January 1984 Council Minutes
JANUARY 1984 COUNCIL MINUTES
The Council met at 2:10 P.M. on 24 January 1984 in the Regency Ballroom South B
of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Louisville, KY. Members present were D.W.
Anderson, S. Armentrout, R.G. Bartle, H. Bass, T.H. Brvlawski, W.W. Comfort,
M.G. Crandall, P.L. Duren, D. Eisenbud, P.A. Fillmore. S.J. Friedlander, W.
Gautschi, R.R. Goldberg, P.R. Halmos. M.Hochster, M.Jerison, W.B. Johnson, I.
Kaplansky, C.F.Kenig, I.Kra, R.P.Langlands, M. Lowengrub, R.B. Melrose, T.K.
Milnor, M.S.Montgomery, C.C.Moore, W.D.Neumann, J.E. Osborn, F.P.Peterson, E.
Pitcher, J.B. Robinson, P.J. Sally, Jr., G.R. Sell, M. Shub, L.W. Small, J.A.
Smoller, L.A. Steen, H.J. Sussmann, J.E. Taylor, W.P. Thurston, J. Jerry Uhl,
Jr. and R.O. Wells, Jr. Also present were Trustees R.L. Graham, C.S.
Morawetz, and P. Emery Thomas, as well as Past President A.M. Gleason. At
various times the privilege of the floor was granted to H.H. Daly, K.M.
Hoffman, W.T. Martin. Also present were L.K.Durst, R. Hahn, W.J. LeVeque, C.
McConway, J.P. Mesirov, J.L. Selfridge, and W.B. Woolf.
1.1 COUNCIL MINUTES OF 7 AUGUST 1983. These minutes were distributed by mail
prior to the meeting and were approved.
3.1 COUNCIL MEETINGS: The next three meetings of the Council, namely,
5 April 1984--Notre Dame
15 August 1984--Eugene
8 January 1985--Anaheim,
5.1 REPORT OF THE SECRETARY; The report is attached.
COMMITTEES AND BOARDS
4.1 THE 1984 BUDGET. The Society had a large deficit in 1983. It was,
moreover, unexpectedly much larger than anticipated. Since consistent
operation at a deficit is intolerable, the Trustees established a balanced
budget for 1984. Some of the measures taken were purely financial. Others
have an impact on the scientific program of the Society. Each step in budget
preparation with conceivable scientific impact was taken in close consultation
with the EC concerning its possible effect. The matters considered occur in
various places in the minutes of the EC and BT of 18-20 November 1983, many in
item 6.14, where 29 possible moves were discussed.
Principal items with possible scientific impact as proposed by the Trustees
included the following:
1. Increase registration fees for meetings substantially. Meetings should be
closer to self supporting and less of a drain on general funds.
2. Establish an abstract fee. A fee of $15 for each abstract of a contributed
paper for presentation in person or by title was established. The number
of such abstracts in a year exceeds 1000, sometimes substantially. This
item was offered subject to Council approval.
3. Eliminate student prices for review volumes. Although these have been
advertised among faculty, but not students, the orders have come from
students, a fact which suggests abuse of the differential in price.
4. Reduce the authorization in pages for several journals. Had it been
possible to raise prices for 1984, one would have done so. However,
reduction in pages saves substantially in composition, printing,
wrapping, shipping costs. The prices of AMS journals are entirely
too low and will be raised materially for 1985.
There is an article demonstrating the remarkable low prices of Society
journals in the NOTICES November 1983.
5. Change the BULLETIN to a quarterly, thus saving on binding, wrapping and
6. Delete the midyear index of MR. The promotional material and the front
material do not mention a midyear index and it is subsumed in the annual
7. Increase book prices. Society books have been relatively too cheap, just
as are the journals. Prices of books already in the catalog cannot be
raised until the next catalog edition, but new books can be priced by a
8. Increase some conference registration fees. These have covered only social
events. If the conference is to produce proceedings, the increased fee
covers also the purchase.
There is an attached document from the Executive Director and the Director of
Financial Planning titled, Report on the Financial Condition of the AMS, that
bears on these matters.
The Council took note of items 1-8. With respect to item 2, the Council
recommended that the fee of $15 be applied to the abstracts of all papers
except invited hour addresses. [The Trustees subsequently concurred in the
At 3:25 PM the Council went into executive session, resuming its open session
at 4:45 PM. Items 9.6 and 9.7 reported below were among those considered in
4.2 SERVICE TO MATHEMATICIANS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: A progress report of
the Committee is attached for information.
4.3 CONFERENCE ON MATHEMATICAL EDUCATION: Professor Paul Sally commented on
the attached draft report on the CBMS Conference on New Goals for Mathematical
Sciences Education held at Airlee House on 13-15 November 1983.
