January 1986 Council Minutes
JANUARY 1986 COUNCIL MINUTES
The Council met on 6 January 1986, at 2:05 PM in the O'Hare Room of the Hyatt
Regency, New Orleans. Members present were S. Armentrout, J.G. Arthur, R.A.
Askey, R.G. Bartle, H. Bass, F.E. Browder,D.M. Burns, Jr., W.W. Comfort, M.G.
Crandall, D. Eisenbud, W. Gautschi, J.R. Gilman, M. Hochster, W.B.Johnson,
I. Kaplansky, I. Kra, M. Lowengrub, R.B. Melrose, T.K. Milnor, M.S. Montgomery,
G.D. Mostow, J.E. Osborn, D.S. Passman, F.P. Peterson, E. Pitcher, M.B. Pour
E. H. Rossi, L. P. Rothschild. G.R.Sell, L.W. Small, C.L. Ternq, A. Terras,
W.A. Veech, D.A. Vogan, Jr., R.O. Wells, Jr., and R.F. Williams. Those invited
with the privilege of the floor included C. Davis, P. Griffiths, K. Hoffman, P.
Sally, Jr., M. Sward, and A. Thaler. Also present were V. Biber, W.J. LeVeque,
J.W. Maxwell, J. Selfridge, J.A. Voytuk, and W.B. Woolf. President Kaplansky
was in the chair.
1.1 MINUTES OF 11 August 1985. These had been distributed by mail and were
1.2 MINUTES OF 5 APRIL 1984. Although these minutes had already been approved,
the Secretary observed an error. The heading of item 1.2 should read:
1.2 Minutes of Council Business by Mail of 20 February 1984.
The correction was approved.
COMMITTEES AND BOARDS
4.1 COUNCIL MEETING. The Council recognized that with no action there would be
no meeting of the Council in August 1986 inasmuch as there is no Summer Meeting
in deference to ICM-86. The Council agreed to name ten candidates
member-at-large at the May meeting of the Council. This is opposed to the
usual practice of naming seven in April and bringing the total to ten in
August. The Council agreed to handle irregularities in the nominating
procedures by mail ballot.
4.2 TRANSACTIONS EDITORS. The EC recommended that the managing editor of the
TRANSACTIONS be a member of the Editorial Committee. It was noted that the
managing editor will not ordinarily be a member of the committee already, and
in that event, it was further recommended that the committee be enlarged by one
to include the managing editor. The intent is that the managing editor can
then either be the chairman of the committee and represent the committee on the
Council, or be delegated by the chairman to represent the committee on the
Council. The Council approved. It was noted that the immediate effect is to
make William B. Johnson, managing editor, be a Council member for 1986.
4.3 NEW JOURNAL. The Committee to Monitor Problems in Communication, was
charged by the EC with consideration of the scientific aspects of a proposal to
establish a new journal. The source was the Trustees' Committee on Publication
Program. Comm.-Comm. reviewed the proposal that came to it, concurred with it,
and recommended it to the EC, which approved and forwarded the recommendation,
that a new journal, provisionally titled THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN
MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY, be established with the following considerations as to
standards and management.
1. The journal should maintain the highest standards in order to join the
ranks of outstanding journals of the field.
2. All of the members of the Board of Editors must be mathematicians of the
3. There should be two or three editors-in-chief who are willing to sustain
a continuing and substantial effort over a period of several years to assure
that the journal will carry the tradition of excellence to which the Society
4. The remaining editors would not carry such a heavy burden, but the Board
must collectively represent the areas of active research in mathematics and
5. All editors should make direct efforts to secure first class papers for
6. No page charges should be levied.
The Council approved a motion by Professor Hugo Rossi that the new journal be
established on the lines described with the Centennial Year 1988 as the
intended year of publication. The motion further authorized the President to
consult distinguished mathematicians about who the editors should be.
4.3a PAGE CHARGES. Although the matter was not on the agenda, the Council
passed a resolution by Irwin Kra that it was the sense of the Council that
pages charges on all Society journals should be eliminated.
