Heads of Department of Mathematical Sciences
Minutes of the meeting of the HoDoMS Committee held in the Library,
Department of Mathematics, University College London on Monday, 22
September 1997 at 1200hrs.
Vice-Chairman Prof Ken Houston opened the meeting and welcomed the new
Chairman Prof David Brannan.
Prof M Atkinson
Prof D Brannan (Chairman)
Prof K Brown
Prof M Everett
Dr T Gethins
Prof K Houston
Dr A Lepper
Dr S Ryrie
Prof G Wilks
Prof C Wright (Secretary)
Prof A Zinobar
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Prof David Crighton and Dr
2. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 24 MARCH 1997 AT KEELE UNIVERSITY
The Minutes of the meeting of 24 March were approved.
3. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
There were no matter arising.
4. COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
4.1 Prof David Brannan was confirmed as Chairman.
4.2 There were no cooptions
4.3 Prof Ken Houston volunteered to take over as Secretary until the AGM at
5. COHESION AMONG INTEREST GROUPS IN MATHEMATICS (see Item
4 in AGM Minutes)
Prof Graham Wilks outlined his suggestions for networking among
HoDoMS, JMC, LMS, CPAM, CPS, RSS, GMP, UMTC and others.
Committee members with special responsibility for liaison were
confirmed as follows:
Prof M Atkinson- Committee of Professors of Computing
Prof D Brannan - SCAA, HEFCE
Prof K Brown - LMS, Edinburgh Mathematical Society
Prof K Houston - UMTC
Prof E Kopp - DfEE
Dr A Lepper - IMA
Dr S Ryrie - Joint Mathematical Council
Prof G Wilks - CPAM
Prof A Zinobar - Mathematics Trust
6. REVIEW OF 1997 CONFERENCE AND PLANS FOR 1998
6.1 David Brannan congratulated Graham Wilks on the success of the
Conference. Sixty-five members attended. It was decided to adopt a
one-day format for 1998 (11am to 5pm starting with the AGM) and a
two-day format for 1999. Graham would help with the preparation of
the 1999 Conference, and was keen to attract top class speakers as in
1997. Action: GW
6.2 Prof Alan Zinobar volunteered Sheffield as the venue for the 1998
event and would investigate the availability of accommodation.
6.3 David Brannan would check possible dates, and the preferred date
circulated tothe membership as soon as possible.
Action: DB, KH
6.4 Topics would be drawn from the MMath degree, shifts in the
contents of mathematics degrees, the Dearing and Government White
Paper, benchmarking of UG programmes (ie level descriptors) and
7. DEARING REPORT AND REPRESENTATIONS TO DfEE
The possibility of a submission targeted at the forthcoming
Government White Paper was discussed. It was decided to wait for
publication, but we should be alert to topics that could emerge such
as numeracy, benchmarking, the MMath, intermediate qualifications,
the role of the external examiner, IT in teaching and learning, the
structure of funding for mathematics, teaching-only contracts, and
service teaching on sub-degree courses.
8. LETTER FROM GARTH DALES ON SUBJECT LEVEL DESCRIPTORS
The Chairman said he would enquire further and bring this matter up
at the next meeting.
9. WHITE PAPER `THE PEOPLE'S LOTTERY' AND SUPPORT FOR
Attention was drawn to the entry on the World Wide Web
(www.culture.gov.uk) giving the text of the Government White Paper on the
People's Lottery which suggested an endowment for Science and the Arts
(NESTA). Members were asked to contact David Brannan to help formulate a
response by 10 October.
10. MATHSKILLS PROJECT
Ekkehard Kopp was away at the time of the meeting but would send
a progress report as soon as he could.
11. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
11.1 It was agreed to offer £1000 to the group headed by Douglas
Quinnery at Keele to help pump-prime the development of diagnostic
testing via a web site.
11.2 Promotional video: Dr Lucas at the University of Abertay Dundee had
written enquiring about the promotional video produced by a consortium of
polytechnics some years ago be updated. Graham Wilks would take this up.
David Brannan also drew attention to a video made by him recently.
Suggestions were tentatively put forward about developing a CD-ROM.
11.3 It was agreed that the membership subscription would remain
at £100. Prof Martin Everett would send out requests shortly.
11.4 Promotional activities: Graham Wilks drew attention to the
Pupil Researcher Initiative sponsored by EPSRC: there were no maths
specialists as candidates. Also he suggested that the mathematics
community supported initiatives such as SET more vigorously.
11.5 Teaching and Learning: Graham Wilks also wondered whether the
companies that produced software such as MATHEMATICA, for example,
could be persuaded to fund educational initiatives that promote good
practice, such as a prize fund for projects or courses for heads of
department. This would be brought up as an agenda item at the next
meeting and in the meantime Graham would circulate an explanatory
e-mail. Action: KH, GW
12. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting would be on Monday, 12 January 1998 at UCL
Prof Chris Wright,