The inaugural meeting of the UK and Irish SIAM Section was held at UMIST, Manchester on 6th January this year. Five invited speakers gave talks covering a broad range of applied mathematics.
The speakers in the morning session were Trevor Stuart (Imperial College), "Singularities in the Solution of the Euler Equations for Three-Dimensional Flows", and Margaret Wright (Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technology), "The Other Simplex Method: Non-Derivative Optimisation 30 Years On". Lunch was preceded by a business meeting.
Speaking after lunch were David Crighton (Cambridge University), "Applied Mathematics Research: The Key to the Engineering Future", and David Sloan (Strathclyde University), "Approximate Solution of PDEs with Steep Solutions Using Adaptivity and Pseudo-spectral Methods". John Ockendon (Oxford University) closed the meeting with a talk entitled "Making Contact in Mathematics and in Industry".
Among the 46 people attending (despite the extreme cold) were both SIAM members and interested nonmembers, with a wide representation of institutions throughout the UK and Ireland.
Moves to set up the UK and Irish SIAM Section were initiated more than two years ago by David Silvester (UMIST) and Andy Wathen (Oxford University). Seeing the need for a section, they wrote to the just under 200 SIAM members resident in the UK and Ireland asking for support for the formation of a section. After receiving indications of strong support, they prepared a letter of application for submission to the SIAM Board of Trustees. The letter was accompanied by a petition signed by 20 SIAM members, as required by SIAM rules. Formation of the section was approved by the SIAM board at its December 1996 meeting.
At the end of the inaugural meeting, Bill Morton (Oxford University) thanked Silvester and Wathen for their tireless efforts in setting up the section and judged the meeting a success. Rules for the new section were discussed at the business meeting and subsequently finalised and submitted to the SIAM board.
The avowed purpose of the section is to enable UK and Irish members of SIAM to benefit more from their membership through local meetings and other activities. All SIAM members resident in the UK or Ireland are automatically members of the section. Nominations for officers of the section were solicited and in the subsequent election Bill Morton (Oxford) was elected as President, Bill Dold (UMIST) as Vice-President and Andy Wathen (Oxford) as Secretary and Treasurer. Each will serve a two-year term.
The main meeting of the section is to be held annually, in early January. Those present at UMIST welcomed the announcement made at the end of the meeting that the next SIAM conference on Numerical Combustion will be held in the UK (see the conference announcement in this issue). The creation of the new SIAM section now makes it possible for SIAM to organise meetings in this part of the world - may this one be the first of many SIAM conferences to take place in the UK or the Republic of Ireland: watch this space!