Mathematical Association of America

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Mathematical Association of America
Mathematical Association of America logo.svg
Headquarters1529 18th Street, NW
Washington, D.C.
Jennifer J. Quinn
Key people
Michael Pearson, Executive Director

The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) is a professional society that focuses on mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level. Members include university, college, and high school teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure and applied mathematicians; computer scientists; statisticians; and many others in academia, government, business, and industry.

The MAA was founded in 1915 and is headquartered at 1529 18th Street, Northwest in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.. The organization publishes mathematics journals and books, including the American Mathematical Monthly (established in 1894 by Benjamin Finkel), the most widely read mathematics journal in the world according to records on JSTOR.[1]


The MAA sponsors the annual summer MathFest and cosponsors with the American Mathematical Society the Joint Mathematics Meeting, held in early January of each year. On occasion the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics joins in these meetings. Twenty-nine regional sections also hold regular meetings.


The association publishes multiple journals in partnership with Taylor & Francis:[2]

  • The American Mathematical Monthly is expository, aimed at a broad audience from undergraduate students to research mathematicians.
  • Mathematics Magazine is expository, aimed at teachers of undergraduate mathematics, especially at the junior-senior level.
  • The College Mathematics Journal is expository, aimed at teachers of undergraduate mathematics, especially at the freshman-sophomore level.
  • Math Horizons is expository, aimed at undergraduate students.

MAA FOCUS is the association member newsletter. The Association publishes an online resource, Mathematical Sciences Digital Library (Math DL). The service launched in 2001 with the online-only Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications (JOMA) and a set of classroom tools, Digital Classroom Resources. These were followed in 2004 by Convergence, an online-only history magazine, and in 2005 by MAA Reviews, an online book review service, and Classroom Capsules and Notes, a set of classroom notes.[3]


The MAA sponsors numerous competitions for students, including the William Lowell Putnam Competition for undergraduate students, the online competition series, and the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) for middle- and high-school students. This series of competitions is as follows:

  • AMC 8: 25 multiple choice questions in 40 minutes
  • AMC 10/AMC 12: 25 multiple choice questions in 75 minutes
  • AIME: 15 short answer questions in a 3-hour period
  • USAMO/USAJMO: 6 question, 2 day, 9 hour, proof-based olympiad

Through this program, outstanding students are identified and invited to participate in the Mathematical Olympiad Program. Ultimately, six high school students are chosen to represent the U.S. at the International Mathematics Olympiad.


The MAA is composed of the following twenty-nine regional sections:

Allegheny Mountain, EPADEL, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Intermountain, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana/Mississippi, MD-DC-VA, Metro New York, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska – SE SD, New Jersey, North Central, Northeastern, Northern CA – NV-HI, Ohio, Oklahoma-Arkansas, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain, Seaway, Southeastern, Southern CA – NV, Southwestern, Texas, Wisconsin

Special Interest Groups

There are seventeen Special Interest Groups of the Mathematical Association of America (SIGMAAs). These SIGMAAs were established to advance the MAA mission by supporting groups with a common mathematical interest, and facilitating interaction between such groups and the greater mathematics community.[4]

  • Mathematics and the Arts
  • Business, Industry, Government
  • Mathematical and Computational Biology
  • Environmental Mathematics
  • History of Mathematics
  • Inquiry-Based Learning
  • Math Circles for Students and Teachers
  • Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching
  • Philosophy of Mathematics
  • Quantitative Literacy
  • Recreational Mathematics[5]
  • Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education
  • Mathematics and Sports[5]
  • Statistics Education
  • Teaching Advanced High School Mathematics
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Mathematics Instruction Using the WEB

Awards and prizes

The MAA distributes many prizes, including the Chauvenet Prize[6] and the Carl B. Allendoerfer Award,[7]Trevor Evans Award,[8]Lester R. Ford Award, George Pólya Award,[9]Merten M. Hasse Prize,[10]Henry L. Alder Award,[11]Euler Book Prize awards, the Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics, and Beckenbach Book Prize.


The MAA is one of four partners in the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM,, and participates in the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS,, an umbrella organization of sixteen professional societies.

Historical accounts

A detailed history of the first fifty years of the MAA appears in May (1972). A report on activities prior to World War II appears in Bennet (1967). Further details of its history can be found in Case (1996). In addition numerous regional sections of the MAA have published accounts of their local history. The MAA was established in 1915. But the roots of the Association can be traced to the 1894 founding of the American Mathematical Monthly by Benjamin Finkel, who wrote "Most of our existing journals deal almost exclusively with subjects beyond the reach of the average student or teacher of mathematics or at least with subjects with which they are familiar, and little, if any, space, is devoted to the solution of problems…No pains will be spared on the part of the Editors to make this the most interesting and most popular journal published in America."


