History of the Pacific Northwest Section
of the Mathematical Association of America

There follows hereafter a brief history of the section which was provided by Ken Ross of the University of Oregon. If you have any comments to make about its contents, please contact him. If you have any suggestions about the format please contact Afton Cayford whose address is at the end. At the end of the history are links to lists of the past officers and meetings of the section.

The following appears in A History of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Washington, 1861 to 1991. "On February 4, 1919, the Department discussed the possibility of organizing a Northwest section of the Mathematical Association of America. After some discussion, the idea was tabled."

In the fall of 1929, H. E. Slaught (President of the MAA in 1919), inquired of the University of Washington mathematics department about the desirability of forming a Pacific Northwest Section of the MAA. J. P. Ballantine consulted his colleagues and the 26 other MAA members in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Vancouver, Canada. The answers were "doubtless honest, but not over encouraging." Only 11 responded and only 7 of these favored the idea. The idea was dropped.

On June 24, 1936, Albert A. Bennett (Vice President of the MAA in 1934) wrote to F. L. Griffin at Reed College and inquired whether anyone had considered organizing a section of the MAA in western Oregon. Bennett wrote to Reed College because he understood "that there is a rather natural feeling of jealousy between the two state institutions in that part of Oregon, owing to a suspicion of political juggling of funds. It may be, therefore, that neither the University nor the Agricultural College could make a move without having its impulses open to suspicion." Bennett made a strong case. However, Griffin's response, if any, has been lost to posterity.

A petition, dated May 9, 1945, for the formation of a new section to be known as the Pacific Northwest Section was submitted to MAA President C. C. MacDuffee. There were eighteen signatures on the petition:

Daniel Buchanan, F. S. Nowlan, Walter H. Gage, D. C. Murdoch, and S. A. Jennings of the University of British Columbia;
Mary E. Haller, Ross A. Beaumont, A. R. Jerbert, Hermance Mullermeister, and Roy M. Winger of the University of Washington;
L. G. Butler, M. S. Knebelman, and Paul Nemenyi at the State College of Washington;
T. S. Peterson, A. F. Moursund, and Frank Edwin Wood of the University of Oregon;
W. E. Milne and G. A. Williams at the State College of Oregon.

Professor Knebelman acted as chair of the committee that petitioned for the new section and F. S. Nowlan evidently served as secretary. The new section received formal approval by the Board of Governors at its Chicago meeting on November 24, 1945.

The first meeting was held on April 10-11, 1947 in Vancouver, British Columbia. S. A. Jennings gave the invited hour address, titled "Topological methods in algebra." The President of the University of British Columbia, N. A. M. MacKenzie, welcomed the group. The question of joint meetings with the AMS arose, and many of the meetings were joint beginning in the early 1950's. Forty seven persons attended this meeting, including 30 members of the MAA.

The second meeting was held on March 26-27, 1948 at the University of Oregon. The invited address was given by Ivan Niven. There was a conference on the "Mathematical training of prospective secondary school teachers." A committee, chaired by H. H. Irwin of State College of Washington and including high school teachers from various regions, was appointed to consider possible improvements in the Pacific Northwest. The committee was asked to report back at the 1949 meeting.

The March 1949 meeting was held at Oregon State College in Corvallis. One of the first issues faced by the section concerned the geographical extent of the section. Montana, Idaho, Alaska and Alberta were not included in the original bylaws. Idaho, Alaska, Alberta and Montana were added to the section at this meeting. Later, parts of Idaho and Montana were ceded to other sections. The Irwin committee, appointed in 1948, made a report. Numerous persons expressed opinions on this difficult problem. Finally a motion was adopted unaminously which asked the committee to continue "to act for another year in an effort to realize its objectives and implement its present findings."

In 1949 it was determined that June was the best time for sectional meetings. Thus, beginning in June 1950, all sectional meetings have been scheduled in June. That was also the first meeting at which a registration fee was assessed: $1 per person. This fee was agreed upon without dissent at the 1949 meeting "after considerable discussion pro and con."

