The Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics

Founded in 1991

The Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics, in Spanish 'La Sociedad Española de Matemática Aplicada' (SEMA or SeMA) gives as its date of foundation the year 1991. In some senses this date is too early since the Society was not formally registered until 1993 but, on the other hand, the date is somewhat too late in the sense that moves to found the Society began in 1988.

The focus for founding a Spanish Applied Mathematics Society came about through the Spanish Congress of Differential Equations and Applications. This national congress had begun with the first meeting at El Escorial (Madrid) in September 1978 organised by colleagues from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. From then on it was an annual event until 1987, held each September at different locations.

On 24-25 March 1988 a meeting of the 'Promoting Commission of the Association of Mathematics Applied to Sciences and Industry' was convened by Antonio Valle. The list of those attending was: M Calvo, M Casteleiro, J I Díaz, Fco Javier Elorza, E Fernández Cara, J Jiménez Sendín, M Lobo, C Moreno, R Moriyón, J M Sanz Serna, C Simó, A Valle, J L Vázquez and J M Viaño. Apologies were received from A Bermúdez, J M Correas, A Liñán, J Llibre, P Martínez Amores and F Michavila. This meeting could be thought of as the start of the journey that led to the creation of the Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics. A number of decisions were taken, the most significant being the decision that the next Congress, which was to be in 1989, would be XI Spanish Congress of Differential Equations and Applications - I Congress of Applied Mathematics known by XI CEDYA - I CMA.

The XI CEDYA - I CMA meeting was held in September 1989 in Fuengirola (Málaga) organised by the Universidad de Málaga, After the XI CEDYA - I CMA meeting, Antonio Valle wrote to the members of the Commission suggesting that various applied mathematics research groups should be integrated into the next congress which would be XII CEDYA - II CMA to be held in September 1991 in Oviedo, organised by the Universidad de Oviedo. The letter also suggested that members of the Commission should make a first draft of statutes for a Spanish applied mathematics society. This letter was sent to those who were part of the 1988 meeting and in addition to B Dugnol, M López Pellicer, J M Méndez Pérez and C Perelló.

On 2 September 1991 a letter, signed by A Bermúdez, J I Díaz, A Liñán, J M Sanz Serna, C Simó and A Valle was widely circulated inviting everyone who was interested to join their initiative of founding 'La Sociedad Española de Matemática Aplicada' (SEMA). This is the first occasion that the present name of the Society appears to have appeared in a widely distributed document. Included with the letter was a registration form for signing up to be a member of the Society, with a deadline for registration given as 15 October 1991. It was suggested that those attending XII CEDYA - II CMA could hand in the registration form at the Congress. At XII CEDYA - II CMA the first meeting of those interested in forming the new Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics was held. This is considered the date of founding of the Society and explains the given date of 1991 as the date of its founding.

At the beginning of this article we said that in some sense 1993 was the year of founding and that was because on 25 February 1993 the Spanish Society for Applied Mathematics was legally registered with the Ministry of the Interior. The first Annual General Meeting of the Society took place during XIII CEDYA - III CMA which was held in Madrid in September 1993. At this meeting the officials of the Society were elected: Antonio Valle, President; A Bermúdez, Vice President; J I Díaz, Secretary; E Casas, M Gasca, A Liñán, R Ortega, J M Sanz Serna and J Solá-Morales, Ordinary Board Members.

Since the Society owes much to Antonio Valle, we should say a little about him and his career. He was born in Málaga in December 1930 and studied for his doctorate advised by Jacques-Louis Lions. In fact he was Lions' first Spanish doctoral student. He was awarded his doctorate in 1965 by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid for his thesis Problemas de control óptimo en ecuaciones diferenciales abstractas de evolución. Antonio Valle Sánchez [1]:-
... was the founder of a very large Spanish community of Numerical Methods in Partial Differential Equations that grew up from the three universities in which he was a Professor: Santiago de Compostela (1967-1973), Sevilla (1973-1984), and Málaga (1984-). He also promoted the scientific collaboration with French researchers in this field. Professor Antonio Valle was the first President of the Spanish Society for Applied Mathematics (SEMA) and one of the promoters of the Spanish-French Schools on Numerical Simulation in Physics and Engineering. In particular, Professor Valle was the President of the Organising Committee of the second edition of these schools, which took place in Benalmeádena (Málaga).
The French government made Antonio Valle a knight of the National Order of Merit in 1997. He died in Málaga on 24 June 2012.

The main aim of the new Society was to contribute in a coordinated manner to the development of mathematics in connection with its applications in the most diverse areas of science and industry, responding to new challenging problems of the real world. The founding members were very aware of the deep changes that had occurred in the preceding decade in the application of the mathematical techniques and methodology. These had been driven to a large extent by the development of parallel, and as a consequence high performance, computing. The Statutes of the Society give the following aims [3]:-
1. To increase awareness in the scientific community, the government, industry and society in general, regarding the importance of Applied Mathematics.

