2001 Certificate of Meritorious Service
Kenneth A. Ross, University of Oregon
The Pacific Northwest Section of the Mathematical Association of America is both pleased and honored to nominate Kenneth A. Ross for a Certificate of Meritorious Service. Diligence has marked Ken’s 37 years of service to the MAA at every level from local arrangements chair for sectional meetings to the presidency of the Association. He is known to everyone as a gifted mathematics educator, as an inspired leader who, with wisdom and wit, has led the Association through challenging times, and for his tireless attention to the kind of detail that promotes efficacy in a large and complex organization.
Professor Ross first served the PNW section as local arrangements chairman for the national August 1984 meetings held in Eugene and has continued as a counselor and informal member of the executive committee ever since. He was local arrangements chairman also for the sectional AMS-MAA meeting held in June 1994. On the national level Ken has been a member (sometimes ex officio) of the Local Arrangements Committee for every national meeting from 1984 through 1993. Most notably he has served the Association as Associate Secretary, Secretary, and President and as a member of the Board of Governors continuously since 1984. Ken has served on many committees within the Association covering issues such as meetings and membership, awards and prizes, publications and editorial policy, and myriad governance issues such as Finance, Bylaws, and the Executive Committees. One of his most notable contributions was his diplomatic and intelligent leadership as chair of the MAA Response Group on the NCTM Standards.
Ken has delivered Invited Addresses to at least 21 sections of the MAA, frequently multiple times, to say nothing of innumerable shorter talks and presentations. Ross is also well known for his texts, Abstract Harmonic Analysis (with Hewitt), Elementary Analysis: The Theory of Calculus, Discrete Mathematics (with Wright), and over 30 publications, including two in the Monthly and one in the College Mathematical Journal. His Erdös number is 2 and his Niven number is 3.
This nomination comes at a very propitious time, for with this year Professor Ross concludes a career in mathematics and teaching spanning 40 years.
I truly appreciate and am honored that the Pacific Northwest Section has selected me for this award. I am also a bit embarrassed. On at least two occasions the section wanted to give this award to Ivan Niven and asked me what I thought. I said, "No, this is really an award designed to honor the unsung heroes of the sections who may not be widely known in the MAA. Their local efforts make the MAA strong." No one asked my opinion this time! Ivan was a great champion of the Pacific Northwest Section who certainly deserved this award and I would like to share it, spiritually, with him today. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my colleagues and friends in the Pacific Northwest and thank them again for the honor.