I attended the 2009 British Applied Mathematics Colloquium (BAMC) at the School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham last week.
On day 1, I attended as a delegate from Nottingham interested in the Mathematics Education mini-symposium. On days 2 and 3, I attended as an exhibitor from the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and assisted with running the IMA stall. Needless to say, some people know me as an IMA chap and others as an e-learning chap. This made for a very confusing week. I don’t mind working for two employers but when one moves in with the other it all gets a little messy!
Overall I had a very good time at the conference. I took an approach of forced complete lack of self-consciousness, wandering up to people with: “Hello, I’m Peter, I work for the IMA” to see where it led me. I serendipitously did this with several people with whom I have been speaking by email or on Facebook or Twitter. In fact, at one particular wine reception I had a run of people who have invited me to give talks or to other events but who I had not met. I spoke to a lot of PhD students and postdocs and hopefully raised some awareness of the IMA. I spoke to a few younger members and encouraged them to get involved and make the most of their membership. I spoke to a lot of more established members who used the materials on the stall on upcoming conferences, etc. to become more informed about the activities of the Institute. I even gave away a couple of IMA application forms. And, of course, I answered a lot of questions about the ‘merger’ (in case you’re wondering the answers are always either: 1. there is a vote taking place currently; 2. no, no one knows the outcome yet).