2. To promote and stimulate research and seek means to carry it out.

3. To organize meetings (Seminars, Conferences, Courses, Congresses, etc.).

4. To channel and disseminate information of interest.

5. To influence the direction of educational and research policy, bringing the opinion of the members of the Society to the competent authorities.

6. To coordinate and encourage cooperation with Spanish and foreign organisations that have similar objectives.

7. To offer scholarships and grants for research activities.

8. To promote the approach to the industrial world with clear and realistic offers that encourage the consolidation of existing collaborations and the initiation of others.
Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics Publications

The Society published Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Matemática Aplicada until Issue No 52 in 2010. It was renamed SeMA Journal with the numbering continuing, so the first with the new name was Issue No 53 in 2011. Springer became the publisher in 2013. The following information about the SeMA Journal appears on the Springer page:-
This journal is owned by the Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics (SeMA). Its main aim is to publish papers containing high-level achievements in applied mathematics, understood in a broad sense. In this respect, theoretical as well as numerical results, and also their practical applications are welcome. There are mainly three kinds of papers in this journal: first, papers containing original results (of theoretical and/or numerical nature); then, review papers, where specialists are invited to present their own work (and also others' work) in a pedagogical style; finally, papers directly related to applications in Industry, Finance and other Sciences. In all cases, in order to accept a paper, a lot of attention will be paid in the reviewing process to the quality of the underlying mathematical results and the way they are presented. In some sense, this is a singular journal in applied mathematics, since it provides information on a very wide variety of mathematical subjects, techniques and results without forgetting the applications that can be found below and taking care of the presentation. In accordance with the objectives of SeMA, the style of the journal is designed to make it useful to all kinds of people concerned by applied mathematics, very especially to young researchers.
The SEMA-SIMAI Book Series

In 2013 Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics joined the Società Italiana di Matematica Applicata e Industriale (SIMAI) in their series of texts published by Springer. The following information about the 'SEMA-SIMAI Book Series' appears on the Springer page [4]:-
As of 2013, the SIMAI Springer Series opens to SEMA in order to publish a joint series aiming to publish advanced textbooks, research-level monographs and collected works that focus on applications of mathematics to social and industrial problems, including biology, medicine, engineering, environment and finance. Mathematical and numerical modelling is playing a crucial role in the solution of the complex and interrelated problems faced nowadays not only by researchers operating in the field of basic sciences, but also in more directly applied and industrial sectors. This series is meant to host selected contributions focusing on the relevance of mathematics in real life applications and to provide useful reference material to students, academic and industrial researchers at an international level. Interdisciplinary contributions, showing a fruitful collaboration of mathematicians with researchers of other fields to address complex applications, are welcomed in this series.
Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics Awards

The Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics offers two main awards, namely the "Antonio Valle" SEMA Award and the SEMA Award for Best SeMA Journal Article. Let us look briefly at these.

"Antonio Valle" SEMA Award

This award is made to a young researcher who has shown excellence in original mathematical work in any branch of mathematics that has an applied component [3]:-
This award aims to recognise the personal contribution of a Young Researcher who has, brilliantly and independently, developed creativity in Applied Mathematics after the formative stage corresponding to the Doctoral Thesis. This recognition of demonstrated abilities is intended to contribute to the winner's professional development both nationally and internationally.
The award was established in 1998, but it was only named for Antonio Valle from 2013 onwards. For a list of previous winners, see THIS LINK.

SeMA Award for Best SeMA Journal Article

The prize for the best article in the SeMA Journal was established in 2009 with the aim of promoting the publication of quality works, both scientific works and works disseminating mathematics, initially in the SeMA Bulletin and, after it was renamed, through the SeMA Journal. All papers published in the SeMA Journal during the year prior to its call are eligible for the award. This award came to replace the 'Premio de Divulgación' awarded by the Society since 2000. For a list of previous winners, see THIS LINK.

Presidents of the Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics
1993-1994: Antonio Valle, Universidad de Málaga.

1994-1995: Jesus Ildefonso Díaz, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

1995-1996: Mariano Gasca, Universidad de Zaragoza.

1996-1998: Juan Luis Vázquez Suárez, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

1998-2000: Enrique Fernández Cara, Universidad de Sevilla.

2002-2004: Eduardo Casas Rentería, Universidad de Cantabria.

2004-2006: Juan Ignacio Montijano Torcal, Universidad de Zaragoza.

2006-2010: Carlos Vázquez Cendón, Universidad de la Coruña.

2010-2012: Pablo Pedregal Tercero, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha.

2012-2016: Rafael Bru García, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia.

2016-2018: Rosa M Donat Beneito, Universidad de Valencia

Visit the society website.

References (show)

  1. C Parés, C Vázquez and F Coquel, Preface, Advances in Numerical Simulation in Physics and Engineering (Springer, 2014), viii.
  2. M Paz Calvo, Casi 25 años de historia ..., y algunos años más, Boletin Electrónico de SEMA 6 (September 2014).
  3. Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics website.
  4. SEMA-SIMAI Springer Series, Springer International Publishing (2018).

Last Updated February 2018