4.4 PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF MATHEMATICS: The report of the Committee on
Resources from the Mathematical Sciences (the David Committee), soon to be
released, was understood to recommend a more active role for professional
societies in increasing public understanding of mathematics and its needs as
wells as in contributing to the solution of the educational problems in the
K-12 range. A call for written suggestions was made. Kenneth Hoffman
concurred with the proposed procedure.
8.1 MR AND ZBL. The Council of 4 January 1983, "approved the principle of
cooperation between and possible merger of MR and [the] Zentralblatt [fur
Mathematik]." There is a merger committee for the Society, of which Alex
Rosenberg was the Chairman. Since his resignation as Trustee, Steve
Armentrout was the Chairman. A status report prepared by Steve Armentrout
and W.B. Woolf was presented by Armentrout.
9.1 THE SUMMER MEETING. Professor Susan Friedlander raised the question of the
desirability of holding Summer Meetings. Several facts were noted:
First, the following meetings have been scheduled, with varying degrees of
1985 under negotiation
1986 none; ICM '86 in Berkeley
1987 under negotiation
1988 Providence; centennial
Second, in years congruent to 4 mode 2, there is sometimes no Summer Meeting
because those are the years of the International Congress.
Third, the issue is not one for the AMS to decide alone. The Summer Meeting is
a joint meeting with the MAA.
Fourth, the Summer Meeting in the long run is a money loser. With the caveat
that there is a formula for the sharing of income and expenses with the MAA and
there is other distribution of expenses, here is the income and expense figures
for recent meetings:
Date Location Income Expense Deficit
Jan. 1980 San Antonio $100,000 $108,131 $ 7,531
Aug. 1980 Ann Arbor 33,400 45,069 11,669
Jan. 1981 San Francisco 104,230 84,818 (19,412)
Aug. 1981 Pittsburgh 23,209 64,983 41,774
Jan. 1982 Cincinnati 76,381 77,302 921
Aug. 1982 Toronto 41,787 88,401 46,614
Jan. 1983 Denver (unaudited) 93,628 122,597 28,969
Fifth, there has been less need recently for Summer Meetings than there used to
be because the scientific program of the Society has been enriched by the
Summer Institute (pure mathematics), the Summer Seminar (applied mathematics),
and the Summer Research Conferences (pure and applied, including probability
and statistics). Of course, these conferences do not give nonspecialists the
opportunity to hear top people in other fields. In that respect, they
encourage the fragmentation of mathematics, as opposed to the unification that
a general meeting may foster.
Sixth, the Summer Meeting serve several scientific purposes, which appear under
the headings of Colloquium Lectures, hour addresses, and short papers (special
sessions and contributed papers). Were there no Summer Meeting, the
corresponding Colloquium Lectures would probably be lost. The hour addresses
and the shorter papers could well be distributed over regional meetings.
Three possible arrangements were considered. One is to continue as at present
another, is to propose to MAA that joint Summer Meetings be abolished, and a
third is to propose that Summer Meetings after 1988 be held only in odd
The Council recognized that agendum 9.2 might bear on the decision and passed
to its consideration.
9.2 THE QUESTION: The EC and BT authorized the annual polling of the membership
on some question. The one proposed for 1984, subject to Council approval, is
the following statement:
The AMS should abolish its Summer Meeting:
____Strongly disagree ____disagree; ____neutral;
____agree; ____strongly agree.
At the same time essays on the Summer Meeting would appear as background in
the NOTICES. Comment by the Council was solicited.
Debate oscillated between the wording and effect of the question and the
substantive matter of discontinuing some or all summer meetings.
Calvin Moore proposed the following resolution:
The Council is in favor of the cancellation of
Summer Meetings of the Society beyond the meeting
already contracted for in 1984. The Council
realizes that consultation with the MAA is
necessary before definite action can be taken to
cancel the 1985 meeting and is aware of legal
and moral obligations to the MAA.
The motion passed. It was understood that it did not apply to the Centennial
Celebration of 1988, which is a meeting of the AMS alone, not a joint meeting
in the usual sense.
A motion to approve the question was proposed and then tabled.
9.3 UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION OF RESEARCH GRANTS: An awkward proposal for the
administration of grants made its appearance. The Polytechnic Institute of New
York asked that individuals, instead of taking a two month summer supplement,
arrange their grants to take a one month supplement and a reduction in teaching
load from nine to six hours during one semester. An exchange of correspondence
over the matter is attached. The reaction of the NSF and of the Polytechnic
Institute had been sought. The former is attached. The latter is a formal "no
comment". The EC recommended to the Council that the latter "make a formal
statement in opposition to the policy of principal investigators being coerced
to use research support as directed by university administrators." Calvin
Moore proposed the following resolution:
The Council of the American Mathematical Society
strongly opposes the previously proposed policy
of the administration of Polytechnic Institute of
New York concerning summer salaries paid by NSF
grants, as contained in the memo of 10/14/83, and
believes it is contrary to the interest of
scientific research. We are in fact delighted to
hear that this proposed policy has been rescinded.
