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BOARD NOMINATION THREAD

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BOARD NOMINATION THREAD

This thread will serve as [an] official spot for board member
nominations [you can also use the Google group at http://groups.google.com/group/planetmath/browse_thread/thread/34290cba8... ]

Those succesfully entered in as a nominee on this thread will be added
to the roster for the board election.

Nominees have one week from today to enter themselves in. You cannot
enter in someone else; you must self-nominate. Nominees must be a
member of the nonprofit org. It is not simply enough to be a long-
time PlanetMath contributor -- you MUST join the nonprofit org! You
can do this for free if you have at least 1000 points on PlanetMath.
See http://planetx.cc.vt.edu/pmbilling

Nominees will enter themselves in by posting a bio. The bio should
include:

1. Their "math credentials" (this is almost anything you think
qualifies you in the world of math -- including just interest.)
2. Their PlanetMath credentials
3. Why they want to be a board member and what they plan to do for
PlanetMath as a member of the board (and why they think they can
achieve it).

See the Google group linked above for other already-posted nominations.

apk


So, how many Board members are to be elected? Right now there are four directors in the board:

* Nathan Egge (co-founder)
* Logan Hanks (major project donor and volunteer)
* David Jao (major project donor, conceptual director, and licensing expert)
* Bonnie Rabichow (who is also the corporation's registered agent and treasurer)

Are all positions up for re-election? Will there always be four members on the board? Are Nathan and Logan out of the picture (as it has seemed for several years)? Is Bonnie still on board?

Thanks,

Alvaro

Out of all the initial board members, only I am re-submitting a nomination.

The only restriction on board membership according to the charter is that it must have at least three members. We decided in discussions on a policy of "the more the merrier", assuming board members willing to be active.

The scheme we have come up with would create board positions for at least three and then as many additional positions as receive sufficient votes. Details to be released soon.

apk

Great. Congratulations to all of you!

I was wondering if, as in real-life elections, the voting patterns are going to be made publicly available for transparency of the process: Participation percentages, votes per candidate, etc.

Congrats again,
Alvaro

I think that the answer depends on whether or not the software
used for voting keeps track of such statistics. Since he was
the one who ran the election and chose the program, Ratboy
would be the one who would know the answer to this question;
hopefully, when he gets a chance, he will post an answer and,
if available, the statistics. I too would be interested to
see them.

At the beginning of the election, there were 52 members of PlanetMath.org, Ltd. These were the eligible voters who received an announcement. The voters were allowed to vote for as many of the candidates as they cared to. Technical difficulties resulted in multiple announcements being sent, some of which did not make clear that the voter could vote for more than one candidate. Of the 52 eligible voters, 16 voted. They cast a total of 68 votes. The "Percent" column below is the percentage of those 68 votes that were received by each candidate. A candidate was declared a board member if at least half of the 16 voters cast a vote for him. All candidates became board members.

Candidates........Count........Percent......Rank

Aaron Krowne......16...........23...........1
Roger Lipsett.....14...........20...........2
Chi Woo...........14...........20...........2
Joe Corneli.......12...........17...........3
Raymond Puzio.....12...........17...........3

Thanks!

I have been a member of PlanetMath for four years, during which time I
have been actively involved with most aspects of the project. Below
follows an overview of the sort of things I have done both alone and
in collaboration with others in the community to further the project.

As a contributor, I have written and edited several hundered entries
on vsrious areas of mathematics, including writing the bulk of a a
fair number of article-length entries such the entries "Connection"
and "Riemann Surface". A major reason why I have devoted so much time
to this activity is that I see it PlanetMath as a step toward
fulfilling needs which I have noted during my career as a researcher
and educator. As a researcher (I have a Ph.D. in physics and was a
post-doctoral scholar at the Centre for Gravitational Physics and
Geometry) I saw the potential for the internet and new hypertextual
genres to make it easier to look up already known results and to
facilitate the process of collaboration. As an educator (I have been
on the physics faculty at the University of Mississippi and the
University of Memphis), I understand the need for making a smooth
exposition from elementary to advanced material and hence much of
what I have contributed has been in the form of exposition explaining
various points in mathematics at the introductory level much as I would
in the classroom in the hope that this would be of use to beginners.

