfred Kaplan (UM) as chair, Mary Catherine Brechting (Aquinas C), Don R. Lick (EMU), and John W. Petro (WMU) to further explore ways to promote cooperation between the Michigan Section and the MCTM. In the report made by this committee it was strongly recommended that the Michigan Section should work closely with the MCTM to do a much better job communicating with middle school and high school students the importance of mathematics for their future careers and the immense number of possibilities for careers within the mathematical sciences.  From 1993 to 2003, Renate McLaughlin (UM-Flint) served as representative from the Michigan Section to the MCTM.  Beginning in 2004, it was decided that this should be a duty of the Governor of the Section.

The Michigan Section and Cyberspace

With the rapid expansion of MichNet to provide Internet access to campuses throughout Michigan and the increasing use of e-mail to communicate with colleagues near and far, it was inevitable that cyberspace would find its place in the Michigan Section. E-mail addresses of Section officers and committee members first appeared in the December 1993 issue of the Michigan Section Newsletter. In the fall of 1995, the Section's World Wide Web site was established.  The webmaster until 2005 was Earl Fife from Calvin College, and the current webmaster is Sid Graham from Central Michigan University.  The current URL is http://sections.maa.org/michigan .

The Michigan Room

In the early 1980's the national MAA decided to keep its headquarters in downtown Washington, where it could better represent the interests of mathematics, rather than move to the suburbs. The MAA took out a mortgage of $600,000 to fund extensive renovations to its Dolciani Mathematical Center headquarters on Eighteenth Street, NW. A capital fund drive was mounted which raised $400,000. The national headquarters challenged the sections in 1991 to mount fund drives to raise the money to retire the remaining $200,000 of indebtedness. Rooms at the headquarters could be dedicated for as little as $5,000 and as much as $30,000. Hugh Montgomery (UM), chair of the Michigan Section, challenged the Section to raise $30,000 in order to designate a prominent room in the Dolciani Mathematical Center to be the Michigan Room. This challenge was met. In barely three years many generous members of the Michigan Section contributed a total of $30,000 to this endeavor. Thomas Miles (CMU), the secretary/treasurer of the Michigan Section, forwarded to the MAA the final payment on this pledge in May, 1994.

Other Activities of the Michigan Section

There have been many other activities within the Michigan Section. The Upper Peninsula Zone of the Michigan Section established annual meetings beginning in 1984. In 1986 a Summer Short Course Committee consisting of Yousef Alavi (WMU) as chair, John Van Iwaarden (Hope C), Michael J. Gilpin (MTU), and Don R. Lick (EMU) was appointed. A very successful Summer Short Course featuring speakers Peter Hilton (SUNY at Binghamton) and Jean Pedersen (Santa Clara U) was held at Hope College during the summer of 1987. Several Summer Short Courses have also been offered at Northern Michigan University.

The Section has enjoyed the enthusiastic support of mathematics departments and chairs from throughout the state. They have called the attention of the Program Committee to potential faculty and student papers; assisted generously with faculty, staff, and resources; organized transportation for attendance at the meetings; hosted annual meetings; assisted with the administration of the MMPC and the Awards Day programs; and given much support to the Section officers and the MAA representatives (liaisons) from their institutions. Throughout the past decades many interesting and stimulating presentations, original and expository, have been made at the Section meetings, but matters pertaining to instruction and curriculum have not been neglected. These, together with the MMPC, HSVLP, the Summer Seminars, the student papers, the timely and topical panel discussions, and the legislative hearings activities on school programs, curricula, and certification, are ample evidence of continuing success for the Section in various directions in the future.

 

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Michigan Section's Executive Officers

Michigan Representative on the Board of Governors
1931-33 James W. Glover UM
1943-45 Alfred L. Nelson Wayne U (WSU)
1947-50 John W. Bradshaw UM
1950-53 J. Sutherland Frame Michigan State C (MSU)
1953-56 Phillip S. Jones UM
1956-59 B. M. Stewart MSU
1959-62 Robert M. Thrall UM
1962-65 Lyle E. Mehlenbacher U of Detroit
1965-70 Karl W. Folley WSU
1970-71 Leroy M. Kelly MSU
1971-74 Murray S. Klamkin Ford Motor Company
1974-77 Ruel V. Churchill UM
1977-80 Yousef Alavi WMU
1980-83 Delia Koo EMU
1983-85 George F. Feeman Oakland U
1985-86 Yousef Alavi WMU
1986-89 Don R. Lick EMU
1989-92 Elliot A. Tanis Hope C
1992-95 Hugh L. Montgomery UM
1995-98 John W. Petro WMU
1998-2001 John O. Kiltinen NMU
2001-2004 Jerrold W. Grossman Oakland U
2004-2007 Ruth G. Favro Lawrence Tech. U
2007-2010 Bette L. Warren EMU
2010-2013 John Fink Kalamazoo C
2013-2016 Matt Boelkins GVSU

