August 1985 Council Minutes
The Council met on 11 August 1985, at 5:00 pm in the Rendezvous Room of the
Washakie Center on the campus of the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Members
present were S. Armentrout, H.Bass, D.M. Burns, Jr., M.G.Crandall, R.M. Fossum,
P. R. Halmos. M. Hochster, I. Kaplansky, M.S. Montgomery, C.C. Moore, F.P.
Peterson, E. Pitcher, M.B. Pour-EL, S. Smale, L.W. Small, O. Taussky Todd, and
J.E. Taylor. Three persons were accorded the privilege of the floor, namely
Lenore Blum, Kenneth Hoffman, and Judith Sunley. Also present were R. Hahn, W.
J. Leveque, J.L. Selfridge, J.A. Voytuk, and W.B. Woolf. President Kaplansky
was in the chair.
0.1 MEMORIAL RESOLUTION: The Council passed the following resolution un-
The Council of the Society records with deepest sorrow
the death on Tuesday, July 30, 1985, of Ex-President
Julia B. Robinson, who served as President from 1 January
1983 to December 1984. Members of the Council remember
with gratitude her devoted service to the Society and her
contributions to mathematics.
It was noted that Professor Robinson had requested that there be no formal
memorial services, but that she had established the Alfred Tarski Fund in honor
of her teacher and had suggested that interested persons might wish to
contribute. The custodian is the Regents of the University of California, and
contributions may be sent in care of the Chairman at Berkeley, John W.
1.1 MINUTES OF 19 APRIL 1985; - These had been distributed by mail and were
COMMITTEE AND BOARDS
4.1 BOOK ACQUISITIONS: The EC recommended that the Committee to Monitor
Problems in Communication [Comm.-Comm.] be designated as the editorial
committee for books not in series. In so doing, they approved a suggestion
that came from the Trustees. The books included dictionaries, books about
mathematics and, for the time being, textbooks. The Committee has already
served in this capacity for review volumes and some other publications. The
recommendation of the EC was that the practice be institutionalized "to make
the Society's system for getting a wide variety of nonserial books into print
more flexible, responsive, and consistent." The Council approved.
4.2 LIFE MEMBERSHIP: The EC/BT recommended to the Council that a version of
life membership again be established. Up until 21 October 1941, it was
possible to become a life member at any age by paying an amount determined in
accordance with actuarial principles. It became apparent that the effects of
increased services and inflation made this version a poor risk for the Society
and it was discontinued.
The proposed version was that a member of age at least 62 might become a life
member by paying an amount equal to five times the higher level dues of the
first year of the membership. Formally, the proposal before the Council was
that the Council recommend amendment of Article IX, Section 11, of the bylaws
to reinstate life membership in the manner described. A draft amendment is
attached. The Council approved the amendment.
It was noted that some candidates for life membership might already be
contributing members. It was agreed that the possibility of their continuing
to contribute could be handled with the annual billing, which they would
receive even owing no dues, without special provision in the amendment.
4.3 RECRUITMENT OF YOUNG MATHEMATICIANS. The Long Range Planning Committee
made a recommendation that the EC/BT approved with only editorial changes.
The edited text is as follows:
The LRPC proposes the establishment of programs aimed at
extremely talented youngsters which would expose them to
mathematical research. These would be aimed at producing
researchers, not at producing college teachers, nor simply
at accelerated coverage of the curriculum for the youngsters
involved. The LRPC FEELS THAT WITHOUT THE CREATION OF NEW
INCENTIVES TO ENTER THE FIELD, THERE WILL SOON BE A SEVERE
SHORTAGE OF MATHEMATICAL RESEARCHERS.
The topics for such programs, which might be drawn from number
theory, discrete mathematics, etc. should be presented for
exploration by the student, not "taught" formally. Such a
program used to exist at Chicago during the summers. There are
other ways of doing it, e.g. at several universities, each of
which can draw on a substantial population, with perhaps one
meeting per week during the academic year. Such programs could
also be used for recruiting mathematical minorities at a very
early stage. The participants, if sufficiently talented, might
be quite young: junior high school age or even sixth graders,
as well as high school students. We believe programs of this
sort are operating at Ohio State University and the University of
It is not clear whether AMS, or others should follow up on this
idea: efforts should be coordinated with other interested groups.
We need to find out who is doing what, and we don't want to step
on toes. One possibility is a joint program in which AMS and
several other organizations work together. The work of putting
something like this together must be done locally, but a central
program coordinated jointly by the Society and other organizations
could provide information about model programs, about how to set
one up, and about how to get funding, as well as simply encouraging
people to take action in this direction. The present climate is
one in which we may reasonably expect that funds will be available
both for a central organization and for the local, university-
centered programs it will seed. The LRPC is very enthusiastic
about this proposal. It is an obvious proposition for fund raising.
