The History of the Northeast Section
The NES/MAA was in very capable hands throughout the 70's. The three Governors who served during the period as liaisons with the Association were Dan Christie (Bowdoin College), Phil Davis (Brown University) and Don Kreider (Dartmouth College.) The Section was chaired successively by Michael Gemignani (Smith College), Richard Schafer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Don Kreider (Dartmouth College), John Fraleigh (University of Rhode Island), Eileen Hostinsky (Connecticut College), Anne O'Neill (Wheaton College), Grattan Murphy (University of Maine), Ernest Schlesinger (Connecticut College) and Don Small (Colby College.)
George Best (Phillips Academy) served during the 70's as Secretary-Treasurer and as chief factotum. Under his able leadership the organization remained financially stable. The Section started the decade with a few hundred dollars in the bank and ended it with about the same. At one point in the decade the treasury had $4.56. Undoubtedly, through the generosity and hard work of the officers, local arrangement chairs, and the speakers, together with the institution of a $1 registration fee helped the Section fend off financial disaster and at the same time kept the quality of the meetings at a high level.
The officers and local arrangements chair were instrumental in keeping the costs for the meetings as low as possible. Perhaps the deal of the decade occurred at the Colby College meeting in 1971 where for $20 one received a clambake on the Belgrade Lakes and lodging Friday evening and breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Throughout the decade lunch on Saturday was about $3.50.
The program for each meeting remained the responsibility of the Section Chair throughout the 70's. In an effort to involve more of the membership in the operation of the organization, the responsibilities at the host institution moved from the Vice-Chair to a local arrangements committee. The annual fall meetings were held from 1970-1979 at Merrimack College (Ray Ozimkoski), Wellesley College (Torsten Norvig), Connecticut College (Eileen Hostinsky), Boston University (Don Blackett), the University of Lowell (Art Talkington), Simmons College (Margaret Menzin), Rhode Island College (Dick Howland), Merrimack College (John Royal), Bunker Hill Community College (Nancy Myers) and the University of Hartford (R. McGivney), where the local arrangements committee chairs are given in parentheses. The summer meetings were held in 1971 at Colby College (Lucille Zukowski), in 1973 at Bowdoin College (Dan Christie). From 1975 to 1979 they were held at the University of Connecticut (John Ryff), the University of New Hampshire (Gordon Raisbeck), Middlebury College (John Emerson), Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute (Robert Bourque) and the University of Maine (Clayton Dodge).
The list of invited speakers included many very prominent mathematicians: Henry Alder, President of the Association (1977-78), David Roselle, Secretary of the Association (1975-79 and 1980-84), Andrew Gleason, President of the AMS (1981-82), Garrett Birkhoff of Harvard University, Thomas Banchoff and Charles Strauss of Brown University, Donna Beers of Wellesley College, Dan Kleitman, James Munkres and J. R. Zacharias of MIT, Sue Whitesides of Dartmouth College, R. A. Rosenbaum and W. W. Comfort of Wesleyan College, Mary K. Bennett of the University of Massachusetts, Bruce Peterson of Middlebury College and Stanley Bezuska, S. J. of Boston College. A. B. Wilcox, Executive Director of the Association and Howard Eves (University of Maine) were invited lecturers twice in the decade. Panel discussion on topics ranging from applied mathematics to the improvement of college mathematics teaching were prevalent throughout the meetings of the 70's.
During the 70's the world of mathematics lost Richard Courant, L. J. Mordell, C. B. Allendoerfor, Marsden Morse, K. O. May, Richard Brauer and E. G. Begel. The Section lost some instrumental members too. Albert A. Bennett of Brown University, one of the founders of the NES/MAA died in 1971. J. R. K. Stauffer of the University of Rhode Island, Regional Chair for the High School Mathematics Examination died in 1975. Torsten Norvig, local arrangements chair for the 1971 meeting at Wellesley College, died in 1976. In 1976 the Section lost the able services of Dan Christie of Bowdoin College who had served in a myriad of capacities for the Section. See above for a detailed description. The 1978 meeting at Bunker Hill Community College was dedicated to his memory. In a fitting tribute to Dan, the Section instituted a lectureship in his behalf. The first Christie Lecture was given by John Milnor of Princeton University at the Hartford meeting in 1979.
At the June 1979 meeting several changes in the Section By-Laws were approved. The Executive Committee was expanded to include the Section Governor, the Immediate Past Chairperson, and the Two-Year Committee Representative. The election of the Section Chairperson in odd numbered years and the Vice-Chairperson, Secretary-Treasurer and the Two-Year College Representative in even numbered years, all elections taking place at the annual fall meeting, was approved. As a further harbinger of changes to come in the 80's, the Section initiated its Newsletter in the spring of 1979 under the editorship of Dorothy T. Meserve.
J. J. Tattersall