0306_March-2006

CAIMS*SCMAI E-News Volume 06 Number 2
March 27, 2006

Editor: Rod Edwards (edwards@math.uvic.ca)

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CONTENTS

Special Issue:

1. NSERC funding of the Mathematics institutes

2. NSERC Survey of the Mathematics Community

3. CAIMS*SCMAI E-News Information

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ITEM 1
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From: Bill Langford <wlangfor@uoguelph.ca>
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 16:39:51 -0500

NSERC FUNDING OF THE MATHEMATICS INSTITUTES

Important changes are now under way at NSERC that
will affect the way funds are allocated to Discovery
Grants and will change the way in which the Mathematics
Institutes are funded by NSERC. The issues are
rather complex, and many members of the Canadian
mathematics community have not had time to fully
understand the issues at stake. NSERC will make
a decision sometime soon that will have long
lasting consequences for research funding in the
mathematical sciences. NSERC officials have said
that they will seek community input and thay have
agreed to send a representative to our AGM in
June. It is important that CAIMS members are well
informed in advance of this meeting and have time
to discuss what our priorities (if any) should be.

Attached to this eNews you will find two documents
in PDF, which present differing views on these
issues. One is the Liaison Report, send in February
to Mathematics Departments, representing the
majority view of the Mathematics - NSERC Liaison
Committee. It is duplicated here for CAIMS members
because many CAIMS members are not in Mathematics
Departments, so did not receive it at that time.
The second is my letter to CAIMS, written as CAIMS
representative on the Liaison Committee, representing
my minority opinion as a member of the Committee.

It is my goal to stimulate a healthy discussion of
these important issues facing our community. It is
my hope that this discussion will draw our community
closer together and not be divisive. Please read
both documents carefully and thoughtfully, and draw
your own conclusions. Feel free to communicate
your ideas (pro or con) to me or any member of the
CAIMS Board.

Bill Langford
President of CAIMS
CAIMS Member of Liaison Committee

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ITEM 2
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From: Bill Langford <wlangfor@uoguelph.ca>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 15:58:23 -0500

BREAKING NEWS:
NSERC TO SURVEY THE MATHEMATICS COMMUNITY

NSERC has announced that it plans to survey the
Canadian mathematics community in the near future,
to determine preferences regarding the proposed
funding options for the Mathematics Institutes.
Recently, the timing of this survey has been clarified
by NSERC. It will be held after the Society Annual
Meetings in June, to allow time for the community to
be well-informed on these issues.

It is expected that NSERC will have representatives
at the CAIMS Annual Meeting at York University in
June, to answer questions and clarify issues. The
format of this meeting is not yet decided.

However, there is a feature of this survey that may
affect many CAIMS members. NSERC says that their survey
will be restricted to researchers funded by the Math
GSCs 336 and 337. Many CAIMS members receive their
NSERC funding from other GSCs. Many of these same CAIMS
members are involved with the Mathematics Institutes.

On March 19, Bill Langford wrote to Serge Villemure at
NSERC about this, as follows:

"I remain disappointed that you intend to restrict
the NSERC Survey to only one part of the Mathematical
Sciences Community in Canada, those funded by GSC
336/337. The Math Institutes serve a much larger
community than just 336/337, and it seems to me that
it is those outside 336/337 who would be most
seriously impacted by the proposed discipine envelope.
If CAIMS members outside 336/337 are not included
in the survey, then there is the potential that they
would be disenfranchised not once but twice. Perhaps,
as you imply, NSERC may receive CAIMS input by other
mechanisms."

CAIMS members who have concerns about these issues
should communicate them to members of the CAIMS Board
of Directors. The Board will be discussing these
NSERC funding questions in advance of our June meeting.

Bill Langford
President of CAIMS

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ITEM 3
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CAIMS*SCMAI E-News Information

CAIMS*SCMAI E-News is distributed electronically several times a year by the
Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society/Societe Canadienne de
Mathematiques Appliquees et Industrielles
(http://www.caims.ca).

Past issues are available on the web at
http://www.caims.ca/Society/pub.html

Submissions are welcome and should be sent in plain text format to:
caims@caims.ca.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the Board or
Membership of CAIMS*SCMAI. The editorial policy of this publication is to
encourage the discussion of issues and facilitate the dissemination of
information relevant to Canadian applied and industrial mathematics.

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