Scientific Committee meeting: September 2006

Meeting of the Scientific Committee of the BMC to be held at De Morgan House, London at 11.00 am on 20 September 2006.
  1. Welcome.
    Confirmation of membership, appoint Swansea secretary
    Apologies: Niels Jacob (replacement Eugene Lytvynov), Tony O'Farrell
  2. Minutes of meeting in Newcastle on 13 April 2006; matters arising not
    covered elsewhere.
  3. Future BMCs.
    [Invitation to Galway accepted at the AGM in Newcastle.
    Possible topics to discuss:
    How often would we like to see BMC-BAMC joint meetings?
    Are we happy with the timescale for finding hosts
    (i.e. 2009 invitation given at the 2006 meeting) or would we like to try to gain a further year?]
  4. BMC-BAMC 2010
    Edinburgh (joint Edinburgh University - Heriot Watt) will host a 'Liverpool
    style" meeting.
  5. Preliminary thoughts on 2011
  6. Report on the Newcastle meeting 2006
    [Andrew Duncan will report]
  7. Plans for Swansea 2007
    [Report from Swansea team including update on plenary speakers]
  8. Plans for York 2008
    [Report from York team on plenary speakers and special sessions]
  9. Plans for Galway 2009
    [Settle dates.
    Suggestion is Monday 6 April at 1 p.m. until Thursday 9 April at 1 p.m.
    Easter Sunday is 12 April
    Preliminary thoughts on plenary speakers and special sessions]
  10. Any other business
  11. Date of next meeting in Swansea.
    [Thursday 19 April 2007, 13.00 - 14.30 (lunch during the meeting).]
  1. Welcome
    The chair welcomed the members of the committee:
    Edmund Robertson (St Andrews) in the Chair;
    LMS: Rachel Camina (Cambridge), Garth Dales (Leeds); Charles Goldie (Sussex);
    EdMS: Rob Archbold (Aberdeen), Iain Gordon (Glasgow);
    Newcastle: Zinaida Lykova;
    Swansea: Francis Clarke, Eugene Lytvynov;
    York: Steve Donkin, Chris Wood;
    Galway: Ted Hurley, James Ward.

    There were apologies from Niels Jacob (who had been replaced by Eugene Lytvynov), Andrew Duncan (who had been replaced by Zinaida Lykova), and Tony O'Farrell (Maynooth). It was agreed that Francis Clarke would act as secretary for this and the following meeting.
  2. Minutes of the meeting in Newcastle on 13th April 2006
    The minutes were agreed subject to adding Francis Clarke (Swansea) and Sandra Pott (Glasgow) to the list of those present and replacing the last sentence of 4. by "It was agreed to write a formal letter to thank IMS.".
  3. Future BMCs
    The chair reminded the committee of the schedule for future BMCs:

    Swansea 2007
    York 2008
    Galway 2009 (accepted at the last AGM)
    Edinburgh 2010 (BMC/BAMC, not yet put to an AGM)

    He noted that it was thanks to Garth Dales that we now have 4 years advanced notice. There had been extra complications in the case of the 2010 meeting because of the BAMC involvement. There a discussion about whether in the Memorandum of Agreement with the LMS the phrase "up to three years in advance" should be altered to "up to four years in advance" in the light of the larger joint meetings. It was, however, agreed that it would be simpler for Edinburgh/Heriot-Watt to write to the LMS asking whether it would entertain an earlier application in the case of this joint meeting. It was also agreed to coopt two representatives from Edinburgh/Heriot-Watt for the committee meeting in Swansea.
  4. BMC-BAMC in 2010
    The Chair reported that this would be a joint pure and applied meeting organised by Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities through the auspices of the Maxwell Institute for Mathematical Sciences. A formal letter of invitation to the heads of departments had been sent and formal agreement received. Angus Macdonald, the head of the Maxwell Institute, had been contacted.

    Chris Howells, the chair of the standing committee of the BAMC, had been very helpful. A subcommittee of three members of this committee had met with three members of the new BAMC committee in order to find a venue for this joint meeting.

    It was noted that in future there would need to be a mechanism through which joint meetings can be arranged. It was agreed that we should try to set up a meeting involving both committees in the run up to 2010, say in September 2008, at which preliminary discussion about a joint meeting in 2015 could take place.