In addition to contributing to individual entries, I have been
concerned with the state of the collection as a whole. No matter how
excellent the individual entries may be, if there are serious gaps in
the coverage, the different entries do not mesh well with each other,
or the material is disorganized, I worry that the quality of the
collection of a whole will be diminished, reflecting poorly on the
project and repel potential readers. Therefore, a few years back, I
collaborated with Matte Dahl to set up a system of index entries and
we tried to set up a project of the month. Around the same time, I
was involved with the Free Encyclopedia of Mathematics and, somewhat
later, participated as my time allowed in Matte's Real Number Project.
More recently, I worked with Chi Woo and Roger Lipssett to set up the
Content Committee, which will coordinate efforts to improve content in
various ways.

Another point which my experience has impressed upon me is the
importance of free math. When I was a student at Columbia and Yale, I
had pretty much all the mathematical literature ever written at my
fingertips because these were old, fabulously wealthy, institutions in
or near a major urban centre. However, a few years later, when I
became a professor in Memphis, the situation was quite different.
While, to be sure, they did have a respectable library, but they did
not even remotely have as complete a collection or as extensive a
pallete of journals to offer, so I made extensive use of preprint
servers and similar resources --- without them, I am not sure that I
would have been able to keep abreast of current developments. It is
also at that time that I first encountered PlanetMath whilst searching
for information on recursive functions and, appreciating the
importance of such a project in making mathematical knowledge,
including a good amount of which was rather advanced technically,
freely available, soon joined with the aim to do what I could to
support such an effort.

This appreciation of the importance of free math soon led me to an
interest in copyright issues and free culture advocacy. After
spending some time learning about copyright law, especially as it
relates to free content, I applied this newly-gained knowledge towards
helping PlanetMath. Together with Joe Corneli, I rewrote the New
Users' Guide so as to give better guidance in matters having to do
with infringement and reuse of material. Somewhat later, I registered
with the Copyright Office as Designated Agent for PlanetMath. In this
capacity, I have served two roles. Firstly, I have beent the official
contact person for copyright owners who feel that their works have
been infringed --- thankfully, I have not yet received a complaint,
presumably due to the community being aware of copyright issues and
exercising appropriate caution and restraint. Secondly, I have
monitored the collection, in particular new contributions, with an eye
for blatant infringements or signs that there may be something amiss
and taking appropriate action, such as deleting offending entries,
making questionable entries invisible pending investigation, and
warning users. In addition to these activities specific to our
project, I have also been involved in the larger world of free culture
advocacy in ways such as writing about how copyright issues are
affecting the practice of mathematics, especially free online
mathematics, and making connections with the broader world of free
content by attending events such as conferences and rallies and
meeting individuals who are active in that movement. At such
occasions, I have brought PlanetMath to the attention of others
passionate about free content, learned about the issues facing similar
projects and how others have dealt with issues which we also face and,
hopefully,laid the seeds for future cooperation. While on this topic
of copyright, I should mention that I have worked on systematically
identifying math books whose copyrights were not renewed in the hope
of being able to enrich our collection with their contents.

While I have not directly worked with the Noosphere codebase, I have
been involved in the coding aspects of the organization in several
ways. I have collaborated with Joe Corneli on the Scholium System and
the Hyperreal Dictionary of Mathematics and outlined how the former
might be of use in writing the next version of Noosphere. I am a
member of the Bounty Committee; in that capacity, I have described
coding tasks and helped hire people to carry them out. Also. I have
worked with Aaron and Joe in various aspects of running the Summer of
Code.

