Mu Alpha Theta


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Purpose of Mu Alpha Theta

Mu Alpha Theta is the National High School and Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society with 105,000 student members in June 2014 in more than 2100 schools. We are dedicated to inspiring keen interest in mathematics, developing strong scholarship in the subject, and promoting the enjoyment of mathematics in high school and two-year college students.

Mu Alpha Theta achieves these goals by:

Providing a method for schools to recognize and encourage those students who enjoy and excel in mathematics.
Organizing a national convention for students and teachers to participate in math-related events and interact with others from across the country.
Rewarding outstanding extracurricular achievement by offering special awards to both students and their faculty advisors.
Providing mathematics competitions to participating members at their own school through the Log 1 Contest, the Rocket City Math League, and the Mathematical Minutes Video Contest.

History of Mu Alpha Theta

The Mu Alpha Theta National High School and Junior College Mathematics Club was founded in 1957 by Dr. and Mrs. Richard V. Andree at the University of Oklahoma. In his words, Mu Alpha Theta is "an organization dedicated to promoting scholarship in mathematics and establishing math as an integral part of high school and junior college education." The name Mu Alpha Theta was constructed from the Greek lettering for the phonemes m, a, and th.

Pi Mu Epsilon, the National Collegiate Honor Society of Mathematics, contributed funds for the organization's initial expenses; the University of Oklahoma provided space, clerical help, and technical assistance. 
The Mathematical Association of America, a primary sponsor of the organization since 1958, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics nominated the first officers and Board of Governors. The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics became an official sponsor in 1998, followed by The American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges in 2002.

The first Mu Alpha Theta National Convention was held at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas in 1968. Each year the convention brings together hundreds of teachers and students from across the country for five days of math-related events. The National Convention rotates among our chapters and has been held in locations all over the country, including Honolulu, Washington D.C., Seattle, Dallas, and Boston.

The official journal of Mu Alpha Theta, The Mathematical Log, was first issued in 1957 on mimeograph and was in printed form starting in 1958. It was published four times during the school year until 2002 and featured articles, reports, news, and problems for students.

The Kalin Award was initiated in 1981 to reward outstanding students. The Huneke Award and the Sister Scholastica Award followed in 1986 and 1995 to recognize outstanding chapter sponsors. The Andree Awardwas created in 1987 to encourage students who plan to become mathematics teachers. The Rubin Award was initiated in 2004 to reward a chapter which has shown a history of outstanding service to its community for at least two years with a mathematics project.

Mu Alpha Theta offered the Vector Scholars Program in 2002 to recognize and reward students for outstanding efforts in mathematics and math education. In 2006, the organization began offering merit scholarships to outstanding members.

Mu Alpha Theta Scholarships

Mu Alpha Theta and our Educational Foundation will continue to award a number of $4,000 scholarships this year. Scholarship funds may be used within the first 18 months after the date the scholarship is awarded. Any graduating high school senior or two-year college student who is an active member of a current Mu Alpha Theta chapter is eligible. The nominee should be an outstanding mathematics student and should have shown loyalty and dedication to their Mu Alpha Theta chapter, enthusiastically participating in local projects with evidence of service in the area of mathematics. Each chapter may submit applications for up to two members. It is up to the chapter sponsor to determine what names to submit, if more than two students wish to apply.

Three $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to top scholarship candidates: the Mary Rhein Memorial Scholarship, the Sallie Scudder Memorial Scholarship, and the Paul R. Goodey Scholarship.

Our remaining scholarships will provide $4,000 each.

The Mary Rhein Memorial Scholarship
The Mary Rhein Memorial Scholarship was named to honor Mary Rhein, a mathematics teacher from Ohio who was a active in the National Mu Alpha Theta organization for 22 years. Mary believed that Mu Alpha Theta gives students, who excel in mathematics, an identity and a place to belong. She always encouraged her members to act as ambassadors for Mu Alpha Theta, and she viewed competition as a dynamic way for students to use math concepts learned in the classroom.

The Sallie Scudder Memorial Scholarship
The Sallie Scudder Memorial Scholarship, supported by the Berkeley Math Club of 2000 – 2001, was named to honor Sallie Scudder, who taught Calculus and Softball at Berkeley Preparatory School from 1996 to 2002. She returned to teach at her alma mater, H. B. Plant High School, until her death at the age of 36. She was passionate about making a difference in the lives of her students and had a positive influence on everyone around her.

The Paul R. Goodey Scholarship
The Paul R. Goodey Scholarship was established to honor the former Secretary-Treasurer of Mu Alpha Theta who served from 2001-2014. Dr. Goodey, a University of Oklahoma George Lynn Cross mathematics professor, has always encouraged students to see the beauty and power of mathematics through research. The Paul R. Goodey Scholarship recipient is a student who has participated in a mathematics related research project while a member of Mu Alpha Theta.

Kalin Award Option
If the high school student applying for a scholarship is the sponsor’s choice for the Kalin Award, an additional application for the Kalin Award does not need to be completed. Instead, the sponsor should check the box on the ”Sponsor Letter of Recommendation Form” and write additional paragraphs as to why they feel the applicant deserves this award.