TUG 2007 election: Results and candidates' statements

From Steve Peter for the TUG election committee:

Nominations for TUG President and the Board of Directors in 2007 have been received and validated. Because there is a single nomination for the office of President and because there are fewer nominations for Board of Directors than there are open seats, there will be no requirement for a ballot this election.

For President, Karl Berry was nominated. As there were no other nominees, he is duly elected and will serve for another two years.

For the Board of Directors, the following individuals were nominated: Barbara Beeton, Jon Breitenbucher, Kaja Christiansen, Sue DeMeritt, Ross Moore, Cheryl Ponchin, and Philip Taylor. As there were fewer nominations than open positions, all the nominees are duly elected.

Terms for President and Members of the Board of Directors will begin with the 2007 Annual Meeting in San Diego. Congratulations to all.

Sam Rhoads has decided to step down at the end of his term this year. On behalf of the Board, I wish to thank him for his service. The bonds with the TUG Board are not entirely loosed just yet, though, as he will continue to chair the Bursary Committee.

Continuing board members, with terms ending in 2009, are: Steve Grathwohl, Jim Hefferon, Klaus Höppner, Arthur Ogawa, Steve Peter and Dave Walden. Also, Dick Koch has agreed to an appointment to the Board starting with the 2007 Annual Meeting; his term will also expire in 2009.

For the record, announcements and information about previous elections are available, along with the notice for this election: 2007 election notice, 2005, 2003, 2001, 1999, 1997.

The following candidates' statements were received for the present election, and will be printed in the first regular issue of TUGboat volume 28 (for 2007).

  Barbara Beeton

(Candidate for TUG board of directors.)


Four years ago, I expected to be retiring from the AMS about now, but I've decided I'm not ready yet. And the ability to participate in the decisions that help direct TUG is still important to me too.

I recently read about a new position: "Corporate Memory Officer". I think that even without the title, that's the function I perform -- letting other members of the Board know whether something has been tried before, and with what results, to help inform decisions, without (I hope) standing in the way.

With support from the members of this wonderful community, I'd like to continue for four more years.

  Karl Berry

(Candidate for TUG president.)

TeX biography: I have served as TUG president since 2003 and was a board member for two terms prior to that. During my term as president, we've enacted new initiatives, notably expanding the scope of the special member and institutional memberships. We've also partnered with Addison-Wesley for online book sales, with Bigelow&Holmes for making the Lucida fonts available through TUG, and with Adobe making the Utopia typeface family freely available.

As president, I also coordinate the formal and informal meetings of the Board, provide direction and oversight to the Executive Director, and monitor TUG's financial transactions. I also serve on the conference committee, and thus have been one of the organizers for all TUG-sponsored conferences since 2004, both the annual meetings and the Practical TeX conferences, including web site and program creation, coordination of publicity, and so forth.

I have been on the TUG technical council for many years. I co-sponsored the creation of the TeX Development Fund in 2002, and am one of the primary system administrators and webmasters for the TUG servers. I'm also one of the production staff for the TUGboat journal and have driven the successful effort to get it back on schedule.

On the TeX development side, I'm currently editor of TeX Live, the largest free software TeX distribution, and thus coordinate with many other TeX projects around the world, such as pdfTeX and MetaPost. I developed and still work on Web2c (Unix TeX) and Kpathsea, a freely redistributable library for path searching, Eplain (a macro package extending plain TeX), GNU Texinfo, and many other projects. I was also a co-author of TeX for the Impatient, an early comprehensive book on TeX, which is now freely available. I first encountered and installed TeX in 1982, as a college undergraduate.

Statement of intent: I believe TUG can best serve its members and the general TeX community by working in partnership with the other TeX user groups worldwide, and sponsoring projects and conferences that will increase interest in and use of TeX. I've been fortunate enough to be able to work essentially full time, pro bono, on TUG and TeX activities the past several years, and plan to continue doing so if re-elected. It would be an honor to serve another term.

  Jon Breitenbucher

(Candidate for TUG board of directors.)

I am currently an Adjunct Professor and Instructional Technology Specialist at the College of Wooster. I began using TeX and LaTeX in 1992 while a graduate student at The Ohio State University. I helped customize the thesis class while at OSU and since then have written one for Wooster's Independent Study Thesis (IS). I have also created templates for homework solutions and papers while at Wooster.

If elected my desire is to help introduce LaTeX to undergraduates and to encourage undergraduates to join TUG. Over the past five years I have helped over 70 undergraduates learn LaTeX for their IS projects. I have also formed a self sustained community at Wooster. I would like to find ways in which TUG can help others who are doing the same things at their institutions or in their communities. I would also like to see TUG develop a mechanism to turn these TeX initiates into members.

Kaja Christiansen

(Candidate for TUG board of directors.)

I live in the city of Århus, Denmark and work at the University of Aarhus. My job at the Department of Computer Science involves system administration of hundreds of Unix machines, as well as software and user support, including the responsibility for all aspects of TeX & friends. The department has about 550 students, 80 employees, several Research Centres and a large number of active research groups.

I heard about TeX for the first time in fall of 1979. In Palo Alto at the time, I wanted to audit courses at Stanford; my top priority was lectures by Prof. Donald Knuth but that, I was told, was not possible as Prof. Knuth was on leave due to work on a text processing project ... This project was TeX! Back home, it didn't take long till we had a runnable system and thus introduced an early version of TeX in Denmark.