Since PlanetMath is not merely a collection of mathematical works, but
a mathematical community, social relations are important. We may
divide the cultivation of these into the two broad classes of inreach
and outreach, which is to say stregthening the bonds which hold
together the community and building relations with the world at large.

In addition to the outreach to the free content/free culture
community, mentioned above, I have worked with Aaron and Joe in
reaching out to the mathematical community at large so as to attract a
wider audience and to establish PlanetMath as a reputable subcommunity
with connections to other mathematical organizations. Much of our
effort has been focused on the MAA and, while it has been a rough road
--- at one point we were called a threat in response to our suggestion
that we form a partnership! --- there has been progress; most notably,
we are now listed in their Mathematical Gateway. This outreach has
involved a variety of activities, such as attending conferences and
meetings and exchanging correspondence with representatives of the
organizatons in question. In addition to MAA, I have been involved
in outreach to Lisp NYC and First Monday.

As far as inreach is concerned, I consider my most important
accomplishment to be coordinating the semi-regular community
discussions. These discussions have served to increase the circle of
people who are actively involved in the organizational aspects of
PlanetMath and have led to several initiatives, notably, the
community guidelines, the Content Committee, and the present board
election.

Finally, I have also been involved in the administrative aspects of
the PlanetMath organization. Soon after PlanetMath became a chartered
corporation, I helped obtain tax-exempt status by compiling a dossier
of other other non-profit organizations which linked to for-profit
sites. Later on, I collaborated with Joe and Aaron in formulating
strategies for sustainable growth of the organization, planning for
the future, structuring the organization, identifying sources of
funding, etc,. writing these up in various documents, then attempting
to carry them out as best we could under the circumstances at thaat
time. As part of this process, I did a fair amount of study on such
topics as non-profit management, corporate structure, and fundraising
so as to better be able to contribute to such organizational efforts.
I also collaborated with Aaron and Joe in applying for grants. Later
on, I was heavily involved in the process of working with Words on
Fire. Following that, I did an analysis of server logs to determine
use patterns, in particular, to determine which companies had
employees using our site on a regular basis with the thought of
approaching them for sponsorship. I also began drafting promotional
literature along the lines suggested by Marnita.

I believe that the most important function I could serve on the Board
of Directors is that of coordinating various efforts --- as described
above, I have firsthand experience with the various aspects of
PlanetMath and have developed an understanding of how they interact.
I will now conclude by listing the main things which I would like to
see the organization do in the near future:

* Resolve the longstanding disagreements in our community which have
paralyzed our efforts. Already, we have made progress with the
issue of mass ingestion of content, as expressed in the draft
guidelines for copying and, hopefully, with continued dialogue, we
can come to a common understanding on other divisive issues.

* Make a priority of fundraising and use the money from the recent
membership campaign as seed money to raise more. To me, seeking
corporate sponsorships as suggested by Marnita sounds like the most
promising option and I sincerely hope that the new board will
finally allow us to move forward with this and other types of
fundraising. This way, we could finally have the type of budget
necessary to hire a system administrator, offer larger code
bounties, and do other things which we have dreamt of for the last
few years..

* Review our past efforts and then formulate key organizational
documents describing strategic goals, administrative map,
organizational vision, plans for the next year and beyond, etc. then
break these down into manageable steps in a reasonable timetable.

* Finalize various legal documents which we have been drafting such as
licenses, bylaws, user agreements.

* Implement a centralized bibliographic database, peer review system
(as described by Chi and myself), and separate sections for research
and the like so as to enhance the reputability of the collection in
the eyes of mainstream mathematicians.

* Systematically list improvements we would like to the software
platform, decide what would be best done in a new version and what
should be done by patching the existing platform in the meanwhile,
then draft a plan much like the one in the Cyberinfrastructure grant
application, and begin working on this by a combination of effort
of members of the Tech Group and help hired via code bounties.

