August 1976 Council Minutes
MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING DATED AUGUST 23, 1976
The Council met on Monday, Aug. 23, 1976, at 2:00 PM in the Council
Chamber of the Galbraith Building of the Univ. of Toronto, in Toronto, Ontario.
The Council members in attendance were R. Bartle, P. Bateman, L. Bers, R.H.
Bing, C. Curtis, C. Davis, D. Gale, L. Gillman, R. Goldberg, M. Gray, J. Green,
P. Griffiths, P. Halmos, O. Harrold, L. Lorch, K. Norton, B., Osofsky, E.
Pitcher, K. Ross, B. Simon, O, Taussky, D. Waterman, H. Weinberger, E.
Wilkins, J. Wolf. Also attending were L. Durst, R. Hahn, H. MacDonald, and
G.L. Walker. At various times, Lenore Blum, Ed Dubinsky, and Wendell Fleming
had the privilege of the floor. President Bers was in the chair.
l. With respect to the minutes of the meeting of April ll, l976, Prof.
Judy Green noted an omission. Following the report of the Comm. on the
Emergency Employment Situation in Math., the Council passed a resolution by
Prof. Green that the Council urges MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENTS TO SEEK OUT AND
MAINTAIN RECORDS OF THE WHEREABOUTS OF THEIR OWN ADVANCED DEGREE RECIPIENTS.
With this addition, the minutes were approved.
2. The Council turned to the recommendation to the forthcoming Business
Meeting, to amend the bylaws by "ESTABLISHING A CATEGORY OF 'FOREIGN MEMBER.'
Certain individuals, the class to be defined precisely by the Council, may
elect to be foreign members, with all privileges accorded to ordinary members
except the right to vote. The dues, as set by the Council with the approval of
the Trustees, would not exceed two thirds of the dues of an ordinary members."
The quotation is from the NOTICES of Aug. l976, and was intended to describe
the "proposed action" and its "general nature". The full text of the proposed
amendment is attached, incorporating minor changes made subsequent to the
meeting of April ll, l976, by the EC with authorization of the Council.
Judy Green raised an objection that the passage in the NOTICES does not
explain completely the general nature of the amendment. The Council had agreed
to abolish reciprocity agreements when the amendment was passed. The proposed
amendment, in deleting the last fourteen words of Article IX, Section 2,
withdrew the authorization that was not longer to be used. That point is not
covered in the NOTICES.
After extended discussion, the Council agreed to present the amendment
to the Business Meeting without deletion of those l4 words.
3. President Bers reported on his correspondence with the Ambassador from
Uruguay concerning the status of JOSE LUIS MASSERA.
4. The Council passed the following motion:
THE COUNCIL REQUESTS EACH PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY AND PAST PRESIDENT
TO CONTINUE MEMBERSHIP IN THE COUNCIL OF SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY PRESIDENTS
DURING HIS TERM OF OFFICE.
5. The Council passed a motion by the Secretary that SOLICITATION OF
SUGGESTIONS TO THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE BE TRANSFERRED TO THE NOTICES.
When the possible transfer of biographical information on candidates
was considered, Prof. Mary Gray moved that the council request that such
information be circulated with the ballot. The motion was passed.
6. A letter from Prof. Hugo Rossi analyzing the agenda was distributed
for information. It is attached.
7. Robert G. Bartle has accepted the position of Executive Editor of MR.
He replaces Jacob Burlak, who now holds the position of Senior Editor.
Accordingly, Bartle has resigned from the Editorial Committee for MR. The
Council accepted his resignation, with thanks not only for his service on the
Committee, but also for his willingness to undertake a very difficult task.
8. There was an inquiry from Prof. Lorch whether there was any barrier to
service on the Council by a Society employee, it having been noted that Bartle
remains on the Editorial Committee of Math. Surveys. The response was that
there is a specific prohibition with respect to the Exe. Dir. in Article VI,
Section 3, of the bylaws, but none with respect to other employees.