Chairpersons of the Michigan Section
1924 T. H. Hildebrandt UM
1924-26 Edwin R. Sleight Albion C
1926-28 Alfred L. Nelson Detroit CC
1928-29 L. C. Plant Michigan State C (MSU)
1929-30 R. C. Shellenberger Bay City JC
1930-31 Theodore Lindquist Michigan State Normal C (EMU)
1931-32 John P. Everett Western State Teachers C (WMU)
1932-33 R. W. Clach Alma C
1933-34 T. O. Walton Kalamazoo C
1934-35 L. S. Johnson U of Detroit
1935-36 J. B. Brandenberry U of Toledo
1936-37 Cleon C. Richtmeyer Central Michigan C (CMU)
1937-38 Vernon G. Grove Michigan State C (MSU)
1938-39 William L. Ayres UM
1939-40 A. E. Lampen Hope C
1940-41 Karl W. Folley Wayne U (WSU)
1941-42 T. R. Running UM
1942-43 Wayne Dancer U of Toledo
1943-44 G. G. Speeker Michigan State C (MSU)
1944-46 J. W. Bradshaw UM
1946-47 Edmund E. Ingals Albion C
1947-48 Harold Blair WMC of Ed (WMU)
Grover Bartoo WMC of Ed (WMU)
1948-49 B. M. Stewart Michigan State C (MSU)
1949-50 Lyle E. Mehlenbacher U of Detroit
1950-51 David C. Morrow Wayne U (WSU)
1951-52 Norman H. Anning UM
1952-53 H. D. Larsen Albion C
1953-54 J. Sutherland Frame Michigan State C (MSU)
1954-55 Ruel V. Churchill UM
1955-56 Cleon C. Richtmeyer Central Michigan C (CMU)
1956-57 Robert S. Pate Eastern Michigan C (EMU)
1957-58 Albert E. Lampen Hope C
1958-59 George Y. Rainich UM
1959-60 William D. Baten MSU
1960-61 Earl D. Rainville UM
1961-62 Frank L. Celauro CMU
1962-63 James H. McKay MSU-O (Oakland U)
1963-64 Jean M. Calloway Kalamazoo C
1964-65 George E. Hay UM
1965-66 Paul J. Zwier Calvin C
1966-67 James H. Powell WMU
1967-68 Beauregard Stubblefield MSU-O (Oakland U)
1968-69 Edward A. Nordhaus MSU
1969-70 A. Bruce Clarke WMU
1970-71 Jay E. Folkert Hope C
1971-72 Martin T. Wechsler WSU
1972-73 Donald. J. Lewis UM
1973-74 George F. Feeman Oakland U
1974-75 Yousef Alavi WMU
1975-76 C. B. Stortz NMU
1976-77 Elliot A. Tanis Hope C
1977-78 Joseph E. Adney, Jr. MSU
1978-79 Donald G. Malm Oakland U
1979-80 Delia Koo EMU
1980-81 Harold T. Slaby WSU
1981-82 David A. James UM-Dearborn
1982-83 M. S. Ramanujan UM
1983-84 George Van Zwalenberg Calvin C
1984-85 Don R. Lick WMU
1985-86 Michael J. Gilpin MTU
1986-87 Douglas W. Nance CMU
1987-88 Thomas E. Elsner GMI (Kettering U)
1988-89 John W. Petro WMU
1989-90 Kyung K. Kwun MSU
1990-91 Hugh L. Montgomery UM
1991-92 Renate McLaughlin UM-Flint
1992-93 Melvin A. Nyman Alma C
1993-94 Richard J. Fleming CMU
1994-95 Marian Barry Aquinas C
1995-96 Thomas J. Miles CMU
1996-97 Richard E. Phillips MSU
1997-98 Matthew F. Wyneken UM-Flint
1998-99 Bette L. Warren EMU
1999-00 Daniel Frohardt WSU
2000-01 Sidney W. Graham CMU
2001-02 Ruth G. Favro Lawrence Tech. U
2002-03 John Mooningham SVSU
2003-04 Steve Schlicker GVSU
2004-05 Gerard Venema Calvin C
2005-06 John Fink Kalamazoo C
2006-07 Randy Pruim Calvin C
2007-08 Tom Zerger SVSU
2008-09 Matt Boelkins GVSU
2009-10 Darin Stephenson Hope C
2010-11 Tim Husband SHU
2011-12 Mike Bolt Calvin C
2012-13 Dan Isaksen WSU
2013-14 Steve Blair EMU

Two-Year College Vice Chairpersons
1976-77 Newell H. Remington Delta C
1977-78 Donald L. Ross Washtenaw CC
1978-79 Katherine E. Price Highland Park CC
1979-80 Joel D. Cohen Oakland CC
1980-81 Phillip H. Mahler Henry Ford CC
1981-82 M. James Stewart Lansing CC
1982-83 John S. Kostoff Delta C
1983-84 Carl W. Anderson Southwestern Michigan C
1984-85 Barbara Near Henry Ford CC
1985-86 Nancy Williams Oakland CC
1986-88 Dawn M. Schmidt Delta C
1988-90 Gladys L. Rockind Oakland CC
1990-92 Lowell C. Stultz Kalamazoo Valley CC
1992-94 Gary Knippenberg Lansing CC
1994-96 Barbara A. Jur Macomb CC
1996-98 James Chesla Grand Rapids CC
1998-2000 Barbara A. Jur Macomb CC
2000-2002 Jim Ham Delta C
2002-2004 Scott Barnett Henry Ford CC
2004-2006 Mark Naber Monroe County CC
2006-2008 David Redman Delta C
2008-2010 Thomas Kelly HFCC
2010-2012 Kristin Chatas WCC
2012-2014 Francis Lichtman Delta C

