Officer Responsibilities and Job Descriptions
- Oversee election for replacement SIAM Activity Group officers who will serve the next term of office
- Plan and implement orientation of replacement officers who will serve the next term of office
- When possible, to provide continuity in SIAM Activity Group governance, document policies and procedures that can be provided to incoming new officers
- Renew SIAM Activity Group charter at two to three years, as indicated in the SIAM Activity Group Rules of Procedure
Conference Strategy and Oversight
- In conjunction with SIAM Vice President Programs, develop and oversee long term conference strategy to ensure that educational content achieves goals as stated in the SIAM Activity Group Rules of Procedure
- Monitor conference attendance and financial performance to ensure that conferences remain viable and cover all costs
- Soon after a recurring conference, appoint a chair for the next conference in the series. Ideally, the chair for the next conference should be announced at the prior conference
- Monitor the planning and progress on each current conference to ensure that all milestones are being met in a timely fashion
- Ensure that SIAM Activity Group is represented at SIAM Annual Meeting in years where there is no SIAM Activity Group conference
- Ensure that at least once every five years either a track of at least six minisymposia is organized at the SIAM Annual Meeting or the activity group meeting is held jointly with the annual meeting. The Vice President for Programs and the Vice President at Large will coordinate the scheduling with the SIAM Activity Group Chair.
- Develop and oversee programs that will best achieve goals of the SIAM Activity Group, as written in the founding Rules of Procedure. (Web Portal, collaborative programs with other entities, etc.)
- Appoint any committees, task forces needed to plan and implement programs
Communication with Members
- Determine best method of dissemination of information to SIAM Activity Group members (newsletter - hard copy or electronic, electronic mailing list, web portal, etc.) and oversee implementation
- Appoint energetic and well-connected liaison to SIAM News to ensure that members are aware of upcoming SIAM Activity Group conferences and activities. (job description will be provided)
- Appoint liaison for Web Portal
- Appoint two liaisons to SIAM’s book program (job description will be provided)
- If necessary, appoint an editor to oversee selected forms of communication
Communication with SIAM
- The Membership Manager is your main point of contact
- Communicate with the Executive Director and Vice President at Large regarding mission and goals of SIAM Activity Group, and any issues confronting the SIAM Activity Group
Communication with Other Chairs
- SIAM Activity Group President (or designated representative) to attend meeting of SIAM Activity Group Chairs held in conjunction with SIAM Annual Meeting
- Communication with other SIAM Activity Group Chairs is possible through an electronic mailing list of all SIAM Activity Group Chairs
Chair Job Description
- Member of SIAM Activity Group
- Elected by the members of the SIAM Activity Group (except for the first Chair of the SIAM Activity Group who is appointed by the President of SIAM)
- Serve as the chief volunteer of the SIAM Activity Group
- Partner with the Executive Director in achieving the SIAM Activity Group's mission and goals
- Discusses issues confronting the SIAM Activity Group with the Executive Director
- Provide leadership to the SIAM Activity Group
- Work with fellow officers and committees to plan for activities
- Organize the SIAM Activity Group’s efforts by implementing the goals and delegating the duties required by the SIAM Activity Group Rules of Procedure and the year's plans
- Serve as leader of the technical area that the SIAM Activity Group represents
- Ensure quality of conferences -- program director/organizer
- Ensure cooperation with SIAM Annual Meeting (see “Responsibilities” above)
- Ensure promotion of technical area -- SIAM News articles
- Ensure communication with members and community – Web, newsletter
- Appoint any special task forces or committees and chairpersons of committees/task forces, in consultation with other SIAM Activity Group officers
- Recommend members for prize selection committees to the SIAM President
- Ensure that any SIAM Activity Group prizes are structured in keeping with SIAM prize policy
- Preside at the meetings of the SIAM Activity Group. (SIAM Activity Group business meeting is held during SIAM Activity Group conferences.)
- Communicate with the Board of Trustees and Council on the goals and accomplishments of the SIAM Activity Group
- Evaluate annually the performance of the SIAM Activity Group in achieving its mission and make a report to the Board of Trustees and Council
- Submit charter renewal petition every three years as required by the SIAM Activity Group’s Rules of Procedure
- Represent SIAM Activity Group in overall SIAM structure
- Attend in person, participate via conference call, or send a representative to meeting of SIAM Activity Group Chairs held in conjunction with SIAM Annual Meeting
Vice Chair Job Description
- Member of SIAM Activity Group
- Elected by the members of the SIAM Activity Group (except for the first Vice Chair of the SIAM Activity Group who is appointed by the President of SIAM)
- Carry out the duties of the Chair if he or she is unable to fulfill the duties of the Chair
- Preside at meetings when the Chair is absent
- For the SIAG/CST Prize, SIAG/LA Best Paper Prize, and SIAG/OPT Best Paper Prize – serve as chair of the prize committee.
Program Director Job Description
- Member of SIAM Activity Group
- Elected by the members of the SIAM Activity Group (except for the first Program Director of the SIAM Activity Group who is appointed by the President of SIAM)
- Responsible for SIAM Activity Group conferences and programs, including participation in the SIAM Annual Meeting. The program director will coordinate these activities with the chairperson who has overall responsibility for the direction of the SIAM Activity Group.
- Serve as the conference organizer or delegate such responsibilities to an individual approved by the chair and other officers
- Organize or delegate responsibilities to organize minisymposia at the SIAM Annual Meeting in years where there is no SIAM Activity Group conference
- At least once every seven years either organize a track of at least six minisymposia at the SIAM Annual Meeting or have an activity group meeting held jointly with the annual meeting. The Vice President for Programs and the Vice President at Large will coordinate the scheduling with the SIAM Activity Group Chair.