MAA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The MAA has for a long time followed a strict policy of inclusiveness and non-discrimination.

In previous periods it was subject to the same problems of discrimination that were widespread across the United States. One notorious incident at a south-eastern sectional meeting in Nashville in 1951 has been documented[12] by the American mathematician and equal rights activist Lee Lorch, who recently received the highest honour of the MAA for distinguished services to mathematics.[13][14] The citation delivered at the 2007 MAA awards presentation, where Lorch received a standing ovation, recorded that:

"Lee Lorch, the chair of the mathematics department at Fisk University, and three Black colleagues, Evelyn Boyd (now Granville), Walter Brown, and H. M. Holloway came to the meeting and were able to attend the scientific sessions. However, the organizer for the closing banquet refused to honor the reservations of these four mathematicians. (Letters in Science, August 10, 1951, pp. 161–162 spell out the details). Lorch and his colleagues wrote to the governing bodies of the AMS and MAA seeking bylaws against discrimination. Bylaws were not changed, but non-discriminatory policies were established and have been strictly observed since then."

The Association's first woman president was Dorothy Lewis Bernstein (1979–1980).[15]

MAA Carriage House

The Carriage House that belonged to the residents at 1529 18th Street, N.W. dates to around 1900. It is older than the 5-story townhouse where the MAA Headquarters is currently located, which was completed in 1903. Charles Evans Hughes occupied the house while he was Secretary of State (1921–1925) and a Supreme Court Justice (1910–1916 and 1930–1941).

The Carriage House would have been used by the owners as a livery stable to house the family carriage, though little else is known about its history today. There are huge doors that were once used as an entrance for horses and carriages. Iron rings used to tie up horses can still be seen on an adjacent building. The Carriage House would have perhaps also been used as living quarters for a coachman, as was typical for the time period.


The presidents of the MAA:[16]

See also

  • American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges
  • American Mathematical Society
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics


  1. ^ JSTOR usage statistics Archived 2008-07-24 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Newsroom | Taylor & Francis". Archived from the original on 2018-01-10. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  3. ^ Moore, Lang (May–June 2008). "New MathDL to Debut This Summer" (PDF). MAA Focus. Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America. 28 (5): 4–5. ISSN 0731-2040. Retrieved 2008-06-09.
  4. ^ Special Interest Groups of the MAA Mathematical Association of America
  5. ^ a b Three New Sigmaas Formed by Jacqueline Jensen-Vallin, MAA
  6. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's Chauvenet Prize". The Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  7. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's Carl B. Allendoerfer Award". The Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  8. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's Trevor Evans Awards". The Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  9. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's George Pólya Award". The Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  10. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's Merten M. Hasse Prize". The Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  11. ^ "Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member". The Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  12. ^ Lorch 1994
  13. ^ Hamilton 2007
  14. ^ Jackson 2007
  15. ^ Moskol, Ann. 1987. "Dorothy Lewis Bernstein" Women of Mathematics. eds. Louise S. Grinstein and Paul J. Campbell. Greenwood Press.
  16. ^ "MAA Officers". Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 30 September 2018.


  • Bennett, Albert A. (1967). "Brief History of the Mathematical Association of America Before World War II". The American Mathematical Monthly. Mathematical Association of America. 74 (1): 1–11. doi:10.2307/2314864. JSTOR 2314864.
  • Lorch, Lee (1994). "The Painful Path Toward Inclusivity". Archived from the original on September 6, 2008., talk by Lee Lorch at AMS Special Session, Cincinnati, January 1994. Reprinted in Case (1996).
  • May, Kenneth Ownsworth (1972). "The Mathematical Association of America: its first fifty years". Mathematical Association of America. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • Case, Bettye Anne (1996). A century of mathematical meetings: Published in connection with the 100th annual meeting of the American Mathematical Society, held in Cincinnati, Jan. 1994. American Mathematical Society. ISBN 978-0821804650.
  • Jackson, Allyn (2007). "MAA Prizes Presented in New Orleans" (PDF). Notices of the American Mathematical Society. 54: 641–642.
  • Hamilton, Richard (2007). "MAA Prizes and Awards at the 2007 Joint Mathematics Meetings". MAA Online. (includes citation for Lee Lorch)

Edited: 2021-06-18 18:31:17