Number 16, the last one

By Peter van Heijster

Sixteen times I, as part of the bigger editorial team of the magazine, have battled against the pressure of the soft deadline: an October issue can of course not appear in November. Or can it? And I have to admit, I think I failed in meeting the deadline more often than not. Or maybe I shouldn't be that harsh on myself, and say that we made it around 50% of the time, which means a pass in most classes, so I did well (in that perspective)?!

This will be my last issue, it is time to move on and to make room for new people, with new ideas and with different networks. As a matter of fact, as editor of the magazine one's network is extremely important since it only rarely happens that a new article magically appears. The normal procedure is that we harass (and sometimes even stalk) a potential author for a piece. I therefore sincerely apologize to all my friends and colleagues whom I mistreated over the last four years in order to get something out of their pens.

This is related to the thing that has frustrated me the most over the past four years, the seemingly unwillingness of our community to (pro)actively contribute to the platform. Yes, of course, I know, you are extremely busy. But that is exactly where my annoyance lies, we are ALL extremely busy. Apparently, being busy is part of our profession, and we have to deal with it.

I think that the web portal is an amazing forum. We, the applied dynamical systems community, control it and we can therefore make it into anything we want it to be (without the interference from any university administration). We even have amazing support from SIAM to help us with the technical details (thank you James!). For example, getting your new post-doc job advertised is sometimes not so easy on your university's job website, but getting it on DSWeb is pretty straightforward, free of charge, and the job's exposure to the applied dynamical systems community is even bigger. By the way, with the new portal that will be launched soon, posting will be even easier! As another example, our teaching section is one of the most frequently visited sections of the web portal, with a relatively large portion of visits from academically lower developed countries, though contributions to this section are very scarce, with peaks occurring around the times of a prize competition (i.e. when there is a money incentive). However, we all teach and we all develop teaching materials. Why don't we share more often? This could save us all a lot of work in the long run and help our community tremendously.

In other words, I think we are not using the platform to its full capacity and to the extend that we could use for making our busy lives a bit easier. I hope the new platform and the new editorial team with Elizabeth, Korana, David, Christopher, James, Daniel and Mason can make this happen. They have my fullest support, but they also need all your support! Your enthusiasm, your input and your transpiration, because without you there is no applied dynamical systems community and thus also no DSWeb.

For now, hello November and good-bye DSWeb and thank you for four beautiful years.

Peter van Heijster

Categories: Magazine, Editorial

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