RALPH A. RAIMI
January 1, 2006
I. Academic History
Born—July 25, 1924, Detroit, Michigan
Public Schools, 1929‑1941, Detroit, Michigan
B.S. (Physics), University of Michigan, 1947 (with distinction); also Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Beta Kappa
M.S. (Mathematics), University of Michigan, 1948
Fulbright Fellow, Paris, 1949‑1950
Ph.D. (Mathematics), University of Michigan, 1954
(Thesis: Equicontinuity of Linear Transformations, directed by Sumner Myers)
Teaching Fellow, University of Michigan, 1948‑1952
Instructor, University of Rochester, 1952‑1955
Assistant Professor, University of Rochester, 1956‑1959
Associate Professor, University of Rochester, 1959‑1966
Professor, University of Rochester, 1966‑1995
Professor Emeritus, University of Rochester, 1995‑
University of Michigan Postdoctoral Fellow (Lloyd Fellowship), at Yale University, 1955‑1956
Acting Chairman, Dept. of Mathematics, 1959‑1960
Acting Chairman, Dept. of Mathematics, 1966‑1967
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, College of Arts and Science, 1967‑1975
Chairman, Department of Sociology, 1983‑1986
Faculty Editor, Scan (publication of the Association of American Colleges), 1985‑1986
1955‑1956 Academic Year, spent at Yale University
1961‑1962 Academic Year, spent at Cambridge University (UK)
Fall term 1968, spent at University of California (Berkeley)
Fall term 1974, spent at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
1. Robert Atalla (1966), Invariant Means of Bounded Uniformly Continuous Functions. (Atalla became professor at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.)
2. Ching Chou (1967), Structure and Ergodic Properties of the Set of Invariant Means. (Chou became professor at State University of New York at Buffalo, NY.)
3. Joseph Peter Duran (1972), Invariant Means and Summability. (Duran was briefly a professor in Puerto Rico, but left the academic world about 1975.)
1995 ‑ Consultant in mathematics education at the K‑12 level. (See “Intellectual Interests” and “Professional Identities” below for details.)
1. Compact transformations and the k‑topology in Hilbert space, Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 6 (1955), 643‑646.
2. Mean values and Banach limits, Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 8 (1957), 1029‑1036.
3. On a theorem of E. Fфlner, Math. Scand. 6 (1958), 47‑49.
4. Equicontinuity of linear transformations, Michigan Math. J. 5 (1958), 203‑211.
5. On Banach’s generalized limits, Duke Math. J. 26 (1959), 17‑28.
6. Permutations with comparable sets of invariant means, Duke Math. J. 27 (1960), 467‑480 (with D. Dean).
7. Invariant means and invariant matrix methods of summability, Duke Math. J. 30 (1963), 81‑94.
8. Convergence, density, and τ‑density of bounded sequences, Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 14 (1963), 708‑712.
9. Minimal sets and ergodic measures in βN‑N, Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 70 (1964), 711‑712.
10. Limits, Encyclopedia Britannica editions of 1961 ff.
11. Cheating in college, Harper’s Magazine vol 232 (May 1966), 68‑74.
12. Homeomorphisms and invariant measures for βN‑N, Duke Math. J. 33 (1966), 1‑12.
13. Examinations and grades in college, AAUP Bulletin vol 53 (Autumn 1967), 309‑317.
14. Translation properties of finite partitions of the positive integers, Fund. Math. 61 (1968), 253‑256.
15. A proposal concerning conscience, Rochester Review vol 31 (Winter 1969), 23‑25.
16. On the distribution of first significant figures, Amer. Math. Monthly 76 (1969), 324‑348.
17. The peculiar distribution of first digits, Scientific American vol 221 (December 1969), 109‑120.
18. Vested interests, Commentary 58 (September 1974), 74‑77.
19. Opium of the people, Rochester Review (Spring 1975), 29‑32.
20. The first digit problem, Amer. Math. Monthly 83 (1976), 521‑538.
21. Noblesse oblige, Rochester Review (Summer 1977), 17.
22. The Detroit answer, Rochester Review (Fall 1977), 30‑31.
23. Factorization of summability‑preserving generalized limits, J. London Math. Soc. 22 (1980), 398‑402.
24. [Book] VESTED INTERESTS, published by the author (xiv + 209 pages) Rochester, New York, 1982. ISBN 0‑96093700‑5.
