January 1987 Council Minutes
JANUARY 1987 COUNCIL MINUTES
The Council met in the Alamo Ballroom A&B of the Marriott Hotel in San Antonio
on 20 January 1987 at 5:00 PM. Members present were S. Armentrout, R.A. Askey,
H. Bass, D.M. Burns, Jr., R. G. Douglas, R.M. Fossum, W. Gautschi, J.P. Gilman,
M. Hochster, I. Kaplansky, I. Kra, M. Lowengrub, P.S. Muhly, M.S. Montgomery,
Y.M. Moschovakis, G.D. Mostow, L. Ness, A. Odlyzko, D.S. Passman, F.P.
Peterson, E. Pitcher, M.B. Pour-El, M. Rieffel, H. Rossi, L.W. Small, J.A.
Smoller, E.L. Stout, O. Tuassky-Todd, J.E. Taylor, A. Terras, C. Sadosky, W.A.
Veech, D.A. Vogan, Jr., R.O. Wells, Jr. and C. Wood. Also present were R.G.
Bartle, R. Hahn, K.M. Hoffman, W.J. LeVeque, J.W. Maxwell, J.W. Selfridge, J.A.
Voytuk, and W.B. Woolf. The privilege of the floor was given at various times
to F. Browder, L. Lorch, P.J. Sally, Jr., S. Schuster, and I. Singer.
President Mostow was in the chair.
1.1 MINUTES OF 3 MAY 1986. These minutes had been circulated by mail. In the
list of candidates for the Council in item 4.5, there are two errors in
orthography. Correct names are Marian (not Marion) B. Pour-El and Robert J.
(not M) Zimmer. In the list of names in item 2.l, the correct spelling is
Robert L. Devaney (not Devany.) With these corrections, the minutes were
1.2 MINUTES OF 6 JANUARY 1986: These minutes were approved by the Council
of 3 May 1986. Subsequently, the Secretary was made aware that the last
sentence of item 4.l3 is irrelevant. Permission was given to delete it.
1.3 MINUTE OF BUSINESS BY MAIL OF 13 AUGUST 1986: There were two proposals by
petition for candidacy for member-at-large in the election of l986. In
response, the Council nominated Clarence W. Wilkerson but did not nominate
Vadim Komkov. The minute was approved and is attached.
l.4 BUSINESS BY MAIL OF 25 AUGUST 1986: It was noted that Robert G. Bartle
resigned from the Editorial Committee of Mathematical Reviews by letter dated
10 July 1986 when he began his current term as Executive Editor. The Council
elected Leonard D. Berkovitz to fill the vacancy through December 1988. The
minute concerning the election was approved and is attached.
COMMITTEES AND BOARDS
4.1 REVIEW OF SOCIETY ACTIVITIES: The EC is charged by the Council with
reviewing Society activities. The EC has been accomplishing this in a three
year cycle. The year 1986 was devoted to "everything else", that is, to
activities other than meetings and publications. In fact, seven topics were
selected and were distributed among EC members, who prepared individual reports
that were discussed by the EC and were then revised. The individual reports,
preceded by a summary of the reports and the discussion, is an attachment.
The report contained several recommendations. Recommendation IV 1) from the
summary of the report was adopted by the Council with deletion of the word
"urgently". With editing by the Secretary, the additional charge to the
Committee on Science Policy states that:
The Science Policy Committee is charged with publishing information
in the NOTICES that requires the attention of Society members.
Action on other recommendations, notably VI 2), 3), 4) from the summary was
4.2 NOMINATION BY PETITION: The EC recommended that the Council adopt the
following policy concerning nominations by petition.
Beginning with the interval 1987-1996, the Council intends to
approve no more than two nominations by petition of the same
individual in any ten year period.
In presenting this motion, the EC was aware that the nomination of candidates
for Society offices is lodged with the Council and that a statement of intent
by the Council does not bind future Councils. The Council approved the policy.
4.3 MOTION FROM COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE POLICY: A minute from the Committee on
Science Policy is reproduced in entirety.
The Science Policy Committee met in Washington, DC on
November 17, 1986. It passed the following motions
during its executive session and invites the EC to
recommend these motions to the Council.
Motion l: While appreciating new funding of mathematics through
special initiatives and other innovative programs, the AMS is concerned that
greater progress be made in restoring the strength by the traditional basic
research programs, particularly those sponsoring individual nondirected
research. The AMS strongly endorses the recommendation of the Packard-Bromley
report for a major increase in the NSF budget.
