In the 1970’s there were organizations such as the Canadian Mathematics Congress, the Canadian Operational Research Society, the Canadian Information Processing Society, the Statistical Societies and a couple of Engineering Societies, to which Canadian Applied Mathematicians belonged. The result was a scattering effect of the views of Applied Mathematicians in Canada and some means of unifying these views was required.
Several options were being considered: to form a purely Canadian Applied Mathematics Association; or to consider some association with an international organization such as SIAM or the British Institute of Applied Mathematics.
Contact was made with Dr. J.E. Block, Managing Director of SIAM, in the early part of 1977, and in July a meeting of the following people was held at the University of Waterloo:
- C.F.A. Beaumont, Chairman (University of Waterloo)
- J.E. Block (SIAM)
- P.L. Hammer (University of Waterloo)
- I.J. McGee (University of Waterloo)
- L. Muir (Canada Centre for Inland Waters)
- R.C. Mullin (University of Waterloo)
- E. Rogers (Visiting Professor, University of Waterloo)
- J. Smith (Babcock & Wilcox Canada Ltd)
Dr. Block put forward a number of possible ways in which an organization such as SIAM Canada could effectively operate to meet the goals of Canadian Applied Mathematicians. However, while there were no clear-cut ideas on what a purely Canadian organization should be, there was reluctance in joining with SIAM.
[It should be noted that during the 1970’s there was a lot of activity about the mathematical sciences in North America. Only matters directly related to CAIMS are being referred to here.]
In May 1978, a telephone conference call was arranged and chaired by Arthur Beaumont, for the purpose of further discussion on the development of a Canadian organization of Applied Mathematicians. Participants in the conference call were:
- Dr. Felix Arscott (University of Manitoba)
- Dr. Colin Clark (University of British Columbia)
- Dr. John Coleman (Queen’s University)
- Dr. Don Ludwig (University of British Columbia)
- Dr. Stewart Smith (University of Toronto)
- Dr. Dick Sutherland (Dalhousie University)
- Dr. Fred Wan (University of British Columbia)
Also invited but unable to participate were Dr. Peter Hammer, Dr. Tom Hull, and Dr. Peter Lancaster.
There was general consensus that there should be one central Canadian organization for Applied Mathematicians. The next national SIAM meeting would be held in Toronto – summer of 1979 – and it was recommended that there could be, at the beginning or end of this meeting, a one day conference specifically for the purpose of planning such an organization.
In June, Arthur Beaumont wrote to Ed Block requesting a copy of the SIAM By-Laws. Eventually the CAMS By-Laws were set up using the SIAM By-Laws as a model.
Also at this time there was some contact with the IMA with respect to forming a Canadian section. Sir Herman Bondi addressed the Faculty of Mathematics September 22nd, 1978 on “A Mathematician’s View of Energy Policy”. A number of people were invited from Universities in Ontario and following Bondi’s address there was a discussion on the organization of a central body for Applied Mathematics. Dr. Bondi and Dr. G.A. Barnard, both past presidents of the IMA, spoke briefly about the IMA and answered questions.
Fred Wan and Colin Clarke took the initiative to hold a special Plenary Session in Toronto in conjunction with the SIAM meeting (June 11-13, 1979). Fred Wan organized the scientific aspect of the meeting and Arthur Beaumont formulated a draft Constitution for discussion. Dr. Tom Hull, or Toronto, took a very active part in planning, organization, and coordination with the SIAM meeting.
There were 33 people present at the organizational meeting held on June 13, 1979, from 3:30-5:00 PM, in the Royal York Hotel, Toronto.
In July, a Canadian Applied Mathematics Society Executive Committee was set up consisting of:
- Colin Clark, Co-Chairman and Coordinator (University of British Columbia)
- Thomas E. Hull, Co-Chairman (University of Toronto)
- Arthur Beaumont, Executive Officer (University of Waterloo)
- Stan Dennis (University of Western Ontario)
- Dick Sutherland, Publications (Dalhousie University)
- Fred Wan (University of British Columbia)
In December, the first CAIMS Executive Committee meeting was held at the University of Waterloo. Present were:
- C.F.A. Beaumont
- S.C.R. Dennis
- T.E. Hull
- W.R.S. Sutherland
- F.Y.M. Wan
- Mrs. E. Devitt took the minutes of the meeting.
During the meeting, Arthur Beaumont reported that there were 135 paid up members; 38 “contacts” had been established at Universities, and there were 7 “contacts” in non-academic organizations. The Treasurer’s balance as of this date was $1,327.05.