Scientific Committee Meeting: March 2008


Meeting of the Scientific Committee of the BMC to beheld in the National Science Learning Centre, University of York, at 13.15 on Friday 28th March 2008.
  1. Apologies.
  2. Confirmation of membership of the committee. Appointment of
    [The secretary should be one of the representatives from Galway.]
    [New committee is from 1 June 2008]
    [Need new LMS representative to replace Garth Dales who is a member until 31 May 2008. This is happening]
    [Edmund Robertson will be the EdMS representative to replace Iain Gordon who is a member until 31 May 2008.]
    [There should be two Edinburgh representatives on the committee for BAMC/BMC 2010. Jim Wright ( will be the Edinburgh University organiser]
    [Leicester representatives will come on the Committee from June 2008. They will be Alex Clark ( as Secretary for BMC 2011 and John Hunton ( as Chair of BMC 2011.]
    [Someone should have been elected at the AGM at BMC 2008 to replace Tony Mann to serve for one year from date of election]
  3. Minutes of meeting in De Morgan House on 19 September 2007; matters arising not covered elsewhere.
    [Copy of the 19 September 2007 minutes attached]
    [Request to delete the sentence "Administration by ICMS was noted to be prohibitively expensive" as no figures were available.]
  4. Chairman
    [The AGM taking place before this meeting will have confirmed Peter Giblin as the new Chairman to officially take over on 1 June 2008]
  5. Plans for Galway 2009
    [Galway will report on the current position regarding the plenary speakers, the UK based morning speakers, and accommodation arrangements]
  6. Joint BAMC/BMC meeting in 20010.
    [I have suggested to Chris Howls (Chair BAMC) that he should coordinate with Peter regarding the joint BAMC/BMC meeting in Edinburgh in 20010.]
    [We should be discussing plenary speakers and special sessions for 2010]
  7. Report on 2011 hosts.
    [Leicester should be confirmed at the AGM as the 2011 hosts]
  8. Brief report on the York meeting.
    [A full report will be on the agenda for the September 2008 meeting. One York representative will remain on the committee after 1 June 2008 to give this full report in September 2008]
  9. Any other business
  10. Date of next meeting 24 September 2008 in De Morgan House.
    [Since De Morgan House gets booked up very early, we were advised to make this booking early and the date has been confirmed]


Minutes of the Scientific Committee of the BMC held in the National Science Learning Centre, University of York, at 13.15 on Friday 28th March 2008.

Edmund Robertson (Chair), Maurice Dodson, Peter Giblin, Charles Goldie, Cathy Hobbs, Ted Hurley, Peter Kropholler, Hugh Morton, James Ward, James Wright, Chris Wood.

Garth Dales, Iain Gordon

Confirmation of membership of the committee.

Appointment of Secretary:
James Ward was appointed secretary.
Charles Goldie informed the committee that the new LMS representative (to replace Garth Dales from 1st June 2008) was in hand. A name will be presented to the LMS council for approval etc.
Edmund Robertson welcomed Jim Wright as one of the Edinburgh representatives. Moreover ER will replace Iain Gordon as one of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society representatives with effect from 1st June 2008.
The Chairman informed the committee that the representatives from Leicester joining the committee from 1st June 2008 would be Alex Clark (Secretary of BMC 2011) and John Hunton (Chair of BMC 2011).
At the AGM of the BMC Hugh Morton was elected to the BMC scientific committee (replacing Tony Mann).

Minutes of the meeting in De Morgan House on 19th September 2007 (and matters arising not otherwise on the agenda:)
At the prior request of Iain Gordon it was agreed to delete from the minutes the last sentence from item 9 of the minutes.
Peter Giblin noted that under item 2 the word "Nominations" should have been "Nominating".

Edmund Robertson elaborated on the contents of the BMC historical records on the St Andrews web-site, e.g. programmes from 1949 onwards, lists of Plenary and Morning speakers etc.

At the suggestion of Charles Goldie it was accepted that an appropriate name would be BMC Electronic Archive, given that the LMS is the repository of the hard-copy archives.

Charles Goldie proposed that the committee record its appreciation to Edmund Robertson for his work on the St Andrews web interface. This proposal was readily accepted by the committee.

At the AGM of the BMC (at 18.00 on Wednesday 26th March) Peter Giblin was elected as the Chairman of the Scientific Committee with effect from 1st June 2008 until 31st May 2011.