9. During the executive session held later in the afternoon, Prof. William
J. LeVeque was elected to the Editorial Committee of MR, replacing Bartle.
l0. The report of the ad hoc Committee on Affirmative Action Procedures,
was presented by Prof. Hans Weinberger. Prof. Gray moved that the report be
referred back to the Committee after debate. The report was viewed critically
by Wendell Fleming and Lenore Blum with the courtesy of the floor, by Pres.
Bers and Prof. Bing in the chair, and others. Comments by Fleming and by Prof.
Alice T. Schafer are attached. The criticism was leveled that the report is
not sufficiently informative. With passage of the motion to refer the report
back to the Committee, the President asked that individuals with suggestions
write directly to the Committee.
ll. The following resolution by Prof. Chandler Davis, postponed from the
meeting of April ll, l976, to this meeting, was passed:
Since a considerable number of members of the Society have
religious beliefs prohibiting attendance at meetings on
Saturdays, the Society should schedule an appreciable
fraction of its one-day meetings on other days of the
l2. A resolution by Prof. Lee Lorch, postponed from the meeting of
April ll, l976, to this meeting, was modified by agreement to read as follows:
If it is possible, it is requested that local arrangements
committees for Annual Meetings (i.e. January) and Summer
Meetings (i.e. August) be appointed approximately fourteen
months prior to the respective dates of the Meetings.
In that form, the motion was passed.
l3. With Prof. Bing in the chair, Prof. Bers moved endorsement by the
Council of the document "An Affirmation of Freedom of Inquiry and Expression"
prepared and promulgated by the National Academy of Sciences and other bodies.
The document and the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" to which it refers
are attached. A proposed amendment by Prof. Lorch to enlarge the list of
prescribed restrictions was not seconded. Then the motion to endorse the
document was passed, with the provision that it be published in the NOTICES.
l4. With Prof. Bing continuing in the chair, Prof. Bers presented a
document titled "Charge to the Committee on Human Rights of Mathematicians,"
which he had agreed to write and to offer for approval. There were several
amendments by agreement. The title was altered to read "Charge to the
Committee on the Human Rights of Mathematicians as Respects Foreign
Mathematicians". The second sentence of the second paragraph in item 3 was
altered to read "The AMS should be, of course ...." rather than "The AMS is
..." The first paragraph in item 3 is to be edited, inasmuch as there is now no
category of "foreign member" and the definition of the category appears
intended to be made by the Council if the category is established.
Subject to the editing in Item 3, the amended charge was approved as
part of the Charge to the Committee on Human Rights of Mathematicians. The
amended version is attached. The "Universal Declaration of Human Rights"
and the "Affirmation" of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, to which
reference is made were attached with respect to the previous item.
l5. In executive session, the Council followed recommendation of the
Nominating Committee and nominated William Broder as one of two candidates
for the position of vice president in the l976 election. He replaces John
Wermer, who was previously nominated but was unable to accept.
The Secretary announced that Earl R. Berkson had been nominated by
petition for the position of member-at-large.
The Council followed a recommendation of the Nominating Committee and
nominated Linda Preiss Rothschild as candidate for member-at-large on the
Council, bringing the number of candidates to l0 for 5 positions.
The Council nominated the following candidates for uncontested
positions on the ballot for the l976 election:
Secretary Everett Pitcher
Asso. Sec. for the Eastern
Section Raymond G. Ayoub
Asso. Sec. for the S.
Eastern Section Frank T. Birtle
Treasurer Franklin P. Peterson
Associate Treasurer Murray H. Protter
Trustee Richard S. Palais
Bulletin Ed. Comm. Paul R. Halmos
Colloquium Ed. Comm. Elias M. Stein
Math. Rev. Ed. Comm. William J. LeVeque
Math. Survey Ed. Comm. R. James Milgram
Math. of Comp. Ed. Comm. Carl-Wilhelm R. deBoor
Proceedings Ed. Comm. Ronald G. Douglas
Comm. to Mon. Prob. in Comm. George G. Seligman
Hale F. Trotter
This slate differs from that previously considered only in the replacement of
the Editorial Committee of MR of Bartle by LeVeque.
