Testimonials: The Community in Support of BIRS

Feb 15 - Feb 20, 2015

The workshop was well organized and some talks on new numerical methods had impact on my current research.

Marina Chugunova Institute of Mathematical Science, Claremont Graduate University

This was a great workshop! It contained both theoretical and numerical aspects of mass transport and it was very stimulating. I met new people working on problems related to my research. In particular, I met Merigot, Tiberth, Carlier, and Levy doing great work on the numerical solution of the reflector problem. I believe some of their work can be extended to solve numerically the refractor problem that would permit lens design. Hopefully I will continue to be in touch with these people to do some work in this direction. I also was happy to hear from several people in the numerical group of Benamou and Brenier that they liked and used very much my book on the Monge Ampere equation! Several times after attending workshops I had the feeling I had wasted most of my time. It was not the case at all with this workshop, it was a great working week where I learned many things.

Cristian Gutierrez Mathematics, Temple University
Feb 13 - Feb 15, 2015

The conference was very useful in more than one way. In the week conference previous to this one (Monday to Friday) I joined a group working on the monodromy group. The discussion about this topic kept going during the weekend. I believe that at some point there will be a paper arising from this discussion. On the other hand, there were several talks by young researchers and students, showing the enthusiasm with which they work, which is always reassuring. More importantly, we all get aware of what topics are being studied by them either to collaborate, or at least not to compete with them.

Daniel Pellicer Centro de Ciencias Matematicas, Morelia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
Feb 08 - Feb 13, 2015

The workshop was very useful for several reasons. On one hand there were some groups working on different topics; I joined the one working on monodromy group, and the discussion was fruitful. I guess that at some point there will be a paper in the topic discussed there. On the other hand, it is always good to be aware of the topics on which the colleagues are working currently. The talks were very illustrative in this regard. Particularly, after my talk there were some suggestions of papers to take on account in my ongoing research.

Daniel Pellicer Centro de Ciencias Matematicas, Morelia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

It was very, very helpful and the BIRS set-up was great. In many ways, the best run conference center I've ever seen. And of course the scenery and the food are hors de categorie. This was my first time and I will be coming back, I am sure.

Thomas Tucker Colgate University, USA
Feb 01 - Feb 06, 2015

The BIRS workshop on Partial Differential Equations in Cancer Modelling was highly fruitful. It has led to two new potential collaborative projects for me. The morning talks and afternoon discussion times were both essential to make this happen.

Peter Kim Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sydney

I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting. It was an excellent program and we were looked after so well. As academia becomes a less and less attractive career choice, having such stimulating meetings in such a beautiful location becomes increasingly important.

Philip Maini Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology, University of Oxford
Jan 25 - Jan 30, 2015

The workshop was very interesting and well organized.

Claude Carlet Mathematics, University Paris 8

I enjoyed the workshop very much.

Tuvi Etzion Professor
Computer Science Department, Technion IIT

BIRS is an amazing place!

Shamgar Gurevich Mathematics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

I'm really grateful to the BIRS Scientific Panel for approving this workshop. It was a tremendous opportunity to spend time with mathematicians and engineers, trying to understand better how theoretical and applied considerations intersect. Even though I was involved in writing the proposal, I still left the workshop much better informed about how sequences, codes and designs are being used in novel ways in practical applications, and how emerging applications are driving new theoretical research in these areas. The unseasonably warm weather and spectacular mountain setting of BIRS were bonuses! Thanks to the BIRS staff for taking care of so many details, leaving the participants free to concentrate on science.

Jonathan Jedwab Mathematics, Simon Fraser University
Jan 18 - Jan 23, 2015

The seminars were important for new insights in the area. The workshop was the occasion for new contacts and ideas which will almost certainly lead to a new collaboration.

Anna Maria Cherubini Dr.
Department of Mathematics, University of Salento, Italy

Let me first of all say that I enjoyed every minute of the workshop. I feel that I not only have new scientific contacts but that I now have new personal friends. During the "open problem" - session, I raised a question and conjectured an answer, but it turned out that my question was answered in the negative - by two counter- examples in fact. One counter-example is based on an example which H Furstenberg constructed in a paper from 1961 in a slightly different context, and that this example, which was known to one or two of the participants of the workshop, could be used to construct a counterexample to my conjecture they also saw. The other counter-example was constructed by A Quas during the workshop. Both examples are of course of great value to me when trying to find necessary and sufficient conditions for unique invariant probability measures for random dynamical systems. The talks during the workshop were very illuminating and in my opinion of very high standard. They certainly gave me a lot of new insights. But what was of even more value to me was the new personal relations I got during the conference. I am sure these will lead to further scientific exchange. What I also think was very nice with this workshop was the balance in age, a fine mixture between young researchers, middle aged scientists and senior scientists. Let me finish by saying that I feel lucky to have been invited to this wonderful place and to a great workshop.

Thomas Kaijser Linköping University

I like the style of this workshop, which balanced the talks and discussions very well. There are plenty time to discuss with experts on many different issues. Great job! Many thanks to the organizers!

Zeng Lian department of mathematical science, Loughborough University

The workshop did help my research, I learnt of overlaps and extensions of my work on statistical properties of random dynamical systems coming from the work of Charlene Kalle and collaborators. The talks on SDE also suggested new research directions for me. It was an excellent workshop.

Matthew Nicol Mathematics, University of Houston

The theme of this workshop overlaps with big part of my own research. Many of participants;s talks in this workshop provided very interesting new results and open problems/questions which promise to lead to new research projects. The meeting provided me with the opportunity to establish clear steps in a research project started with a previous collaborator. I am a research fellow. In this workshop I found about some very good open permanent job positions, which I will apply for.

Dalia Terhesiu Faculty of Mathematics, University of Vienna
Jan 16 - Jan 18, 2015

As a grade two teacher, this was an experience that has enlightened my program and given me a much deeper understanding of the math foundations students need. This week-end of math has helped me make connections to what I am doing in curriculum and I have a clearer direction to where I need to lead my class. This experience was truly an eye-opening experience that I was so honored to be invited to. The BIRS center was an ideal setting to light one's mathematical ideas!

Linda Arndt Teacher Pembina Hills

What a wonderful environment to spend time with people with mutual interests, pushing through some serious challenges but in a place where it's easy to interact away from day-to-day pressures.

Tim Bell Professor
Computer Science and Software Engineering, University of Canterbury
Jan 11 - Jan 16, 2015

This workshop was nicely organized and was full of interesting talks. The workshop allowed to share a great deal of new ideas with the leading researchers in the field of modern complex analysis and applications.

Konstantin Kornev Professor
Materials Science & Engineering, Clemson University

I would like to express my gratitude to the organizers of the workshop: Linda Cummings, Stefan Llewellyn Smith, Paul Martin and Bartosz Protas, for very interesting and useful event they organized. It gave me a nice possibility to meet people I would not have met otherwise. It allowed me to start a new research project and gave insights in my current work.

Alexander Minakov dr
department of physics, Czech Technical University in Prague

The automated video capture is fantastic! Very impressive.

Nick Trefethen Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford

It was great to make new collaborations with persons I was only vaguely aware of before the BIRS meeting. Another excellent feature is the online videos of the lectures. I encouraged my PhD student to watch two or three of these, which he did and already followed up by contacting some of the speakers.

Andre Weideman Applied Mathematics, Universiteit Stellenbosch
Dec 07 - Dec 12, 2014

Everything was perfect. I could enjoy the lectures and discussion with top level researchers in this area.

Masanori Asakura Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics, Hokkaido University

I was very happy to present my recent work at this conference. I met also new people and this could be of interest for my future research.

Philippe Gille Directeur de recherches
Mathématiques, Institut Camille Jordan, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1

This was a great opportunity for me to meet and discuss with several of my professional colleagues, all in one place. I was also happy to be given the opportunity to speak on some of my own recent work. The organizers did a great job and I thank them. I also have to say that this was my fourth visit to Banff (third to BIRS) and it was very enjoyable.

Roy Joshua Mathematics, Ohio State University
Nov 30 - Dec 05, 2014

Every trip to BIRS has been a productive experience. The lecture room and facilities are world class, and all the amenities and meals are taken care of seamlessly and designed to foster interactions.

S. J. Miller Associate Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Williams College
Nov 23 - Nov 28, 2014

I came to BIRS for a five day workshop. It was an intense time, and I'm still processing all the information learned. I had a lot of interesting conversations and got started on several beautiful problems. The real impacts of the workshop will probably take months or years to show, but I can already say that I'm very happy I've attended. On the job front, meeting people is always helpful. In particular, I have had the opportunity to meet one person who could offer me a postdoc at a prestigious institution, but the outcome of my application is unclear as of now.

Alexandr Kazda Department of Mathematics, Vanderbilt University
Nov 16 - Nov 21, 2014

This workshop was one of the best conferences I've been at; I have met many previous and current (and future) collaborators, and it was invaluable to talk to them all at the same place.

Heiko Dietrich School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University

When I was invited to take part in this BIRS workshop last year my initial reaction was to say no. Although I remain mathematically active, I have been retired since the early 2000s and I was not sure that I could make a worthwhile contribution. On reconsideration I decided that organizers knew more than I did and I accepted. I am glad I did this. It was a wonderful week. True, the median age of participants was closer to 30 or 40, but I knew many of the participants--mainly by correspondence--and the way in which BIRS is organized makes the day by day informal meetings an excellent way to get to know so many of the other participants. Much of my professional life has been connected one way or another with linear groups and computation, and the lectures during the week were of a high standard. It was clear that the organizers had put a great deal of work into selecting the participants including many very bright young people and a good proportion of women. Talks would often end in vigorous discussions about what had been said and where one might go from there. I made new friends and renewed some old friendships. It was a great chance to meet mathematicians whom I had corresponded with or only knew by name. I was able to discuss face to face some research problems which I have been working on, and returned home with note books of new problems. Since coming home I have been working on a problem posed by Cheryl Praeger which arose in her work with Akos Seress, and made some progress on this. We are currently in correspondence about this problem. The untimely death of Akos is a real regret for many of us who knew him. My experience persuades me that BIRS is a wonderful facility which provides excellent support for workshops of this nature. In the past I have been to Oberwolfach which provides similar facilities in workshops for small groups and has long been well known for its important role in stimulating mathematical research. I think that BIRS is playing a similar role in North America and Canadians should be proud that Canada is host to BIRS and its unique facilities.

John Dixon University of Alberta

This workshop had a significant impact on my ongoing research. I had various highly interesting discussions with colleagues that resulted in new ideas for research projects and, in the long run, will very likely result in new publications. The workshop also yielded an excellent opportunity for some younger researchers to present themselves and hence was very interesting also from this viewpoint. Furthermore, during the workshop there were not only various very well-presented and interesting lectures, but also several open discussions that resulted in new directions for the research of the overall research community in this field.

Bettina Eick Professor
Mathematics, Technische Universität Braunschweig

This workshop featured leading researchers currently active in computational group theory concerned especially with matrix groups, over finite and infinite fields. The formal programme of talks was uniformly excellent. We learnt of several interesting new results with direct impact on our own research. Joint work was fruitfully undertaken.

Dane Flannery Mathematics, National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland)

The conference was very successful, and I am grateful to everyone who made it happen. One consequence of the conference has been that we have organised the translation of a major piece of software that some of us have been working on for twenty five years to be translated into a second language. This translation is very necessary, and requires the co-operation of the whole of our mathematical community; so the BIRS conference played a decisive role.

Charles Leedham-Green Queen Mary College London

I was able to gain insights and feedback from my colleagues that is only possible in a workshop such as this. My participation here has saved me months of research and catapulted several of my projects forward.

Kay Magaard Mathematics, University Birmingham

I enjoyed the workshop very much. I flew from Australia to Banff for just this week and it really has been worth while. On the one hand, the community was able to make substantial plans for the future and it was great to be involved in these. On the other hand I made some new research connections by discussing mathematical questions that arose from my talk with some of the people present. With one of these we immediately struck up a collaboration and worked all Friday afternoon while waiting for the bus. Thank you so much for inviting me and allowing me to take part in the workshop and for the wonderful atmosphere provided by BIRS. It is much appreciated.

Alice Niemeyer Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation, The University of Western Australia

I truly appreciated being part of this excellent meeting. I learnt a lot from the talks, and also had time to talk with many colleagues. I felt honoured to give a talk on the Akos Seress day in memory of my close colleague Akos - it allowed me to present the contact of a major part of his research over the last 5 years of his life, culminating in his joint paper completed by Sukru Yalcinkaya and I, published just the week before the conference. Here is a short snapshot of some interactions: Discussions of revisions of a paper with my former student Brian Corr, now a new postdoc in Brazil – and discussions of how he could complete his work on recognizing classical d-dimensional groups represented in dimension up to d^2; Extensive discussions with Csaba Schneider on our forthcoming book on permutation groups; Planning a research project on involution-centralizer construction in classical groups with Colva Roney-Dougal. (She will visit me in Perth in January.); Trying again, with Alice Niemeyer and Tobias Rossmann, to prove that “collection to the left” in p-groups has exponentially complexity; and Discussion with Dane Flannery of progress with publishing a memorial issue of the Journal of the Australian Mathematical Society in memory of L. G. (Laci) Kovacs. Again, may I say how much I appreciate the hospitality of BIRS and the great facilities that promote these interactions.

Cheryl Praeger School of Mathematics and Statistics (M019), The University of Western Australia

This was an outstanding workshop. Whilst there I made substantial progress on an on-going research project, initiated a new international research collaboration, submitted a grant proposal jointly with one of the other participants, and had preliminary discussions with another participant (with whom I’ve never worked before) about a further possible grant proposal.

Colva Roney-Dougal Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews

Once again my time there was productive. It saw the completion of a research project with Martin Kassabov (participant) surrounding a question raised some 50 years ago. It also gave critical feedback on the most important aspects of my student Josh Maglione's (participant) work which will help him focus his ideas in the last stage of his research. Finally, this time I felt the impact of the video taped lectures even while I was there. I was able to direct Gene Luks, and emeritus member of the same research community, to lectures on which he was able to provide distinct feedback despite being absent from the conference himself. I look forward to a future visit, if invited I would reflexively accept based on how productive my previous visits have been.

James Wilson Mathematics, Colorado State University
Nov 09 - Nov 14, 2014

This workshop was extremely helpful for me. I learned about lots of new results, corrected some misconceptions that I had about my own field, got good feedback about my research, and established at least one new collaboration. Also, the location is as good as it comes and the hospitality aspects were friendly and welcoming. I'd like to thank everyone involved, including the BIRS staff and the conference organizers. I hope I get invited again soon!

Steve Andrews research affiliate
Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Great place, great friends, lots of inspiration!

Stefan Engblom Associate professor
Information Technology, Uppsala University
Nov 02 - Nov 07, 2014

My stay at BIRS helped me a lot with my own research program and I wish to thank the BIRS staff for providing such a great environment for the exchange of ideas and results. I have benefited a lot from the conference. The conference brought together a number of leading experts in geometric scattering theory, who presented their most recent results in the field. Such possibilities to get to know the recent developments in a field are of great importance for advancement of science. Of particular importance for me were the talks by P. Albin and D. Sher, who reported on their brand new results on analytic torsion for manifolds with fibred cusps, obtained in joint work with F. Rochon, who also attended the conference. This work is closely related to my own research interests and I had very fruitful discussions of related problems with the authors. Of great value for me was also the talk by Eugenie Hunsicker and the discussions with her, concerning spectral theory on manifolds with fibred boundary. Furthermore, I discussed problems of my current research project, concerning analytic torsion on locally symmetric spaces, with A. Vasy. One problem I was struggling with for some time is related to the stationary phase approximation of weighted orbital integrals occurring on geometric side of the Selberg trace formula. The discussion with A. Vasy was very successful and helped me to solve the problem. Finally, A. Strohmaier and I were inspired by some of the talks, especially the talk by E. Hunsicker, to start with a new joint project dealing with resonances for asymptotically Euclidean manifolds.

Werner Müller Institute of Mathematics, Universität Bonn
Oct 26 - Oct 31, 2014

The combination of the venue and the range an quality of the presentations on information theory applied to biological systems was a one-two stunning punch. Absolutely the best workshop I have ever attended in my 30 years of professional activity.

Chris Rose Professor of E&CE
E&CE, Rutgers University

It was a great workshop! For me, it was particularly great to meet one of the organizers, Toby Berger, a very important figure in rate distortion theory, which is directly relevant to my research. I would have loved to stay on for the weekend to further discuss with some of the other participants. There was an interesting variety at the conference, some people I’d never met before, but enjoyed speaking with.

Susanne Still Information and Computer Sciences, University of Hawaii

It has been a wonderful and very beneficial workshop for me. The chance to expose different ideas and research directions among experts who normally don't go to the same conferences was unique and highly valuable. The format of long talks (when requested) with ample of time for informal discussions; the beautiful location and perfect hospitality of the Banff center, and the careful choice of participants, made this meeting very successful. It was certainly worth the effort of the long trip from Jerusalem.

Naftali Tishby Professor
CSE & ELSC, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Oct 19 - Oct 24, 2014

I thought the quality of the research was very high. This is a field where I used to be working; now I am more of an interested bystander. But at the workshop, I learned of a problem that I thought had been resolved and began thinking about it. Right now (a week later), I believe that I have a nice little publication, joint with two other participants at the workshop. I also made quite a bit of progress on a project with two of my other collaborators who were there, but that topic is a little off the main thrust of the workshop.

Ian Putnam Mathematics & Statistics, University of Victoria

I have had the chance to participate in great workshops and conferences in my field in recent years, but this workshop at BIRS stands out among them. Most of the speakers were young mathematicians and the majority were new to me (some are still PhD students). I was impressed by the quality of their work. I was delighted to see breakthroughs in my field and solutions to old problems (which I had tackled myself, but without success). The schedule of the workshop and the facilities offered by BIRS are congenial to discussions, giving the opportunity to know better these young participants and their work. I have started a research project with one of them. The workshop also gave me the opportunity to make some progress on another project with an experienced participant.

Jean Renault Mathematics, Universite d' Orleans
Oct 12 - Oct 17, 2014

Excellent workshop, idyllic surroundings. Feel recharged.

Vivek Borkar Professor
Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

The workshop was well organized, gathering scholars from different disciplines, which opened new angles for me.

Michel De Lara CERMICS, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech

The BIRS workshop was an outstanding experience. The opportunity to interact with and learn from the top researchers in the field, against the idyllic backdrop of the Canadian Rockies, was very memorable. I am very glad that places such as BIRS and the Banff Centre exist to facilitate the exchange and pursuit of knowledge.

Shreyas Sundaram Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo
Oct 05 - Oct 10, 2014

One main goal of our workshop was to bring the research communities of compressed sensing, frame theory, numerical linear algebra, and optimization together to join forces in order to solve key problems in the area of sparse data processing. Having such a diverse group of participants is always an experiment. But in our case it worked extremely well, and the inspiring atmosphere of BIRS and the Banff Center had a significant impact on this. Many participants told us afterwards how much they benefited from this workshop, even starting new collaborations across community boundaries. Also there was a general agreement among all to have similar meetings in the new future to continue bridging and strengthening the interactions between those four research areas.

Gitta Kutyniok Department of Mathematics, Technische Universität Berlin

BIRS offers a wonderful environment for meetings and research. I very much appreciate also the support of the people around - all works smoothly and creates a pleasant atmosphere. The workshop put together people from several disciplines. This is always a challenge with a potentially high gain. My general feeling is that science today is becoming too fragmented, which is, in my opinion, very true also for mathematics. Reaching a common understanding needs a persistent effort and patience, which is not entirely in line with the instant push for immediate results that we all experience. There were some people in the workshop whom I met for the first time. The idea of looking at sparsity from the very different perspectives is very useful, and I do hope for continuation of that mutual interchanges of views and approaches. I have benefited in particular from the talks and discussions on compressive sensing, but also some topics from optimization were enlightening. I had also a very nice personal experience - one of the participants turned out to be my student from the Emory University (he graduated in 1999 and went to Yale for his PhD, I returned back from Atlanta to Prague in 2000). He has clearly became an excellent professional (in another field than mine), and I has been most happy to observe that. I am sure that we will stay in contact. Thank you again for the support, I look forward to come to BIRS again.

Zdenĕk Strakoš Facuty of Mathematics and Physics, Department od Numerical Mathematics, Charles University in Prague

The workshop was fantastic, one of the best I have attended. The organisers’ vision was to have three related, but not the same, topics represented. Most participants were aware of two of the three topics, but not all three. The organisers also had three one hour reviews of each topic. This resulted in a meeting where one was updated on the most recent advances in their field, and had the opportunity to learn more about a new related field. A very good model! The organisers should be commended.

Jared Tanner Mathematics, University of Oxford
Oct 03 - Oct 05, 2014

The workshop was excellent. A particular highlight was the three presentations from senior mathematicians: giving a research talk, university teaching and conducting research. Each of these presentations were insightful, interactive and intriguing. It was clear that the speakers genuinely wanted to provide honest and valuable advice. I appreciated their thoughtfulness. I also enjoyed the informal and candid atmosphere of the workshop, and meeting women mathematicians from across Canada, and learning from them.

Amenda Chow Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo

The workshop was wonderful! It was great to meet so many female mathematicians from across Canada. The senior participants shared invaluable wisdom and advice and BIRS provided an excellent atmosphere. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to participate!

Lauren DeDieu Mathematics & Statistics, McMaster University

Our BIRS workshop was well-received, well-attended and extremely fruitful. From the feedback we received we have concluded that we must have frequent meetings of the same kind. BIRS was a fantastic site for us: all details of what a mathematician would need for a short workshop were thought of, and the manager was very helpful.

Sara Faridi Mathematics and Statistics, Dahousie University
Sep 28 - Oct 03, 2014

It was very useful for me to meet people who were building further on research of mine and whom I hadn't met before. Further I met several very talented young people.

Jan-Hendrik Evertse Dr.
Mathematisch Instituut, Universiteit Leiden

This was a workshop of high level with many interesting talks. The organization of the program was excellent. I had the possibility to give a survey about my recent results on effective bounds for the solutions of Diophantine equations over finitely generated domains. Several participants were interested in my results. I met some colleagues whom never had contacted before. During the workshop I got some new and interesting information related to my research work.

Kálmán Györy Professor
Dept of Algebra and Number Theory, University of Debrecen

I met a few mathematicians studying a different, yet related area. The conversations with them were very interesting. Now I decide to learn more and (hopefully) do research in that area.

Khoa Nguyen UBC-PIMS Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow
Mathematics, UBC and PIMS

I learned a lot, especially about new results on integral points, that I plan to use in my future research.

Tom Tucker Mathematics, University of Rochester

It was wonderful to meet many of my colleagues again, many after quite a while. The meeting gave me new research questions to think about. It was also very useful to be able to immediately ask some of my hunches to the experts that were there. Renewed contacts led to an invitation to come give a talk at the place of one of the participants.

Machiel van Frankenhuijsen Mathematics, Utah Valley University
Sep 21 - Sep 26, 2014

The workshop was highly beneficial for my current research. I look forward to coming back.

Celia Reina Department of Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania
Sep 21 - Sep 26, 2014

Our workshop was most fruitful for me, in many respects. I learned about new problems, partially we found already some solutions, and in any case the discussions and the talks were most inspiring for my future work. I learned about one particular problem for which I could write during the workshop an algorithm being two orders of magnitude faster than an existing one. Besides, the atmosphere, nature, food, accommodation, social contacts, everything was beyond any expectation. I enjoyed it very much.

Siegfried Rump Prof. Dr., head of Institute for Reliable Computing
Mathematics, Information Science and Electrical Engineering, Hamburg University of Technology
Sep 14 - Sep 19, 2014

It was a very inspiring conference, and one of the most productive ones I've been to. We obtained a new result, and I learned a lot from discussions and from the talks.

Agelos Georgakopoulos Mathematics, University of Warwick

It is one of the best workshops I have been in. I have learned a lot. This is a great platform for rookie researchers like me to to talk with the veterans and also present myself to the researchers in the field.

Gourab Ray Center for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge
Sep 07 - Sep 12, 2014

This was a fantastic conference that really showcased the progress made in mathematical cell biology over the last 3 years (since the last such BIRS workshop). Not only was there great science, but also the participants have become a kind of interdisciplinary community (of mathematicians, physicists, engineers, and biologists) who can communicate with one another about an array of complex and important problems in the cell biology field. We were a bit amazed by the onset of winter at Banff in September (lots of snow!) but the atmosphere and communications were top-notch. Several new collaborations were initiated, and many old collaborations strengthened due to this workshop.

Leah Edelstein-Keshet Mathematics, University of British Columbia

The conference in BIRS was fantastic. New ideas for a project, continuing collaborations and meeting new people.

Kinneret Keren Physics Department, Technion University

The BIRS workshop Mathematics of the Cell: Integrating Genes Biochemistry and Mechanics was a very unique opportunity to meet leaders in cell biology who are utilizing the most advanced quantitative approaches model the cell. It was a wonderful experience to meet with the scientists, engineers and mathematicians in a true synthesis of ideas that has yielded such amazing advances in biology by collaborating across disciplines and generating an integrated and holistic understanding of the cell.

