Guidelines for Annual Meeting Organizers
Guidelines for Co-Chairs of Annual Meetings
The annual meeting is the flagship meeting for the entire SIAM community. In particular, the annual meeting provides:
- a forum for ideas in a wide range of applied mathematics and computing, and application areas
- an outlet for cutting-edge science in cross-disciplinary fields
- a meeting place for SIAM members, in particular those not associated with a SIAG
- opportunities to meet people in different fields
- student oriented activities (student day)
- recognition of excellence in the community (through prizes & awards)
- professional activities and development (Career Fair, Professional Development Evening, Workshop Celebrating Diversity, AWM workshops)
- networking opportunities
- a place to recognize prize winners
- a place for the business meeting
- publicity (e.g. by generating articles for SIAM NEWS)
- opportunities for recruiting new members
With all these activities the annual meeting fosters a spirit of community.
These guidelines apply to the SIAM Annual Meeting; other SIAM Conferences, Symposia and Workshops have their own set of guidelines.
The primary role of the organizing committee is to design the technical program, including selection of themes, invitation of plenary speakers, topical speakers, minitutorial speakers, and minisymposium organizers, and scheduling of all sessions. The committee also reviews proposals for contributed presentations and posters, and may choose to accept or reject such proposals.
It is the responsibility of the organizing committee to ensure broad representation of plenary speakers, topical speakers, minitutorial speaker, and minisymposium organizers in all aspects of the program; these aspects include relevant scientific disciplines, industry, and geographic balance.
A special attempt should be made to include speakers and topics from industry which plays a vital role in SIAM. In addition, it is the policy of the SIAM Board to urge organizers to include women and underrepresented minorities in the selection of high profile participants in the conference such as members of the organizing committee, invited speakers, and minisymposium organizers.
I. Important SIAM Contacts
- Co-chairs' primary contact. Conference site, meeting rooma, A/V equipment, program scheduling, correspondence with speakers, minisymposium organizers and session chairs
Conference director: Connie Young (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- OC selection, scientific program
Vice President for Programs: email@example.com
- Financial matters, conference policies
Director, Programs and Services: Linda Thiel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Technical Director: William Kolata (email@example.com)
- OC selection, SIAM policies
Executive Director: James Crowley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- A/V set up for SIAM meetings
The budget for the annual meeting is set by the SIAM office, and the registration fees by the SIAM board. The goal is to stage a high quality event at the lowest possible registration fee. In contrast to other SIAM meetings, the annual meeting receives no external grant support. SIAM has never made a profit on an annual meeting and the budget is tight. The co-chairs should keep this is mind when they make decisions that have a financial impact, such as travel costs for invited speakers, special events, number of meeting rooms, and nonstandard audio-visual equipment. When in doubt, contact SIAM's Conference Director.
The SIAM office is responsible for all financial commitments, signing of contracts, and holds final authority over all decisions with financial implications.
III. Meeting Site and Dates
The site and date for the annual meeting are determined by SIAM's Program Committee, which is chaired by the Vice President for Programs. The co-chairs should NOT contact a hotel, university, or other site without the explicit consent of SIAM's Conference Director.
IV. Meeting Format
- Invited Talks: The Annual meeting may be held jointly with one or two SIAGs and will usually contain up to four (4) SIAG tracks (invited topical speaker, minisymposium track, and contributed sessions). A SIAG meeting held joint with annual should be scheduled at the beginning of the annual meeting so as not to conflict with SIAM board and council meetings. A sample format for a meeting joint with one SIAG is available here. The standard format has 2 types of invited speakers: plenary and topical.
- Plenary talks: 45 minutes.
They should be accessible to a wide audience. They sketch the history of the area, describe today's context or applications, and discuss prospects for the future. If the meeting is joint with a SIAG there is one joint plenary speaker selected in cooperation with the SIAG.
- Topical talks: 30 or 45 minutes; in parallel with another topical talk.
Although they may be more specialized than plenary talks, topical talks target a general SIAM audience. They should introduce the research area and present recent results. Associated with each SIAG track is one topical speaker selected in coordination with the SIAG.
More information about invited talks and SIAG tracks specific to your meeting will be discussed in an introductory conference call with the executive director, SIAM meeting manager, and director of programs and services.
Five (5) minutes of each talk are allotted to introduction and questions.
- Minitutorials: A minitutorial is ordinarily a two-hour session whose purpose is to highlight a future direction or emerging area. A minitutorial can be a quick introduction to a hot topic, or it can survey an area of broad interest. It must be attractive to the large and varied SIAM community, including members from industry, students, practitioners, theoreticians, physical and biological scientists, engineers and computer scientists. A minitutorial should get an audience of nonexperts interested in and excited about a new topic.
