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An historic meeting

Woke with a rather large hangover in a hall of residence room, rushed late to a lecture theatre and listened to a chap give a talk I didn’t fully understand… this is certainly bringing back memories!

I’m on the train now going home from Manchester having spent the last two days at the 50th British Applied Mathematics Colloquium (BAMC). The conference will continue for another two days but I have to be back in Nottingham.

I have enjoyed being at the BAMC and have met a lot of people. I tried to go to a variety of talks and didn’t fully understand any of them (I wasn’t the target audience for any of them and in a 20 minute talk there’s an awful lot of need for the word “obviously”). But it is good to get a sense of how vibrant applied mathematics is as a subject (8 talks in parallel every 25 minutes 6 times a half day plus plenaries is an awful lot of content!) and always good to meet practitioners of the art.

Also attached to the BAMC was a schools outreach event called “Meet the Mathematicians” and I was lucky enough to sit in on talks by Chris Budd and David Broomhead. Around 50 local sixth form students attended and seemed to respond well to the talks I attended. There was a photo taken with the students just starting out on their careers and participants from the original BAMC 50 years ago. I don’t know if the outreach day is going to be a new BAMC tradition but it seems a good idea.

Incidentally, yesterday when I was on the train and posted my report to Mathematics Today April there was a chap sat opposite me. He seemed perfectly nice and we exchanged pleasantries a little but I really thought little of it. Later, he introduced himself to me at the BAMC! He is John Watson and he attended the first few BTMC (as BAMC was then called) meetings in the late 50s and early 60s. He was one of several people who were involved at the start invited to the 50th anniversary conference. So there was a missed opportunity for me!

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