Brannon McCullough Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota

The BIRS meeting on Mathematics of the cell, was very good. I learned a lot and group seemed extremely collegiate and open minded towards each others' ideas. It is too early to say anything about collaborations of papers, yet, but it certainly provided a new spectrum of contacts for emerging questions in my laboratory.

Inke Nathke Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Dundee

BIRS provides a fantastic environment for cutting edge scientific discussions among the leaders in my field.

David Odde Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota
Aug 24 - Aug 29, 2014

Very helpful. A new collaboration there led to this: http://arxiv.org/abs/1411.2404.

Jelani Nelson Assistant Professor
Computer Science, Harvard University

Definitely one of my best academic experiences, and very enjoyable personally too. Thanks to all the people involved in this great institution, and to you above all for allowing for his program to become reality.

Omri Weinstein computer science, Princeton University
Aug 17 - Aug 22, 2014

This is certainly one of the very the best conferences I have attended in a long time. Almost all talks were of very high quality and inspiring. There was a god combination of experimentalists, theoreticians and numerical people. On a personal level I came back home with several new ideas, and will probably keep in touch with several people I did not know before. We are actually thinking of putting together a follow-up in France in 2 years.

Georges-Henri Cottet U. Joseph Fourier

The BIRS workshop brought all the worlds experts together as well as good selection of up and coming researchers. There was a great mix of topics from the theoretical and modelling problems to the full complexity of the industrial setting. I greatly enjoyed the conference and believe many fruitful collaborations will result.

Jim McElwaine Professor
Earth Sciences, Durham University
Aug 10 - Aug 15, 2014

This was my first conference at BIRS and I have to say that it was one the most impressive conferences I have ever participated in. The organization was indeed perfect, food was perfect, hotel was perfect. Finally, the science was also of highest level.

Mariusz Lemańczyk Faculty of mathematics and Computer Science, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń

This was a successful meeting allowing for a lot of interaction and exchange of ideas among the participants. I was fortunate to receive a lot of questions during my talk that will focus and expand my future research about extensions of hyperbolic actions and partially hyperbolic diffeomorphisms. During the meeting I worked with several current collaborators and I received important criticism and remarks about some of my recent preprints from top specialists in the field of dynamical systems. Many thanks to the workshop organizers and to the BIRS administration!!

Viorel Niţică Professor
Mathematics, West Chester University
Aug 08 - Aug 10, 2014

Many thanks for the opportunity and great facility. The workshop was well received and I heard all positive remarks. Indeed, it helped many participants to take their current research to next level. Each talk was interesting and ended with lively and frank discussion. As a matter of fact, a group of participants asked me if I can organize another one for their future research collaborations.

Syed Ejaz Ahmed Mathematics, Brock University

As a software engineer from IT industry I was very pleased to meet so many highly qualified scientists and searchers at the workshop. It has definitely broadened our view about the specific discipline that incidentally aligns with the mission of our software product. The workshop was a unique opportunity for us to networking with people of similar interests.

James Li CEO & President
VisuMap Technologies Inc

I found that workshop arranged at BIRS on "The Perspectives on High-dimensional Data Analysis" very useful for my research. Almost all the papers that were presented there were of very high quality and were presented by some very well known researchers in this and related fields. Thanks to the organizers for doing a great job and putting some high quality papers in the program. I am definitely benefited in my research by participating in the workshop. Other arrangements like accommodation and meals were simply great. I definitely look forward to participating some similar and any other workshops in the Statistics.

Radhey S Singh Professor
Departmento Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo
Jul 27 - Aug 01, 2014

I am really grateful for the excellent organization of BIRS. The facilities and friendly local staff really make everybody comfortable and get the most from the workshop. I found the videos recorded for each talk were very useful.

Jiguo Cao Associate Professor
Statistics, Simon Fraser University

BIRS' organizational help made running the workshop very easy. I don't think there was anything administrative that I needed to handle that was not directly related to the research program. And BIRS location and facilities, are, of course, beyond compare. I know from many comments that that sentiment is shared universally among the workshop participants. This workshop was particularly valuable in bringing together statisticians, applied mathematicians and biologists to discuss statistical problems in dynamical systems that have received little attention in any of these fields individually. It proved enormously useful to me, personally, as a way of making contact and understanding approaches from different fields and I have had that sentiment expressed to me by many of the other participants. I will outline this in a workshop report, but feel that, scientifically, the workshop served exactly BIRS' purpose. BIRS is one of the most outstanding and valuable mathematical institutions in North America and does its job extraordinarily well. I am immensely grateful to have had the opportunity to organize a meeting with you.

Giles Hooker Psychology, McGill University

BIRS was fantastic!… As for the workshop, it was exceptional. Hooker and I are writing a book on dynamic systems for statisticians, and the organizers did an exceptional job of bring top people together from a wide selection of fields, including biologists and others using dynamical systems in their work but not themselves in math or stat. There are, as you of course know several debates going on about the role of these types of models, including whether stochastic systems are to be preferred to deterministic systems, the role of initial value systems and methodology in contexts were data are available across the whole interval, and etc. The workshop was an invaluable opportunity to listen carefully to all perspectives without taking sides. I learned a good deal, and gained a lot of perspective on these and other issues that will be invaluable in our book, and also will allow us to point in directions where dynamical systems can play an even more constructive role. Moreover, the weather couldn’t have been better, and the mood in the workshop was as upbeat and convivial as one could possible wish for. Many research connections were forged. We’ll be talking about this workshop years from now.

Jim Ramsay Psychology, McGill University

This was one of the best workshops/conferences I ever participated in, and there have been a lot. Forty colleagues from different fields centered around a common topic, perfect! I knew only three before personally, but I talked to everyone. Joint projects are on the way. Of course, the location is gorgeous!

Jens Timmer Institute of Physics, University of Frieburg
Jul 25 - Jul 27, 2014

Great experience in a fantastic setting!

Rhonda Rosychuk Professor
Pediatrics, University of Alberta
Jul 13 - Jul 18, 2014

Thank you for all your efforts in organizing the excellent workshop. I was very happy to be a part of it… The organization of the workshop was very smooth and the flexibility to move my own talk at the short notice was highly appreciated.

Toru Ohira Graduate School of Mathematics, Nagoya University

I would like to thank first of all Peter and the other members of the scientific committee for the organization of this excellent - and at least from my perspective also extremely successful - meeting. For me personally the workshop was an excellent survey on all current aspects of this interdisciplinary research topic provided by all the leading scientists of the area… The administration and organization of the meeting was extremely smooth, the accommodation was excellent, the food was excellent and the surroundings of the Banff Centre just overwhelming. Having a mathematical research centre of this style is important not only for the mathematical community to enhance research, but also to promote mathematics in increasingly complex topics (in this case neuroscience). I really enjoyed the meeting and I am sure the other participants did so as well.

Wilhelm Stannat Technical University Berlin
Jul 11 - Jul 13, 2014

The BIRS Workshop on "Algebraic Design Theory with Hadamard matrices: applications, current trends and future directions" has definitely influenced very positively in my research. It has given me the chance to meet most of the people working in the area, and I have maintained many interesting and constructive discussions in turn. Even more, some talks have inspired new insights for my future research.

Victor Alvarez Dr
Applied Mathematics 1, Universidad de Sevilla

The BIRS workshop was a great opportunity to learn the cutting-edge of research and get to know people working in the field. The quality of the talks were particularly high compared to conferences on the same topic I have attended. I hope that BIRS will host workshops in my research field coming years as well.

Yuichiro Fujiwara California Institute of Technology
Jun 29 - Jul 04, 2014

It was a fantastic meeting in all respects. It will certainly have a strong impact in my research directions in the next years. I also enjoyed the friendly atmosphere of the researchers in this field.

Jose Carrillo Mathematics, Imperial College London

This BIRS workshop was very interesting and usefull for my research activity. Of course it is still to early to evaluate the impact, but I had very fruitful discussions with colleagues there.

Filbet Francis Institut Camille Jordan, University Claude Bernard

The workshop was very inspiring: many nice talks and a stimulating atmosphere.

Jan Maas Institute for Applied Mathematics, University of Bonn
Jun 22 - Jun 27, 2014

The BIRS worksop was perfect for me as it covered very recent topics in the field presented by top scientists and gave the opportunity for connections and ideas for new research projects. It's an invaluable opportunity for my work. I also think the format with longer talks than usual and long breaks is very good, giving more chance to understand the concepts presented and discuss them with the speakers after the talks.

Laurent Briollais Prosserman Centre for Health Research, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Inst.

I have been a net benefiter of the recent workshop. More specifically, I had a research problem or consulting problem that I did not know the corresponding literature. I presented my thoughts and received a lot of feedback from other participants. I am confident that I am now in much better position to address the statistical problem that arose from the applications. The workshop also helped me to keep up with the latest developments. Genomics are only a small portion of my research interest. I cannot afford to spend a lot of my time in all details. Thus, the platform of BIRS workshop is most cost effective of my time.

Jiahua Chen Statistics, University of British Columbia

The statistical genetics workshop at BIRS was fantastic, providing a relaxed atmosphere for scientific discussions, seeing long-time colleagues, and meeting members of our research community whose work I have read in journals. The discussions at the workshop supplied new ideas for my research, and opened opportunities for collaborations. A great experience that is hard to replicate in other scientific meetings.

Dan Schaid Professor
Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic
Jun 08 - Jun 13, 2014

The workshop was really valuable for me and other participants in gaining perspective on important problems/research directions in our field, and approaches to solving them. Five days together as a small group helped build strong new connections and deepen existing collaborations. Group problem solving worked surprisingly well. The BIRS location and conference support is fabulous. Thank you!

Anne Condon Professor
Computer Science, University of British Columbia

I very much enjoyed the BIRS workshop on programming with chemical reaction networks. First and foremost, I learnt a great deal from the other workshop participants, who often had quite different backgrounds to me and yet had very similar interests in terms of the problems they were attempting to solve. I came away with many new ideas and research directions to investigate. I also really enjoyed working on open problems in the field, and felt we made great progress in coming up with a better understanding of the problems to be solved, in understanding the work that had already been done in attempting to solve these problems, and also in making promising steps towards finding solutions ourselves. I will be following up on a number of strands that we started to explore in the workshop, and expect these to lead to new scientific discoveries in the field.

Andrew Phillips Microsoft Research
Jun 08 - Jun 13, 2014

I have not been to many meetings where there is such concentration on a given problem and I thought it worked well. There was plenty of time of discussion and speculation. I thought the centre was very well run and there were no problems. I also found the people who looked after the accommodation very helpful.

Peter West Mathematics Department, King's College
Jun 08 - Jun 13, 2014

The workshop was an excellent opportunity to meet people whose papers I had recently read, but who normally traveled in different orbits. Because our workshop devoted only little time to talks and more time to problem-solving sessions, I had the opportunity to pose to them some open questions from my research -- and it looks like we now have a solution in the works. New friends, new results. An excellent workshop in a beautiful location.

Erik Winfree Computer Science, California Institute of Technology
Jun 01 - Jun 06, 2014

Almost all, perhaps even all, of those who attended the conference on the future of the trace formula agreed that it was one of the most fruitful conferences they had ever attended. Thank you to BIRS.

William Casselman Professor Emeritus
University of British Columbia

The workshop on the future of trace formula was taking in place timely. The main theme was to find possible approaches from various aspects to understand the Langlands functoriality in general, and understand the Langlands' idea to obtain the Langlands functoriality beyond the endoscopy functorial transfers. I personally learned a lot from the lectures in the workshop, and hope the organizers and other people in the research field will think of such opportunities in near future.

Dihua Jiang School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota

I expect a new collaboration leading to a book to be written, that originated during the workshop.

Jean-Pierre Labesse Aix-Marseille Universite
May 25 - May 30, 2014

The organizers selected a very interesting and diverse group of mathematicians ranging from pure differential geometry to applied PDE.

Sigurd Angenent Department of Mathematics,, University of Wisconsin (USA)

This was a high level workshop. It helps on having new ideas on research projects. Very interesting participation by very young researchers.

Xavier Cabre Matematica Aplicada 1, ICREA and Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya
May 18 - May 23, 2014

An excellent week with plenty of opportunity to meet old friends and to make new ones. As an experimental scientist the process of learning to communicate effectively with mathematicians was challenging but certainly has the potential for great rewards. I have only been back a few weeks and there are already several promising collaborations that have sprung from conversations at Banff. I would like to thank all those involved in setting up the workshop - for their superb organization and for bringing together such an interesting group of people.

Sarah Haigh Dr
School of Materials, University of Manchester
May 11 - May 16, 2014

Questions posed after my talk made me realize that in practice it would be hard to estimate certain parameters in our model. This will lead us to include an analysis of how to determine the parameters, and it will improve the paper significantly.

Jakša Cvitanić Professor of Mathematical Finance
Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology

Important is the possibility to discuss with colleagues. Questions were posed and maybe future research can give answers. Having the opportunity to discuss is more important than presenting a paper.

Freddy Delbaen Mathematics, ETH Zurich + UNI Zurich

I greatly enjoyed the workshop in Banff. In my opinion this format is extremely valuable.

Jan Kallsen Department of Mathematics, University of Kiel
May 04 - May 09, 2014

I had a fantastic time at BIRS. I was able to spend valuable time with a few of my collaborators who are based at different institutions and present some of my recent work to an audience of experts in my field. The location is wonderful as well.

Andrew Lawrie Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley

The workshop facilitated collaborations between many groups. Probabilists and people studying PDE theory from the point of view of statistical mechanics were able to talk, analysts were able to discuss simulations and experiments with applied mathematicians that motivate and/or support their work, and various collaborations took place that were both ongoing and spurred by questions or comments in talks.

Jeremy Marzuola Mathematics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Apr 27 - May 02, 2014

Through the BIRS workshop, I begin to understand the change point test more deeply, know the latest development in this field and meet some famous scholars. I thank the organizers.

Fuxiao Li University of Alberta

Best conference I've ever attended. I'm way senior, so no it didn't influence me careerwise, but I learned a lot. The conference did influence where I take my sabbatical :).

Robert Lund Professor
Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University (United States)

The workshop had excellent scientific quality. I met younger colleagues whom I did not know before and learned about new topics in non-linear time series analysis. The workshop showed the state of the art in the field of time series analysis. Some of the leaders in the field were present and reported about recent results.

Thomas Mikosch Department of Mathematics, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

I did get to make some new contacts and the work done by several of the presenters opened my eyes to new ideas and new possibilities. There does exist the possibility of new collaborations and mutual visits spawned by the workshop. The facilities and the venue were excellent and the arrangements superb.

Nozer Singpurwalla Chair Professor
Department of System Engineering and Engineering Management, City University of Hong Kong
Apr 25 - Apr 27, 2014

As usual my lodge at BIRS was a great experience. The hospitality was professional.

Michael Akinwumi University of Alberta

The workshop was on math education rather than math research, but it gave me a lot of great new ideas that I can use when I next use Math Fairs or present on Math Fairs to others. It also provided me with many great contacts which I could use or offer to others.

James Nastos University of British Columbia Okanagan
Apr 20 - Apr 25, 2014

My visit to BIRS was simply wonderful: I had the opportunity to meet accomplished female mathematicians, who are inspiring and passionate; I learned about many possibilities I was not aware of for job opportunities; I heard about numerous conferences/workshops I was not aware of, that I might want to attend; the work environment was ideal. I cannot imagine a better setting to discover mathematics; In the short time of one week, our group made a lot of progress, and set ideas we could explore in the near future in order to submit in the proceedings a certain resolution of our problematic and I was able to explore a field different from my research focus, which was both refreshing and exciting. Thank you for hosting this amazing workshop!

Yara Elias Mathematics and Statistics Department, McGill University

The WIN workshops are among the most useful mathematics conferences in which I have ever participated, both in terms of fostering research collaborations and mentorship. This third edition has certainly lived up to such standards.

Matilde Lalin Associate Professor
Departement de mathematiques et de statistique, Université de Montréal

I was very impressed with the Banff campus—it is like a self-sustaining world. I think that residential workshops like the one I just attended at BIRS are the gold standard for mathematical gatherings: because everyone lives and dines together, mathematicians of all ranks naturally mingle professionally and socially in a way that would never be possible at a typical conference venue at a university or city auditorium. I also was very impressed by the WIN format of gathering for research collaborations on pre-designed problems with carefully chosen groups. We had a very successful week and are now working on a long-term collaborative project that I think will be quite successful. I will be thinking carefully about how to apply the WIN model again; certainly a large part of the success of the week was due to the pleasant environment at BIRS.

Lillian Pierce Mathematics, Hausdorff Center for Mathematics, Bonn

I had a wonderful time at last week's workshop, and I would like to thank you and BIRS for supporting the program. I am excited about the project that this workshop introduced me to, and my team and I will continue to work on it -- hopefully with considerable success. In fact, I'm currently very optimistic about this work and I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to have participated in the program.

Kirsten Wickelgren Math department, Georgia Institute of Technology
Apr 13 - Apr 18, 2014

I had an excellent scientific stay at BIRS. The talks were very stimulating and gave me a lot of new knowledge on fusion categories and techniques on classification of subfactors. The format of the workshop was really excellent because it gave the opportunity to discuss with other participants and ask questions to experts. I began a new collaboration with Dave Penneys and Noah Snyder (two of the organizers) about classification of Subfactors and rigidity theory. This collaboration will certainly ends up with a paper in a few months. By asking a question to Masaki Izumi, I got new insights regarding my current research on infinite depth subfactors. Furthermore, I had and interesting discussion with Makoto Yamashita and people that are more on the algebraic side of my current research.

Arnaud Brothier Postdoc
Mathematics, Vanderbilt University

It was a good opportunity for me to concentrate on mathematics, and lectures and personal conversations with other researchers were really useful for my own research. I learned new facts during the workshop, and based on them I discovered some more by myself in the following week.

Masaki Izumi professor
Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University

This was a wonderful meeting where I met new people and learned new topics. Ample time for discussion was also very useful.

Yasuyuki Kawahigashi Professor
Mathematical Sciences, The University of Tokyo

The workshop is related to my recent research. I met many experts and learned a lot.

Zhengwei Liu Vanderbilt University
Apr 06 - Apr 11, 2014

The workshop was fantastic. It broadened my mathematical view and deepened my understanding of the subject I am working on. More importantly, I got the chance to talk to the community.

Xiaowei Wang math and computer sciences, rutgers university, newark
Mar 30 - Apr 04, 2014

Certainly the participation to the BIRS workshop gives rise to new research projects for me and gave me some fresh insights. It is possible that this gives rise to a new paper and maybe some new collaboration.

Marc Coppens Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Mar 23 - Mar 28, 2014

This was an extremely helpful workshop. There are several groups that use higher (i.e. parametrized) Morse theory techniques, but they don't talk to each other. This conference was the first real progress towards establishing relationships between the fields. It was a major success.

Christopher Schommer-Pries Max Planck Institute for Mathematics

Every time I visit BIRS, I come back with a new project, new collaborator, or new development in an old project - something that can't be said about many conferences.

Katrin Wehrheim UC Berkeley
Mar 16 - Mar 21, 2014

It was a wonderful experience to be at BIRS. The following developments would not have happened (at all or as quickly) without the visit to Banff: 1) I gave a talk on "p-permutation equivalences", a relatively new concept in the theory of blocks of finite group algebras. After the talk, Jürgen Müller and Susanne Danz approached me with the suggestion to write a computer program that would allow to compute and analyze p-permutation equivalences and more generally p-permutation modules. We met for about 3 hours, discussed possible algorithms, and have now an initial concept. Motivated by this quick progress we agreed to meet for a week in July to continue with the project. Computations of specific examples would be very enlightening, especially in order to settle or provide more evidence on uniqueness questions. 2) There is a logical hierarchy between different types of equivalences of blocks of finite groups. Discussions with Jeremy Rickard and Markus Linckelmann gave me new ideas how to construct p-permutation equivalences that do not come from the stronger notion of a splendid Rickard equivalence. Examples of this type are currently unknown. 3) In collaboration with Susanne Danz we continued to complete a paper that we started more than a year ago on the quasi-heredity of certain category algebras. "Skype" or similar media would have been far less efficient for this purpose.

Robert Boltje Mathematics, University of California Santa Cruz

This meeting was a marvelous success and I enjoyed every minute of it. I guess much has been said about the comfort of the venue and the beauty of the surroundings. It might be added that the new auditorium is very intelligently conceived and that the recorded talks were very appreciated. For me the event was a unique opportunity to discuss the maths I am presently working on, having focused on this theme in the last three years. I particularly enjoyed the very interesting and carefully prepared session about the remaining problems in checking for simple groups of Lie type the inductive conditions available for certain global/local conjectures. In all it was a very fruitful meeting due to the presence of almost all experts of the field, plus a couple of other experts in neighboring subjects, like Ben Elias whose talk and enthusiasm I appreciated very much. It is also very positive that this meeting could invite many junior researchers (post doc and PhD students). I had a series of informal discussions with many participants. With Tiep I discussed the possibility of proving certain stabilizer statements in the case of finite symplectic groups from the existing literature he knows well. With Brunat, following Gramain's talk on their joint work, I discussed the possible applications of the representation theory of wreath products and the related Morita equivalences to the proof of more equivalences between blocks of Weyl groups or Hecke algebras of classical types. I had many discussions with Paul Fong about the relevance of the joint work with Broue and Srinivasan on Dade's conjecture in the case of unipotent blocks of finite reductive groups, especially in view of recent results by Spaeth producing a reduction theorem for that conjecture.

Marc Cabanes Universite Paris Diderot

I found the workshop at BIRS very inspiring. Besides many interesting talks on recent results and trends in global-local representation theory of finite groups, the meeting also provided ample opportunities for personal discussions with colleagues from all over the world. Here are some concrete research activities resulting from the workshop at BIRS: Inspired by Robert Boltje's (UC Santa Cruz, USA) talk on Tuesday, he, Jürgen Müller (University of Jena, Germany) and I started to discuss possible strategies for investigating $p$-permutation equivalences between blocks of finite groups computationally. During the problem session on Thursday afternoon we developed some concrete ideas, and we now plan to meet again this summer to pursue our joint project. Moreover, during the free afternoon on Wednesday, Robert Boltje and I had the chance to make significant progress on another joint project (on quasi-hereditary twisted category algebras), which we had started several months ago, but were not able to complete just via email or Skype correspondence.

Susanne Danz Department of Mathematics, University of Kaiserslautern

I found the workshop at BIRS very stimulating. Meeting all the renowned experts in the field was a very interesting and motivating experience. My research background is only tangential to the topic of the workshop, but I am eager to learn more about this topic and I will continue my research in this direction. (More precisely, I am working on classifications of objects which are vital for the local/global conjectures discussed in the workshop.) I also bought two books, written by participants of the workshop, and I will do more research in this field. The stay was wonderful! Thank you very much! I am looking forward to coming back in November!

Heiko Dietrich Dr
School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University

I enormously enjoyed my stay at BIRS; the workshop was very inspiring for me. Besides getting a great overview on current developments and meeting and discussing with people whom I haven't seen for a while, I found particularly useful the problem session/discussion, in which a variety of problems (from major directions to important obstacles of a mere technical nature) were explained and possible ways discussed on how to overcome them. This certainly provided some fresh insights for me which -- I hope -- may even lead to some new research projects and collaborations.

Meinolf Geck Lehrstuhl für Algebra, Universität Stuttgart

The conference was a great success; it was excellently prepared and managed by the organizers and the people at BIRS. Most of the talks reported on recent progress on conjectures by Alperin, Brauer, Broué and McKay. It was exciting to see that we are really coming closer to the solution of some of these longstanding open problems. There was also sufficient time for exchange and cooperation with the other participants. I personally profited, in particular, from discussions with M. Geline, M. Linckelmann and A. Turull on vertices of simple modules and characters. R. Kessar, M. Linckelmann and I are in the course of preparation of a manuscript on this topic which will hopefully be available in a few weeks or perhaps months. We are all very grateful to the BIRS for providing such excellent facilities for mathematics and hope to return some time in the future.

Burkhard Kuelshammer Mathematical Institute, University of Jena

[As a result of the workshop], I have started a new line of research with M. Linckelmann about characterizing nilpotent blocks, which is a possible continuation of one of my recent papers. Also, with my coorganizer P. H. Tiep, we have started a possible refinement of McKay in groups with nilpotent Hall subgroups. About my student C. Vallejo, she gave her first important international talk, and she already has an invitation to visit Kaiserlautern with Gunter Malle for some months to join his team working on the McKay conjecture. The talks were, in general, excellent. The discussion session on the route plan to prove the global/local conjectures was very useful for researchers, to know where we are exactly, and for younger researchers (and even senior ones) to join us in the plan of proving them.

