President's Report

Fall 2008

The end of August is fast approaching and we are all preparing to begin another semester. My how time flies when you are busy and having fun. I have been doing both since I began my term as the President of the Ohio Section of the MAA. I assumed my new duties at the end of our excellent Spring Meeting held at Marietta College. As you know the Spring Meeting is full of extra excitement due to the many student participants. This year was no exception. Thirty-one teams (89 students) participated in the student problem solving contest and over 30 students, representing 15 colleges and universities, gave 15 minute talks. CONSTUM also organized a Graduate School Panel to discuss options and answer questions about graduate school in Mathematics. Invited addresses were given by Carl Pomerance (Dartmouth College), Lew Lofton (Georgia Institute of Technology), and our own Bill Higgins (Wittenberg University). The Ohio Section Teaching Award was presented to Judy Holdender from Kenyon College. Congratulations, Judy!

The summer short course was held at Xavier University and was co-led by Danny Otero (Xavier University) and David Pengelley (New Mexico State University). Eleven participants attended this two and one-half day course entitled “Study the Masters: Using Primary, Historical Sources in Teaching and Research.” Danny Otero is to be commended for receiving a grant to help with the costs of this course. Many thanks to all the members of CONSACT for their continued efforts that enable our Section to offer great summer short courses.

The Executive Committee has been working on several tasks given to us by the MAA National Working Group on Sections (NWGS). We finalized our responses to these tasks during our summer planning meeting held at Ashland University in June. I attended my first MathFest at Madison, WI in August and many other Ohio MAA members were in attendance. During the session for Section Officers, I was able to present the Ohio Section’s responses to our tasks from the NWGS. One of these tasks was to list five things the Ohio Section can do to support the National MAA. Our list consisted of the following: 1) Encouraging full participation of the Mathematics community to enhance the Association’s mission through providing quality Sections meetings with student participation at Spring Meetings and providing quality summer short courses; 2) Being fiscally responsible and keeping accurate records; 3) Responding to activities requested by the Association; 4) Maintaining a quality website for our Section; and 5) Providing timely communication to our Section and the Association. We should be proud to note that the Ohio Section is already doing all of these items and plans to continue to do them with great success.

A new Centennial Committee was formed last year to begin planning for our big MAA Centennial Celebration in 2016. The MAA and the Ohio Section were both founded on December 31, 1915 and the Ohio Section held its first meeting in April 1916. All members of the Ohio Section are encouraged to update their department’s history and make it available on their departmental webpage. If you have any suggestions for celebrating our centennial, please forward them to any of the committee members.

During the summer months I contacted Section members about continuing or beginning committee assignments. We could still use a few more members on CONCUR and CONSACT committees. Please let me know if you are interested in serving on either of these committees so you can be appointed in time to meet with the committee during our Fall Meeting at Capital University in October. If you wish to serve on any of the other committees, I will be compiling a list of interested people for filling committee openings in the coming years. Committee membership is a great way to get more involved with the Section and “give back” a little for all the wonderful benefits we receive through our membership.

We have a great Fall Meeting shaping up for October 24-25, 2008 at Capital University. The Spring Meeting will be held April 3-4, 2009 at Bowling Green State University. Nominations for the Ohio Section Teaching Award are due January 1, 2009. Please see the call for nominations (below) and consider nominating a deserving faculty member for the 2009 award.

I wish everyone the best as we begin another academic year and hope to see you at the Fall Meeting in October.

Vickie Van Dresar

Ashland University

Section President