The June 1950 sectional meeting was held at the University of Washington. The Irwin committee did not make a report and was discharged with the additional recommendation that the committee's final report be given as much publicity as possible. The June 1951 meeting was held at the State College of Washington in Pullman. The meeting was joint with AMS. At this meeting a committee was appointed to look into the possibility of conducting mathematical contests in high schools in the section. After the meeting the section's bank balance was $69.50.

The June 1952 meeting was held at the University of Oregon. The meeting was held jointly with the AMS, the Biometric Society, and the Econometric Society. The invited speakers included Carl B. Allendoerfer, Mark Kac, G. E. Forsythe and Z. W. Birnbaum. Kac's talk was sponsored by the University of Oregon as part of its 75th anniversary. There was no report from the contest committee, but Professor Ghent of the University of Oregon described the contest that was conducted in Oregon on May 1, 1952. At a symposium on calculus teaching, one young professor suggested the introduction of certain concepts which will allow for "an economy of time and thought in later courses since introduction of whole new set of concepts can be avoided." For example, the binary relation can be introduced before functions. The different kinds of limits can all be handled by introductng Moore-Smith limits, which are no more complicated than the limit of a sequence. Linear functionals can be used to clarify the maltreated differential and total differential. Etc.

The 1953 meeting was held at Montana State Univerity in Missoula. Dormitory accommodations cost $1.50 per person per night. There was a symposium on the connecting link between college algebra and abstract algebra. There was also a joint dinner with the AMS. The contest committee reported on separate activities in British Columbia and Oregon. But the director of mathematics for the Seattle public high schools is opposed to any official contests. So it was agreed to discontinue the idea of a Pacific Northwest Contest, while retaining the Contest Committee.

The 1954 meeting was held at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. At the Business Meeting, a recommendation from the Board of Governors was discussed, namely that the sectional Governor be a member of the Executive Committee of the section. This posed a problem since the section had no such committee. There was considerable discussion as to how this recommendation could be implemented, including a motion to table which was seconded but failed. Finally a successful motion amended the bylaws as follows: "There shall be an Executive Committee . . . consisting of the Officers and the Governor of the Section."

The 1955 meeting was held in Vancouver, British Columbia. There was no meeting in 1956 because of the national meeting in Seattle. The 1957 meeting was held at State College of Washington in Pullman. There was a symposium on Computing Machines moderated by Arvid Lonseth of Oregon State College. The titles of the speakers' talks were "The University of British Columbia computing centre," "Large scale industrial computers and the universities," and "The computer and the curriculum." It was announced that the MAA was taking over the national mathematics contest that had been run by the New York section. At the 1958 meeting in Corvallis, the Treasurer reported a bank balance of $25.47 as of June 20, 1958.

At the 1960 meeting in Missoula, there was a report on the 1959-60 visiting lectures program for the high schools. "While in some cases inadequate publicity and poor local organization hindered the effectiveness of the program, it was generally agreed that the program was very worthwhile." At the next meeting in Seattle, it was reported that a sum of $10,000 was made available for lectures in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska and that about 20,000 high school students and 500 faculty had heard the lectures.

The largest meeting in the section's history was held at the University of Victoria on June 17-18, 1966. There were 179 persons in attendance, including 85 MAA members. The host of the meeting was the department chairman, S. A. Jennings, who gave the invited address at the first sectional meeting in 1947. By consent, the one dollar registration fee was waived for this meeting.

At the 1967 meeting in Missoula, representatives of the junior and community colleges of the section met for a program specifically designed for instructors of mathematics at two-year colleges. J. Knutson, Portland Community College, chaired this session. At the Business Meeting, the bylaws were amended to provide for a Second Vice-Chairman, who shall represent the two-year colleges on the Executive Committee. The new position was immediately filled by Theodore White of Everett Junior College. After 1976, the First and Second Vice-Chairmen were replaced by the Vice Chairman for 4 year colleges and the Vice Chairman for 2 year colleges.