Motion l passed unanimously.
Motion 2. The AMS does not obstruct or discourage participation by any
of its members in any Federally funded research programs. At the same time, in
respect for the lack of confidence felt by a significant part of the
mathematical and scientific community in the scientific integrity of the SDI,
the AMS shall neither encourage nor actively facilitate participation by
mathematicians in SDI research programs.
Motion 2 passed with a vote of 5 for, l against with 3 abstentions.
Motion 3. With respect to the two motions to be offered to the
Business Meeting by Lipman Bers, Lucy Garnett, Linda Keen, Lee Mosher,
Barbara Simons, Michael Shub, Jean Taylor, and William P. Thurston, the
Council should not avail itself of the exception in Article X, Section l
that permits the Business Meeting to act on motions that call for final action
and have not been notified to the full membership.
Motion 3 passed unanimously.
The EC recommended that the Council approve Motion l.
The EC considered a motion to recommend Motion 2. The vote was 3 in
favor, 2 opposed, and 2 abstentions.
Actions of the EC require 4 votes to pass, so the recommendation failed.
The EC wished the record to go to the Council.
The EC endorsed Motion 3.
The Council approved Motion l.
The Council debated the meaning and wording of Motion 2. One suggestion was to
replace the phrase "shall not encourage not actively facilitate" by "shall not
encourage". The motion was referred back to the Science Policy Committee for
revision with the request that it report to the May meeting of the EC. The
vote was l7 to 12.
The Council was aware of Motion 3.
4.4 MR AND ZBL: Over a period of several years, negotiations about a possible
merger between MR and Zentralblatt fur Mathematik took place. The Council of
4 January l983 "approve[d] the principle of cooperation between and possible
merger of MR and Zentralblatt.
Separate from the issue of merger, cooperation has taken the form of exchange
visits of personnel to study each other's methods, reprinting of reviews, and
design of the subject classification.
The matter of a merger was approached through two negotiating teams, one for
each journal. The Chairman of the MR team during the latter part of the
negotiations is Steve Armentrout. The teams had face-to-face meetings. A
great deal of information on administrative structure, finances, and
subscription lists were exchanged. Each team prepared a position and these
positions were modified through the discussions. The positions were close on
some issues. On the other hand, there were important aspects of future
development that were scarcely touched. It is not the intent of this summary
to review the arguments. The status of negotiations was reported in extenso to
the EC/BT. The latter is responsible for the business of the Society and acts
with the scientific advice of the former in their joint meetings. The status
reports are in EC/BT minutes, partly in open minutes, which are distributed to
the Council, and partly in minutes of executive sessions. The latter expedient
is necessary because the minutes contain comparisons based on internal data and
statements about concessions that the MR team has not made but might make.
The EC/BT voted several times on whether and how the negotiations should
continue. Recent votes were conducted separately by the EC/BT. At the meeting
of l9-22 November 1986, the EC considered a motion to recommend to the Council
that it stop the negotiations and not merge. The motion passed with five in
favor, one opposed, and one abstention. This recommendation was presented to
the Council for possible action.
The BT reconsidered a motion from the executive session of its meeting of
l5-l7 May 1986. That motion had been to approve the "American Proposal"
(attached) and to continue negotiations. The vote in May had been seven in
favor and one opposed. On reconsideration, the vote was four in favor and two
opposed, with two abstentions. The standing rules of the BT require a majority
of participants in favor of a motion to pass it, in this instance five out of
eight, so that on reconsideration the motion before the BT failed. This fact
was presented to the Council as a matter of information.
Attachments consist of the position of the MR team, a statement by Steve
Armentrout, Chairman of the team, a statement from the Mathematical Reviews
Editorial Committee, and a letter from Dieter Puppe, Chairman of the
negotiating team from ZBL.
The Council passed a motion recommending to the Trustees that negotiations
toward merger cease.
The Council adjourned for dinner at 6:30 and reconvened at 8:00.
4.5 PREPUBLICATION REVIEWS: The Editorial Committee on MR proposed to obtain
reviews of some papers in mainstream journals from accepted manuscripts rather
than from published papers. Such a review would not be published until the
paper actually appears but would be published several months earlier than if
the appearance of the paper were awaited before the review is solicited.
The existence of a forthcoming paper would be noted in Current Mathematical
Publications with a flag. The EC approved this procedure.
