(by Sally Thomas, Orange Coast College, written in 1996)

Before beginning our group's history, I must acquaint you with several other organizations, several of which fall in the category-hasn't that name already been used?

Acronym Organization
AMATYC American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, national organization of which we are an affiliate
CALMATYC Former Southern California AMATYC affiliate
CMC-South California Mathematics Council - South, the Southern California section of CMC, the state's K-14 math organization
CMC3 California Mathematics Council-Community Colleges, our sister organization based in Northern California
CMC3-South The Southern California community college organization, that's us.

In the fall of 1985, 57 Southern California community college instructors (familiarly referred to as the Heinz 57) met under the auspices of Herb Garrett (our Western Regional Representative of AMATYC) at Long Beach City College to reorganize a Southern California affiliate of AMATYC. Amber Steinmetz, AMATYC President, and President of CMC3 joined us to offer their encouragement. Several members of the former CALMATYC were also present. We quickly agreed there was a need for an active local affiliate. There was quite a discussion about the new organization's name before we adopted a name that would connect us with northern group and yet show our locale: thus, CMC3-South.

We commissioned a site committee, headed by Joan Cordova, Orange Coast College, to look for a location for the conference with "ambiance"- preferably those in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties. Both CMC3 and CMC-South loaned us seed money of $1,000 each to get us started. Within two years, we had repaid CMC3 and CMC-South's loan had been converted to a starting grant.

A steering committee of 18 members, chaired by Jean Vincenzi, Saddleback College, was appointed to organize a conference for the following spring and nominate a slate of officers. It was really exciting (as well as scary) planning our new group's first conference for April, 1986, at The Newporter. We discussed what topics would attract local CC instructors to attend and networked to find out what our colleagues were working on and could present at this conference. We chose three strands: discrete mathematics, computers in the classroom, and pre-college math in college and invited the renowned Professor Paul Halmos to help in launching our first conference. Then we published our first conference brochure, established calling trees to get names of community college instructors, talked to publishers' representatives who visited us in our offices, and crossed our fingers that people would attend and publishers would exhibit their texts. How gratifying that 200 instructors attended that first conference and many publishers set up their tables outdoors under eaves outside the meeting rooms! For that first conference, overhead projectors and computers were driven to and from the Newporter in college trucks.

As we have grown in the last ten years, board jobs have become more routine while still requiring a lot of effort. Guidelines exist for those organizing exhibitors, presiders, the conference site and meals, and the conference brochures and programs. The President Elect has the big job of inviting speakers. Officers now occupy a position for two years to give them time to use the skills they learn the first year. Members-at-large have been added to the Board to represent local regions. A newsletter is published regularly.

CMC3-South has a fall mini-conference that alternates between San Diego and Los Angeles Counties and an invitational conference in May to address important issues in math education such as assessment and technology in the classroom. Board members from CMC3 and CMC3-South meet jointly once a year to provide leadership within the state on current issues affecting math education in community colleges.

When I recall the many people I have worked with in CMC3-South over the years, I particularly recall Bill New, Cerritos College, who repeated as President when he could have retired from the Board and is now our AMATYC Western Regional Representative; Cheryl Ooten, Rancho Santiago College, who organized the exhibitors for several years; Dave Bell and Mark Greenhalgh, both of Fullerton College, who have been treasurer and conference registrars for many years; Fran Manion, Santa Monica College, who has filled most offices and will be your President in 1995-97; and so many more.

Our growth continues as we host the fall 1996 AMATYC national conference in Long Beach. Melanie Branca, Past President of CMC3-South, is co-chair of the 1996 AMATYC conference.