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Message from the President

posted May 8, 2013, 5:47 AM by RMS Administrator   [ updated Jul 8, 2014, 5:46 PM ]
Dear RMS-Friend,

My heartfelt gratitude for electing  Prof.S Kumaresan, Srinivas Rao, M. Dutta, and me with almost 3:1 margin, giving us the  opportunity to serve on the EC of RMS.

Let us all work together to reach the new heights for RMS!

I am inviting Prof.s Kalyan Sinha, T.  Amarnath, and Sanjeev Aggarwal to continue contributing   to RMS, in any of the many   ways they may choose -- in the (regional) conferences, in the publication activities, in the (regional) undergraduate and high school mathematics programmes, etc.  

An immediate concern is the organisation of the annual RMS conference.      After reviewing the earlier correspondence,  we have decided to hold the annual conference
at the Reva Institute of Technology, Bangalore. The conference dates are: June 27-June 30, 2013.   Prof. M. S. Raghunathan, the past President, is organising the academic programme.

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Another major concern is the organisation of a joint meeting of the  RMS and American Mathematical Society, like the one we had in 2003 in Bangalore.

Let us all work together on this major event.


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Regional Chapters:

Let me briefly elaborate on  the statement on the focus of my presidency, which I sent to you earlier.

The level of mathematics in a society is a measure of vibrancy of its intellectual culture.  Besides professional mathematicians, many people - physicists, chemists, engineers, statisticians, lawyers, in recent years biological scientists and some doctors, people from mathematical finance, ...., have started applying mathematics in a big way. In my opinion, mathematics is   a science in itself; our "data"  or more mental than physical. Moreover it is not just a "language" of science, but it is also a science of formulating  theories for other sciences.

So RMS, while primarily maintaining its "latest math research"-focus, should remain open to  influences from other sciences, and also promote mathematics at all levels. Moreover, RMS should be an advocacy group   for the college/university faculty and students, who mainly constitute our membership. We should make conscious efforts to develop networking among all of us, and communicate mathematics to each other at many levels.

Unfortunately, so far our activity has been restricted to one annual conference. We wish to extend this considerably. We hope to  work out soon a broad outline  and start some pilot projects.

In short: We wish to start regional RMS-chapters. There is a strong opinion that such chapters may be formed by developing a network of many mathematical societies in India. But other groups of mathematicians may consider of forming a chapter too. We have still to flesh out many formal details.

The responsibility of each chapter will be: 

i) to
organise at least one annual conference for the math community in the region

ii) to organise the undergraduate math seminar activity for the university/college faculty and students in the colleges  in the region.

We fore-see about 8 to 10 "regions" in India. The leaders in each region will decide on the way they wish to develop  mathematics in the region, with full knowledge of how mathematics is developing in India and the world, but with little interference from the "top".

The cost for a conference under i) should be considerably lower than the RMS national annual conference. We expect that  the regional organisers will get partial funding from the institutions in the region. If the programme works out, RMS will try to get a grant from a national funding agency of about Rs 1 to 2 lakhs per conference.

The main advantage of regional chapters will be to increase the network of mathematicians in India, and provide opportunities to present their researches. This will be especially beneficial for our junior colleagues. We have all experienced that in one, annual, four-day national conference there is too much pressure on "paper-presentation"-sessions, and most people after attending 4-5 major lectures do not have energy to attend the "paper-presentation"-sessions.

As for ii), we are thinking of instituting student memberships.

Let us try to concentrate on the sincere and interested undergraduates  who are developing some love for mathematics. Each college has 10/15 such students. Let us encourage them  to start seminar activities in mathematics, in their colleges and universities. Some colleges may also come together
and start the activities. The initiative should come from the students themselves. They should
start this activity under the guidance of their teachers and the fellow-students doing  the post-graduate studies. (This should be something like, parents arranging a marriage, but kids thinking that they are entering into a love-marriage!) They should  hold about 10 such seminars every year.

If they need to invite some special speakers, assistance  will be provided by the leaders in the regional chapter as well as by the national body. We intend to   form a national group of able enthusiastic RMS-members who will be able to act as resource persons for this activity. RMS will be happy to provide for the travel and some local hospitality of the resource persons.

One largely un-tapped resource, (which I am realising as I am getting older!), is the pool of senior excellent teachers who have retired from their colleges and universities. We invite them to contribute to both i) and ii).

We would like to start this activity in collaboration with the many regional mathematical societies. On a positive note, I should mention that the Marathwada Mathematical Society is about to start such an activity, and RMS will collaborate in the effort.

I fondly remember a poem in praise of  "Vidyaa-devi", that is "Goddess of Knowledge" (with a capital "K"):

"O Vidyaa-devi, strange  is thy treasure. A thief cannot steal it, a state cannot tax it, brethren cannot divide it, and it  is so light to carry! The more one spends it, the more it increases!!"

Let us all   remember that mathematics is the  top-most, communicable,  part of this Vidyaa!! Let us develop a network in the mathematical community starting from the undergraduates, and spread the message of mathematics!

Do let me know your suggestions regarding the idea of regional RMS-chapters.

With best regards,

Ravi Kulkarni
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