Heads of Department of Mathematical Sciences

Minutes of HoDoMS Committee Meeting

April 20th 2001 University of Birmingham


Charles Goldie (University of Sussex), Chair
Lucy Allen (IMA)
Maia Angelova (University of Northumbria)
Neil Challis (Sheffield Hallam University), Secretary
David Fearn (University of Glasgow)
Trevor Giblin (University of Liverpool)
Ken Houston (University of Ulster)
Walter Middleton (University of Sunderland)
Stephen Ryrie (University of West of England)
David Stirling (University of Reading)
Tony Wickstead (Queens University, Belfast)

Apologies from Martin Everett, Nigel Steele, Adrian Lepper, Trevor Sweeting, Maurice Dodson

Minutes of meeting of 12th January 2001 accepted as correct.

Matters arising

#3 Noted (following the conference discussion) that we had in our response to QAA pointed out the ill fit between the QAA level descriptors and the mathematical sciences.

Chairman's correspondence


Meeting dates and venues

Committee      Friday 28th September 2001      LMS London
Committee     Friday 11th January 2002      LMS London
(NC to book)

Annual Conference

In descending order 11/12 April or 4/5 April or 18/19 April 2002
Preferred venue Birmingham, stand-alone (not with BMC)
(NC to investigate/book)
(NC to notify BMC)

Watching briefs

Individuals identified to keep a watching brief on relevant organisations as follows:
JMC - John Erdos (next meeting); David Stirling to take over in September.
QCA - Peter Saunders, Ken Houston, Charles Goldie
QAA - Walter Middleton
ILT - Ken Houston, Charles Goldie, David Stirling
LTSN - Ken Houston
UMTC - Neil Challis
EPSRC - Maia Angelova
IMA - Nigel Steele
RSS - Trevor Sweeting
CPAM - David Fearn
COPS - Charles Goldie
LMS - Maurice Dodson
BCME - Walter Middleton
Newton Institute - Peter Giblin
Benchmarking group - Stephen Ryrie

Response to "Measuring The Mathematics problem"
- HoDoMS offers support to the proposal for a National Centre for Diagnostic Testing. Chair to write to LTSN passing on encouraging views)
(CG to write)

- HoDoMS supports the proposal to set up Advisory Council on Mathematics Education, currently being dealt with by JMC. Chair to write to JMC welcoming the statement in para 7 of proposal which suggests that the new council should have some experience in HE (which we take to mean HE Mathematics), and supporting the Past Chair's suggestions of Peter Saunders, Chris Robson and Keith Hirst for the HE member. Further possible names, if needed, include Adrian Oldknow, Roy Bradley or Joan Walsh.
(CG to write)

Benchmarking, the National Qualifications Framework and MMath.

MMath: useful conference meeting, yielding proposal to set up a short term working party from education committees of LMS, IMA, RSS (Chair to represent HoDoMS) to give a way to move forward, reassure universities, and ask the benchmarking group to incorporate the MMath into the benchmark. Group will reaffirm support for MMath concept (additional depth), explore solutions to issues raised by National Qualifications Framework, reassure universities that the issue is in hand.

Benchmarking: Ken Houston reported on responses he had received through informal consultation over draft benchmark (broadly supportive). He will collate and summarise these in writing.

National Qualifications Framework: Noted level descriptors are in final form, (HoDoMS consultation comments concerning the conflict between the QAA qualifications descriptors and a mathematical sciences degree were ignored), but the fact that the MSOR benchmark was not written at the time gives a possible way in. Chair to write to Council for Mathematical Sciences pointing out our problem here, and recording that there was uproar over the issue at our conference in the presence of a QAA Deputy Director.
(CG to write)


Representation on HoDoMS Committee from OR Society. Chair to investigate possibilities.
(CG to investigate)