Lynn Arthur Steen, 41st MAA President
Lynn Arthur Steen
Lynn Arthur Steen, 1985-1986 MAA President
Lynn Arthur Steen, a former mathematics professor at St. Olaf College, is known for his leadership and service in the mathematics community, contributions to mathematics education, and expository writing.
As president of the MAA, Steen wrote a column titled "from the President's desk . . ." in several issues of the MAA's news magazine, MAA FOCUS.
These columns capture his
vision for the MAA's future and his
involvement with issues of mathematics education and mathematics policy.
emphasized MAA efforts to promote the visibility of mathematics outside the mathematics community, often involving the National Science Foundation
(NSF) and the U.S. Congress
The first National Mathematics Awareness Week was held April 14-20, 1986, due in large part to the MAA's efforts in promoting public understanding of mathematics.
Near the end of Steen's term, the NSF's
Division of Mathematical Sciences established the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, which has since grown to include more than five dozen mathematics REU sites throughout the country.
Education and Career
Steen earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics, with a minor in philosophy, at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in 1961.
He went on to complete his Ph.D. in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965 and subsequently joined the faculty of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
30-year tenure as a full professor began in 1975, Steen
was already noted for his
won the Lester R. Ford Award for outstanding expository papers twice, for "Highlights in the History of Spectral Theory" (1973) and "Conjectures and Counterexamples in Metrization Theory" (1972).
served as editor of the MAA's Mathematics Magazine with Seebach from 1976 to 1980 and has held numerous other editorial positions and leadership positions.
earned the MAA's prestigious Gung and Hu Distinguished Service to Mathematics Award in 1992.
In recent years, Steen's professional interests have centered on quantitative literacy and both secondary and postsecondary mathematics education.
has published extensively on these topics.
MAA Officers Records, Lynn Arthur Steen, President at the Archives of American Mathematics