Officers' Reports

Chairperson's Report

Now in its 74th year, the Michigan Section has a long tradition of service, activities, and meetings. As we look forward to another great year, we remember that the success of the Section is largely due to the many individuals who unselfishly volunteer a great amount of time and effort. This brief report can mention but a few of these fine people.

Recent Past Chairs Tom Miles (CMU) and Richard Phillips (MSU) and Governor John Petro (WMU) are stalwart members and a source of guidance and inspiration for everyone in the Section. New Vice Chair Bette Warren (EMU) and continuing Vice Chair Jim Chesla (Grand Rapids CC) are hard at work on the program for the annual meeting at Western Michigan University this coming May 1-2. Ruth Favro (LTU) is the new Secretary/Treasurer, and she would like to see you renew your membership early. Membership is down, so please consider recruiting some of your colleagues to join us. Earl Fife (Calvin College) is our Public Information Officer, and his duties include maintaining the Michigan Section web pages (, which are an excellent resource and a great way to link to other sites.

This Newsletter has been a Section publication since 1974 and is considered one of the finest MAA Section newsletters in the country. Editor Jerry Grossman (OU) is to be warmly thanked for carrying on this great tradition. The 41st annual Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition is being led by Director Gerald Ludden (MSU). The grading of Part II of the MMPC will take place at MSU on January 17; please join us and consider enlisting a colleague who may not have graded before to join you. The High School Visiting Lecture Program, also in place since 1974, is now under the leadership of Mike Gilbert (SVSU).

The Atlanta MathFest was attended and enjoyed by many Michigan Section members (and the weather cooperated beautifully). I hope to see many of you in Baltimore this January 7-10, as well as in Toronto July 16-18. The meeting in Toronto will be held concurrently with SIAM's annual summer meeting.

One final note: Michigan Section members continue to be part of the "Building Bridges" efforts, led by Roger Verhey (UM-Dearborn) and many others, to help bridge the transition from high school to collegiate mathematics. In particular, changing K-12 mathematics curricula require that our institutions rethink their placement tests and entrance level mathematics courses. We all must be ready to take part in these important efforts at our own institutions. See the From the Origin article by Roger on pages 9-11 for his views on this.

Matt Wyneken, Chair

Annual Meeting in May

The next joint Annual Meeting of the Michigan Section-MAA and Mich-MATYC will be held on May 1-2 at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. We are planning an exciting program with a variety of talks and workshops in mathematics, teaching mathematics, and the use of technology. Speakers include David Bressoud (Macalester College), Aparna Higgins (University of Dayton), Robert Bartle (EMU), Margret Höft (UM-Dearborn), Robert Megginson (UM-Ann Arbor) and Dennis Pence (WMU).

In addition to our invited speakers, we will have sessions for contributed papers and a special session for papers by undergraduates. Instructions for submitting abstracts for one of these sessions are contained in the Call for Papers, which was included with the request for dues mailed earlier this Fall, and which is repeated on page 33 of this Newsletter. Speaking at a contributed paper session is an excellent way to share your work and become acquainted with your colleagues in Michigan.

The meeting is scheduled to run all day Friday and Saturday morning. There will be luncheons both days and a banquet Friday evening. As is our custom, we will be presenting both a teaching award and a service award at the Friday banquet.

The program committee consists of co-chairs Jim Chesla (Grand Rapids CC) and Bette Warren (EMU) along with Paul Eenigen-burg (WMU). Please notify one of us if you would like to give a presentation or if you have a suggestion for the program. John Petro (WMU) is chairing the local arrangements committee. Contact information for all of us is given on page 34.

Bette Warren, Four-year College Vice Chair

Secretary and Treasurer's Report

As your new Secretary/Treasurer, I was pleased to find the well-organized records passed on to me by Bette Warren. Her extensive work is making mine much easier.

The Michigan Section's current bank balance is $3,193 (the lowest point of the year, before dues come in). This is about $300 less than last year at this time. This is semi-good news, since the rate of the balance's decline seems to have slowed.

The annual request for Section dues has been sent to each member of the MAA in Michigan, and includes a list of Section activities. The information you supply on the dues form will help in updating our data base. We also included a Call for Papers for the annual meeting (to be held May 1-2, 1998 at WMU). We hope this early announcement will encourage people to think about presentations and will encourage participation.

Dues were raised for the first time in seven or eight years, to $15 for individuals and $30 for sustaining members. Institutional membership is now $40 for small and $70 for large institutions. We felt that this increase was necessitated especially by the rising costs of printing and mailing of the Newsletter, a major Section activity which benefits the entire mathematical community in Michigan. It is mailed not just to MAA members, but to all faculty members in mathematical sciences departments in Michigan colleges and universities.

MAA membership has been falling nationally as well as in the state. Let's reverse this trend in Michigan! This year, don't wait until the Spring meeting to sign upif you have not already sent in your dues, do it today. If your dues request tends to get buried on your desk under layers of archaeologically filed papers (like mine), there is a convenient Section dues form in this Newsletter on page 32, and a National dues form on page 36.

Ruth Favro, Secretary/Treasurer

Governor's Report

Over the past decade, or so, we have witnessed major changes in the mathematics curriculum at all levels, from kindergarten through college. These changes have been spearheaded by the reform movement, which is committed to developing a more meaningful curriculum with an emphasis on fundamental concepts and real world applications in place of the more traditional emphasis on calculations and symbol manipulations. This movement has been fueled, in part, by the rapid advances in technology which free us from tedious calculations. The impact of these changes has been particularly hard felt at the interface between high school mathematics and beginning college mathematics. Students with four years of high school mathematics sometimes find themselves being placed in developmental level mathematics courses in college because of poor performance on placement exams. Professors complain that many students fail to progress satisfactorily in college mathematics courses because of inadequate mathematical and logical reasoning skills. We are constantly being challenged to define exactly what the content of the secondary mathematics curriculum should be.

The Michigan Section of the MAA has been very much concerned about this issue. One year ago, Roger Verhey, University of Michigan-Dearborn, brought together a group of mathematics educators from throughout Michigan for a Building Bridges conference in Lansing. This was followed last May with a Building Bridges strand at our Annual Meeting in Detroit. Plans are for this to continue with a focus on placement exams at our Annual Meeting next May. Similar sessions and meetings are going on elsewhere in state, regional, and national meetings of the MAA, NCTM, AMATYC, and AMS. It is imperative that the Michigan Section continue to take a leadership role in addressing these concerns and seeking reasonable solutions.

John W. Petro, Governor, Michigan Section-MAA

On to J. Southerland Frame Remembered
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