Gabriel Navarro Professor
Algebra, University of Valencia

I want to thank the organizers once again for a very nice workshop and the opportunity to speak. It was very beneficial to be able to meet (or see again) many people in the field, both those who are well-known in the area and also fellow early-career mathematicians. Following my talk, there were some very good recommendations and discussions, for example with G. Malle, G. Navarro, and J. Taylor, which may help my progress on one of my current problems. I also had the opportunity to speak with G. Malle and P.H. Tiep about future directions for my research involving the inductive Alperin-McKay and BAWC conditions, as well as S. Koshitani about new ways to simplify some arguments in my earlier work on the inductive conditions, which will be quite helpful in my future research.

Amanda Schaeffer Fry Mathematics, Michigan State University

The workshop on Global-Local Conjectures in Representation Theory of Finite Groups was very successful. The participants were a good mix of senior and junior mathematicians, and there were lectures by both. I had discussions with several participants. One lecture in particular by Olivier Dudas on work he was doing with Gunter Malle (an organizer) gave me insight into my research and leads I can pursue. Among new contacts I would specially mention Ben Elias, a young mathematician who is doing cutting edge research. On the final day Gunter Malle gave an overview of where the program on Global-Local Conjectures stands, which would be very useful for both people working in that area now and for those interested in starting to work in it.

Bhama Srinivasan Mathematics, University of Illinois at Chicago

I would like to thank BIRS for giving us this opportunity to hold the workshop at the excellent venue and in the highly stimulating environment of the Banff International Research Station! During my stay at BIRS, aside from organizational tasks and attending interesting lectures and brainstorming discussion session, I was able to start a new research project with my collaborator Gabriel Navarro, as well as continue our collaboration on ongoing projects that aim to resolve some basic questions on representations of finite groups. Together with Gunter Malle and Frank Luebeck (and in discussion with Jean-Baptiste Gramain and Olivier Brunat), I had started another new research project with the aim to answer a question of R. M. Guralnick concerning representations of finite quasisimple groups. I also had discussions with other participants, including Marc Cabanes, Gerhard Hiss, Klaus Lux, Bhama Srivasan, and Amanda Schaeffer Fry.

Pham Tiep Department of Mathematics, University of Arizona

Although this was not the first time I was invited to BIRS, it was the first time I was able to come. I was very impressed by the organization, and how well the facilities were administrated. The scientific aspects of the conferences were likewise excellent. The topics of the conference had a clear focus on the proof of a number of global/local conjectures in the representation theory of finite groups. The participants are making important and related progress on these, and exchanging ideas and divvying the work to do next is essential. I was particularly interested in learning the current status of these conjectures, including some new ones. I am pleased that there is substantial progress on many of the simple versions of the conjectures. At the same time, there is still a lot of work to do on the more refined versions of them. While there, I enjoyed productive mathematical discussion on these and related topics with a number of researchers, including Michael Geline, David Gluck, and Burkhard Kuelshammer. These and other informal exchanges affected a number of papers on these conjectures that I am in the process of writing, and suggested new promising avenues of research. It was an excellent and productive experience all around.

Alexandre Turull Mathematics, University of Florida
Mar 09 - Mar 14, 2014

I wish to thank you and the organizers for this very interesting workshop. The main interest comes from the pleasure to receive the latest news about their current research from the top researchers directly. On a more personal level, my research made some progress in two directions. On one hand, one of the organizers informed me about the existence of a counterexample (in high dimension) to a conjecture on which we had started to work (proof of the dimension 1). On the other hand, with another participant, we initiated a new line of research. He presented me a new conjecture, which extend a result of mine, and we started to think about it. We already established an interesting particular case of it.

Matthieu Fradelizi Laboratoire d'Analyse et de Mathématiques Appliquées, Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée

The workshop was very productive, as always in Banff. I learned a lot of useful things and problems... Excellent job!

Alexander Koldobsky Mathematics, University of Missouri

I got many new ideas for future research and discussed connections between my work and other fields and problems.

Luis Rademacher Computer Science and Engineering, Ohio State University

The workshop on Geometric Tomography and Harmonic Analysis was a really impressive event that is directly relevant to my current research in convex and stochastic geometry. Most of the talks I found really inspiring, some of the talks will have direct impact on my recent research directions. The style of the workshop - its size, informality and schedule - was perfect, the atmosphere at the Banff Center was ideal.

Matthias Reitzner Inst. f. Mathematics, University of Osnabrueck

The workshop was excellent. It left me with several questions and possible problems that I can see can be investigated. Also, a possible new collaboration did come about.

Elisabeth Werner Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University
Mar 02 - Mar 07, 2014

Great facilities, excellent research environment, which gave me the opportunity to start and/or continue several collaborations. Thanks a lot.

Great workshop. I've learnt so much that I left as a different person. Thank you so much.

Sylvia Fruhwirth-Schnatter Wirtschaftsuniversitat Wien, Austria

I truly enjoyed the last week tremendously! I put my impressions on my blog: http://xianblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/advances-in-scalable-bayesian-computation-day-4/

Christian Robert Ceremade - Université Paris-Dauphine

One of the best and most useful workshops I have attented so far!

Håvard Rue Mathematical Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim

I was one of very few PhD students to attend this BIRS workshop, and I was a little apprehensive that I would not know enough to be able to meaningfully contribute. I found that I was more than adequately prepared for a number of talks (those most related to my research) and less than adequately prepared for some others. This helped solidify in my mind what were the "hot-topic" areas of my field, and introduced me to many avenues for future research. The collaborative spirit that pervaded the workshop allowed me to have meaningful conversations with world-renowned researchers in my field. A few months ago I was struggling through a particular paper in connection with my research. At the BIRS workshop, I sat at lunch with the lead author and asked him my questions in person! To get to meet and discuss these exciting ideas with the best and brightest was a real privilege that I will long remember. I think that the relationships I forged in Banff may yield fruitful collaborations and/or post-doc/employment opportunities in the future.

Doug VanDerwerken Duke University
Feb 23 - Feb 28, 2014

My participation will greatly impact my future research projects since this WS@BIRS gave me the opportunity to meet new potential collaborations and to elaborate new directions with my existing ones. We have already planned next meetings and cross-fertilization between theoretical aspects and applications. This nice endeavor is coming up! Great place, great workshop, fantastic atmosphere, strong opportunities for future collaborations with new people. The logistic is optimal, the local organization committee is excellent. The atmosphere is "My pleasure is to assist you."

Philippe Ciuciu Principal Investigator, Research Director
NeuroSpin, CEA

The BIRS workshop has an impact on my current research in order to have a fresh insight on some of my research projects.

Nikolai Leonenko Profesoor
School of Mathematics, Cardiff University UK

I have had contacts I would not have had otherwise, with people working on multifractal analysis. With my collaborators and students we are currently working on image retrieval as well as recognition of melanoma lesions. In both subjects we mean to apply multifractal analysis. The workshop has certainly had an influence on this decision. Thank you!

Ana Ruedin Doctor
Computing Department, FCEyN, University of Buenos Aires

I want to thank you for this great week at BIRS. It was a huge opportunity for me to make new contacts and research projects than I wouldn't have had otherwise. Also, now I'm aware of other workshops organized by people I met last week. Thanks again for your enormous work!

Cristian Scarola Departamento de Matemática, IMAS UBA-CONICET

The workshop was really great. The place is a wonderful place to work, with all the equipment (wifi, computers, meeting rooms...) It is a bit soon to know how it will impact my research, but at least one new collaboration might arise from the workshop, and maybe an other one. I also have new contacts I probably would not have had otherwise.

Beatrice Vedel LMBA, Université de Bretagne Sud

This was a great conference. The organizers have done a fabulous job. I find the talks to be a good mixture of theory and Applications. The participants have diverse background, rating from math to physics to engineering. This is very helpful for many of us to learn things form one another. The food and scenery can't be beat, too ;)

Yang Wang Mathematics, Michigan State University
Feb 16 - Feb 21, 2014

One of the main benefit of this workshop is to mix people from different communities, working on a common subject. It allows to have a good overview of the state of the art on the subject while sharing some ideas, some problems, some solutions... I think the workshop will open new directions in my research, from the most fundamental aspect to the validations of the methods I have proposed to model the contact. I also think that it was a good opportunity to share our experience on different simulation platforms. We had the opportunity to show the results obtained with our open-source framework SOFA and discuss them with people that are involved with other platforms (siconos, chronos, ...), with different application focus. I think the idea of providing benchmarks for assessing the quality of these platforms is very important. It was PERFECT! (special thanks to the chef... the food was excellent!) Do not change anything!

Christian Duriez PhD
Shacra Team, INRIA Lille

This workshop is of utmost importance to support a small extremely cross disciplinary community such as ours. It allows us to exchange research experience and knowledge across diverse fields such as computer science, mathematics, physics and engineering. On a personal level I extracted important knowledge about how our research field is maturing and developing. An important observation is that many independent research groups are seeking a methodology for validation. Hence without this workshop such efforts may not have been unified. With this workshop everybody has joined efforts in collecting data for creating benchmarks -- an important step for our field.

Kenny Erleben Computer Science, University of Copenhagen

Thanks for letting us have this great workshop! It had never learned so much about contact mechanics in such a short amount of time. More importantly, mixing people from different academic communities (math, robotics, graphics) provided a unique opportunity to meet so many interesting people and discuss ideas and possible collaborations. This allowed me to start discussions about at least two exciting new collaborations. I sincerely hope that this will take place again.

Frédéric Faure Institut Fourier Grenoble (France)

I found it extremely informative and interesting and it gave me a number of new things to think about, and kick started a few new projects. Specifically: 1. Interaction with Jeff Trinkle and Ying Lu on using the PATH solver for nonlinear versions of the friction contact problem arising from real data. Ideas sparked about how to use MPEC in conjunction with these models. Clearly this was influenced by the talks given by Ferris and Lu at the meeting. 2. Interaction with Vincent Acary on an iterative solution technique for the friction cone problem. Motivated by talks by Acary, Pang and Anitescu. 3. Further interaction with Negrut and his students (at Wisconsin)! Ideas on how to collaborate to use conic solvers (interior point versions) on their data sets. 4. New thoughts related to the use of logic programming and complementarity. Thinking about ideas on how to formalize this, and when it would work well. Lots of other things might come from the meeting, but these are clearly things that are foremost on my mind after the talks and discussions at Banff.

Michael C. Ferris Computer Sciences, University of Wisconsin

The workshop was extremely helpful in understanding what are the state-of-art in computational contact mechanics, providing a forum for researchers from different background (Math, OR, ME, CS, Geo-Science, etc.) working on the similar problems to discuss and exchange ideas, and shared recent work. Wow! What a collection of brilliant minds with different perspectives working on similar problems in one place! CONGRATS to the organizers' excellent planning and organization! I've certainly met several new researchers from other disciplines, as well as those within my own community. I'm also looking for postdoc, though I did not find any suitable candidates at the workshop, I did spread the words. The new contacts I made should be very valuable in my future endeavors in expanding my current research projects into other related topics and ideas that I've in mind. I've found new energy and new directions in a relatively short time there. The workshop was absolutely fabulous and planted new seeds for future projects! THANKS! The local arrangement, rooms, and meals were excellent! This is a wonderful facility and I very much appreciate the opportunity to be able to take advantage of the workshop and the facility.

Ming Lin Parker Distinguished Professor
Computer Science, University of North Carolina

The BIRS workshop on computational contact mechanics was one of the best workshops that I've attended. I was able to network with the top researchers in this field and discover the state-of-the-art in terms of modeling contact. For example, studying the formation of rivers by modeling particles flowing in a fluid and speeding up the solution of the algorithms using advanced optimization techniques. BIRS created a relaxing and conducive atmosphere for learning and collaborating. I learned from, presented to, and conversed with THE top researchers in my field. Needless to say, I walked away from BIRS with an incredible list of contacts. The workshop provided an impetus for a larger collaboration effort across the field. This effort will eventually help standardize the methods of testing and validation for the entire discipline. The BIRS facility was amazing and the staff were absolutely wonderful.

Daniel Melanz Research Assistant
Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin - Madison

The BIRS workshop on Contact Mechanics brought together researchers from a variety of fields including mathematics, robotics, computer graphics, and geology to discuss the state of the art in contact simulation and analysis, as well as to discuss open problems. In my robotics research, many of the most challenging problems are deeply tied to the difficulty of analyzing contact mechanics. This workshop brought me together with some of the best researchers in contact modeling, whose approaches have deep connections to my formal analysis of robotic stability. Not only did I make some invaluable contacts for future research, and my future job prospects as a current graduate student, but some of the discussions at the workshop have produced immediate results in my algorithm development. While the workshop finished just weeks ago, and I have not yet written any new papers, I have no doubt that some of these ideas will lead to future publications and research.

Michael Posa Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT

This is my fifth Banff meeting (Muscles x 2 + non-holonomic mechanics + balance + contact =5). I am always happy to come back because: I like small meetings. The setting is lovely and inspiring. The accommodations are great (well, too great), e.g., Good vegan food, Nice rooms, Basketball, etc. The meeting logistics are well done: Good meeting rooms. Good support staff. Good lounge room for evening discussions. Good internet. About this meeting in particular. It introduced me to many people with whom I have overlapping interests but whose work I did not know. In particular, through the talks and evening discussions I have finally got a sense of the issues of concern to those who do large scale simulations with contact. I also learned about the capabilities of the packages and as a result of this meeting I am more or less committed to collaborations with two of the groups at this meeting. Because of the time for discussions at this meeting, both groups were able to describe their computation abilities well enough so I could get a sense if they would likely be of use for my lab. On the flip side, the meeting gave me an opportunity to share some of the more physical things that I think about with a community that can make use of those insights.

Andy Ruina professor
Mechanical engineering., Cornell University

The workshop has been fantastic. Having a focused theme, but with people from a variety of backgrounds (engineering, robotics, computer science, mathematics) has been especially valuable. I, myself, have taken away two ideas that have the potential to become publications. They will need continued development away from the workshop, but they would not have started without it. One of these involves a new collaboration for me. I already knew some of the participants, but many (actually most) were new to me or I knew only by reputation or papers. Some participants "prodded" intellectually, and have forced me to re-think some things I had taken for granted, or had not taken as seriously beforehand. I am going to be doing some calculations to see if my assumptions are as well-founded as I thought. Thanks for the workshop. It has been very invigorating.

David Stewart Professor
Mathematics, University of Iowa

I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop last week. It was one of the best meetings I have been to in recent memory, due to both the technical strength of the participants/material and the fantastic venue. It absolutely broadened my perspective by introducing aspects of the field that I had not been exposed to previously. Thank you for your support!

The workshop was amazingly successful. We got a number of email thank you notes like the one below: "Organizers,This is the best meeting I have ever attended. As a graduate student, I attended international conferences in which communication was largely stratified (professors mostly spoke with professors, and students with students). Due to the intimate size of the meeting, the shared meals and housing at BIRS, and the egalitarian attitudes of the participants; I felt much greater connection to the other participants. I would emphasize the importance of the meals and informal social gatherings, at which technical discussion continued. During this meeting, I was exposed to a number of open source physics solvers that I would like to investigate for connections with our open source robotics software packages (I compiled Chrono Engine, Sofa, and Siconos on my laptop this past week). I'm also looking forward to developing a set of benchmark contact problems in order to compare the different methods that we use."

Jeff Trinkle Professor
Computer Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The workshop was fantastic. I was introduced to the people behind the work I know so well, as well as what they're currently working on. The talks and interactions I had during the week certainly have helped me in better understanding the ideas and concepts of my field, and I feel as though my own work benefited greatly from the insight and input of the other attendees. As a result of the workshop, I believe that we will as a group pursue a database of benchmark problems for multibody dynamics that will prove invaluable to the progress of our field.

Jedediyah Williams Computer Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Feb 09 - Feb 14, 2014

The participation in the BIRS workshop on "big data" benefited my research in several ways. First of all, I was able to present my own work to a group of researchers working in different areas in statistics and learn from their comments and suggestions made from different angles. These expertise broadened my sight and gave me more insight into my research problem. Some of the things that I learned in this workshop, though not directly, are helping with my current project. Second, the topic of this workshop, "big data", was something that I was not very familiar with before attending this workshop. Through this workshop, by involving in the talks and discussions, I learned about the problems, current development, and future unsolved challenges in this field. I now think this area is very important while requiring more attention and research. Third, this one-week workshop created a very friendly environment that people can closely interact and focus on research without much disruption. I personally got to many of the experts in this field and learn from both their talks and informal discussions. Some of these people I would not have met if it were not in a small and concentrated workshop like this one. I am really grateful for the workshop organizers and local staff at BIRS who made all these possible to me.

Xiaoyi Min Postdoctoral Associate
Biostatistics, Yale University

This is one of greatest workshops I attended so far. It gave fresh information on the research status of Big Data Analysis and activated some new research projects (or collaborations) related to Big Data Analysis. In particular, I have got contacts with some front players in this new emerging field and have learnt several new software about Big Data Analysis. I start rethinking my current research projects by exploring the utility of Big Data Analysis. I am working on statistical genetics and neuroimaging. I have seen from this workshop that the two fields start integrating each other. Some exciting discovers will appear next few years.

Jian Zhang Professor
School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Kent

I believe that the talks in the conference are high quality. I have found that I can continue to do something along the same directions. Nice organization. BIRS is super.

Hongtu Zhu Professor
Biostatistics and BRIC, Univerity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Feb 02 - Feb 07, 2014

My participation had remarkable impact on my research and I had stimulating discussions about problems I currently working on or thinking about with some of the experts in the field or related fields. There are also prospect of some collaboration on future papers with some of the workshop participants.

Kiumars Kaveh Assistant Prof.
Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh

I participated in a so-called half workshop, but the partner conference was very close to our own subject. In particular, the participants of both workshop new each other well. This made it possible to create some interaction between both workshops, including joint talks. I liked this idea a lot. It gave us the opportunity to look at related subjects, too. The atmosphere at Banff was really nice and stimulating. I was glad that I was able to visit this place again.

Klaus Altmann Institut fuer Mathematik, Freie Universitat Berlin

I very much appreciated my participation in the BIRS workshop. It has been a great opportunity to meet experts in a field which is very close to my current research interests, especially mathematicians from the US, Canada or Russia, which seldom visit my home country. The talks by Kiumars Kaveh, Valentina Kiritchenko, Nicolas Perrin, and Evgeny Smirnov were especially interesting for me, as well as subsequent discussions on their recent results. I also had stimulating discussions with Jochen Kuttler about my latest work, and I established new contacts with several junior mathematicians including Izzet Coskun, Chris Manon, Henrik Seppänen. The workshop had a very significant impact in the development of the theory of Newton-Okounkov bodies, a currently very active topic with experts scattered in many countries. It also had (at a smaller scale) consequences on my own research, by showing which lines of investigation would be of interest in this theory.

Michel Brion Dr.
Institut Fourier, Université de Grenoble
Feb 02 - Feb 07, 2014

It was a very intense and POSITIVE week. The conference was very interesting, the participants were all very motivated, the conference room and all facilities were very comfortable and and everything needed was there. The location was incredible, I hiked a little bit whenever I had time, I just regret I did not have more time to relax in this incredible place. My deepest thanks to the organizers and to BIRS and Banff Centre staff.

Ernesto Carlo Mistretta Dipartimento di Matematica, University of Padova

Some of the talks were very inspiring, and they will certainly have an impact on my current and future research. During the conference I started some new research projects with people at the conference. I wouldn't have started these joint research projects otherwise. The scientific organization and the BIRS accommodation and organization were truly great. The BIRS hospitality and organization were simply perfect.

Giuseppe Pareschi Professor
Mathematics, Universita di Roma, Tor Vergata

My participation in the BIRS workshop did impact my current research on toric vector bundles. Specifically, time spend with my collaborators at BIRS lead to new discoveries and results. Feedback from our presentations also lead to new insights. Although it is too soon to be sure, some conversations from the workshop may develop into new research projects and new collaborations.

Gregory Smith Mathematics & Statistics, Queen's University

The workshop was a great moment to discuss research with people in my field. Me and my coauthors have had good feedback and ideas. It was also a good occasion to meet people that I would have hardly met in person and discuss math in an intensive way. In particular the location is great and it stimulates a lot the scientific activity.

Stefano Urbinati Università degli Studi di Padova
Jan 26 - Jan 31, 2014

First I have to congratulate all the BIRS, from the very concept of having an excellent place to work, to share experiences and knowledge, to the logistic facilities that allow people with same objectives to gather in a productive way. The staff to support the work is also perfect. It looked to me almost unreal that we can actually have such a place. For me the workshop was truly profitable in a wonderful atmosphere. I have met people from different places yet with same ideals and I could share the professional experiences of Mathematicians contributing to Mathematics Education. The number of people with specific profile attending the workshop was also a key ingredient to the success, but of course the effort of the organizers (Sol Friedberg, Ed Barbeau, Bill McCallum, Patricio Felmer and Jose Antonio de La Peña) was determinat. I express here my gratitude and appreciation to BIRS for this wonderful experience.

Yuriko Baldin Department of Mathematics, Universidade Federal de São Carlos

I must say that it has been a wonderful experience I won't forget. I want to thank the generosity of all participants. They shared their ideas, their initiatives, their experiences and at the same time they were eager to know about what is happening in other places of America. Attending the workshop showed me that it is of the highest importance involving in mathematics education issues. This meeting let me learn many things, gave me ideas and also, let me think about cooperation with mathematicians from America interested in mathematics education. Finally, I want to thank BIRS for providing such a marvelous enviroment.

Antonio Cafure Instituto del Desarrollo Humano, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento

I found this conference very stimulating and informative, learning the latest about the state of math education in the Americas and the efforts of mathematicians to improve this education. Our conversations also included serious discussion of ways to share resources and help each other in working in this area. I am optimistic that the workshop will have a long-term effect upon international cooperation among mathematicians in the Americas concerned with math education.

Solomon Friedberg James P. McIntyre Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics, Boston College

It was a fascinating and inspiring workshop. Of course, since the topic was math education, it did not help my research program in any direct way. However, as a professor at a university where half of our math undergraduates want to be high school teachers and one of our graduate M.A. programs is specifically for in-service teachers, it was certainly highly relevant to my professional life. It was my first exposure to math education in Latin America, and in some ways they are better organized than we are. It was also noteworthy that the majority of the people there were active innovators in teacher education (I don't count myself as one of them) and simultaneously active mathematics researchers. Thanks as always to BIRS for the great organization and facilities and financial support (especially since we can't use NSERC funds for this meeting).

Neal Madras Department of Mathematics & Statistics, York University

The Pan-American Workshop on Mathematicians and School Mathematics Education was fantastic in bringing together a geographically and mathematically diverse group of individuals. In my specific case dealing with mathematics education as a tool of international development, the conference was a catalyst for a project to create a conference for finding donors for development projects and to coordinate a visit from participants from Paraguay and Chile to the Caribbean. These kinds of connections were facilitated by a conference as focused and international as this one. In a more unexpected way, the discussion topics outside of the panels and lectures provided a wonderful sharing of ideas such as how to increase the representation of women in mathematics and mechanisms for international cooperation. The logistical support and hospitality was excellent.

Angel Pineda Associate Professor
Mathematics, California State University, Fullerton
Jan 19 - Jan 24, 2014

The workshop was very good. It helps me in my current researches allowing new collaborations with researchers from the SAT community. It gives me new insights and new ideas for my current research domain.

Gilles Audemard Universite d'Artois

I find this particular kind of workshop very important and interesting. It purposely invited researchers from two disparate but quite related disciplines. It was very informative and stimulating to hear about the research conducted by our peers. Many thanks, once again, to BIRS, for allowing this special workshop to take place and a special thank you to the workshop organizers!

Eli Ben-Sasson Computer Science, Technion

The workshop was an exciting and optimal mix of researchers from theory and practise. During the workshop I met with a number of previous, current, and what I hope will be future collaborators. One collaboration during the workshop led already to a paper, submitted to SAT'14. The workshop was definitely an excellent opportunity to get in contact with many researchers from the more applied side, whom I did not know before well.

Olaf Beyersdorff School of Computing, University of Leeds

The workshop was really inspiring in many regards, particularly it really helped bringing together the proof complexity and SAT solving community. It even lead to a nice joined paper with two other participants, which without the workshop would not have happened.

Armin Biere Johannes Kepler University

The talks at the workshop were very useful, offering deeper insights than would be possible at a conference. I embarked on possibly two new projects, while concerning my own projects I was able to start possible collaborations with at least three different groups. So I consider the workshop as very successful. On my own behalf, and on behalf of the two research communities involved.

Oliver Kullmann Computer Science, Swansea University

My participation to this BIRS workshop had a very tangible outcome: while discussing with other participants, we discovered that we worked separately on a similar subject so we decided to team up to submit a paper to the next SAT conference (SAT14). I met during the workshop some people that I usually do not see or meet during conferences. It gave me another point of view of our research topic. I would say that the organization is close to perfect. I got a great time during the workshop, and felt home during the week. I could hardly believe that such a great place could exist. I am looking forward my next opportunity to attend a workshop in Banff.