At the 1968 meeting at Reed College, it was agreed to award prizes of $30, $25 and $20 and a free MAA membership to those students who ranked first, second and third respectively among participants in the Putnam Competition from institutions in the section. In 1971 the first prize went to Joe Buhler, Reed College. The Business Meeting in 1969 was held during the national meeting at the University of Oregon. It was agreed to join in the sponsorship of the Northwest Mathematics Conference at an annual expenditure not to exceed $150. [This policy was dropped in 1981.] By the 1971 meeting, the treasurer reported that annual expenditures were exceeding annual income and suggested that the section adopt an annual budget. This wasn't done, but in 1972 it was agreed to raise the registration fee from $1 to $2, students exempted as before.

The 1973 meeting was held at Western Washington State College in Bellingham. George Pólya gave an inspiring dinner talk titled "Galileo: his life and contributions to the scientific method." He received a standing ovation. At the Business Meeting prior to lunch, the newly elected Chairman, John Reay, drew a confusing map showing the route to the dining hall. It was suggested that he just lead the way, but he declined to eat there.

The excess money problem persisted. The Business Meeting in 1977 was held at the national meeting in Seattle. The treasurer reported a balance of $771.82. It was successfully moved that the officers investigate proposals for the use of excess money in the treasury. Preference was to be given to spending the money in the Northwest. At the 1978 meeting in Eugene, the use of excess money was discussed. The following motion was successful: "Invited MAA speakers at the annual section meeting be invited guests of the section at the meeting banquet." The issue of excess funds was then referred to the Executive Committee. At this meeting, secretary-treasurer John Herzog gave a short slide presentation on the new MAA headquarters building and reminded members to send money to the building fund.

The smallest sectional meeting on record was at Central Washington University, Ellensburg, in June 1980. Only 45 persons were brave enough to attend this joint AMS-MAA-SIAM meeting one month after Mount St. Helens exploded.

In 1980 Sue Kaplan at Western Washington State University was persuaded to begin editing a newsletter, to be circulated two times a year. After producing a beautiful newsletter for the spring of 1981 that was well received, Sue had to abandon the project. In June 1982 at the Bellingham meeting, Marjorie Enneking of Portland State University was elected Chair-elect. She was the first woman elected to office in the section, though the Newsletter Editor Sue Kaplan was an officer on the Executive Committee in 1980.

On June 1, 1983 the section treasury had a balance of $1089.82, apparently the first time it exceeded $1000.

The first sectional minicourse (called a short course) was held at the 1983 meeting at the University of Idaho. The course on "Computer graphics in mathematics instruction" was given by David Moursund, University of Oregon. There were two minicourses at the 1985 meeting at Willamette University. "Teaching problem solving" was organized by Alan H. Schoenfeld, University of California at Berkeley, and "Geometry for college teachers" was organized by Branko Grünbaum, University of Washington. Joe Buhler of Reed College offered a minicourse on "NP completeness" at the 1986 meeting at Southern Oregon State College in Ashland. James Sandefur, Georgetown University, organized a minicourse on "Discrete mathematics using difference equations" at the 1987 meeting at Pacific Lutheran University. At the 1988 meeting at the University of British Columbia, Tom Thompson of Walla Walla College gave a minicourse on "Error correcting codes."

The first sectional Certificate for Meritorious Service was presented in 1987 to Joseph Hashisaki posthumously. His widow Mary Jane and his daughter Susan attended the award ceremony in San Antonio. The following citation was written by sectional Governor D. George McRae:

Starting with humble beginnings in rural eastern Montana Joseph Hashisaki grew to a man of outstanding mathematical stature in the Pacific Northwest and the nation.

After his undergraduate studies in mathematics at the University of Montana (Missoula) and his service in the Pacific front during World War II, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He served on the mathematics faculty at the University of Montana from 1953 to 1962, before moving to Western Washington University (Bellingham) to become chairman of the mathematics department. At Bellingham he provided the leadership to develop and strengthen the undergraduate and graduate programs in mathematics. His book on the Theory of Arithmetic (co-authored with John Peterson) became a benchmark in the training of elementary teachers across the land. In the early 1970's, he was the founding editor of the Two Year College Mathematics Journal (now the MAA's College Mathematics Journal ). Always a strong supporter of MAA, Joe served on numerous committees and task forces.

