Opening: The meeting opened at 17:04.
Quorum: The meeting was recognised as quorate, there being present the President and Secretary of the BCTCS, the local organiser for BCTCS 29, and at least ten other members of the BCTCS.
Apologies: Apologies for absence were received from Daniël Paulusma (University of Durham).
Previous minutes: The minutes of the Open General Meeting held at BCTCS 28 in Manchester were approved.
Matters arising: An opt-out at the point of registration was enabled for those who did not wish to join the EATCS – registrations in this category were offered at a reduced rate. It was noted that Abstracts will appear in the Bulletin of the EATCS.
President's report: Faron Moller noted that the number of attendees was at a satisfactory level, with 49 participants (two fewer than last year) and 28 contributed talks. It was noted that last year’s BCTCS ran concurrently with the Automated Reasoning Workshop. The President expressed his gratitude to the Heilbronn Institute, Department of Mathematics, University of Bristol, for supporting the student bursaries. Thanks were also extended to the London Mathematical Society for supporting the invited lecture from Susanne Albers. The President further thanked Guy McCusker and James Davenport for organising this year’s BCTCS, noting that these were difficult times for the Colloquium given that EPSRC support for assisted student places has been withdrawn.
Treasurer's report: Stephan Reiff-Marganiec had received accounts from Manchester, and thanked Ian Pratt-Hartman for preparing these. Significant funding for bursaries for students attending BCTCS at Manchester had been committed from BCTCS funds, but in the event BCTCS funds were only required to contribute £550. The Treasurer noted that the balance of the BCTCS bank account was currently £16,921. This figure however includes the LMS sponsorship for this year, and it is expected that the balance will shortly be reduced by approximately £1,800 once the expenses for the LMS invited speaker have been paid, and once the £550 contribution to Manchester has been made. It was noted that funding for six bursaries for students attending BCTCS this year had been committed from BCTCS funds.
Report on arrangements for BCTCS 30: Paul Bell (Loughborough University) reported on arrangements for BCTCS 30, to be held at Loughborough University between 9-11 April 2014. Paul Bell gave some historical and geographical information about Loughborough University. The campus is near to both Nottingham and Leicester, and close to East Midlands Airport, with good rail links to London. The campus occupies a site off 437 acres, making it the largest single-site University campus in the UK.
The University has approximately 17,000 staff and students. Accommodation will be on or near campus with good public transport links to town. Presentations will likely be in the Stewart Mason building. This is a short walk from the campus accommodation, and there is also a shuttle bus running throughout the Campus.
The Department of Computer Science was founded in 1974, and is part of the School of Science. The Department has 24 academic staff, 15 allied staff and 50 research students. Its building has recently undergone a £5 million renovation programme.
Within the Department there are four main research divisions, one of which is Theoretical Computer Science. The members of this research group include Paul Bell, Helmut Bez, Walter Hussak, Daniel Reidenbach and Ana Salagean.
The President extended his thanks to Paul Bell for travelling to Bath to make his presentation.
Choice of host for BCTCS 31: The President solicited offers to host BCTCS 31 and none was received. The meeting agreed to allow the President to explore possible hosts for BCTCS 31 subsequently to the meeting.
Any other business: The President noted that next year’s BCTCS will be co- located with the British Computer Society’s Academy Symposium. Faron Moller also noted that the CPHC (Conference of Professors and Heads of Computing) annual meeting will take place in Loughborough around the same time as BCTCS and the BCS Academy Symposium in 2014. It is expected that there will be a joint BCS Academy / BCTCS keynote speaker funded by the BCS.
It was noted that currently BCTCS is dropping in the list of conferences that academics plan to attend. One way to address this is to co-locate with events that the community may be travelling to anyway. The intention is to try to make BCTCS bigger next year. Also it is important to find ways to keep the price down and make the event affordable. It was also stressed that this is an event for supporting PhD students.
The BCS Academy Symposium takes place on a biennial basis, and a possible future model could be for BCTCS to link up with that event every even year. This could help to increase participation in BCTCS, particularly from academic staff. The challenge is to find a suitable model for BCTCS in odd years. One possible option is to co-locate with the Automated Reasoning Workshop as in 2012.
Closing: The meeting closed at 17.31.