Scientific Committee Meeting Minutes for April 2011

Minutes of the meeting of 20 April 2011
Beaumont Hall, University of Leicester

Present: Peter Giblin (Chair), John Hunton (Leicester), Alex Clark (Leicester), Peter Fleischmann
(Kent), James Shank (Kent), David Jordan (Sheffield), Peter Cameron (Queen Mary), Mark Haskins
(Imperial), Charles Goldie (LMS), Sandra Pott (LMS), Isabelle Robinson (LMS, standing-in for
Fiona Nixon).

  1. Apologies:
    Cathy Hobbs (UWE), Edmund Robertson (St Andrews), Radha Kessar (Aberdeen), Eugenia Chang (Sheffield).

  2. Welcome and confirmation of membership:
    Chair: Peter Giblin (Liverpool);
    Secretary: James Shank (Kent);
    LMS representatives: Sandra Pott (Glasgow), Charles Goldie (Sussex), Cathy Hobbs (UWE);
    EdMS representatives: Edmund Robertson (St Andrews), Radha Kessar (Aberdeen);
    Leicester (2011): John Hunton, Alex Clark;
    Kent (2012): Peter Fleischmann, James Shank;
    Sheffield (2013): David Jordan, Eugenia Chang;
    Representative of the 2014 venue: Peter Cameron (Queen Mary);
    Representative of the 2011 BMC: Mark Haskins (Imperial);
    Ex officio: Fiona Nixon, Executive Secretary of the LMS.
    In attendance: Charles Goldie, Chair of the Scientific Committee from 1 June 2011.

  3. Minutes of the meeting of 22 September 2010 were circulated and approved subject to minor
    corrections; revised minutes were circulated electronically 21 April 2011.

  4. Immediate impressions of the Leicester BMC:
    Generally favourable. Peter Giblin praised the organisation and the quality of the plenary talks. John Hunton reported that there had been no serious issues and that they were not expecting financial problems. This was in part due to increased support from the University of Leicester; on the direction of the University's Vice Chancellor, room and AV charges had been significantly reduced late in the day. The Colloquium had attracted between 220 and 240 participants. The number of PhD students participating was disappointingly low; the Young Researchers in Mathematics conference was held April 14 - 16 and many PhD students will have chosen to attend the YRM rather than the BMC. Mark Haskins was disappointed by the small number of participants in the Differential Geometry Workshop. Charles Goldie suggested that it may take some time for the workshop idea to bed-in. Sarah Pott, one of the organisers of the Harmonic and Geometric Analysis Workshop, agreed that it would take time for the workshops to establish a reputation. There was a general discussion of publicising and funding the workshops. CG suggested using the HoDoMS list. MH had used the London Topology & Geometry list. JH remarked on the successful use of LMS Scheme 3 funding to hold BLOC and TTT events linked to workshops. There was further discussion of the purpose of the workshops. PG commented that as the workshops had replaced splinter groups, we may want to leave space for contributed talks. MH questioned the connection between the workshops and the plenary speakers; the plenary speaker in geometry arrived in time for his Thursday talk but did not participate in the workshop.

  5. Progress on the Kent meeting (2012):
    Plenary speakers are in place:

    (i) a public lecture on the life and work of Alan Turing by Dr Andrew Hodges (Oxford);
    (ii) the mathematical aspects of Turing's work by Professor Solomon Feferman (Stanford);
    (iii) Professor Christine Bessenrodt (Hannover);
    (iv) Professor Martin Lorenz (Temple, Philadelphia);
    (v) Professor Idun Reiten (Trondheim);
    (vi) Professor Christiane Tretter (Bern).

    GCHQ has agreed to provide financial support to help pay the expenses (including a business class flight) for Solomon Feferman to give a plenary lecture at the BMC and to give a talk at the Heilbronn Institute.
    The BMC will include five workshops: Turing's Legacy, Noncommutative Geometry, Algebraic Transformation Groups, Operator Theory, Mathematical Physics.
    The Kent organisers asked the Committee's opinion on seeking sponsorship for lectures, workshops and other events. It was agreed that anything short of endorsement was acceptable.
    However, some care should be taken in selecting sponsors and, for a sponsored lecture, the permission of the lecturer would be required.
    CG warned the Kent organisers to watch for late unexpected fees. PG asked if Leicester's experience would help. JS asked JH to provide a summary of Leicester's experience highlighting the nature of the Vice Chancellor's support.
    A call for suggestions for morning speakers was made. MH suggested Andre Neves (Imperial). Further suggestions should be sent to the Secretary. (R.J.Shank@kent.ac.uk).

    MH asked whether EPSRC/LMS/LTCC courses might be arranged in conjunction the BMC.
    IR commented that the LMS contract expires in October. JH: while PhD education should be encouraged, it would be unfortunate if the BMC became simply an education event.

  6. Plans for Sheffield (2013):
    Public lecture: John Baez (Mathematical Physics, Climate Change).

    Possible plenary speakers:
    The named subject areas are sometimes approximate. At the end are some suggestions from Charles Goldie provided after this list was compiled. Comments and alternative suggestions are welcome.

    (i) Analysis: Michele Vergne (Jussieu), Claire Anantharaman-Delaroche (Orleans) (Operator
    Algebras special session 2000), Ulrike Tillmann (Oxford) (morning speaker 2000, 2002);
    (ii) Number Theory: Martin Taylor (Oxford) (morning speaker 1997, 1981), Richard Taylor
    (Harvard) (morning speaker 1995), Don Zagier (plenary 1985), Ken Ribet (Berkeley), Andrew
    Wiles (Oxford) (plenary 1996);
    (iii) Algebra: Maxim Kontsevich (IHES), Bernhard Keller (Jussieu);
    (iv) Probability: Louigi Addario-Berry (McGill), Margit Rosler (Clausthal), Laurent Saloffe-
    Coste (Cornell), (Wendolin Werner whose plenary talk in 2005 is too recent.);
    (v) Category Theory: Mikhail Kapranov (Yale), Ezra Getzler (Northwestern).
    From CG: Cedric Villani, Terry Tao, to be approached through some colleague whom they'll
    know; Karl-Theodor Sturm (Inst fur Angewandte Math., Bonn, probability/analysis); Rene
    Schilling, (Dresden, probability). Herbert Spohn (T.U. Munich, probability/mathematical
    physics, 2011 Eisenbud Prizewinner).
    The six proposed workshops are: Category Theory, Probability, Number Theory*, Algebra/Representation Theory*, Topology*, K-Theory and Index Theory (analytic). Here *
    indicates a potential LMS Scheme 3 involvement. Titles are fluid.
    SP suggested more analytic topics. JH noted that workshops don't need a local organiser.

  7. Liaison with the Young Researchers in Mathematics:
    Peter Cameron attended the YRM as a keynote speaker and has circulated a report on the event. Peter Giblin has circulated a correspondence from the organisers of YRM 2012, which is to be held at Bristol and is tentatively scheduled for April 2 - 4 (emails from PC and PG both circulated 26 April 2011) .
    We will continue to liaise with the YRM.

  8. Tentative plans for a joint BMC/BAMC meeting in 2015:
    CG and PG have met with Martin
    Hyland to discuss the possibility of holding a joint BMC/BAMC at Cambridge in 2015.

  9. Any other business:
    A minute book has surfaced providing insight into the history and past practice of the BMC.

  10. Date of the September 2011 meeting:
    to be established by email.