4.4 MULTI-YEAR MEMBERSHIP DUES. The EC recommended the principle of allowing
payment of dues in advance for any number of years up to five, at the rate of
the applicable full dues for the coming calendar year. The fiscal approval
from the Trustees was granted in advance. The recommendation included the
provision that authority to manage the details of application of the principle
be delegated to the ECBT. The recommendations were approved by the Council.
4.5 A PRIVILEGE FOR CORPORATE MEMBERS. The EC recommended that corporate
members be allowed the free use of one Society mailing list during each year
of membership. The BT had been given its approval in advance. The council
4.6 SUMMER MEETINGS. The Council of 5 April 1984, agreed that the decision
about whether to hold future joint Summer Meetings with the MAA should be
made after the Summer Meeting of 1986. It was noted there is no Summer
Meeting in 1986, because of ICM-86, that the joint meeting of 1987 is already
planned, and that the Centennial Celebration occurs in 1988. The matter
concerns Summer Meetings of 1989 and beyond.
Because of the impact of the financial questions on the problem of general,
the following facts were pointed out.
1. The scale of registration fees has been increased to be closer to the
norms for professional meetings in general. As a result, the annual deficit
of the Annual and Summer Joint Meetings with the MAA has been substantially
2. The agreement on expenses with the MAA has been revised. The MAA now
pays half of the deficit if any, where as their share was formerly governed by
a formula that was initially realistic, but that year by year diverged from
3. The issues of costs of these meetings arose when the Society was operating
for several years at a deficit. Between economies and revisions in pricing,
the Society now operates with a surplus sufficient to cover a small deficit
in meetings, if these are deemed intrinsically valuable.
The EC recommended that Summer Meetings jointly with MAA continued into the
indefinite future. The Trustees, aware of this recommendation, had given
their approval in advance. The Council approved the recommendation of the EC.
4.7 CONGRESSIONAL SCIENCE FELLOW. The EC and BT of November 1984 recommended
that the AMS support of this program be discontinued after the 1985-86 year.
The Council of 8 January 1985, did not concur, but referred the matter to the
Science Policy Committee. In the attached letter, the SPC recommends that the
program be continued. The EC recommended that the Council approve
continuation of the program. The Trustees approved the financial expenditure
in the event that the Council approved the principle. The Council approved
continuation of the program.
4.8 REVIEW OF SOCIETY ACTIVITIES. The EC has a continuing mandate to review
Society activities. Its self determined area for 1985 review, consisted of the
publication program. The report of the EC is attached for information.
4.9 SCIENCE POLICY COMMITTEE. The Chairman, Professor Felix Browder reported.
The next minute is the principal item of the report.
4.10 SCIENCE POLICY COMMITTEE CHARGE. The SPC proposes that its charge be
revised. This is the committee response to a motion by Hugo Rossi, postponed
from the meeting of 11 August 1985, and contained in minute 8.2 of that date.
The Council considered the revision proposed by the Committee in place of the
original motion of Professor Rossi. It was amended and then approved by the
Council. The amended version is attached.
4.11 JOINT POLICY BOARD FOR MATHEMATICS. The Director of Federal Relations,
Professor Kenneth M. Hoffman reported. His report is attached.
4.12 STATUS OF THE PROFESSION. The Joint Policy Board for Mathematics at its
meeting of 26 June 1985 passed the following resolution:
RESOLVED, that the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics
request that the National Research Council's Boards of
Mathematical Sciences and Mathematical Science Education
consider the questions concerning the status of the
profession as they will be formulated after a closer
study by MAA on behalf of JPBM.
The MAA is proceeding with the study. A member of the study committee is
Hugo Rossi, who presented a progress report.
4.13 CONDUCT OF SUMMER INSTITUTES. The following agendum is quoted directly
from David Eisenbud.
On behalf of the organizing committee of the 1985 Summer Institute on
Algebraic Geometry, I would like to make several motions designed to affect the
way in which the society conducts the Summer Institutes. Supporting material
can be found in the memoranda from the organizing committee and from myself, in
1. a) I propose that the Council urge the Trustees to remove the price of the
proceedings volume from the registration fee at Summer Institutes. b) I
propose further, that the Council urge the Trustees to take the steps necessary
to obtain NSF grants early enough to avoid substantial unrecoverable costs, and
to drop the $15-per-week registration fee, or at least to reduce it to a single
$15 registration fee.
