Fermilab hosts National Mathematics Advisory Panel
Fermilab Director Pier Oddone gives members of the President's National Math Panel a tour of the 15th floor in Wilson Hall.
Fermilab visitors have a variety of reasons to visit, but inspiration doesn't usually top the list. It was, however, one of the reasons behind the visit of President George W. Bush's National Mathematics Advisory Panel last Thursday.
The Panel is made up of 20 expert panelists and five ex-officio members whose goal is to determine ways to improve mathematics education. While Fermilab isn't exactly known as a mathematics hub, its connection to the physical sciences and its' strong academic reputation were reasons that Panel Chair Dr. Larry Faulkner chose Fermilab as a meeting site.
"These meetings occur across the country, they are usually geographically consistent, but we also try to use sites that have symbolic power and high academic standards," said Faulkner, who is also a former URA board member.
The panel, which was created in April of 2006, is scheduled to report its recommendations to President George W. Bush and U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings by February of 2008. The group largely focuses on ways to improve algebra skills, which have been found to correlate with college attendance rates and college graduation rates.
"I think they've already been inspired," Faulkner said about his fellow panelists, halfway through the meeting at Fermilab.
On Thursday evening Fermilab director Pier Oddone gave the panel a tour of the 15th floor, and former director Leon Lederman gave a dinner presentation at Chez Leon. The panelists met at Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora (IMSA) on Friday.