* Continue our outreach to mathematical organizations and try to
interest senior, well known mathematicians to serve in such
capacities as members as FEM editors or members of an advisory
board.

* Identify new types of content such as REU reports, public domain
books, animated graphics, etc. and at least begin planning how we
could host it.

* Carry out research into the actual and potential userbase of the
website and determine what sorts of content and features different
constituencies would want to see so as to properly take them into
account in our planning. In particular, returning to a point made
at the beginning of this document, one constituency I would like to
see better served are researchers like myself by accommodating
current topics of researcher, linking to preprints and open access
journals, and providing an appropriate venue for presenting new
ideas, collaborating, and writing up results.

Yours Truly,
Raymond S. Puzio

Tomorrow is the deadline for announcing candidates
for Board of Directors. If you are interested in being
a member, this is your last chance.

This is a cross-post from the Google group (http://groups.google.com/group/planetmath/) of Joe Corneli's self-nomination :

----

1.

BA with area of concentration in Mathematics, New College of Florida, 2002

Co-author of 4 published peer-reviewed research papers in mathematics.

Participant in 2 NSF REUs in mathematics.

Frequent attendee and presenter at conferences on math and "math on computers".

See http://planetx.cc.vt.edu/~jcorneli/papers/ias-proposal/cv.pdf for details.

2.

Involved with PlanetMath since 2002.

Achieved top score (for one week) under the handle apmxi (so far, the
third highest score in the history of PlanetMath). This was doomed to
be a "learning experience" more than anything else, see:

http://planetx.cc.vt.edu/AsteroidMeta/one_week_in_october

Gave talks about PlanetMath at several national math conferences.

Set up first version of AsteroidMeta wiki.

Active contributor to planetmath and noosphere google groups, the
wiki, and other PlanetMath-related discussions.

Originator of "Hyperreal Dictionary of Mathematics" and "Arxana".

http://planetx.cc.vt.edu/AsteroidMeta/HDM
http://planetx.cc.vt.edu/~jcorneli/arxana/

Mentor for two -- rather unsuccessful :( -- Google Summer of Code
projects; signed up to mentor a (hopefully successful) project this
year.

Involved in discussions with Words on Fire consultant and other
fundraising efforts (i.e. grantwriting).

I have, I think, a "good working relationship" with many people
involved with the site.

3.

My goal is for PlanetMath to become the place on the web to go to
learn mathematics. There is a lot of ground to cover in software,
content, and public image.

Mainly I'd like to be on the board of directors of PlanetMath because
it would give me a good way to keep that body accountable for being
"active" in PlanetMath affairs.

I think that being a "member of the board of PlanetMath" would enable
me to be more effective in networking efforts on behalf of PlanetMath
(as related to funding, technology, mutual aid, etc.).

apk

Cross-posted from the Google group (http://groups.google.com/group/planetmath/) for your convenience:

----

Nomination for Roger Lipsett

I would like to join the board of PlanetMath. I have been an active member
of PlanetMath since 2005 and have contributed in terms of content (I am in
the top 25 contributors in terms of total points), forums, and as part of
the efforts to get the content committee moving. As part of this work, I
have had relatively broad interaction with members of PlanetMath.

I have a BS/MS in math from Brandeis and a Ph.D. in algebraic topology from
MIT, both in the early '70s. The bulk of my career, though, has been in
software, as an engineer and manager. I have participated in design and
implementation work ranging from compilers and language design to the design
of complex Web-based employee scheduling systems for retail. I have managed
up to 150 people, so I understand how to get (and keep) an organization
moving, and also understand that real progress happens in a cooperative,
collaborative environment. I am no longer active in software and have
devoted most of the past six months to re-educating myself in mathematics,
mostly in the field of number theory.

