Heads of Department of Mathematical Sciences

Committee Meeting held at 11.00 on 28 May 1996 in the Mathematics Department, University College London


Present:Mike Atkinson (St Andrews), Donald Davison (Queen's), Martin Everett (Greenwich), Ken Houston (Ulster), Ekkehard Kopp (Hull), Adrian Lepper (IMA), Alan Norcliffe (Sheffield Hallam), Alan Ryley (Glamorgan), Stephen Ryrie (West of England), Graham Wilks (Keele), Chris Wright (Middlesex), Alan Zinober (Sheffield).

1. The Chairman welcomed as visitors Chris Robson (Leeds University, Chairman of JMC) and Neil Gordon (Hull).

2. Minutes of the Committee Meeting 12 February 1996 Accepted.

3. Matters arising:

4.1. This item had been dealt with.

6.4. Also dealt with.

8. Amended: Stephen Ryrie had given a written report.

9. Allan Norcliffe tabled a report on the SCAA seminar 'A' level mental mathematics'.

3. Ekkehard Kopp pointed out that his cooption at the 12 February meeting was unconstitutional. This would be looked at. CCW

4. Chairman's report

4.1 Graham Wilks reported on the arrangements he had made for speakers at the Annual Conference.

4.2 The MATHSKILLS award had been confirmed.

4.3 He also drew attention to the LMS leaflet describing careers for mathematicians (attached).

5. Treasurer's report

Martin Everett proposed to roll forward the 1995-96 accounts to the September AGM.

6. MATHSKILLS update

Ekkehard Kopp reported progress with the MATHSKILLS project. He had contacted Pam Bishop of CTI and they would continue to liaise.

7. AGM and Conference 1997

Graham Wilks had written to the government Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Robert May, (attached) inviting him to speak at the proposed conference at Keele on 24-25 March 1997. He had accepted. The Conference theme would be drawing together the various parties representing the somewhat fragmented mathematics community.

8. News from representatives

(i) Chris Robson had prepared a note discussing the JMC's paper on CPD for school teachers.

(ii) MMaths and MPhys regulations: Chris Robson tabled a paper drawing attention to the Department for Education and Employment's repudiation of the 4th year of a MMaths/MPhys degree as an add-on to a 3 year programme (attached). A discussion followed in which it was recognised that the integrity of the MMaths degree must be maintained in the face of financial pressures and increasing tension with credit accumulation and modular frameworks. He would draft a joint letter to members from the three leading bodies concerned. The matter would be raised again at a future committee meeting to develop recommendations or advice to member institutions for framing their regulations to be compatible with Department for Education and Employment requirements.CCW

(iii) Chris Robson was a member of a Royal Society Working Group.

9. World Wide Web - advertising

This item was deferred to the next committee meeting so that members would have an opportunity to put together ideas.CCW

10. UCAS booklet for mathematics applicants

UCAS had asked individual members of the HoDoMS committee to participate in the design.

11. Datasets for mathematics and computer science

This item was deferred to the next meeting.

12. Any other business

Martin Everett reported concerns with the RAE grading process. This would be put on the agenda for the next committee meeting.CCW

13. Date of next meeting

16 September 1996 at 11 a.m.

Venue: Library, Mathematics Department at UCL.