Associate Professor of Mathematics Chad Awtrey was elected president of the national math honor society Pi Mu Epsilon.
Pi Mu Epsilon, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious collegiate mathematics honorary society, recently announced election results for the nine-person National Council and Associate Professor of Mathematics Chad Awtrey was been elected president. His term starts July 1, and he will first serve as president-elect, then president, and finally as past-resident.
Pi Mu Epsilon was founded at Syracuse University and incorporated in Albany, New York on May 25, 1914. Currently, there are 403 chapters at colleges and universities across the Unites States. The purpose of Pi Mu Epsilon is the promotion and recognition of mathematical scholarship among students in post-secondary institutions. It aims to do this by electing members on an honorary basis according to their proficiency in mathematics and by engaging in activities designed to promote the mathematical and scholarly development of its members.
Awtrey was first elected to the Pi Mu Epsilon National Council in 2014. He currently serves on the Executive Council, as secretary-treasurer for the organization. In this role Awtrey manages the financial and organizational records of Pi Mu Epsilon. This includes the induction of approximately 4,000 new members each year, managing the $150,000 budget, managing the contract worker, overseeing inventory and merchandise sales, and filing all state and federal taxes for the national office, the individual chapters across the nation, and the contract worker. Throughout his time on the national council, Awtrey has designed and implemented systems for efficient data collection and reporting that help organize aspects of Pi Mu Epsilon. This includes the registration and abstract submission process for the annual meeting, travel reimbursement for students and faculty members who attend the annual meeting, evaluating and judging the student presentations at the annual meeting, and developing the database that manages all subscribers to the Pi Mu Epsilon Journal, a high-quality, peer-reviewed research journal that is reviewed on MathSciNet and archived on JSTOR.
Since 2013, Awtrey has also served as the local faculty advisor for Elon’s chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon; the chapter is North Carolina Nu. Elon’s chapter was installed in 2003, making us the 13th chapter in the state of North Carolina and the 307th chapter overall. Since Awtrey began serving as advisor, there have been 102 Elon students inducted into the NC NU chapter, not including those who will be inducted later this spring.
In addition, Awtrey works with the student officers each year to run a monthly Colloquium Speaker Series where the chapter brings in national leaders in business, industry, government, and academia to showcase the beauty and application of mathematics, statistics, data science, and computer science. For this speaker series, the chapter works hard to recruit a diverse set of speakers. Usually, at least one speaker each year is a member of Elon’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics; this normally happens at the fall annual pizza party, which has been occurring since fall 2013. Since 2013, the chapter has hosted 40 speakers, not including those from this academic year.
The chapter also administers the Pi Mu Epsilon Research Award, which recognizes outstanding dissemination of research by Elon undergraduates, as evidenced by national and regional conference presentations and publications in professionally-refereed research journals. The chapter initiated this award in spring 2014 to promote and increase the dissemination of research in professional venues that Elon students and faculty produce. The Research Award recipients and their mentors are honored each spring at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics Celebration Dinner. Since 2014, there have been a total of 17 recipients of the Research Award. Collectively, these Elon students have published 30 research papers and given 72 presentations on their research; this does not include the recipients for this year, which will be announced in May 2020.