January 1977 Council Minutes
MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING DATED JANUARY 26, l977
The Council met on January 26, l977, at 2:00 PM in the Empire Room of
the Chase-Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis. Members present were R. Ayoub, D.
Bailey, R. Bartle, H.Bass, P. Bateman, L.Bers, R.H. Bing, F. Birtel, J. Bamble,
W. Browder, P. Church, C. de Boor, R. Douglas, S. Eilenberg, T. Gamelin, W.
Gautschi, R. Goldberg, M. Gray, J. Green, R. Griego, K. Hofmann, R. Kirby, W.
LeVeque, R. Milgram, K. Norton, B. Osofsky, F. Peterson, E. Pitcher, H. Rossi,
L. Rothschild, L. Rubel, J. Schwartz, R. Seeley, S. Shatz, B. Simon, E. Stein,
D. Waterman, H. Weinberger, G. Weiss, and J. Wilkins, Jr. Others present
included L. Durst, R. Hahn, H. MacDonald, & G.L. Walker. At various times,
Wendell Fleming, Murray Gerstenhaber, Leonard Gillman, Robert Hermann, Clyde
Martin, Paul Mostert and Charles E. Richart had the privilege of the floor.
President Bing was in the chair.
The minutes of the meeting of August 23, 1976, previously circulated
by mail, were approved.
Alex Rosenberg, who is not a member of the Council, and was not present
at the Council meeting of Sept. 23, 1976, requested by letter to record a
comment on those minutes. The minutes read (correctly) on P. 6, L. -7 and -6
that "He [Gillman] noted that the manuscript [Gilmer: Selected, Classified
Bibliography of Commutative Algebra] had been reviewed by Alex Rosenberg for
the Committee [Comm.-Comm.]." Rosenberg wished it understood that Gillman had
been incorrectly informed, that Rosenberg had not reviewed the manuscript. The
Council agreed that his comment be recorded in conjunction with the acceptance
of the minutes. At a later stage in the meeting, Prof. Gillman amplified the
statement in the minutes of the meeting of Aug. 23. During the initial
presentation of his report, he was asked whether the manuscript had been
refereed and stated that it had not. He was then reminded, incorrectly as it
has developed, that Rosenberg had refereed it and he deferred to his informant
The President introduced newly elected members of the Council. The
report of the Tellers and the composition of the Council and of the BT for
1977 are both attached.
The Tellers of the election to the Nominating Committee presented the
attached report of that election. Prof. Judy Green asked that in future
similar elections, the candidates be requested to present a statement of
position in addition to their identification by degree and position. The
President noted that the longer method of counting by the rules of the single
transferable ballot had yielded a result no different from the simple count
of first choice votes. There was no action on either observation.
The attached report of the Joint Projects Committee in Math. was
received. Prof. Green inquired whether the Thermonuclear Training Project
required security clearance of anyone. The Secretary provided background
information to the effect that JPBM is an arm of the Conference Board of the
Math. Sciences, financed in part by this Society, but with a license to pursue
projects of modest size independently. Prof. Schwartz, a member of JPBM,
thought that clearance was not involved, because the overwhelming problems of
administering the program if it were had not been raised.
Minutes of the meeting of the EC/BT of Dec. 3-4, 1976, previously
distributed, were received and are attached to the record copy of the minutes.
The AMS-MAA-SIAM Committee on Women in Math. prepared a report for the
MAA Board of Governors that was received and is attached for information.
It was noted that the EC has set meetings of the Council as follows:
April l6, 1977 (Saturday) New York
August l5, 1977 (Monday) Seattle
January 3, 1978 (Tuesday) Atlanta
The first of these is a change from a previously announced place and date.
Prof. Osofsky asked how it happened that the meeting in New York was set for
Saturday. The Secretary explained that the scientific sessions were on
Thursday and Friday, leaving Wednesday or Saturday for the Council meeting.
At the meeting of Aug. 23, 1976, the Charge to the Comm. on Human
Rights concerning Foreign Mathematicians was approved. However, certain
passages were to be edited, particularly the definition of a foreign
mathematician. The edited charge was received and is attached for information.
