Report on the 2014 BMC to the LMS

1. Scientific activity

1.1. Summary.
The British Mathematical Colloquium 2014 took place between 07-10 April 2014 at Queen Mary University of London. Our goals for making the BMC2014 one of the most successful to date were:

(A) Revive the interest in the BMC by enhancing its world-wide standing and by ranking it next to international events of this type.

(B) Disseminate leading mathematical research to as wide an audience as possible, and in particular increase the participation of PhD students.

(C) Encourage new and existing partnerships to flourish.

(D) Improve the quality of the event and enhance hospitality.

We are pleased to report that, largely due to our partnership with the London Mathematical Society as well as the Clay Mathematical Institute, we managed to achieve and/or surpass all of the above goals.

The goal (A) was made possible by the generous LMS funding, supplemented by a Clay Mathematics Institute grant toward the expenses of high profile plenary speakers and a part of the expenses of the workshop speakers. This funding was essential in view of increasing the international profile of the BMC, since it allowed the organisers to invite a stellar list of speakers, unparalleled in the recent history of the conference, as detailed below. A number of our speakers will speak at this year's International Congress of Mathematicians.

Regarding (B), the prestigious list of speakers attracted around 310 registered academic participants, which is a great success compared to 202, 148 in the previous two years, and it was the largest BMC since Leeds 2000. This also proved that BMC can be organised in London, to completely dispel the belief that it would be too expensive and impractical. Regarding the PhD students' participation, we ran a bursary scheme funded by Google, which covered full local expenses for 19 PhD students. The organisers also awarded 16 fee waivers to PhD students from the central conference budget. There was a hugely successful public lecture (open to general public and media) by Persi Diaconis.

Regarding (C) and (D), thanks to the congenial social space of People's Palace with discussion areas, the lunch area, and the conference dinner, the organisers are aware of numerous connections established between aca- demics, between academics and publishers, between academics and media, between charities and industry partners, and our hope is that a number of these relationships will flourish in the future.

1.2. Scientific programme.
The BMC2014 featured a public lecture entitled 'The Magic of Martin Gardner' by the distinguished mathematician Persi Diaconis, M. V. Sunseri Professor of Statistics and Mathematics at Stanford University.
The lecture caused a surge of interest in the public, the internet and social media, attracting the attention of the author Simon Singh, who attended the event.

The following mathematicians delivered plenary talks at BMC2014:

Morning speakers were:
At a late stage we were informed that Professor Atiyah is unable to deliver his lecture in person, but we managed to arrange a videoconferencing lecture live from Edinburgh.

1.3. Organisation.
The conference was organised by the following members of the School of Mathematics, Queen Mary, University of London:

The members of the Scientific Advisory Committee were:
The specialised workshops were organised by:

It was widely agreed that the standard of all talks was outstanding and much superior to a generic non-specialised conference. Please see the programme and timetable in the Appendix for full details.

2. Funding and budget structure

Two main sources of funding were the London Mathematical Society Conference Grant and Clay Mathematical Institute Enhancement and Partnership Program. Since the CMI grant could only be used for pre-approved speakers, we combined the more flexible LMS grant and the CMI grant to the best possible outcome.

The main items in the BMC2014 budget were the following:

(1) London Mathematical Society Conference Grant. Up to £12,500, used for all speakers' registration and conference dinner expenses, all non-CMI Plenary speakers, all Morning speakers, all non-CMI Workshop speakers.

(2) Clay Mathematical Institute Enhancement and Partnership Program. Up to £9, 000 used for previously agreed Plenary and Work- shop speakers' travel and accommodation expenses.

(3) Registration fee and conference dinner budget. Used for catering (tea/coffee breaks, lunches, reception, dinner) room and equipment hire, poster/brochure design, advertising, conference packs, consumables, fee waivers for PhD students.

(4) QMUL School of Mathematics registration fees for QMUL participants.

(5) Google student bursaries. We used £5, 000 for covering full local expenses of 19 PhD students from the UK and overseas. The bursaries were awarded on a highly competitive basis.
(6) Income from various academic publishers: Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Springer UK, Taylor and Francis. Used as a contribution to the budget item (3).

(7) QMUL/School of Mathematics contribution. The University and the School covered and underwrote major parts of funding which are difficult to itemise, but which was crucial to the successful organisation, such as: administrative team lead by Jo Young, reduced/waived room hire costs, AV support, costs of speakers' dinner on the first day, contribution to the conference dinner, Principal's agreement to fully book the on-campus accommodation and numerous other items.

Below is a table with overall budget structure. The 'surplus' has to be interpreted in view of item (7) above.

BMC2014 Budget overview

General account

Eshop conference delegates, early bird (120@£75)12725
Eshop conference delegates, standard (37@£95)3315
Eshop conference dinner delegates (79@£55)4345
Maths department delegates (34@£75)2550
Maths department dinner delegates (3@£55)165
Institutional delegates (15@£75 [5 UCL; 10 Imperial])1125
LMS speaker delegates (53@£130)6890
Google sponsorship delegates (16@£130)2080
Sponsorship income2500
Google Fee waivers (7 x £75)525

Great Hall Costs1474
Great Hall lighting1140
Catering (total event cost)21530
Delegate packs1032
Ambassadors (6 for 30 hours @ £22.50 p/h)4050
Poster design140
Poster printing240
Brochure preparation560
Brochure printing490
Other (camera tapes, name badges, pads)250

Account balance: 4703

LMS account
LMS Grant12500

Plenary speaker registration and dinner fee (8 @ £130)1040
Plenary speaker travel (details below)583
Morning speaker conference fee and dinner (10 x £130)1300
Morning speaker travel (details below)601
Plenary & Morning speaker accomodation (non-Clay France House)1316
Workshop speaker conference fee and dinner (30 x £130)3900
Workshop speaker accomodation (Non-Clay Ibis)1971
Workshop speaker travel839

Grant balance: 950

Clay account
Clay Grant9000

Ibis accommodation1173
Plenary and workshop speaker travel2558+?
France House accommodation893

Account balance: unknown

Google account

Google Grant5000
Accomodation for 16 bursary candidates2350
Conference fee and dinner for 19 bursary candidates (@£130)2470
Fee waivers (2 x £75)150
Account balance: 30

Total income: 53920
Total expenditure: 48238
Balance: 5682

Dr Ivan Tomašić (for the organisers of BMC2014)

School of Mathematical Sciences
Queen Mary University of London
London E1 4NS