Alberta Number Theory Days 2013 (13w2179)
Collectively, the number theorists taken from the principal mathematics departments in Alberta -- at the universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge -- form a very strong group, with researchers being recognized not just in Canada, but globally. This is an exciting stage for number theory in Alberta. The recent PIMS Collaborative Research Group on L-functions and Number Theory, incorporating the Alberta and British Columbia departments, allowed for several internationally important number theory events, including the Workshop on Analytic Aspects of L-functions and Applications to Number Theory (Calgary 2011, approximately 80 participants), and the Canadian Number Theory Association XII Meeting (Lethbridge 2012, approximately 175 participants).
Alberta Number Theory Days 2013 will allow Albertan number theorists to regroup and reconnect after these large and important events. New ideas can be shared and further explored in a more intimate setting. The meeting will allow participants to forge personal interaction and collaboration, and generate discussion and inquiry. Although videoconferencing seminars allow for some of this to occur, there is no substitute for face-to-face discussions. Indeed, it is in these situations that some of the most fruitful projects are conceived.
Alberta number theorists are working in a wide range of sub-disciplines, including algebraic number theory (Weiss), analytic number theory (Akbary, Kadiri, Ng), arithmetic geometry (Greenberg, Yazdani), automorphic forms (Cunningham, Sylvestre), and computational number theory (Bauer, Jacobson, Scheidler, Williams). The work of these strong researchers has been recognized not only in this province, but globally as well. The fact that there are so many world class researchers within the same province elevates Alberta Number Theory Days to a level beyond merely a provincial meeting.
Not only are there a large number of researchers in number theory in Alberta, but many of these number theorists share common areas of research. For example, the study of $L$-functions, one of the main themes of modern number theory, is shared by researchers at Lethbridge (Akbary, Kadiri, Ng) and Calgary (Cunningham, Greenberg). The prevalence of mutual interests will give the conference a high degree of coherence. At the same time, the range of sub-disciplines included will let researchers encounter new ideas that may be beneficial to their work.
A further role of the meeting will be to give postdoctoral fellows and graduate students the occasion to speak in a more formal setting and gain exposure within the community. Smaller conferences provide a valuable opportunity for young researchers to give talks. By providing a mix of younger and experienced speakers both postdocs and graduate students can learn something valuable. To this end, we will ensure many of the talks are accessible to graduate students. The lectures and discussions at such a conference help to foster the growth of young mathematicians.
Alberta Number Theory Days allows for face to face discussion of ideas between peers and facilitates collaboration. New connections are made and old associations are renewed. Personal interaction will lead to the conception of new projects. It will also allow for the exchange of knowledge, which will improve the progress of current projects.