Attention was directed to item (2l) of the EC/BT minutes. It is a
revised set of rules for the partial payment of travel expenses for travel
from abroad to meetings of the Council, EC and Trustees.
The Secretary noted that Edwin J. Akutowicz had resigned by way of a
letter that he asked be read to the Council. The letter was not read although
it is available.
The Council was informed that the issue of whether to authorize
continuation of the procedure of blind refereeing for the PROCEEDINGS will be
on the agenda of the April Council in NY. The PROCEEDINGS Editorial Comm. had
it on the agenda of its meeting in St. Louis.
Prof. Charles Richart presented the attached report of the Comm. to
Write Rules for the Operation of CAFTES. It was presented as an unanimous
report, meaning, it developed, that all members concurred though not all
supported every statement in it. There was general discussion. Questions were
answered by Prof. Rickart and Gerstenhaber. Past President Bers provided some
historical background and then moved that the Council accept the report as the
rules under which the Comm. on Academic Freedom, Tenure & Employment Security
should operate. The motion was amended by consent to be a three year trial
with review at the Council of January l980. In this form, the motion was
passed. The committee was discharged with thanks.
It was agreed that cases currently under investigation by CAFTES should
be bound by these rules just adopted and that the investigation of each should
be brought into conformity with the rules.
Prof. Mostert reported briefly on the current status of the cases of
John J. Sopka and Gary B. Laison, previously reported several times to the
Council. There were two issues raised. One was a proposal that the Council
adopt a Statement of Principles on Hiring and Tenure Policy prepared by the
Mathematical Association for its Executive Committee. The statement is
attached. When presented, it was accompanied by two footnotes. These are
part of the attachment. However, the Council endorsed the statement as an AMS
statement later in the meeting, specifically, without the footnotes.
The second issue was part of the use of AMICUS CURIAE briefs. It was
noted that the filing of a brief had been authorized in the instance of Sopka
but had not been carried out because CAFTES finally deemed it unnecessary.
Prof. Green moved to authorize the preparation of a brief in the case of
Laison, with approval of submission of the prepared brief to be sought by mail
ballot. The motion was approved by a show of hands of 28 to 5.
This Society and SIAM have sponsored a series of symposia titled SOME
MATHEMATICAL QUESTIONS IN BIOLOGY at the annual meetings of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science. The symposia are part of the
scheduled program of Section A. Proceedings of these symposia have been
published by the Society in the series LECTURES ON MATHEMATICS IN THE LIFE
SCIENCES. Permission was requested to include AAAS in the sponsorship of the
publication. If this were done, the role of AAAS in the presentation of the
symposia would be recognized and AAAS would participate in the appointment of
the editorial committee. An advantage to the Society lies in support of wide
distribution of the volumes from AAAS. The Council granted the permission.
The Council instructed the Committee on Employment and Ed. Policy to
undertake tasks previously assigned to the Comm. on the Emergency Employment
Situation in Mathematics when the latter was discharged. CEEP accordingly
prepared the attached draft of a revised charge. There was objection raised
to the third sentence in the second paragraph. [Possible sources...]. However,
it was pointed out that this was part of the existing charge of CEEP and not
the incorporation of the Charge of CEESIM. The Council then endorsed the
CEEP requested authority to designate external members to its
subcommittees. This is a formalization of actual practice and conforms to
similar authority already granted to editorial committees to appoint associate
editors. The Council granted this authority.
The Council had instructed the COMM. COMM. to devise a mechanism by
which a vice president could be elected by the membership in a contested
election to serve as trustee. The stated intent was to aid the Council in
deciding whether to institute such a procedure. The Committee was not charged
with making a recommendation on the advisability of the procedure.
The mechanism proposed by the Committee was as follows: Every second
year (or every fourth year) in a year when there is only one vice-president to
be elected, the Nominating Committee is instructed to propose two candidates
for one position consisting of vice-president for two years and trustee for
five years. The secretary is instructed to arrange the ballot so that a single
person is elected to the two offices.
