As 2020 came to a close, I was pleased at the way the MAA team pivoted to support our community through an unprecedented disruption of our normal routine, and joined with you to experiment with new technologies to allow us to continue our work in classrooms and boardrooms.
I was also relieved to think that 2021 would allow us to return to our “normal” routines.
Well, to say I was premature would be an understatement! The last year has simply driven home how much is out of our control, and how much uncertainty we must continue to live with.In the face of such uncertainty, our MAA community bound together to build on what we learned in 2020, and laid plans to expand our work through virtual platforms.
One of the key lessons we’re learning is how important new mechanisms for maintaining connections through both virtual and physical interactions are to living towards our core value of inclusivity. Regardless of how the COVID pandemic progresses, we know that we can’t simply return to pre-pandemic models of professional engagement. And I’m proud that the MAA community has embraced the journey.
As you read our 2021 Impact Report, you’ll see much of the progress we’ve made and hints of more to come. The future is now, and our MAA community is embracing the opportunities!
Thanks for being a part of our work.
2022 was the year MAA cautiously emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff began working from the new, modern location at 11 Dupont Circle in July. In-person events increased throughout the year — starting with some section meetings in the spring to all aspects of the Mathematical Olympiad programs and the aMAAzing MAA MathFest in Philadelphia. What an awesome return! These events required flexibility as we navigated masking policies, COVID vaccination verifications, and hybrid options. Despite the many obstacles, our members showed continued resilience, creativity, and innovation as they centered mathematical understanding and its impact on our world.
My favorite highlight of this past year was undoubtedly the triumphant return of MAA MathFest. It was everything that I hoped for MAA’s first in-person conference since COVID could be… and more. To gather in person once again, share our mathematics, celebrate successes, learn from one another, and connect with colleagues old and new was energizing; it was a powerful reminder of the value of face-to-face interactions.
2022 saw the MAA Section Lecturers Program launch, providing sections access to an additional MAA-supported speaker from one of three rotating series: the George Pólya, the MAA NAM, and the MAA AWM Section lecturer series. Twenty-six lectures were given by the 2022 cohort of series speakers (some virtual and some in-person). Virtual events, like MAA webinars, seminars, and the Distinguished Lecture Series, will continue to engage members with MAA programs throughout the year for years to come.
MAA’s work is the collective labor of our members. At the heart of this work is the belief that mathematics can be a force for good in the world. COVID showed us that mathematical thinking and problem-solving skills are essential for addressing society's complex challenges. Paths to acceptable solutions, like paths through mathematics, are rarely direct. It’s important to start somewhere and keep asking questions. Our work cannot be done alone; we need a diverse and supportive community of mathematicians acting in concert to make a difference. Together, anything is possible.
Thank you for your continued support and participation in the MAA community. We could not have achieved all we did in 2022 without your dedication and contributions.
MAA President 2022