Conferences provide opportunities to disseminate scholarly work widely, to reveal and plan new directions for research, and to engage and encourage students and junior scientists early in their careers, all of which help deepen connections among the mathematical sciences community.
DMS priorities for the support of conferences include:
- Breadth and diversity of participation, in order to help more mathematical scientists stay abreast of developments in the discipline;
- Involvement of students and junior investigators and of individuals from groups under-represented in the mathematical sciences, in order to contribute to the development of the nation's science personnel base;
- Connection to frontiers in the mathematical sciences, in order to advance the mathematical sciences and to strengthen the interchanges between the mathematical sciences and other science and engineering disciplines;
Diversity and breadth of participation should be understood as applying to institutions as well as to individuals. In particular, it includes those institutions and individuals lacking other federal support.
The continuing success and strength of the CBMS conference series owes to certain distinguishing features which differentiate these conferences from typical research conferences. These are
- Focus on a single important and timely area of research by a leading practitioner. Each conference lecturer is a major contributor to the subject area of the conference and has a broad perspective on that area. The lectures pull together the major ideas and recent results and chart the possible future directions for the field. The purpose of this format is to ensure that the participants, especially the new or recent entrants to the field, gain a deeper understanding of the major outstanding problems and current directions of research in the field than they would get from the typical conference format, where many people present talks on their own results.
- Published conference materials for a wider audience. Conference materials based on the lectures present, to a much wider audience than the conference alone provides, a carefully prepared synthesis of and perspective on an active field of research by one of its leading contributors.
- Continued effect and local stimulation through regional emphasis. The purpose of the regional emphasis, with a focus on participants drawn from areas geographically proximate to the host institution, is to provide a strong stimulus for increased local research activity. Participants include not only established researchers but also newcomers to the field, such as graduate students, postdocs, and others wishing to learn a new area.
The competence of the conference organizer (principal investigator) and the thematic and organizational appropriateness of the host institution (including arrangements for housing, meals, etc.) are essential to the conference's success.
CBMS will help publicize the funded conferences to the community and will handle pre- and post-conference dissemination of conference materials. The organizer (principal investigator) will be responsible for all other aspects of the conference, including inviting and reimbursing participants, making arrangements for facilities, and scheduling lectures and other activities.
Because a major goal of these conferences is to attract new researchers into the field of the conference and to stimulate new research activity, institutions that are interested in upgrading or improving their research efforts are especially encouraged to apply.