The question remains, how should the Society proceed. If the ECBT
approves, the idea should be put to the Council for its approval.
Inevitably, a committee to look for methods of implementation and
for funding must be created, which should include some people who
know what the present possibilities for funding are.
Specifically, "the EC/BT approved in principle the proposal that programs aimed
at extremely talented youngsters be established. The EC/BT recommends that the
Council delegate to the EC/BT the authority to appoint a committee to look for
methods of implementation and sources funding."
The Council did approve in principle and did delegate to the EC/BT the
4.4 AMENDMENT TO BYLAWS: The Long Range Planning Committee approved a proposal
to the Council that the mode of amendment of the bylaws be changed. At
present, the "bylaws may be amended or suspended at any meeting of the Society
on recommendation of the Council and by a two-thirds vote of the members
present, provided notice of such proposed action and of its general nature
shall have been given in the call for such meeting." The proposal was to allow
the action of the Society to be carried out by mail ballot. The intent is that
the alternative of the mail ballot be the usual one, that the choice of
alternative of the mail ballot be the usual one, that the choice of alternative
shall be designated when the Council proposes an amendment, and that ordinarily
the mail ballot be carried out in conjunction with the election ballot.
Information about a proposed amendment would appear in the NOTICES, or would
accompany the ballot.
Specifically, the proposal is to replace Article XIII of the bylaws (see the
NOTICES for November 1983, p. 813) with the following text:
These bylaws may be amended or suspended on recommendation of the Council and
with the approval of the membership of the Society, the approval consisting of
an affirmative vote by two-thirds of the members present at a business meeting,
or of two-thirds of the members voting in a mail ballot in which at least ten
percent of the members vote, whichever alternative shall have been designated
by the Council, and provided notice of the proposed action and of its general
nature shall have been given in the call for the meeting or accompanies the
ballot in full.
The Council approved the amendment.
4.5 SEARCH FOR A SECRETARY: The Nominating Committee of 1985, recommended to
the Committee of 1986 that the present Secretary be nominated for a term in
1987-88. The Committee did this in response to a statement by the Secretary
that he wished to be relieved of his responsibility no later than the end of
that term, but would welcome serving until that time.
The EC/BT were informed of the recommendation and of some of the problems
inherent in finding a suitable replacement. They proposed to the Council that
a Search Committee be established with the charge of finding a suitable and
willing candidate to be presented to the Council no later than August 1987, for
nomination for the uncontested election of 1988. (See EC/BT, 5/85, 6.12) The
Trustees stated their intent then to authorize the payment of expenses for the
candidate t follow the work of the position for more than a year prior to
assuming the duties.
The Council authorized the appointment of the search committee. President
Kaplansky announced that it would consist of Hyman Bass, Ramesh A. Gangolli,
Chairman, Vera S. Pless, Everett Pitcher, and Harold M. Stark.
4.6 TRANSACTIONS EDITORIAL COMMITTEE: The Committee requested that its size be
increased by three and that these positions be filled by Ronald L. Graham
(1987), Peter W. Jones (1988) Kenneth Kunen (1987). The names are those of all
current associate editors excepting one and the terms are so designated that
time as associate editor and as member of the editorial committee add up to
four years. The intent is that the position of associate editor of the
TRANSACTIONS be eliminated, all editors having equal status. The sole
exception is that of R.O. Wells, Jr., who has served a full term on the
committee, is now an associate editor, and is managing editor.
The Secretary recommended that this change be effective on January 2, 1986.
This is consistent with the last paragraph of Article IV, Section a, of the
bylaws in the form about to be amended (and actually amended on 14 August
1985) and has the effect that the newly elected editors will not enlarge the
Council at a time when a move is under way to make it smaller.
The Council approved the increase in the size of the Editorail Committee and
the election of Graham, Jones, and Kunen as members of the Editorial
Committee effective 2 January 1986.
4.7 ISMAIL MOHAMED. A motion of the Council of 26 January 1977 concerning
Professor Ismail Mohamed and an extract from an article in the New York Times
by Anthony Lewis dated 3 March 1985, about him are attached. The Committee on
Human Rights of Mathematicians proposed that the Council recommend to the
Business Meeting that it pass the following resolution as prepared by Chandler
Davis, Chairman, and Joshua Leslie:
The 89th Summer Meeting of the American Mathematical Society
is dismayed by the arrest of Profesor Ismail Mohamed, who is
accused of high treason. Professor Mohamed is a professor of
mathematics at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
The AMS calls on the goverment of South Africa to function within
the context of Western ideas of due process by permitting bail for
Since high treason is a capital offense, it is all the more
imperative upon the government of South Africa that the elementary
forms of justice be closely followed for Professor Mohamed, and the
other members of the non-violet, multiracial United Democratic Front
who were arrested with him, so that they can prepare for their trials
and enjoy the other basic human rights.
