What does the AMS DC Office have planned for JMM 2021?


The AMS has physical presence in four locations. Our headquarters are in Providence, RI and the print shop is in nearby Pawtucket. MathSciNet operations are in Ann Arbor, MI. The smallest office is the Washington, DC location. Two AMS departments call DC home—Government Relations and Education. Each year at JMM, the DC-based staff organize and run events. In 2021, we have our “usual” events, plus two special events.

Special (very special!) this year is “Envisioning the Future of NSF: A Guided Discussion with MPS and EHR Heads,” which will take place Friday, January 8, 4:30 pm — 6:00 pm [note that all times are MST]. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Sean Jones and Dr. Karen Marrongelle, the National Science Foundation’s heads of the Directorates for Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS) and Education & Human Resources (EHR). Dr. Jones, a materials scientist, began his service at NSF in 2009 as a program officer, and has been serving as Assistant Director of NSF/MPS since September 2020. MPS supports fundamental research in astronomy, chemistry, physics, materials science and mathematics. Dr. Marrongelle holds a PhD in mathematics education and joined NSF/EHR in October 2018. EHR supports STEM education at all levels. I will facilitate the conversation about Dr. Jones’s vision for the Division of Mathematical Sciences, Dr. Marrongelle’s vision for mathematics work in EHR, and their joint views on how the mathematical sciences fit with larger programs at the NSF.

Also special in 2021, we invite you to join AMS leaders for a community update on our equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts on Friday, January 8, 9:00 – 10:00 am. In 2020, the AMS Council established a new policy committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The AMS participated in #ShutDownSTEM, where we paused our daily work in support of the Black community, recognizing that our mathematics community must play a role in nationwide efforts seeking fundamental change. The AMS Council, speaking on behalf of the AMS, issued a Statement of Support for and Solidarity with the Black Community and established a Task Force on Understanding and Documenting the Historic Role of the AMS in Racial Discrimination. This takes place Friday, January 8, 9:00 am – 10:00 am.

The events below run every year:

The AMS Committee on Science Policy will host a panel discussion titled Mathematics and Sciencethe view of a pandemic through a science policy lens” on Friday, January 8, 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm. Suzanne Weekes, SIAM and Worcester Polytechnic Institute will serve as moderator. Panelists are:
Margaret Callahan, U.S. Department of State
Edgar Fuller, Florida International University
Sara Del Valle, Los Alamos National Laboratories
Erin Heath, American Association for the Advancement of Science

The AMS Committee on Education will host a panel discussion titled “What do students need in the time of pandemic?” Thursday, January 7, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm. Katherine Stevenson, California State University Northridge will serve as moderator. Panelists are:
Viveka Brown, Spelman College
Tasha Inniss, Spelman College
Pamela Harris of Williams College will facilitate a panel of students to reflect on these issues.

We usually also run a session where you can learn about the AMS Congressional Fellowship, as well as our two other DC-based fellowship opportunities (Mass Media and CASE). This year, we are not running this but instead I will hold “office hours” Thursday, January 7, 4:00 – 4:30 pm and Saturday, January 9, 11:00 – 11:30 am. Applications are now being accepted for the Congressional Fellowship, and you can drop by and talk to me about this great opportunity to spend a year working on the staff of a Member of Congress or a congressional committee, as a legislative assistant in legislative and policy areas requiring scientific and technical input. If you cannot drop by during those times, email me and we can set up a time to talk: kxs@ams.org

You can find full information about each event at the 2021 Joint Mathematics Meetings website.




About Karen Saxe

Karen Saxe is Director of the AMS Office of Government Relations which works to connect the mathematics community with Washington decision-makers who affect mathematics research and education. Over many years she has contributed much time to the AMS, MAA, and AWM, including service as vice president of the MAA and in policy and advocacy work with all three. She was the 2013-2014 AMS Congressional Fellow, working for Senator Al Franken on education issues, with focus on higher education and STEM education. In Minnesota she has served on the Citizens Redistricting Commission following the 2010 census and serves on the Common Cause Minnesota Redistricting Leadership Circle. She has three children and, when not at work especially enjoys being with them and reading, hiking and sharing good food and wine and beer with family and friends.
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