- Tracks: A track is a sequence of events devoted to a research area. It consists of a minimum of four (4) minisymposium spread over two (2) consecutive days, a topical speaker, and contributed sessions.
Up to four (4) SIAGs will be asked to provide tracks at the annual meeting. The OC may also select other themes for tracks. SIAGs or track organizers may also recommend to the OC a plenary speaker in the research area targeted by the track.
- Other Events: In addition to the scientific program, the following events are part of the annual meeting: AWM workshop, Workshop Celebrating Diversity, Teachers' Day, Students' Day, Career Fair, Professional Development Evening, Prize Luncheon, Prize Lectures, John von Neumann Lecture, I. E. Block Community Lecture, SIAM Board, Council, and committee meetings. Although the co-chairs are not responsible for these events, they should keep in touch with the coordinators of these events to avoid scheduling conflicts.
V. To Do List
The check list below describes activities to be completed by a deadline relative to the start of the meeting. Absolute deadlines for specific meetings are emailed to the co-chairs.
- 20 months:
- 15-12 months:
- 12 months: Prepare Call For Papers
- 6 months: Review Abstracts
- 5-6 months: Schedule Scientific Program
- 2-4 weeks: Last Minute Reminders
The organizing committee (OC) plans the scientific program of the meeting. It is the policy of SIAM to urge Conference Chairs to include women, underrepresented minorities, industrial members, and government lab employees in the selection of high profile participants (this includes members of the organizing committee, invited plenary speakers and solicited minisymposium organizers). SIAM encourages the inclusion of junior scientists in the organizing committee.
- Ex officio members: SIAM VP for Programs
- OC members must be approved by SIAM VP for Programs before invitations are issued.
- A representative from each of the SIAGs sponsoring a track should be on the OC.
- If the meeting is joint with a SIAG a member of the SIAG OC should also be on the Annual OC
- Liaison from Workshop Celebrating Diversity Working Group
- The co-chairs chair the OC.
- The co-chairs receive complimentary registration and up to 14 OC members receive complimentary registration.
- It is preferable that OC members be SIAM members.
It is up to the co-chairs how much they involve the OC in the following steps.
The themes are areas of concentration for the scientific program. They are represented by invited speakers, minisymposia and tracks.
The purpose of the themes is to attract people to the meeting. The themes should reflect the interests of the SIAM community, span a wide range of areas, and be exciting and forward looking. In addition, participants can also contribute talks and minisymposia on any topic of interest to SIAM.
- Include the themes of the tracks sponsored by the SIAGs.
- The OC may also select other themes.
- Balance traditional SIAM areas with new or interdisciplinary areas.
- Implement a theme as a collection of lectures (e.g. plenary speaker, topical speaker, minisymposia).
- Typical number of speakers per day: 2 plenary, 2-4 (parallel) topical
- The number of plenary and topical speakers will change if there is a joint SIAG meeting.
- Leave enough plenary slots for prize lectures and the past president's address.
See the List of SIAM Prizes. Prize winners are selected by a prize committee. Contact SIAM's Director of Programs and Services concerning the prize lectures for that year.
- Strive for diversity in research area, gender, minority status, and occupation (industry, government labs, and academia).
- Someone who has been an invited speaker at one of the past four (4) annual meetings should not be invited again.
SIAM's Director of Program and Services has a list of past speakers.
- Plenary and topical speakers must be approved by SIAM's VP for Programs before invitations are issued.
- Invite plenary and topical speakers by phone. Then obtain a commitment in writing and a provisional title (e-mail with cc to email@example.com).
The SIAM office will follow up and send the speaker an official letter to communicate details about their participation and to obtain a final title.
- Expenses for plenary and topical speakers are limited to $1,500 per speaker traveling within North America. Speakers traveling outside North America will be reimbursed up to $2,500. Direct the speakers to the SIAM Reimbursement Guidelines http://www.siam.org/meetings/guidelines/expense_guide.php. If a speaker cannot cover the remaining expenses, ask for an estimate and a statement requesting support for these expenses. Submit the estimate and statement to SIAM's Conference Director Connie Young (e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Do NOT promise additional funding without written confirmation from the SIAM office.
- The number of speakers in a minitutorial can vary between 1 and 3. When determining how many speakers to invite, please keep in mind: Different speakers provide different points of view; it is difficult for a single person to give a good 2-hour tutorial. However, seamless transitions between different speakers require coordination and thought.