There were several comments as part of the presentation. First, this
proposal appears not to require a change in bylaws. As a corollary, one could
return readily to the current procedure. Second, with the election so
conducted every second year, there will be in alternate years two or three of
the five elected trustees who have been vice-presidents, and always one of them
serving concurrently as vice-president. With the election so conducted every
four years, there will be one trustee who has been vice president during four
years and two during one year over a five year period, with a trustee serving
concurrently as vice president in alternate two year intervals.
Third, there is a matter of policy not settled in this presentation, in
that the Council has decided that nominations by petition are acceptable for
the position of vice-president and not for the position of trustee.
The Council voted to postpone action until the meeting of April l977
with the rationale to be incorporated in the agenda.
There was an error in the ballot of the l976 election, for which the
Secretary takes full responsibility. There should have been an election of a
representative to the Board of Editors of the Am. Journal. In some years,
there is such an election and in others there is not. The year l976 was a
year for an election, but the Secretary omitted requesting it.
The situation is covered in Article VII, Section l, of the Bylaws where
it is stated "that the officials specified in Article...III [includes
editors]... shall continue to serve until their successors have been duly
elected and qualified." Prof. Hyman Bass continues to served beyond the
nominal and of his term of office on Dec. 3l, 1976. The matter of a
replacement is covered in Section 6, where it is stated that "[such vacancies
as may occur in the group consisting of ...members of the publications and
communications committees shall be filled by the Council with the approval of
The Council authorized the EC to consult with the current
representatives [Hyman Bass & I.M. Singer] and to present a single willing
candidate to the Council in April l977.
The Trustees requested approval of the Council to appoint William J.
LeVeque to be position of Executive Director to succeed Gordon L. Walker upon
the retirement of the latter. Prof. LeVeque instantly excused himself from the
meeting. Approval was given by acclamation. A vitae of Prof. LeVeque is
Prof. Stephen Shatz moved that the Council thank Gordon Walker for his
many years of service to the Society. This motion was passed by acclamation.
The Conference Board communicated the attached proposal in which it is
seeking to arrange joint sponsorship of a Congressional Fellow by AMS-MAA-SIAM.
Prof. LeVeque, as Chairman of the Comm. on Science Policy presented the
proposal and announced that the Comm. recommend that the Society participate.
The Trustees had reviewed the proposal and had allocated $9000 to cover the
share of the Society in the total cost of $l7,000 in the event of Council
Past President Lipman Bers informed the Council of a change in the laws
and of prospective changes in law affecting the position of a tax exempt
organization such as the Society on lobbying. A letter from Jeremy Stone of
the Federation of American Scientists and an opinion from the corporate
attorney, Richard F. Staples of Tillinghast, et al., are attached. The
advisability of increasing the amount of lobbying done by the Society was
discussed along with the question whether the prospective amount was sufficient
to justify the time and expense of registration. No formal motion was made and
finally at the behest of Prof. Bers, the discussion was terminated.
Prof. Mary Gray moved to rescind previous action by the Council to
cancel reciprocity agreements if the amendment to the bylaws establishing a
membership category of foreign member is passed. The action to which she
referred took place on January 2l, 1976. After describing a category of
"foreign member" the minute contains the following sentence: Existing
reciprocity agreements are to be abolished when the new membership category
is available. [One may refer to an account by the Secretary in the Nov.
NOTICES [23 (1976), 387] and to one by Arthur Mattuk in the January NOTICES
[24 (1977), 6.] E.P.]
The Secretary opened the discussion with several points:
l. There is no barrier to the simultaneous existence of membership
by reciprocity and of the category of foreign member.
2. The authorization for membership by reciprocity lies in Article IX
Section 2. It reads:
The annual dues of an ordinary member of the Society shall be
established by the Council with the approval of the Trustees.
The Council, with the approval of the Trustees, may establish
special rates in exceptional cases and for members of an
organization with which the Society has a reciprocity agreement.
The proposed amendment deletes the last fourteen words [and for
members...]. However, the passage is redundant. The authorization
to establish special rates for members by reciprocity is already
covered by the first part of the sentence. There are other
exceptional cases, including students, unemployed, and recent past
nominees, which are not defined or named in the bylaws.