As I am semi-retired (at least, not employed at present!), I would have a
substantial amount of time available to devote to work with PlanetMath. I
plan to continue to work with the content committee to codify standards for
PlanetMath entries and to classify existing work. More broadly, though, I
believe that PlanetMath is a unique resource on the Web that provides
mathematical content beyond what more well-known sites such as Wikipedia can
or wish to provide. With a relatively small amount of technical work, and
some outreach, I believe we can increase our visibility and membership
substantially. I would like to participate in making this happen.

Specifically, I believe that we need to move PlanetMath forward on three
distinct fronts:
1. Content. There is an incredible variety of outstanding content on
PlanetMath. It is sometimes hard to find (yes, we need a new search engine,
but that's part of the technology front), and often uneven. Better standards
for entries, perhaps (with approval of the user base) some form of content
review, and better indexing and overview topics would improve the ease of
retrieving content.
2. Technology. The UI is old and somewhat outdated. In addition, there are a
number of longstanding bugs and proposed improvements in the underlying
software that really need to be tended to. There are long-term projects
underway to rewrite the entire system, but in the mean time, improving what
we have will make the site more inviting to our users.
3. Outreach. Once we have addressed the more important of the issues in the
above two categories, discussions with organizations such as the AMS would
be appropriate to, for example, cross-link our sites. Articles in AMS
publications about PlanetMath would improve traffic and help build the site.
Efforts to get NSF or other grant dollars to add content or technology to
the site should continue.

I will continue to be active in PlanetMath in any event. I find the
atmosphere on the site to be welcoming, and the content deep and useful. I
would like to be part of the work to improve it further.

apk

This is a cross post of Chi's self-nomination for your convenience (from the Google group, http://groups.google.com/group/planetmath/)

----

Nomination for Chi Woo to be a member of the board of PlanetMath

I would like to join the PlanetMath board for one main reason: to make
PlanetMath as "the" place to be for math on the web for the public at
large. This is quite a lofty goal! To realize this goal, much work
is needed, and I believe I can help.

I joined PlanetMath in 2003, and I have been actively involved in
PlanetMath affairs ever since. I am currently the top contributor on
PlanetMath (using the current PM point system). In addition, I have
participated in many public discussions in the PlanetMath forums on
topics ranging from mathematics to PlanetMath administration.
Sometimes I may be outspoken about certain issues, however, my
intention has always been for the overall welfare of PlanetMath and
its users. Lastly, and most importantly, for last two years, I have
been engaging in PlanetMath administrative activities through periodic
telephone discussions with other PlanetMath members. One of the
greatest achievements, I am proud to say, with the help of Ray Puzio,
Roger Lipsett, and Aaron Krowne, and several other dedicated
individuals, is the creation of the PlanetMath Content Committee. I
say that this is a great accomplishment not because of the actual
creation of the committee (which, by the way, is absolutely
essential), but because of the amount of effort it took to accomplish
it.

I graduated with high honors from Berkeley with a BA in math, and took
some graduate courses there in ring theory and category theory. For
personal reasons, I left the academia. However, my interest in math
has not waned. In fact, doing math is one of my major hobbies, and it
is no wonder that when I found this website, I was immediately
hooked. Doing math on PlanetMath not only helps me in re-educate
myself on what I have learned in the past (which, sadly, I had
forgotten much) on the one hand, but it enables me to discover math
topics that I had never heard of, or re-discover topics that I have
had little interest in before. Lately, my interest is centered
mostly on general algebra and its applications in the foundations of
mathematics (logic, set theory). One day, I hope to go back and
complete my graduate work, and I think PlanetMath can help me
accomplish it!

After leaving the academia, I worked in the insurance industry as an
actuary for 15 years, taking on a variety of projects for a variety of
organizations, some of which consisted of coordinating and managing a
team of about a dozen people in conducting a sample survey.
Currently, I am a senior data consultant for one of the largest health
care companies in the country. It is from my work experience that I
learned that the success of an organization depends heavily its people
and how it is managed. The same is true with PlanetMath.

