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Michigan Section's Newsletter

The standard practice for many years was for the chair of the Michigan Section to send an annual letter to the membership with announcements of the year's activities and programs. At the 1974 summer meeting of the Section's Executive Committee, Yousef Alavi, chair of the Section, mentioned that some other sections had newsletters, and he wished that the Michigan Section would have one also. It was not an easy job. Just getting news items from the campuses proved to be an almost insurmountable task. Delia Koo lived in a suburb of East Lansing and taught at Eastern Michigan University. With the help of contacts and friends at other colleges and universities, she ferreted out enough information to put together four and a half pages of news for the first edition. With the help of the computing facilities at Eastern Michigan University, Volume 1, Number 1, was distributed in January 1975 to over 1000 mathematicians in colleges and universities in Michigan. Yousef Alavi stated in a cover letter, "It is our hope that this will serve a useful purpose by providing a medium for exchanges, communications, and dissemination of information between the various colleges and universities, the membership of the Section, and the Executive Committee." The full story of the start-up of the Newsletter is found on page 7 of the April 1988 issue of the Newsletter (Vol. 14, No. 2).

The Newsletter was an instant success and through the years has exceeded many times over the modest expectations that Yousef Alavi and Delia Koo had expressed in the beginning. The first issues were printed on letter sized paper. Most issues had six to ten printed sides. The mailing cost was 2¢ per item. The early editors of the Newsletter, besides Yousef Alavi and Delia Koo, were Robert Chaffer (CMU), Katherine Price (HPCC), Delano Wegener (CMU), and Don R. Lick (WMU).

When John Kiltinen (NMU) took over as the editor in 1984, with the assistance of William Babcock (NMU), the Newsletter took on a whole new shape and function. The Newsletter became a half-letter sized journal which included features, editorial columns, pictures, and reports, in addition to the usual announcements and news items in earlier editions. Over the ten-year period that Kiltinen and Babcock edited the Newsletter, it matured into being one of the best, if not the best, newsletter of any section in the MAA. The editors of the Newsletter have been the following.
1974-1976 Yousef Alavi WMU
Delia Koo EMU
1976-1977 Delia Koo EMU
1978-1979 Robert Chaffer CMU
Katherine Price Highland Park CC
1979-1980 Robert Chaffer CMU
1980-1982 Delano Wegener CMU
1982-1984 Yousef Alavi and Don Lick WMU
1984-1994 John Kiltinen and Bill Babcock NMU
1994-1996   John Petro and Allen Schwenk   WMU
1996-2001 Jerrold Grossman Oakland U
2002- Norman Richert Math Reviews

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