April 1988 Council Minutes
APRIL 1988 COUNCIL MINUTES
AMERICAN MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY
MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL
23 April 1988
The Council met on 23 April 1988 at 7:00 PM in the Prince George Room of the
Quality Inn in College Park, MD. Members present were W. Browder, W. W.
Comfort, W. J. Davis, R. G. Douglas, J. P. Gilman, R. Hughes, R. C. Kirby, I.
Kra, G. D. Mostow, F. P. Peterson, E. Pitcher, M. B. Pour-El, M. Rieffel, H.
Stark, J. E. Taylor, W. P. Thurston, W. A. Veech, R. F. Williams, and C. S.
Wood. Also present were R. M. Fossum, R. Hahn, K. Hoffman, J. Kister, M. Lane,
W. J. LeVeque, J. W. Maxwell, and J. A. Voytuk. H. Bass had the privilege of
the floor. President Mostow was in the chair.
1.1 Minutes. The minutes of the Council of 5 January 1988 were circulated
by mail. It was noted that the person raising item 9.1 Arpanet/Internet was
Stephen Weintraub (not Weinberg). With this correction the minutes were
1.2 Business by Mail of 29 February 1988. The minute showing the election
of William P. Thurston to the Executive Committee is attached and was approved.
1.3 Minutes of 4 August 1987. The Secretary stated that minute 4.7
contains an error in the second paragraph. The ad hoc committee on the history
of mathematics, noted in the parenthetical remark as a subcommittee of the
Publication Committee, was actually a subcommittee of the Committee to Monitor
Problems in Communication. The minute was corrected in that respect.
COMMITTEES AND BOARDS
4.1 Mathematical Reviews Editorial Committee. The Committee requested that
it be increased from three to four. A letter in support from its chairman,
Melvin Hochster, is attached. The Council approved the request.
4.2 AMS-SIAM Committee to Screen Applicants for Graduate Study from the
People's Republic of China. The committee, consisting of David J. Benney and
Robert L. Bryant, presented the attached report of the activity of the
committee during the last five years. The Council received the report with
4.3 Committee on Opportunities in Mathematics for Underrepresented
Minorities. The joint AMS-MAA-AAAS Committee on Opportunities in Mathematics
for Disadvantaged Groups requested the change in name to that in the title.
The Council approved for the Society.
4.4 Mathematics in the Life Sciences. The AMS proposed to the Society for
Mathematical Biology (SMB) and to SIAM that SMB join with AMS and SIAM in the
joint AMS-SIAM Committee on Mathematics in the Life Sciences. The SMB has
already approved. The SMB is the organization through which the AMS and SIAM
arrange symposia at meetings of societies of quantitative biologists. The
Council approved the change.
4.5 Newsletter on Collegiate Mathematics Education [CME]. The Chairman's
Colloquium noted the need for a newsletter on CME. The Executive Committee and
Board of Trustees approved the principle and the Mathematical Sciences
Education Board [MSEB] and the NSF have appeared to welcome the idea. An ad
hoc joint AMS-MAA advisory committee (Jerry L. Bona, Joseph A. Gallian,
chairman, Frank Morgan, Doris W. Schattsneider) and an editor (Ed Dubinsky)
were chosen provisionally. A reference is the ECBT minutes of November 1987,
item 6.7. The prose portion of a draft of a grant application is attached,
giving a detailed description of the proposed venture.
The project would be "self supporting", that is, supported by a grant at the
beginning, by the grant and nominal subscriptions later, and finally by
The Council approved Society participation.
4.6 Institutional Dues. The Council of 5 January 1988 charged the
Committee on Institutional Membership (a committee of the Trustees) with
devising a formula for institutional dues based on scholarly activity (not
merely on the number of pages of published research). The Committee report is
attached. The Council approved the report. The Council further approved an
amendment to Article IX, Section 4 of the bylaws so that it now reads
The minimum dues of an institutional member shall depend on the
scholarly activity of that member during a specific period.
[The Council should have been offered the opportunity to specify the route for
approval by the membership. The Executive Committee wanted it to go to the
August business meeting and the Secretary proposes so to handle it.]
4.7 Nominations. The Nominating Committee proposed the following names for
Society offices in the election of l988.
Vice President Sun-yung Alice Chang
(two for one position) Barry Mazur
Treasurer Franklin P. Peterson
Associate Treasurer Steve Armentrout
Associate Secretary Joseph A. Cima
(two positions) W. Wistar Comfort
Trustee Edwin E. Floyd
(two for one position) Paul J. Sally, Jr.