Statement: I have served as the chair of TUG's Technical Council since 1997 and co-sponsored the creation of TeX Development Fund. I share system administrator's responsibilities for the TUG server (which access to the Internet is currently facilitated by my Department). In my rôle as a member of the board, my special interests have been projects of immediate value to the TeX community: TeX Live, TUGboat and TUG's web site.
Since September 2002, I have served as the president of the Danish TeX Users Group (DK-TUG).

Susan Demeritt

(Candidate for TUG board of directors.)

My name is Susan DeMeritt, I live in Lakeside, CA (just outside San Diego).

I am employed by the Center for Communications Research, La Jolla, in San Diego, California for almost 18 years doing technical typing in the Publications Department. I started the position learning TeX and working up to LaTeX2e. I enjoy using LaTeX2e to typeset mathematical and scientific papers.

I have been a member of the TeX Users Group since 1989. I have been a member of the Board of Directors since March of 1998, and Secretary since 2001. I really enjoy being part of the Board of Directors of the TeX Users Group and I hope my participation has been helpful.

I have successfully taught (along with Cheryl Ponchin) three LaTeX classes, one at Rutgers University, one at Duke University, and one at the University of Delaware.

Richard Koch

(Candidate for TUG board of directors.)

After degrees from Harvard and Princeton, I taught mathematics at the University of Oregon from 1966 to 2002, working on pseudogroups and filtered Lie algebras. For the last fifteen of these years I was director of the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics, and won the University's Ersted and Hermann teaching awards.

I began using TeX on a NeXt cube, running Tomas Rokicki's TeXView. After Apple bought NeXt, the Unix TeX binaries were ported to OS X, but predictions from campus Apple representatives that a TeX front end would follow didn't materialize. So I wrote TeXShop, a TeX front end, releasing it while OS X} was still in beta. In those days, Apple's pdf display engine didn't understand non-native fonts and TeXShop users had to use the Times Roman font and avoid mathematical symbols.

Work on TeXShop continues. Recently I have been involved in maintaining the MacTeX install package for OS X. This package was written by Jonathan Kew, and originally based on Gerben Wierda's redistribution of teTeX. This year's version is based on the full TeX Live 2007.

From TeX meetings I know that these are just tips of the iceberg, and enjoy hearing about the exciting developments underway from a host of people which affect TeX on all platforms.

  Ross Moore

(Candidate for TUG board of directors.)

My name is Ross Moore; I am an academic mathematician, living in Sydney, Australia.

Since the mid-80s I have been a user of TeX and LaTeX, mostly for mathematical applications, such as journal articles, books and Proceedings volumes. The need for special content layouts has led to my involvement in the development of several packages and other software, most notably Xy-pic and LaTeX2HTML, both of which I have presented at TUG annual meetings.

My first TUG meeting, in 1997, saw me joining the TUG Board of Directors where I have served ever since, and wish to continue to serve for at least another term. For TUG I've worked on the Technical Council, the Publications Committee, assisted with organising annual meetings, been the contact person for the technical working groups TFAA and MacTeX (though the important work is done by others), and administer email discussion groups (LaTeX2HTML, Xy-pic, XeTeX). Frequently I answer queries and give advice on the TeX on Mac OS X mailing list, for Macintosh users of TeX.

Currently I am working with Chris Rowley, Will Robertson and others, preparing LaTeX support for mathematics in the new world of Unicode and STIX fonts, which is soon to be upon us. This is in addition to working on ways to generate webs of interlinked mathematical documents, as web-pages and in PDF format, for online journals, conference abstracts, and encyclopaedic collections, all generated from (La)TeX sources.

For the TUG board, I feel that my experience as both a TeX programmer, as well as a mathematical author and editor, provides a detailed understanding of how TeX and LaTeX have been used in the past, as well as insight into new ways that the TeX family of programs may be used in coming years.

  Cheryl Ponchin

(Candidate for TUG board of directors.)

My name is Cheryl Ponchin, I live in Plainsboro, New Jersey, and I am employed by the Center for Communications Research in Princeton. I have been a technical typist for more than 20 years. I started with TeX and I am now using LaTeX2e as well as many of the different packages available. I enjoy using this software to typeset mathematical and scientific papers.

I have been a member of the TeX Users Group since 1989. I have been a member of the TUG Board of Directors since March of 1998. I really enjoy being part of the TUG Group.

I have taught LaTeX classes for TUG on my own and with Sue DeMeritt as well as other classes for Princeton University. I was also asked my opinion on A Guide to LaTeX 2e, which was very interesting and rewarding for me.

  Philip Taylor

(Candidate for TUG board of directors.)

Philip Taylor has been involved with TeX for approximately 20 years, ever since seeing an example of typeset copy produced using TeX by a friend at British Aerospace. Despite regular attempts to understand why anyone might use LaTeX, he remains completely baffled and continues to believe that Plain TeX (or, even better, IniTeX) and a few home-grown macros are all that anyone could ever need. On a more serious note, he is completely convinced by the arguments in favour of semantic markup, and believes that TeX should adopt the HTML/CSS model, with one language used for document markup and a second, quite different, language used to ascribe appearance to semantics. He is also convinced that, had it not been for Hàn Thế Thành's invention and development of PdfTeX, the future for TeX might well have been very bleak indeed.

As a long-serving TUG Board member (a classic example of poacher-turned-gamekeeper), Phil is rarely willing to accept the status quo, and regularly argues that TUG should be more receptive to innovative suggestions from its members, no matter how much these ideas might challenge the current received wisdom.