Welcome to the opening day of MathFest 2021—the virtual edition. Today was filled with lots of “firsts,” for me and the MAA. All of it was positive. Never before today:
- had I hosted the annual meeting of the MAA as its President.
- had MAA arranged a national virtual meeting (on the HopIn platform.)
- Had I seen simultaneous tweets about two different events I was involved with.
- had MAA hosted the Math Olympiad Award Ceremony at MathFest (or virtually for that matter).
- had I facilitated a Q&A session for the President of the United State’s Science Advisor (and 1974 International Math Olympian) Eric Lander.
It was pretty extraordinary. The MAA staff really pulled out all the stops and made each event a wonderful experience. Extra special kudos to Alison Wolock Wides and Max O’Hern, together with Associate Secretary Hortensia Soto. You made it happen.
True to form, I experimented with technology in an attempt to make things interactive and more fun. I asked for volunteers from the crowd to join me on the virtual stage and to show appreciation for award winners by clapping, jazz hands, fist pumps, and hand hearts while we announced the winners in a video premiere. It worked! There was a lot of joy and excitement on that stage.
Day 2 promises to be equally as exciting. I hope you will join me there.
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