25. What is mathematics? (An answer in twenty minutes), Ciencia e Cultura (Brazil), vol 36 (1984), 1510‑1513.
26. Opium of the people (#19 above), reprinted in The Norton Reader, 6th ed. (W.W. Norton and Company, New York, 1984), 233‑240.
27. The first digit phenomenon again, Proc. Amer. Phil. Soc. 129 (1985), 211‑219.
28. “Horizons,” a department in Scan, bimonthly publication of Assoc. Amer. Colleges, Washington, D.C., vol 1 Nos. 1‑5, (1985‑1986).
29. A misdirected lesson: Student evaluations and learning how to learn, Academic Questions vol 2 (Summer 1989), 69‑75.
30. What is mathematics? (#25 above) reprinted in Thomas H. Miles, Critical Thinking and Writing for Science & Technology, (Harcourt 1989).
31. Innumeracy, by John Allen Paulos (a review), in Academic Questions vol 3 (Winter, 1989‑1990), 90‑94.
32. The Philomathic Debating Club, Michigan Jewish History vol 31 (December 1990), 10‑26.
33. Merit: A Debate, Academic Questions, vol 4, (Spring, 1991), 67‑79.
34. [book] THE PHILOMATHIC DEBATING CLUB, published by the author (xi + 153 pages) at Rochester, New York, 1991. ISBN 0‑9609370‑1‑3.
35. Ambition and Compassion, The Freeman vol 42 (January, 1992), 13‑15.
36. The Separation of Church and State, The Freeman vol 42 (June 1992), 214‑215.
37. E Pluribus Unum, The Freeman vol 45 (February, 1995), 77‑80.
38. On the Circumference of a Circle, SS&C Newsletter (Science Education Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242) vol 5 (March, 1995), p. 3 and 9
39. The Strange Story of Newton’s Calculus Textbook, Focus (newsletter of the MAA) vol 15 (June 1995), p10.
40. Whatever happened to The New Math?, Chronicles: A magazine of American Culture, vol 20, January, 1996, 40‑42.
41. State Mathematics Standards: An appraisal of Math Standards in 46 States, the District of Columbia, and Japan (with Lawrence S. Braden), The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, March, 1998, ix + 60 pp.
42. On Solving Equations, Negative Numbers, and Other Absurdities, Part I, Humanistic Mathematics Network Journal (ISSN 1065‑82) Issue #17 (May, 1998), p 35‑42.
43. Part II of Item 42, printed in Humanistic Mathematics Network Journal Issue #18 (November, 1998), p 28‑34.
44. Judging State Standards for K‑12 Mathematics Education, in Sandra Stotsky (Ed.), What’s At Stake in the K‑12 Standards Wars, New York, Peter Lang, 2000, (Chapter 2, pp 33‑58.)
45. The State of State Standards, 2000, (Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Michael J. Petrilli, editors), Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, January, 2000, is a sequel to # 41 above, and its mathematics sections are due to R.A. Raimi and Lawrence Braden.
Military Service: USAAF February, 1943 ‑ July, 1946, honorable discharge at rank of 1st Lieutenant. My specialty was the maintenance of airborne radio and radar equipment.
Marriage: To Sonya L. Drews, 22 June 1947. Sonya died March 7, 2002.
Children: Daughter Jessica born 18 February 1952, photographer and copy editor, now living in New York City; daughter Diana, attorney‑at‑law, born 12 October 1953, now living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Parents: Jacob and Sylvia Raimi, deceased.
Religion: Jewish, if any. However, I am not a regular attender of religious services, or a member of any congregation. My father belonged to a Conservative Jewish congregation in Southfield, Michigan. Some day I too may turn religious, but I doubt it (cf. items 15 and 19 of Publications).
