August 1999

Dear SMB member:

Luckily, because of the efforts of the previous presidents of the Society and the many active committees, the Society is in very good shape. I would particularly like to thank the previous president, Leon Glass, and the outgoing chair of the finance committee, Ray Mejia. The Society is on much firmer financial footing than in the past thanks to their efforts. I also thank John Tyson for agreeing to take on the job of financial committee chair.

I also hope to build on earlier efforts to increase the worldwide presence of the Society - both through the activities of the world outreach committee and through increased interactions with other societies. The recent joint meeting with the European Society in Amsterdam should be a springboard for future cooperative efforts, rather than an ending.

The Amsterdam meeting was particularly interesting, and the local organizing committee deserves our thanks. The range of topics in mathematical biology presented was broad, as exemplified by the inclusion of bioinformatics topics. Our Society needs to continue to explore ways to broaden the range of areas we address. The Society is also needs to remain active in helping to set the agenda for future research directions in mathematical biology.

Planning for our meeting in 2000 in Salt Lake City is already underway, with Mark Lewis as chief organizer. The tentative scientific program looks exciting. Preliminary discussions concerning our annual meeting in 2001 have also begun, with hopes to meet jointly with the Japanese Mathematical Biologist Society in Hawaii. I would hope that plans for this meeting could be firmly in place before our meeting in 2000. I will keep everyone abreast of developments.

Another development is the SIAM plan to form an Activity Group in mathematical biology. We need to decide the most effective ways to work with this group, which will clearly have a somewhat different focus than our Society. This should be an opportunity to bring together a larger community with a range of mathematical and biological interests and foci. I welcome any suggestions any of you might have in this regard, and communication on any other Society related matters.