The purpose of the Mathematics Educator is to provide a medium to foster the communication among students, teachers, and researchers in mathematics education. The fact that it is produced by students imposes some restrictions, time being the most important. Putting together each issue is a challenge in which all the members of the Association, and faculty at the University of Georgia as well, engage with enthusiasm because we believe in the importance of the free interchange of ideas as a means to build and maintain our discipline. But at the same time, our responsibilitiesóas students, assistants, instructors, professors, researchersóimpose a limit on the time we would like to devote to our Journal. To save this precious resource, some changes have been proposed. The first is that the layout production has been done with Word 98 instead of Pagemaker. You will notice some changes in the present issue.
Second, we are now accepting electronic submissions. We are still considering the advantages and disadvantages of the process, but so far the advantages in terms of time have been significant. Please refer to the section about manuscript submission for details about this option.
The last change is due to the fact that access to the internet is now easier. Beginning with this issue, all our journals will be available on the internet at http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/DEPT/TME/TMEonline.html. This move will make the journal available sooner to our readers, alleviate the difficulties related to the mailing process, and reduce our own costs so as to maintain a free publication. We are aware that the internet is not available at all the places where this journal is distributed, and for that reason, we will be still printing copies for libraries and for those individuals who do not have access to the internet. In this issue you will find a survey on this matter. The next issue will be mailed only to those people who return the survey asking for a printed version of the journal. We hope that these changes will help us continue with our mission.
In this issue, we have a provocative Guest Editorial, by Edward Davis, about the issue of what should come first, if conceptual or procedural understanding in the teaching of number skills. Our leading article, written by Vivian Moody, presents a comprehensive review of literature of the mathematics education of African American students in the U. S., distinguishing between equity and equality and highlighting some implications for mathematics educators interested in incorporating diversity issues in a preservice program. The section In Focus, written by Gian-Carlo Rota, is a delightful piece about the possible answers to the question: What "is" mathematics?. We have also the reports of two doctoral students, Dawn L. Andersonóon the MAA Historical Modules project, and Kyungsoon Jeonóon the ICMI-East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education.
We are open to any comments and reactions to the articles presented in this issue. We hope to continue enjoying this activity and that our readers will continue enjoying (and learning from) from our journal.