ICMS Bylaws (August 2013)

The motivation for these bylaws is to guide the future directions and governance of the “International Congress of Mathematical Software” (ICMS). Ultimately, we hope to build a community of researchers and practitioners centered around the aims of the first three ICMS, namely “mathematical software” viewed as a scientific activity. Such a community is closely allied with areas such as algorithms and complexity, software engineering, computational sciences, and of course, all of constructive mathematics including computer algebra and numerical computation. But mathematical software has unique (evolving) characteristics which ICMS aims to foster and support. To build such a community, we need continuity and some rules governing the central activity of any research community, namely, the ICMS conference.

The following proposal is based on, and consistent with, the historical patterns observed in the first three ICMS’s (2002, 2006, 2010). The proposal is deliberately minimal and under-specified. Therefore their interpretations should be guided by historical patterns.

ByLaw 1: Composition of Organizers

Each ICMS Conference shall have the following organizational positions

  1. Advisory Board
  2. General Chair
  3. Program Chair
  4. Local Chair
  5. Secretary
  6. Program Committee
  7. Local Committee

Chair could also mean co-Chairs.

ByLaw 2: Appointments

  1. The Advisory Board shall consist of the General Chair, Program Chair and Local Chair of the previous two conferences, and any other members that they shall appoint. The General Chair of the past-but-one ICMS shall serve as the chair for the current Advisory Board. All appointments to the Advisory Board lasts two ICMS conferences.
  2. The Advisory Board appoints the Secretary.
  3. The Advisory Board appoints the General Chair for the next conference.
  4. The General Chair, in consultation with the Advisory Board, appoints the Program Chair and Local Chair.
  5. The Program Chair, in consultation with the General Chair and the Advisory board, appoints the program committee members.
  6. The Local Chair, in consultation with the General Chair, appoints the local committee members.

ByLaw 3: Duties

  1. The Advisory Board Chair will hold a ICMS business meeting during each conference.
  2. The Secretary shall maintain a permanent ICMS website for past activities, and also a list of names and emails of attendees of past ICMS conferences.

ByLaw 4: Amendments

  1. The Bylaws can be amended by ballot, either at the ICMS Business meeting or by email.
  2. Persons who have registered for at least one of the three precedingICMS Conferences are eligible to vote.

Appendix: Remarks on the Bylaw

  1. The ByLaw is self-described as minimal and under-specified; both are viewed as positive qualities. This appendix will comment on the ByLaw using their historical (non-binding) interpretations. It will also motivate the exclusion of certain items in the ByLaw.
  2. Historically, ICMS was organized as a satellite of ICM. Like ICM, ICMS is held every 4 years. But even in our short history, there was a break in this pattern in 2010. Looking forward, there are good arguments to have biennial meetings (e.g., this is better for community building).
  3. We do not specify the format of ICMS, believing it to be the prerogative of the General Chair and the Program Chair to shape it to best serve the community. Historically, the program has centered around plenary speakers and special sessions organized by experts in the area of interest.
  4. The term “software” is a unique characteristic of ICMS that distinguishes it from the allied areas mentioned in the ByLaw. We are not only interested in “paper algorithms” but in their implementation and in their software environment. We want to foster software development as a scientific activity, to promote the publication of software like paper publications, and to establish standards for such activities. Past ICMS’s have an important component of software tutorial and demonstrations and distribution of free software (e.g., Knoppix CD).
  5. The ICMS positions listed in the ByLaw do not exclude additional positions: the positions of a treasurer and a “documentation chair” for software have been suggested. But we refrain from mandating such positions in the ByLaw.
  6. Term limit for appointment to ICMS posts is generally a good thing. Again, we do not encode this into the ByLaw, as we recognize many good reasons to take exceptions. E.g., a competent “document chair” should probably be given a life appointment.
  7. The idea of a permanent repository for ICMS is assumed in the ByLaw. Nobuki Takayama has a website that might be considered as the starting point. The General Chair and Program Chair should each deposit a report for the activities of their particular ICMS in this repository.
  8. The database swMATH is a freely accessible information service for mathematical software, currently maintained by the research campus MODAL, Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB) and FIZ Karlsruhe. With its philosophy to provide access to an extensive database of information on mathematical software together with a systematic linking of software packages with relevant mathematical publications, it meets the needs for the mathematical software community.