January 2002

Dear SMB members,

Greetings. This has been an eventful fall, with September 11 and its outcome, nationally and internationally, defining much of what we think and hear about. In this holiday season, I add my hopes to those of many others in wishing that we can make this world a more peaceful place.

Election time is rolling around. A President-Elect and new members of the Board of Directors must be chosen. There is a strong slate of candidates for these positions and ballots will be mailed directly to you in the new year. Your participation in the Society elections is crucial. As we saw recently in US federal elections, your vote does count (providing it is counted properly!). Please be sure to vote.

The three new board members replace Mark Chaplain, Sharon Lubkin and Lisa Sattenspiel. Many thanks to Mark, Sharon and Lisa for their service to the Society over the last three plus years (and for their continuing service until this July). The newly elected Board members will assume their positions and join continuing board members Rob de Boer, Gerda de Vries and Suzanne Lenhart at the SMB meeting in Knoxville Tennessee (see below).

Along with the ballots will be a question regarding a change in the Society bylaws. Organizations often `outgrow' their bylaws. In the case of the Society, terms on the Board of Directors have evolved to four years, from the three-year term specified in the bylaws. Four-year terms allow elections to synchronize with the Presidential Elections (every two years), thus simplifying the election process. The proposed change will make four-year terms standard for Board members.

Mark your calendar now for the SMB Annual Meeting at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) from 13-16 July, 2002. The theme of the meeting is "Interdisciplinary Connections and Living Systems." It will be preceded by a short course on the mathematics of biological complexity, designed for biologists. The following year's meeting is slated for Dundee in the summer of 2003, and will be organized by Mark Chaplain and colleagues. In an attempt to embark on long-range planning of SMB annual meetings, we are already discussing 2004 meeting, and have tentatively agreed to hold our annual meeting joint with the newly formed SIAM Life Sciences Group.

As of January 1, 2002, Philip Maini is replacing Lee Segel as Editor of the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, the journal owned by the Society. On behalf of the entire Society, thank-you, Lee, for your outstanding service over the years. We are very fortunate to have Philip as the new Editor, and wish him every success.

The SMB newsletter is a forum for all members. I encourage you to mail submissions to the SMB newsletter, especially to inform members of new meetings and events or to congratulate members for recent successes. Thanks to Ramit Mehr for her excellent work on putting this newsletter, and many before it, together.

A successful society needs to adapt and expand with change in the field of research. Developing nations have increasing numbers of mathematical biologists; areas of research are growing; applications are increasing; educational needs are changing. One major purpose of the Society is to connect the diversity of researchers and research ideas across the globe. I encourage you, as an SMB member, to tell others of the Society and encourage them, when appropriate to become members. I will do the same. Spread the news.

Best wishes

Mark Lewis