- It is imperative that a minitutorial be truly tutorial and introductory. The exposition must be outstanding. Speakers should avoid technical jargon and formalism, and instead focus on intuition and insight. A minitutorial should cover all aspects of a problem: applications, as well as computational and theoretical issues.
- A minitutorial is an important ingredient of the annual meeting. To accommodate the 2-hour session it may be scheduled in a minisymposium slot, and will be featured prominently in conference announcements, along with the list of invited speakers.
- A minitutorial provides a service to the mathematical community at large. The slides of the talks and, if possible audio recordings, are archived on the SIAM web site so as to be widely accessible.
- It is suggested that the meeting have at least one (1) minitutorial session. Proposed minitutorials require approval from the VP of Programs, email@example.com. Minitutorials are by invitation only and only those proposed by members of the Organizing Committee will be considered.
- SIAM will provide up to $500 per speaker of a minitutorial for travel expenses, not to exceed $1500 per minitutorial (in the case of 3 speakers that's $500 per speaker), plus free conference registration for the speakers. Do NOT promise additional funding.
- • Invite minitutorial speakers by phone and get a commitment and a working title in writing (e-mail is acceptable). The SIAM office will follow-up to obtain a final title and description.
- Ideal number of high quality minisymposia: 40-60
- OC members solicit minisymposia to realize the meeting themes.
- Number of minisymposia per meeting theme: 2-4 or more
Themes representing SIAGs tracks or new areas may require four (4) or more minisymposia to attain a "critical technical mass" and attract an audience.
- For any SIAG not designated to provide a track, contact SIAG Program Directors and Chairs to solicit SIAG-sponsored minisymposia (they will be distinguished in the conference program). See the List of SIAGs. Every SIAG which is not holding a meeting within 6 months of the annual meeting should be solicited to participate with at least 2 minisymposia.
- Solicit minisymposium organizers by phone or email. Then obtain a commitment in writing, and a minisymposium title (e-mail with cc to firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Direct organizers to the SIAM Minisymposium Guidelines http://www.siam.org/meetings/guidelines/mini_guide.php. They must set up their minisymposium through the SIAM Conference System (CMS). The CMS is accessed through the conference web site.
- Minisymposium organizers and speakers are NOT reimbursed for their expenses. In particular, they have to pay the registration fee.
- Co-chairs should monitor the minisymposium proposals that are being submitted. Some themes may require a more vigorous recruitment effort, and OC members may need to actively solicit more minisymposia.
The call for papers is an invitation to organize a minisymposium or give a contributed talk.
- Prepare a short statement for the call for papers.
Describe the meeting themes. Make it sound exciting. The SIAM office will provide a template.
The SIAM office will forward to the co-chairs the abstracts of the contributed talks and the minisymposium proposals, approximately two weeks after the submission deadline.
- Review minisymposium proposals for quality and diversity of speakers.
The OC may have to suggest revisions or reject minisymposia. In the case of rejection encourage the organizer to place his/her speakers in a contributed session. The SIAM office handles correspondence with organizers and speakers of a rejected minisymposium.
- A minisymposium should not have more than 2 speakers from the same institution.
- Review abstracts of contributed talks.
The OC may have to reject contributed talks. Watch out for outlandish claims or pseudo mathematics.
- Schedule plenary, topical and minitutorial speakers, and minisymposia.
Try to minimize topical conflicts.
- Integrate Workshop Celebrating Diversity into the scientific program. Communicate with Workshop Celebrating Diversity Organizers to insure that no important Workshop events coincide with plenary talks.
- Group contributed abstracts into sessions of 8 talks with a common theme (6 or 7 talks are also acceptable).
- Order the talks in each contributed session and determine a chair person.
Choose a chairperson who is likely to attend the meeting and show up for the session. In the absence of any information, choose a chair person from the continent of the meeting site.
- Select session chairs for the plenary sessions. Direct them to the SIAM Session Chair Guidelines http://www.siam.org/meetings/guidelines/chairs.php.
- To plenary speakers: Their talks are scheduled for 45 minutes. They should be accessible to a wide audience. They sketch the history of the area, describe today's context or applications, and discuss prospects for the future.
Five (5) minutes of the talk should be allocated to introduction and questions.
- To topical speakers: Their talks are semi-plenary, i.e. in parallel with other talks, and scheduled for 30 or 45 minutes. They target a general SIAM audience. They should introduce the research area and present recent results.
Five (5) minutes of the talk should be allocated to introduction and questions.
- To minitutorial speakers: Their talks are tutorial and introductory. They should coordinate their presentation with the other speakers in the session. The talks should get an audience pf no-experts interested and excited about the topic.