But to the many that knew him personally, probably the most memorable aspect of his life was his infectious enthusiasm for mathematics. Through his unselfish caring and encouragement he influenced a large number of young people to become professional mathematicians. Many a young mathematics student went to that first mathematics meeting or presented that first paper because of the gentle persuasion of this fine teacher.

On January 2, 1986, the mathematical community lost one of its finest members.

At the 1985 meeting at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, two old issues were raised. The idea of regional meetings within the section besides the annual June meeting was discussed. There was interest in publishing a newsletter again. In June 1986 Chris Meyer and Ken Batker of Pacific Lutheran University accepted the responsibility of producing a sectional newsletter. It has been published regularly since the fall of 1986, and has been well received.

At the 1988 meeting at the University of British Columbia, there was a heavy emphasis on calculus. At the Business Meeting it was voted to form a committee 1) to study the current policies and practices for accrediting secondary mathematics teachers in the states and provinces within our section; 2) to recommend an appropriate course of action to the section; and 3) to coordinate implementation of any recommendations made by the section.

The second sectional Certificate for Meritorious Service was presented at the San Francisco meeting in January 1991 to Calvin T. Long, Washington State University. The citation was written and presented by sectional Governor Norman F. Lindquist:

In 1955, after studying with Ivan Niven, Calvin T. Long received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. The following year he joined the faculty at Washington State University where he continues to teach with distinction. He served as Chair of Section (1967-1968) and as Governor (1982-1985). In addition, he has served on several committees and panels for the Section and has advised the Washington state government on mathematics education. Moreover, he has led many projects for the improvement of mathematics education, including securing grants for inservice training of mathematics teachers.

For more than thirty years, Professor Long has delivered lectures and colloquia at colleges and high schools, stimulating the imagination and curiosity of both students and teachers.

The June 1991 meeting was held at Seattle Pacific University, with a banquet at Seattle University, to celebrate the centennial anniversaries of these two institutions. The first sectional Award for Distinguished Teaching of Mathematics was presented at the June 1992 meeting in Missoula to André Yandl at Seattle University. The citation honoring Dr. Yandl appeared in the Spring 1992 newsletter and was written by Ivan Niven. The central paragraph is:

A member of the mathematics department at Seattle University for thirty-six years, Yandl is acclaimed by his colleagues in the Seattle area as a devoted, enthusiastic, and hard-working teacher. He was the first recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award by the Associated Students of his institution. The students, including majors outside mathematics, are impressed with his interest in getting them to appreciate mathematical ideas. He arrives at the Student Union at 7:00 a.m. to answer questions on mathematics for present and former students. His students comment on his practicality in his approach to mathematics, as well as his sense of humor. One student wrote that "he was pretty funny, even when he wasn't trying to be." In a recent survey of all former mathematics majors in the department of mathematics at Seattle University, a significant number of alumni stated that courses taught by Dr. Yandl were ones that were most beneficial in their professional lives, and that his support and encouragement were important to their professional development. He has encouraged the gifted students to continue on to the Ph.D. degree. His students have earned doctorates at various universities, including Stanford, Wisconsin and Princeton, as well as the Universities of Washington and Oregon in the Northwest.

The one-day meeting on March 6, 1993 at Puget Sound University in Tacoma was a historic change from tradition. The meeting was a big success and was heavily student oriented. Of the 120 in attendance, about 40 of them were students. The second sectional Award for Distinguished was presented to Jack Robertson at Washington State University. The award was announced in the Spring 1993 issue of the section newsletter. Here are some excerpts:

Jack M. Robertson of Washington State University received the section's 1993 Distinguished Teaching Award and recognizes him for sustained excellence in mathematics instruction over twenty-eight years at the college and high school levels. Robertson's numerous contributions include the direction of NSF-funded summer institutes for secondary teachers and development of major curriculum materials for high school and college. The institutes have helped secondary teachers expand their knowledge base and earn advanced degrees. Robertson went to WSU in 1964 after completing his doctorate at the University of Utah. He has served as president of the Washington State Mathematics Council, member of the MAA Placement Exam Committee, and member of the Research Advisory Committee of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. In addition, he has been a consultant on instructional content to school districts as far away as Hawaii and Texas. Robertson's contributions to teaching excellence are broad and deep. He has developed and used pioneering teaching techniques worldwide, including Australia and New Zealand. He has presented concepts such as "fair division" in settings ranging from first grade classrooms through sponsorship of Ph.D. dissertations. On the "Jim French Radio Talk Show" in Seattle, he talked for an hour explaining the problems underlying fair representation and apportionment. In 1982 and 1983 Robertson was chosen to present the mathematics component of an institute funded by the Council of Energy Resource Tribes for students from a number of Native American high schools across the country. His presentations of solid material to a unique audience were highly successful and stand out, in the opinion of the directors of the institute, as one of the institute's major successes.

The Eugene meeting held June 16-18, 1994 jointly with the American Mathematical Society was one of the more successful joint meetings in recent years. There were 229 registrants for this meeting. At the salmon bake, the third sectional Distinguished Teaching Award was presented to Millie Johnson of Western Washington University. A full report appears in the Fall 1994 issue of the section newsletter. Here are some comments from one student:

Everyone encounters a few precious experiences in their lifetime that permanently shift the course of their lives. I experienced one such shift in Millie Johnson's calculus class. ... What brought on this change in perspective? The answer lies not in the specific material that we covered in class, but in this remarkable woman whose innovative teaching methods demanded that we not only skim the surface of the subject, learning the rules and formulas, but that we dive into the material, investigating the "what's" and the "why's" and, perhaps most importantly, learning the joys of mathematical investigation itself.

The Walla Walla meeting held June 15-17, 1995 was a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the section and focused on mathematical modeling and applications. At the banquet, Richard M. Koch of the University of Oregon was presented the fourth sectional Distinguished Teaching Award. An article is in the Fall 1995 issue of the section newsletter. Here are some excerpts:

So what makes his teaching so great? First, animation! This guy is so excited about opening the doors to the beauty of mathematics that students fight to be in his classroom. Second, unfailing Respect for Students. He never assumes students are dumb if they ask naive or elementary questions. Rather he sees questions as opportunities to travel with students on a road to reveal more and more mathematics.

The third sectional Certificate for Meritorious Service was presented at the January 1996 meeting in Orlando, Florida, to Donald W. Bushaw of Washington State University. Here is the citation.

Professor Donald W. Bushaw attended public schools in Bremerton, Washington, graduating from high school in 1943. His undergraduate studies were done at the State College of Washington (now Washington State University). He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1952. His dissertation, under the direction of Solomon Lefschetz, was a pioneering study which opened up the new mathematical discipline of control theory. He returned to Washington State University in 1952, starting as an instructor and steadily climbing the academic ladder to the rank of full professor in 1962. He has taught a wide variety of mathematics courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, but his interests are not limited to mathematics. He taught a course in Eastern Civilization for the Honors Program at Washington State University and participated in graduate seminars in English and Foreign Languages. He has used his extraordinary linguistic abilities to translate a number of books and research articles in a variety of languages, including Russian and Chinese.

Don has contributed in many ways to the MAA and the mathematics community, serving as a Visiting Lecturer, to both colleges and high schools, and on numerous committees and panels on curricular reform at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. From 1970 to 1973, he was a member of the MAA's Board of Governors and was nominated three times for the presidency of the Association. He served on the Board of Editors for The College Mathematics Journal, has been a consultant to many colleges and universities, and has been a member of accreditation teams for as many as five institutions. Don has contributed extensively as a referee and reviewer of books, articles and grant proposals. In 1987 he was named honorary member of the Polish Mathematical Society, and later led a delegation on University Mathematics Education to China.

Professor Bushaw is widely recognized as an exceptionally gifted writer and speaker. Among his writings are research papers on control theory, differential equations, topology, and mathematical economics as well as many papers dealing with mathematics education, the history of mathematics and mathematical biographies.

The Pacific Northwest Section is honored to recognize Professor Bushaw with the MAA Certificate for Meritorious Service.

