1991 AGM Minutes

From BIC (4) 1992:

Report from the Registrar
A Retrospective Glance at Membership. When we started enrolling members in The Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications in late May of 1990, we aimed at reaching 100 members by the end of 1990. We reached that target with plenty to spare! The enthusiasm that greeted the Institute has been enormous; we surpassed our original goal, and the Institute is still growing. Thanks for this achievement go to all those members who contributed lists of nominees; this is especially useful in the case of nominees for Associate Fellowship and Graduate Membership, where the nominees are in the early stages of their careers in Combinatorics.

Geographic Distribution of Membership. The following tables give the distribution of our membership as of January 10, 1992. We are making a slight change to the form of this listing. In response to various requests, we list all countries represented, even when there is only a single member. This may help us underline the areas where we need to make the ICA more visible. Members will note a number of changes from the last listing. Europe has moved past Australasia in total members, and Germany has moved up noticeably in the country listings.

Membership by Continent    Membership by Country
North America 291               USA 178
Europe 62                             Canada 108
Australasia 52                       Australia 41
Asia 34                                 Britain 22
Africa 10                              Germany 15
                                             New Zealand 11
                                             Japan 11
Total membership 449         South Africa 10
                                             Singapore 6
                                             China 6
                                             France 5

There are 4 members each from Austria, Denmark, Israel, Italy; 3 members each from Finland, Trinidad; 2 members each from Hungary, India, Iran, Malaysia, Netherlands; individual members in Barbados, Brunei, Greece, Spain. 

Nominations by Country. It is clear that there are countries where the combinatoricists are not adequately represented in the ICA. We have already received nominations from several of these countries, and are in contact with people there; however, we certainly welcome further nominations. The Council wants the ICA to have as broad an international membership as possible, and members will note that the largest increases have been occurring in some of the previously under-represented countries.

Nominations by Rank. Naturally we welcome nominations of further Fellows of The ICA. However, since Fellows are well established researchers, Council is always receiving more nominations to Fellowships than to other ranks. We particularly want to receive nominations of Graduate Members and Associate Fellows of the ICA. Associate Fellows will be in the early stages of their research careers (roughly at the Assistant Professor level); so their work may not yet be widely known except to their supervisors or to people working in a similar area; Graduate Members will provide the next generation of combinatoricists, but we have to depend almost exclusively on their thesis supervisors to bring their names forward.

Credit Card Facilities. Several members have pointed out the considerable expense associated with making payments outside their own countries and have asked us to arrange for payment by credit card. We still ask members who are in Canada and the USA to pay by cheques in Canadian dollars or US dollars, but members outside Canada and the USA, can now pay by VISA. We need: the name of the card holder (this may differ from the name of the member, if the member is paying by a friend's card), the number of the card, the expiry date of the card. Because of the bureaucracy and expense associated with using credit card facilities, we have only arranged for the use of VISA, which is the most widely used international card. The Executive felt that most members would either possess a VISA card or know someone who did possess such a card.

Chequing Arrangements for Australia. Members in Australia can now remit the equivalent amounts of their bills in Australian dollars by sending cheques, in Australian dollars made out to The ICA, to Professor Anne Penfold Street at the Department of Mathematics, University of Queensland, Queensland 4072. (The ICA has an account with Westpac on the University of Queensland campus; the account is administered jointly by the Registrar of The ICA and by Professor Street.) ·

Chequing Arrangements for Britain. Members in Great Britain can remit the equivalent amounts of their bills in pounds sterling by sending cheques in pounds sterling made out to: "R.G. Stanton, Registrar, ICA", at the ICA address given inside the front cover of the Bulletin. (The Registrar has opened an account with Barclay's Bank, London, for the convenience of members in the United Kingdom; this may also be useful to members from the European Community.)

Institutional Memberships. As outlined in the Articles of Association (printed in Volume 1), the ICA has provision for Institutional Memberships (US$250.00 per annum). Several members have suggested that the ICA should allow institutional members to nominate student members, without any extra fees (this procedure is followed, for example, by the American Mathematical Society). The subcommittee on membership has approved this idea; thus, institutional members may nominate, without additional charge, 4 undergraduate student members or 2 graduate student members each y-ear. Nominated students will be members for a one-year period, but may be re-nominated. They will enjoy all the privileges of regular members during their period of nominated membership. It is hoped that several institutions that possess strong research groups in combinatorics will use this privilege; it is a way of getting students involved with the research community at a relatively early stage of their research careers ..