Member-at-large Jonathan L. Alperin
(five positions) Fan R. K. Chung
Lawrence J. Corwin
George R. Sell
William Yslas Velez
Robert J. Zimmer
American Journal David Gieseker
Bulletin Murray H. Protter
Colloquium Publ. Charles L. Fefferman
Mathematical Reviews Leonard D. Berkovitz
(two positions) John L. Selfridge
Mathematical Surveys David S. Kinderlehrer
Math. of Comp. Andrew M. Odlyzko
Proceedings William W. Adams
(six positions) J. Marshall Ash
Andreas R. Blass
Clifford J. Earle
Trans. & Memoirs Eugene F. Fabes
Committee to Monitor Jean Marie DeKoninck
Problems in Comm. Arthur M. Jaffe
The Council made the proposed nominations.
4.8 JPBM Restructuring. The Council of 5 January 1988 set up a Committee
on the Restructuring of JPBM and asked it to report to the Executive Committee
and Board of Trustees [ECBT] in May 1988. The Council received the attached
draft of the report and discussed it but took no action.
8.1 Research Fellowship Contributions. The negative checkoff of $10.00 on
the dues bill has been quite effective in securing contributions to the
Centennial Fellowship Fund. The Council confirmed the amount of $10.00 as the
continuing figure for that purpose.
8.2 Research Fellowship. It was observed that recipients of the AMS
Centennial Research Fellowship (formerly Research Fellowship) have been persons
who have already had two or more years of prestigious fellowships (NSF
Postdoctoral, Sloan, etc.). The intent was that the fellowships go to persons
who would profit from relief from teaching appointments and have had
insufficient opportunity. The ground rule was that the vita must include at
least three full years of postdoctoral teaching or industrial experience, i.e.,
nonfellowship years. The requirement stated in that form was not strong enough
to achieve the desired objective. It was therefore proposed to add a sentence
to the description of the fellowship saying that the selection committee may
give preference to applicants who have not had extensive postdoctoral research
support. The Council approved.
The Council also received the attached letter from Philip Kutzko raising some
questions about the fellowship program. The President was requested to appoint
a committee to study the issues raised.
8.3 Editorial Committees. The Council of 5 January 1988 agreed that
members of the Editorial Committees named in Article III, sections 1 and 3, of
the bylaws should be appointed by the Council with the aid of nominations
offered by an elected Editorial Boards Committee. The committee could function
with respect to editors chosen in 1989 to serve effective in 1990 provided the
bylaws were amended in the election of 1988 and the charge to the Nominating
Committee were reformulated. The Council approved an amendment to Article VII
of the bylaws as attached and agreed to submit it to the membership with the
ballot of the fall of 1988.
8.4 Representation in Section A of AAAS. The Council empowered the
President to increase Society representation at AAAS meetings as the President
deems appropriate and to appoint a committee to generate and review programs
for AAAS meetings in close contact with the chairman of Section A. The
importance of representation on committees and as speakers by otherwise
underrepresented groups should be recognized.
8.5 Symposia in Applied Areas. The Council empowered the President to
appoint a committee tentatively called the Committee on Cooperative Symposia to
generate and review ideas for cosponsoring sessions involving applications with
other organizations. This committee will cover loci other than AAAS (see 8.4)
and SMB (see 4.4), for which committees already exist.
9.1 Nominating Committee
9.2 Election Procedures
It developed that these two items are related and they were discussed together.
Irwin Kra proposed that the number and terms of members of the Nominating
Committee be changed in accord with the following rules.
1. The terms of office for members of the Nominating Committee
should be three years.
2. The Committee should be enlarged to consist of nine members.
3. One third of the Committee should be elected each year using
the current method.
4. For the transition, the President should extend by one year the
appointment of one member whose term is about to expire and by two
years the appointments of two members whose terms expire one
This proposal was approved but it was recognized that there are scheduling
problems with respect to the work of the Nominating Committee. Perhaps it
would be better for the terms to begin on 1 July. If so then there are
problems of transition.
William P. Thurston raised eight questions concerning the election system of
the Society and put forward the following proposals.
1. Nominating Committee. The term of office for the nominating
committee shall be changed to three years (from two). The
nominating committee should be encouraged to have a second
meeting each year.
2. Presentation of Candidates to Members. There should be a
livelier, more timely, and more substantial presentation of
candidates for office, in the Notices.
3. Office of President. Two candidates shall be nominated for
4. Treasurer and Associate Treasurer. The term of office for
Treasurer and Associate Treasurer shall be four years, with a
limit of two consecutive terms. There shall be a two year
phase-in period for these offices. The nominating committee,
at its discretion, may propose one or two candidates.
5. Secretary. We should consider whether and how to modify term
of office and type of contest for this office in next year:
there are too many complicated issues here to resolve them now
along with all the other questions. No formal action.
