Concordia University will host the MAA-NCS Spring Meeting, April 20-21.
Our two invited speakers for the spring meeting are Richard McGehee (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) and Jill Dietz (St. Olaf College).
A program for the Spring 2012 meeting will be posted approximately one to two weeks on the MAA-NCS website prior to the meeting.
Steve Kennedy, Carleton College
I represented the section at the Board of Governors meeting in Boston on January 3. Herewith some highlights: a major part of that meeting is a briefing on the financial situation of the Association. The short version of that briefing is that the overall financial picture seems to be OK. We have been harmed by the economic downturn but appear to be recovering. In particular, we have been running an operating deficit in our annual budget each of the last several years (about $150K last year). We can’t really afford that much longer, but it looks as if we will balance the budget this year. The association’s financial documents can be examined at maa.org and I won’t spoil the fun you might have doing so by revealing any more here. The takeaway message seemed to be “we’re OK, but not great.” (Relatedly, the Greater MAA fund set records for number of gifts and dollar amount raised.)
We received the final report of the strategic working group on SIGMAAs . The MAA has been in a cycle of strategic planning for the last several years with small working groups examining various areas of operation (e.g., Competitions, Students, Periodicals etc.) and making recommendations. The SIGMAA report mainly concerned itself with erecting some regularization of procedures around reviewing, reporting and budgeting. SIGMAAs were only invented a few years ago and they’ve been organized (I use the word loosely) in a somewhat ad hoc way to date. The only (mildly) controversial proposal here was the budgeting one. Until now an individual SIGMAA’s funding would roll over year to year if there was an unspent balance. Now, each year, each SIGMAA will work with MAA HQ to determine a budget for that year depending on membership and activity in that SIGMAA.
In the spring of 2010 the Association of Women in Science received NSF funding to study the rates of awards and other recognition of women in scientific societies. The MAA agreed to cooperate with that study and appointed a Task Force to do so. That Task Force (Betty Mayfield, Frank Farris, Patricia Hale, Martha Siegel and Francis Su) analyzed data on MAA awards and made several recommendations, most of which are still under consideration. The data showed that women are underrepresented in invited lectures and MAA awards for writing. Women appear to be represented in approximate parity with their population proportion in MAA awards for service and teaching. One of the recommendations made is that when a person is appointed to an Awards committee that person receive a document describing procedures useful for avoiding implicit bias. I’ve sent a copy of that document to the Section Secretary for posting on our webpage (link). Among this Task Force’s other recommendations is a suggestion that the MAA adopt double-blind refereeing for all our journals (as is already the practice for the CMJ). This recommendation was somewhat controversial, but seems likely to become MAA policy in the very near future.
Over lunch governors, in small groups, discussed the transition from high school calculus to college calculus and ways to make that transition smoother. (We learned that fantastically large numbers of students who pass calculus in high school fail the same course when they retake it in college.) The MAA is working with the NCTM to adopt policy language amenable to both organizations that essentially will articulate that calculus should not be the goal of K-12 mathematics education, it should instead be offered only to students who possess sufficient mastery of algebra, trigonometry and analytic geometry. Also, colleges should make an effort to structure their introductory curricula in ways that acknowledge the near ubiquity of a high-school calculus experience in their incoming first-year students.
In other news from MAA HQ there are searches underway for new editors of Math Horizons and The CMJ (consider applying---these are fun jobs). Planning for the upcoming MAA Centennial is in high gear, the major celebration will take place at Mathfest 2015 in Washington DC. Deanna Haunsperger and I are chairing the planning committee, if you’ve got ideas for appropriately celebratory activities, we’d love to hear them.
I hope to see you at Concordia in a few weeks!
Respectfully submitted, Steve Kennedy
Addendum: Feel free to view the presentation given for Section Governors (in PowerPoint). (link).
Mike Hvidsten, Gustavus Adolphus College
The next meeting of our section will be April 20-21 at Concordia University in St. Paul. As always, our meetings provide a welcome opportunity to re-connect with friends and colleagues across our great section. We will have two invited addresses from Richard McGehee (University of Minnesota - Twin Cities) and Jill Dietz (St. Olaf College). We will also have a pre-meeting session, co-sponsored by our section NExT but also open to all section faculty. The topic of the session will be the Common Core Standards. We will have Sonja Goerdt from St. Cloud State University assist us in understanding what the Common Core is and what impact the new standards will have for us as educators of future K-12 teachers.
I encourage all members of our section to attend our bi-annual section meetings. There are always great talks, stimulating conversations, and the chance to connect with fellow mathematicians in our area. It would be great to see new faces at our meetings. Please encourage junior members of your department to consider attending our meeting at Concordia University.
This is the last meeting in which I will serve as President. I have enjoyed serving the section - it has been a great priviledge to do so. I have had the opportunity to work with interesting, clever, dedicated, and funny fellow officers. I would especially like to thank those officers who are completing their terms of service at the spring meeting. I owe a great debt to Past-President Jason Douma. Jason has been a tremendous resource and friend. Joel Iiams has spent the last three years doing an amazing job as Secretary of our section. He will be hard to replace. Thanks also go to member-at-large Sayel Ali, Minnesota State University - Moorhead and to committee chairs Danrun Huang, St. Cloud State University (teaching award committee) and Ralph Carr, St. Cloud State University (service award committee).
Dale Buske, St. Cloud State University
I would like to thank the following colleges and universities for becoming institutional members of the North Central Section. As in previous years all proceeds will be used to support our Section NExT program.
|Bemidji State University||Bethel University||Concordia College||Concordia University, St. Paul|
|Gustavus Adolphus College||Minnesota State University, Mankato||Normandale Community College||Saint Mary's University|
|South Dakota State University||Southwest Minnesota State University||St. John's University/College of St. Benedict||St. Olaf College|
|University of Manitoba||University of Minnesota, Duluth||University of Minnesota, Morris||University of Winnipeg|
|Spring 2012||Concordia University, St. Paul||April 20-21|
|Fall 2012||University of Minnesota-Duluth||October 19-20|
|Spring 2013||Gustavus Adolphus College||April 26-27|
|Fall 2013||South Dakota State University, Brookings||October 18-19|
|Spring 2014||St. Cloud State University||TBD|
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