Hobbies: I played the flute a little, I make good wine from Finger Lakes grapes, I write Letters to the Editor and newspaper columns (none of these are listed in my publications above, though some of the columns are rather serious essays on political, economic and social matters), I write all kinds of other things, mostly unpublished, though in recent years I have placed some of them on my web page (see below for URL). I make photographs (I have a darkroom, but do only 35 mm black and white work), and I read books sometimes.
Intellectual Interests: Economics, the philosophy and history of science and mathematics, political philosophy, music, drama (my wife was an actress), literature in general. I have taught courses in expository writing, but my non‑mathematical interests are at less than professional level in general. I have also, needless to say, been interested in Education (see, e.g., items 11, 13, 19, 25, 26, 28, 31, and 38‑43 of Publications above), and my retirement years have been mainly devoted to consulting work for projects in school mathematics education.
Sports: I am mostly indifferent to spectator sports, except that I maintain a sentimental regard for the University of Michigan football team, and have often traveled to Ann Arbor to see a game in company with my older brother (also a Michigan alumnus).
Siblings: Brother Abraham Raimi, 1919‑1999, was entrepreneur in Detroit, Michigan (Raimi’s Curtains, Inc.) and adjunct instructor in economics at Wayne State University and University of Michigan (Dearborn). Brother Shepherd Raimi born 1931, attorney in New York City.
Health: Excellent. No chronic diseases or conditions except hay fever, until my old age (i.e. recently), during which I suffer from arthritis, neuropathies and the occasional blah.
Professional Identities: I am listed in Who’s Who in America, American Men and Women of Science, and Who’s Who in the East (I may have been dropped from some of these, but haven’t looked recently); I am a member of the American Mathematical Society, Mathematical Association of America, and the American Wine Society; I have been a referee from time to time for McGraw Hill, Prentice‑Hall and the like, for various mathematical journals, and for The Journal of The History of Ideas, and Economics of Education Review. I have (in 1993) resigned my position as a reviewer for Math Reviews, for lack of competence, but I remained a referee for The Mathematics Teacher (NCTM publication) until they dismissed me for non-membership in NCTM. I was for a time a member of NCTM, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, but only to see what their journals looked like, especially the Journal of Research in Mathematics Education (JRME). But since my resignation (not in anger, just a resignation) I am not permitted to subscribe to any of their journals.
Current Activities (as of 2005) In recent years I have been a consultant on matters of curriculum standards for K‑12 mathematics for New York and California, as well as for the Learning First Alliance, ACHIEVE, ABCTE, ACT, the Abell Foundation (Maryland), the Empire Foundation (New York) and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation (D.C.); cf. Bibliographical Items 41, 44. I have participated in the establishment of the syllabus for the new Regents’ Math B examinations for New York State. I was a commissioned reviewer for the first draft of the NCTM Standards 2000 (called PSSM) and a member of the American Mathematical Society’s “ARG” committee advising NCTM on that document as well. For ACHIEVE I have made commissioned studies of the Mathematics Standards of Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania and some states I can’t remember any more, and for the Abell Foundation a study of the Maryland Standards and the MSPAP mathematics examination system. I participated in an aborted project of ACHIEVE called MAP, creating standards and exemplary problems for 8th grade mathematics, intending them as the background for statewide examinations at the 8th grade level for the fifteen or so States of the ACHIEVE consortium; that project has now mutated somewhat and intends to become a full yearly set of math exams K-8, for which a syllabus now exists, but not the exam. The project is in suspension. I currently am engaged in an ABCTE (American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence) project composing examinations for “alternative certification” of school mathematics teachers, but with my present disinclination to travel it is probable they won’t use my services any more. Finally, I am placing chapters or episodes of the New Math book I am presumably writing on my web page from time to time; this is now my major activity, though I enjoy editing writings of my colleagues in math education when they ask.
Ralph A. Raimi Tel. 585 275 4429 or (home) 585 244 9368
Dept. of Mathematics FAX (Math. Dept.) (585) 273 4655
University of Rochester <http://www.math.rochester.edu/people/faculty/rarm >
Rochester, NY 14627 (Webpage contains links to papers)