A Word from the President

This issue of Bernoulli News is the last one during my term, and thus I would first like to thank all of you who have contributed to the life of the Society during these last two years.

A special mention is due to Ursula Gather and Arnoldo Frigessi, former treasurer and scientific secretary, who have left the Executive committee during this period, and who have been a big help for the Society. Two persons have accepted to replace them, José Manuel Corcuera from Barcelona and Nakahiro Yoshida from Tokyo, and should take these positions as soon as, and if, the Council agrees with their nomination: I certainly hope that this will be the case. Let me also mention that Ed Waymire has accepted to be President-elect, and I also strongly hope that the Council will approve.

Now, to your agendas: the next General Assembly and Council meeting are scheduled to take place during the forthcoming SPA Meeting to be held in Berlin from July 27-31, 2009. Although they duplicate with the General Assembly and Council meeting to be held during the next ISI Session in Durban (August 16-22), it has been considered better to do so since the attendance by Bernoulli Society members is likely to be much more numerous in Berlin than in Durban.
By the way, the Berlin meeting is probably on the agenda of most of you already, and if not, there is still time to register! Indeed, it has an extremely attractive program, and this meeting will undoubtedly be at the same level of scientific interest as the World Congress in Singapore last year. You can also think already about the 2010 SPA meeting, in Osaka, and even about the next World Congress in 2012 in Istanbul.

On the publications side, the Society has accepted jointly with other scientific societies like the IMS, to scientifically manage a new project of an online “Encyclopedia of Probability and Statistics” which will be technically produced by Springer, and will be available free of charge. For the other publications sponsored by our Society, Thomas Mikhosh has replaced Maria-Eulalia Vares as the new editor of SPA, whereas the new editors of the electronic journals co-published with the IMS are Timo Seppäläinen for ECP, Balint Toth for EJP and Geoffrey Grimmett for PS. Welcome to all, and thanks to the past editors!

As for the other aspects of the activities of the Society, I could say that things are steady, which means in particular that they could improve: on the one hand, in my opinion, the Society fulfills its role of scientific animation of the community in a rather satisfactory way, by means of the meetings and workshops it sponsors and the publications it edits or co-edits. On the other hand, we still are faced with the same problems of relatively weak membership and too few young members. Of course, the changes in the membership fees that have been implemented cannot yet have improved the situation in a significant way, but we should keep these questions in mind in the near future. And perhaps, we should pay more attention, as a scientific society, to the “exterior” world: in view of the world financial crisis that we are experiencing now and, correlatively, of the many criticisms that mathematicians and especially probabilists are facing from society as a whole; it might be one of our duties to launch a discussion forum about the responsibility that the statistics and probability community might have had in the initiation and the development of (some elements of) this crisis: this question has become a major topic of discussion among mathematicians and within some national societies, but we might perhaps contribute?

Jean Jacod
President of the Bernoulli Society


The deadline for the next issue is 30 September 2009. Please email submissions as plain text to the Editors: Erik van Zwet and Eric Cator.