2. I propose that the AMS return to its previous policy of providing copies
of notes generated at Summer Institutes to individuals who request the notes
within a reasonable time of the Institute, for a fee commensurate with the
costs to the Society of this service.
3. I propose that the Council recommend to the Trustees the establishment of a
procedure for inviting individuals (for example, those from Eastern Europe) who
are unlikely to be able to accept without having these commitments tie up too
much of the resources of the Institute. Naturally, such commitments would
require careful supervision--perhaps from the Executive Director. In the
happy, but unlikely event that some of the invitations were accepted, there
would be no difficulty in finding funds among those returned to the Institute
by those who decide no to come--there is a steady flow of such transactions.
4. I propose that the Council recommend to the planners of future meetings
that there should be a meeting of the organizers to plan the conference; this
should be made a standard budget item, if funds are necessary. The meeting
should be scheduled as early as possible, given funding realities.
The Councipl approved a motion by R.O. Wells, Jr. that the matter be referred
to the EC and BT.
4.14 CASE OF PIOTR MORMUL. The Committee on Human Rights of Mathematicians
offered the following resolution.
The Council of the AMS deplores the continued harassment of
our fellow mathematician Piotr Mormul. The Council urges
that the criminal proceedings against him be dropped and
that he be left free to pursue his promising career.
The Committee noted that the resolution, if passed, should be sent to:
Warsaw Public Prosecutor
Al. Swierczewskiego 127
with copy to:
Czeslaw Olech, Director
Institute of Mathematics
Skrytka Pocztowa 137
00-950 Warsaw, Poland
and the Secretary requested he be instructed to do so. The Council approved
the resolution and the instruction to the Secretary.
4.15 OPPORTUNITIES IN MATHEMATICS FOR DISADVANTAGED GROUPS. In the attached
letter, Lynn Steen, in his capacity as both President of MAA and Secretary
of Section A of AAAS, proposed that the Society Committee be made a joint
committee with MAA and AAAS. The EC recommended that this be done. The
4.16 AMS-MAA SIAM JOINT COMMITTEE ON GRAUDATE PROGRAMS AT TRADITIONALLY BLACK
INSTITUTIONS. The MAA after discussion with the National Association of
Mathematicians, recommended that his committee be discharged with thanks.
The EC concurred with the recommendation and forwarded it to the Council for
action. The intitiative for this action arose with the MAA, whose President
Lynn Steen, commented.
The charge to the Committee instructed it to be available to give advice on
graduate programs, but not actively to seek recipients for such advice. In
more than ten years there had not been a call for the service for which the
Committee was established.
The Council discharged the committee with thanks, subject to parallel formal
action by sponsors, namely the MAA and NAM. In so doing, the Council noted
that his action did not represent withdrawal of support for this segment of the
mathematical community, but rather consolidation of effort behind the
Committee on Opportunities in Mathematics for Disadvantaged Groups.
4.17 TRANSACTIONS EDITOR. It was announced that Donald Burkholder had resigned
as a member of the Editorial Committee of the Transactions after three of the
four years of his term and that Ronald Getoor had been appointed associate
editor to cover the field (probability and statistics). The Council elected
Getoor to the Editorial Committee to fill the vacancy for the remaining year.
(This item and the two that follow were accomplised at a later time in
4.18 SURVEYS AND MONOGRAPHS EDITOR. The Committee recommended that its number
be increased by one that Irwin Kra be elected to fill the slot thus created.
The Committee planned that his principal responsibility be for Contemporary
Mathematics. The Council expanded the Committee and elected Kra to the newly
created slot. The term is three years through 1988.
4.19 COUNCIL VACANCY. The bylaws specify that a vacancy on the Council
caused by the death or resignation of a member-at-large more than a year
before the end of the term, shall be filled by the Council at the next
annual meeting. This statute applies with respect to the death of Albert T.
Bharucha-Reid. The EC recommended that the vacancy be filled by Professor
Cora Sadosky. The Council elected her to complete the term, that is, through
8.1 MERGER OF MR AND ZBL. The Council of 4 January 1983, "approve[d] the
principle of cooperation between and possible merger of MR and Zentralblatt."
