Mu Alpha Theta Fosters Interest in Mathematics

November 16, 1998

SIAM vice president for education Terry Herdman, who gave a talk on problems and curriculums in applied mathematics at the recent Mu Alpha Theta annual convention in Chicago, believes that SIAM members should be aware of the goals and accomplishments of this educational organization.

Mu Alpha Theta, a national honor society for mathematics students attending high schools and junior colleges, was founded at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, in 1957, by Richard V. Andree (who chaired the committee of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics that originally conceived the idea) and his wife. The goals of the society are (1) to engender keen interest in mathematics, (2) to develop sound scholarship in the subject, and (3) to promote enjoyment of mathematics among high school and junior college students.

Mu Alpha Theta currently has approximately 50,000 student members in 1350 teacher-sponsored local chapters or groups; holds national, regional, and local meetings at which both students and mathematicians present mathematical material; and supports a variety of projects and contests. It also publishes The Mathematical Log, a quarterly journal that features understandable, audience-appropriate articles on mathematics as well as news about meetings, chapters, and members.

Herdman believes that SIAM members could be important role models for students as sponsors and supporters of local high school chapters. In addition, members of SIAM student chapters could benefit from interaction with local chapters of Mu Alpha Theta: SIAM student members might profit from learning how to mentor and guide younger students, or they might hone their presentation skills of mathematical topics in front of a younger student audience. Members interested in learning more about Mu Alpha Theta can contact: Mu Alpha Theta, 601 Elm Avenue, Room 423, Norman, OK 73019-0315; (405) 325-4489; matheta@ou.edu; http://www.mualphatheta.org/.


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