Daniel Le Berre Computer Science, Universite d'Artois

The workshop was very useful in bringing together the complexity theorists with the practitioners to benefit future research in both domains. The organizers did an excellent job in putting together an agenda that enabled in-depth discussion on topics across the theory and practice spectrum. The discussions have sparked some new research ideas that I am exploring. In addition to meeting people who I had known of, but not met before, I met a few potential postdocs during the workshop that I will be in touch with.

Sharad Malik Professor and Chair
Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University

The workshop was a rewarding experience. Well-planned and offering the possibility for interaction with many colleagues. BIRS is ideal for these kind of events.

Joao Marques-Silva UCD CASL & IST/INESC-ID

That was quite an interesting experience. The research I am doing is highly theoretical (mathematical), and the workshop was a healthy mixture of practically-inclined complexity theorists and theoretically-inclined people from the SAT solving community. I was really impressed by the fact that understanding of the enormous challenges faced by this interdisciplinary area is quite similar, at least in some prominent circles within both communities, and I will try to get some students interested.

Alexander Razborov Computer Science, University of Chicago

This was an extremely successful workshop that brought together two groups that typically do not interact. I believe it has created a dynamic that will foster future collaboration between members of the two groups. We should repeat this. The informal setting at BIRS and the extensive "face time" throughout the week (talks, open discussion evening sessions, meals, hike, etc.) made it easy for participants to engage in unexpected conversations. I certainly left with a new idea and am pursuing it with two other participants!

Karem Sakallah Professor
EECS/CSE, University of Michigan

This was a great workshop, where theorists and practictioners of Satisfiability solving got to meet each other, and explain their most recent results and open problems to each other. It was the most successful "bridging" workshop that I've attended so far. I've learned a lot about the practice of Satisfiability solving, and have found a number of interesting and well-motivated theoretical problems to keep me occupied in the near future!

Rahul Santhanam School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh

From my point of view the workshop was very successful. It brought together people from two communities -the theoreticians and the more practical researchers- working in the area of satisfiability and the result was that we all were pushed out of our comfort zone and were exposed to many results and methods we were not familiar with. This for sure will influence my research in the future. The logistics, facilities and hospitality were all excellent.

Jacobo Toran Institute for Theoretical Computer Science, University of Ulm

I found the workshop most stimulating, and I was able to re-establish some old contacts with the SAT-solving community. In particular, I had some fruitful interactions with my old friend John Franco that may lead to some new research on the complexity of resolution. I've had to put this research on the back burner for now, but hope to come back to it soon. The combination of people from both the theoretical and practical side of the SAT community was an excellent aspect of the workshop.

Alasdair Urquhart Computer Science, University of Toronto

The workshop I attended, Theoretical Foundations of Applied SAT Solving, exposed me in depth to material that I only knew about peripherally, and led to several new insights and new research ideas. I met and talked to several new people in some depth about their research. The facilities and staff at BIRS were the best I ever experienced at a professional meeting.

Allen Van Gelder Professor
Computer Science, SOE-3, University of California Santa Cruz
Jan 12 - Jan 17, 2014

This was a very impressive workshop that was directly relevant to my current research into the structure of string theory. I was particularly interested in the talks about the (2,0) supersymmetric string theory, which brought me up to date in a subject that would otherwise be difficult to come to grips with. The style of the workshop - its size, informality and schedule - together with the atmosphere at the Banff Center were ideal.

Michael Green Professor
DAMTP, Cambridge University

It was indeed an enormous pleasure for all of us to organise and participate in this workshop. We were able to attract outstanding speakers and this helped ensure the scientific quality of the meeting. This is my second time at Banff and, as before, I'm amazed at the efficient way in which BIRS functions (not to mention the recent addition of a superb, almost magical, video-recording facility!).

Sunil Mukhi Indian Institute of Science Education and Research

The workshop was just fantastic in every possible way!

Bengt Nilsson Chalmers University of Technology

I was very happy to learn various new works on aspects of M-theory and related topics. To raise one example, I was able to grasp the idea of using 5D SYM theory to describe 6D (2,0) theory, its problem associated with the UV property of 5d SYM theory, the idea that the instanton modes may cire the problem. I was also able to meet and work directly with Stefano Kovacs who is on the other side of the earth (I am working in Japan and he is working in Ireland). This worked as a big stimulus to our project on the matrix model of M-theory. Stefano had gave a talk on a work with me, and I hope some participants get interested in the direction we have studied in the work.

Hidehiko Shimada Dr.
Okayama Institute for Quantum Physics

The participation in the workshop was extremally useful for me. During the talks and discussions I have got many new ideas and also answers to questions and issues I encountered with in the course of working on certain projects. Unexpected relations between a priori different topics have been revealed which may stimulate new projects and collaborations.

Dmitri Sorokin Professor
INFN Padova
Dec 15 - Dec 20, 2013

I had started a collaboration with one of the organizers, Ailana Fraser three years ago. But since we have not had contacts except for a brief one at Stanford in 2011, our collaboration came to a standstill. However, during this period of the workshop we were able to find time to discuss deeply about our project, and fortunately we succeeded in making a considerable progress! We are planning to continue the collaboration through Skype. I found a talk by Philippe Castillon very interesting, and so I will try to read his paper carefully and check if his result will be helpful for my research which is relevant with his.

Jaigyoung Choe Professor
Mathematics, KIAS

The workshop was great. The selection of the topics and of the participant have been done in such a way that all people could communicate and discuss with all the others. I personally started to collaborate with two people I had never personally met before.

Annibale Magni Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg

It has been a great experience: great talks, inspiring and stimulating atmosphere and wonderful place.

Andrea Mondino Dr.
Mathematics, ETH
Dec 08 - Dec 13, 2013

This is a very exciting workshop. I got updates and new ideas that are extremely valuable to several of my current research projects. I also discussed possible collaborations with several participants of this workshop.

Jingfang Huang Mathematics, UNC-Chapel Hill

This was an extremely productive conference, I was able to hear about many of the latest research areas of my field.

Michael O'Neil Assistant Professor
Courant Institute, New York University
Dec 01 - Dec 06, 2013

The BIRS workshop will have a significant impact in my research: several interesting ideas and insights were discussed and raised during the workshop that I intend to explore in the years to come. Moreover, we formed a working group during the workshop to discuss a particular subject in the area, and the result of this working group already led to a paper submission to an international workshop. As usual in this kind of events, I met new researchers in the area, some of whom I intend to collaborate in the future.

Manuel Alcino Cunha Departamento de Informática, Universidade do Minho

For me the main result of this conference was getting a chance to go through the formalisms that were being used by other practitioners in this space and relate them to my own. This forced me to put my current research into a more formal vocabulary, which exposed immediate connections to the work of other attendees.

Edward Kmett Software Engineering Lead
S&P Capital IQ, McGraw Hill Financial

The BIRS workshop I attended provided a superb opportunity to meet new colleagues and work collaboratively in a setting that allows, indeed encourages, intense concentration. During the workshop, a longstanding co-author and I were able nearly to complete an article that has been awaiting time for us to collaborate in person. Even more important for me was the chance to meet in person a number of researchers whose research I have been following closely. More generally, the workshop allowed researchers from the several subareas of the rapidly developing Bidirectional Transformations community to get an up-to-date overview of the whole subject. Extremely valuable for everyone involved and for the subject.

Robert Rosebrugh Professor
Mathematics and Computer SCience, Mount Allison University
Nov 24 - Nov 29, 2013

Helped me form a better picture of the current context and state of the research in this area, which is closely related to my research interests. Provided me with some questions to look into and potential areas of future research interest, although I need more time! It also clarified in my mind what my current MSc student should be looking into. The meeting provided me with a valuable opportunity to make some new contacts, and renew other contacts. It also allowed me speak confidentially with colleagues who have had contact with a potential future pdf candidate. Altogether I really valued and appreciated this opportunity.

Berndt Brenken Mathematics, University of Calgary

It is wonderful to spend a few careless, focussed days in relative isolation with a nice, small group of people. These few days at BIRS I experienced the serendipitous atmosphere that works so inexplicably good in science. The organisers made the fantastic choice to reduce the number of talks and leave a lot of free time for discussion. For me, this turned out to be the best part: the naturalness with which small teams would form and let their thoughts flow, spending time together in the small discussion rooms; I was in at least one of those every day, and most of these discussions I expect will lead to new collaborations and definite insights.

Gunther Cornelissen Mathematics, Utrecht University

As a PhD student (in number theory) I have only recently started studying operator algebras. It was very enlightening to hear more about how these structures can be used (in a number theoretic setting) in more generality. I have met many people with whom I have had interesting discussions. Hopefully I could also discuss things with them, once I am further along in my project.

Valentijn Karemaker Utrecht University

This was a very interesting meeting and gave me ample opportunity to talk to experts in the field as well as getting to know what is happening in the field right now. These two aspects were most important for me. Organizers did a superb job.

Masoud Khalkhali Professor
Mathematics, University of Western Ontario

I found the workshop very interesting and informative. It did indeed help my research directly, since it brought together a team of 4 researchers with whom I have several ongoing projects. One feature of this workshop was that it was very well organised: the order of the talks was planned so that later ones could build on earlier ones. I also enjoyed the half-workshop format: it was easy to get to know all 21 participants. (I think this is probably especially beneficial for younger people, of whom there were quite a few.)

Iain Raeburn Mathematics, University of Otago, New Zealand

The workshop was extremely beneficial and stimulating. The program of talks was excellent, and introduced me to a number of exciting new ideas in number theory and dynamics that are closely related to my own area of operator algebras. A few specific benefits of the workshop were: * The intensive research environment and excellent breakout rooms enabled me to interact with collaborators to make significant progress on three separate research projects. * A number of the talks suggested extremely interesting connections with the theory of number theory and semigroups that are likely to lead to new research projects and new collaborations. * The workshop introduced me to new research contacts, both amongst high-profile established researchers, and amongst exciting current students who will be a part of the next generation of researchers in the area. * The workshop was extremely valuable for at least one current post-doc in my department; attendance and the opportunity to speak will have had a very positive effect on his job prospects. All in all the meeting was extremely well organised and scientifically stimulating and struck an excellent balance between interesting talks, and time and space for research interaction.

Aidan Sims School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics, University of Wollongong
Nov 17 - Nov 22, 2013

Thanks to you for all the attention! My participation at BIRS workshop was very useful and inspiring in the sense that allow me to aim new projects in related areas of mine. The workshop was very innovative in the areas that was covered, so all the on going projects actually are focusing in a most wide point of view. So the workshop was very interesting and useful for me. Thanks a lot!

Maridian José Kadomatsu Hermosa MSc
Cientific and applied Computation Laboratory, Facultad Politécnica

As one of the organizers, I found the experience working with the BIRS team to be one of the best I've ever had in my career. Both prior to the meeting and on site, they are the best. Our program appeared to work very well, thanks to the extraordinary contributions of all the participants, both speakers and those who did not but contributed with their questions and round the clock discussions. New understanding of ongoing research questions, a sharper understanding of many outstanding problems, and the generation of some new questions were balanced against subgroups working on continuing collaborations. It was a great experience for my postdoc as it was for me. This multidisciplinary interaction has had impacts in all these disciplines and we expect to see more in the future making bridges between a good number of junior researchers for whom this was their first experience with this sort of workshop.

Kenneth Millett Professor
Mathematics, University of California, Santa Barbara

This was extremely good meeting. The knotted proteins are very interesting area of the research. For that reason, we had almost 100% attendance on all session - something very infrequent even when there is -20C outside. I would also like to praise Linda for all her efforts.

Wladek Minor Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, University of Virginia

I think the workshop I attended was very interesting and high quality. BIRS facilities are excellent (my room in Corbet Hall a bit too cold). Overall, big success.

Mario Nicodemi Prof.
Dip.to di Fisica, Universita' di Napoli

I attended this workshop/conference as someone only marginally involved in the field, and was impressed at the level of collegiality between the participants. There were no disputes that I could recall, and everyone was impressively friendly. Any competition between the participants was hard to detect; there were certainly no egos on display. Overall a great learning atmosphere- I had a great time. Kudos to the organizers!

Steven Plotkin Associate Professor
Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia

As usual, this BIRS meeting was excellent--great location, great food, great science. I did indeed have a fresh insight into how the mathematics of DNA recombination can be directly applied to reconnection events of vortex tubes in fluid mechanics. One of those eureka moments during a talk on DNA recombination by Mariel Vazquez at the BIRS meeting.

DeWitt Sumners Mathematics, Florida State University

I have been a participant at quite a few BIRS workshops and they are always stimulating, interesting and useful. Every time I visit I renew my acquaintance with people with research interests close to mine and meet new people in more disparate parts of the subject. On this occasion I spent quite a lot of time talking to three of my collaborators about research problems -- e-mail might work well but it's hard to beat a face to face conversation and a blackboard! In addition I learned a lot about entanglements in proteins, an area about which I had known rather little before this workshop.

Stuart Whittington Chemistry, University of Toronto
Nov 15 - Nov 17, 2013

I learned a number of new ideas that will be helpful in my work as a curriculum developer and teacher trainer I met some wonderful people, who could be potential collaborators in the future

Henri Picciotto Henri Picciotto's Math Education Page

Gordon Hamilton and James Tanton put together a wonderful Unsolved K-12 conference. I feel that identifying 13 unsolved math problems that can be shared with K-12 students will be tremendously beneficial. I enjoyed being part of this event!

Amanda Serenevy Executive Director
Riverbend Community Math Center

The Unsolved K-12 Workshop was incredibly stimulating for my professional life. It has advanced me professionally and academically in profound ways. It has expanded my knowledge of unsolved problems in mathematics, inspired me to work with teachers to disseminate and implement these problems in their classrooms, networked me to the colleagues in the discipline that I can now draw upon for information / wisdom / experience. I thank the organizers, Gordon Hamilton and James Tanton for inviting me and for providing such inspiring environment for this work. I love the conference booklet that Gord had put together!

Natasa Sirotic Mathematics, Southpointe Academy
Nov 10 - Nov 15, 2013

I would sincerely like to thank and commend you for one of the most productful workshops I have attended. The workshop most definitely impacted my work and helped me to refine my creative science and math writing skills. The prominent participators in the workshop contributed to my professionality, as I hope my skills in digital creative writing in science and mathematics contributed to theirs. As a result of the workshop, I have already started to study the interaction between mathematics and poetry, a field which I most definitely would not have dreamt to enter had I not had the opportunity to meet the inspiring individuals that I met at the BIRS workshop. The workshop has inspired me to further deepen the knowledge, research and innovation in the interdisciplinary fields of creative writing and mathematics at our institute and I intend to hold local lectures, day workshops and perhaps even a weinar or conference on the topic. Once again many, many thanks.

Yossi Elran Technology in Education, Davidson Institute of Science Education, Weizmann Institute of Science

I took part in the BIRS workshop on Creative Writing in Mathematics and Science. I had never written a novel before. For the past two years I'd been working on one about a mathematician -- a German refugee in the United States -- who disappears suddenly many years after the war, and whose disappearance intrigues a young mathematician who tries to discover its causes. After she learns about his life in Germany and what happened to him there before he managed to get to the States, she hits a dead end and is forced to give up the search. But then a memoir he has penned turns up and explains all. The memoir, which forms the largest part of the book, is both a bildungsroman and an account of a mission to spy on the American scientific establishment before and during World War II. In it, a number of real-life figures -- among them Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, Professor Felix Hausdorff, and Professor Emil Artin -- play important roles. The comments I received from the various participants, both about the novel's plot and about the chapter I presented, were immensely helpful to me in delineating the aspects of my writing that I have to clarify, expand, and edit. Several participants were sufficiently interested in what they saw and heard to ask me to send them the entire draft, and I now eagerly await their critical comments.

Jacob E. Goodman Professor Emeritus
Mathematics, City College, City University of New York

I am a mathematician by training, but am currently spending my creative time writing poetry and blogging on the topic, "Intersections -- Poetry with Mathematics." I brought to Banff the beginnings of a poetry project -- I wish to develop a collection of verses that will focus on the properties of prime numbers and will convey to poets and other non-mathematicians the beauty and poetry of mathematics. Discussions with colleagues at BIRS helped me to see the strengths and weaknesses of my work-in-progress; they also suggested sources to tap for new ideas and directions for possible expansion of the original project-idea. For me a valuable week, a source of enrichment for the weeks and months to come! Thank you!

JoAnne Growney Mathematics and Poetry

I enjoyed the camaraderie and the intense atmosphere at BIRS. We had a very successful workshop, where each of us learned from one another. I was able to make substantial progress on a current manuscript and I left Banff with new ideas for how to revive an older project. Overall this has been an excellent opportunity for me. I met some old colleagues and made new connections with very interesting people. In terms of facilities and such, things went very smoothly. I was sad that the exercise facilities are not in Corbett Hall but it makes sense I suppose. The facilities were perfect otherwise. The food was great, the rooms were comfortable, and the conference room was convenient. I hope to one day lead a workshop at Banff myself (together with my philosopher colleague Emily Grosholz) on humanistic (aesthetic, historical, philosophical, literary) aspects of mathematics. This workshop will be a good model for us.

Gizem Karaali Mathematics, Pomona College
Nov 10 - Nov 15, 2013

In addition to congratulating the organizers, I want to thank you and your superb team at BIRS. They are outstanding. The workshop was extremely successful for me in many ways, probably the best workshop I have been to this year (out of 4). The scientific highlights for me were (a) new contacts with researchers in probability and statistics and the insight that I can incorporate many aspects of their presentations into my work; (b) new contact with one researcher in conservation ecology and the prospective of long term collaboration; (c) continuing work with existing collaborators on at least three projects. Thank you so much.

Frithjof Lutscher Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa
Nov 10 - Nov 15, 2013

I came to the BIRS creative writing in mathematics and science workshop with a fictional work about an ambitious high school senior in the South Bronx, her progressive math class, and her mentors. It is a story built from a few solvable mathematical riddles, and loosely based on a true-life story. An excerpt (a half-dozen of the 47 chapters) circulated in advance of the workshop led to many valued intelligent conversations, discussions, opinions, and constructive ideas that could not have happened without the intelligence and collegiality of our wonderfully eclectic group of entirely egoless participants, all eager to hear and to know more about each other’s projects. Several perceptive ideas for improvements came during the time of my workshop presentation, and others came as residual ongoing discussions, sometimes late into the evening. I believe that everyone gained hugely from the wisdom of our wonderful group. In speaking with others, I understand that the whole event was an outstanding success, and that everyone felt both a sense of accomplishment and an awareness of work to be done. I am a nonfiction author, in particular, an author of narrative popular mathematics. The work I presented at the workshop is my untrained attempt at putting together a work of fiction incorporating narrative mathematics skills. With one whole week devoted to critiques in writing, I came away with a comfortable list of ideas for improvements and an exhilarating sense of accomplishment, a feeling that would be hard to come by in my usual world of solitary writing.

Joseph Mazur Marlboro College

I was thrilled when I received the invitation. Now that the workshop is over, I realize how lucky I was to be part of it. I had the opportunity to meet a wonderful group of writers/scientists and to benefit from their expertise. In particular, I highly appreciated their comments and constructive critique of the two pieces I submitted, and their advice as to possible venues for their publication. I'd like to believe that in a small way I also contributed to the success of the workshop by leading a discussion on the use of fiction to communicate mathematical, and more generally scientific, concepts and results to a wide audience. I wish to thank again Marjorie and Florin for inviting me to BIRS. I had a wonderful time, and not only on the professional front.

Arturo Sangalli The Writers’ Union of Canada
Nov 10 - Nov 15, 2013

The workshop was amazing. Thank you so much. It was the first time, as far as I know, that there was a workshop devoted to the mathematics of cyclic populations, and it turned out to be an extremely good topic: It was focussed enough, so that everyone was interested in everyone else's talks, but rich enough to generate an enormous variety of mathematical approaches and ingenious experimental designs. In addition, the group gelled beautifully, and the discussion sessions were lively and very interesting. I am quite confident that the paper we started writing during the workshop will actually get finished. There is more about the paper in the report, which I hope to submit by the end of the week (it's written - I just need approval from my co-organisers).

Rebecca Tyson Mathematical Sciences, University of British Columbia Okanagan

It was such a splendid workshop of the size which make the communications and discussions with top active researchers in the field much more effective.

Huaiping Zhu Mathematics & Statistics, York University (Canada)
Nov 08 - Nov 10, 2013

The igtc summit is a fantastic networking opportunity. The focus on students throughout the weekend makes it one of the most important events of the year and does a lot for student employability and research enthusiasm. As this workshop is at the edge of my field, I learned a lot, especially since it was very accessible. From these summits and the igtc program in general I am a much better supervisor because of its strong emphasis on providing students with opportunities and the goal of reaching out to a broader audience for collaboration and networking.

David Campbell Associate Professor
Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, Simon Fraser University

Participating in this BIRS workshop has been a very positive experience. The variety of research presented by the students and faculty was extremely informative and interesting. Also, the possibility for discussions between students and IGTC faculty gave me valuable insight into problems on which I am currently working. I also found this to be a great networking opportunity, especially at the current stage of my degree. Two of the faculty members at the workshop offered to let me know about any post-doctoral positions that might become available in the next year. Also, the career component of the workshop was excellent, and very relevant for all the students.

Oksana Chkrebtii Statistics and Actuarial Science, Simon Fraser University

This was a fantastic workshop that allowed me and my students to network and to find out about important research being carried out by other Math-Biology groups in the PIMS geographic region. We found an important and direct link between the research on breast cancer done in my group and that of another group in Edmonton (Ton Hillen), something we were not previously aware of. As a result, my student has been invited to visit the other group, and some mutually beneficial collaboration may result. We have already discussed comparing two distinct ways of modeling the same scenario, which would allow for direct comparison of methods used in the field of 3D cell interaction computations (Cellular Potts Model versus Deformable Ellipsoid model). This is something I had always wanted to be able to do, and is possible for the first time now. Aside from benefit to my own research, the workshop was of exceptional interest and quality as far as student presentations, career planning, and quality of advice for finding positions and planning for the future. I am very very glad I got to go to this workshop, and I hope it will be repeated in the future. In my mind, this is one of the best investments in young scientists that we can make, at relatively reasonable cost in terms of time, funding, and resources.

Leah Edelstein-Keshet Prof
Mathematics, University of British Columbia

It was great fun and learning experience. I had chance to meet new students with range of background. It was nice to discuss my research work problems with other students and faculty members to have better suggestions/recommendations that are helpful for me. Simply, it was awesome!

Muhammad Sajid Iqbal University of Lethbridge

The workshop was a way of getting acquainted with topics that are currently outside of my comfort zone, as well as present my own research to people working in diverse fields. In that respect, this may well prove to be a catalyst to many new projects. I can testify that I did meet a lot of new people, some of whose work I find extremely interesting and germane to my own work. Since I am a graduate student expecting to finish within a year, I hope I made a suitable impression on the many people I met here. I feel I can provide new tools and techniques to certain problems they are interested in, or I can work on a slew of different problems that may have unexpected connections to their research. For example, cancer genomics now goes hand in hand with the understanding of the spread of cancer, and epidemiologists often look to genomic indicators for the spread of the disease. From the point of view of my favourite discipline, being a more theoretically oriented person, I do not think the workshop had an impact on my understanding of the concepts I am interested in, but the whole point was to understand something new, and I believe that the workshop excelled at this goal.

Ashok Rajaraman Graduate student
Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University

This IGTC workshop was geared towards graduate students in math biology, and as such proved to be excellent. The training sessions certainly helped my students' careers and exposed them to different views and different career paths. The poster session gave them feedback from researchers and students and created lots of discussion and energy. The talks exposed them to different topics and gave insight as to how modern mathematics is being used to model biological systems. In addition, I learned about models being developed by other researchers in math biology, and found out about some papers in the literature. These may help with my research projects. I also witnessed the enthusiasm and talent of this group of students.

Pauline van den Driessche Mathematics and Statistics, University of Victoria

First, thanks for the organizers' supporting me to attending such a nice workshop and present my research to colleagues. I learned a lot from this workshop. I got to know a lot more related research topics that interest me from the talks and posters from other colleagues. I also got a variety of good suggestions from the senior researchers on how to balance the life and research, how to adjust myself to future academic life. Meanwhile, I made a lot of friends with graduate students and enjoyed that wonderful talks. Finally, I had a more practical expectation of my future career after listening to the record of new faculty who were IGTC graduate students. Thanks to Dr. Daniel Coombs' perfect organization of this summit and personal suggestion to me. By the way, the accommodation is really splendid!

Chuang Xu University of Alberta
Nov 03 - Nov 08, 2013

Since this was a very focused mini workshop, each talk was interesting to me and will impact on my (and indirectly my students') research. Of course, there was also a bit of networking, both advertising my department's students and postdocs and learning about such folks elsewhere. Together with 3 others, I also proved a new result answering a published question.

Steffen Lempp Professor
Mathematics, University of Wisconsin--Madison
Nov 03 - Nov 08, 2013

It was very nice to participate with other colleagues doing different kind of mathematics. I think everyone wanted to explain basics of their own work. The idea of having a small workshop is great since helps the participants to interact. I met postdoc students with whom I am going to colaborate.