To that end,the Trustees authorized the establishment of a negotiationg team,
of which Steve Armentrout is the Chairman. There have been several meetings
with a German negotiating team. Negotiations have considered editorial
supervision, editorial standards, coverage of field, division of labor,
division of income, division of the market and administrative supervision.
Possible areas of agreement on editorial matters and division of labor are
emerging. There is nothing firm here because of the overriding nature of the
financial aspects. There are counter proposals on division of income of the
market on which there is no agreement.
It was recognized that the remainder of the negotiation, the agreement, and the
subsequent operation will be complex, if agreement is reached. Although the
financial and editorial management of MR is in the hands of a single unit, the
AMS, the same is not true of ZBL. It is composed and distributed by a
commercial publisher, Springer. The editorial supervision is in the hands of
the Heidelberger Akademie de Wissenschaften. The production is done by the
Fachsinformationszentrum Energie Physik Mathematik Gmbh (FIZ), a corporation
through which a government subsidy is provided for the editorial officers in
Berlin. The interest of FIZ lies in the development and marketing of a
related data base. There is more detail on these points in attachements.
The EC and BT thought that it was time for the Council to see the nature of the
agreement that is under consideration. It is the effect of a possible
agreement on the editorial management and standards, on the production, and on
the mathematical community that concerns the Council. It is up to the Trustees
to judge the financial and marketing aspects of the agreement. These, however,
impinge on the scientific aspects, so that is was appropriate for the Council
to see the current status of these as well. All of this material is also in
Before proceeding further, the MR team and the Trustees wished to the benefit
of the opinions of the Council now that the nature of a possible merger is
The Council was apprized that the AMS negotiating team did not itself support
unaniously the position that it has advanced. The EC approved in principle
the scientific aspects of the position of the MR team, but that approval was
not unanious. The Trustees approved in principle the position taken by the
MR team on division of income, but that approval was not unanimous. There is
a gap between the MR position and the ZBL on division of market are not firm,
and do not agree. The EC and BT had contemplated the problem of division of
the market. Neither body reached any conclusion here.
To assist the Council, there were several attachments. One is a historical
account of relevant aspects of the history of ZBL. A second is a substantial
part of an item labeled Attachment 43. There p. 1 shows the two proposals on
division of income pp. 2-8 are informal minutes and agenda, p. 9 shows the
market, and pp. 10-11 state the tentative agreements reached. There is no
pp. 12-15. Pp. 18-20 describe a possible division of market. Pp. 21-23 are a
possible budget. Pp. 24-28 are informal minutes of a further negotiating
session. The third attachment is an item labeled Attachment 56, and consists
of financial and market analyses. There is an addendum to the material in this
The Council discussed these matters at length. There is no motion. A
cautionary note was sounded by Tilla Milnor to the effect that there is a
momentum to the process of negotiation that one can resist, and that is is
possible to negotiate without reaching agreement. It may be that the most
effective solution to a procedure of negotiation is to withdraw.
8.2 TEXTBOOKS MINUTE 4.1 OF 11 AUGUST 1985 shows that the Committee to Monitor
Problems in Communication was designated by the Council on recommendation of
the EC and BT of May 1985, minute 3.2 to be temporarily the editorial committee
for textbooks. This is in conflict with the instruction given by the ECBT of
May 1983, minute 6.6, to the Editorial Committee for Mathematicsl Surveys and
Monographs that the latter was to be the Editorial Committee for textbooks.
