Heads of Department of Mathematical Sciences


Present: Graham Wilks (Keele) in the Chair, Michael Atkinson (St Andrews), Martin Everett (Greenwich), Ken Houston (Ulster), Allan Norcliffe (Sheffield Hallam), Alan Ryley (Glamorgan), Chris Wright (Middlesex) and Alan Zinober (Sheffield). Also present were Dr Ekkehard Kopp (subsequently coopted), and coopted members Dr A M Lepper (IMA), Professor K Brown (LMS) and Professor D G Crighton (Cambridge).


1. Apologies

David Larman, Stephen Ryrie (late) and Donald Davison. Valerie Isham deputised for Adrian Smith.

2. Minutes and Notes of AGM held on 14 September 1995

It was noted that HoDoMS had paid for the lunch. An electronic version of the minutes would be posted on MATHSHEADS.(CCW)

The minutes were then approved.

3. Matters Arising

The following members had accepted cooption:

Prof KA Brown, Glasgow
Prof DG Crighton, Cambridge
Dr A Lepper, IMA
Prof AFM Smith, Imperial College, London

Dr Ekkehard Kopp was proposed for and accepted cooption at the meeting.

Min 5 EPSRC/learned societies: it was reported by David Crighton that Geoff Richards of EPSRC was anxious for EPSRC to consult the learned societies. He would copy comments of the minutes of the recent CPAM meeting to the HoDoMS committee for distribution.(DGC,CCW)

The next meeting would allow some time for reports from the coopted members on research and research funding.

4. Financial matters

4.1 The Treasurer, Martin Everett, reported on the 1994/95 accounts which are reproduced below.

4.2 It was agreed that Martin Everett and Graham Wilks would initiate the call for 1996-7 subscriptions.

5. Annual General Meeting 28 May, 1996, at UCL

This would be an interim meeting bridging the full meetings in September 1995 and March 1997. Chair suggested a theme carrying forward the Howson Report 'Tackling the mathematics problem'.

The Committee agreed the following outline programme:

11.00 Committee Meeting
12.30 Annual General Meeting
14.00 Afternoon Meeting
17.00 Close.

Possible speakers were suggested, including:

Margaret Brown,
Royal Society Mathematics Instructional Sub-Committee
SCAA Official (Chief Executive Nick Tate or Richard Browne)
Ralph Smith (Jaguar) representing Engineering Council
Christine Hopkins
Kath Cross (HMI)

The Chairman would pursue some or all of the above.(GW)


6.1. Ekkehard Kopp summarised progress with the Mathskills bid, which had been successful. He expressed the hope that the network would become self-sustaining beyond the 2-year life of the support programme.

6.2. The Chairman asked for support from members for this venture. Committee agreed a subvention of 2000 per annum initially to be reviewed at the March 1997 AGM.CCW

7. AGM/Conference 24-25 March 1997

This would be a 2-day event at which HoDoMs would act as a catalyst involving other bodies, (including MATHSKILLS), probably restricted to 120 delegates.

The Chairman intended to target prominent speakers including possible coverage of quality audit. There would need to be a small programme committee - Ken Houston, Ekkehard Kopp, Graham Wilks, Alan Ryley and Chris Wright.


8. School Curriculum Assessment Agency (SCAA) Conference

Stephen Ryrie gave a verbal report of the proceedings. While SCAA had always stressed that Maths Departments in HEIs represented only one cataegory of school mathematics 'users', there were signs of a broader concensus over at least some issues.

9. Roles of Committee Members

Joint Mathematical Council: The Chairman reported on recent activities of the Joint Mathematical Council and suggested we develop a stronger relationship with them. John Berry had been HoDoMS representative on the Executive Committee and Martin Everett likewise within the Higher Education Section (now disbanded).

Stephen Ryrie agreed to act as HoDoMs representative and a channel of communication with JMC (and would forward their minutes). (SR)

SCAA: The representative at the forthcoming seminar on 'A level mental mathematics' on 25 March would be Allan Norcliffe.

Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching Conference (UMTC): we already have strong representation.

Competitions: it was useful to keep in touch with the many school competitions now taking place. Alan Zinober agreed to act as the focus for information.(AZ)

British Association for Advancement of Science (BAAS): Ekkehard Kopp had a contact.

SET 96: An approach would be made to have maths/statistics included in the title via Anne Campbell and the SET Executive. (GW,CCW)

10. Pupil Research Initiative

A stronger maths input was needed. Allan Norcliffe and Graham Wilks would pursue this with Bill Harrison.(AN,GW)

11. Next meetings

16 September, 1996, at UCLCCW
13 January, 1997 (venue to be decided). (CCW)

12. Any other business

12.1. Ken Houston reported that he was a member of several committees of the Royal Irish Academy and that he would liaise with them. The 'World Mathematics Year 2000' initiative might be a useful area for cooperation. A directory of Irish mathematicians was being set up on the World Wide Web.

12.2. We would use the internet to distribute committee documentation to committee members, and also the HoDoMS homepage (MATHSHEADS) to distribute them more widely.

12.3. Ekkehard Kopp said that the CPAM had received useful clarification from the RAE Applied Maths Panel and a similar approach on behalf of pure maths might be useful.

12.4. Martin Everett said that the postgraduate awards mechanism had created problems and the HoDoMS group should look for alternative models and put them forward to Geoff Richards at EPSRC.

The meeting closed at 15.45.

Accounts for 1994/95

Balance brought forward from 1993/94 10,882.40

Subscriptions for 1994/95
(86 @ 100) 8,600.00
Overpayment 19.65
Committee Expenses 872.36
JMC Subscriptions 1994/95 80.00
September Conference 1,969.35

TOTAL 16,580.34