British Mathematical Colloquium Scientific Committee

Minutes of the meeting of 18 September 2012 De Morgan House

Present: Charles Goldie (Chair), Gavin Brown, Peter Cameron, Rachel Camina, Eugenia Cheng, Tom Fisher, Cathy Hobbs, John Hunton, David Jordan, Radha Kessar, Tom Leinster, Phil Rippon, James Shank, Ivan Tomašić.
Apologies: Fiona Nixon

Welcome, confirmation of membership
The membership was confirmed as:
Chair: Charles Goldie (Sussex) until 31 May 2014.
LMS representatives: Cathy Hobbs (UWE) until 31 May 2013,
John Hunton (Leicester) until 31 May 2014, Phil Rippon (Open) until 31 May 2014.
EdMS representatives: Radha Kessar (Aberdeen/City) until 31 May 2013,
Tom Leinster (Glasgow/Edinburgh) until 31 May 2014
Kent (2012): James Shank.
Sheffield (2013): Eugenia Cheng, David Jordan.
QMUL (2014): Peter Cameron, Ivan Tomašić.
Cambridge (2015): Rachel Camina, Tom Fisher.
Representative of the 2012 BMC: Gavin Brown (Loughborough).
Ex officio: Fiona Nixon (Executive Secretary of the LMS).
David Jordan agreed to act as Secretary.

  • Apologies for absence
    Fiona Nixon.

  • Minutes of Scientific Committee meeting at Kent on 18th April 2012
    These had been circulated by e-mail before the meeting and were approved.

  • Minutes of BMC AGM at Kent on 17th April 2012
    These had been circulated by e-mail before the meeting. An amendment to the comment on the possibility of a Workshop on the History of Mathematics was agreed. The final version, to be amended by James Shank, would be put forward for formal approval at the 2013 BMC.
    As a matter arising from Minute 7, it was agreed that in future a list of participants, in alphabetical order of last names and including institutions but not email addresses, should be provided.

  • Future BMCs
    There was a discussion of preliminary plans for the joint BMC/BAMC to be held
    in Cambridge in 2015. The DPMMS and the Isaac Newton Institute had been very supportive but there was some concern on the lack of involvement so far of the DAMTP on behalf of BAMC. Lectures and workshops were likely to be accommodated in Lady Mitchell Hall and the Centre for Mathematical Sciences.
    There was some discussion over dates, in particular the choice between pre- and post-Easter. From the point of view of accommodation for participants, pre-Easter was looking easier. It was noted that 2015 will be the 150th anniversary of the founding of the LMS and that some event in celebration might be appropriate. It was suggested that the local organisers might liaise with the LMS over this and Stephen Huggett's name was mentioned as a possible contact.
    Discussions with the University of Bristol on the possibility of hosting the BMC in 2016 were under way and it was hoped that a decision was imminent. Post meeting note: Bristol has agreed to host the BMC in 2016.

  • Academic and financial report on Kent BMC 2012
    These reports were accepted with thanks to James Shank for producing them.
    The Committee expressed its appreciation of the work and time of academic and support staff that had not been accounted for explicitly in the reports. Queries on finer details of the financial report, such as income from publishers and payments for colloquium dinners for speakers, were answered. There was some dismay on the
    role of Kent Hospitality in the cancellation of the usual publishers' reception but the steps taken by the Kent Maths Department to compensate were appreciated.

  • Plans for Sheffield 25-28 March 2013
    The list of plenary speakers had been completed by the inclusion of Ragni Piene (Oslo) and Thomas Schick (Göttingen). Invitations to give morning lectures had been accepted by Konstantin Ardakov (QMUL), Tom Bridgeland (Oxford), Gavin Brown (Loughborough), Tim Dokchitser (Bristol), Tony Dooley (Bath), Tom Leinster (Edinburgh), Zinaida Lykova (Newcastle), Lasse Rempe-Gillen (Liverpool) and Stuart White (Glasgow). Post meeting note: June Barrow-Green (Open) and Gesine Reinert (Oxford) have also accepted invitations.
    There was some discussion, but with little enthusiasm, of the merits of a poster session for postgraduate students. The opportunity for postgraduates to give talks was viewed more positively. The possibility of a Workshop on Higher Mathematical Education was discussed and the local organisers were advised to consult with Dr Mary McAlinden, the MSOR Discipline Lead at HEA, on the potential for HEA funding. Post meeting note: Following advice from Dr McAlinden, an application for funding a one-afternoon workshop has been submitted to HEA, but the application is on the fringe of the HEA terms.
    Following a disappointing turnout at the AGM in Kent, there was some discussion of the organisation of the AGM. The current plan is to include it within another session. There was a request from members of the Committee for information on how to get around Sheffield to be included in the documentation provided to participants.

  • Plans for QMUL 7-10 April 2014
    Persi Diaconis is to give a public lecture to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Martin Gardner. The local organisers announced extensive and impressive lists of potential plenary speakers and morning speakers. No invitations had yet been issued. The areas planned for Workshops are Geometry, Combinatorics, Ergodic Theory, Number Theory and Group Theory. QMUL is unable to offer accommodation, except for plenary speakers. The situation regarding hotel accommodation in East London is fluid but currently the most likely outcome is that participants will be provided with a list of hotels. A potential sponsor, offering significant support for postgraduate students, had been identified. This was welcomed but with some unease concerning the sponsor's wish to nominate a plenary speaker. There was a consensus to proceed but with a request to the sponsor for a veto on the identity of their nominated speaker.

  • Young Researchers in Mathematics
    YRM 2013 will be at the ICMS in Edinburgh, from 17-20 June. The Committee welcomed the establishment of a relationship between BMC and YRM and gave its full support to the idea of a repeat of last year's experiment whereby LMS covered the second registration fee for postgraduate students attending both events. The
    Sheffield organisers would seek to take this forward through a joint application, with YRM, to the LMS Programme Committee.

  • Scientific Committee expenses
    It was noted that the LMS Programme Committee had decided, for the 2012 BMC, to make up to £500 available to pay for expenses, directly incurred in attending the Committee Meeting by Committee Members who have no other source of funding, but that this had not been claimed. Kent had met the full expenses of the Chair and those for a day-trip to the YRM by one of the Sheffield organisers.
    The LMS representatives had claimed separately from the LMS, and others had been supported by their Departments. The possibility of the EdMS representatives being supported by the EdMS had not been pursued.

  • Any other business
    There was none.

  • Date of next meeting at Sheffield
    This would be agreed between the Committee Chair and the 2013 BMC Chair
    when more details of the schedule were available.