Heads of Department of Mathematical Sciences
Minutes of Committee Meeting of 8th April 1999, held at
Prof. K Houston (Chair),
Dr W Boyd,
Prof D Brannan,
Prof W Bruce,
Prof J Erdos,
Prof M Everett (Treasurer),
Prof L Fletcher,
Dr T Gethins,
Dr C Goldie,
Dr A Lepper (IMA rep),
Prof R Moffett,
Dr S Ryrie (Secretary).
Prof V Isham (RSS rep),
Dr N Steele (Vice-Chair).
1. Welcome to new members.
The Chair welcome Bill Boyd, Bill Bruce and Charles Goldie
to their first meeting of the Committee.
2. Minutes of meeting of 8th January 1999.
These minutes were approved.
3. Matters arising from the minutes not otherwise on
Minute 2: The surveys by E Kopp and K Houston were not yet
The meeting noted that there were no members from any
The meeting agreed that individual members would
represent it on other bodies as follows:
Joint Mathematical Council: JE (replacing SR)
Computers in Teaching Initiative: TG.
In addition, the meeting agreed that individuals would have
"watching briefs" on the activities of other bodies as
The meeting also agreed to nominate one of its members(RJM
for 1999/2000) to act as informal liaison person with CPAM.
5. Treasurer's Report
The meeting agreed that KH and ME should become signatories
to the HODOMS bank account, and asked ME to undertake the
actions necessary to achieve this.
6. Subject Benchmarks
The meeting noted that the QAA will probably establish a
"mathematics panel", to be responsible for "benchmarks",
within the next two years, but that it was not yet known
whether there would be a "subject association". The
meeting agreed that it would be beneficial if the
mathematics community were to give early consideration to
benchmarking, in order to raise awareness of the issues and
perhaps to influence eventual QAA guidelines. With this in
mind, it welcomed the establishment by the Presidents of
IMA/LMS/RSS of an ad-hoc group to consider the issues
involved in benchmarking, and particularly welcomed the
invitation to send a representative to the first meeting of
that group (on 12th April). The meeting agreed that JE
would represent it there.
7. HODs Database
The meeting noted that KH is compiling a database of
"Departments of Mathematical Science" and their Heads, and
agreed that this should include related departments such as
(for instance) statistics or OR. KH will continue to
collect, collate and verify data until the database is
ready for use.
8. QCA Consultation
The meeting agreed that DB would attend the next QCA
consultation meeting (in April or May).
Agreed that an electronic HODOMS newsletter, perhaps once
per term, would be useful. SR to action.
Agreed to accept NS's offer of maintaining the HODOMS
website at Coventry, with thanks to Mike Atkinson for
maintaining it at St Andrews for some years. SR to contact
NS to put the move into effect.
10. Unity of the Mathematics Community
The meeting noted the recent exchange of letters with each
of the IMA, the RSS and the LMS, and also noted the support
expressed by Jane Benham (TTA) and Prof. Henry Beker (IMA),
within their presentations to the HODOMS conference, for a
"single voice" for mathematics, a view which the meeting
The meeting agreed that it should continue to present the
case for a "single voice" as and when opportunities present
themselves, but that further approaches to the three
societies are unlikely to be productive at this stage.
11. Dates of Future Meetings
Committee meetings on 23rd September 1999 and 6th January.
We agreed that the HODOMS Conference in 2000 should be at
Easter in Birmingham; SR to check the dates of BMC/BAMC and
to liaise with KH to set a date.
(but since then the possibility has been aired of holding
it at Leeds along with the BMC - matter still to be