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Mathematical Association of America

Mathematical Association of America headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Formation 1915
Headquarters 1529 18th Street, NW
Washington, D.C.
Membership 25,000
President David Bressoud

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.. It may be best known as a publisher of technical and popular 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 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[2] by the mathematician and equal rights activist Lee Lorch, who recently received the highest honour of the MAA for distinguished services to mathematics.[3][4] 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 elected its first woman president, Dorothy Lewis Bernstein, at its 1979 meeting.[5]

Since 1992, the Association also has at least one annual joint meeting with a mathematical association from another nation, most often the Sociedad Matematica Mexicana.


The association publishes multiple journals:

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. [6]


The MAA sponsors numerous competitions for students, including the Putnam exam for undergraduate students, and the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) for middle- and high-school students. The AMC program also includes the American Invitational Mathematics Examination and the United States of America Mathematics 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

Awards & Prizes

The MAA distributes many prizes, including the Chauvenet Prize[7] and the Carl B. Allendoerfer,[8] Trevor Evans,[9] Lester R. Ford, George Pólya,[10] Merten M. Hasse,[11] and Henry L. Alder[12] awards.


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.

See also


  1. ^ JSTOR usage statistics
  2. ^ Lorch 1994
  3. ^ Hamilton 2007
  4. ^ Jackson 2007
  5. ^ Moskol, Ann. 1987. "Dorothy Lewis Bernstein" Women of Mathematics. eds. Louise S. Grinstein and Paul J. Campbell. Greenwood Press.
  6. ^ 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 07312040. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  7. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's Chauvenet Prize". The Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's Carl B. Allendoerfer Award" (in English). The Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's Trevor Evans Awards" (in English). The Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's George Pólya Award" (in English). The Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  11. ^ "The Mathematical Association of America's Merten M. Hasse Prize" (in English). The Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member" (in English). The Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 


External links



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