Archives - Narrative History

Chapter 5: From 1990 to the Present

Since 1990 the Seaway Section has seen both continuity and change with continuity predominating. The format of the two meetings each year has become fairly consistently set as follows:

Friday Afternoon - Meetings of the officers of the section as an Executive Committee and as an Extended Executive Committee,

Friday Evening - A banquet and a speaker.

Saturday Morning - After a welcome by a leader of the host institution, the morning consists of three invited talks, one of which is either the Gehman Lecture (Spring) or the Randolph Lecture (Fall). The Section Business Meeting is held in one of the spaces between talks.

Saturday Afternoon - Many sessions of contributed talks with specialized workshops and panel discussions.

As will be discussed later, there are additions to the above in that there are usually Friday afternoon activities centered around Project NeXT and increasingly often Friday evening student activities such as mathematical game shows.

For the Fall meeting of 1990 a new Invited Lecture in Mathematics Education was added to the Saturday morning program. The first speaker in what was to become a series was Peter Taylor of Queen's University speaking on Calculus: Where are We Going?. At the Spring meeting of 1991, the Executive Committee voted to establish an annual lecture in Mathematics Education, to parallel the Gehman Lecture given in the Spring meeting. The committee then called for nominations for the name of this lecture. At the Spring meeting of 1993 the Executive Committee announced that the lecture would be named The John F. Randolph Lecture  in Mathematics Education after the late John Randolph who had had a long and active association with the section as a faculty member at the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology. The first lecture under this new name was A History of Mathematics Course for Teachers, by Israel  Kleiner of York University at the Fall 1993 meeting.

At the Fall meeting of 1991 Steve Cavior, Chair of the Section announced that the President of the MAA had unveiled a new program of awards for the MAA. These would be awards for distinguished college or university teaching. A section awards committee was formed to act on this announcement. By the Spring meeting of 1992 the Section was ready to award its first Distinguished Teaching Award to Professor Peter Taylor of Queen's University. In the Fall of 2004 the Section approved naming the teaching award the Clarence F. Stephens Award for Distinguished Teaching, honoring the former chair of the Mathematics department at SUNY Potsdam.

The section had its first web page and web site active for the Spring 1996 meeting at Elmira College. The webmaster was Dietrich Kappe and it was housed at his corporation. It moved to Binghamton University where the new webmaster was Fernando Guzman. The website moved in 2009  to RIT with Anurag Agrawal as webmaster.

At the Spring 1999 meeting at Syracuse University Luisa Kappe, Cheri Boyd, and Jack Graver founded our Seaway NExT program with the name "Seaway NExT/PFF". PFF stands for “preparing future faculty”.We were one of the first sections having a Section NExT. The 10th anniversary of the program was held again at Syracuse in 2009.

In 2007 the section undertook a revision of its by-laws. Most of the changes involved tightening the language of the document and bringing it in line with the by-laws of the national MAA. One significant change was the separation of the Secretary-Treasurer position into two positions. The reporting duties of the position had increased over the years enough that breaking the load into two parts seemed advisable.

Probably the major change in the section since 1990 is the attendance at the meetings. Not only has the overall attendance grown but there has been a very significant increase in the participation of undergraduate students.