The 1996 meeting was held at Reed College on March 9. The emphasis at this meeting was on students. Of the approximately 200 attendees, about 80 were students. The question of updating the bylaws of the section, which were last amended in 1983, was discussed at the meeting of the Executive Committee. The section's fifth Distinguished Teaching Award was presented at this meeting to Janet Perry Ray of Seattle Central Community College. The citation, which was written by Elaine Deutschman at the Oregon Institute of Technology, appeared in the Spring 1996 issue of the section newsletter. A key paragraph is the following.

Janet has been a full-time mathematics instructor at SCCC since 1966, participating at all levels of the curriculum from developmental mathematics to differential equations. Students praise her innovative approaches to mathematical concepts, her respect for them regardless of their mathematical prowess, and her high standards for student work. Her colleagues speak of her as inspirational, generous with materials and ideas she's developed, and tireless in her search for new ways to help students learn. She enjoys a great deal of goodwill amongst mathematics educators in the northwest and nationally.

The 1997 meeting was held at Western Washington University, June 19-21. The theme of this fine meeting was, "Forging Links: People, Mathematics, Technology, and Resources," and a subtheme was linear algebra. The section's sixth Distinguished Teaching Award was presented to Brian Wick of the University of Alaska - Anchorage. In 1972, Dr. Wick was the first professor of mathematics hired by the institution. The citation includes the following.

Dr. Wick's abilities as an instructor have drawn accolades from students who describe him as "stimulating as well as motivating." He is credited with having been "personally responsible for many students' decisions to pursue a career in mathematics." In the land of the "Last Frontier" students have encountered a fellow traveler in the educational arena who believes that there is no final frontier but rather infinite frontiers to explore and discover together.

The 1998 meeting was held at Washington State University, June 18-20. The theme was "Differential Equations," with a broad program in both content and pedagogy. For the first time, there was a student paper competition with cash awards given for the three best papers.

The 1999 meeting was held at Willamette University, March 12-13. This was another very successful March meeting with good attendance and participation by students. The section's seventh Distinguished Teaching Award was presented to Professor Ping-Tung Chang of Matanuska-Susitna College, University of Alaska-Anchorage. It is possible that this is the first such sectional award in the country where the winner was nominated by students.

For most of his more than thirty years of teaching mathematics Professor Chang has taken a special interest in the challenge of communicating mathematics to the widest possible audience. He has published papers on teacher preparation and strategies for dealing with math anxiety. Ten years ago when he went to the Mat-Su branch as the only full-time math faculty member, he had to confront the full spectrum of this challenge. Professor Chang became well-known among the elementary and secondary mathematics teachers of the area. In addition to promoting a Math Club at the Mat-Su branch, he inspired the club to serve as tutors for secondary students. Professor Chang is widely praised for the support and encouragement he provides to students whether they are working at the remedial level or preparing for advanced studies. He is known to be available for help from early to late and even on Saturdays and Sundays. Perhaps the most dramatic indication of the respect won by his efforts is the fact that his nomination for the distinguished teaching award was prepared by the Mat-Su math club.

The 2000 meeting was held at the University of British Columbia, June 15-17. There were two themes. One was to honor the memory of Ivan Niven, Past President of the MAA and active and much-valued member of the section. The other was to consider some of the ways technology has had an impact on mathematics education.

The fourth sectional Certificate for Meritorious Service was presented at the January 2001 meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Kenneth A. Ross of the University of Oregon. Here are excerpts from the citation.

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. This nomination comes at a very propitious time, for with this year Professor Ross concludes a career in mathematics and teaching spanning 40 years.

The 2001 meeting was held at Seattle Pacific University, April 6-7. Much of the main program was designed for students, but the program was fun for everyone. In particular, the invited speakers gave very entertaining talks. The section's eighth Distin-guished Teaching Award was presented to two professors at the University of Puget Sound, Ronald L. Van Enkevort and R. B. (Bruce) Lind. Here is the citation for this teaching award.

Bruce Lind and Ron VanEnkevort of the University of Puget Sound are the co-winners of the 2001 Distinguished Teaching Award for the PNW section of MAA. Lind and VanEnkevort received their awards at the closing banquet of this year's PNW-MAA section meeting at Seattle Pacific University.

