SIGSAM Annual Report

July, 1995 - June, 1996
Submitted by: Stephen Watt and Hoon Hong


Publications:

In FY 96 SIGSAM published the SIGSAM Bulletin and the proceedings of ISSAC 95 (see below).

The SIGSAM Bulletin has a new editor, Robert Corless of the University of Western Ontario. He has done an excellent job of revitalizing SIGSAM's primary publication. The first issue under his new editorship has already appeared.

In electronic publishing, SIGSAM was approached by IBM T.J. Watson Research center regarding preparing Bulletin and ISSAC materials as content for IBM's new Tech Explorer browser. This matter has been taken up by the ACM Publications Board in the more general context.

Special projects (standardization, etc):

Members of SIGSAM have been involved in the OpenMath consortium, a group working towards standards for the exchange of mathematical information.

Conference/workshop program:

The 1995 International Symposium on Symbolic and Algebraic Computation (ISSAC'95) took place in Montreal at the beginning of July 1995. The meeting was sponsored 75% by SIGSAM and 25% by SIGNUM.

The organization of ISSAC'96 is almost complete -- the meeting will take place in Zurich at the end of July. The organization of ISSAC'97 and ISSAC'98 is also well underway.

The 1996 East Coast Computer Algebra Day took place in Delaware in April 1996. This one-day meeting was sponsored by SIGSAM, and consisted of three invited presentations and poster sessions

Awards:

SIGSAM does not presently present any awards, although there is an awards proposal under discussion within the SIGSAM Executive Committee.

International initiatives:

The most significant international initiative for SIGSAM in FY'96 was the resolution of the long-standing question of ISSAC conference franchise:

ISSAC has been held every year since 1988, although the conference series dates back to the 1960s under various names (SYMSAC, EUROSAM, ...) and sponsors (ACM SIGSAM, GI, ...). At the business meeting of ISSAC'95 a set of bylaws was adopted, establishing an ISSAC Steering Committee to oversee the running of ISSAC meetings. The committee consists of three organizational representatives and three elected members at large. An organization sponsoring an ISSAC meeting (at the 51% level or higher) is entitled to be represented in the steering committee.

The initial steering committee was M. Bronstein (member at large), J. Grabmeier (GI Fachgruppe Computer Algebra), R. Jenks (member at large), H. Kobayashi (Japanese Sigsam), T. Mora (member at large), S. Watt, Chair (ACM Sigsam).

Collaborative efforts:

See "International Initiatives" above for collaborative efforts with other societies, and "Conferences and Workshops" above for collaborative efforts with other SIGS.

Membership activities and/or concerns:

SIGSAM's membership continues at a level below its high point of a few years ago. While this follows the same pattern as other SIGS, it is contrary to the quickly growing nature of the discipline.

Rather than concentrate on membership, per se, SIGSAM has concentrated more on providing improved value to its members. The principle is that if SIGSAM membership provides clear benefits, then it will be easy to attract members. In this vein, the principal efforts have been to provide all SIGSAM members with a copy of ISSAC'96 proceedings, and to improve and revitalize the SIGSAM Bulletin. Depending on the results of the ISSAC proceedings program, we will evaluate continuing the benefit in coming years.

SIG Program Plan:

The SIGSAM Member Plus plan has been withdrawn since its principal benefit, ISSAC Proceedings, is now provided to every SIGSAM member.

Listing of computer and other equipment purchases:

None in FY 96.


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