Membership Directory. The first membership directory will be distributed as a supplement to Volume 4 of the Bulletin. It will contain complete postal addresses for all members, together with email addresses when we have been given them. Please send in your email address if you have not already done so. (The Registrar, in particular, has found email addresses an enormously helpful way of communicating quickly with members of the ICA.) The Deputy Registrar is working on the task of getting this directory together, and we hope to save some postal charges by mailing it together with Volume 5 of the Bulletin (the May, 1992 issue).

1992 Annual General Meeting. The various Reports for the year 1991 will  be presented at the 1992 Annual General Meeting of the ICA. This will take place at the Seventh International Conference on Graph Theory, Combinatorics, Algorithms, and Computing that will be held at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo during the first week of June, 1992. Further details will be circulated to members at a later date.

Broadening the Membership Base. As reported at the 1990 Annual General Meeting, the Executive and Council are considering various ways of extending the Institute's membership in countries where currency problems have so far restricted membership. At least two imaginative and administratively
feasible ideas are under active consideration.

Fax Numbers. Any members who wish to have their fax numbers included in the Membership Directory should send these to the Registrar at once. So far, we have very few such numbers on record, but some members feel that they would be a useful addition to the Directory, especially in the case of members who do not have access to email facilities.


The 1991 Annnual General Meeting of the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications took place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 3, in the Senate Chamber of the University of Manitoba, just before the Twenty-first Manitoba Conference on Numerical Mathematics and Computing. Professor Jennifer Seberry took the chair.

Report on membership. This report was presented by the Registrar, R.G. Stanton. He pointed out that, as of September 4, when Volume 3 of the Bulletin went to press, there were 406 members, 275 in North  America, 51 in Australasia, 47 in Europe, 23 in Asia, 10 in Africa. Countries in which the number of members was at least 5 were the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Singapore. He reported that payment of dues could now be made by Visa card, or by cheques in US dollars, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, or pounds sterling. Details were available in the Bulletin. Finally, he indicated that efforts were being made to increase the diversity of membership by seeking more nominations as Graduate Members and Associate Fellows, more nominations from certain countries not yet well represented, more participation in the form of Institutional Members.

Financial report for the year 1990. This report was presented by Dr Jeffrey Allston, and is appended after the report of this meeting. On motion by the Chair, the report was accepted.

Report from the Executive. This report was presented by the Secretary, W.L. Kocay. He stated that most of the actions of the Executive had been passed on to Council, and would appear in the Report from the ICA Council. Since the ICA had only functioned for half a year in 1990, the Executive had appointed Dr Jeffrey Allston as Auditor for that portion of 1990. The Executive had designed the ICA membership scrolls, and had arranged for Mrs Veronica Yeung, a gold medallist in calligraphy, to do the lettering on the scrolls. Furthermore, the Executive were actively considering various ways of obtaining participation in the ICA from countries of Eastern Europe and other areas where currency problems presented difficulties. He reported that Ernie Ruet d'Auteuil had been appointed as Deputy Registrar, and was assuming much of the administrative responsibilities in connection with the operation of the Bulletin, invoicing, issuing receipts, and keeping records. The Executive had made a recommendation to Council concerning airmail delivery of the Bulletin, and Council would report on that topic.

Report from the Council. This report was presented by the Chair. The Chair noted that Dr Allston had served as auditor for the half-year of operation in 1990. On motion of the Chair, Dr Jeffrey
Allston and Dr Bert Hartnell were appointed the Audit Subcommittee for 1991.

The Chair reported that the Council had considered three matters that would be dealt with by motions later in the agenda, namely, the question of inaugurating the Euler Medal, the question of Life
Fellowship in the Institute, and the question of instituting a charge for airmail delivery of the Bulletin.

The Chair noted that four ICA lecturers had so far been designated, at the Twentieth Manitoba Conference and the Fifth Midwestern Conference in 1990, and at the Conference on Graph Minors and the Australasian Conference in 1991. The names had been reported under News of Members in the Bulletin. Financial contributions had been made only in the case of the latter two conferences.

Council has approved invitations to additional senior researchers to become Honorary Fellows of the Institute. The Chair reminded members that the category of Honorary Fellow was restricted to at
most ten Fellows.

Professor Anne Penfold Street has been co-opted to serve on the Executive as Vice-President, and will be primarily responsible for Australasian affairs. Invitations will be extended to two additional
members of the ICA to serve as co-opted members of Council for a three-year term.

Council has been actively involved in improving the geographic distribution of the membership. Council was eager to receive nominations from members of the Institute.

Council recommended that the Annual General Meeting be held at different conferences each year in order to permit more widespread participation from members. One suggestion, made by Professor
Derek Holton, was that efforts be made to move the Annual General meeting around to different countries each year; this suggestion had garnered a great deal of support.