3. If this motion is adopted, one must think again about criteria for
continuing the reciprocity agreements now in force and for instituting or
declining to institute agreements with respect to each of the five or more
pending applications and the five or more inquiries about how to apply. Prof.
Mattuck had commented on the operational difficulties in his article.
Following extended discussion, the motion was defeated.
The EC recommended that the Editorial Committee of Current Mathematical
Publications be discharged with thanks and that the duties of that committee be
assigned to the MR Editorial Committee, which has indicated its willingness to
assume them. The council approved.
The Council of August 23, 1976, recommended establishment of a new
series to be titled BIBLIOGRAPHIES OF MATHEMATICS. The Comm. to Monitor
Problems in Comm. is to serve as the editorial committee and the items are to
be refereed. The first volume in the series, by implication, was to be Robert
Gilmer's SELECTED CLASSIFIED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF COMMUTATIVE ALGEBRA. As
previously noted, this had not been refereed as the Council had been led to
believe. Barbara Osofsky asked for reconsideration by the Council of the
authorization for this volume in the series. Before the action of the August
Council went to the Trustees, Prof. Osofsky wrote the attached letter to the
Board, which has taken no action in order to allow for the proposed review.
Prof. Duane Bailey, Chairman of the Comm. to Monitor Prob. in Comm., presented
the recommendation of the Committee that the recommendation to publish the
Gilerm bibliograph be withdrawn. The Council accepted the recommendation.
Prof. Osofsky suggested a note in the NOTICES calling attention to the
availability of the bibliography from Prof. Gilmer if he concurred.
It was reported that the EC/BT at their Dec. 1976 meeting, considered
a variety of financial problems of the journals of the Society. One problem
that was debated was the cost to the members of the BULLETIN as a privilege
of membership. The EC/BT contemplated figures showing that it would be
possible for the Society to save many thousands of dollars were the BULLETIN
to be sold on subscription as a self supporting journal. There would be a
very large reduction in the expense of printing and mailing associated with
a reduction in the edition size from l8,500 to 2200 with annual saving of
about $68,000. Moreover, there would be an increase in effective income in
that the journal would then be supported by subscription instead of by a dues
The EC/BT were impressed with the financial argument in the light of
the stringency of the l977 budget and the prospect of even more financial
difficulties for future years. Accordingly, they wish the Council to
consider amending the bylaws (Article XI) to make the NOTICES the "official
organ" of the Society and to remove the BULLETIN as a privilege of membership.
The Council received this request but did not proceed to act on it at this
The BULLETIN, in addition to its mathematical content, is the place in
which business that must go to all members is published. The suggested change
would require that the NOTICES be the journal of record, with transfer from
the BULLETIN to the NOTICES of such items as reports of meetings, treasurer's
report, report of the elections. Names of newly elected members would no
longer be published. The Editorial Board of the NOTICES and the Editorial
Committee of the BULLETIN are willing. A letter on this and related matters
from Prof. Paul Halmos is attached.
Upon a motion from Prof. Lee Rubel, the Council approved the transfer
of items of record from the BULLETIN to the NOTICES.
The Council of Aug. 23, 1976, received a request for a subvention for a
new journal of mathematical cryptology, initially names POLYGRAPHIA, with a
subsequent change to CRYPTOLOGIA, from one of the prospective editors, Prof.
Brian J. Winkel, of the Dept. of Math. of Albion College. Pertinent material
is attached. The Secretary referred the request to two referees, one of whom
was temporarily unavailable and had not replied. His reply is now at hand and
reads as follows:
A number of the main cryptographic activities of World War II
have recently been declassified and there is wide public interest.
And so a journal of mathematical cryptology would be timely now.
I would be inclined to recommend an initial grant to the group
at Albion College if they have any realistic plans for long range
By action of the BT, subvention of a new journal is limited to $l000
per year for three years. The Secretary proposed that the Council recommend
such a subvention, subject to the approval of the Trustees, who are urged to
consider the financial viability of the project in granting approval. The
Council considered the request but did not approve it.