Jordi Lopez-Abad doctor
Mathematics, Instituto de Ciencias Matemáticas. CSIC
Nov 03 - Nov 08, 2013

The BIRS Workshop on Computable Model Theory was wonderful. The talks were good and it was incredibly helpful to have so many colleagues gathered together in one place. It is too early to tell where some of the research collaborations will lead, but it is certain that they would not have even started without the BIRS workshop. Thanks for all the work keeping BIRS running. It is a fantastic resource for the mathematical community.

David Reed Solomon Mathematics, University of Connecticut
Oct 27 - Nov 01, 2013

It is my duty and pleasure to thank you for the very stimulating workshop I was invited to.

Gian Michele Graf ETH Zurich

The workshop was great, it was an occasion to meet people that I heard about but never had seen before.

Francois Huveneers CEREMADE, Universite de Paris Dauphine

The workshop was very stimulating and hopefully will lead to new research. It was also very stimulating for my graduate student who attended it. I had previously organized two workshops at BIRS (2005 and 2009) and plan to organize more in the future.

Abel Klein Professor
Mathematics, University of California, Irvine
Oct 20 - Oct 25, 2013

A super conference. A great meeting of substantive scientists and applied math specialists. Surely there will be both novel managerial methods and contributions to statistical science resulting. Keep doing what you are doing so well.

David Brillinger Proferssor of Statistics
Department of Statistics, University of California, Berkeley

Thank you for the opportunity to respond regarding the BIRS workshop. I was a bit intimidated going to the workshop after reading the positions and backgrounds of most of the attendees. However, after attending the workshop I have to say that I have a new appreciation of the power and role advanced statistical analysis can have on every day programs and situations and the people who understand those methods. The presenters and attendees were all very down to earth people with great insights into methods of solving day to day problems that I found really fascinating. I have come away with some great contacts and appreciation of what Statistics can do in the everyday world. If ever I have the opportunity to attend another BIRS workshop, I would do so readily. My attitude towards, and understanding of statistics and mathematics as it relates to my everyday job and its challenges has changed. Thank you again for a enjoyable and educational workshop.

Dave Finn Wildfire Management Specialist
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, Alberta Government

The use of quantitative methods for the management of fire on populated landscapes is my primary research interest, so I found this workshop to be highly relevant. The workshop was very well organized and featured a well thought out list of invitees. The participants were a nice mix of senior academics, early career researchers, post graduate students and fire agency personnel. The program contained a good mix of both prepared talks and discussion sessions. Participants approached the workshop in the true spirit of scientific inquiry, with exchanges of ideas and robust discussions and debates held throughout the week. As a direct result of the workshop I gained some new insights into problems I'm working on, made some new contacts and I expect I'll be involved in at least one new collaboration/paper.

James Minas Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

The BIRS workshop on Managing Fire on Populated Landscapes was extremely useful for me. It led to some new insights that will help with my research. I will also be exploring two potential new studies arising from contacts made at the workshop.

Steve Taylor Pacific Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service
Oct 13 - Oct 18, 2013

I think this workshop was very exciting; it brought together people looking at Whittaker functions from many different points of view.

Solomon Friedberg James P. McIntyre Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics, Boston College

The workshop was a very useful continuation of a previous one this year at ICERM, by helping keep up the momentum in this area. I had the chance to present my work in a talk. I continued to learn several interesting things - I appreciate that the organizers took into account the topics on which I wanted to hear presentations. It was a good occasion to meet my collaborator, Anne Schilling, and continue a project with her.

Cristian Lenart Professor
Mathematics and Statistics, SUNY Albany

I was not so familiar with WMDS (Weyl group multiple Dirichlet series) before this workshop, and this program was particularly useful to learn the basic concept and techniques on this subject! It contributes for me to find connections to the theory of prehomogeneous vector space, which is my research topic. There are lots of time to talk freely, and such informal discussions were helpful also. In addition, my collaborator and I made a good progress on our joint project, which was invaluable.

Takashi Taniguchi Department of Mathematics, Graduate School of Science, Kobe University

My participation in the BIRS workshop impacted my current research in many ways. I enjoyed all talks in this workshop and got some new fresh insight.

Lei Zhang Math Department, Boston College
Oct 06 - Oct 11, 2013

It was an amazing experience for me. I gained a rough idea on what this area is about, what is their most concerned problems etc. I also got the chance to talk to professors and students from both statistics and oceanography fields and generate some interesting conversions. I also identified another two problems that we might attack in the future and maybe new connections.

Yang Liu Department of Statistics, University of British Columbia
Sep 29 - Oct 04, 2013

Attending the workshop 'Geometric and topological graph theory (13w5091)' turned out as an excellent opportunity for scientific collaboration, as we managed both to initiate new collaborations as well as deepen the existing ones. In the latter regard, we had several exchanges on possible projects that could be submitted to various grant applications, as well as on completing the existing projects that are close to termination. Regarding the new collaborations, we discussed several open problems, and tested several approaches to them. With Radoslav Fulek, we investigated the gap of the crossing number additivity over cuts, with Jernej Rus, we devised a roadmap that will lead to an efficient algorithm for counting stable traces in graphs, and with Dan Archdeacon and Luis Goddyn we investigated approaches to formulating the thrackle existence problem as a stack of constraint satisfaction problems that may lead to a new algorithm for recognizing thrackle graphs. Besides the actual work, there were several interesting talks presenting deep, although sometimes counterintuitive new results.

Drago Bokal Faculty of natural sciences and mathematics, University of Maribor

This was an excellent workshop. I gave a talk on my most recent research project. I get several helpful comments, and made further progress on it. I also heard some wonderful talks by Kostochka and others on progress on some old problems on graph coloring, with very impressive results. I met a number of students (I knew almost all of the postdocs and faculty).

Jacob Fox Department of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Firstly, I would like to thank all of the workshop participants and especially the organizers and Banff Centre staff who helped make the workshop productive and successful. Paul Seymour and I presented the following conjectures by Kalai and Meshulam: (1) If a graph has no induced cycles of length a multiple of 3, then the number of even independent sets minus the number of odd independent sets is at most one in absolute value (2) If a graph has no induced cycles of length a multiple of 3, then the graph has bounded chromatic number (and, as a stronger conjecture, is also 3-colorable) (3) If a graph has all of its induced subgraphs satisfying number of even independent sets minus number of odd independent sets is at most 1 in absolute value, then the graph has bounded chromatic number These conjectures generated much discussion, especially with Zhentao Li. Zhentao Li, Paul Seymour, and others, including myself, worked on adapting Matthew Plumettaz's results for graphs with no cycles of length a multiple of 3 to the dual problem of having no bonds with a multiple of 3 edges. We discussed how to prove that there is no simple, 3-edge-connected graph with no bonds having a multiple of 3 edges. Additionally, many of the presentations not only presented interesting problems to consider, they also provided possible approaches for proving the Kalai and Meshulam conjectures in whole or in part. I was able to meet with fellow workshop participants, who were friendly and eager to discuss graph theory both during the scheduled activities and outside of those activities; I look forward to having future discussions with them. The workshop was a very educational experience, one that I hope is a starting point for my future mathematical endeavors.

Gregory Gauthier Mathematics, Princeton University

It was a great meeting. I learned not only excellent results, but whole new topics to study and use. One example is the talk of Jacob Fox, where I learned the topic of Turan-type problems for permutations, apart from his outstanding result solving (disproving) several old conjectures. Also I started a new project with Hehui Wu at the conference.

Alexandr Kostochka University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

My participation in the BIRS workshop was excellent stimulus to my research. There were many exceptional high quality talks from Jacob Fox's talk about the new and exciting interval minors to Paul Seymour's talk on variants of Woodall's conjecture. Yet there were also many informal but equally enlightening conversations. In particular, I was able to discuss ongoing work with my colleague Zdenek Dvorak, to work on open problems with Sergey Norin, and to discuss career plans with many of the graduate students attending. Groups of us would sit around at night and tackle interesting open problems. While we were able to resolve a number of questions via our combined manpower, there were still a number left unresolved that caught our attention, for example Aharoni's conjecture that chromatic number of the union of two chordal graphs is at most the sum of the clique numbers. I am very pleased to have been so inspired.

Luke Postle Mathematics and Computer Science, Emory University

It was a great workshop, there were many exciting talks, I would like to point out two of them. Jacob Fox's talk (Stanley-Wilf limits are typically exponential) was extremely interesting, just like the main result, it is really surprising that such elementary (but very tricky) methods work in this deep problem about matrices with forbidden submatrices. These results are strongly related to the theory of geometric and topological graphs. Radoslav Fulek's talk (Recent progress on Hill's conjecture) was also very interesting, he described a generalization of the methods and formula of Lov\'asz et. at. that connects crossing numbers and $k$-sets to monotone (and more general) drawings. I learned about many interesting new results, methods, ideas, from the talks and from discussions, and I hope I can use some of them in my own research.

Géza Tóth Geometry, Renyi Institute

Some of the presentations contained new ideas that both gave fresh insight to an old problem I had grown frustrated with and a new problem I had not considered before.

Matthew Yancey Institute for Defense Analysis

I really enjoyed most of the talks, some of them gave me new ideas, some gave new questions that I would like to study later in my research(f.e. Alex Scott's talk was really interesting for me, since it is close to my research area). Also, I worked during the workshop with Professor Alex Scott and Bruce Reed.

Liana Yepremyan Computer Science, McGill University
Sep 27 - Sep 29, 2013

The conference brought together people from academia and government and in very diverse backgrounds - mathematical modeling of infectious disease and aboriginal / First Nations health researchers. I gained an enormous amount of insight into how these methods can be useful in the specific context of aboriginal health. I also met researchers and graduate students that I would never had had an opportunity to meet, and I think some of these contacts will be very useful in the future. Thank you very much for hosting this opportunity.

Kathryn Morrison Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University

Thanks for your email. We had a wonderful time at BIRS and a very productive meeting. BIRS really is a beautiful facility. Thank you to you and your team for making the arrangements and for ensuring that the meeting ran smoothly. The food and accommodation were great and all of the participants seemed to really enjoy their stay. The only problem we encountered was with the A/V equipment. A macbook was left for us to use so that we could project presentations but the correct attachments to connect the macbook to the projector were not left for us. Luckily someone else had a Windows laptop and we used that.

Katya Richardson The Centre for Disease Modelling, York University

I did really enjoy my time in Banff both for the atmosphere locale, food etc and for the content of our session. I learned a lot, made new professional connections, and developed some new ideas re research around indigenous health. I will be developing these with my colleagues and using them in my work in the future. I also thank Jianhong Wu, Seyed Moghadas, Michael Li and the others involved in organizing this workshop.

Don Sutherland Consultant Global Public Health

Thank you very much for your message and for your great efforts on governing BIRS. I greatly enjoyed the workshop, both the scientific part and excellent venue. The workshop provided a great opportunity for exchange in ideas and fruitful discussion, as well as for most pleasant personal interactions. All this is very valuable for my research program. I wish you all the best in carrying on your important mission of supporting research.

Marina Ulanova Medical Sciences, Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Sep 22 - Sep 27, 2013

We found that BIRS was a wonderful and very well organized host for our workshop, in what was of course a very stimulating and beautiful environment. The workshop was very focused and went very well.

Achim Kempf Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo
Sep 22 - Sep 27, 2013

I just wanted to write to you personally to say how outstanding the BIRS facilities, staff and organization were for this event. I have held one workshop previously at BIRS in 2010 and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to host again in 2013. I can honestly say that I don't know of a finer venue for such meetings, and hope to have the opportunity to host another BIRS workshop sometime in the future.

Thomas Peacock Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sep 22 - Sep 27, 2013

I certainly enjoyed the meeting and especially had some really productive conversations both with Ralf Schuetzhold ( which is not surprising since he is my former post doc and we are writing a book together, part of which we worked on while at BIRS-- it was great in that it gave us uninterrupted time to work together) and with M Hotta, whom I had met before but with whom I had some very stimulating and intense discussions, and we will probably be writing a paper together. So thanks again.

Bill Unruh Physics & Astronomy, University of British Columbia
Sep 20 - Sep 22, 2013

Thanks to Michael and Zongpeng for organising and to BIRS for setting up the stage for this exciting and intimate gathering. I am really glad to have attended this workshop. The workshop went very smoothly and we had some really good discussions. One of my favourite features about this setting was that we really got a chance to appreciate the intricacies involved each other's works, which is usually not possible in a much larger workshop or conference. I also got some new ideas and future directions for my own research based on the interactions we had.

Mayank Bakshi Postdoctoral Fellow
Institute of Network Coding, Chinese University of Hong Kong

I really enjoyed the workshop, I had the opportunity to meaningfully interact with colleagues on a number of research problems in a great environment, thanks for making this possible!

Christina Fragouli IC ARNI, EPFL / UCLA

This was a very nice workshop. I have got some new ideas from the presentations. Several excellent presentations were very inspiring. Also I got to know several people who work in this area and we might have further discussion in the future. Thanks to the BIRS and the hard working organizers who gave us the nice workshop.

Yaochen Hu Electrical and Computing Engineering, University of Alberta
Sep 15 - Sep 20, 2013

The conference gave me a much better insight to my field. As a young graduate student I feel that I greatly benefited from following the talks and speaking with other participants. I made new friends and strengthened old relationships. These contacts may well lead to collaboration some day or help getting employed, but have not done so yet. The practical arrangements were excellent and I enjoyed my stay greatly.

Joonas Ilmavirta Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Jyväskylä

It's been a pleasure organizing this workshop at BIRS. This is my first visit as a participant and as a organizer and I have to say that I was very impressed with the Research Station. The staff were really helpful (during the past two years) and the facilities were excellent. We have the feeling that the workshop went well and there was a good balance between talks and time for discussions, but we'll get a better feeling once we write out our report. Many thanks for the support, centers like this are invaluable for the profession.

Gabriel Paternain Pure Mathematics, University of Cambridge
Sep 13 - Sep 15, 2013

The workshop I attended significantly broadened my knowledge of the field, gave me many new perspectives, and I got to know new people in the field with whom I may collaborate in the future. I hope to attend the next time this workshop will be held at BIRS. I strongly recommend the BIRS scientific board to consider making this a 5-day workshop where more people can be invited and longer talks can be held.

Michael Assaf Dr.
Racah Institute of Physics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

An excellent meeting with great speakers!

Mustafa Khammash ETH Zurich
Sep 08 - Sep 13, 2013

This was a very fruitful meeting for me, and I think others, in discussing current research on a selective model in the Lambda coalescent. There was a particular section in a proof that needed working through that we managed to work out in the meeting and present to the audience. I did get a lot out of the meeting that firmed up research ideas. It was a great meeting in a great environment. I also went walking on an afternoon off through Cory pass with others.

Robert C. Griffiths Department of Statistics, University of Oxford

The workshop was a very nice experience for me to keep up with the new development in my research fields.

Xiaowen Zhou Mathematics and Statistics, Concordia University

The workshop gives me a chance to realize the application of the Poisson-Dirichlet distribution and Dirichlet process in Bayesian statistics, which is quite amazing.

Youzhou Zhou mathematics & statistics, McMaster University
Sep 01 - Sep 06, 2013

This Workshop was a unique opportunity to meet top-level scholars in this field. As a researcher I gained a lot of insights in the discipline and several suggestions to pursue my research in many directions. Finally, the participation of several practitioners was also useful to my research in this field. Overall, it was a wonderful opportunity to develop new contacts and collaborations and to get new ideas on specific topics.

Rossella Agliardi Associate professor
Mathematics, University of Bologna

The week long workshop gave me the opportunity to discuss my research area with regulators, practitioners, and researchers from other disciplines who broadly share my interests. It sparked quite a few new ideas and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Christine Parlour University of California-Berkeley

The scientific contents was focused on one theme, but very diverse in term on the participant backgrounds, scientific approaches, professional contexts (academic versus industry), or questions to be addressed. This very interesting balance leads to a steep learning curve for me, and to intense discussions. It was certainly a very enriching week, where I exchanges intensely with some colleagues, but also where I learned to understand and appreciate in depth other approaches used in the field. The week was also very interesting in term of the contacts made during the week, both in the academic circles and in the industry.

Gilles Zumbach SwissQuant
Aug 30 - Sep 01, 2013

Great workshop!!! It will influence the direction of my research!

Aaron Velasco Professor
Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso
Aug 25 - Aug 30, 2013

This is early to say something about the outcome, but we started a promising discussion with S. Shadrin in Banff. I think in general the workshop has been successful to exchange new ideas with the many participants, and get updated. Two years ago, I attended the workshop New Recursion Formulae and Integrablity for Calabi-Yau Spaces (11w5114) and after the talk of H. Fuji, the intense discussions with B. Eynard and M. Marino at the workshop have led two of us to propose a conjecture (arxiv:math-ph/1205.2261, submitted to Quantum Topology) concerning the asymptotics of the colored Jones polynomial of hyperbolic knots correcting and completing the work of Fuji et al.

Gaëtan Borot Max Planck Institut fuer Mathematik

Very well-organized workshop in beautiful environment. Will affect my work as PostDoc with one of the organizers.

Thomas Bothner Mathematical Sciences, IUPUI

I benefited a lot from the lectures and discussions with the workshop participants. I will see if some of the ideas I had during the workshop can be made into real research projects.

Dawei Chen Mathematics, Boston College

The workshop in Banff on Integrable systems and Moduli spaces was extremely fruitful. And the services offered by BIRS was impeccable. Through you I would like to thank BIRS for extending all out supports to make the workshop successful.

Syed Chowdhury Mathematics and Statistics, Concordia University

My participation in the BIRS workshop impacted my research in the way that discussions and feedback from my talk helped me understand things around my research much better. I have also learned a few fresh ideas on the cohomology of moduli spaces, as well as gained a much better understanding of their relation to integrable systems.

Alexander Voronov Professor
School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota
Aug 18 - Aug 23, 2013

My participation in the WIT workshop had had and will continue to have a strong impact on my current research. Our team was more productive than I would have dared to dream it could be. This new collaboration will lead to the submission of at least two articles in the near future, of which one to the workshop proceedings, and we fully intend to continue collaborating over the next few years, as we have numerous exciting ideas for extensions of our project. It was altogether an amazing week, professionally and personally.

Kathryn Hess Professor
MATHGEOM, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

My participation in the BIRS workshop had an impact on my current research and allowed me to get a fresh insight into some aspects of my thesis. I was happy to meet some new and old colleagues there, from whom I learned new things, useful to me. The workshop week was very productive and fantastic!

Varvara Karpova EPFL MATHGEOM SB GR-HE, EPFL

The WIT workshop was extremely productive and I am still amazed of what we all managed to do in just four (long) days. I admit that I was sceptical about the concept, but it worked! Our team plans to submit a paper to the workshop proceedings and I am sure that we will continue our joint work in the future. It was a great opportunity to meet women in topology and the atmosphere at BIRS was really inspiring. The workshop was also the starting point for a 'Women in Topology' network. I hope and expect that this will in particular help young women in the field.

Birgit Richter Professor
Department of Mathematics, University of Hamburg

This was the most productive workshop I've attended in my career. We went from a few half-baked ideas to enough material for a research paper over the span of four (albeit rather long) days. I now have new collaborators with whom I'm eager to work in the future. I expect this week to pay dividends for a long time.

Emily Riehl Benjamin Peirce and NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
Mathematics, Harvard University

I have no hesitation to say that the WIT workshop was the best and most successful and productive mathematical event that I have ever attended, and here is why: - One of the workshop's goals was to forge collaborations between women in topology, and it has been accomplished. In my case (and I believe many others too), the collaboration will be continuing well beyond the scope of the workshop. - The collaborative project that I participated in during the WIT workshop was my initiation into a subfield of homotopy theory that I had not previously worked in. As a consequence, my research has been significantly broadened, which is yet to positively influence my career. - My team obtained significant new results that will be written in two research papers. - Our results will be a basis for follow up research projects. - The atmosphere of the workshop was more friendly and supportive than most math meetings I've attended. - The evening discussion groups on issues of concerns to women in math/topology were extremely helpful, especially for us younger mathematicians. - As a result of these discussions, a network of women in topology is being formed as a forum to continue the support and collaboration of the WIT workshop.

This was an excellent event. It certainly had an impact on my research and I expect the effects to continue for a long time. In the short term, our research team involves me with three new junior collaborators. We expect to submit a research article to the conference proceedings. We have also discussed possible future meetings of our team and plans for possible longer term projects. The meeting marks the start of an international Women in Topology network. This will be an excellent contribution to supporting young women in the field. For me the meeting was a great opportunity to get to know many of the younger women. I expect it might have an indirect effect on future hiring, in that I will now be aware of potential applicants I might otherwise not have known of. The workshop was a very positive experience for all involved, I think. I very much look forward to future Women in Topology events.

Sarah Whitehouse Reader in Pure Mathematics
School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sheffield
Aug 11 - Aug 16, 2013

The workshop had a great balance of biology and statistical components. The mix of people from different fields contributed to interesting and fruitful discussions during and between sessions. I made new contacts and deepened existing ones. The week also made it possible to move one of my long-term projects forward thanks to one of the other participants. The BIRS workshop with approx 40 people is by far the best setup for network, discussions and scientific creativity that I've ever experienced.

Henrik Bengtsson Assistant Professor
Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco

The workshop assembled some of the most excellent researchers in my field - statistical aspects of genomics, gene regulatory networks, personalized medicine. Talks and the informal interactions during breaks, meals and outdoor activities were extremely stimulating. A number of ideas were exchanged that are likely to affect the future path of our research.

Wolfgang Huber Genome Biology, EMBL

I was very happy with the scientific content of the workshop. The program was particularly well designed, featuring several talented researchers in my field and in connected fields, some of whom I didn't know and will now have a chance to get more familiar with their work.

Laurent Jacob Statistics, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France

The BIRS meeting was my first, and I totally enjoyed the experience. The workshop attracted some of the most prestigious and productive scientists in the field as speakers. I got to catch up with many colleagues, and got to make many new friends. The talks are great, the facilities and services are very nice, the environment helps participants socialize. I might be collaborating with Benjamin Haibe-Kains, and during another talk I thought of a good project to try out at my home institution. I would recommend the BIRS conference to anyone in my field, and would love to come back again.

X. Shirley Liu Professor
Biostatistics and Computational Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health

This is my first BIRs and it was stellar. Not only did I learn a lot that has helped my research program but two specific collaborations have emerged. One is the application of a Bayesian effect size shrinkage approach to a family genetics studies we currently have been writing up. The other is a statistical model for analysis of differentially expressed genes from high-throughput RNA-sequencing data. Both have advance our ability to analyze complex and high-throughput RNA sequencing data.

Stephen Montgomery Stanford University

I am writing to express my great appreciation to BIRS for hosting the recent workshop on regulatory networks and personalized medicine. The workshop was exceptionally well organized and featured numerous engaging presentations. My own research has already benefitted significantly: following my talk a participant informed me of his previous development of (an obscure) constrained optimization algorithm that is ideally suited to the problem (genome reconstruction) I was exploring. Moreover, another talk detailed methodology (network deconvolution) that dovetails nicely with, and potentially greatly expands, a student's doctoral thesis. I had several informal interactions -- readily facilitated by the fabulous setting -- that I believe will also enrich my research. So, thanks to you and BIRS for enabling a wonderful and fruitful experience.

Mark Segal Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco

The BIRS workshop has been very informative. I got to know many cutting edge works, which definitely will have good impact in my own research. I also got to know in person other participants in the workshop, and could potentially form valuable collaboration with them in the future. I talked with quite some students and postdocs in the workshop. I will be happy to hire some of them if they are interested in joining my group later.

Pei Wang Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Aug 04 - Aug 09, 2013

The workshop was very useful. Considerable number of personal discussions with different participants was fruitful for my own research.

Ivan Babenko professor
Institut de Mathématiques et de Modélisation, Universite de Montpellier II
Aug 02 - Aug 04, 2013

Many thanks for the chance of organizing the BIRS workshop of "Inexact Optimization Theory for Resources and Environmental Management" (13w2178). It was very successful.

Gordon Huang Environmental Systems Engineering, University of Regina
Jul 28 - Aug 02, 2013

The workshop provided me with a lot of fresh insight and alerted me to some new and exciting results in the area. The selection of speakers was excellent! Several ideas for new projects came to my mind after listening to the talks.

Gregory Berkolaiko Mathematics, Texas A&M University

This workshop is the third in a series on related topis (the first two took place in 2005 at AIM in Paolo Alto, and in 2009 at the MFO Oberwolfach. What has made these workshops particularly interesting is that they have been very focused (on eigenvalue problems), yet have attracted researcher across several disciplines, most notably Mathematical Physics, Spectral Geometry, Functional Analysis and Convexity. I am particularly interested in the "ovals conjecture", which says that a certain geometric eigenvalue problem involving the curvature of a loop should assume its minimum at the circle. Significant progress on this conjecture was reported at both subsequent workshops. This time. Jochen Denzler showed that the problem has a solution given by a planar, convex, smooth curve with strictly positive curvature. This problem continues to intrigue me, and the above meeting at BIRS was the ideal place to discuss it. I hope to see a resolution in the coming years ! The community is especially welcoming to younger researchers and students, including several Canadians who have recently returned to the country. Sadly, a number of researchers from abroad were affected by the visa strike and could not attend.

