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Awareness Week
MAW 97
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MEMORANDUM                                             January, 1997

TO:    Mathematical Sciences Community  

FROM:  Richard Herman, JPBM Chair
       Mike Harris/Kathleen Holmay, Public Information Office
       Lisa Thompson, Assistant for Governmental Affairs


We are once again pleased to communicate that Mathematics Awareness
Week 1997, from April 20-26, provides you with an opportunity to
organize or sponsor local events celebrating the importance of

The 1997 theme is Mathematics and the Internet.  Mathematics is the
language of Internet operation, from the binary numbers that
describe text and images to the complex data structures of search
engines for the World Wide Web.  Ideas from fields like number
theory have enabled such key Internet technologies as data
encryption for secure financial transactions and data compression
for audio and video.  At the same time, the Internet has given
birth to world-wide collaborations among mathematics teachers and
researchers, collaborations that are advancing both kindergarten
through undergraduate education and our understanding of some of
the most difficult problems in pure and applied mathematics.      
The 1997 Mathematics Awareness Week theme poster uses
visualizations developed by Bell Laboratories that depict world-
wide Internet traffic.  The color and thickness of arcs between
countries show inter-country traffic, with higher and redder arcs
indicating larger traffic flows.  Much additional information, as
well as the poster itself, is on the MAW Web site.

If April 20-26 doesn't work for you because of exams, spring break,
or other commitments, you can schedule MAW activities any week in
March, April, or May.  April 20-26 is selected because it is also
National Science and Technology Week, sponsored by the National
Science Foundation.  And, the National Council of Teachers of
Mathematics designates all of April as Math Month.

Here are some suggestions for Mathematics Awareness Week

       * Design your own World Wide Web MAW page and link it to the
              national MAW page;

       * Encourage your student chapter to organize campus events;

       * Explore joint events with colleagues in disciplines such as
              business administration, operations research, computer
              science, physics, engineering, and statistics;

       * Review the MAA & SIAM  Visiting Lecturer Programs for
              speakers on MAW-related topics, a speakers roster is in
              development at the AMS (see Web sites);

       * Request appropriate state or local officials to issue a
              proclamation (samples from previous years are on the 
              MAW Web site) declaring April 20-26 to be Mathematics   
              Awareness Week in your municipality or state;

       * Check the MAW Web site - see what many others did to observe
              MAW 1996.

Mathematics Awareness Week is an excellent vehicle for communicating 
with your administration and with new audiences about mathematics, 
working with your public information office to publicize your 
activities, and inviting local legislators or elected officials to 
speak.  Public officials appreciate opportunities to visit with 
faculty and to learn more about efforts to encourage students to 
enter and excel in mathematics-based careers.  

These materials are available to help you participate in 
Mathematics Awareness Week:

* SAMPLE NEWS RELEASE...tailor the news release so that it includes
details on your activities...mail it to your local print and 
broadcast media outlets, either through your institution's public 
information office or by using a listing of media outlets (from the 
telephone book or a media listing book in the reference section of 
your library).  

* MATHEMATICS AND THE INTERNET...a short version of this year's
theme essay; which can be included with materials you prepare for
your MAW activities...distribute it to colleagues along with a MAW
poster...a longer version, complete with WWW links to many more
resources is on the MAW Web site.

* POSTER, ORDER FORM, AND DESCRIPTION...distribute posters
as MAW mementos...frame a poster for your dean's, governor's, or
legislators' offices...hold an event during which you present the
framed poster as a gift.

Be sure and visit the Mathematics Awareness Week World Wide Web
site --  Download the information
in this mailing AND MUCH MORE.  Get help in constructing your own
MAW Web page.  Make links to other sites.  You can also join the
Internet mailing list -- MAW-list -- to discuss your MAW ideas and
events.  To subscribe send mail to "" with the
following command in the body of your email message:  subscribe
maw-list .  Please post copies of reports and
announcements of your MAW 1997 activities on MAW-list.  We will
summarize them for use in future years. 

Please help us share Mathematics Awareness Week publicity in your
community by sending us newspaper articles on mathematics topics
appearing in your institution's publications, local papers, and
community newspapers during April.  By April 1 a sampled op-ed
piece will be on MAW-list and the MAW Web site.  We will also post
suggestions on its use. 

The JPBM and its member societies appreciate the involvement of the
American mathematics community in MAW.  The JPBM also acknowledges
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
(INFORMS) for its financial support of Mathematics Awareness Week.

If you have any questions or would like further suggestions, please
do not hesitate to contact us by email at . 
Thank you in advance for your interest and efforts to convey
Mathematics and the Internet to new and larger audiences.  

Mathematics Awareness Month is sponsored each year by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics to recognize the importance of mathematics through written materials and an accompanying poster that highlight mathematical developments and applications in a particular area.