Thursday, 7 January 2010

Early Career Mathematicians and Social Networking

Sorry I have been away for a while. My attempt to keep this blog going on a weekly basis is not working too well. However, I will continue to update this blog as often as I can. This blog includes: a review of the November 2009 Younger Mathematicians conference; some details about the next conference; and a discussion about social networking and how it may help collaborative working amongst mathematicians.
The 11th Younger mathematicians Conference occurred on 14th November 2009 in Birmingham ( In my opinion, this was the best Younger Mathematicians conference in a couple of years and the others have all been very good. Highlights for me included ’Science in the Media’ by Peter Styring discussing how Peter has used the media to promote the use of science and mathematics to the general public. There was also a talk on the biophysics of sperm swimming. A full review (fortunatelynot written by me) will appear in an upcoming issue of Mathematics Today (, the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications Magazine.
That was the last Younger Mathematicians Conference. However, the conferences are going to continue to run under a new name. The new name is Early Career Mathematicians Conference. Early career is defined in the IMA as
• Mathematicians within 15 years of graduating from a university mathematics degree
• Members of the IMA who do not have a degree and are within the first 15 years of the first time they joined the IMA
This will make sure that that the conferences are welcoming to mature graduates who might be put off by the younger members title. The next conference is on 15th May 2010 and will be held in Newcastle (see ). I hope that many of you will be able to come along.

Social Networking has become a big part of everyone’s life. The IMA has group pages on a number of Social Networking sites:
LinkedIn (more for business professionals)
However, what does this provide us? For the IMA it provides advertising and a chance to hear members’ opinions on different issues. For instance, the change in name for the Younger Mathematicians Conferences came from a discussion on facebook and even a couple of speakers for the next conference. For individuals though it offers the chance to network with professional colleagues by direct communication and the opportunity to swap information and get questions answered. What surprises me is that more companies are not using the same type of system to help run projects within their business. I do hope that many of you will join
Finally, are you all aware of the Industrial Maths Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) ( The site provides online collaboration opportunities for registered members, puts out calls for research proposals and information on the activities of the Knowledge Transfer Network I recommend you check it out.

Please note that are all of the above are my own personal opinions and not necessarily the opinion of the’ Institute of Mathematics and its Applications’ or any other organisation I may have mentioned.