6. Election Results. The numerical tallies of elections for
officers shall be available to any Society member on request,
and shall be distributed as an attachment to the regular
7. Machinery. A committee of the Council shall review the
procedures of the Council for considering issues, and review
the set of powers delegated to the Executive Committee.
8. Trustees. Two candidates shall be routinely put forward for
The position of Thurston is amplified in the attached document.
Item 1 was nugatory and item 5 did not call for action. Item 2 was recognized
as a problem requiring information from the staff as to what is feasible with
respect to printing and mailing schedules. Items 3, 4, and 8 are related. It
was recognized that were item 4 approved the term should be five years, not
four. Item 8 was set aside. Item 6 was approved with the revision that the
tallies be an attachment to the open minutes of the Council and that it shall
be announced once a year in the Notices that the minutes are available on
request. Item 7 was approved.
At this point it was agreed that two committees should be appointed. The first
is the Committee to Review the Procedures of the Council in Considering Issues.
Its charge is stated in item 7 of the Thurston proposals. [It was subsequently
appointed and consisted of R. M. Fossum, Albert Marden, Marian B. Pour-El,
chairman, and Harold M. Stark.]
The second is the Committee on Election Scheduling. It was charged to make
recommendations on the dates of the terms of members of the Nominating
Committee (which now begin on 1 January and end on 31 December). It was
charged to make recommendations on achieving a livelier, more timely, and more
substantial presentation of candidates for office in the Notices. It was
charged with testing the sentiments of past presidents and others about
contested elections for president and with making recommendations on the terms
of treasurer, associate treasurer, and secretary. [The Committee subsequently
appointed consisted of Jane P. Gilman, Irwin Kra, William P. Thurston,
chairman, William A. Veech, and James A. Voytuk.]
9.3 Committee on Teaching Assistants and Part Time Instructors. The
Council approved the proposal that there be a joint AMS-MAA Committee,
primarily sponsored by the MAA, with the following charge as prepared by Bettye
The committee shall identify and address concerns related to the
orientation, training, supervision and evaluation of teaching assistants and
part-time instructors. The committee shall coordinate maintenance of data to
establish current situations and practices and dissemination of information
through meetings and publications. The committee shall coordinate efforts with
other appropriate committees of the American Mathematical Society and the
Mathematical Association of America.
INFORMATION AND RECORD
2.1 Dues. While the dues for 1989 were not to be increased, it was
understood that the division point in total professional income between those
paying lower level and higher level individual dues would be increased from
$30,000. The level desired by the Council is to be high enough that 60% of the
membership is at the lower level. Although the cutoff has been raised year by
year it has not been raised sufficiently. The Secretary studied the problem
with the assistance of the staff in Providence and proposed that the level be
$38,000. This proposal was placed on the May agenda of the Executive Committee
and Board of Trustees. The EC has been authorized to act for the Council.
2.2 Monitoring of Badges at Joint Meetings. It was understood that
alternatives to the current system of requiring payment of a registration fee
and the showing of a name tag to gain admission to lectures should be
considered by the joint AMS-MAA Committee on Meetings and reported to the
Council and the Trustees. The following procedure was devised.
I. Individuals who state that they have not yet registered, or
who have failed to bring the badge to the event, will be asked to
give name and address at the door, admitted, and asked to obtain
the regular badge as soon as is feasible. Any who in fact have
not registered by the end of the meeting will be sent a bill after
II. A person who has not preregistered or registered will be sent
to the registration desk to obtain a badge. This could be a
regular registration badge, or a special one if the person prefers
not to register. The latter badge will be of a distinctive color,
and will be valid only for the single event in question. It will
be preprinted with the words Not Registered, and will have the
person's name on it.
A letter from Barry Simon is attached.
2.3 Referendum. The text of the five motions in the referendum submitted
in January 1988 can be found in the Notices of November 1987, p. 1014. There
were 7075 ballots submitted, of which 7 were invalid. There were ballots that
were blank with respect to one or more motions. The results, as reported by
the Tellers, Robert D. M. Accola and Wendell P. Fleming, in terms of count and
percent are as follows.
Approve Do Not Approve Abstain
Motion I 4034(57.25) 2293(32.54) 719(10.2)
II 5193(73.67) 1317(18.68) 539(7.65)
III 6278(89.11) 298(4.23) 469(6.66)
IV 6355(90.21) 304(4.32) 385(5.47)
V 6192(87.97) 257(3.65) 590(8.38)
2.4 Council. A corrected list of members of the Council is attached.
2.5 Distribution. Serge Lang asked that the attached clip from the New
York Times be distributed.