Chapter 7 EPADEL, 1979-2000
Chapter 6 described the period of transition in which the local section of the MAA evolved from the Philadelphia Section to EPADEL, the Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Section. The name change that officially took place in 1979 was more than cosmetic because it reflected a geographic reality that existed since the formation of the New Jersey Section in 1956. Nonetheless, the section lost the distinction of being the only one named after a city. We have seen that from 1956 to 1978 the character of the section changed from one devoted almost exclusively to the development of mathematics to one that sponsored a variety of activities on pedagogical and curricular themes.
This chapter discusses the modern phase of the section, from the time its name change was approved on January 2, 1979, up to the dawn of the third millennium. The chapter begins with an examination of the annual meetings held during the 22-year period. No attempt is made to analyze attendance figures because they were reported only sporadically.
The next part of the chapter describes the major sectional initiatives carried out during this period. Unlike before, the account is not based on secretaries’ reports from the Monthly because at first the reports merely listed elected officers and invited lectures, but then those reports disappeared from the Monthly altogether. Instead, the account here is mostly gleaned from files archived in the section’s records and from newsletters. Even though the range of sectional activities broadened initially, our brief chronicle provides evidence of a membership strongly committed to numerous and diverse initiatives. We describe these activities in four broad categories: students (student paper competitions, student chapters, visiting lecture series), professional development (Special Interest Groups, MAA representatives/liaisons, promotion of the cause of female mathematicians, promotion of the cause of underrepresented groups, Project NExT, a professional chapter), education (workshops, distinguished teaching award, contributed papers), and public policy (public information officers, newspaper articles).
The account of sectional activities is followed by a brief look at leaders who shaped those activities over the past 22 years. We provide brief sketches of all presidents, secretary-treasurers, and governors, as well as a few other selected individuals who contributed in vital ways. One president, Marvin Brubaker, is profiled at the end of the chapter to honor his many contributions to the section and the national MAA. We also analyze the academic affiliations of the elected officers. Although we examine membership on the Executive Committee, we provide sketches of only two members who were not elected to other positions of leadership.
The last part of the chapter analyzes the programs from meetings held at the annual fall meetings during the EPADEL period. The chapter ends with a categorical analysis of the content of the invited lectures. Chapter 8 analyzes spring meetings held during this period.