Scientific Committee Meeting: April 2002

Minutes of the Scientific Committee Meeting, University of Warwick, 8th April 2002.

Present:
Colin Rourke (Warwick), Rob Curtis and Rob Wilson (Birmingham), David Armitage and Martin Mathieu (Belfast), Helen Robinson, Garth Dales (LMS, and Chairman elect), Ken Brown (LMS), Steve Pride (EMS), Graham Jameson (EMS), Ulrike Tillmann (representative elected by the AGM).

  1. Colin Rourke handed over the chair to Rob Curtis, who thanked Colin Rourke for the excellent Warwick meeting.

  2. Minutes of the last meeting were agreed and signed.

  3. Matters arising.

    The Warwick programme was different in many ways from the standard BMC format: morning speakers and special sessions were run together, in three parallel streams rather than two.

    It was suggested that the LMS use an electronic archive for the Scientific Committee papers.

    There was some inconclusive discussion on software for conference web pages, online registration, etc.

  4. Reorganisation.

    Garth Dales has agreed to be Chairman of the revamped Scientific Committee for the first three years. The date of the first autumn meeting was set as Monday 14th October 2002, from 11am to 4pm (max) at De Morgan House. Need a long meeting and good turnout (at least one representative from each venue and LMS and EMS), as lots of important issues to discuss.

  5. Preliminary report on Warwick BMC.

    Budget of over £100K so difficult to predict finances: seems to be breaking even, estimate for travel probably way too high. Possible cancellation fees: should argue to reduce/cancel this. £4000 in unpaid fees: will chase up. Costs for accommodation etc. are high. Traditionally departments absorb secretarial costs, but Warwick has employed an extra secretary. Other suggestions were made for the benefit of future organisers. (May need to negotiate hard with conference office on costs: e.g. for lecture rooms. Local PGs help in return for no registration fee. Try to split costs of e.g. USA speakers with other conference/etc. Be careful about paying for wives and families: e.g. give an upper limit. Online credit-card payments are too expensive.)

  6. (taken together with Item 8). Report on Birmingham BMC (2003).

    The chairman outlined progress to date. We have a grant of £9000 from the LMS. Plenary speakers who've accepted: J Alperin, M Harris, T Gowers. Also R Taylor and R Borcherds declined, but might possibly get JH Conway at a later date (can't rely on it!). Kecheris was suggested as a fourth.

    There was much discussion of morning speakers. It was suggested to have four or five themes with two or three speakers in each area (16 in all - our collective arithmetic obviously suffered from the lateness of the hour). Linking in one speaker with each special session was also felt to be a good idea. Suggested themes: number theory, analysis, groups, algebra / groups, topology, logic/etc, history/etc. Suggested names (if not recent BMC speakers) included Heath-Brown, Susan Howson, Tennenbaum, Everest, Tom Körner, Robin Chapman, C Read, David Preiss, S Powell, Martin Bridson, Nick Inglis, V Bavula, Ben Steinberg, Bridgeland, Rickard, Chuang, Dunwoody, R Seidel, Richard Thomas, Simon Singh, Moritz Epple, Rod Gow (for history).

    Accepted wisdom is that UK invited speakers usually accept: traditionally waive registration fee, but do not pay expenses. (Do pay for foreign speakers and special sessions.)

  7. Report on Belfast BNIC (2004).

    Joint meeting with Irish Math Soc., who will contribute £1500. Possible students' day - maybe also satellite meeting for students.

  8. Locations for 2005/6.

  9. Morning speakers for 2003.

    Taken with Item 5 above.

  10. Plenaries for 2004.

  11. AOB

Minutes unsigned and undated.