That committee has followed the recommendation in advertising its willingness
and responsibility. See the NOTICES for March 1985, pp. 168-169, as was called
to the attention of the Secretary by Susan Montgomery, Chairman of the
Committee. The Secretary suggested that the Council action of August 1985, was
carried out in ignorance of the fact that editorial responsiblity for graduate
texts had been lodged rather than with the intent of changing the focus of that
responsibility. The Council then removed graduate texts from the list of areas
8.3 REPORT ON THE BULLETIN. The ballot to more than 10,000 members of the
Society (the ordinary, family, and contributing members) contained the
If there were an option of either continuing to receive the BULLETIN OF THE
AMS as a privilege of membership, or receiving a reduction of appoximately
$10 per year in annual dues and not receiving the BULLETIN, I would probably
choose as follows:
[ ] Continue to receive the BULLETIN
[ ] Choose a dues reduction without a BULLETIN subscription
The subscription of the BULLETIN OF THE AMS which members receive as a
privilege of membership has often been discussed by the EC of the Council, and
the BT. The questions considered usually revolve around the value of that
subscription to the membership. In an effort to determine a more accurate
measure of general sentiment, it was decided to poll the ordinary, family and
contributing members of the Society.
There were 2,264 ballots returned with a response, the result being 1,442 for
the first alternative, and 822 for the seond. This information was received
by the Council.
9.1 CLOSED MEETINGS. The following resolution, prepared and offered by Jean
Taylor, had the endorsement of the EC.
The Council of th AMS joins the AAAS in expressing vigorous
opposition to any restraints on the open disucssion of
current research, unless that research is explicitly
classified, or proprietary. In particular, it supports
the principle that conferences that discuss current
research be open to anyone in the field, and opposes the
holding of restricted or closed sessions discussing
unclassifieid material. It also opposes any requirement of
prior review by agencies of the Department of Defense of
manuscripts resulting from unclassified research.
It was proposed by Jean Taylor (through a note from Elliott Lieb) that the text
be amended by addition of the following words:
Furthermore, the AMS will not be responsible for, nor will
it sponsor, closed or restricted access technical sessions
at meetings, or conferences conducted under its auspices.
These words are a slightly edited version of text presented to Secretary of
Defense, Caspar Weinberger by the presidents of twelve scientific and
engineering societies, including the AAAS.
The wording of the addition was debated and finally the original paragraph
was amended with the addition of the following second paragraph.
Furthermore, the AMS will not be responsible for, nor
will it sponsor, technical sessions with restricted
With this amendment the resolution was passed.
9.2 COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY RESPONSIBILITIES FOR MATHEMATICS TEACHER EDUCATION.
Prsident Lynn Steen of the MAA offered for discussion and possible approval,
the attached statement prepared by two MAA committees. His covering letter
is attached as well. The Council referred the matter to the EC with the
understanding that the advice of the Committee on Educational Policy would be
9.3 BOARD ON MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES; The new Chairman of the Board, Dr. Phillip
Griffiths, addressed the Council. An amplification of his remarks is attached.
(This item and the one that follows, actually took place earlier in the
9.4 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES EDUCATION BOARD. This is a newly constituted board
under the sponsorship of the National Research Council. The Chairman is
Shirley A. Hill, and the Executive Director is Marcia Sward. Dr. Sward
addressed the Council. An amplication of her remarks is attached.
INFORMATION AND RECORD
2.1 COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP. A sheet giving the membership of the Council and of
the Trustees in 1986 is attached. This is a revised version that takes account
of Council actions at this meeting. The Council list does not include Paul
Halmos, who is a member until his replacement is elected about the middle of
2.2 ECBT MINUTES. The minutes of the EC and BT of 21-23 November 1985, were
distributed separately for information and are attached.
2.3 CHINESE MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY. The President of the AMS, in answer to a
request to designate two representatives to the Fiftieth Anniversary of the
Chinese Mathematical Society, named Jerry L. Kazdan and William J. LeVeque.
2.5 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. Serge Lang addressed the attached letter to the
Editorial Committee of the NOTICES. The response of the Chairman of the
Editorial Committee is also attached. It was determined that one sentence
and half of another had been edited out of a page and a half letter and that
one stylistic change had been made in a letter, that the writer had been
notified (but without the copy of the letter that he should have received),
and that the writer had not received the notification because he was
traveling. The internal controls of the Editorial Committee have been
The Council had recessed for dinner from 6:05-7:10 PM, having completed all
of its work except the executive session, part of which is reported in items
4.17-4.19, and item 8.1, which had been postponed. The executive session was
brief. The remainder of the time until adjournment at 9:25 PM was devoted to
the discussion of item 8.1.
Everett Pitcher, Secretary
January 6, 1986