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Joint Mathematics Meetings

Join us at the 2023 Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 4-7 2023 in Boston, MA! MAA is proud to present several sessions at this year's JMM, including the sessions listed below. Register today!

MAA Sessions at the 2023 Joint Mathematics Meetings

MAA-AMS-SIAM Gerald and Judith Porter Public Lecture

The Quadratic Formula Revisited

Saturday, January 7, 3:00 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Bernd Sturmfels, Max-Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences and University of California, Berkeley


High school students learn how to express the solution of a quadratic equation in one unknown in terms of its three coefficients. What does this this formula matter? We offer an answer in terms of discriminants and data. This lecture invites the audience to a journey towards non-linear algebra.

Speaker Biography

Bernd Sturmfels received doctoral degrees in 1987 from the University of Washington and the Technical University Darmstadt, and an honorary doctorate in 2015 from the Goethe University Frankfurt. After postdoctoral years in Minneapolis and Linz, he taught at Cornell University, before joining UC Berkeley in 1995, where he served as Professor of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science. Since 2017 he is a director at the Max-Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig. In 2018 he became Honarary Professor at Technical University Berlin and University of Leipzig. His awards include a David and Lucile Packard Fellowship, a Humboldt Senior Research Prize, the SIAM von Neumann Lecturership, the Sarlo Distinguished Mentoring Award, and the George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics. He is a fellow of the AMS and SIAM, and a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. In 2022 he spoke at the International Congress of Mathematicians. Sturmfels mentored 60 doctoral students and numerous postdocs, and he authored 11 books and 300 research articles, in combinatorics, commutative algebra, algebraic geometry, and their applications to fields like statistics, optimization, and computational biology.


MAA-SIAM-AMS Hrabowski-Gates-Tapia-McBay Lecture

Who are we Serving with our Scholarship: A Covid Model Case Study

Friday, January 6, 9:00 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Omayra Ortega, Sonoma State University


Academic institutions use the number of publications as a measure of competency. Why are publications in peer-reviewed journals one of the most important measures of success in our field? I will give examples of ways to use your research, regardless of the field, in service to your students, your institution, and your community using the example of recent student work in Covid modeling.

Speaker Biography

Omayra Y. Ortega is an Associate Professor of Mathematics & Statistics at Sonoma State University in Sonoma County, California. She earned her Ph.D. (2008) and an M.S. (2005) in applied mathematics and computational sciences from the University of Iowa, where she also was awarded her Masters of Public Health. She earned a B.A. in music and in pure mathematics from Pomona College in 2001.

Dr. Ortega has directed the Mathematical Epidemiology Research Group (MERG), an undergraduate research group, since 2007. Her scholarly interests reflect her expertise in mathematics: mathematical and computational biology, mathematical epidemiology in developing countries, infectious disease epidemiology, and the participation of women and minorities in sciences. Regarding the latter, she has organized an annual Sonia Kovalesky High School Mathematics Day at several institutions including the University of Iowa, ASU’s West campus, Pomona College, and Sonoma State University in recognition of the day’s namesake, Sonia Kovalevsky, who was one of the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics.

Dr. Ortega is currently the President of the National Association of Mathematicians Inc. (NAM), a non-profit professional organization in the mathematical sciences with a mission and purpose of promoting excellence in the mathematical sciences and promoting the mathematical development of all underrepresented minorities. She previously served as the editor of the NAM newsletter and was one of the NAM contributors to the MAA Math Values Blog.


Project NExT Lecture on Teaching and Learning

What the Research Says about Active Learning – and What it Doesn’t

Thursday, January 5, 11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Estrella Johnson, Virginia Tech


The research literature in undergraduate mathematics education, and other science and engineering education fields, is showing a general convergence towards the position that actively engaging students during classroom instruction improves learning and persistence outcomes. In this talk I will provide an overview of the preponderance of research on the use of “active learning” in undergraduate STEM courses, calling specific attention to the consensus findings of this research. I will also discuss what we know about how instructor attitudes, local supports, and departmental environments related to increased usage of active learning. However, to contextualize these findings, I will also draw out the nuances and considerations that challenge the oversimplified idea that “doing anything other than lecturing is better for all students”.

