History of the Northeastern Section
The Northeastern Section of the MAA was inaugurated on November 26, 1955 at a meeting attended by more than seventy people and hosted by the University of New Hampshire. The name originally proposed was the New England Section but the name Northeastern Section was adopted to emphasize that not only New England but also the Maritime Provinces would be represented in the Section.Although most meetings have been in New England,Mount Allison University in Sackville,New Brunswick hosted a memorable summer meeting in 1967.
The list of speakers in the early years included such famous mathematicians and mathematics teachers as Dirk Struik of MIT;David Widder,Garrett Birchoff,Ralph Beatley,Richard Brauer,and Howard Raiffa of Harvard;Hans Zassenhaus at that time at McGill;Hans Rademacher of the University of Pennsylvania;John Kemeny of Dartmouth;Max Beberman of the University of Illinois;Bob Rosenbaum of Wesleyan;Albert Tucker of Princeton;Oystein Ore of Yale; and Father Bezuska of Boston College.Of special note is Dan Christie of Bowdoin College,who later served as Chairman of the Section and sectional representative on the Board of Governors of the MAA.After his death the annual Dan Christie Memorial Lecture was established in memory of him.
The present national concern for curricular revision seems an echo of the post-sputnik era when the 1958 meeting of the Section included a paper The Report of the Commission on Mathematics and another The School Mathematics Study Group. In this era many members of the Section generously contributed much time and energy visiting high schools of the region to give lectures and consult with the mathematics teachers.
Among the many members who have served as officers of the Section two who merit special mention for their many years of service are Dick Pieters, formerly of Phillips Academy in Andover, and George Best,a continuing faculty member at Phillips Academy.
One of the outstanding programs of the Northeastern Section has been the series of short courses held each summer at the University of Maine at Orono.When in 1987 Don Small of Colby College was awarded the MAA Certificate of Meritorious Service,his leadership role as one of the founders and frequent co-director of these short courses was one of the many of his services being recognized.