On 25 and 26 March, the annual ERCOM meeting took place at the Bizkaia Aretoa in Bilbao and virtually. Organised by the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics – BCAM, the event brought together professionals from the different European mathematical centres that are part of ERCOM and invited speakers. This annual meeting aims to carry out discussion on the situation of mathematics in Europe and seeks synergies between the member centres in order to establish common strategies.
On Friday, the day began with a welcome address by Adam Skalski, President of ERCOM, and Jose A. Lozano, scientific director of BCAM, which continued with presentation of BCAM, the organisation of the centre and the presentation of the Knowledge Transfer Unit (KTU). This was followed by a presentation of the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics by its director András Stipsicz, who explained the organisation of the centre and its activities.
Sylvie Benzoni, director of Institut Henri Poincaré, presented the results of the survey sent to the mathematical community of ERCOM. Under the title On the future of scientific exchange, ideas were collected on how future scientific events will be carried out, where the idea of maintaining the hybrid format in the future was highlighted. In addition, several discussion groups were created to launch ideas for improvement on different topics such as gender, events, synergies, etc.
In parallel, a meeting was held with representatives from the administration of the centres to discuss relevant issues, such as telework and gender, and to share ideas for improvement.
Friday ended with the participation of David Abrahams, professor at the University of Cambridge and former scientific director of the Isaac Newton Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, who presented the UK Academy of Mathematical Sciences initiative which aims to promote and ensure the health of the mathematical sciences in the UK.
The second day of the ERCOM meeting began with a presentation on the conflict in Ukraine and how it has affected the mathematical community. Tomas Vejchodsky, director of the del Institute of Mathematics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, explained the measures taken by ERCOM, the presentation of the new website for refugee aid https://ercom.org/help-for-refugees.html and the situation of different countries in relation to refugees. In addition, initiatives, such as the possibility of welcoming mathematicians to European centres through different programmes and job offers were presented.
The meeting continued with several sessions on industrial mathematics where Zoltán Horváth, president of Eu-math-in, spoke about the initiative to boost mathematics for industry in Europe. Will Schilders, president-elect of the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, presented ICIAM, a worldwide organisation for professional societies of applied mathematics, and for other societies with a significant interest in industrial or applied mathematics, and their organization, ICIAM 2023 congress and other initiatives. To conclude the presentation of entities related to industrial mathematics, Nataša Krejić, president of the European Consortium for Mathematics in Industry, spoke about ECMI’s structure and activities in research, education and dissemination.
This was followed by presentations by several centres on how they approach industrial mathematics in their centres, as well as concrete examples of applications. The first From Steel to Stellar Imaging – Mathematics for Industrial Applications, was given by Ronny Ramlau, Scientific Director – Managing Director of the Johann Radon Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics. The following speakers from the Weierstrass Institute (WIAS) Torsten Koehler (Knowledge Transfer) and Matthias Liero (Researcher), discussed the impact of mathematical modelling, analysis and simulation in understanding and improving nano- and optoelectronics using the example of organic semiconductor devices used for new lighting applications.
Last but not least, Lluís Alsedà, scientific director of the Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, and David Romero, from the Knowledge and Technology Transfer unit, presented three ways of tackling industrial challenges. The ERCOM Meeting 2022 ended with the words of Adam Skalski, President of ERCOM.
ERCOM is an European Mathematical Society (EMS) committee consisting of Scientific Directors and Administrators of European Research Centres in the Mathematical Sciences, or their chosen representatives. Only European centres which are institutional members of the EMS, predominantly research oriented, with an international scientific board and a large international visiting programme, covering a broad area of the Mathematical Sciences are eligible for representation in ERCOM.