Secretary Job Description
- Member of SIAM Activity Group
- Elected by the members of the SIAM Activity Group (except for the first Secretary of the SIAM Activity Group who is appointed by the President of SIAM)
- Keep a record of the affairs of the SIAM Activity Group
- Handle SIAM Activity Group correspondence
- Submit a short yearly report on its activities (by e-mail to the Vice President at Large at least one month before the SIAM annual meeting)
- Oversee the production and distribution of SIAM Activity Group newsletters
- Ensure that the information about the SIAM Activity Group on the SIAM website is correct
- Maintain minutes of the SIAM Activity Group business meetings
- Serve as Electronic Mailing List Moderator – see full description below
Electronic Mailing List Moderator or Owner Job Description
The job of a moderator in Mailman is to review messages which have been held by the system, and make a decision whether to forward individual messages to the list or to dispose of the message. The moderator shares this responsibility with the administrator, who may also change the configuration of the list.
Most of SIAM's lists are set up as moderated lists, which means that all messages sent to the list are held for moderation. This step has been taken to reduce the number of unwanted and repeated messages.
Other SIAM Activity Group mailing lists are set to allow subscribers to send to the list, but to hold messages from non-subscribing addresses. In this case, held messages range from spam messages and other messages not appropriate for the list, to useful messages submitted by non-members of the list, to messages sent by members from their home or other non-subscribed address. The bulk of messages held for moderation will fit into one of these main categories. A message is sometimes held for moderation because there is an overabundance of names on the "To:" or "CC:" lines, or because the message is too long. This is infrequent on SIAM's lists, but does happen. It is also possible to set an individual member account or the entire list so that messages are moderated. This may be done on request to the list owner.
Since most of SIAM's lists are low volume, moderation requests arrive in email a few times per week. To moderate a request, simply click the link in the message notifying you that moderation is needed, enter your password to gain access to the moderation page, check the message, and either approve it or dispose of it.
If, when you get to the moderation page, the page says "There are no requests pending," another moderator or the list administrator has already handled the task. On the other hand, if nobody attends to the request, all moderators will continue to receive a reminder email every day until the moderation queue is empty.
All moderators of a list share a single password, which may be reset on request to the list's owner. There is no need for a moderator to act on a subscription request, since SIAM Activity Group members are automatically subscribed using the address they have provided to SIAM's membership system. Email address changes in the membership system are synchronized to our mailman lists on a nightly basis. SIAM staff will contact people asking to be subscribed to the mailing list, informing them of the policy that list memberships are limited to SIAM Activity Group members, and giving them details of joining SIAM or adding a SIAM Activity Group to their current membership. List members who are added by the moderators will be maintained as "special subscribers' to the mailing list.
In addition to the position of moderator, a mailing list also has an owner, who may make configuration changes as well as act on messages sent to the list. Most of Mailman's settings are configurable via a web interface, and a list owner may change such items as who may post to the list, who may see the list of subscribers, who may post without moderation, the text of notices sent to people whose messages are rejected or held for moderation. Since these sorts of changes are relatively rare, they are often handled by staff, and a staff mailing address is the owner of all mailing lists. If a SIAM Activity Group wishes to appoint a co-owner for its mailing list, it may do so. For administrative reasons, it is necessary to have the sysadmin email address remain as one of the list owners.
Liaison to SIAM News Job Description
SIAM Activity Groups appoint liaisons to SIAM News to ensure that their fields are brought to the attention of the entire SIAM membership via lively, fairly nontechnical articles about developments in the field.
The ideal SIAM Activity Group liaison to SIAM News might have the following characteristics:
- An adaptive big-picture perspective of the field
- Personal knowledge gleaned by doing research in the field, combined with an awareness of how that area fits into the field at large
- Awareness of prizes and programs (educational, funding, and so forth) in the field
The ultimate goal of the liaison's efforts is a steady supply of articles that over time convey to readers of SIAM News the status of research in the field. To that end, the liaison is either an articulate person who likes to write, or a person who has the matchmaking skills needed to identify a writer capable of presenting a worthy topic to readers of SIAM News.
SIAM members and thus SIAM News readers are mathematicians who for the most part will not be experts in a particular area; they might be only dimly aware that it even exists. The author of a SIAM Activity Group-generated article needs to be able to explain the implications of a new research advance, whether for the public at large, for the field of the SIAM Activity Group, or overall for science/technology; at the same time, because readers are mathematicians who have or are about to receive PhD's, sufficient mathematical details need to be brought out to impress those readers.
The responsibilities of the ideal SIAM Activity Group liaison are pretty simple: Keep up with progress in the field and, when a newsworthy development comes into view, let SIAM News know. Some people do this quite well, phoning to point out that there's a hot new area in which a new/refined algorithm/method/application has produced more/better/faster . . . results of some kind. This liaison, being ideal, would also know who could (and who should not) write an article about the advance. SIAM News is happy to accept rough drafts, which after an iteration or two with the author(s), will do the job. Articles can cover the awarding of (nationally or internationally recognized) prizes, the introduction of new university programs, initiatives at funding agencies; they could in rare cases be book reviews (of general-interest books).
As far as the steady supply of articles mentioned earlier, in some years, one or two articles would be plenty. A SIAM Activity Group conference is often a good occasion for more extensive coverage, with articles (three to six) that together constitute a snapshot of the conference program and, most likely, the field. The authors are usually conference speakers who have given outstanding talks in active areas; in general, when approached by a SIAM Activity Group representative during the conference, such speakers enthusiastically accept invitations to write articles. Conference coverage is often optimal when advance planning is done with SIAM News staff.