The Council authorized the Chairman of the Nominating Committee and the
Secretary to fill any vacancies that might appear among the nominations prior
to the election.
The Secretary reported that President Bers had made six nominations for
four places on the Nominating Committee, namely:
F. Reese Harvey
J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr.
He announced that: Vivienne M. Mayers had been nominated by
petition. [Subsequently, President Bers nominated Sheldon Axler, bringing
the number of candidates to the preferred minimum figure of eight.]
The Nominating Committee made the following proposal:
It is suggested that one Vice-President (or another official
elected in a contested election) be made ex-officio Trustee.
The Secretary proposed that the suggestion be referred to the EC for
discussion of the mechanism, without acceptance in principle. However, on
motion from Mary Gray, it was so referred to the Comm. on Comm.
There was an executive session that covered not only the matter of
nominations already reports, but other matters to be reported separately. The
Secretary was not present at the remainder of the executive session.
l6. The Secretary moved that a fact-finding committee on archives be
appointed jointly with the MAA. The background is as follows:
A proposal has arisen that archives for mathematics be established,
with facilities supplied through an agreement with the Humanities Research
Center of the University of Texas, at Austin. R.L. Wilder has been interested
in this proposal and conducted an initial exploration. The MAA has gone on
record that the Society and the Association should join forces in whatever
formalization of archives might take place. Interest of UT in the project
stems partly from the facts that they already have considerable historical
material in mathematics and that four presidents of the Society have come from
UT. There are already voluminous MAA and AMS files on the subject. The MAA
has done some investigation in detail. A letter from Henry Alder dated l2
April l976 covering one phase is attached.
The motion was approved.
l7. In response to an inquiry from Prof. Barry Simon, President Bers stated
that he had written a letter and had encourage others to write letters
concerning the plight of the mathematicians Naum Meinam. There are two
attached letters describing the situation.
l8. The Council viewed with favor the exploration by the Committee on
Science Policy of the possible establishment of a Congressional Fellowship.
The attached article from SCIENCE describes the program. There was no Council
l9. The following item is quoted from the minutes of the EC/BT of May 9-10,
Prizes: A proposal was received from friends of the late Delbert
Ray Fulkerson who wished to endow a prize in his memory. The EC/BT
decided to recommend for the Council's approval the following general
principles on the establishment of new prizes:
(1) The fields of coverage of the several Society prizes should be
defined in manner that minimizes overlap.
(2) The number of prizes awarded by the Society should be kept small
in order to preserve their value and to avoid having prizes devoted
to excessively narrow areas of mathematics.
The EC/BT requested the president to communicate with the donors of the
proposed prize in memory of Fulkerson, and to work out with them a satisfactory
definition of the area of mathematics to be covered. It is anticipated that
the prize would be for research in areas related to discrete mathematics, which
were of interest to Fulkerson.
In response to the inquiry of the President, the attached "Proposal for
a Fulkerson Prize in Discrete Mathematics" was received.
Professor Paul Halmos moved that the Council establish a standing
Committee on Prizes, that the proposed Fulkerson Prize be accepted in
principle, and that the administration of this prize and of other prizes be
referred to the Committee. The motion was passed.
20. Professor Leonard Gillman, Chairman, reported for the Committee to
Monitor Problems in Communication. One item consisted of amplifying an item
from the minutes of the EC/BT of May 9-10, 1976, which is quoted here:
The Committee to Monitor Problems in Communication recommended
that the Society publish Robert Gilmer's bibliography entitled
SELECTED, CLASSIFIED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF COMMUTATIVE ALGEBRA as the
first member of a series, BIBLIOGRAPHIES OF MATHEMATICS. This
proposal was referred to the Council for scientific approval
before the BT approves the actual publication with the request
that the Council be informed of the Board's favorable disposition
towards this proposal.
