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2011 JMM, Jan 6 - 9, 2011, New Orleans Marriott, Sheraton New Orleans, Largest Annual Mathematics Meeting in the World

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Guide for New Participants - How to Get the Most Out of the Meeting


These meetings are sponsored by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and encompass the meetings of these organizations as well as several others. We don't want you to be overwhelmed by your first meeting experience, so we list some tips here on how to get the most out of your time at the meeting and at future meetings. A special welcome is extended to students. After all, you are the future and hopefully you will contribute to the success of the Joint Meetings throughout your career.

Advance Registration

It is best to register in advance and take advantage of the lowest registration rates (30% higher on site) and the best pick of hotel rooms at specially negotiated low prices. Those who register early enough also qualify for the room lottery; the lucky winners get a free stay at selected hotels. Most participants elect to receive their badge and program by mail in advance so they can plan their time. All pertinent information on advance registration appears in the registration section and in the October issues of the Notices and FOCUS. The Mathematics Meetings Service Bureau (MMSB) is the service arm of the meetings. Your registration and room reservation are handled there. Don't hesitate to call (1-800-321-4267, ext. 4143 or 4144) when you have any questions or special needs. Remember to be thorough, accurate, and legible when filling out your form, and avoid delays by double-checking your credit card number or be certain your check is enclosed. Make sure your room guarantee is included.

Past meetings have featured a variety of banquets or social events. Ticket prices, where applicable, can be found in the program. It is recommended that you purchase tickets through advance registration since many events sell out.

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At the Meeting

Directory of Registrants

Look for the Directory of Registrants located in or near the registration area to see who's attending the meetings. There also will be a message board in the same vicinity so you may leave personal messages for other participants.

Registration Desk

If you received your badge, program, and social events tickets in the mail, you may not need to come by the Registration Desk at all except to say hello. Among the services offered at the Registration Desk are:

  • Registration for the Joint Meetings and MAA Minicourses (where space is available),
  • Registration assistance, hotel problem assistance, or replacement of lost badges, programs, or timetables,
  • Banquet ticket sales (if available),
  • Audio-visual assistance, and
  • Distribution of Session packets for those chairing a session

You can also pick up your complimentary copy of JointMeetingNews, the daily newsletter containing up-to-the-minute program changes and other important information, and the abstracts booklet for all talks.

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Taming the Program

Once you have your program in hand (either by mail through advance registration or by registering on site) put your name on the cover! We have to charge US$5 to cover the cost of replacing a lost program; however, if yours is turned in to the Lost and Found at the cashier station, you may be able to retrieve it if you've written your name on it. Replacement copies of the timetable are available at no charge.

Now check out the scientific program. Go through the prose section and mark some sessions and talks of general interest that you might attend. Now repeat this process with the "Program of the Sessions". Once at the meeting you can turn to either the prose section or the Program of the Sessions for more details. If you want to know when, or whether, a particular person will be giving an invited lecture or presenting a talk, look at the List Presenters of Papers section just before the Program of the Sessions section. If you also want to see the abstracts for talks, pick up a complimentary copy of the abstracts booklet at the Transparencies section of the Registration Desk. See the page in your program book just before the "List of Presenters" for instructions on how to navigate between the abstracts and program book.Transfer your notes to the separate timetable; then you can use the timetable as your global guide that tells you where to be when. The timetable also contains convenient floorplans for the session rooms in the hotel or convention center.

Check out the local information pages at the very back. They contain:

  • Services available in or near the registration area,
  • Information on restaurants, other services, and places of interest in the city, and
  • An alphabetical listing of exhibitors and a floor plan showing their locations

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Employment Center

The Employment Center provides a convenient meeting place for candidates (most often holding a Ph.D.) seeking employment in mathematics and those who are seeking to fill positions. Many of the jobs being interviewed for are academic positions which begin the following August, although there are a few representatives from industry and government. Employers use the service in two distinct ways; either by using the computer-scheduling system to set brief appointments over a two-day period, or by reserving a table for themselves and making their own schedule. Appointments for these self-scheduled "Interview Center" tables are made either in advance, or on site using the Employment Message Center. Those who may want to participate in Employment Center interviews are advised to register as early as possible, either in advance or on Wednesday on site. A detailed description of this service can be found here or in the October issues of FOCUS and Notices.

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Giving a Talk

Are you interested in giving a 10-minute talk at an AMS contributed paper session? The AMS requires that you submit an abstract of your talk on the appropriate form well in advance of the meeting. If accepted, your paper will be scheduled with others on the same or a similar topic. Also review the list of Special Sessions for the meeting. If you feel your paper would be appropriate for one of them, please submit it by the early deadline. See the January Notices for general information.

The MAA accepts contributed papers on specific topics which are announced in FOCUS and the Notices several months before the meeting. MAA also offers a general contributed paper session. Follow the instructions and submit your paper on the appropriate form. The deadline for submitting a paper is usually early September. See also the Deadlines page.

The session organizers may schedule these presentations for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, but they are often 10 or 15 minutes long because of the large numbers of papers accepted. After review by the Associate Secretary, and the session organizer when appropriate, your paper will be scheduled. Abstract submission deadlines are rigorously enforced! All speakers will receive a notice by mail giving the date and time the talk is scheduled approximately eight weeks before the meeting.

The standard audio-visual equipment available to you at meetings is one overhead projector and screen. Blackboards are not available. Should you have some other A-V request, please contact the Audio-Visual Coordinator (for AMS sessions) or the MAA Associate Secretary (for MAA sessions) in writing several weeks before the meeting begins. All such requests are subject to budgetary constraints and may not be granted.

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Don't miss the Exhibits!. There are many booths featuring commercial exhibits of books and journals, computer hardware and software, and various other products of interest, often available at special discounts for meeting participants.

The AMS Book Sale offers the newest AMS books. AMS staff members are available to answer questions about journals, membership, and AMS electronic products.The AMS Membership booth offers free coffee plus free brochures, calendars and information about a wide range of AMS programs. Stop by and pick up some materials to bring home.

The MAA Book Sale features new books for purchase, including mathematical biography, history, hard-core mathematics, visualization in mathematics, materials for the classroom, problems (solved and unsolved), projects for students, and gift items.You can also renew your MAA # membership, get your MAA membership pin, or receive information on joining # the MAA. MAA staff will also be giving away other math-related goodies.

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There are many opportunities to network at the meeting: at the Exhibits, First-Timers Reception, Joint Prize Session Reception, the many university/exhibitor receptions and activities listed in Social Events, and Special Interest Groups of the MAA (SIGMAAs). Days and times of all events are listed in the program prose and timetable. All students and others interested in student activities are encouraged to visit the Student Hospitality and Information Center at the meeting for relaxation and camaraderie. And you never know when some famous mathematician will drop by for a chat!

General Information

Comments on any aspect of the meetings are always welcome and may be entered in the log located at the Transparencies section of the Registration Desk, or forwarded to the Director of Meetings, AMS, P. O. Box 6887, Providence, RI 02940 or e-mailed to

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