Almut Burchard Mathematics, University of Toronto

The workshop gathered together some of the leading researchers in this area and I found it quite profitable to learn about the most recent results, as well as being able to discuss future directions with some of the participants. It is too early to say whether or not these will translate themselves into actual publications, but definitely the overall balance in this respect is quite positive. It is not possible to follow all the developments and publications in this area, so I believe that the workshop was quite useful in giving an overall view of what is going on, which of course also shapes future developments. Workshops are always useful to discuss the work of your students and postdocs with other researchers, finding out about positions, etc, and this one was no exception.

Pedro Freitas Group of Mathematical Physics, University of Lisbon

Although I knew the majority of the participants already, there were several valuable new contacts. In particular, new ideas for research directions grew out of discussions with Alessandro Savo and Lotfi Hermi, and the open problem sessions were thought-provoking. I am not currently either seeking a job or involved in hiring, but it could make a difference in future hiring that I met some bright young people in spectral theory.

Evans Harrell Mathematics, Georgia Institute of Technology

At the BIRS program 13w5059, I reported on the work that originated in discussions at the 2010 BIRS workshop 10w5106; additional progress was achieved at a 2012 workshop 12w5072. This resulted in two publications: 1) Y. Canzani, D. Jakobson, R. Gover and R. Ponge. "Conformal invariants from nodal sets." pdf, arxiv:1208.3040. To appear in IMRN; 2) Nullspaces of Conformally Invariant Operators. Applications to Q_k-curvature." pdf, arxiv:1206.0517, published online in Electronic Research Announcements in Mathematical Sciences, Vol. 20 (2013), pp. 43-50. I am also involved in several projects extending those results. At the BIRS program 13w5040, I reported on a series of projects that were discussed at the workshop 09w5040. These projects resulted in 3 publications: 1) Y. Canzani, D. Jakobson and I. Wigman. "Scalar curvature and Q-curvature of random metrics." To appear in Journal of Geometric Analysis. DOI 10.1007/s12220-013-9406-9; 2) Short announcement: Electronic Research announcements in Mathematical Sciences, Volume 17, 2010, pp. 43-56. 3) L. Chen and D. Jakobson. "Gaussian free fields and KPZ relation in R^4." arxiv:1210.8051, to appear in Annales de l'institut Henri Poincare. Another project is nearing completion, and a series of related projects have been completed (Y. Canzani, D. Jakobson and J. Toth. "On the distribution of propagated Schrodinger eigenfunctions." arxiv:1210.4499, to appear in Journal of Spectral Theory), or are in progress.

Dmitry Jakobson Professor
Mathematics and Statistics, McGill University
Jul 21 - Jul 26, 2013

The workshop was a great success for me! I met two collaborators with whom I could work intensely. I also met other people I know and could discuss with them. I met young people I did not know which was also very interesting for me. Certainly the workshop was very inspiring for me! The talks and discussions gave me new ideas.

Barbara Baumeister Institut fuer Algebra
Department of Mathematics, Universitaet Bielefeld

I made new contacts with people I hadn't met before. Some of the talks were very inspiring for me, and in fact, I now have a new idea of a whole (rather big) project based on some of the talks and discussions I had afterwards. I also continued some of my ongoing research projects with people I hadn't seen in a while. And perhaps most interestingly, the environment is really inspiring too: on one of the nice afternoon hikes we had, we started talking about mathematical ideas, and it turned out that our research had connections we weren't aware of before.

Tom De Medts Prof. Dr.
Department of Mathematics, Ghent University

Thank you very much again for your hospitality during this workshop. We enjoyed a great scientific program which nevertheless left enough time for working on research projects with the colleagues. During this workshop Kay (Magaard) and I have been working on a sequel of our paper "Imprimitive irreducible modules for finite quasisimple groups". The objective is to complete the classification for quasisimple groups in characteristic 0. In our first paper we had to assume that the groups of Lie type arise from algebraic groups with connected centers. This assumption excludes certain quasisimple groups. I was also invited to give a talk on recently completed work with Husen and Magaard. Apart from the scientific actitivities, I enjoyed the inimitable location of BIRS, and in particular the delicious food offered. Thank you once again for inviting me.

Gerhard Hiss Lehrstuhl D fuer Mathematik, RWTH Aachen University

I did already send details on my scientific interaction with other participants to the organizers of the conference. I got to know several young participants which might facilitate future hiring decision.

Gunter Malle Fachbereich Mathematik, TU Kaiserslautern

While at the workshop I was able to finish one joint paper (with other participants) and start on a new collaboration. The workshop also benefited me by drawing world-class algebraists to Alberta, some of whom agreed to extend their travels to visit me in Lethbridge. This has been a great boon to my research.

Joy Morris Math & Computer Science, University of Lethbridge

We had long chats with Zinovy Reichstein . His favourite area (the subject of his recent ICM talk) is essential dimension of various structures. It seems that I will be able to prove some new results about the asymptotic structure of finite groups(my favourite area) with given essential dimension. With James Wilson we discussed possible joint work elaborating a connection I found between permutation groups (the subject of the workshop) and p-groups (his favourite subject).

Laci Pyber Discrete Mathematics, Renyi Institute of Mathematics Budapest

The workshop was excellent. I now have at least three new collaborative broad research projects to work on, possibly more.

Simon Smith Mathematics, New York City College of Technology, City University of New York

Joy Morris, Pablo Spiga and I spent quite some time at BIRS working on the problem of proving that almost all Cayley graphs on generalised dicyclic groups are graphical regular representations. We made significant progress and it looks like we will submit a paper based on this research later this year. I also had some interesting discussions with László Pyber about related topics.

Gabriel Verret FAMNIT, University of Primorska

Participation in the BIRS workshop on Permutation Groups introduced me to ideas and new contacts that could benefit my research. Although at an early stage and there is nothing concrete to report at present, there is the possibility that papers and new collaborations could emerge from the meeting. My research in topological groups has links with permutation groups and algebraic groups, which were the main focus of the workshop, and two of the talks described ideas that might transfer to solve particular problems concerning topological groups. I will explore both these ideas in future work. Although broader and less specific, insights gained in other talks were also beneficial. I had useful discussions with several people. In some cases these consolidated links that had been initiated previously but in at least two other cases were new links that could lead to new collaborations. I met and heard talks by a number of younger mathematicians in fields related to mine, who I will keep in mind when advertising positions in future.

George Willis Professor
Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Newcastle Australia

The workshop was fantastic, and I am deeply indebted to the organizers and BIRS for making it so successful. Being quite young in my career, the opportunity to interact mathematically and socially with the other participants, being of all different levels, was great, and I will likely not realize all of the impact for many years. That said, here are some concrete anecdotes: 1) I spent a few hours discussing some aspects of Moufang sets with Tom De Medts and Yoav Segev. There are some configurations that have come up in my research on which I am hoping that they may have some insight. The problem did not get solved, but we shall see. 2) I spoke with Dennis Gulko about his research on linear sharply 2-transitive groups. I was especially excited that his approach made use of the notion of generic 2-transitivity, a topic on which I have been thinking and which was the subject of my talk at the workshop. He is interested in extending his work to linear sharply 3-transitive groups, and we talked a bit on how one might get started. 3) After speaking with Dennis about his work on linear permutation groups, it seemed to me that it would be quite interesting to investigate linear Moufang sets. I believe that the general theory might be able to be considerably sharpened when restricting to the linear case, and perhaps, in a way analogous to Gulko's work, one might be led to consider some generic version of a Moufang set. I mentioned these ideas to De Medts and Segev, and they agreed that these would be interesting to explore. 4) Following my talk, I received some comments from Bob Guralnick and Zinovy Reichstein on a problem I mentioned about degrees of generic transitivity of simple algebraic groups, and I plan to follow-up with them in the near future. Again, I am so happy to have been a part of such an enjoyable workshop. Many thanks to all those that made it possible.

Joshua Wiscons Mathematik und Informatik, Universität Münster
Jul 14 - Jul 19, 2013

It was a great meeting in a wonderful setting. I benefited a lot from many discussions with several prominent colleagues - a few for the first time. But also it gave me the opportunity to interact with several young researchers, which I found to be rewarding.

Tim Healey Mathematics, Cornell University

An interesting link was discovered at the workshop during the discussion following the talk of Reidun Twarock. During her lecture she explained that the structures of the capsids of numerous animal viruses, including not only the overall icosahedral structure but also the detailed structure of the subunits, could be understood by by applying a finite set of powers of two generators of an isometry group to a point in \mathbb{R}^3. This provides an interesting link to the theory of "objective structures" of James, which can be viewed essentially as the union of orbits of a discrete group of isometries on a finite set of points in \mathbb{R}^3. The distinction is that the generators used by Twarock do not generate a discrete group. There are a great many nondiscrete groups of isometries and the subfamily used by Twarock enjoys a certain uniformity property. As explained by Twarock, there are links between these ideas and the "method of projection" from higher dimensions used to construct quasicrystals. The possible implications of this circle of ideas is that potentially a large class of non-periodic (and non-objective) structures seen in Nature, including possibly quasicrystals, polymers, glasses, can be viewed as the action of a nondiscrete group of isometries on a set of simple structures.

Richard D. James Aereospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Minnesota

I found the workshop extremely useful on several aspects. On the one hand, I was able to present my work in front of a very selected and high quality community, which is hard to gather together in the same room in a standard conference. On the other hand, I was able to have discussions that helped me move my research forward. Additionally, I established long conversations with another attendee which is likely to be the beginning of a collaboration. Thank you for the great organization and for making this type of workshop possible.

It has been a great meeting with a high impact on my current research.

I very much appreciated being part of the Mathematics and Mechanics in the Search for New Materials workshop, organised on the occasion of the 60th birthday of Dick James. I had the opportunity to refresh several of my long standing collaboations with people in this field, get first hand information on some new opportunities for joint research and provided some of my colleagues at home with potentially interesting new contacts. I also very much appreciated the beautiful surroundings of the centre.

Dominique (Nick) Schryvers Prof.
Physics, University of Antwerp, Belgium
Jul 07 - Jul 12, 2013

The workshop gave me a great opportunity to learn in-depth about the current development in various sub-areas of complexity theory. The workshop will likely inspire several projects in the next year or two. Conversations with Sasha Sherstov and Scott Aaronson inspired me to look for an information complexity attack route on the (notoriously hard) Arthur-Merlin communication complexity model. The talk and conversation with David Steurer encouraged me to start looking for another proof for the Parallel Repetition theorem. Overall, it's been a wonderful and important experience that will impact my group's work.

Mark Braverman Assistant Professor
Computer Science, Princeton University, Department of Computer Science

I participated in the workshop on complexity which took place in July 2013. It was an amazing workshop - I got to hear about recent development in the various areas of complexity theory and to discuss potential research directions with many of the attendees. There is even a potential new research direction that emerged from our discussions; as well as many "old" hard problems which we discussed and brain-stormed about. For me, this is the third time I am in this workshop (previous times were in 2008 and 2010) and I have to admit that this is one of the best workshops in complexity theory that I know. This is because of the unique mixture of a beautiful and relaxing surroundings; an amazing host of participants at the workshop; great organization and selection of talks; and an environment which supports academic collaboration in as hassle-free mode as possible.

Shachar Lovett School of Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study

This workshop is always wonderful; it presents many of the most exciting recent works in complexity theory. I heard about new results and useful techniques; learned about work very related and relevant to something Scott Aaronson and I proved; and benefited from giving a talk about something still in the works.

Dana Moshkovitz Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The workshop was a very productive experience, both in terms of learning about new results in the area as well as informal interaction with existing and potential collaborators.

Rahul Santhanam School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh

I had an excellent professional experience during the Computational Complexity workshop. In addition to the very interesting and informative slate of talks, I was able to re-connect with collaborators and push forward several research projects. Some of the discussions we had at BIRS have re-invigorated research projects and given us new approaches.

Rocco Servedio Computer Science, Columbia University

I learned a lot on various on going work as well as very recent achievements on the field, i.e., the computational complexity theory, that I have been working. When coming back, I have told several important topics discussed in the workshop, which may be very informative to researchers in our group. I am extremely happy to get some new results out of discussions with the participants of the workshop.

Osamu Watanabe Professor, Vice Dean
Department of Mathematical and Computing Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology

My participation in the BIRS workshop contributed to my research in several ways: It helped communicate recent finding with the community. I have learnt of new problems and some of them are already on the way to being solved. I got a much better understanding of the main themes of current research.

Amir Yehudayoff Technion-IIT
Jun 16 - Jun 21, 2013

For a person like me who is trying to choose his field of research for future, it was a great conference to start with. I learnt a lot, interacted with masters of the field and got inputs for my SSL(Sequence Specificity Landscape) program. After seeing everyone's interest in the field and towards my work, I am now excited to continue working on this project and improve my programs so that it can be helpful for analysis for other people too. I new about research of few people who presented, by this meeting I was able to clear my doubts by asking them. Also learnt about research of lot of other people in the area, which is equally exciting and challenging. This conference has filled in me the interest to work on research, specially in the area of DNA-Protein interaction.

Devesh Bhimsaria Student
Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin

Thank you very much for hosting the workshop on Rules of protein-DNA recognition. The meeting was spectacular! Very high quality talks, all highly related to my research, and also very inspiring. Alexandre Morozov and Gary Stormo did a great job putting together such an excellent scientific program. It was great to have, in the same room, so many professors who have pioneered the computational models and the experimental techniques I am currently using in my research, and the discussion times allowed me to better understand the details of each model/method, as well as compare and contrast the various existing technologies. In addition, several collaborations were initiated during this workshop. Remo Rohs, Matt Slattery and myself are going to write a review on the topic. David Lukatsky and I have already exchanged data and results, and we are now talking about writing a paper together. Alex Morozov and I have started a new collaboration - we are now trying to use his thermodynamic models on some of the data I am generating in my lab, and we have already discussed some ideas for future projects. I expect that other discussions during the meeting will also turn into collaborations later on. So, in conclusion, the workshop has helped me a lot in my research, both in terms of immediate effects, as well as inspiration for future research directions. Thank you again for making this workshop possible!

Raluca Gordan Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, Duke University

Looking over my notes virtually all talks provided me with a new valuable nugget of information. However for my work directly, several talks had a significant impact: Phil Bradley & Carlos Comacho: Provided computational support for the idea that water plays a consistent, potentially (structurally) predictable role in forming protein-DNA interfaces. Phil's ideas that there are solvent 'rotamers' will greatly assist in efficient prediction of hydration schemes. Carlo's finding that differential solvation of a particular protein-DNA contact in different protein or DNA sequence contexts provides a potential (and likely correct) explanation for 'non-linear' effects of substitution mutations on protein-nucleic acid complex affinity. Tali Haran: Injected a note of function and reminded us that binding protein concentration and not just sequence, are important elements when considering functional binding site occupancy. Scot Wolfe: For illustrating his method for selecting not only preferred DNA sequence, but protein sequence outside of the interface region. Aseem Ansari: While not earth shattering, the sequence preference 'landscapes' will provide novices in the field with an easy to read way to identify interesting features of selected sequences. The practical outcomes via new methods to be employed and collaborations was almost as valuable as the ideas. Collaborations: Phil Bradley and I will begin a collaboration on large scale prediction of protein-DNA interactions in bacteriophage repressor proteins. This effort will have a significant impact on testing hypotheses related to how toxin-encoding bacteriophages have evolved to have a 'hair-trigger' induction mechanism-a feature that may lead to their increase virulence. We sent the first set of 'test' data to him today! New methods: Having failed at using purified chimeric transcription factors to identify cooperative changes in preferred binding site motifs, the information on bacterial one-hybrid obtained from Scot Wolfe's and Marcus Noyes' talks and informal interactions with them have emboldened us to try this route. We ordered the oligos and DNA yesterday. We hope that experiment will be complete by the next meeting!!

Gerald Koudelka Professor and Chair
Department of Biological Sciences, University at Buffalo (SUNY)

This was an extremely productive meeting for me. It gave me a chance to see how my research projects might fit into the goals of the protein-nucleotide world. I met many people whose papers I had cited but had never crossed paths with before. I discussed potential collaborations with other participants, based on both published and unpublished work. Attending with a close colleague and collaborator, the meeting helped us put our upcoming paper into the context of the state of the field. It has also been very helpful in our thinking about future projects and an upcoming proposal.

Julie Mitchell Mathematics and Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin - Madison

The meeting was a great way to learn about new tools, their power, and their potential pitfalls. I will include what I've learned in my teaching next year. I also got a chance to network with several people I might collaborate with in the future, and to spend some focused time with a current collaborator from a different institution. Also, we really really really appreciated how helpful BIRS was when we were marooned in Banff. My extra time there was very productive.

Phoebe Rice Biochem & Mol Biol, University of Chicago

This was a wonderful meeting. I like this kind of small meeting focused on specific topic rather than large conferences, especially in this perfect environment. In spite of the small meeting, there was a good mixture of presentations from different backgrounds. I listened to all the talks, and all of them were interesting and useful to my research. I was impressed by the progress of this field, especially new experimental methods and new tools to analyze them. This meeting helped me to expand the scope of protein-DNA recognition. I could meet many new people and the discussion was very stimulating. All the talks and discussions were inspiring and lead to new insight into the mechanism of protein-DNA recognition. This meeting also provide me a possibility to collaborate with some researchers.

Akinori Sarai Professor
Kyushu Institute of Technology, Kyushu Institute of Technology

The BIRS workshop on protein-DNA interactions was really superb. It brought together people working on a common topic, protein-DNA interactions, with a variety of experimental and computational approaches. Although I had previously read papers by most of the participants I had only met about half of them. The talks generated several new ideas that we will test and possibly some new collaborations. It definitely will have an impact on our research directions.

Gary Stormo Professor
Department of Genetics, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

The range of topics related to protein-DNA recognition that was the highlight of the meeting. The opportunity to hear both experimental and computational approaches related to protein-DNA recognition provided the opportunity to expand my perception of the key questions that remained in the field, and the suite of approaches that are being used to achieve greater understanding of the biological questions that still remain. The meeting also provided a great opportunity to strengthen interactions between my laboratory and the Stormo and Noyes laboratory. In addition, new potential collaborations were defined with the Hughes lab on protein DNA-binding specificity and the Bondos lab on artificial homeodomain recognition. Opportunities to discuss science over meals were particularly valuable with both theoretical and experimental approaches being weighed for particular questions. Alex Morozov and Carlos Camacho provided very valuable critiques of an idea that my lab will pursue on homeodomain evolution that will affect the planned direction of these studies. This was by far the most valuable meeting in this field that I have attended.

Scot Wolfe associate professor
Program in Gene Function and Expression, UMass Medical School
Jun 09 - Jun 14, 2013

The program was diverse and at the highest level of the field. I have happily reconnected with some old friends and made new ones, thanks to this conference. We started some new collaborations. Thank you!

Bin Cheng Department of Mathematics, University of Surrey

This is my best workshop since many many years. My participation impact and help strongly my research: - many answers given by specialists, and such answers are not written on books. - A new possible collaboration with a leader in the field starts! Thank a you a lot for this marvelous center in such beautiful mountains. Thank you Brenda, Joseph and all the BIRS organization.

Stephane Junca Laboratoire J.A. Dieudonné & Team COFFEE INRIA, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis

The main value of BIRS was the possibility for the informal discussions over the course of the week. I took advantage of the opportunity to trade ideas with people who I normally would never see in any other circumstance.

Marshall Slemrod Mathematics, University of Wisconsin
Jun 02 - Jun 07, 2013

It definitely impact my research in a very positive way, giving a more general vision of the current achievements, and it allowed me to directly talk with people involved in research projects very close to mine. It also allowed me to talk directly with my 3 actual coworkers, all of them participating to the workshop.

Luca Migliorini Professor
Mathematics, Universita di Bologna
May 26 - May 31, 2013

I have attended 3 other BIRS meetings, and this was easily among the best. The discussion was unusually lively, and it was very clear that the audience was engaged with essentially every speaker (often at meetings with disparate backgrounds some subset of talks simply get tuned out, and this did not happen here). I had that one crystalline idea, that came out of a question session at the meeting, that will very likely end up as a theoretical paper, and for me this is an excellent criterion to judge whether a meeting was a success. Systems Biology is a challenging area, with lots of different ideas about the direction it should go, but the organizers did an excellent job in identifying participants that share a common interest in rigorous quantitative methods, and that was sufficient glue to hold it all together.

Andrew Clark Professor
Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University

My participation in the workshop has given me the opportunity to meet many new people that work in the same field of study, and it was an excellent test bed to find out if certain ideas and/or plans are worth further investigation. The informal discussions over lunch and dinner were a great source of new knowledge and various new ideas. Support from the Banff Centre was flawless, the fitness centre and swimming pool a luxury I didn't anticipate, and the Maclab bistro a nice place for a drink.

Anton Crombach postdoc
Centre for Genomic Regulation and Universitat UPF Barcelona

It was a fantastic meeting, a great mix of people I already know, respect and always want to hear from, together with others whose work was new and interesting to me. Talks and informal breakout discussions prompted a big "ah-hah" insight for me, clarifying a problem I had long been wrestling with, and which has now finally come together. This insight will soon go into a grant proposal, a paper, and maybe a whole significant research direction for me, one which might include a collaboration with somebody I met for the first time at this meeting.

Joanna Masel Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona

The BIRS workshop I attended was a critical step in bringing together mathematically minded people from Evolutionary Biology and Systems Biology. If the mathematical methods in these fields are unified, I believe we will look back at this workshop as a key step in that development.

Alan Moses Assistant Professor
University of Toronto

Great workshop, which has probably resulted in one collaboration for me.

Ilya Nemenman Department of Physics, Emory University

Scientifically the workshop was one of the most useful and impressive that I have attended in my career. The selection of speakers was outstanding, and what was particularly useful was that I was brought into contact with people from related fields that I would not have otherwise come into contact with. This has had important impacts in the way I am thinking about the problems I am working on. I also think that the setting, in a beautiful place where it is not too easy for participants to leave the venue, together with the communal meals at a single location, highly contributes to meaningful interactions between the participants. I hope that it will be possible to organize follow-up meetings of this kind, because they are highly effective.

Erik van Nimwegen Biozentrum, University of Basel

Expanded my horizons, certainly. New contacts made. A few new research ideas and possible directions.

Lindi Wahl Applied Mathematics, Western University

The work shop was great. The size of the meeting was just right enough to be able to meet everyone. I learned a lot and had a very good time. The center is so well organized, it's amazing.

Joao Xavier Sloan Kettering
May 19 - May 24, 2013

This was an extremely good event. The programme was both very stimulating and comprehensive. All the participants clearly took it seriously as the papers and contributions were all very well done. Personally, I learned a lot and left with a considerable amount of new knowledge and much food for thought, which will have a long-term influence on my own work and that of some of my collaborators. It was also a great pleasure and a privilege to be invited and to be able to spend a week at BIRS. This is a superb centre; a tribute to those who created, developed and funded it. And of course to those who run it today: we were made very welcome, the friendly and supportive atmosphere created by the BIRS staff undoubtedly enhanced the workshop. It was also good to be reunited with some well-known skew-ellipticals, other folk that I’ve met before and to meet new people. Not for the first time, I was reminded that statisticians are a great group: invariably smart and always fun to be with.

Chris Adcock Sheffield University Management School

The participation to the workshop on "Non-Gaussian Multivariate Statistical Models and their Applications" was a wonderful experience of which I shall keep a most pleasant memory in the years ahead. The BIRS organisation and facilities are outstanding, in an exceptionally beautiful location, and it was clear since the beginning of the workshop that the days ahead were going to be most stimulating. Indeed, in the following days, the presentations and the discussions, both in the formal and in the informal occasions, have been up to that initial perception. The workshop has offered the opportunity deepen interaction with people that I already new, but even more importantly I had the chance to meet people of whom previously I had only known the publications. Getting together with them and talking informally in a comfortable atmosphere has offered the possibility of perceiving new perspectives. All of this is offering to me a wider perspective of the theme were I am involved as well as a chance of new collaborations. I believe that the organizers have put together an excellent list of names, blending together contributions from different but related streams of the literature. This will contribute to a step forward of the discipline.

Adelchi Azzalini Professor
Scienze Statistiche, Università di Padova

The workshop went off very well, with lots of interesting presentations and discussions about the past, present and the future with regard to research in the focus of the workshop. Everyone enjoyed the event, the location and the facility immensely. A small group of us also discussed the possibility of putting forward a proposal for another workshop on the theme of "Stochastic Orders and Their Applications" and with special focus on reliability. I am meeting with two of them in a few weeks time in South Africa in a major reliability conference when we may finalize the details so that we can put forward a proposal. Overall, the event was a grand success and thanks for providing an opportunity for us to organize this workshop on Non-Gaussian Multivariate Statistical Models and Their Applications.

