Andersen Prize


Charter of the SIGMAA on Mathematical and Computational Biological Science

Article I.  Identification

Section 1.  The official name

The official name of this SIGMAA is “The Special Interest Group of the Mathematical Association of America on Mathematical and Computational Biology,” which will normally be shortened to simply “BIO SIGMAA.” 

Section 2.  Focus and Purpose

The focus of BIO SIGMAA is on the pedagogy of mathematical and computational biology at the undergraduate level.  This includes the support of curriculum development, faculty development, and undergraduate research in those fields.

The purpose of BIO SIGMAA is to support those activities that will enhance the exchange of ideas and access to educational opportunities among undergraduates and undergraduate faculty in the fields of mathematical and computational biology.  This necessarily includes interaction with all concerned departmental structures (i.e. mathematics, computer science, biology, and other related departments) and also institutions and organizations that feed into, and from, the undergraduate programs.

Article II.  Activities

Section 1.  Intended activities of BIO SIGMAA


  1. Organize faculty development workshops (PREP or other) in the summer to develop or introduce material designed to enhance student understanding at the interface of mathematics, computation, and the biological sciences.  
  2. Co-sponsor regional conferences/sessions on Computational and Mathematical Biology Education and Undergraduate Research.  These sessions would not be limited to MAA conferences and would be designed to give increased exposure to the issues we espouse.
  3. Co-sponsor, coordinate, or write grants to support the activities of Bio SIGMAA.
  4. Maintain a webpage listing activities in the field and links to other resources.
  5. Maintain a moderated list serve or electronic newsletter to provide a useful and productive means of communication among members.
  6. Hold regular meetings and events at National MAA meetings.

Section 2. Relationships with MAA Activities

  1. BIO SIGMAA will work with the subcommittee of CUPM on Mathematics Across the Disciplines and the Science Policy Committee and volunteer one representative to be on each of those committees.  BIO SIGMAA will also interact with the Society of Mathematical Biology, particularly with their Education Committee.
  2. BIO SIGMAA will organize or coordinate regular workshops through the sponsored programs of the MAA.
  3.  No activity of this SIGMAA, including publications, shall be represented as coming from the MAA at large, but rather from this SIGMAA, unless such activity and representation have been approved by the Executive Committee of the MAA.
  4. Reports of this SIGMAA's activities will be included in an annual report submitted by the SIGMAA to the MAA Committee on SIGMAAs, with copies to the chair of the Coordinating Council to which the SIGMAA is assigned. 

Article III.  Meetings

Section 1.  Meeting Schedule

Official business meetings of BIO SIGMAA will be held annually at the Joint Mathematics Meetings.   Other meetings will be held as needed for the organization of the activities of the SIGMAA.

Section 2.  Meeting Organization

Meetings of BIO SIGMAA will follow Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 10th edition.   Agendas for the official business meetings will be solicited from the membership by email two months prior to the JMM, with the final agenda being presented on the website or by email one month prior to the JMM.   Other meetings will be announced one month prior to the meeting along with the proposed agenda.  A final agenda will be announced two weeks prior to the meeting.  Where possible, business concerning the charter of BIO SIGMAA and its elections will be held at the official business meeting.

Section 3.   Quorum

A quorum at the official business meeting will be at least twenty-five members including at least two officers.  A quorum Indicate the number of members required to constitute a quorum at meetings. Decisions concerning regular activities of the SIGMAA (i.e. sponsoring a session at a conference) may be made through email under the same rules as additional meetings of the SIGMAA.

Article IV.  Membership

Section 1.  Membership

Membership in this SIGMAA shall be open to any MAA member.

Article V.  Administration

Section 1.  Officers and Executive Committee

The officers of BIO SIGMAA will be the Chair, Chair-elect, past Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Web Page manager, and the Program Chair.  These officers shall comprise the Executive Committee of BIO SIGMAA.  The Chair, Secretary, and Program Chair are elected while the Treasurer and Web Page Manager are appointed by the chair and approved by the membership.

Since the Chair-elect becomes the Chair; and the Chair the past-Chair, The Chair, Past-Chair, and Chair-elect cannot succeed themselves in office.   All other offices can succeed themselves in office.

Section 2.  Duties of Officers

The SIGMAA Executive Committee will be responsible for carrying out the directives of the membership, as well as day-to-day business.

