Participant Testimonials

Nov 13 - Nov 18, 2011

Dear Organizers of the Workshop [11w5011], I would like to comment on my experience visiting the above mentioned Workshop. Besides the fact, that being invited to a Workshop at BIRS is already a great pleasure (as one speaker mentioned: is one of the things a mathematician should do, as in normal life one should plant a tree..), I am very glad having had the opportunity to attend it. I would like to summarize my experience in the following items. - It is always a pleasure to be in a place, where one feels oneself welcomed. This is the case for the whole BIRS (installations, personnel, et cetera). This being naturally the basis of a pleasant stay of any kind, which in our particular case certainly contributed to the effectiveness of the Workshop. - The not so compressed schedule enabled us, the participants, to speak about our research interests in a less rigid atmosphere than within the talks themselves (the given schedule being certainly the "golden ratio", since on the other hand I would have liked to give a talk, as certainly others). For example, I got to know Prof. R. Coulangeon, who got interested in part of my research and is going to invite me to Bordeaux (France) to talk more precisely about the relations between his and my work. I discussed also with Prof. G. Nebe on a problem which was already pointed out to me by Prof. B. Venkov some weeks ago in Aachen. We will pursue this investigation further. - Specialized Conferences or Workshops help younger mathematicians, I mean 'not so experienced mathematicians' (as is my case), to extract the main problems in the area, which may orient ideas and research. Despite the mixture of the two main groups in the Workshop, this was certainly possible in my case. These two groups were, in my eyes, not too far away from each other, so that the mixture was in the end somehow homogeneous. I take the opportunity to thank again Prof. Schulze-Pillot for inviting me and make this extensive to the other three co-organizers. Yours sincerely, Juan Marcos Cervino

Juan Marcos Cervino Mathematisches Institut, Universitat Heidelberg

The organisers did a good job at gathering people working in different directions (algebra, analytic number theory) and many of the lectures were aimed at a broader audience than the specialists. Even though e-mail is now at our disposal, the informal aspect of face to face discussions is still very frutiful. I was happy to be able to have such discussions with old acquaintances of mine, whom I do not meet so often, and also with a few younger people. As usual, presenting one's research helps clarifying one's mind. The slides I have left on the website (in one of the official languages of Canada) may serve as a light introduction to a nearly finished paper (written in another official language of Canada). There were at least two suggestive comments at the end of my talk, which I keep in mind.

Jean-Louis Colliot-Thélène Mathématiques, Universite Paris-Sud

The conference resulted in new contacts that I would not have had. In fact, I met one person I have been waiting to meet for a number of years. I am very pleased about that. The conference was excellent for me.

David Leep Mathematics, University of Kentucky

It is always inspirational to be part of a BIRS workshop. I can't say yet what new mathematics I will do as a result, but I learned quite a bit about subjects that are close to my current interests and I met many old friends and others I'd known only through their publications. The physical surroundings are spectacular and that alone makes the trip worthwhile!

Bruce Reznick Professor of Mathematics
Mathematics, University of Illinois

The workshop gave me many new insights into research of colleagues that are scientifically nearby, but also to colleagues from other nearby disciplines. I think the goal of this workshop to bring together different groups was perfectly achieved. Moreover, my own current research has been influenced a lot by the discussions to colleagues at Banff. Several new results will be published that are influenced from these interactions; some in collaboration with other workshop participants.

Achill Schuermann Mathematics, University of Rostock

My participation in the BIRS workshop did impact my current research in the following ways: Many of the number theoretic problems I work on, eventually lead to problems about lattice points. However, so far I had rather little interactions with the "lattice-community". Thanks to this workshop I met several people of this circle (Kumar, Nebe, Scharlau, Schürmann,...) from whom I definitely benefit a lot for my future research, and it seemed also that some of the techniques I developed have been of interest for these people. Not unlikely this will lead to new collaborations. With Jeff Vaaler we discussed a refinement of Schanuel's theorem based on a careful analysis of the height zetafunction, and again, this could lead to a new project.

Martin Widmer Graz University of Technology