Scientific Committee Meeting: October 1999

Minutes of the Scientific Committee Meeting: Mathematics Department, University of Warwick, 12am Wednesday October 20 1999.

Chair Prof H. G. Dales (Leeds), Chairman of the 52nd Colloquium.
Secretary Dr H. D. Macpherson (Leeds) Secretary of the 52nd Colloquium.
Prof C. M. Series (Warwick), representative from Warwick for 54th Colloquium.
Prof. R. Odoni (Glasgow), Chairman from Glasgow for 53rd Colloquium.
Prof. C.P Rourke (Warwick), representative for Warwick organising committee.

  1. Minutes of the 1999 Scientific Committee Meeting at Southampton
    These were approved.

  2. Matters arising
    There were none.

  3. Report on plans for the 52nd BMC in Leeds
    Prof. Dales sketched the usual financial arrangements for the BMC, and in particular those for Leeds. The BMC is supposed to be self-funding through registrations, except that (i) the LMS in the last few years has provided a grant towards Special Sessions and support of research students and morning speakers, and (ii) there is a kitty available, similar to the amount needed to run a BMC, which if possible should be handed on intact to the next organiser. The LMS grant should be applied for. The LMS has granted the Leeds committee £7000, of which it is intended that roughly £2000 be used to run two Special Sessions, and £5000 be used to support attendance by research students and to ensure that morning speakers need not pay a registration fee. Some expenses may also be paid for one or two morning speakers from abroad. For the Special Sessions, UK-based speakers are treated like morning speakers, but speakers from abroad may have additional expenses covered.

    It is intended that in Leeds there be Splinter Groups in Mathematical Education, Number Theory, Mathematical Logic, Algebraic Topology, History of Mathematics, Functional Analysis, Algebra, and Integrable Systems, and possibly other areas. Organisers of these have been identified, and they will be asked to arrange some talks ahead of time, and keep some slots open. Each Splinter Group will probably have 4 talks at 30 minutes each, though the organiser can vary this. Prof. Series suggested that in the application form, people be encouraged to offer a talk in a Splinter Group, and possibly propose an additional area for a Splinter Group. Prof. Odoni emphasised that all information about suggested talks should be forwarded early to Splinter Group organisers. Prof. Series suggested that titles and abstracts of all talks be collected where possible, and put on the web.

    Unlike previous years, for the Leeds BMC there will be a poster, costing in all around £300-£400, which will be sent in December to all Heads of Departments (with an encouraging letter reminding them that participating PhD students are partially funded). It was suggested that HODs be contacted by email, using a database available from the HoDoMS organisation.

    There are several satellite meetings planned, including: one-day meetings in Leeds on Monday April 17 on Model Theory, and on Ring Theory; a meeting in Leeds Tuesday April 11 to Friday April 14 on Harmonic Maps and Curvature Properties of Submanifolds; a meeting Wednesday April 12 to Saturday April 15 in Leeds on Mathematical Methods in Regular Dynamics; the British Topology Meeting in Sheffield on April 16 and 17; a Workshop on Operator Algebras in Edinburgh in the week before the BMC; and the annual HoDoMS meeting will be in Leeds April 17/18. It was suggested that possibly the HoDoMS meeting could regularly be coordinated with the BMC or BAMC.

    There was discussion of the benefits of satellite meetings. Dr. Macpherson and Prof. Series remarked that one-day meetings should reinforce the BMC, but longer satellite events might compete, as people might not want to be away for long so close to Easter. It was suggested that in future the BMC might be combined with an LMS/EPSRC instructional conference, and at least that clashes with these should be avoided.

    There will be some additional funding for the Leeds BMC from publishers, who are being charged £300 each for book displays (and there will be a reception sponsored by CUP and Springer-Verlag). It was suggested that a certain dealer in second-hand mathematics books be approached also for the book display. Mathematics Year 2000 may be offering around £1000, through provision of the poster, and through a suggestion that they fund a video of the plenary lectures (this is under discussion).

    There was discussion of the proposed programme for Leeds, with a view to clashes of lectures.

  4. Progress report on the 53rd BMC in Glasgow
    Prof. Odoni told the meeting that H. Darmon (Montreal, modular forms), H. Berestycki (Paris, PDEs), and C. Taubes (Harvard, global analysis) have agreed to be plenary speakers, and Borcherds, Gowers, Artin, Ribet, Diamond, Manin, and Witten have declined. A reply from Michel BrouŽ (Paris, representation theory) is pending. There will be Special Sessions in Modular Forms (organised by D. Delbourgo of Nottingham), and in PDEs (organised by S. Kuksin of Heriot-Watt).