Plans for Galway 6th-9th April 2009:
  • Ted Hurley informed the Committee that lecture halls had been booked. It was suggested a room might be set aside as a "sitting out space". Accommodation will be in hotels. Approximately 80 rooms have been reserved at the Clybaun Hotel at favourable rates (including breakfast) of €55 per single room or €37 per person sharing. As that hotel is 3 Km from the university buses will be provided in the morning and evening to ferry members to the lectures. There is a regular but sparse bus service during the day. Rooms will be available at other hotels but at considerably higher rates of €70-€90.
  • The conference dinner will be held at the Clybaun Hotel on the Wednesday evening.
  • The LMS is contributing £10,000 (of which £2,000 is towards the Special Sessions), the Irish Mathematical Society will contribute €2,000-€3,000. It is anticipated that National University of Ireland Galway will provide at least €1,000 and that some funds will also be available from the Department of Mathematics.
  • An approach will also be made to Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) for funding, however SFI would only fund ICT or Biotechnology areas. Whereas Dr Reidun Twarock is one of the invited morning speakers, and mathematical biology is not developed in Ireland, it was suggested that she and Maurice Dodson might advise Ted Hurley regarding an organiser for a Splinter Group in this area, which might improve the prospects of a[n] application to SFI for funding being successful.
  • James Ward informed the committee that the following had accepted invitations as Plenary Speakers: David Eisenbud (Berkeley) (through the good offices of Garth Dales), Ron Graham (UC San Diego), Ben Green (Cambridge), Rostislav Grigorchuk (Texas A & M) and Frances Kirwan (Oxford).
    David Preiss (Warwick) with Ray Ryan (NUI, Galway) and Seán Dineen (UCD) have agreed to organise the Analysis special session. Éamon O'Brien (Auckland) and Götz Pfeiffer (NUI, Galway) have agreed to organise the Computational Algebra special session.
    The following have accepted invitations to be morning speakers: Rod Gow (History) and Tom Laffey both UCD, Jürgen Berndt (UCC), Lars Olsen (St Andrews), Reidun Twarock (York), Dominic Welsh (Oxford).
    Invitations will be sent to a suitable speaker from Queen's University, Belfast and to a suitable speaker from Edinburgh (here the committee suggested Tony Carbery or Sasha Volberg).
  • Peter Giblin inquired whether or not there would be a Public Lecture.
  • Ted Hurley raised the possibility of a session on Undergraduate Mathematics Education. It was pointed out that two people from Birmingham had held a presentation on this matter, and that the BMC was primarily a research conference. Edmund Robertson suggested possibly combining this theme with a public lecture or having it as an evening event.
  • The Postgraduate conference in York had attracted 50+ participants and it was suggested that such a postgraduate conference be available in Galway. It may prove difficult to provide time slots as the Galway BMC is sandwiched between a Sunday (5th April) and Good Friday (10th April). Ted Hurley and James Ward will try to solve this problem as they are anxious that Postgraduates should have every opportunity to present their research. At the very least a poster session will be organised.
Joint BAMC/BMC meeting in 2010 in Edinburgh:
There was a certain urgency pertaining to this item. It is necessary to have 4 people nominated (2 Mathematics (Jim Howie and James Wright) and 2 Applied Mathematics) as soon as possible. Peter Giblin will meet with Chris Howells (BAMC Committee) within a month to progress matters. It was agreed that the Liverpool model in 2005 had been very successful, so it is fortunate that there is representation from Liverpool on the BMC scientific committee.

Report on 2011 hosts:
The invitation by Leicester to hold the 2011 BMC was accepted by acclamation at the BMC AGM. This has been confirmed by the committee. The representatives from Leicester (see item 2 above) will join the committee from 1st June 2008.
Peter Kropholler inquired about the process for selecting a venue.
Peter Giblin is planning to approach Kent to determine whether or not they wish to host the 2012 BMC.

Brief report on the York meeting:
Maurice Dodson informed the committee that approximately 230 members, (including 50 graduate students) had attended. This was approximately 40 fewer than the 2007 BMC in Swansea. Financially the conference will be in balance. The on-line registration was a huge saving of time, money and effort and well worth the initial modest outlay. The York organisers had unforeseen problems vis-à-vis the university administration, which the organisers solved with great tact and considerable aplomb.
Maurice Dodson thanked the BMC scientific committee for its help and advice. In turn the committee recorded its thanks to all involved in the organisation of the York BMC.

On the suggestion of the incoming Chairman Peter Giblin, the members expressed their thanks to the outgoing Chairman, Edmund Robertson, for his successful stewardship during his three year term of office.

Date of next meeting:
The next meeting of the committee was confirmed for 11 A.M. on Wednesday, 24th September, 2008 in De Morgan House.

The meeting concluded at 3.04 P. M.