Bruce Lind received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1972 and began his teaching career when he joined the faculty of UPS. His wide-ranging activities at UPS include running the statistics program (including preparing undergraduates for the actuarial exams), and supporting the Academic Challenge program, which encourages disadvantaged area youth to pursue a college education by providing summer activities in science and mathematics on the UPS campus.

Ron VanEnkevort began teaching as a high school teacher in the Tri-Cities area. He earned a Ph.D. in Number Theory from Oregon State University and joined UPS in 1971. One of VanEnkevort's passions is the preparation of future elementary and secondary teachers.

Both Lind and VanEnkevort have served as department chair during times of fast growth and new programs in mathematics at UPS. Their support for summer student research projects, the development of the computer science curriculum, and their support for other faculty at SPU have earned them then lasting respect of their colleagues. Lind and VanEnkevort will each retire at the end of this academic year.

The 2002 meeting was held at Portland State University, jointly with the Western Section of the American Mathematical Society. In addition to elections of officers, two important decisions were authorized at the Business Meeting. A first-ever section meeting in Alaska was approved for mid June of 2004. Several bylaw changes were approved that had been prepared by the Bylaws Committee, chaired by Jenny McNulty. The total attendance figure of 276 may be the highest at a meeting of this section. Andrew Chiang-Fung Liu, University of Alberta, won the section's distinguished teaching award.

The 2003 meeting was held at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. There were four invited addresses.  Mike Beanland, TriAxis Engineering, spoke on "Wind + electricity + engineer = Number crunching!"  C. W. Groetsch, University of Cincinnati, spoke about "Two gentlemen of Verona: An early episode in ballistics."  Allan Rossman and Beth Chance, California Polytechnic State University, lectured on "Teaching statistical inference: Activities and assessment."  The banquet speaker was the national MAA speaker, Underwood Dudley of DePauw University.  He talked about "Calculus books," pointing out that this is a weighty subject.
The meeting was preceded by a program for the PNW Project NExT Fellows. Eric Schultz, Walla Walla Community College, organized a minicourse on "Visual Linear Algebra."  Beth Chance and Allan
Rossman, California Polytechnic State University, organized a minicourse on "Teaching introductory statistics with data and activities."   Eleven papers were presented in general sessions.  In addition, nine papers were presented in undergraduate sessions, six were presented in an "early career faculty session," and six were presented in a session focused on "teaching innovations in multivariable calculus courses."

At the banquet, Steven A. Bleiler, Portland State University, was awarded the section's distinguished teaching award.  Here is the citation for his award.  Steve Bleiler is the quintessential teacher.  He attracts, inspires, and nurtures students at all levels.  He is an enthusiastic ambassador to the high school, an inspiring instructor in the classroom lighting the fire of learning, and a guide to the graduate students who set out on mathematical journeys of exploration.  Steve Bleiler is a natural speaker. He is an engaging performer whose wit and delivery captures audiences and leaves them with a sense of wonder for the beauty of mathematics.  He is just as comfortable talking about the topology of horse saddles to groups of high school students in rural Oregon as he is talking about more arcane topics in geometric topology to an audience of professional mathematicians at an international congress.  A performer, educator, inspiring force, and enthusiastic colleague, Steve Bleiler embodies the love of mathematics that drives all of us.  In addition, Larry Curnutt of Bellevue Community College was recognized as a 25 year member of the MAA. 

Most of the Business Meeting was devoted to a discussion of plans for  the meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, in June 2004.   There were 101 people in attendance, including 93 members of the MAA and 15 students.

At the national meeting in Phoenix, in January 2004, Andy Liu received the national MAA Debbie Haimo Teaching Award.  Here is the citation.

Andrew Liu's popularity as a teacher reflects the enormous energy he expends on teaching, his ability to make mathematics fun, his uncanny sense fo good problems, and his personal interest in his students.  His outstanding reputation as consummate mathematics educator is documented by two teaching awards from his own University of Alberta, two Canadian national teaching awards, a 3M Teaching Fellowship, and the David Hilbert International award for promotion of mathematics learning from the World Federation of Mathematics Competitions.