It was passed.
9.4 INFORMATION OF INTEREST: Professor David Eisenbud offered the following
The Council directs the organizers of meetings to
allow distribution through the "local information
table" of announcements submitted by participants
in the meeting, of local events of non-mathematical
nature which may be of interest to other participants
and which are scheduled during the time of the meeting.
He prepared the supporting statement in the attachment.
By agreement the word "are" in the penultimate line was replaced by "have
been". The motion passed.
[The Secretary nodded when this motion was passed. As worded, it applied not
only to meetings of the Society, but also to joint meetings with the MAA, which
has an equal voice in such matters and which should be consulted before such a
policy is instituted. E.P.]
9.5 MATHEMATICAL SURVEYS: The name of the book series has been changed to
Mathematical Surveys and Monographs. The EC proposed that the name of the
Editorial Committee be changed to correspond. The Council recommended the
amendment of Article III, Section 2, to effect the change.
9.6 RESIGNATION OF A PROCEEDINGS EDITOR: The term of David M. Goldschmidt as a
member of the Editorial Committee of the Proceedings and of the Council
naturally ends in December 1985. However, he tendered his resignation. The
Council accepted his resignation with thanks.
9.7 ELECTION OF A PROCEEDTINGS EDITOR: The Council elected Andrew M. Odlyzko
to fill the remainder of the term vacated by Professor Goldschmidt as Editor
of the PROCEEDINGS and member of the Council. [The Trustees subsequently
INFORMATION AND RECORD
2.1 EC/BT MINUTES: The minutes of the EC and BT of 18-20 November 1983 were
distributed by mail and are attached for information.
2.2 ARCHIVES; In the interval 1976-1980, the Society and the MAA considered
possible locations for archives of the two organizations, the thought being
that the two organizations might choose the same location. Strong candidates
were the University of Texas in Austin and Brown University. The MAA did in
fact choose the University of Texas. The AMS did not and retreated from the
consideration of a location for its archives. The experience of the MAA with
the University of Texas was unsatisfactory and the MAA withdrew from its
arrangement. When the issue was being considered, the prospects at Brown
looked promising, but it was clear that Brown was not yet quite ready to
undertake the task, for instance because of construction yet to be completed.
Brown now appeared ready and the BT began exploring the nature of a contract
with Brown. The MAA had expressed interest in placing its archives in the same
location as that chosen by the AMS. The issue is one of custody or disposal of
Society property and so is primarily in the province of the Trustees. However,
there is a matter of scientific impact, so that Council approval of the
proposed action of the Trustees, when it is formulated more definitively, is to
be sought. The EC had reviewed the state of the negotiations. Item 2.14 of
the EC/BT minutes of 18-20 November 1983 is a progress report. The matter is
noted here for the information of the Council.
2.3 NSF REVIEWERS REPORTS: The Council had received an item of information
concerning the policy of the NSF of automatically sending reviewers' reports
to proposers for grants. This is in minute 2.1 of 14 April 1983. Some people
object to the policy. The EC referred the question to the Committee on Science
Policy, which was to discuss it at its meeting of January 1984. Currently,
Professor Roger Howe objected to the procedure. By agreement with Professor
Howe, a deleted version of his correspondence with the NSF over a particular
case is attached for information.
2.4 SPONSORING OF NON-MEMBERS: It had been a policy that a non-member wishing
to present a contributed paper either in person or by title must be introduced
by a member. This resulted in two kinds of difficulties. First, there are
non-members who supply the name of a member without asking permission. Second,
there are non-members, completely unknown to the cognizant Associate Secretary,
who submit abstracts (close to the deadline, as with all abstracts) with no
name of an introducer, leaving it to the Associate Secretary or the Deputy
Executive Director either to introduce the non-member himself, or to delay the
presentation while an introducer is sought. Accordingly, the EC agreed to
enforce the rule about introducers more strictly. A non-member contributing
a paper must be sponsored by a member as attested by a signature. Note that
sponsorship does not apply to non-members invited to present an hour address or
a paper in a special session.
2.5 E.P. GIL'BO: A letter from Professor V.S. Vladimirov of the Steklov
Institute responding to a letter from President Robinson concerning Dr. Gil'bo
2.6 COUNCIL AND TRUSTEES; The current list is attached for information.
The Council adjourned at 7:00 PM January 24, 1984.