Secretary/Treasurers
1924-25 John P. Everett Western St. Normal Sc. (WMU)
1925-26 Norman H. Anning UM
1926-27 C. Reid UM
1927-28 W. W. Denton UM
1928-32 Louis A. Hopkins UM
1932-36 William L. Ayres UM
1938-41 Paul S. Dwyer UM
1941-42 Ruel V. Churchill UM
1942-46 Carl J. Coe UM
1946-49 L. J. Rouse UM
1949-53 Phillip S. Jones UM
1953-56 Samuel D. Conte Wayne University (WSU)
1956-59 Fred A. Beeler Western Michigan C (WMU)
1959-62 Lyle E. Mehlenbacher U of Detroit
1962-65 James H. Powell WMU
1965-68 Lester H. Serier CMU
1968-71 Harold T. Slaby WSU
1971-74 Yousef Alavi WMU
1974-77 Delia Koo EMU
1977-80 Robert A. Chaffer CMU
1980-82 Paul K. Garlick UM-Flint
1982-85 Douglas W. Nance CMU
1985-88 Clifton E. Ealy, Jr. NMU
1988-91 Melvin A. Nyman Alma C
1991-94 Thomas J. Miles CMU
1994-95 David C. Carothers Hope C
1995-97 Bette L. Warren EMU
1997-2000 Ruth G. Favro LTU
2000-2004 Margret Höft UM-Dearborn
2004-2007 Nancy Colwell SVSU
2007-2016 Mark Bollman Albion

High School Visiting Lecturer Program Directors
1974-81 Jean M. Calloway Kalamazoo C
1982-84 Thomas E. Elsner GMI (Kettering U)
1985-88 Robert A. Chaffer CMU
1988-91 John A. Wenzel Albion C
1991-94 Jerrold W. Grossman Oakland U
1994-97 Gary L. Johns SVSU
1997-98 Michael S. Gilbert SVSU
1998-99 Matthew F. Wyneken UM-Flint
Bette L. Warren EMU
1999-2000 Steve Schlicker GVSU
2000-2002 Paul Fishback &
Steve Schlicker
GVSU
2002-2005 Brian Snyder &
Evan Schemm
LSSU
2005-2008 Brian Snyder &
Kimberly Muller
LSSU
2008-2010 Kimberly Muller
Andrew Ross
LSSU
EMU
2013- David Tannor GRCC

 

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Locations of Annual Meetings


1924-42 University of Michigan
1943 University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
(Joint Illinois, Indiana, Michigan Meeting)
1944 University of Michigan
1946-48 University of Michigan
1949 Wayne University (WSU)
1950 University of Michigan
1951 Michigan State College (MSU)
1952 University of Michigan
1953 Wayne University (WSU)
1954 University of Michigan
1955 Michigan State University
1956 University of Michigan
1957 Wayne State University
1958 University of Michigan
1959 Michigan State University
1960 University of Michigan
1961 Wayne State University
1962 University of Michigan
1963 Western Michigan University
1964 Michigan State University
1965 University of Michigan
1966 Wayne State University
1967 University of Michigan
1968 Grand Valley State College
1969 University of Michigan
1970 Wayne State University
1971 Western Michigan University
1972 Oakland University
1973 Alma College
1974 Central Michigan University
1975 General Motors Institute (Kettering University)
1976 Calvin College
1977 Eastern Michigan University
1978 Michigan State University
1979 University of Detroit
1980 Hope College
1981 Oakland University
1982 Calvin College
1983 Oakland Community College, Auburn Hills
1984 University of Michigan
1985 Western Michigan University
1986 Central Michigan University
1987 Michigan State University
1988 Eastern Michigan University
1989 Hope College
1990 University of Michigan-Flint
1991 Calvin College
1992 Saginaw Valley State University
1993 St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN
(Joint Illinois, Indiana, Michigan Meeting)
1994 Alma College
1995 Grand Valley State University
1996 Siena Heights College
1997 Wayne State University
(Joint Meeting with American Mathematical Society)
1998 Western Michigan University
  1999 Eastern Michigan University
  2000 Central Michigan University
  2001 Hope College
  2002 Lawrence Technological University
  2003 Saginaw Valley State University
  2004 Oakland University
  2005 Alma College
  2006 Calvin College
2007 University of Michigan - Dearborn
2008 Grand Valley State University
2009 Central Michigan University
2010 Eastern Michigan University
2011 Western Michigan University
2012 Saginaw Valley State University
2013 Lake Superior State University
2014 University of Michigan - Flint
2015 Hope College

 

 

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