New Chapter Petition Process

Requirements for Founding a Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon at an Academic Institution

Pi Mu Epsilon, a national honorary mathematics society, was founded in 1914 at Syracuse University and was incorporated on May 25, 1914, under the laws of the State of New York. Its roots date back to a mathematics club that was founded at Syracuse in 1903. Pi Mu Epsilon is a non-secret organization whose purpose is the promotion of scholarly activity in mathematics among students in academic institutions.

The local organizations of Pi Mu Epsilon are the Chapters. To found a Chapter at an academic institution, a petition must be submitted to the Council of Pi Mu Epsilon to establish that there is credible interest and enthusiasm for mathematical scholarship on the part of both the students and the faculty. In particular, the Council requires evidence that there has been an ongoing history of student mathematical activity outside the classroom; that there are adequate facilities to support this activity; and that the faculty at the institution is fully supportive of the goals and objectives of Pi Mu Epsilon. Further, the Council requires evidence that the group submitting the petition has the support of the faculty and administration at the institution.

Institutions with an interest in forming a new Pi Mu Epsilon Chapter should contact the society President before beginning a petition. The President will assign one of the national Council members to serve as a Liaison to work with the institution during the process of writing a petition.

The following paragraphs detail the format that should be followed when submitting the petition; additional evidence that enables the Council to determine the mathematical activity of students at the institution is welcome. The author(s) of the petition, the proposed Chapter Advisor, and the proposed Permanent Faculty Correspondent should submit their telephone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses with the petition.

 Minimum Requirements for Consideration

The following requirements must be met in order for a petition to be considered.

  1. The institution must offer a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
  2. The Petition for a Chapter must be initiated by a mathematics club or similar organization that has been an active scholarly body at the academic institution for more than one year.
  3. The number of students receiving a bachelor’s degree in the mathematical sciences must have averaged at least four per year for the past three years.
  4. The undergraduate major in mathematics must require at least the equivalent of two semesters of calculus, and also require the equivalent of at least 21 semester hours of more advanced work in the mathematical sciences.
  5. The mathematics department at the petitioning institution must have on its staff at least one person with an earned doctorate in one of the mathematical sciences.
  6. The Petition for a Chapter must be accompanied by signed, written endorsements from the chair of the mathematics department and a senior academic officer of the petitioning institution. Letters from the department chair and administrator outside the department should include the following:
    • A promise from the chair that a department faculty member serve in the role as chapter advisor during each academic year, and an indication of whether the individual will be selected through a process of appointment, election, etc.
    • A promise that PME will be a recognized student organization of the institution and provided meeting space and privileges afforded other student organizations at the institution.
    • A brief summary of how other institutional resources will be utilized to promote Pi Mu Epsilon’s mission. Examples can include a description of institutional policies for granting additional funding for undergraduate student travel to conferences, institutional mechanisms for disseminating student scholarship, e.g.  student research days, and so on.
  7. The proposed Chapter Advisor and the proposed Permanent Faculty Correspondent shall submit signed statements indicating their willingness to accept the responsibilities of fulfilling these roles. If one faculty member fills both roles, one letter will suffice. The letter from the Chapter Advisor should include a commitment to the following:
    • New members will be inducted at least once annually in a manner spelled out by the PME constitution.
    • Activities sponsored by the chapter and/or student math organization will take place on a regular basis, ideally at least once each month.
    • Information regarding services provided by the national organization, e.g. funding opportunities to speak in PME sessions at MathFest, will be communicated to student members as soon as the advisor receives this information from the PME Secretary-Treasurer each year.
    • Acceptance of ultimate responsibility for ensuring all initiation fees are paid in a timely manner.
    • Any change in advisor or PFC will be communicated to the PME Secretary-Treasurer promptly.

 

Required Information

Each Petition should contain the following information. Use the numbering system in this outline for your petition. Here is a Petition Outline in Word to download when writing a petition. Please pay particular attention to items IID, IIIA7, and IIID. PME is looking an active culture of mathematical involvement outside the classroom. Be as specific as possible when discussing the activities requested in these sections.

I.  Petitioning Institution

A.  Name and date of founding of the institution.

B.  Type of institution, e.g., private, public, liberal arts, comprehensive university, etc.

C.  Total enrollment:

    1. Lower division, undergraduate;
    2. Upper division, undergraduate;
    3. Graduate school; and
    4. Professional schools not included above.

D.  National honorary societies installed in other disciplines.

E.  Accreditations.

F.  The name, email, postal address, county, and phone and fax numbers for the person who will be the contact on behalf of the petitioners at the institution. The name(s), phone and fax numbers and e-mail address(es) of the proposed Chapter Advisor and Permanent Faculty Correspondent.

G.  Other pertinent information about the institution as a whole.

H.  The name and email address of your department chair, and the name and email address of at least one higher academic official (dean, provost, president, …), all of whom you will contact to submit a letter indicating institutional support for establishing a Pi Mu Epsilon Chapter at your institution if your petition is approved.

II.  Petitioning Mathematics Organization

A.  List of members initiating the petition. Make it clear which members are students and which are faculty.

B.  List of proposed charter members, if different from the above list. Not more than 1/3 of the Charter Members can be members of the faculty at the institution. [See PME Constitution, Article VII, Section 4.]

C.  Name and date of founding of local mathematics club or similar organization.

D.  Programs sponsored by the local mathematics club or similar organization during the past year. This should list activities such as local meetings, trips, attendance at conferences, etc. Speakers at meetings of the local organization should be identified by name and status (e.g., undergraduate, graduate, local faculty member, visiting lecturer) and their topic given. Give dates of all events and other specific information, such as names of speakers.

