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AMS Committee on Meetings and Conferences (COMC) 2006 Annual Report

Highlights of 2006 meeting (March 18, 2006)

Report of the Secretariat

AMS Secretary Robert Daverman gave a report on the March 17 Secretariat meeting.

  • The Secretariat reviewed International Meetings through 2009 with Shanghai at the end of 2008 as the 2009 meeting. Other meetings reviewed were New Zealand for 2007 and Brazil for 2008.
  • The 2007 Erdos Lecture will be held at Davidson College in Davidson, NC in the spring of 2007.
  • The 2007 Einstein Public Lecture will be held at Rutgers University. Roger Penrose will be asked to speak.
  • A recommendation to eliminate By Title abstracts will be sent to the Council
  • The Special Session on Current Events, organized by David Eisenbud, will now be called the Current Events Bulletin.
  • The Secretariat discussed those special sessions held at the JMM that are repeated each year or what is called "endowed sessions". The Secretary asked that CoMC look at this topic for the 2007 CoMC meeting including checking to see how many have repeat speakers.

Report on the Subcommittee to Review the National Meeting (overall program, including Governance meetings). This subcommittee was composed of Gregory Smith (Chair), Gail Ratcliff and Joel Hass. The subcommittee reported that in their assessment, the Joint Mathematics Meetings does an excellent job fulfilling the AMS needs for national meetings.

  • Add a statement to the JMM web page and JMM Program stating that all participants are invited to all advertised social events.
  • Continue with the Meetings Department's ongoing efforts to make the JMM Program easier for participants to find information including making some adjustments to the JMM web page.
  • Continue to support events that assist with networking such as the combined First Timers/Graduate Student Reception.
  • Continue the helpful Bulletin Board that assists participants to find roommates

Report on the San Antonio Focus Group. Joel Hass moderated the CoMC Focus Group discussion in San Antonio. The comments and suggestions from the Focus Group were discussed during Hass's report. Some suggestions were to put a flyer in the pre registration packet announcing the social events and receptions that are open to the public and to hold a social event in the JMM city. When asked what sessions could be eliminated, the focus group said none. They had several suggestions for the Meetings web page and asked that the instructions on how to participate in a contributed paper be made clearer to the reader and the young mathematician. The group also suggested that there be a way to find mentors for young mathematicians. CoMC moved that a Bulletin Board be made available at the JMM where spontaneous social events could be listed.

New Types of AMS Conferences. The CoMC subcommittee to look at topics for a new type of conference, headed by Jon McCammond, met at the JMM in San Antonio. McCammond reported on the subcommittee meeting. Ellen Maycock reported on the Proposal that has been developed based on the discussion at that meeting. The program, tentatively entitled "Y-Research," would provide opportunities and support for young mathematicians as they begin their research careers. Several comments and suggestions were given to Maycock for help in presenting the proposal to the Council in April 2006.

Videotaping Policy. CoMC approved the following policy: "The videotaping of any American Mathematical Society sponsored events, including but not limited to special sessions and contributed paper sessions, short- courses and colloquia, is forbidden without the explicit written permission of the Director of Meetings and Conferences for the American Mathematical Society." A permission form will be designed.

Policy on Diversity for Organizers of AMS Meetings & Conferences. A subcommittee consisting of Joel Hass, Catherine Roberts and John Ewing was appointed to write an AMS Meetings policy on diversity to include young mathematicians and underrepresented groups. This policy will be posted on the meetings web pages and on all Call for Papers.

Other informational items. CoMC's topic for annual review for 2007 is to be the review of International Meetings. Jon McCammond will chair the subcommittee to prepare a report on this topic for the next meeting.

CoMC will host a Focus Group during the New Orleans meeting on Saturday, January 6, 2007. Judy Kennedy will chair the focus group.