Narayanaswamy Balakrishnan Mathematics and Statistics, McMaster University

Many people participating in the workshop have a high research level. It was great to have the opportunity of hearing them in live. I have had the opportunity of knowing them and also of meeting another people that otherwise I wouldn't know. In my case, this unexpected contacts have been the most promising, in the sense that I have been discussing some ideas with them that hopefully will yield new future research projects. In summary: I have learnt many new things and I have been discussing about new research projects with professors that I did not know before.

María Dolores Jiménez-Gamero Estadistica e Investigacion Operativa, University of Sevilla

It was a great opportunity for exchange with colleagues. The level of the talks and the discussion was superb. I have particularly appreciated the fact that in this meeting two different groups of researchers were put together to discuss a common problem. I have learned different perspectives for my own research.

Brunero Liseo Professor
MEMOTEF, University La Sapienza of Rome

This was a wonderful workshop in an inspiring location. For me it was an opportunity to meet in the flesh some figures in the area whose work I have been reading for a number of years. I now have a series of ideas to follow up and a number of potential collaborators. I feel certain this workshop experience will lead to new research outputs and I return home reinvigorated.

Alexander McNeil Professor
Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics, Heriot-Watt University

The workshop was quite stimulating. I also got the chance to work with two of my coauthors and we made substantial progress on our joint project by solving a tricky convergence result about empirical processes with pseudo observations. Otherwise, I was happy to meet new colleagues and spend a week in such a charming location.

Johanna Neslehova Associate Professor
Mathematics and Statistics, McGill University

It was a wonderful opportunity that top researchers in both skew-symmetric distribution and copula gather and discuss different aspects. Meeting top researchers in both fields is a treasure in my research life. I have learned a lot on both fields. Discussions stimulate my new research directions.

Toshinao Yoshiba Bank of Japan and Institute of Statistical Mathematics
May 12 - May 17, 2013

The meeting at BIRS last week was very well organised by Mark, Alan, Peter and Henri, as well as being academically really interesting and stimulating. I met up with some colleagues, made a number of new contacts and outlined some potential new collaborations. If any of these blossom into substantive pieces of work I will ensure that BIRS is both informed and acknowledged. In the meantime, very many thanks for the hospitality and facilities at the Banff Centre; altogether this made for a great week.

Michael Bonsall Zoology, University of Oxford

The BIRS workshop last week (Impact of Climate Change on Biological Invasions and Population Distributions) was excellent, and has already had a strong positive impact on my research program. During the workshop, as a result of ideas arising from talks I heard and discussions with colleagues, I have come up with a new set of approaches for one of my research questions, fresh insights into the work I am currently doing, and an associated research program for my upcoming PhD student, to arrive in September. I have also been invited to visit one of the workshop participants in Oxford next summer, and have set up a new research collaboration with two other participants. The latter will hopefully result in a publication.

Rebecca Tyson Mathematical Sciences, University of British Columbia Okanagan

This workshop is great. I definitely learned a lot from high-quality talks and excellent participants.

Hao Wang Assistant Professor
Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta

The workshop organized by Mark Lewis et al is wonderful: Worldwide active leading researchers get together to discuss the topics, I've learned a lot from many of the participants and their talks and discussion. Guess that others at the international level also got to know what I have been doing. It's great! I am thinking of organizing some workshop in the coming competition.

Huaiping Zhu Mathematics & Statistics, York University (Canada)
May 10 - May 12, 2013

The workshop was really useful. A special thanks to BIRS for providing such a nice, warm and, friendly environment.

Monireh Rezai Rad Mathematics and Statistics, University of Calgary

That was an amazing conference. It was specially useful for graduate students to see what type of research is being done in other universities close to home.

Soroosh Yazdani Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Lethbridge
May 05 - May 10, 2013

The meeting was very revealing, and gave me quite a number of new directions to think about. Also, I found all talks interesting, and almost all very well presented -- which is to say that the organisers made a very good selection ! The visit was thus extremely fruitful

Michael Baake Faculty of Mathematics, University of Bielefeld

First, the workshop gave me a chance to catch up with some of the latest interesting developments in the field. And second, it gave me a chance to talk closely with a couple of colleagues I have been wanting to bounce some ideas off of. I am optimistic that at least one of those discussions (one with Rafe Jones, another with Par Kurlberg) may lead to further developments. Third, I was newly inspired by some of the questions about expected cycle lengths and orbit structures in generic rational functions over finite fields. I have thought about some of these questions before, but the workshop gave me new ideas and insights, not to mention renewed enthusiasm for some of these questions.

Robert Benedetto Mathematics, Amherst College

Thank you for a great scientific experience and a very well organized and pleasant stay.

Reinhard Laubenbacher Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Polytechnic Inst.

This conference was quite unique in my experience so far: The topic is perhaps a relatively new (emerging?) topic, and not yet crystallized: most people felt as if they approached the topic "from the side" i.e. that they were approaching the topic from "their" field. This meant that at this conference you found quite a diversity of backgrounds, but all of them interested in the topic at hand. I found this to be very stimulating: the diversity of type of questions, approaches, and knowledge was as refreshing as freshly pressed cool orange juice!

Stefan Maubach Mathematics, Jacobs University

It was wonderful. I have never come back from a conference feeling so excited about opportunities for new research directions. I am very grateful to the organizers. The environment at BIRS also made it a very pleasant experience.

Eric Schmutz math, Drexel University

The week I stayed at Birs for this workshop was excellent. The organizers did a very good job, inviting researchers who are active in the wide area of dynamical systems on finite fields (and beyond). The talks were very stimulating and "inspiring creativity", as Banff Centre aims to be. Nevertheless, the accommodation, the weather and the landscape were wonderful and all these elements made the workshop even more successful.

Simone Ugolini Free University of Bozen

This area of research is new, interdisciplinary, and rapidly evolving, and this timely workshop provided a unique overview of it, thanks to the skills and complementary interests of the organizers. It was BIRS at its best: plenty of interactions, high standard of presentations, and miraculous weather.

Franco Vivaldi School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London

I met with coauthors and finished a paper. I learned a few new things but it is too early to tell their impact on my research. I met some people who might be interesting job candidates in the future. I really enjoyed the meeting. Nice talks, nice people, nice weather.

Jose Felipe Voloch Mathematics, University of Texas at Austin

As a senior researcher, I know most scientists (except for newcomers) at most conferences that I attend. This workshop was different. The organizers have put together an interesting group of people working on related problems but from very different directions, many of whom I had not met before. I saw many interesting problems and perspectives. In fact, I will study some of the problems that were posed at the workshop. Several colleagues commented to me along the same lines. Great applause to the organizers for putting together an unusual and highly successful list of participants.

Joachim von zur Gathen Professor
Computer Security, B-IT, University of Bonn, Germany

The workshop brought together researchers from two different areas, finite fields and dynamical systems. I expect many fruitful scientific cooperations between people coming from these areas. Personally, I got several new ideas for future research and met new people who may become co-authors soon. An invitation to esteemed research institutes as Banff, Oberwolfach, ... is always an honor and a plus in any CV. Moreover, I had the opportunity to meet co-authors to discuss running projects and organizing workshops.

Arne Winterhof Professor
RICAM, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Apr 28 - May 03, 2013

This was a great workshop in a fantastic place. Congratulations to Tucker and George for putting together a great program. The facilities and staff are first-rate at BIRS so congratulations to you as well. I know many participants hope to return for another workshop in the near future.

Joel Bowman Emory University

it was a great experience. the stuff was extremely organized and professional. the facility is first class, and the food was great! thanks you for your service, we had a great time.

Hua Guo Chemistry and Chemical Biology, University of New Mexico

A main goal of this workshop was to bring together theoretical chemists and mathematicians who are interested in molecular quantum dynamics to exchange information. It was highly successful in doing this. Chemists learned of recent mathematical results from mathematicians and mathematicians learned what problems are important to chemists, and what the state of the art in chemistry is. Several participants have sent me e-mails commenting on how successful this workshop was in bringing the two groups together. I presented a talk on a simple mathematical model for molecular Rayleigh and Raman scattering. Chemist Todd Martinez (one of the chemistry participants) has worked on this subject from a chemistry perspective, and he had several questions for me that have caused me to do further analysis of the problem. I have also had subsequent e-mail communication with William Miller that will change my future work on this subject. I have also met several times with Edward Valeev (another chemistry participant) since the workshop. He and I have discussed what we have learned from Todd Martinez and William Miller, and we have discussed the further analysis and future directions to be pursued. He and I have also discussed other topics we learned about during the workshop. One of Ed's comments a few days ago was, "It's fun to discover connections between ideas. It's amazing how much we can learn from one another." The venue was spectacular, and the staff support was the best I've experienced in a very long time. (I was an organizer.) Everything went very smoothly. Thank you!

George Hagedorn Department of Mathematics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The joint meeting of scientist working mathematics and theoretical chemistry inspired very interesting discussions quite different from the more routine communication in "conventional" workshops or conferences. Everything was perfectly organized!

Uwe Manthe Department of Chemistry, Bielefeld University

The workshop was very good. It allowed me to present to people who work in related areas to the topic of my presentation our work that perhaps went unnoticed previously. Advantages and disadvantages of different methods could be discussed with their developers. I cannot say new project/collaborations originated from the workshop, but possibilities thereof were discussed and it is possible there will be new work resulting from the workshop.

Sergei Manzhos Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore
Apr 26 - Apr 28, 2013

The SNAP Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mandate is to encourage the development of mathematics learning resources at the classroom level with very little retraining of the teaching staff, with very flexible budgets, and by utilizing the energy and natural curiosity of the students themselves. The main theme of the BIRS workshop was, “What is a SNAP math fair and how to organize a math fair in your classroom”. The speakers mostly consisted of teachers/educators who shared their math fair experiences and success stories. The first SNAP type math fair was designed in Edmonton by Mike Dumanski and Andy Liu in 1997-1998. Since then, a large number of schools in Alberta and beyond have adapted the SNAP math fair to their needs. The SNAP program has been spread through similar workshops and conferences, and mainly by teachers themselves. SNAP received its initial funding from the Canadian Mathematical Society and from private donations. PIMS, the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, has been a long time financial supporter of our math fairs. BIRS, the Banff International Research Station, has provided funding for the BIRS math fair workshops that have been held in Banff on a regular basis. Currently, our major supporter is Thinkfun - a company that develops a variety of excellent puzzles. This year marked the tenth annual Ted Lewis SNAP Math Fair Workshop at BIRS. Some of the feedback from elementary teachers is given below: “I had a terrific time with the group! Thanks for sharing all of the ideas and puzzles!” “Thank you so much for the invitation to the SNAP Math Fair Conference! I am absolutely thrilled with the possibilities I have to bring math alive in my classroom and school. I am so excited to spread the information, websites and puzzles that I was able to gather at the conference. I greatly enjoyed hearing the various perspectives on math fairs and can't wait to plan one of my own. Please keep me on your mailing list and inform me of other SNAP activities that I could participate in.“ “Thank you for organizing this event. I know that my kids love playing games, so any new ones are always welcomed in my room. It was fun as always and it hurt my brain just a bit.” Thank you BIRS for providing a location for another successful workshop. We are extremely grateful for what you do to help SNAP math fairs grow. Sincerely, The SNAP Foundation

Sean Graves Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta
Apr 21 - Apr 26, 2013

The meeting gave me the opportunity of contact with some specialists in C*-algebras I wouldn't have meet in other circumstances. And also helped me to reconsider some of the lines of my current research. I expect that it will produce positive influence in my present work. And definitely, the meeting will produce a very important impact in this topic of research.

Enrique Pardo Full Professor, Ph.D.
Mathematics, University of Cadiz
Apr 14 - Apr 19, 2013

The workshop was very interesting. It showed the most recent developments in this field of arithmetic groups. The subject has a long tradition, but new insights, questions and ideas, as well as young people came into the field and these made this workshop very successful. Let me mention in particular the work on expanders and on growth of representation dimensions leading to new Zeta functions. There were also mini courses on recent subjects, where one had a chance to not only see the results but also to get a feeling for the methods involved in how to approach the problems and how to obtain the results. Three of those come to my mind, one on the recent solution of an old problem, the so called rank theorem, one on pseudoreductive groups, which solves some hitherto technical problems around non-separability and positive characteristic and one on Kac-Moody groups, a field that gives for mathematics new and interesting examples of groups and also has applications in physics. I think this was a very successful workshop. It also gave young people the opportunity to present their work. It fine tuned my opinion about two of the participants. It also gave very young colleagues the chance to see the forefront of current research. The workshop also gave me the opportunity to meet colleagues I had known for a long time, intensify my scientific contacts with them, but also to get to know more closely younger people who are new to the field.

Herbert Abels Fakultät für Mathematik, Bielefeld University

Indeed the workshop was useful and stimulating. I would also like to record here my appreciation of the excellent arrangements made by BIRS for the stay of the participants: that contributed no little for the success of the workshop.

Madabusi S. Raghunathan Department of Mathematics, Indian Institute of Technology
Apr 07 - Apr 12, 2013

I enjoyed the conference very much. It brought together several disciplines within mathematics, which was great. I wouldn't want every conference to be this way, but here are two big pluses this time: First, several of the expository talks were really quite good, and broadened my knowledge to greater familiarity with these other disciplines. Second, and most important, two conversations I had in particular with members of another discipline provided a new, useful view on a tangentially related current research project of mine.

Andrew Cotton-Clay Mathematics, Harvard University

Last week's workshop at BIRS was an outstanding event for me and for my research. I took advantage of many extremely interesting talks, and of having the possibility to meet and discuss with some of the main world experts on mapping class groups. These 5-day workshops, with few but very good researchers toghether at an extraordinary environment, provide the perfect conditions for discussions, interactions and development of research projects. This was my case indeed. Thank you for organizing this kind of meetings, in particular this one and the other two I attended previously (on braid groups, some years ago).

Juan Gonzalez-Meneses Algebra, University of Seville

My fourth visit to BIRS was, like all those visits, enjoyable and interesting. The somewhat unusual conjunction of topics in this meeting stimulated me to think about connections between mapping class groups and Floer-thoeretic questions in symplectic topology (the latter topic is what my research is about). I asked the mapping class group experts a number of directed questions about properties of mapping class groups which might potentially apply also to symplectic mapping class groups in higher dimensions (the basic connection being through the notion of a Dehn twist). Based on their answers, I came away with a number of definite and novel problems in symplectic geometry (some ambitious, some less so) which I or my students might well work on in the future. I'd emphasize that it was the topic of the workshop and the presence of experts that stimulated this line of thought.

Tim Perutz Mathematics, University of Texas-Austin
Mar 31 - Apr 05, 2013

The workshop was extremely interesting with top speakers in the area and very interesting talks. There was also time for very fruitful interactions with the participants.

Diogo Gomes Departamento de Matematica, Instituto Superior Tecnico

This is clearly a well organized workshop with a good selection of timely and interesting talks. I benefited personally from attending this workshop in many ways. During the workshop, I had good discussions and consultations with some of the world's leading experts in mean field games and other mean filed approaches for social dynamics. For sure my future research directions will be influence by this workshop. In addition, the organizers invited well qualified junior researchers to the workshop. This is very helpful for "talent hunt".

Richard Tsai Mathematics, University of Texas at Austin
Mar 24 - Mar 29, 2013

I had a great time at Banff and left with several new ideas and a lot of inspiration. One new project has to do with finding ways of using our bordered monopole Floer invariants to compute relative invariants of 4-manifolds with boundary. This was inspired by David Gay's talk on his work with Kirby on trisecting 4-manifolds.

John Baldwin Assistant Professor
Mathematics, Boston College

Every time I come to BIRS I come away with lots of new ideas. This time, though, I had some new ideas that haven't been exposed much to the public and I really appreciated the opportunity to run those ideas by my colleagues in detail. I established at least one new collaboration partnership, with Joan Licata.

David Gay Mathematics, University of Georgia

As was the case of each of the prior 3 workshops on "Interactions of gauge theory with contact and symplectic topology in dimensions 3 and 4", the meeting in March of 2013 was truly incredible. I found that the lectures at this workshop were among the best and most relevant to my research that I have seen at a conference in recent memory. I had several inspiring conversations over meals and on mountain hikes, and came away from the workshop full of ideas and mathematically invigorated. This has been my experience with each of the meetings of this biennial workshop, and I very much hope that the workshop will continue in 2015. I think that of all the conferences or workshops of my mathematical career, these meetings have been the most influential to my research.

Matthew Hedden Mathematics, Michigan State University

This was an excellent meeting, with a good mix of mathematical subjects and participants. For me, it was particularly useful because I met three collaborators from three separate projects, and made progress with each one. One of those collaborators was someone I rarely get to see face-to-face, so it was particularly valuable for us to be able to talk between the lectures and in the evenings.

Daniel Ruberman Professor
Mathematics, Brandeis University
Mar 10 - Mar 15, 2013

The week at BIRS (off teaching duties, off kids, with inspiring people around) was perfect. I got a lot of work done, new ideas coming up, a paper finished. Many people seemed interested in my work. It was truly wonderful. It's hard to say if the workshop affected my students' job prospects, but contacts and staying in touch and publicizing our work surely has a long term affect on this.

Shiri Artstein-Avidan Prof.
Mathematics, Tel Aviv University

This was not my first participation to a 5-days BIRS workshop; it was maybe my fourth visit to Banff and BIRS, and every time I come to this place I love it more! During this particular meeting I could present a part of my recent research, and it was a good occasion to exchange opinions, ideas and impressions with other participants who are working on the same, or on similar, topics, in particular Vitali Milman, Liran Rotem, Artem Zvavitch and Dima Ryabogin. This exchange will influence for sure my future directions of research. Moreover I had the opportunity to work with Monika Ludwig, a participant from Vienna, on the research subject that I am liking most in this period, i.e. classification of valuations on function spaces. We had several fruitful discussions which helped us to enter a bit more in this topic, which is still almost unexplored. BIRS represents for me a place where I can devote myself entirely (or almost entirely) to do research, forgetting the rest of the world for one week!

Andrea Colesanti professor
Mathematics, University of Florence

This stay at BIRS had important impact on my current research, since after the talk a colleague mentioned some techniques that I was not aware of. Additionally this led into new collaboration.

Joscha Prochno Dr. rer. nat.
Institute of Analysis, Johannes Kepler University Linz

The perfectly organized workshop at BIRS stimulated my interest in some new and important questions which were presented in the talks. I am quite sure that this will lead to new publications on these important problems on the borderline between convex geometry and Banach space theory.

Matthias Reitzner Inst. f. Mathematics, University of Osnabrueck

There were three talks that I liked very much. This is much more than I usually experience in a one week conference. These were the talks by Monika Ludwig, Dima Ryabogin and Shiri Artstein (she gave two talks the second on Friday after I left. I'm talking about: "Viterbo's conjecture implies Mahler" which included a very nice introduction to symplectic geometry). I also learned about a result of Prochno and Schutt in a talk by Prochno (I should have known about it independently of the conference but somehow it escaped me until now). I managed to simplify and generalized their main result and am writing a short note about it.

Gideon Schechtman Mathematics, Weizmann Institute

For the past two meetings which I attended at BIRS, I met people from my field who I almost never see elsewhere, hence the chance to talk on specific problems, still open, in my area. At this particular meeting, I also appreciated the variety of talks many of which reported on recent progress. Overall, the meeting was very beneficial for my research in what concerns both the update in the field and the professional contacts.

Alina Stancu Mathematics and Statistics, Concordia University

Really appreciate that BIRS provides a wonderful research environment. It was always my pleasure to be there for great research workshops. Thanks for your great job.

Deping Ye Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Memorial University of Newfoundland

It is so nice for geometers and analysts gathering and exchanging ideas. The organizers did a great job. The program and the speakers are carefully selected and arranged in a professional way.

Jiazu Zhou Mathematics and Statistics, Southwest University
Mar 03 - Mar 08, 2013

The application of Iwasawa workshop was very useful and stimulating for me. It had so many interesting talks which gave insights into various different areas of Iwasawa theory, which is my area of research and also gave a clear idea of the directions where the research is moving and also what are the new topics that are coming up in this area of arithmetic geometry. It will have a positive impact on my future research work. (I am a postdoc myself, so in my case the question of impact of the workshop on hiring is not applicable.) Thanking you once again for giving me this excellent opportunity to attend the workshop.

Somnath Jha Department of Mathematics, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University

My participation in the BIRS workshop had a great impact my current research, through which I talked to the experts in the field and had very insightful conversations. Some of the talks were directly related to my research problem, but I found the discussions that I had over coffee breaks and dinner were more helpful for my research problem. The talks given in the workshop were more helpful to me in the direction of expanding my understanding how Iwasawa algebras are used in other fields, and I think the latter point is as important as the former one regarding my own research problem.

Dohyeong Kim mathematics, POSTECH

I found the workshop extremely interesting and productive. During the week I was there I completed one research paper (joint with two other participants), made substantial progress in another existing project, and began two more completely afresh, neither of which would have happened if I had not attended the workshop. Altogether this week was one of the best mathematical conferences I have attended in my career so far.

David Loeffler Dr
Mathematics Institute, Warwick University

There have been quite a lot of very interesting talks. In fact, I recommended some of the videos to colleagues (not only the video of my talk). Aside from the talks, I had the opportunity to discuss a problem (which arose in my current research) with some specialists in the field. It seems that this was very helpful and will eventually lead to a solution of this issue.

Andreas Nickel Bielefeld University

The workshop was stimulating and encouraging. I received useful feedback on a project I'm considering, and questions about applications of my work to other areas of interest. Some colleagues even raised prospects of visiting positions in the future.

Jonathan Pottharst NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Boston University

We had a very good conference last week in Banff and many of the youngsters from different parts of the world, who were first time visitors to Banff, deeply appreciated both the mathematics and the place!

Sujatha Ramdorai Mathematics, University of British Columbia

BIRS and the Banff Center together with its calm and charming environment among the beautiful mountains provided an ideal atmosphere to present, communicate and over all discuss mathematics in all its depth. In particular young mathematicians had the opportunity to profit from this intense workshop which also offered the opportunity to report on their PhD thesis.

Otmar Venjakob Mathematisches Institut, Heidelberg University

BIRS is a wonderful place to work and to collaborate. Yes, the workshop will have an impact on my research, yes I learned many new results at the workshop, yes I made new contacts that I wouldn't have had otherwise, yes it influence an hiring decision I am involved in. Thank you for providing such a wonderful place.

Marie-France Vigneras emeritus professor
mathematiques, Universit'e Paris 7. Institut de mathematiques de Jussieu.
Feb 24 - Mar 01, 2013

This was an outstanding workshop which triggered a lot of discussions and exchanges. My main technical discussions have been with D. Gamarnik (MIT) on local algorithms, Augustin Chaintreau (Columbia) on random graphs, and Andrea Montanari (Stanford) on point processes.

Francois Baccelli ECE and Mathematics, University of Texas at Austin

My time at BIRS was indeed very stimulating. In addition to many interesting discussions, motivated by some of the talks in the workshop I have formulated a couple research problems, which I will begin working on soon. Thanks for providing such nice support and venue!

Guy Bresler Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The workshop was a fantastic time to bring together people working on high dimensional inference and on the analysis of social network dynamics. I think we have rarely a chance to all interact and this was a perfect setting and size to get the most of this interaction. On my side, one of the person I met there who is in the same area will probably be joining my reading group and I hope that this will initiate a great collaboration. I also started chatting with another person about a possible follow up of her work. I think Banff, the excellent environment and the quality of the program made us all aware that they are potential research benefits that we had missed in our respective communities due to rush schedules. I look forward to attending more events organized at BIRS.

Augustin Chaintreau Columbia University - Computer Science

The workshop was very good and we had numerous interesting discussions. The posting of the talks online is great and a valuable asset for my students and the community more generally.

Alex Dimakis University of Southern California
Feb 17 - Feb 22, 2013

This workshop definitely brought me fresh insight and new contacts.

Emmanuel Cosme LGGE, Universite Joseph Fourier de Grenoble 1
Feb 10 - Feb 15, 2013

I very much enjoyed visiting BIRS, and I found the workshop very productive, as a significant fraction of it focused on topics I am currently exploring. The group of participants was well chosen, with closely overlapping research interests and representing the leading research in the field. I am looking forward to coming back to BIRS at some point in the future.

Sera Cremonini Physics Department, Texas A&M University, Cambridge/Texas A&M

BIRS was a superb venue for the workshop. A beautiful and inspirational setting to discuss the cutting edge in our field.

Jerome Gauntlett Professor
Physics, Imperial College London

This was a wonderful workshop. This workshop stimulated at least two new projects and possibly one new collaboration. Time will tell if those projects bear fruit.

Kristan Jensen Postdoctoral Fellow
Physics, University of Victoria

I did enjoy the meeting and the facilities. I would like to thank you for this. I am glad you have such a nice center at the service of science.