    The general view was that a five-year cycle for joint meetings seemed right.
  5. Preliminary thoughts on 2011
    The Chair explained that he had been in correspondence with Peter Fleischmann of the University of Kent at Canterbury, who had expressed an interest in holding the BMC in 2011, but that this was still at an informal stage. The decision he expected shortly would be circulated to the committee. We would hope to have a reasonably definite venue for 2011 in time for the committee meeting in Swansea.
  6. Report on the Newcastle meeting 2006
    Zinaida Lykova tabled a report on the 58th BMC held 10th-13th April 2006 in Newcastle. The substantial surplus of £3185 was due to several
    factors: the Plenary Speakers had required less support than expected; several lecture rooms had been provided free of charge; it had not been necessary to pay any cancellation fees. Since it was not easy to pass on a surplus to the next BMC, it was agreed that it was right that amounts should be returned pro rata to the LMS and EdMS and to cover hidden costs incurred by the School.

    It was noticed that the low room charges applied at Newcastle could be used as a precedent in future.

    Newcastle was congratulated for running a very successful meeting, both academically and financially. Some disappointment was expressed with the relatively low number attending (202 participants), and it was agreed that we needed to find ways of increasing the numbers. It was hoped that an earlier approach to the organisers of splinter groups might bring more participants.
  7. Plans for Swansea 2007
    Francis Clarke presented a paper on plans for the 59th BMC to be held 16th-19th April 2007 in Swansea. Professor H.-D. Cao of Lehigh University had recently replaced Professor T Tao as a Plenary Speaker. Eleven Morning Speakers were confirmed, with three outstanding. Organisers for eleven splinter groups had been allocated. Plans were well underway for a number of special events. Advertising for the Swansea BMC had already begun with the production of a flyer. Grants had been approved from LMS, EdMS, EPSRC and BP. The registration fee would be £50, with a reduced rate for postgraduates. The finances for room bookings, meals and accommodation were looking healthy.
  8. Plans for York 2008
    Chris Wood reported on plans for the 60th BMC to be held 25th- 28th March 2008 (the week after Easter) in York. The meeting would be held in the National Science Learning Centre, a new building very close to the accommodation available. After negotiation, room charges would be around £4K. No discount was so far available for academic conferences, but it was intended to continue to press for this.

    Two Plenary Speakers had accepted:

    Professor Gregory A Margulis (Yale) (Dynamical Systems and Number Theory)
    Professor Anthony Joseph (Weizmann Institute) (Algebraic Lie Theory)

    Two more were still being approached.

    Fourteen Morning Speakers over three days were planned. The following had so far accepted:

    Professor Franco Vivaldi (Queen Mary) (Dynamical Systems and Number Theory)
    Professor Dominic Joyce (Oxford) (Differential Geometry)
    Professor Rafaël Rouquier (Leeds/Oxford) (Representation Theory)
    Dr Anton Cox (City) (Algebraic Lie Theory)
    Dr Catharina Stroppel (Glasgow) (Algebraic Lie Theory and Topology)

    Professor Chris Budd (Bath) would be a public lecturer.

    There had not yet been much planning done on the Special Sessions. One would certainly be on Number Theory, and three other topics were under discussion. York were encouraged to fix the Special Sessions soon and to report on their plans at the Swansea meeting of the Committee.

    Newcastle and Swansea agreed to provide York with details of their applications for funding to the LMS, EdMS and EPSRC.
  9. Plans for Galway 2009
    Ted Hurley reported on plans for the 61st BMC to be held 6th-9th April 2009 (the week before Easter) in Galway. He said that the Mathematics Department at Galway were very enthusiastic, as was the Irish Mathematics Society, whose annual meeting would be incorporated into the BMC.

    Halls of residence would not be available; it was expected that most participants would be accommodated in guesthouses, but negotiations were also underway with possible hotels. In either case booking would be done through the university accommodation office. It was hoped that it would be possible to pay by credit card. With cheap flights (if booked early) into Galway, Shannon, Knock and Dublin, the costs of travel should be reasonable.

    Lecture rooms had been booked, and no concerns about the charges were anticipated.

    No thought had yet been given to Plenary Speakers or Special Sessions. It was noted that the topics of Special Sessions should not duplicate those at recent BMCs.

    Though the LMS's charter does not allow it to fund conferences outside the UK, Peter Cooper (the executive secretary of the LMS) had written to Garth Dales saying that they would consider an application for support of Plenary Speakers at Galway on its merits. However funding would only be available for UK-based postgraduate students. It was suggested that Ted Hurley should write to Peter Cooper to confirm that an application to the LMS would be in order.

    Charles Goldie suggested that support could be sought from the European Mathematical Society since this conference would be an example of cooperation within Europe. It was noted that Galway would be expected to bring a tentative list of Plenary Speakers and the topics of Special Sessions to the Swansea meeting of the Committee. It was appreciated that they would also have to consult with the Irish Mathematical Society.
  10. Any other business
    There was none.
  11. Date of next meeting
    Swansea, Thursday 19th April 2007, 13:00-14:30.