This material was presented to the Council for information. It is an approach
to be tried experimentally and carries no mandate.
4.6 COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP FOR JAMS: When the Journal of the AMS is in operation,
the Chairman of the Editorial Committee (or a deputy) should be a Council
member, just as in the case of other journals. The EC recommended that Article
III, Section l, and Article XI, Section l, be amended to take account of the
new journal. The proposed text as modified by the Council, with deleted words
lined out and insertions in bold type, was approved and is attached. The
Council decided that approval by the membership should be sought by mail
4.7 TERMS FOR EDITORS OF JAMS: The issue was raised but was postponed to the
April meeting, with the suggestion that Michael Artin, Chairman of the
Editorial Committee, be invited to attend.
4.8 PAGE CHARGES: Acting on a request from the Editorial Committee of the
PROCEEDINGS, the Council of 6 January l986, passed a resolution that it was the
sense of the Council that page charges on all Society journals should be
eliminated. It was noted that the issue arises at this time because of the
decision that the new JOURNAL OF THE AMS shall have no page charges. The EC/BT
voted to defer action on this item for one year. This was a report to the
Council that did not require action.
The Council requested that the amount of money realized from page charges,
itemized by journal, be available when this item comes up for action.
4.9 BULLETIN AS A PRIVILEGE. The EC/BT recommended to the Council that the
dues notice contain a line inviting dues-paying members to check a box if
they would prefer a $l0 reduction in dues in place of receiving the BULLETIN.
It was noted that the Bylaws stipulate that "An ordinary or contributing member
shall receive the NOTICES and BULLETIN as privileges of membership...", so that
if the EC/BT's recommendation is accepted by the Council, a Bylaws change will
With respect to the question of whether the BULLETIN should be eliminated as a
privilege of membership for non-dues-paying members, or if they should be
offered the option of not receiving the BULLETIN, the EC/BT had recommended
that the classes that now receive the BULLETIN should continue to do so.
A motion was made to change the bylaws to accommodate the change in privileges.
It was noted that no dollar amount should be incorporated in the bylaws. When
it became clear that further study of the problem was needed, the issue was
referred back to the EC with the understanding that the EC would receive a
record of the discussion.
4.l0 RIGHT TO TRAVEL: The Committee on Human Rights offered a statement and
supporting material and requested the Council to endorse the statement.
Professor Seymour Schuster, a member of the Committee spoke to the motion to
endorse, as did Lee Lorch. The Council deleted the last sentence of the
statement and then endorsed it. The statement as endorsed reads as follows:
The American Mathematical Society affirms the right of all
mathematicians to attend international professional meetings,
especially international congresses. No mathematician should
be prevented from attending such a meeting by either his/her
own government or the government of the host country.
The deleted sentence was "This applies especially to a mathematician invited to
address an international meeting."
In Executive Session beginning at 9:l5 PM, the following items among others
4.l9 SEARCH FOR SECRETARY: A Search Committee considered candidates for the
position of Secretary effective l January l989. In its final report to the
Council, the Committee recommended a single candidate, Robert M. Fossum. The
report is attached. The EC/BT had viewed the recommendation and concurred.
The Council nominated Robert M. Fossum to be the unopposed candidate for
Secretary in the election of l988.
4.20 NOTICES EDITORIAL COMMITTEE: The Council of 2l January l986, specified
that the terms of members of the Editorial Committee of the NOTICES shall be
four years and that every two years the Nominating Committee shall supply a
slate of three names. The Council shall then approve or reject the entire
slate. In the event of rejection, further procedural steps are provided.
The Nominating Committee proposed the names of:
Robert J. Blattner (UCLA)
Lucy J. Garnett (Baruch)
Nancy K. Stanton (Notre Dame)
The Council approved the slate.
4.2l PROCEEDINGS EDITORS: There were a number of associate editors of the
PROCEEDINGS who became members of the Editorial Committee by Council action in
l986. The terms of three of these ended in December 1986, but the terms were
not set until after the ballots for the l986 election were in the mail. Thus,
there were three vacancies on the Editorial Committee. The Editorial Committee
appointed three Associate Editors to cover the work, namely Kenneth R. Meyer,
Louis J. Ratleff, Jr., and William D. Sudderth. The Committee recommended
that these three persons be elected by the Council with the approval of the
Board of Trustees to the Editorial Committee for terms through l987.