The Comm. to Monitor Prob. in Communication reported on its
consideration of the problem of combining the PROCEEDINGS and the TRANSACTIONS.
The rationale and means of implementation as well as some of the financial
aspects of initiating such a project were considered in detail by the
committee. It was generally agreed that at this point changes in the current
publication scheme of the PROCEEDINGS and TRANSACTIONS were not warranted;
further input from both Society members and present or past editors in addition
to the long-range effects of the tightened editorial standards was needed to
accurately assess the merits and desirability of this project. The Committee,
therefore, decided that discussion of this matter should be tabled for the
present. Also, Leonard Gillman, as chairman, informed the Council that
combining the PROCEEDINGS and TRANSACTIONS into one series with volumes
published according to subject matter has been studied by Comm.-Comm. and that
although there were extensive discussions at two meetings, no action or
decision has been taken at this time.
The ad hoc Committee on Page Charges, of which Prof. Gillman is
Chairman, reported on planned activity. Minutes of the Committee are attached,
as well as a letter from Prof. Saunders Mac Lane. The Committee proposes a
Letter to the Editor of the NOTICES explaining the page charge policy. It
proposes to send a questionnaire to perhaps l,000 people, such as dept.
chairman, to gather opinions on page charges versus other methods of increased
support of journals, with a report to the Council. Prof. Green asked that
chairmen of colleges be included as well as chairmen at Ph.D. producing
Three members, Robert Brockett, Robert Hermann, and Clyde Martin
submitted the attached document titled A PROPOSAL TO THE COUNCIL OF THE AMS FOR
A COMMITTEE ON ENGINEERING AND SCIENTIFIC MATHEMATICS. Prof. Hermann and
others appeared before the Council for the discussion of the proposal.
Following a suggestion of President Bing, the Council authorized the
appointment of an ad hoc committee including one or more of the proponents to
study and report on the feasibility of the proposal.
Prof. Jacob T. Schwartz proposed in the attached letter that "the
Society undertake the work of collecting a videotape archive of notable
mathematicians." There was extended discussion, including a comparison with
the former series of audio-taped lectures and a note on the hazards of
selecting which persons to participate. The Council recommended a feasibility
study to the Trustees.
Prof. Green inquired about the fact that in the program of the meeting
in St. Louis there was no mention of arrangements for day care. The Secretary
stated that day care centers in the area had refused to accept transients or to
be listed as available. He stated that other less formal sources had been
located although not listed. [One of these was a group of students of child
care and the other another student group.] It was suggested that arrangements
for day care be part of the site selection procedure and was pointed out that
it is very difficult to assure an appropriate arrangement five years in
Prof. Green raised the question of removing the word "foreign" from
the charge to the Comm. on Human Rights of Mathematicians. Prof. Bers, who
prepared the charge and is a member of the Committee, explained the position.
It was pointed out that the charge already presented was not intended as the
complete charge but only as the charge with respect to foreign mathematicians.
Prof. Bers said that he would raise the point with the committee.
Prof. Ayoub inquired about the status of support for the Russian
mathematician Shafavich. Prof. Bers replied that he and others were trying to
place a letter to the editor of the New York Times publicizing his situation.
The Council considered the proposed FULKERSON FUND and associated prize
in executive session. The Council endorsed the following position as presented
by Prof. Bers.
l. The Society will cooperate with the Society for Mathematical
Programming in the administration of a prize to be awarded jointly.
2. The President of the Society will name one member of the
3. The place of the award ceremony, as at a meeting of one or the
other of the organizations, will be decided on a case by case basis.
4. The Trustee of the Society will accept contributions to the fund
and will administer it.
The roll call vote was ll 1/6 to 8 5/6. It was understood that the fund would
be listed under the heading SPECIAL FUNDS in the biennial listing in the
It was decided to postpone discussion of the Steele Prize until the
April meeting, with apologies to Prof. James Serrin, who was understood to be
coming to the St. Louis meeting but arriving several hours later.
The meeting adjourned at 7:00 PM.
Everett Pitcher, Secretary
January 26, 1977