He noted that the manuscript had been reviewed by Alex Rosenberg for the
Committee. After discussion, a motion was made by Professor Halmos and amended
by agreement that the Council recommends that a new series of Bibliographies be
established, that the Committee to Monitor Problems in Comm. should serve as
the editorial board for the series, and that items normally submitted to the
Editorial Board be refereed. The motion was passed.
[Although a recommendation for the publication of the Gilmer
bibliography was discussed, there appears to have been no action specifically
on that point. It was covered by implication in that Comm.-Comm., in it
capacity as Editorial Board, is authorized to select and accept the volume for
publication. As with any publication, the action is subject to concurrence of
the Trustees. E.P]
21. Professor Gillman continued his report with amplification of the
following item quoted from the same minutes:
It was decided that the proposal from Comm.-Comm. for
publication of an update of the Steenrod review volume by Allan
Clark covering the ten-year period 1968-1977 should be
referred to the Council for scientific approval, with the
Council being informed that the Trustees strongly favor
the publication of his update.
The Council passed a motion in which it recommends that a new series of
Mathematical Reviews Collections be established, that the Committee to Monitor
Prob. in Comm. serve as the Editorial board for the series, and that items
normally submitted to the Editorial board be refereed.
[By implication, this motion allows Comm.-Comm. to go forward with the
supplement to the Steenrod review volume by Allan Clark when and if the
Committee is satisfied with it. E.P.]
22. The editors of a proposed new journal, POLYGRAPHIA, devoted to
mathematical cryptology, have asked for subvention from the Society. The
Trustees have a policy of limiting support of new journals to $l000 per year
for three years. They have asked about the worth of this project. The
Secretary has solicited comments from two referees. A file of correspondence,
including the report of the referee who has responded, is attached. The
Council received this material and passed a motion that action be deferred. The
Council requested the Secretary to importune the other referee for his report.
23. The Council received the minutes of the EC/BT of May 9-10, 1976 by mail
prior to the meeting. They are attached to the minutes.
24. This Society is a Corresponding Society of the Assembly of Mathematical &
Physical Sciences of the National Research Council. The NRC is endeavoring to
reorganize and redirect its efforts. From a meeting of May 20, 1976, are
quoted "eight needs that were recognized and that presented opportunities for
Assembly and Society action."
1. The need to establish a small study group to consider the scope and thrust
of a possible study of future trends, and the implications of developments
in, information dissemination and retrieval, with emphasis on legislative
aspects and applications of new technologies.
2. The need to education the public on what science is about, what it does,
and how it affects society.
3. The need to develop a formal, or informal, information exchange system
between the executive staffs of Corresponding Societies and the Assembly
Executive Director and staff of the Assembly offices.
4. The need to establish with each NRC Assembly and Commission a public
affairs panel to consider broad problems and issues affecting the concerns
of that unit and to interact with similar panels in relevant societies.
5. The need for a study to develop input/output indicators that will provide
some measure of the health of mathematical and physical science disciplines
and suggest appropriate levels of funding.
6. The need to express, as individuals and/or groups, concern about the
recommended $53,000,000 reduction in the NSF budget, $40,000,000 of which
will affect disciplines in the scope of this Assembly.
7. The need to develop some formal means of continuing communication between
the Assembly and its Corresponding Societies (e.g., a series of small
meetings such as this one).
8. The need to explore possible roles societies could play in support of
Assembly programs and activities (e.g., publication fo short summaries
of major Assembly reports.
The Council discussed this list briefly. It was noted that partial
restoration of the funds mentioned in item 6 was achieved, perhaps partially
in response to comment from the scientific community. The need for an
alerting service with respect to pressing legislative or administrative issues
was noted, the intent being that individuals or groups have the opportunity for
timely expression of opinions.
Initiative by this Society in any of the other areas enumerated above
might be welcome. Provisionally, the Secretary is the focus of communcation.
The Council adjourned at 6:00 PM.
Everett Pitcher, Secretary
August 23, 1976