Scientific Committee Meeting: April 2009


British Mathematical Colloquium
Scientific Committee
National University of Ireland, Galway

Time : 18:15 Wednesday 8 April 2009 Place:Clybaun Hotel

1. Apologies for absence

2. Confirmation of membership of the committee:

Peter Giblin (Liverpool) - until 31 May 2011

To be appointed, from the representatives of the 2010 venue (Edinburgh/Heriot Watt)

Cathy Hobbs (Oxford Brookes) - until 31 May 2010
Charles Goldie (Sussex) - until 31 May 2009
Sandra Pott (Glasgow) - until 31 May 2011

Peter Kropholler (Glasgow) - until 31 May 2010
Edmund Robertson (St Andrews)  until 31 May 2011

Galway (2009):
Ted Hurley
James Ward

Edinburgh (2010):
Jim Howie
Michael Singer

Leicester (2011):
John Hunton
Alex Clark

Representative of the 2012 Venue, once this is announced at the 2009 AGM.

Representative of the 2009 BMC, elected at the 2009 AGM

3. Minutes of meeting in De Morgan House on 24 September 2008 (to be circulated); matters arising not covered elsewhere.

4. Immediate impressions of the Galway BMC 2009
A full report will be on the agenda for the September 2009 meeting.

5. Joint BAMC/BMC meeting in 2010.

7. Plans for 2011 (Leicester)

8. Any other business

9. Date of next meeting in September 2009 in De Morgan House.

BMC Scientific Committee

Minutes of the meeting of 8 April 2009 in Galway

Present: Peter Giblin (Chair), Ted Hurley (NUI Galway), James Ward (NUI
Galway), Jim Howie (Maxwell Institute), John Hunton (Leicester), Alex Clark (Leicester), James Shank (Kent), Peter Cooper (LMS), Charles Goldie (LMS), Peter Kropholler (EMS), Edmund Robertson (EMS), Martin Mathieu (elected at AGM).

Apologies: Michael Singer (Maxwell Institute), Cathy Hobbs (LMS), Sandra Pott (LMS).

1. The minutes of the meeting of 24 September at De Morgan House were circulated and accepted.

2. Matters arising. The BMC historical records are now online on the St. Andrews website.

3. Impressions of the Galway meeting. The overall impression was that the meeting had gone well. The lectures were of a high standard, and the venue was ideal with all lecture rooms etc. on one corridor of the same building. The organisers were congratulated on an excellent job, and thanked for their efforts.

4. Arrangements for the meeting in Edinburgh in 2010 (joint with BAMC). The venue, accommodation, timetable, plenary speakers, etc. were in place. A website is up and running, and posters had been produced. ICMS is handling the administration for the meeting; online registration etc. will be available using the existing ICMS system. Special sessions will include one on Algebraic Geometry and one on Spectral Theory. Jim Howie undertook to circulate details to the committee, together with a copy of the timetable.

Funding was still to be finalised. Discussions were underway with LMS. Further applications to EMS, Glasgow Mathematics Journal Trust, Royal Society of Edinburgh and Institute of Physics are planned. Funds from IMA and University College London are available for the BAMC side of the meeting. The organisers were encouraged to approach David Harman to discuss EPSRC support. SIAM could also be approached, as it had provided some funding for poster prizes at the previous joint meeting in Liverpool.

Morning speakers have still to be identified. The following suggestions emerged from the meeting:

W.Wintner (Nottingham, C* -algebras - suggested by Martin Mathieu).
R. Hazrat (Belfast, Algebraic K-theory - suggested by Martin Mathieu).
L. Rempe (Liverpool, Dynamical systems - suggested by Peter Giblin).
M. Geck (Aberdeen, Representation theory - suggested by Edmund Robertson).
J. Hunton (Leicester, Algebraic topology - suggested by Edmund Robertson).
F. Neumann (Leicester, Algebraic geometry - suggested by John Hunton)
F. Tari (Durham, Singularity theory - suggested by Peter Giblin).

It was agreed to email Jim Howie with further suggestions by the end of May. In particular, it would be good to have at least one female morning speaker.
It was felt that the proposed level of registration fees (£120, including £40 for the conference dinner) was on the high side, but just about acceptable. The BAMC tradition is for much higher registration fees, so this figure is to some extent a compromise. Students will have reduced registration fees. The organisers were encouraged to use EPSRC money to further subsidise students.

5. Arrangements for the meeting in Leicester in 2011. Dates will be 18-21 April 2011 (the week immediately preceding the Easter weekend). Discussions had already taken place with the conference office, and pre-bookings for accommodation made. The department has a good working relationship with the conference office, and dealings so far were very
positive. Expected accommodation charges are £54 pppn dinner, bed and breakfast, with a £13 pn discount for non-ensuite. There would be a supplement of around £5 for a conference dinner. Lecture theatre charges are proposed as £3,500, but it is expected that a sizeable discount can be negotiated. Peter Cooper offered LMS backing for the
negotiations if required, but the local organisers do not anticipate a problem.

Suggestions for plenary speakers and special sessions had already been sought from members of the department. Potential topics for special sessions were some area of Noncommutative Geometry and Algebraic Representation Theory. John Hunton undertook to circulate the list of plenary speaker suggestions to the committee. The aim is to have
invitations out to plenary speakers and special session organisers by September.

Arrangements for a website are currently being investigated.

The Postgraduate Conference linked to the Galway meeting had been very successful. The Leicester organisers were encouraged to consider a similar arrangement. They were also encouraged to try to persuade colleagues at neighbouring universities to arrange satellite meetings, to contact LMS earlier rather than later to discuss funding, and to explore
further funding sources such as EPSRC and EMS.

6. Any Other Business

(a) LMS funding arrangements for BMCs. Peter Cooper circulated notes of a meeting held at De Morgan House on 12 February 2009, in which Peter Cooper, Charles Goldie, Peter Giblin and Stephen Huggett had discussed the mechansism for LMS support for the BMC. In summary, LMS wishes a flexible system that will be as helpful as possible to organisers -- subject to the usual restrictions on the use of LMS funds. Essentially, a BMC grant is a larger-then-usual Scheme 1 grant. Organisers are encouraged to make contact with LMS as early as possible, to discuss details.
LMS also wishes to be flexible regarding the support of satellite meetings. The underlying philosophy is that it would not wish to support a meeting that would tend to diminish BMC attendance, but a nearby meeting immediately before or after the BMC that might enhance BMC attendance would be looked on favourably. In the case of the Kent meeting, this could in principle include satellite meetings on the other side of the Channel.

(b) Charles Goldie's term as LMS representative is about to come to an end. It is likely that he will be reappointed.

7. Date of next meeting. Provisionally, Thursday 24 September 2009 at De Morgan House. Proposed starting time: 11am.