At Alberta, he designed a unique course in discrete mathematics in which students must solve puzzles from D. Shasha' "The Puzzling Adventures of Dr. Ecco," supplemented by Liu's own "Professor Scarlet's Notebook."  Once they understand a puzzle  solution, the mathematics that underlies the solution is developed.  This challenging course has grown from a single class of 20 to two sections topping 110 students.  He maintains close ties with colleagues in the Faculty of Education (he holds a certificate in elementary teaching as well as a Ph.D. in mathematics), and designed their course required for all students majoring in elementary education.

Andy's desire to excite students about mathematics takes many forms.  In Edmonton, he is a popular speaker in schools, has organized math fairs, and directed summer mathematics camps.  For years he has drawn groups of enthusiastic junior high students to his free weekly Saturday Math Club.  He lures them with tantalizing problems (many original and unsolved) and encourages their own ingenuity in solving them.  Locally, nationally, and internationally, he is a devoted supporter of mathematics competitions, serving as coach and leader for Putnam and IMO teams, chair of the Problem Section of the IMO, and vice-president of the international Mathematics Tournament of the Towns.

Andy gladly shares his ideas in teaching, his problems, and interesting student solutions (which are frequently published in journals).  He maintains informal mailing lists, has served as editor for two volumes of articles prepared for teachers of gifted high school students, and has collected 16 published articles by his young Saturday Math Club students in the S.M.A.R.T. "Analogy" to share with teachers.

For his remarkable teaching on so many fronts, it is a great pleasure to award Andy Liu the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics.

The 2004 meeting was held at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  Stuart Boersma of Central Washington University was elected Chair-elect.  Jenny McNulty was reappointed Project NexT Coordinator.  Curtis Feist of Southern Oregon University was elected Student Program Coordinator; he replaces Jennifer Firkins Nordstrom.  There was discussion about the scheduling cycle for our meetings.  The tentative schedule for the next few meetings is:  Spring 2005, University of Puget Sound; June 2006, Southern Oregon University; Spring 2006, populated area; June 2008, Carroll College in Montana.  The new Local Arrangements Chair will be Rob Beezer, and the new Program Chair for Universities and Four-year Colleges is Nancy Neudauer at Pacific University.   Douglas F. Mooers of Whatcom Community College received the section's distinguished teaching award.  There were 123 people at the meeting, including 13 students.

This was an historic meeting, being the first section meeting in Alaska.  So far as we know, this is the first mathematics meeting in Alaska.  I. Martin Isaacs, of the University of Wisconsin, gave one of the hour addresses; he spoke on "Dirty Children, Unfaithful Husbands and Similar Problems."  Kenneth A. Ross, University of Oregon, spoke about "Two Vexing, though Unimportant, Problems."  Ronald L. Graham, University of California at San Diego and MAA President, gave the banquet talk; see below.
For its fifth year, the section's Project NExT had sessions prior to the regular part of the meeting.  There were also three minicourses.  "What Are Your Math Majors Learning?" was organized by Marj Enneking and Paul Latiolais of Portland State University.  The minicourse "Earthmath: Classroom Projects with Environmental Applications," was given by Paul Latiolais, and "Bridging the Gap Between Mathematics and the Physical Sciences" was presented by Tevian Dray of Oregon State University.

There were three special sessions as follows.  David M. Bressoud of Macalester College organized a session on CUPM, the MAA Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics.  Bernard Madison, University of Arkansas, and Dale Oliver, Humboldt State University, organized a session on the PMET (Preparing Mathematicians to Educate Teachers).  And Caren Diefenderfer, Hollins University, and Bernard Madison organized a session on Quantitative Literacy.

  There were 34 contributed papers, some in sessions focused on Quantitative Literacy, Discrete Mathematics, Teaching Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and a geographically-appropriate session on Math of the North. Two of the papers were excellent presentations given by students.

The traditional banquet was held in the elegant Hotel Captain Cook.  Ron Graham, President of the MAA and University of California at San Diego, gave an interesting banquet talk entitled, "The Stomachion of Archimedes."

Officers, Award Recipients and Meetings of the Section

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Last updated 26 April, 2005