General Meeting Minutes for 2000

A General Meeting of the British Mathematical Colloquium was held in Lecture Theatre 22, University of Leeds, on Tuesday April 18, 2000 at 7:30 p.m.

Chair: H Garth Dales (Leeds) Secretary: Dugald Macpherson (Leeds).
Approximately 60 people attended the meeting.
  1. The minutes of the Annual General Meeting held in Southampton on 30 March 1999 were accepted.
  2. There were no matters arising.
  3. The accounts of the 51st BMC held in Southampton were presented.
    They had been audited by Prof. A 0 Morris and Dr N K Dickson.
  4. The 53rd BMC will be held in Glasgow 9-12 April 2001, chaired by Prof. R Odoni.
    Four principal speakers have accepted invitations, and there will be Special Sessions in Modular Forms and Partial Differential Equations.
  5. Prof. C Series (Warwick) confirmed that there will be a combined meeting of the BMC and the BAMC in Warwick, 7-12 April 2002 (arrival on the Sunday evening).
    The present plans are that the first two days will consist primarily of BMC activities, the last two days of BAMC activities, and the programme for the Wednesday will be intended for both communities, with a banquet on the Wednesday evening.
    There is already a web-site. There will be a poster session, and an invitation was issued to organise satellite events.
  6. Prof. R T Curtis (Birmingham) issued an invitation for the 55th BMC to be held in Birmingham in 2003.
    This was carried by acclamation.
  7. Election of an additional member of the Scientific Committee for 2000.
    Dr. Francis Clarke (University of Wales, Swansea) was elected.
  8. Discussion on future joint BMC/BAMC meetings.
    Prof. Dales, Prof. C P Rourke, and Prof. C T C Wall spoke in support of future joint meetings of the BMC and BAMC. It was noted that only a few universities could hold a meeting of this size.
    There are plans for a future joint meeting in 2005, which were enthusiastically supported by the meeting. It was agreed that if this was not feasible in 2005, it could be held in 2006. Joint meetings after that could be discussed after the Warwick joint meeting in 2002.
  9. Prof. Dales initiated a discussion on the organisation of the BMC.
    He commented that the BMC needs to be planned several years ahead, with plans for one year impinging on those of another, and that the current Scientific Committee, with a Chair for one year, lacks continuity.
    Joint BMC/BAMC meetings need particularly careful planning over a number of years. In addition, the BMC depends for its success on a substantial grant from the LMS, but any department has to make plans and commitments before there is a guarantee that this grant will be forthcoming. He proposed that a new committee be set up to handle long-term planning of the BMC, and that this be closely linked to the LMS and EMS, possibly with a Chair appointed by the LMS.

    Dr D J H Garling (Cambridge) suggested that under the current system it was possible for Departments to obtain a guarantee of LMS funding several years ahead, before full budget details were finalised; also, that the Scientific Committee currently has 3 LMS appointees and 3 EMS appointees, each serving a 3-year period so providing some continuity. He suggested that there be a free-standing planning committee, not appointed by the LMS, and that the LMS could offer help with infrastructure: possibly planning meetings could be held in De Morgan House with financial support for travel, and the LMS might provide secretarial assistance. He added that the LMS Council approves of the linking of the BMC and the HoDoMs meeting, and the Mathematics Education activities in Leeds. Dr D L Salinger (Leeds) urged caution on the BMC giving up independence. Prof. Series suggested that the Scientific Committee should have a long-term chair, and perhaps meet more than once per year. It was agreed that the Scientific Committee should discuss these issues, and possibly circulate proposals by email to BMC members. In addition, it was urged that the AGM minutes include a list of members of the Scientific Committee.
  10. Any other business.
    Dr. A D Gardiner (Birmingham) circulated a sheet deploring moves away from Further Mathematics A level in schools. He stressed that there is a danger of rapid decline in the number of students taking Further Mathematics A level, and that urgent action was needed to review the situation. This received almost unanimous approval from the AGM.
The meeting closed at 8.15 p.m.

Minutes signed by Dugald Macpherson, Secretary, 52nd BMC (undated).