The methacrylate monomer, 2-[(5-methylisoxazol-3-yl)amino]-2-oxo-ethyl methacrylate (IAOEMA), was synthesized by reacting 2-chloro-N-(5-methylisoxazol)acetamide dissolved in acetonitrile with sodium methacrylate in the presence of triethylbenzylammoniumchloride (TEBAC). The free-radical-initiated copolymerization of IAOEMA, with styrene (ST) and methyl methacrylate (MMA) was carried out in dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO) solution at 65 degreesC using 2,2'-azobisisobutyronitrile (AIBN) as an initiator with different monomer-to-monomer ratios in the feed. The monomer (IAOEMA) and copolymers were characterized by FTIR, H-1- and C-13-NMR spectral studies. The copolymer composition was evaluated by nitrogen content in polymers led to the determination of reactivity ratios. The reactivity ratios of the monomers were determined by the application of Fineman-Ross and Kelen-Tudos methods. The analysis of reactivity ratios revealed that ST and MMA are more reactive than IAOEMA, and copolymers formed are statisticalle in nature. The molecular weights (M-w and M-n) and polydispersity index of the polymers were determined using gel permeation chromagtography. Glass transition temperatures of the copolymers were found to increase with an increase in the mole fraction of IAOEMA in the copolymers. The apparent thermal decomposition activation energies (E-d) were calculated by Ozawa method using the SETARAM Labsys TGA thermobalance. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.