This is a summary for all Pi Mu Epsilon Chapters of the meeting of the National Council of Pi Mu Epsilon, Inc., January 8, 2008.
Reports and Actions
- By an email vote, the Council voted unanimously to establish the Texas Tau Chapter at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls. It is our 328th Chapter. The Chapter will be formally installed during the spring 2008 term by President-Elect David Sutherland.
- By an email vote, the Council approved this motion with 7 yes votes and 1 abstention: “When an institution is applying for a new Chapter and after the liaison working with that institution feels that a draft of the petition meets the qualifications for approval, the liaison shall then, through the President, circulate the draft to the entire National Council. The members of the Council will then have a period of two weeks in which to voice objections or suggest modifications to the draft petition. If there are such concerns, the liaison shall take them to the proposing institution. If there are no objections within the two-week period, this will constitute tacit approval of the petition by the members of the Council. In this case, the liaison shall inform the applying institution that the draft petition is satisfactory and that the institution could then officially submit the petition to the Secretary-Treasurer of Pi Mu Epsilon for approval.”
- Pi Mu Epsilon Journal Editor Brigitte Servatius installed the Massachusetts Eta Chapter at Fitchburg State on October 2, 2007.
- Pi Mu Epsilon Secretary-Treasurer Leo Schneider installed the Ohio Sigma Chapter at Case Western Reserve University on October 18, 2007.
- Pi Mu Epsilon President Joan Weiss reactivated the New York Kappa Chapter at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (NY Kappa) on November 18, 2007.
Information and Council Action at the January 2008 meeting:
- In the Pi Mu Epsilon Lectureship Program, during the spring 2008 term three Chapters will benefit from our grants: Oklahoma Beta Chapter at Oklahoma State University, Oregon Beta Chapter at Oregon State University, and Oregon Epsilon Chapter at Linfield College. The grants pay all expenses up to $500 for a Councillor to visit the Chapter. The deadline for applications for the 2008-2009 academic year is Friday, May 9, 2008.
- The Pi Mu Epsilon nominating committee consisted of Joan Weiss, David Sutherland, Robert Smith, and Leo Schneider. The ballots were sent by email and USPS (bulk rate) to Chapter Advisors and Permanent Faculty Correspondents on or before January 10. The ballots are due to be returned before March 10. This is the slate of candidates who are unopposed: President–Elect, Eve Torrence; President, David Sutherland; Past President, Joan Weiss; Secretary-Treasurer, Leo Schneider, and Journal Editor: Brigitte Servatius. Chapters will choose 4 of these 7 candidates for Councillors: Paul Fishback, Grand Valley State University, MI; Maria Fung, Western Oregon University, OR; Michelle Ghrist, United States Air Force Academy, CO; Jacqueline Jensen, Sam Houston State University, TX; Kendra Killpatrick, Pepperdine University, CA; Angela Spalsbury, Youngstown State University, OH; Philip Yasskin, Texas A & M University, TX. Those elected will serve July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2011.
- The Editor of the Pi Mu Epsilon Journal reported that she has over 135 proposals in process. The number of submissions has been increasing. Although there are a number of papers by undergraduates, many of these papers have been co-authored with faculty and therefore will not be eligible for the Andree Awards for papers written by students. Two of the papers that are in the final stages of preparation are by high school students.
- A new set of problems, those to appear in the Problem Section of the spring 2008 issue of our Pi Mu Epsilon Journal, will be posted on our Pi Mu Epsilon web site within a few days of March 1 so students and others can begin working on them before the printed issue arrives on their desk.
- For a couple of decades, Pi Mu Epsilon has offered matching grants up to $50 to Chapters for sponsoring a mathematics meeting to which Pi Mu Epsilon members from neighboring Chapters are invited. In light of inflation since the first grants were offered, the Council approved increasing the $50 limit to $100.
- Pi Mu Epsilon has been computerizing its membership records for the past 6 years. This project has finally been completed!
- Plans are well underway for our national Pi Mu Epsilon conference to be held in conjunction with MathFest at Madison, Wisconsin Wednesday July 30 through Saturday August 2, 2008.
- The registration form and details for reimbursement will be posted on the Pi Mu Epsilon web site around March 1, 2008. The deadline for submission of student titles and abstracts is Friday June 13, 2008.
- There will be a reception for students Wednesday afternoon July 30, and sessions for student papers Thursday afternoon, Friday morning, and Friday afternoon.
- At MathFest 2008, Pi Mu Epsilon will again provide projectors for students who wish to use Power Point or computer animation in their presentation. The speaker is responsible for providing the laptop and its connection wires to the projector.
- Student speakers will be reimbursed for their transportation under a new formula approved by the Council at this meeting. These are the three criteria: (1) Individual student reimbursement remains at the minimum of the cost of transportation and $600; (2) Each Chapter may have up to five of its students’ transportation reimbursed; (3) The total reimbursement for the students from one Chapter cannot exceed $1200. In recent years the maximum reimbursement for from one to five students per Chapter was calculated on a linear scale with maxima of $600 for one student up to $1080 for five students per Chapter. The reasons for the change in light of the increasing costs of transportation were to make it more possible for two, or maybe even three, students from a Chapter to have most or all of their air fare paid and yet not over-extend Pi Mu Epsilon’s budget.
- The National Security Agency has again provided Pi Mu Epsilon with a grant so that Pi Mu Epsilon will be able to subsidize some of the student speaker costs of food and lodging while at our conference.
- There are many $150 cash prizes for the best student talks at our summer Pi Mu Epsilon conferences. In addition to the seven subsidized by the AMS and the one subsidized by CUR for talks from any area of mathematics, Pi Mu Epsilon can award up to two prizes for talks in each of these areas: applied mathematics (supplied by SIAM) and environmental mathematics (supplied by SIGMAA-EM); and one prize for a talk on the nexus of mathematics and biology (supplied by Bio-SIGMAA). These prizes will be awarded at the Pi Mu Epsilon Banquet Friday July 31 6:00P.M. to 7:30P.M.
- Pi Mu Epsilon will host a breakfast in Madison for Pi Mu Epsilon Chapter Advisors 7:00A.M. to 8:00A.M. Thursday July 30. Chapter Advisors wishing to attend must email the Secretary-Treasurer before July 1, and he will email the location to those responding about a week before MathFest.
- John Horton Conway accepted Pi Mu Epsilon’s invitation to present the 2008 J. Sutherland Frame Lecture at MathFest in Madison. This lecture will be given Friday August 1 2008 at 8:00 P.M. Professor Conway submitted this title and abstract: `The Symmetries of Things’. “Thurston's Commandment," namely, that “Thou shalt not understand the symmetries of a geometrical object save by studying its orbifold" was first used (in fact before Thurston) by Murray MacBeath to enumerate the distinct finite symmetry groups that are possible for objects in space of at most three dimensions (which had been enumerated in another way by Fedorov in the 19th century). The first part of the lecture will describe the resulting groups in terms of a notation I devised some time ago, that also applies to the celebrated 17 crystallographic plane groups. The second part will describe their 3-dimensional analogs, the 219 crystallographic space groups, which were re-enumerated recently by a new method due to Conway, Delgado-Friedrichs, Huson and Thurston. It's all easy, and there will be lots of pictures!
The complete minutes of this meeting will be available from the Pi Mu Epsilon Secretary-Treasurer after they are approved at the August 2008 meeting of the Pi Mu Epsilon Council in Madison, Wisconsin.
Leo J. Schneider
Secretary-Treasurer, Pi Mu Epsilon, Inc.