The Council election Messrs. Meyer, Ratleff, and Sudderth to the Editorial
Committee of the PROCEEDINGS for terms to end in December l987.
The Council returned to open session at 9:30 PM. The remaining items are
recorded in the order presented on the agenda, not in the order actually
4.ll CORPORATE MEMBER: The National Security Agency applied for corporate
membership. Such applications are judged by a committee consisting of the
Secretary and the four Associate Secretaries by delegation of power. The
Committee approved. There were four ballots returned, with three in favor
and one question. Because of the latter, the Secretary put the matter before
The EC/BT had several considerations. These included the question whether the
blanket definition in Article VIII, Section 5 governing eligibility includes
government agencies, whether the name of the class should be changed to
corporate and agency membership, and whether it was appropriate to have as a
corporate member an entity to which the Society applies for contract or grant
The EC/BT recommended that the Council confirm the vote of the Committee. The
Council did so.
4.12 REGISTRATION FEE POLICIES FOR CONFERENCES: At its January l986 meeting,
the Council referred item 4.l3, "Conduct of Summer Institutes," to the EC/BT
who were asked to consider the following questions:
1. Should the policy be continued of including in the registration
fee a charge for the cost of the conference proceedings?
2. Should the policy be continued of including a $l5 per week charge
in the conference registration fee?
The EC/BT considered question l twice and on 20-22 November l986, (minute 3.6)
decided that the policy should be discontinued.
Regarding question 2, the EC/BT of 20-22 November 1986 set the registration fee
at grant-supported conferences in l987 at $l0.00. [Change per 4-87 Council
minutes, Item l.l.
4.l3 MATHEMATICS COMPETITIONS: The EC/BT recommended that the Society become
involved as a sponsor of mathematics competitions. There is a "pryamid" of
such competitions sponsored by the MAA and other societies and corporations.
See the attached description of the structure. The top of the pyramid is the
U.S.A. Mathematical Olympiad, through which the U.S. team in international
competition is selected. The Council approved in principle.
4.14 AUTOMATICS THEOREM PROVING: A report from the Committee to Recommend
Winners of Prizes for Automatics Theorem Proving was laid over to the next
meeting of the Council.
4.15 PANEL ON SOCIAL IMPORTANCE OF MATHEMATICS: David Eisenbud, with the
support of Jean Taylor, proposed that "the Science Policy Committee serve as
host for a lecture or panel discussion of each annual meeting on some topic
concerning an area of social importance in which mathematics (broadly
interpreted) is used." His letter is attached, as is the one from Jean Taylor.
It should be noted that George Carrier gave such a lecture in January 1986, on
the Nuclear Winter at the invitation of the Program Committee and that there
is a panel discussion on Star Wars software reliability at the meeting of
January l987. The proposal is to institutionalize what is now being done on
an ad hoc basis.
The Executive Committee recommended that the Science Policy Committee be
charged with this additional duty.
The Council approved the additonal charge to the Committee on Science Policy.
There was objection to the name social importance. The phrase social import
may be acceptable.
4.16 DATA COLLECTION: The EC/BT recommended that the Committee on Employment
and Educational Policy be made into a joint committee with the MAA. The issue
of greatest immediate concern is that of data collection, as through the annual
survey conducted by the Committee and for which results are published in the
NOTICES. The matter of data collection had been discussed in the Joint Policy
Board for Mathematics (AMS-MAA-SIAM), where there was unanimous agreement that
the joint AMS-MAA Committee is the proper locus. The CEEP was in favor of the
joint venture and MAA approved it.
The Council approved.
4.22 CHARGE TO THE COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS: The Committee proposed an
enlargement of its charge. The charge with changes indicated, and a letter of
support from the chairman of 1986, Chandler Davis, is attached. The EC
reviewed the proposed change and expressed a fear that the Committee might be
deluged with irrelevant complaints and asked that this view be communicated.
The EC recommended that the charge to the Committee on Human Rights be revised
to allow the Committee the freedom to act on behalf of the American
mathematicians with respect to violations concerning freedom of circulation of
scientists as defined by ICSU (International Committee of Scientific Unions).
The EC further recommended that the Committee not be empowered to act on other
matters involving American mathematicans without first consulting the Council.
The EC asked that the vote on this recommendation be reported to the Council.
The Secretary noted that the restriction to foreign mathematicians in the
charge in 1977 was quite deliberately inserted by the Council when the original
draft was discussed. The Chairman of the Committee then was Lipman Bers, who
sent a message to the Secretary stating that the purpose of the restriction was
to exclude cases such as denial of tenure from the scope of the committee and
that he did not object to the change.