III.  Mathematics Department

A.  List of full-time faculty with rank of Instructor or above. This list should be arranged in order of rank, with highest rank first and alphabetical within each rank. The following information should be given for those faculty members who have a history of involvement in undergraduate research, the petitioner, the proposed Chapter Advisor, and the proposed Permanent Faculty Correspondent. For the remaining department members, you need only complete items III. A. 1. and 8.

    1. Highest degree earned, name of conferring institution, date, dissertation title, name of major professor.
    2. Books, manuals, and chapters published (if any) during the past five years. Give title, date, and general nature (unless the latter is obvious from the title).
    3. Articles and essays published (excluding book reviews), editing, and refereeing during the past five years. Give title, name of journal and date, or volume. If a work has been accepted for publication, but not yet published, it should be included. This is not to be interpreted as prohibiting citation of publications more than five years old if they are believed to be pertinent.
    4. Memberships in professional societies and mathematics honorary societies; service as editor or referee for journals; service as officer or member of committees of mathematical organizations.
    5. Outstanding teacher or distinguished educator awards, and other special recognitions during the past five years. Please give title and date of award, and the conferring body.
    6. Supported research during the past five years.
    7. Directed student research.
    8. If full-time faculty members teach mathematics part-time then this should be indicated and the approximate fraction of their time devoted to the Mathematics Department stated.

B. List the requirements for degree(s) (courses, grades, etc.) with a major in mathematics. The units of measurement (e.g., semester hours, trimester hours, quarter hours, courses) should be defined. Requirements for graduate degrees in mathematics should be included.

C.  List of courses actually offered. List the semesters (or other terms) in which each course has been offered during the last two years.

D.  Describe activities such as student participation in regional and local professional meetings, student conferences, and colloquia. Give dates of all activities and other specific information, such as names of speakers and talk titles.

E.  List the number of mathematics majors as of the date of the Petition by class year, including graduate school, if any.

F.  List the number of students who received a bachelor’s degree with a major in the mathematical sciences for each of the past three years.

IV.  Learning Resources

A.  Library

    1. Describe how the institution provides students access to books and journals:

a.  List the resources available to students for researching mathematics journals electronically, i.e. JSTOR.
b.  List the journals for which the library has hard copy subscriptions. List those journals most accessible to undergraduate students first. Give at most ten (10) titles.
c.  List the last ten (10) physical books in the mathematical sciences ordered for the library.
d. Does this institution participate in Interlibrary loan?

2.  Does the Library or department of Mathematics hold institutional membership in MAA, AMS, SIAM, ASA, etc.?

B.  Technology

    1. Does the department provide students access to a Computer Algebra System? Which systems are available? Are they made available in a computer lab or on students’ machines?
    2. Describe how technology is used by students and faculty for studying mathematics. How is technology used in the classroom?

To complete your presentation, include a cover page and paginate your Petition.

Submitting a Petition for a Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon

After working with the assigned Liaison to prepare a Petition, an electronic copy of the Petition (in the form of a single PDF or MS Word document) should be sent to the National Pi Mu Epsilon Secretary-Treasurer (secretary-treasurer@pme-math.org), for distribution to the Council. At the same time, endorsements by the Department Chair and a senior academic officer of the petitioning institution along with signed statements from the proposed Chapter Advisor and the proposed Permanent Faculty Correspondent (if one faculty member fills both roles, one letter will suffice) should be submitted on institution letterhead by scanning signed copies and emailing them to the Secretary-Treasurer.

Please do not send any money at this time. If the Council unanimously votes in favor of the petition, the petition will be granted. If a majority (but not all) of the Council approves the petition, it shall then be circulated among the Chapters. This will require a $25 petition filing fee. The petition will be circulated electronically, accompanied by the reasons the Council did not vote unanimously on it. We allow about two months’ time during the academic year for the Active Chapters to cast electronic votes.

Preparation of the Charter takes about three weeks and cannot be undertaken until the list of the Charter Members and the date of the installation of the new Chapter have been received by the Secretary-Treasurer.

Costs for Installing a New Chapter

The costs for installing a new Chapter are:

  • Preparation of the Charter, $50. Alternatively, it can be a part of an Installation Package as explained below.
  • Chapter Roll Book. The new Chapter can either design its own or purchase one for $35 with their Charter. It can also be a part of an Installation Package as explained below.
  • Travel expenses for one of Pi Mu Epsilon’s national Councillors to install the Chapter and formally present the Charter to the institution.
  • Initiation fees, $30 per membership. This is the lifetime membership fee that covers the costs of enrolling the member into Pi Mu Epsilon, of the membership certificate, and of a one-year subscription to the Pi Mu Epsilon Journal (two issues). It is the same for Charter Members and other members enrolled at subsequent induction ceremonies.
  • There are no annual dues for Chapters or members.

A chapter Installation Package is available to new Chapters only for $100. The package contains the following items:

  • the Charter,
  • one Chapter Roll Book,
  • one PME Banner,
  • one sample Key Pin,
  • one sample official Honor Cord.

If these items were ordered individually at the regular prices, this package would cost $165. Therefore we strongly recommend that all new chapters purchase the Installation Package.

The Chapter’s Permanent Faculty Correspondent is required to file an annual report on the Chapter’s activities and local awards. This information should be submitted electronically using the form provided here.

The Pi Mu Epsilon Constitution and Bylaws can be found here and printed copies are available from the National Pi Mu Epsilon Secretary-Treasurer. (secretary-treasurer@pme-math.org)

July 1, 2016