Council had asked the Deputy Registrar to prepare a Directory of members early in 1992. The Directory should contain full postal addresses of members, and email addresses of those members who have supplied them. In order to avoid dissemination of junk mail, it was felt that the Directory should only be made available to members of the ICA.

Report on the Bulletin. The Chair asked the Registrar to give a brief report on the state of the Bulletin. The Registrar reported that the Bulletin was in a very satisfactory condition. Submission of
notes and articles was increasing, and the quality, as indicated in reports from the referees, was very good. It is expected that the sections on Book Reviews and Announcements of Positions will
continue to grow. The Registrar pointed out that announcement of available positions was a free service available through the Bulletin, and encouraged more members to have their departments make use of this facility.

Suggestions had been received to the effect that the list of talks at the larger conferences would be more useful if they were alphabetized; this suggestion is being acted on. More and more members are
contributing information concerning Notices of Future Conferences, reporting on Recent Conferences, and supplying items for the News of Members section. Information for the News section is particularly useful. The Registrar asked that the ICA office be kept abreast of any changes of address; returned copies of the Bulletin are a problem to be avoided.

Airmail Charge for the Bulletin. The Chair reported that there are over 100 members of the ICA located outside North America. Since airmail charges for delivery of the Bulletin are appreciable,
Volume 1 was despatched by surface mail. This took a very long time and a number of members asked to receive their Bulletins by airmail. The Executive decided to send Volumes 2 and 3, the
remaining issues for 1991, by airmail, especially since Volume 2 contained the notice of the Annual General Meeting.

The Executive considered making airmail service for delivery of the Bulletin available at an added charge of $9.00 per year (3 issues). This does not cover the full cost of airmail delivery but the Executive felt that part of the cost might be recovered. The charge would only be made on request of a member; a number of members might prefer to continue with surface mail delivery.

Council recommends that the ICA continue with airmail delivery of the Bulletin for Volumes 4, 5, and 6 (the 1992 issues) without making any additional charge. Council also recommends that this
policy be re-examined at the end of 1992 to determine whether any modification is needed.

The Chair moved that the recommendation of Council be accepted, and the meeting concurred.

Life Fellowship in the Institute. The Chair pointed out that most organizations had a provision for Life Fellowship, and that it was considered actuarially sound if the fee for Life Fellowship were
set at twelve times the current annual fee. It is not expected that many members would take out Life Fellowships, but the possibility of such Fellowships should be available. The one time payment for
Life Fellowship would currently be US$900.00.

On motion of the Chair, the provison for Life Fellowship was accepted.

The Euler Medal. Council proposes the inauguration of an annual medal, to be given for the first time in 1992 or 1993 (depending on the logistics of arranging for the medal) for distinguished research contributions to Combinatorics by a Fellow of the Institute for Combinatorics and its Applications.

In view of the fundamental contributions to both Graph Theory and Design Theory made by Leonhard Euler (the Konigsberg Problem and the Problem of the Thirty-six Officers), it is proposed that the Medal be known as the Euler Medal.

The medal would be given to a Fellow of the ICA who is still active in research, in recognition of a distinguished lifetime contribution to combinatorial research, rather than for any one specific achievement. Serving members of the Executive or Council of the ICA, and Honorary Fellows of the ICA, would not be eligible for the medal, although former members of either the Executive or Council would be eligible.

It is emphasized that the medal is a recognition for research achievements in the field of combinatorics, not for administrative services to the field.

On motion by Walter Wallis, seconded by Robert Craigen, the inauguration of the medal was approved.

Other Business. The Chair asked if there were other items of business. No items were forthcoming, but there resulted some general discussion, largely involving suggestions for the location of
the 1992 Annual General meeting. It was felt that the February meeting in Boca Raton (the Twenty-third Southeastern Conference) was probably too early, since the financial report for the year 1991
could not be ready that soon. It was suggested that the Registrar investigate the possibility of having the Annual General Meeting either at the Kalamazoo meeting in early June or the Waterloo
conference in late June. The Registrar said that he would follow up on this suggestion.

Adjournment. Since there was no other business, the Chair moved the adjournment of the meeting.

To the Directors of The Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications, Incorporated.

I have examined the Treasurer's Report of the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications, Incorporated, as at December 31, 1990. My examination included such tests of accounting records and other supporting evidence as I considered necessary in the circumstances.

In my opinion, the Treasurer's Report for The Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications, Incorporated, represents fairly the financial position of the corporation as at December 31, 1990.

(signed) J.L. Allston


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