The Council approved the change in charge as proposed by the Committee.
4.23 SPEER: AN EMPLOYMENT SERVICE: Scientists and Professional Engineers
Employment Registry is an employment service for those from the Bachelor's to
the Ph. D. level seeking employment. The service extends over an industrial
market not well covered by current Society efforts. Participation would be at
no financial cost to the Society or to members who are using the service. Some
cooperation and endorsement of the service are required. The Joint Committee
on Employment Opportunities recommended that the Society enter into an
agreement with Career Technologies Corp. to participate in an enterprise to be
called AMS Scientists and Professional Engineers Employment Registry. The MAA
had already approved such an agreement, and SIAM was considering it. The EC
recommended that the Council approve such participation and the Council did so.
9.1 COMPLAINT OF V.I. FABRIKANT: Dr. Fabrikant is a professor at Concordia
University in Montreal. He lodged a complaint with the Council against
Daniel W. Stroock as PROCEEDINGS Editor, J.Jerry Uhl, Jr., as Managing Editor
at the time, and Murry H. Protter as Chairman of the Committee on Professional
Ethics. It arose from a paper of Fabrikant's, submitted to the PROCEEDINGS
and rejected. The Secretary did not pretend to speak for Professor Fabrikant.
However, it appeared that the complaint was not over the rejection, but over
the style in which it was rejected and the manner in which subsequent
discussions took place or failed to take place according to the agenda proposed
by Fabrikant. The attachment contains the relevant background correspondence
as selected by Professor Fabrikant. It is by no means the complete file.
Professor Uhl stated to the Secretary that his letter and telephone call,
referenced in the attachments, agreed in substance though not in style.
The EC viewed the problem and made no recommendation to the Council. It was
suggested to the Secretary that a motion before the Council would help to focus
the argument. The following resolution was advanced in that spirit. It
constitutes a potential firm statement by the Council that handles the dispute
in the manner that differences of opinion over the rejection of a paper have
been settled in the past. It was recognized that this case differs from
previous instances of objections to the rejection of a paper.
RESOLVED, that the questions and materials presented by, concerning
and on behalf of V.I. Fabrikant having been fully considered and
discussed, the actions heretofore taken with reference to the same
by and on behalf of AMS and PROCEEDINGS are ratified and approved,
the issues presented by Dr. Fabrikant are found to be without
substance or merit, and no further consideration or action is
required or appropriate.
The Council passed the resolution.
INFORMATION AND RECORD
2.1 MINUTES OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES: These minutes from
20-22 November 1986 are attached.
2.2 COUNCIL MEMBERS: The recently elected or re-elected members are:
Vice President Karen Uhlenbeck
Secretary Everett Pitcher
Treasurer Franklin P. Peterson
Associate Treasurer Steve Armentrout
Member-at-large H. Blaine Lawson
Yiannis N. Moschovakis
Linda A. Ness
Marc A. Rieffel
Carol S. Wood
George D. Mostow succeeds to the presidency and Irving Kaplansky becomes
ex-president. The full list of the 1987 Council is attached.
2.3 NOMINATING COMMITTEE ELECTION: The persons elected to the Nominating
M. Salah Baouendi
Paul C. Fife
William P. Ziemer
The chairman, appointed by then President Irving Kaplansky, is John T. Baldwin.
2.4 DIFFERENTIAL PRICING. Professor Daniel M. Burns called to the attention of
the membership an emerging tendency to differential pricing of subscriptions to
journals based on geographic area of subscriber. The apparent intent is to
charge more to presumed affluent subscribers. An article distributed by the
library of the University of Michigan is attached.
2.5 ICM-86 AND VISAS: When some difficulty with visas for foreign participants
in ICM-86 was anticipated, President Kaplansky sent essentially identical
telegrams to Frank Press, President of the National Academy of Sciences, and to
William Gordon, Foreign Secretary. One of them is attached.
2.6 STRATEGIC DEFENSE INITIATIVE: Serge Lane asked that his comments on the
survey of NAS on SDI be circulated together with two of its attachments.
COMMITTEES AND BOARDS:
4.17 ELECTION OF 1986: The report of the Tellers is attached.
4.l8 ELECTION TO NOMINATING COMMITTEE: The report of the Tellers is attached.
20 January l987