The Council debated the wording and sent it to an ad hoc committee consisting
of Lenore Blum, representing the Committee on Human Rights, Danial A. Burns,
Michael G. Crandall, Melvin Hochster, Jean E. Taylor. The Committee returned
later in the meeting with the following text.
The 89th Summer Meeting of the American Mathematical Society
is concerned that the government of South Africa has arrested
Ismail Mohamed, along with several other leaders oif the United
Democratic Front, accusing them of high treason. We fear that
the charges against Professor Mohamed are ultimately based on
actions which we would consider legitimate political activities,
and that drastic penalties may be imposed for what elsewhere would
be considered nothing more than the reasonable exercise of freedom
of speech. Since high treason is a capital offense, we want to
express our particular and continuing concern that international
standards of justice and due process be observed in this case. The
American Mathematical Society intends to follow closely subsequent
developments in this case.
The Council recommended that the Business Meeting approve the resolution.
There were eleven votes in favor and one opposed, with several abstentions.
4.8 E.P. Gil'bo. Item 4.8 of the Council of 7 August 1983, is concerned with
the annulling of the doctor's degree of E.P. Gil'bo and item 4.15 of the
minutes of 98 January 19085, contains a brief progress report. The Committee
on Human Rights of Mathematicians presents the attached updated summary with
the request that it be published in the NOTICES as part of the report of the
Upon request of the Secretary, the Council instructed him so to publish it.
4.9 BULLETIN EDITOR; With his change of position from Professor of Mathematics
at the University of California, Berkeley, to Assistant Vice President
University of California, Calvin Moore resigned from the Editorial Committee of
the BULLETIN and the Council. The BULLETIN Editorial Committee recommended
that his replacement as editor for research announcements, be Professor Wu-
Chung Hsiang, who had been an associate editor for research announcements.
The Council did elect Hsiang to the Editorial Committee of the BULLETIN and
to the Council with term through December 1987.
4.10 PROMOTIONAL MEMBERSHIP. THE AMS-MAA Joint Meetings Committee recommended
a one year experiment in which each organization offers from membership for one
year to persons registering as non-members at the Annual Meeting in New
Orleans. This would take the place of the credit toward dues now offered.
Formally, the individual would fill out an application for membership as part
of the registration procedure and be subject to the usual election to
The Council approved.
4.11 REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY FOR NATIONAL AFFAIRS. Kenneth Hoffman
gave a report, chiefly concerning the fluid state of the construction of the
8.1 AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS: THE Council had recommended the amendments to the
bylaws that are printed on pp. 478-479 of the NOTICES for August 1985, and
that were distributed with the program of the meeting. They were to be offered
to the Business Meeting for approval. The Secretary observed the following
slight difficulty with the proposed change. The Council had instructed the
Secretary to designate one of the associate secretaries as a standby deputy
in case of the incapacity of the Secretary. The bylaws in the proposed amended
form do not provide for that person to be a Council member, although it was the
opinion of the Secretary that they should. Thus, the Secretary moved that the
following changes be made in the proposed amendment.
In article IV, Section 1, the first sentence shall begin:
The Council shall consist of 15 members at large and the following
ex officio members: The officers of the Society specified in
Article I, except that it shallw include only two assicate secretaries
The second sentence in the second paragraph shall be replaced with the
ONE OF THE ASSOCIATE SECRETARIES SHALL BE DESIGNATED BY THE
SECRETARY AND THE OTHER SHALL BE THE ASSOCIATE SECRETARY IN
CHARGE OF THE SCIENTIFIC PROGRAM OF THE MEETING AT WHICH THE
After considerable discussion the Secretary withdrew his motion.
8.2 CHARGE TO THE SCIENCE POLICY COMMITTEE: There was a motion proposed by
Professor Hugo Rossi, who is a member of both the Council and the Science
Policy Committee, but who was not present. The motion is to augment the charge
to the Science Policy Committee with the following paragraph:
The Science Policy Committee shall prepare an annual report to
be presented to the Council and published subsequently in the
NOTICES. This report should contain the following:
1. a summary of the actual federal funding in mathematical
research over the past year.
2. a statement of the Committee's activities over the past
year, and goals for the coming year in forming Science Policy.
3. a request for comment and input from active research
mathematicians as well as a summary of such comments received
over the last year.
The Council voted to postpone action on the motion until the meeting of
8.3 COMMITTEE TERMS. The Council of 8 January 1985, voted to change the terms
of members of appointed committees, with exceptions to end on 31 January
instead of 31 December. The Committee on Committees presented the attached
report concerning the action. Following discussion, the Council reversed the
action of January 1985, restoring the status quo ante.
