[MATHLINK] MCLS: A Letter from the Chairs

Purpura, David J purpura at purdue.edu
Mon Jan 24 16:12:58 CST 2022

Dear MCLS Community,

We write to you with great excitement for the coming year. Though this excitement is tempered by the ongoing pandemic, the recent surge in COVID cases, and the burdens that have been placed on our community as a whole (and especially the differential impact on many of our individual members) over the last two years, we still have many reasons to be optimistic.

We are optimistic for the planned return of the in-person conference to be held in Antwerp, Belgium (please note the slight change in location from the previously announced location in Ghent due to new ventilation requirements for groups of our size) from June 1-3. As you know, the call for proposals for the conference was recently released (see information here<https://www.conftool.pro/mcls2022/>) and more information will be shared soon by the conference committee. We look forward to seeing you in Antwerp and reconnecting with old colleagues and friends, seeing many folks for the first time, and hearing the rings of “I know you from Twitter!” or “I loved your presentation at the virtual conference!”

We have great optimism because our society is stronger and more connected now than ever—largely due to the work and engagement of the whole of the society, but with specific emphasis on a few whose dedication went above and beyond. First, we must recognize the efforts of Jo-Anne LeFevre whose tireless work as Secretary of MCLS since its inception has provided us with a strong foundation. Second, the work of the trainee board in managing and organizing the virtual conferences—with a specific thanks to Andy Ribner, Bella Starling Alves, Ilse Coolen, and Julia Bahnmueller—has brought great life to the society and been central to our growth and connections during the pandemic. Third, we’re grateful for the work of Daniel Ansari who served as chair of the governing board in 2020 and past chair in 2021 who led the society in making difficult, but critically necessary, changes as a result of the pandemic. Finally, we want to thank each and every one of you has stayed active in the society through presenting at a weekly virtual conference session, attending any of the sessions, or watching them online. We know these past two years have been challenging, but you have kept MCLS as part of your professional life.

We are optimistic for what the future holds for our society. In speaking with colleagues, and from our own experiences, there are few societies of our size that have such a rich and vibrant community of early career scholars. Seeing the virtual talks and engaging with these brilliant scholars has allowed us to see the bright path ahead of our society. This speaks well for our society and for the whole of the field of mathematical cognition and learning. There are also few societies that include such a breadth of worldwide membership—this is something the society has been intentional about fostering and our field is better for it. As a society, we must embrace these opportunities and support one another in seeing their fruition.

We have great optimism for where MCLS can go and what it, and its members, can do for the field and for our communities more broadly. In the coming year, we plan to renew our vision for who we are as a society and where we intend to be in the coming years. With excitement, we will be establishing a strategic plan for the society to chart our course for the next five to ten years. We will gather a representative group of members from the society to lead this work, but this will need to be a community effort and we will ensure multiple paths for input and feedback from all of you.

This year has also brought changes to both the governing board and the trainee board. We are thankful for the work of Wim Fias, Xinlin Zhou, Martin Fischer, and Flavia Santos whose terms on the governing board have expired, as well as Marie-Pascale Noël whose term has expired but who will remain on the board through June as the conference representative. The 2022 governing board includes: Martha Alibali (past-chair), David Purpura (chair), Xiao (Shawn) Zhang (chair-elect), Ilaria Berteletti (secretary), Melissa Libertus (communications), Colleen Ganley (treasurer), Andre Knops (editor of JNC), Nancy Jordan, Daniel Ansari, Geetha Ramani, Bert Reynvoet, Erin Maloney, María Inés (Mané) Susperreguy, Ilsye Resnick, and Rebecca Bull. We are fortunate to have an amazing and active group of early career scholars leading the trainee board. We are thankful for the work of trainee board members whose terms expired last year including Julia Bahnmueller, Rebecca Merkley, Dana Miller-Cotto, and Venera Gashaj. The 2021-2022 trainee board includes: Andy Ribner and Alexa Ellis (co-presidents), Bella Starling-Alves (secretary), Ilse Coolen (research chair), Brianna Devlin (policy and practice), and Raychel Gordon (communications). We look forward to the collaborations across the governing board and the training board over the coming year!

As individuals and as a society, we have a lot to be optimistic about in the coming year and beyond. We look forward to advancing down this bright path with you. Please know that we are always open to your thoughts and ideas for the society and can be contacted at our emails below.


David J. Purpura

MCLS Chair

purpura at purdue.edu

Xiao (Shawn) Zhang

MCLS Chair-Elect

xzhang1 at hku.hk

Martha W. Alibali

MCLS Past-Chair

martha.alibali at wisc.edu

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