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Valedictory Notes from the Editor Emeritus

David A. Smith

The start of a new year is a time to reflect -- in my case, to reflect on five years as Editor of JOMA. So indulge me for a minute or two of reflection.

The first five years of a new journal are, I think, like the first five years (or maybe 13 or 18) of your first child.  (In my case, that youngster is 47 now, so this is going to be very selective memory.) Those years are filled with excitement, promise, hard work, joy, frustration, sharing with a partner, growth, discovery, exhaustion, accomplishment, worry, pride, and many other feelings and experiences known by parents everywhere. There may also be similar projects (additional children) who never seem to get as much attention as the first-born. Sharing of development of a journal is less intimate and with more partners, but otherwise I see a lot of similarity.

The parallel is not exact, especially in time scale.  This Journal is more mature than a 5-year-old child, for one thing.  So maybe it's an adolescent -- but it has also reached the age at which I as parent have to let go and let someone else be the mentor and guide. Fortunately, we have found an excellent person, Kyle Siegrist, to take that role. My analogy is breaking down rapidly, because the Journal is not going to have a life of its own, independent of its editors. But, just as I didn't follow in my parents' footsteps nor my children in mine, I know that JOMA will go in new directions that may not have been within my designs or capabilities. And I'm fine with that.

I could go on to point with pride at our accomplishments in the first five volumes, but the pages of this Journal speak for themselves. Unlike the pages of a print journal, they are all at your fingertips every time you come back, and our search tools and Archive pages make it relatively easy to find things, independent of their actual date of publication.

"Our accomplishments" are not mine alone, of course. I owe a great deal of thanks -- herewith conveyed -- to my loyal and hard-working Editorial Board, to the many colleagues who have given time to refereeing, to the large number of contributors who have produced the excellent works we have published, and to the staffs of the organizations that have made JOMA possible: the National Science Foundation, the Mathematical Association of America, the MAA Mathematical Sciences Digital Library, and the Math Forum @ Drexel. I'm tempted to name names, but the list is very long, and you know who you are. Thanks.

As a sometime valedictorian (many years ago) and student of Latin (even more years ago), I learned what the word "valedictory" means -- it means "say goodbye." Goodbye.

David A. Smith, "Valedictory Notes from the Editor Emeritus," Convergence (January 2006)