Despite PlanetMath's unique product offering and the potential to be a
great website (which, in some sense it is already a wonderful
website!), the continual success, and even its future survival depends
on careful planning and management. Below are some of the first steps
in keeping PlanetMath on that right track to success:
1. The first order of business, in my opinion, is to manage its ever
increasing volume of content, due to membership growth. As I
mentioned earlier, the Content Committee was created to do just that.
Some of the first tasks that the Content Committee will be doing
include: maintaining the request list, routine and random checks of
PlanetMath encyclopedia articles to ensure accuracy and quality,
creating content cohesion by adding topic entries that will serve as
parent links that unify many related entries, developing a new
PlanetMath point system, and redesigning the PlanetMath orphanage
mechanism to curtail abusive behavior.
2. A technology group should be developed to deal with various
aspects of technical issues. For example, the tech group will work in
concert with the content committee to enhance the PlanetMath user
experience, such as improving the point system to more accurately
reflect content contribution, creating additional classifications of
content features, etc.. However, one of the first tasks the tech
group needs to do is to document the existing code that is operating
behind PlanetMath. Currently, only Aaron has that knowledge.
3. A user administration group should be formed to deal with issues
such as membership, enrollment, and at the same time, to enforce the
PlanetMath community guideline. PlanetMath is, till now, essentially
a self-governing body. However, as more users sign on to use the
website, regulations on use of the website must be developed, almost
as a necessary evil. In order to live up to its motto "math for the
people, by the people", rules and guideline should to be developed to
encourage positive conduct, and to foster a positive, non-threatening,
non-abusive culture, which, at the same time, needs to be protected by
proper and adequate enforcement.

Of course, this is only the beginning. I did not mention some of the
tasks, such as fund raising and community outreach, not because they
are not important, but simply because other candidates have clearly
outlined them. The amount of work is great, but I am excited and
looking forward to do it and make PlanetMath a great place for math
enthusiasts like me.

apk

Last and perhaps indeed truly least, here is my own self-nomination, mirrored from the Google group (http://groups.google.com/group/planetmath/):

----

Nomination for Aaron Krowne

I would like to continue being a member of the board and helping to
maintain and build capacity at PlanetMath.

I am one of the co-founders of PlanetMath and have been the key
principal of the project all along. I still take care of the main
administrative and technical tasks, and have been for seven years now.

I do not have as much time as I once did to do implementation work for
PlanetMath, but that is ok, because it will only be successful as an
organization and community if others step in to "run things". At this
time I believe my most valuable role is in guiding others to do that
and making the organizational and business connections to bring
PlanetMath into its own. I feel that I was hamstrung in doing this
over the past few years because of a largely absentee caretaker
board. With an active board, together, we can really get things
done.

I have a BS in Mathematics and a MS in computer science from Virginia
Tech. I did my thesis on PlanetMath and the Noosphere software which
it runs, entitled "An Architecture for Collaborative Math And Science
Digital Libraries". I served my Master's tenure at the Virginia Tech
Digital Library Research Lab, studying under Edward A. Fox. Post- my
graduate work, I went to the Emory Unversity Woodruff Library to serve
as Head of Digital Library Research, where I worked on a number of
other digital library projects.

I have written numerous articles about digital libraries and related
technologies and issues.

I believe PlanetMath has a special role to play in further a merit-
based, extremely decentralized, and extremely math-centric type of
digital library & community. This means no compulsory "neutral point
of view", it means striving for high academic reputation (even outside
university) rather than anonymity, it means hard core technical
writing at times, and yes, it means proofs out the wazoo!

There is no other math reference site which has this character, and I
think we need to defend it and spread these ideals out into the world.

apk

Just to advise here, in case people who care have not seen it already: a new board has been elected, consisting of all five nominees:

- myself
- Joe Corneli
- Raymond Puzio
- Roger Lipsett
- Chi Woo

apk

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