Speaker Biography

Dr. Johnson is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and the Assistant Dean for Inclusion and Diversity for the College of Science at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on the pedagogical practices of mathematicians, with the goal of better understanding and supporting high quality, ambitious teaching in undergraduate mathematics classrooms. She has worked extensively on investigating and supporting mathematicians as they work to implement inquiry-oriented instructional materials. Additionally, Dr. Johnson has worked on large-scale national survey projects investigating instructional practice, and influences on practice, in undergraduate STEM education. More information about her research can be found at


Full conference program and registration information can be found at For more MAA session information, including details for Project NExT and SIGMAA-sponsored sessions at the Joint Meetings, please click here.


Future of the Joint Meetings FAQ

The MAA and the AMS have shared management, and equally contributed to the programming, of the Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM) since 1998. Through extensive discussions over the last 5 years, MAA and AMS have agreed the collaboration no longer meets the needs of our organizations and will change following JMM 2021.

To give context, the current business model for JMM results in an overall revenue loss for the MAA. The benefits-cost ratio is less than 1 where the costs significantly outweigh the benefits. For transparency, the loss is approximately $300,000/year, with AMS absorbing an even greater cost. We feel this money can be allocated more effectively. We know this is a big change and we have heard from many of our members. We hope to address your questions below:

Starting in 2022, MAA national meeting activities will occur at MAA MathFest in the summer. The MAA will build on the growth of MAA MathFest and will also direct resources to better support MAA Sections at meetings like this and other programs that expand access and services to more members.

For more information, see the Oct./Nov. issue of MAA FOCUS and the October press release.

Q: Will MAA still have a presence at the AMS winter meeting after 2021?
A: Yes, MAA will still have a presence at the AMS winter meeting. We will continue having the joint invited address in partnership with AMS. Additionally, we will also have the AMS-MAA-SIAM Porter Public Lecture as well as some MAA Project NExT sessions. The Project NExT fellows that begin the summer prior will meet during the winter meeting.

Q: What new opportunities will there be at MAA MathFest?
A: We are excited to offer many great new opportunities!

We are working on expanding professional development opportunities and incorporating more career-related programming such as a career fair.

We will be co-programming with our sister organizations including Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), National Association of Mathematicians (NAM), and The Association for LGBT Mathematicians (Spectra).

There will be a new student poster session, which will help expand opportunities for our students at MAA MathFest.

The inaugural Martin Gardner Lecture was held at MAA MathFest 2019 and will continue annually.

Q: Will there be expanded content at MAA MathFest focused on mathematics research?
A: Yes, the MAA will continue to build on our history of mathematical exposition as we expand the mathematical programming at MAA MathFest to include current trends and results across mathematics. We are exploring expanded content topics such as the role of mathematics, and mathematics departments, in data science.

Q: What new opportunities will there be at MAA Section meetings?
A: There are many new opportunities in the works for MAA Section meetings.

New AWM and NAM lectures with Polya lectures in a 3-year rotation. There will be workshops and crowdsourcing sessions that focus on the work of MAA projects, such as theCommittee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics (CUPM) Guidelines and Instructional Practices (IP) Guide.

The Tondeur Career Initiatives include: BIG Career Interview card game and grants for career activities at Section meetings.

MAA representing mathematics on the National Academy’s Data Science Roundtable.

Q: What about my group (committee, grant project, SIGMAA, etc.) that has been meeting at JMM?
A: We launched our online engagement platform MAA Connect to help members during this transition. MAA Connect is a portal where members can engage in conversation, share work and ideas, and seamlessly collaborate with colleagues. We recommend utilizing this tool as well as looking into other options for your meetings such as meeting at MAA MathFest, rotating meetings among other Sections. If you need access to an MAA Zoom account, contact

Q: Can I use my Section/SIGMAA funds at the AMS winter meeting?
A: Unfortunately, no. Starting in 2022, the MAA will not approve SIGMAA funds for use at the AMS winter Meetings. For a list of where you can use those funds, see below.

Q: If AMS covers the room and A/V, will MAA cover the food at the AMS winter meeting?
A: Unfortunately, MAA will not fund events beyond the joint lectures and MAA Project NExT sessions listed above.

Q: Where can we use MAA funds to meet?
A: MAA funds can be used at MAA meetings, however, they cannot support sessions at non-MAA meetings (winter meetings or beyond). MAA encourages all efforts that support and advance the mission. We will consider proposals for funding to hold focused sessions at MAA professional meetings to help share the work of MAA project teams, build collaborative groups, support future projects, and other specific efforts that align with MAA’s mission.