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Mathematical Biology Newsletter

Volume 10 # 2 Spring, 1997

The Society for Mathematical Biology

Edited by: Denise Kirschner

Leah Edelstein-Keshet President, SMB (outgoing) and Leon Glass President, SMB (incoming)

Dear SMB members,

This issue of the SMB newsletter is being edited and assembled by Denise Kirschner, who very kindly agreed to take over the project despite her recent move, and a heavy workload. Thank you Denise !

August, 1997 is almost here. It is time to plan for our annual meeting (See details, this newsletter). It is also time for a "changing of the guard": Leon Glass, our current president elect will be inaugurated at this year's SMB meeting.

It is hard to summarize all the SMB activities in a short space of this letter, but here are the main points: We are gradually becoming more fully electronic (as this newsletter and SMB home page demonstrate). We have several new initiatives ongoing: the newsletter has been placed on a stricter schedule, with three issues per year and target dates of January 1, June 1, and Sept 1. (We still ask for donations of material, editorials, announcements, and other news. We would like to open this forum to greater participation by members). The Busenburg Memorial Funds have now been applied towards student travel, and this year should see students reaping the benefits of these and the Landhal travel funds to attend our annual meeting. The Okubo Fund for scientific Excellence is growing. We hope to award periodic prizes from the interest earned from this fund. A committee consisting of Lee Segel, Simon Levin, and Don Ludwig has been appointed to oversee this process. We are involved in negotiations with Elsevier, and other potential publishers of our official research Journal, the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology (see details this newsletter) to reduce price to libraries and ensure a wide dissemination.

With this last message, I would like to thank you for your support and encouragement these past two years. I look forward to continued association with the Society as a regular member in the coming years.

Sincerely yours,

Leah Edelstein-Keshet

Dear SMB members,

First I want to thank Leah Edelstelstein-Keshet for the fantastic job she has done as President of SMB. She has devoted a great deal of time and effort to SMB always doing so with great skill, tact, and attention to detail. The SMB has flourished under her Presidency.

Over recent years there has been increasing recognition that mathematical and computational approaches are needed to understand biological systems. The SMB must continue to provide a mechanism for communication and dissemination of information in this area. I plan to continue the current effors in several different directions. As mentioned by Leah, there is a reconsideration of the publisher of the Bulletin for Mathematical Biology. It is essential that the Bulletin remain healthy and that it make maximal use of electronic media.

The annual meetings will continue to provide an essential means for communication. The 1997 annual meeting, being held August 3-6 at North Carolina State University Annual SMB Meeting will feature Yoh Iwasa and Michael Waterman as plenary speakers. In 1999 arrangements are being made for an annual meeting to be held jointly with the European Society for Mathematical and Theoretical Biology, June 29 - July 3 in Amsterdam. This promises to be an important international event so place the dates in your calendar now. The annual meetings provide an ideal opportunity for students to present their work and to form lasting friendships; funds to facilitate student participation are awarded by the SMB.

The world wide web is revolutionizing the way information is communicated. As an example, I was impressed by Art Winfree's site , which among other goodies provides Winfree's technique to beat jet lag by judiciously timed applications of light. The SMB needs to continue to develop the SMB web site . Anyone with special ideas or skills should contact me at

As the SMB grows it is essential to devote attention to administrative details. A finance committee consisting of Ray Mejia (chair), John Tyson, and Glen Webb has been established. The finance committee will oversee investments and budgetary matters - thanks to the committee for their help. A matter of concern is the membership lists. I expect that there have been some Society members lost in recent years as a result of missed communications. This is an important matter and will be a priority.

To close on a personal note. To many of us, the SMB is not simply a professional society, but a collection of lifelong friends and colleagues who view the living world with profound awe and respect. Yes, we share common scientific goals. But more striking to me are the strong commitments of many to a world where justice prevails and where life's diversity and richness can flourish. I am privileged to have been selected to the Presidency.

Sincerely yours,

Leon Glass

Bulletin of Mathematical Biology
Updates on publication, membership and future, LEK.

Year in Mathematical Biology at the IMA
1998-1999, by DK

A Look at Math Biology Journals
A diversity perspective, by DK

Literary Events
Books, journals and other publications

Annual SMB Meeting
North Carolina State University, Aug 3-6

Micellaneous items of Interest
to SMB members

In Memory of George Karreman
Co-founder and first president of SMB, (taken from the Univ. of Penn. weekly almanac)

A brief history of SMB Leadership

Pacific Northwest Workshop in Math Biology
Meeting highlights by Lisette de Pillis

Mathematical Biology in New Zealand
Contributed by James Sneyd

Upcoming meetings of interest


Please send comments and corrections for this edition of the SMB Newsletter to: Denise Kirschner