9.1 STATISTICS ON MEN VERSUS WOMEN: Professor Jean Taylor proposed the
The AMS should regularly assemble information on the relative
numbers of men versus women in at least the following categories,
and should keep at least the Council informed of its findings:
(A) Membership in the AMS
(B) invited hour addresses at AMS meetings
(C) speakers at special sessions at AMS MEETINGS
(D) Members of editorial boards of AMS journals.
The information could be acquired in the various categories as follows:
1. Each member could be requested once to check a box labelled Male
or Female (the first time perhaps on a dues notice, later on membership
application) and the response given would be recorded in the membership
rolls; alternatively, each member could be asked to check such a box each
year, and the responses would be collated each year, but not recorded for
each individual. In any case, the providing of this information should
be optional for each individual.
2. The various Program Committee (Committees to Select Hour Speakers)
could be asked to supply this information each year.
3. The organizers of the sessions could be asked to supply this
4. The Nominating Committee could be asked to supply this information.
In support of her motion, she cited a letter of 28 March 1985, from Judith
Roitman to Irving Kaplansky, and a response of 16 May 1985 from James Maxwell.
These attached as well as a letter of 4 June 1985 from Roitman to Maxwell.
There is a memorandum attached from R. Girouard, Head of Membership and Sales,
on technical aspects of the proposal.
The motion was approved with an amendment that reports on the information thus
gathered be published in the NOTICES. It was noted that the motion engenders
an expenditure of funds, which is subject to approval by the Trustees.
4.12 NOMINATIONS: There had been no additional nominations by petition. The
additional names advanced by the Nominating Committee for the position of
Bruce L. Rothschild
Robert F. Williams.
The Council nominated these two persons.
INFORMATION AND RECORD
2.1 MINUTES OF THE EC/BT The minutes of the EC/BT of 9-12 May 1985, had been
distributed under separate cover, and are attached to the minutes of this
2.2 MINUTES OF THE LRPC: An interim report of the Long Range Planning
Committee, which is a committee of the Trustees, is summarized in the minutes
of the EC/BT of May 1985, and is attached to those minutes. This was to have
been the final report, but there are still a few items of committee business
2.3 DUES: The attention of the Council was directed to the fact that the EC/BT
exercised delegated powers in raising the level of annual professional income
separating lower from higher ordinary dues from $23,000 to $24,000.
2.4 ABSTRACT FEE: IN response to a request from the the Council of 8 January
1985, the Trustees voted to eliminate the abstract fee effective with the
Annual Meeting of 1986. See EC/BT 9-12 May 1985, item 7.6.
2.5 COSTS OF JOINT MEETINGS; Attention was invited to minute 2.12 of the EC/BT
of 9-12 May 1985, in which the revised agreement on cost sharing with MAA is
2.6 ARCHIVES. AS a result of extensive negotiations, an agreement was reached
with Brown University for establishment and maintenance there of the archives
of the Society. The negotiated contract was approved by the BT with the
advice of the EC and was passing through the formal approval process of the
University at the time of the Council meeting.
2.7 FUNDING FOR MATHEMATICS EDUCATION: A resolution proposed by Lynn Steen
was endorsed by the EC. See EC/BT minutes for 9-12 May 1985, ATT. 27, p. 3
2.8 PROGRAM REVIEW AT ONR: Professor J.T. Schwartz attended the Program Review
Meeting of the ONR in December 1984 at the request of President Kaplansky. His
report is attached. Attention is invited to the final paragraph.
2.9 RESEARCH FUNDING: At his request, a letter from Serge Lange to Representive
Don Fugua on government support of research is attached.
2.10 NOMINATING COMMITTEE; President Irving Kaplansky named six candidates for
the four positions onthe Nominating Committee. When there were no candidates
by petition, he named two more. Ths list is as follows:
John T. Baldwin
Eric D. Bedford
Richard E. Block
James W. Cannon
Paul S. Muhly
Catherine L. Olsen
2.11 SUMMER SALARIES VERSUS OTHER SUPPORT: SERGE LANG has asked that the
attached letter be distributed to the Council.
2.12 FOUR CHILEAN MATHEMATICIANS: THE minutes of the Council of 5 April 1985
item 2.1, and of 8 January 1985, item 4.15 are concerned with the situation of
four Chilean mathematicians who were imprisoned. The Committee on Human Rights
reports that all four are now at liberty and all are unemployed.
In conection with this incident, the Society supported the creation of the
National Academy of Sciences of a committee of inquiry. The Committee was
formed and has investigated, but has not yet reported.
2.13 IMPRISONMENT OF POLISH MATHEMATICANS: A preliminary report concerning two
Polish mathematicians, Marek Adamkiewics and Piotr Mormul, is attached for
Everett Pitcher, Secretary
August 11, 1985