Former Dean Domenico Grasso's vision for the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) included an honor society for each of its units. Spurred on by his encouragement, UVM Math Club members Barbara Dewy Abbott, Laura Balzer, and their chair Joan Rosebush (aka Rosi) began the petitioning process to join Pi Mu Epsilon.
Researching club history, compiling accreditation information, making lists upon lists, and sending e-mail after e-mail were the name of the game for these three women for most of the past year. After working closely on this initiative with Pi Mu Epsilon former President Dr. Joan Weiss, an electronic copy of UVM's petition went to Pi Mu Epsilon Secretary-Treasurer Dr. Leo Schneider for distribution to the society council. At the same time, signed endorsements from the University of Vermont were sent.
"After a short wait, we received the most exciting e-mail," says Rosi. "It said: 'Congratulations and welcome to Pi Mu Epsilon, the mathematics honor society. The national Council of Pi Mu Epsilon has unanimously voted in favor of accepting your petition to form a Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon at the University of Vermont.' We were thrilled!"
The UVM chapter is the 338th Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, and since it is the second chapter chartered in Vermont, it will be known as the Vermont Beta Chapter (after the second letter in the Greek alphabet). The alpha chapter is located just up the road at Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont.
On Thursday, September 24, 2009, Dr. Joan Weiss presented the charter to the UVM chapter and inducted the charter members. The installation ceremony was attended by former Dean Grasso (who is now UVM Vice President for Research) along with several charter members and Mathematics Chair James Burgmeier. "We had a lovely ceremony and reception to mark the event," Rosi says. "We are very, very proud to be the Beta chapter and look forward to supporting the mission and vision of Pi Mu Epsilon."
As a national mathematics honor society, Pi Mu Epsilon is devoted to the promotion of scholarly activity in mathematics at academic institutions.
The Pi Mu Epsilon Journal, published semiannually, presents research papers as well as a problem section and particularly focuses on student-authored papers. The UVM chapter hopes to have student members speak during the 2009 PME National Meeting to be held at MAA MathFest in Portland Oregon, August 5-8, 2009.
Membership into Pi Mu Epsilon may be granted to any of the following:
To join, contact Chapter Advisor Joan Rosebush at firstname.lastname@example.org.