The History of Mu Alpha Theta

Mu Alpha Theta

The 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 Award was 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.

In 2015, the Regional Sponsor Awards were established to celebrate our wonderful sponsors, who devote their time to making Mu Alpha Theta a success at their school. Most recently, in the summer of 2015, the Governing Council added the Governor's Award for Leadership and Service, an additional student award.

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 and awarded scholarships worth over $200,000 last spring.