    1. The Chair or a member designated by the Chair will preside at BIO SIGMAA business meetings. The Chair will organize and coordinate the activities of the group, and will serve as its chief spokesperson. The Chair also will serve as liaison with the MAA Associate Secretary.
    2. The Chair-Elect and Past-Chair will serve as vice-chairs, assisting the Chair. The Chair-Elect will become the Chair upon completion of the latter's term of office.
    3. The Secretary will keep records of official meetings of BIO SIGMAA and its Executive Committee including a record of those attending, and will maintain the membership roll. Other duties include keeping a record of the affairs of BIO SIGMAA, handling correspondence and preparing written reports for submission to the MAA as required. Minutes of the last Business Meeting and a tentative agenda for the next meeting shall be made available electronically no less than one month prior to the next business meeting by the Secretary.  The secretary will also be in charge of archiving the activities of the SIGMAA in order to maintain a historical record of those activities.
    4. The Treasurer is responsible for maintaining all financial records of BIO SIGMAA and for preparation of financial reports as required by the MAA Executive Committee or by the BIO SIGMAA Executive Committee. The Treasurer is responsible for authorizing disbursement of organizational funds as directed by the membership or the BIO SIGMAA Executive Committee.
    5. The Communications manager will oversee the organization of web page for BIO SIGMAA and keep postings such as conferences, workshops, etc., current.  The agendas for meetings and contact information for the BIO SIGMAA Executive Committee also will be posted.  The Communications manager will also organize, but not necessarily maintain, either a moderated list serve or electronic newsletter for the SIGMAA.
    6. The Program Chair will assist in programmatic details such as the planning of conferences and BIO SIGMAA paper sessions that may be held in conjunction with the January AMS/MAA meetings, Summer MAA meetings or other meetings, in consultation with the Executive Committee.  This is to be contrasted with the chair whose duty lies primarily with organization of the SIGMAA itself.  Note also that this office involves coordination of these activities, not necessarily running them.

Section 3.  Elections, Appointments, and Terms of Office

  1. Decisions of the Executive Committee will be by majority vote.
  2. The Executive Committee will appoint a Nominating Committee of three members and will designate one of the three as Chair. No more than one member of the Executive Committee may serve on the Nominating Committee. The Executive Committee will notify the membership of BIO SIGMAA regarding the composition of the Nominating Committee at least two months prior to the elections and will request that suggestions for nominations be sent to the Chair of the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will propose and publicize a slate of more than one officer per position, if possible, at least one month before the October period during which the election is to occur.
  3. Voting for all officers will be by the online balloting system by the MAA Office between October 1 and October 31.  Elected officers will assume their roles at the end of the January Meeting. If there is only one nominee for a given office, that person will be deemed elected. For all other offices, the person receiving the most votes will be elected.
  4. Officers other than the Chair and Past-Chair will assume their duties after the January business meeting. The Past-Chair and Chair-Elect serve one-year terms and all other officers serve two-year terms.

Article VI.  Finances

Section 1.  Dues

An annual MAA dues supplement shall be assessed each member of this SIGMAA. This fee will be used to support in part the activities of this SIGMAA.  The amount will be determined by the membership, with the initial amount begin $10 per year. The manner of collection and disbursement of these funds will be determined by the MAA Executive Committee.

Section 2.  Budget

This SIGMAA shall submit an expense budget for each calendar year to the chair of the MAA Budget Committee no later than March 15 of the preceding year. It shall include the projected cost for any regularly planned activities including receptions, equipment, etc. at national meetings. The budget is subject to the approval of the MAA Executive Committee.

Section 3.  Funding

This SIGMAA may apply to the MAA for specific funding beyond what is provided from dues. All requests for funds shall be substantiated by a budget for the proposed expenditures. 

Article VII.  External Funding

Section 1.  Obtaining External Funding

This SIGMAA may write grant proposals to be submitted by the MAA.  The SIGMAA will follow the policies and procedures of the MAA for all such submissions.

Section 2.  Representing the MAA

Neither this SIGMAA nor any officer nor any representative thereof shall have any authority to contract debts for, pledge the credit of, or in any way bind the MAA.

Article VIII.  Changes

Section 1.  Voted Changes

Changes to this Charter may be proposed if a recommendation for such changes is supported by a two-thirds vote majority of the members voting.  The proposed changes must then be submitted for consideration to the Committee on SIGMAAs, which will forward a recommendation on approval to the MAA Executive Committee.

Section 2.  Initiated Changes

Changes to this Charter may also be initiated by the MAA Executive Committee, which will forward such a request to the MAA Committee on SIGMAAs.  In turn the Committee on SIGMAAs will work with the SIGMAA to develop specific new language for the charter that is acceptable to the SIGMAA.  The Committee on SIGMAAs will then forward the revised charter to the MAA Executive Committee to be considered for approval.   In this event, changes must be approved by the Board of Governors. 

Article IX.  Dissolution

Section 1.  Mechanism

This SIGMAA shall be dissolved for either of the following reasons:

  1. Failure to maintain at least 30 members for two consecutive years.
  2. Reasons agreed to by a majority vote of the Board of Governors of the MAA.

Section 2.  Funds

If dissolved, any unspent funds of this SIGMAA shall be returned to the general fund of the MAA.