Elias Kiritsis CCTP and APC, APC, Paris and University of Crete

It was one of the best workshops I ever had. We had meals & accommodations together so that we were able to discuss all day long. So, this was more like a summer school, but much fancier with great facilities and excellent staffs.

My visit at Banff has been a great opportunity to enjoy both the excellent scientific program and the outstanding organization. This was the second time I was invited (the first was in the framework of a meeting on Ricci flows) but the first time to come. It was a fantastic experience, where I realized the role played by art at the Banff Center. I was really delighted. I hope to have again the opportunity to visit the Center.

Marios Petropoulos Centre de Physique Théorique, Ecole Polytechnique

I appreciate the activity at the BIRS very much. It helped me a lot by hearing the response to my talk, which clarified a few points which I did not thought about before I come to the BIRS.

Sang-Jin Sin professor
physics, Hanyang University
Feb 03 - Feb 08, 2013

The conference was great. The program consisted of a good mix of leading researchers, many of whom are academically young and very active, several most relevant experimenters, such as Armitage, Hsieh, Drew and Hassan, and a couple of senior leaders in the field who gave the meeting great dignity. Overall the organization, quality of talks, and supportive environment made it a pleasurable experience which begs to be repeated.

Assa Auerbach Professor
Physics, Technion

The workshop was great and so were the facilities. Thank you and the staff. BIRS is a great place for doing science.

Joseph Avron Physics, Technion
Jan 27 - Feb 01, 2013

I'd like to join you in commending the fantastic organizational efforts of Professors Goldman, Peters, Sottile, including your amazing staff and facilities . The workshop was very productive, as it brought together and provided me the rare opportunity to interface with my peers from all over the world, and also to renew some very old friendships. Thank you sincerely, for all that BIRS is doing to further research in the mathematical sciences. These meetings are invaluable!

Chandrajit Bajaj Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin

My participation in the BIRS workshop did impact my current research. The workshop participants included a very interesting mixture of theoretical algebraic geometers and applied geometric modelers. As a result, I obtained very positive feedback on my talk at the conference including several important questions that I plan to address in the future. I am trained originally as an algebraic geometer so the possibility to interact with many people in the applied sciences was also very fruitful. I was able to understand better the problems as they arise in applications. I also met several new contacts that I would not have had otherwise. The location of the institute is just amazing. It really inspires you to work harder. Being surrounded by nature fills the spirit with joy and energy to engage in new and ambitious projects.

Luis García-Puente Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Sam Houston State University

It provides a broader perspective to the field and gave me an updated view of where things stand in algebraic geometry.

Ming Lin Parker Distinguished Professor
Computer Science, University of North Carolina

This was a great workshop at a great place. Probably, one or two new collaborations will result from that meeting.

Ulrich Reif Prof. Dr.
Mathematics, TU Darmstadt

One very attractive characteristic of this workshop was that it aimed from the very beginning to being inclusive - i.e.to include researchers who were "users" of the algebraic-geometric techniques and results, or who faced specific problems motivated by concrete (practical or mathematical) questions, alongside with "specialists" in the pure, mathematical territory. So it felt easy and natural to ask questions. I learn a lot, sometimes from informal discussions at dinner or during coffee breaks with the participants. One comment from a participant led to a connection I was not aware of, another gave a natural motivation for why the study of certain objects is so important, while the "applied" speakers pointed out important research problems from other fields that rely on algebraic geometry, or that pose new questions of this nature. It has been a fascinating week! I came back with a load of new ideas and contacts with people whom I would be able to consult with, for that direction of my own research that needs more algebraic-geometric insights.

Ileana Streinu Professor
Computer Science, Smith College
Jan 20 - Jan 25, 2013

The workshop was very helpful. It was new disciplinary group of people for me - I am a chemical engineer who works on developing systems that mimic biological pores, and I met many biologists and physicists that study the structure and operation of the pore itself. Learning about the mechanistic insights was very helpful and inspiring, I came back with new ideas. I also met with many scientists, some of which I am interacting with on potential collaborations. Overall, it was a great experience and very productive.

Ayse Asatekin Assistant professor
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Tufts University

This workshop was characterized by exceptionally high level of scientific interactions and discussions. There were several important suggestions by some of the participants that I am going to incorporate in my research on nuclear pores. I have also started several new collaborations in the areas of polymer-grafted membranes, laser-induced florescence studies of DNA translocation through nanopores and single molecule imaging of chromatin dynamics.

Yitzhak Rabin professor
Physics, Bar-Ilan University
Jan 13 - Jan 18, 2013

The participation in the BIRS workshop impact on current research; no new results were obtained during the workshop, bu many new ideas! Possibly new collaborations.

Vivina Barutello Dipartimento di Matematica, University of Torino (Italy)

This was an absolutely great meeting! I enjoyed every minute of it, and I have heard similar comments from other participants too. Not only that I learned a lot from it, but I also started to work on two new problems, one with Cristina Stoica and Holger Dullin, and the other with Ernesto Pérez-Chavela. While with Ernesto and Cristina I worked in the past, Holger is a new collaborator. It is unlikely that these opportunities would have occurred under other circumstances than this meeting. I am therefore very pleased to have been there. The atmosphere for top research was outstanding. Thank you for leading BIRS and making it one of the top research places in mathematics in the entire world.

Florin Diacu Mathematics and Statistics, University of Victoria

The workshop was amazingly pleasant and useful. The organization in the BIRS is extremely good and allowed us to focus completely on scientific matters, in a very friendly way. Lectures and discussions were fruitful in bringing and sharing ideas. Personally, I believe I got new ideas for starting at least two new research projects. On the most materialistic level, everybody was impressed by the organization and helpfulness of the BIRS staff, by the quality of meals, by the landscape, by the wifi in particular.

Jacques Féjoz CEREMADE, Universite Paris-Dauphine

It was a great week at BIRS. I worked up to now on subjects peripherical to the N-body problem. Now I am more or less up to date concerning the state of the art. This will be helpful for supervising one of my PhD students. On the other hand, a colleague and I discussed at BIRS and already started a new research project. Thanks!

Andreas Knauf Mathematics, Erlangen-Nuremberg University

Thank you very much for providing excellent opportunity and conditions to the workshop on Celestial Mechanics which was hold last week at BIRS. It is an excellent conference with many interesting talks, and is an excellent opportunity for experts to communicate with each other. It is my great pleasure to thank you and all of your staff members in BIRS for their excellent works.

Yiming Long Chern Institute of Mathematics, Nankai University

I got more ideas in the 4 days I spent at this 5 day workshop than I do in a typical 4 months period at my home institution. I had numerous conversations, initiated at least one, and likely two collaborations, and am considering organizing a similar workshop in several years. The structure of having two afternoons free, with evening talks was inspired.

Richard Montgomery professor
Mathematics, University of California, Santa Cruz

It is a pleasure for me to confirm that I found the conference very interesting and stimulating. From discussions with colleagues I had a new occasion of collaboration that I hope will be fruitful.

Gabriella Pinzari Mathematics, University 'Roma Tre'

This is a wonderful and effective workshop in terms of new collaborations and new perspectives. Two new research projects will start and a new result is discovered. By discussing with some best experts in the field, some new questions are raised and some unexpected inputs are given. This is just an intensive five-day workshop with many exciting topics. In addition, the Banff center itself is an amazing place with lots of unique events. In the free afternoon on January 16, it gave me a chance to attend some dance and music events which are so great. It is a "short" afternoon I never forget.

Zhifu Xie Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Virginia State University

I'm very lucky to be able to attend this workshop "New Perspectives on the $N$-body Problem". During the meeting, the other professors' talks gave me a lot of inspiration. Some methods I have learned from the meeting may be applied to my own research work. Moreover, inspired by other teachers, I can study some new and interesting problems. At the same time, I am very lucky to get personal guidance from many famous professors, which is beneficial to me for all my life. In particular, I would like to thank one of the organizers of the workshop Susanna Terracini, who gave me the chance to learn from many famous professors face to face. I also want to thank the Banff Center to provide the accommodation.

Xiaoxiao Zhao Sichuan University
Dec 09 - Dec 14, 2012

BIRS provided a perfect surrounding for an intense meeting with a not-too-large, not-too-small number of scientists from around the world. The conference room is superb: the rounded rows of comfortable seats enable a perfect view to the screen and the speaker and encourages discussions since people in the audience can see each other! All technical facilities, like WIFI access, projector, recording devices are more than up-to-date and the staff is incredibly helpful and well-organized. Whenever I have the chance to take part (or even co-organizes a meeting?) in an event at BIRS, I'll be there again!

Karin Jacobs Prof. Dr.
Dept. of Experimental Physics, Saarland University

I had the opportunity to interact with international researchers who have worked on similar research problems. I enjoyed the discussions that provided me with new avenues to pursue in my research program. I am a junior faculty member who will soon need outside letters of support for my tenure file. This meeting provided me with the opportunity to present my research findings and interact with the leading experts in the field I work in. I know the impact of this meeting will be significant in my academic career.

Kara Maki School of Mathematical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology

I had a brilliant time at BIRS and would like to extend my thanks to all those involved with the organization of the week. The talks were interesting and the extended discussion periods after each two talks I felt were a particularly good idea, given how well the audience participated. Whilst not directly impacting on my research now, there were a number of useful conversations I had, which have given me possible ideas for future research, and the chance to make face-to-face contact with many people of whom I have read journal articles and reviews was excellent.

David Sibley Dr
Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London

The workshop was exactly the right setting to present some interesting results we had in the near past, as I met exactly a group of people that struggles with some issues that we can hopefully help to solve with our approach. The intense discussions that followed my talk told me that we are on the right track and should continue working in this direction.

Uwe Thiele University of Loughborough

I've been to meetings at BIRS before, but somehow this one was more intense and more focused than before. Pretty much all of the participants got fully involved in all aspects of the workshop (including the discussion sessions) and the week just flew by in a rush of scientific discussions and presentations. The talks are all very good and even the one which wasn't really quite aligned to the workshop theme (not the organisers' fault as the speaker changed topic at the last minute) was interesting. The facilities in BIRS and the Banff Centre were, as always, excellent and the food outstanding. There was some confusion about streaming and/or recording or the presentations, but this is a very minor point. The meeting was one of the best I've ever attended and has already lead to new scientific contacts (and, just as important, renewing of old ones) which will, I am sure, lead to new (and renewed) scientific collaborations in the future.

Stephen Wilson Professor of Applied Mathematics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Strathclyde
Dec 02 - Dec 07, 2012

This was a very productive meeting for me. The discussions relating to my general programme of research were very useful in the sense that it has brought into focus some key questions. Also, the very high level of participants meant that I learnt very new ideas from the real experts. Remarkably one breakfast conversation (over an hour) was one of the best explanations of mirror symmetry I have ever heard. In summary, it was truly excellent.

David Berman Physics, Queen Mary, University of London

Great workshop! fantastic place.

Ruben Minasian IPhT, CEA Saclay
Nov 25 - Nov 30, 2012

We had very stimulating discussions with Michelle Bucher and Koji Fujiwara.

Alessandra Iozzi ETH Zurich

I hope that new results will come out of the conference. But this is too early to be confirmed. Anyway I got a lot of new insights and ideas.

Wolfgang Lück Prof. Dr.
Mathematisches Institut, University at Bonn

I heard talks, learned new things about orderability of groups (from Dave Morris), gave a talk myself, and received some feedback on my questions concerning the Atiyah problem. Thanks a lot! The environment is indeed very inspirational, great place.

Igor Mineyev Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Nov 23 - Nov 25, 2012

The whole environment of the Banff Centre and the BIRS facility was extremely conducive to making progress with the goals of the workshop. The manager of the BIRS faclility was very helpful. We were able to make progress towards our own greater understanding of the importance of the Early Years of learning mathematics, and specifically Spatial Reasoning. A number of workable plans to move forwards were "cast", and I feel that these will be acted upon. I understand that the booking process for BIRS sessions has to be made quite a signficant amount of time in advance. It would be very helpful if this could be examined to see if it was possible to shorten the time for both longer sessions and the weekend sessions. The networking potential of bringing experts together is huge, and something that education is gradually picking up more and more from the business world. BIRS can facilitate this process in my opinion, AND actively demonstrate support to and involvement with the early years of learning mathematics.

Pam Hagen EDCP - UBC Vancouver, PhD Candidate & Elementary educator

I made some excellent new contacts. We have spent the day emailing about a joint project, in fact. This was an area I knew little about, but it is an exciting extension of my current work and will enrich it. I have a student who will be able to use the new collaboration that is emerging to enrich her work and make connections to new literature. So, I've only been home 1 day, but already I feel as if it was a great experience that will stimulate research activities.

Jo-Anne LeFevre Institute of Cognitive Science, Carleton University
Nov 18 - Nov 23, 2012

I found the workshop very helpful. Met amazing passionate people, so dedicated to helping. I am in the Elder Project in Sooke teaching Kindergarten classes in 3 schools and one on reserve. I realize how important it is to include forms of math in language teaching. Children are so eager to learn; they are so very open at that age. I think your facility there is great. Beautiful setting- my first time there, good introduction to the territory.

Shirley Alphonse Elder

The recent BIRS First Nations Math Education workshop was unlikely to have very much direct bearing on my mathematical research, but I hope that BIRS will continue to host such workshops, which bring First Nations people into better contact with mathematics, and contribute indirectly to mathematical research, since they begin at the roots, in schools, where we are very much in need of help and stimulus. I found this particular workshop very encouraging, as, apart from the organizers, there were many people present who were keen to spread the word, and clearly able to do so.

Richard Guy Mathematics & Statistics, University of Calgary

This is the second First Nations Mathematics Education workshop I have attended. It was fabulous. The opportunity to collaborate with teachers and elders on mathematical investigations for students was very welcome and would be much more difficult without BIRS support.

Indy Lagu Dr.
Mathematics, Physics, and Engineering, Mount Royal University
Nov 11 - Nov 16, 2012

The workshop was very useful for the following reasons. (i) I could present my work and get some valuable feedback from other participants. (ii) I met new people who could be eventual collaborators. (iii) I learnt a lot of new stuff from the talks and from the informal discussions.

Abhishek Dhar Theoretical Physics, Raman Research Institute

This was an excellent workshop. And wonderfully organized, as always in BIRS.

Tony Lelièvre CERMICS, École des Ponts ParisTech

I had several very helpful discussions concerning my research program and started a new collaboration with other two participant to the workshop that have complementary knowledge on a problem of common interest.

Carlangelo Liverani Professor
Mathematics, University of Rome Tor Vergata

This workshop was really useful for me. It was my first meeting in my research field. I am a phD student, and this workshop allowed me to have contact with many other researchers, with whom I hope to begin collaboration. Moreover, the place was the greatest one to do mathematics during one week: all was really well organized, and I spent 5 fantastic days in Banff, with these so beautiful mountains around.

Marielle Simon phD student
UMPA, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon

The workshop was great, lots of very interesting discussions, with input from various sides, theoretical physics, probability, and numerical simulations. Energy transport in one dimension remains a lively subject with many surprises. Concretely, in the light of new numerical data, I am strongly motivated to reconsider the predictions of nonlinear fluctuating hydrodynamics.

Herbert Spohn Mathematics, Technische Universität München

I was an organizer of this workshop, and had therefore the opportunity to invite researchers whose works and papers I liked -- even though there were quite a few colleagues who I never physically met before. Needless to say, I had many discussion topics when coming to BIRS, and I looked forward meeting the very specialists of the field to get some feedback on these potential research tracks. I was delighted by the outcomes of these discussions, because, as usual, there are hints, remarks and comments which come to one's mind in an actual conversation, and which do not come out in a more constructed series of emails. In addition, there are also all these questions and issues which are raised at the end of the lectures: some inspired new research directions, some gave me new views of current problems of interest, some allowed me to revisit something I thought was settled, etc. There really was quite a biodiversity of viewpoints between physicists interested in the interpretation of results, mathematicians interest in the formal aspects of the theories, and applied mathematicians concerned about the efficiency and precision of numerical schemes. Also, the more familial size of the workshop and the cozy atmosphere of the place (in sharp contrast with the refreshing climate of the surroundings mountains) definitively triggered informal contacts and spontaneous scientific discussions between all generations of researchers, from PhD student to emeritus.

Gabriel Stoltz École des Ponts, CERMICS
Nov 04 - Nov 09, 2012

The meeting was extremely well organised and the new results and new insight will have a good impact on our research. New contacts were definitely made which will lead to further interactions. The meeting helped also my ex-PhD student in deveoping his own future and interactions and I am delighted about this.

Charles Williamson Professor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University

To my opinion the workshop was very useful for me. I heard many new interesting results which impact my and my colleagues research. I met the scientists whom I had not known before and we started our contacts. I hope that we will do together with some of them in future. I do not think, that the workshop affect my job prospects, my student's or my postdoc now, but it may happen later. I heard the talks with the applications of the things which I know to problems which I considered very far from them.

Sergey Dobrokhotov Professor
A.Ishlinsky Institute for Problem in Mechanics of Russ.Academy of Sciences

The Workshop was well conceived, bringing together people in fields that are different yet similar enough for meaningful and indeed useful connections to develop. I enjoyed several enlightening conversations, as well as the lectures. The surroundings are magnificent, the accommodation is comfortable, the food is superb, and all the Banff Centre staff were unfailingly helpful.

Michael Berry Professor
Physics, University of Bristol, U.K.

A great workshop in a magnificent research facility: compliment to the organizers!

Davide Bigoni Professor
Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento

This workshop was a great experience for me. I got to know many great colleagues whom I had not met before: I knew only two of the attendees previously. I received very good feedback on my talk and enjoyed many of the other talks. The video system was really impressive, especially the lecture being posted so soon after being recorded.

Michael Overton Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University

It was a superb week at BIRS. I enjoyed it a lot and I am very grateful for all the new colleagues I was able to get in contact with. Moreover, my personal research activities were greatly influenced, so much that even my PhD students here in Germany will feel it! Thank you for this wonderful week!

Carsten Trunk Prof. Dr. (Director of the Institute for Mathematics at TU Ilmenau)
Institut fuer Mathematik, TU Ilmenau

Yes, I have benefited by the workshop very much. The program covered rather interdisciplinary subjects. I could lean many new things. I could also start interactions with researches of different disciplines.

Zensho Yoshida Professor
Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, Department of Advanced Energy, University of Tokyo
Oct 28 - Nov 02, 2012

The presentations and follow-up questions/discussions were great resources for participates to know the current research directions and interests. I marked quite a few papers for further reading. The part I like most in attending the BRIS workshop is that I was able to meet different scholars from closed research areas and discuss research problems with them. This is extremely useful when participates are trying to broaden their research interests and seek for opportunities of collaboration. During this workshop, I had some productive discussions with researchers who are working on Hopf algebras, graded Skew Clifford algebras and got to know some open questions in those areas. We discussed problems and possible solutions over the board in those small rooms downstairs. (A great place to do research. The security man was very nice and made us feel comfortable stay after midnight.) Such discussions were very beneficial. I did have new collaboration that originated during the workshop. I will definitely keep these contacts and continue these research communications.

Linhong Wang Mathematics, Southeastern Louisiana University

The BIRS workshop talks were valuable in helping me to keep up with current research in my field, as well as to learn some related topics that are a bit further afield for me. I met with collaborators on two research projects at the workshop. Both are projects I have just begun, with mathematicians that I do not see very often, and it was important that I speak with them in person at this stage to get the projects moving.

Sarah Witherspoon Mathematics, Texas A&M University
Oct 26 - Oct 28, 2012

I enjoyed the conference very much. The networking opportunities were great and I met quite a few like-minded people. Most talks broadened my perspectives and gave me ideas on how to enrich our programs. Very well done! PLEASE inform me about future conferences that relate to mathematics education.

Aaron Renert Director
Calgary Bright Minds
Oct 21 - Oct 26, 2012

I think it is rather the participants obligation to say thanks to the organization for the kind hospitality which resulted not only a pleasant week in a beautiful surrounding, but also provided us a fruitful period of time to inform each other about results we reached recently in this field and gave us opportunity to discuss possible promising directions of further investigations. I am convinced that this opinion reflects not only my personal feelings, I am sure it is shared by the other participants of the workshop as well as. If the other BIRS-workshops are nearly as successful as our turned out to be then you can be duly satisfied.

Aladar Heppes Geometry, Renyi Institute

I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend this workshop which gave me the opportunity to meet old acquaintances, Heppes and Borosczky, and discussing interesting open problems with them as well as hearing much new mathematics and having the opportunity to discuss these with others.

Richard Pollack Mathematics, Courant Institute of Mathematics

It's a great pleasure for me to thank you for my stay at BIRS. It is very useful to meet people with the same interests as myself. This may sound a highly trivial statement, but it isn't since I'm almost the only one in Scandinavia in the field defining the conference.I had many interesting discussions there and the inspiration received has still not worn out; I'm just now looking into a brand new idea for a solution, at least in low-dimensional cases, of a problem (called Sierksma's Dutch cheese problem) which is strongly related to one of the main themes of the conference.

Helge Tverberg Mathematics, University of Bergen
Oct 14 - Oct 19, 2012

It is I who should thank you for providing such a marvelous facility in a beautiful setting to conduct workshops. I had never been to Banff before, but I'm hoping that this will not be my last trip.

Jeffrey Angell Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Oct 07 - Oct 12, 2012

I had an excellent time at BIRS. The workshop was, as might be expected, interesting and informative, but the infrastructure BIRS provides makes it so much more pleasurable. What's more, it makes it easy to concentrate on the work itself. I had a chance to work with some collaborators, and we fully expect a paper to come out of our joint work.

Danny Dyer Mathematics and Statistics, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The workshop definitely lead to new ideas, insights and research projects. Also some new contacts and one collaboration that would not have happened without this workshop. It is very possible/likely that the workshop will have a positive impact on my job prospects but it is a bit too early to tell.

Tobias Müller Department of Mathematics, Utrecht University

I learned a nice proof about a problem I previously published a paper on. A former student of mine and I obtained a result on a problem presented at the workshop. I had productive discussions with several people I previously did not know well.

Douglas West Mathematics Department, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

The workshop was amazingly inspiring. This happened during the talks and the scientific questionings, but also all along during the discussions in the seminar and over the meals. The atmosphere and service that BIRS are providing are amazing, first rate for sure. I got fresh insights into an old problem (travelling salesperson on grids), due to the interaction with two other participants, one from Canada, one from Spain. It is this international collaboration from various perspectives that makes BIRS a uniquely fruitful place. A new research project may very well result from this interaction. The contact to the colleague from Canada would not have been possible otherwise, I believe.

Peter Widmayer ETH
Sep 30 - Oct 05, 2012

My participation in the BIRS workshop clearly impacted my current research: it was an opportunity for me to meet with several people (e.g. K. Zainoulline) and discuss new ideas, some of which will be the subject of joint papers. Also, naturally, this major event in the field helps us all to keep up to date with the latest results.

Baptiste Calmes Laboratoire de Mathématiques de Lens, Université d'Artois

The BIRS workshop is wonderful. It provides me a great opportunity to give a presentation. This is the firs time that I give a talk in a conference. Most importantly, the workshop is a good place to learn new ideas. Although many presentations are professional and difficult to be understood by me, I get a good first impression of many research topics.

Zhihua Chang Department of Mathematical and Statistical Science, University of Alberta

The fact is that the goes much beyond the only scope of my research, it is even hard to express it properly in English. Even though I was told that BIRS is one of the most incredible places in the world to make mathematics, I have been still amazed. The natural background, the organization, the setting of this workshop was incredible, and it is clearly the conference where i both enjoyed the place the most and worked the most.

Charles De Clercq Universite Paris 6

The great environment (research- and otherwise) helped me to focus on a particular problem related the the workshop themes and while still at BIRS I typed up some notes regarding that problem, thus also reviving a collaboration on that topic in the process.

Detlev Hoffmann Professor
Mathematics, TU Dortmund

I have very recently returned from the wonderfully inspiring and productive BIRS workshop on Lie algebras, torsors and cohomological invariants. I want to thank you most warmly for creating together with your outstanding staff including Wynne Fong, Brent Kearney, Brenda Williams and Caroline Green the extraordinary ideal conditions for collaborative research work and for facilitating up to date quick information about the new results, new developments and new hopes. In particular it was very impressing immediately after a lecture of a participant to receive an e.mail from my graduate student in London, Ontario who was very excited about this lecture and who asked me to recommend him further lectures from the workshop suitable for his current studies and research work. The ease of the use and the quality of recording is remarkable. The hospitality and help of your team in every respect was just great. The workshop itself was superbly organized by Stefan Gille, Nikita Karpenko, Arturo Pianzola, Vera Serganova and Kirill Zainoulline. The lectures were very inspiring and so were the many discussions during lectures breaks,hikes,dining and other relaxing times. Thanks to this conference I began a project with Detlev Hoffman on structure of inseparable extensions and Witt kernels and further possible projects may develop from discussions and subsequent mutual visits with Stefan Gille, Raman Parimala and Kirill Zainoulline. The informative very happy friendly and exciting atmosphere in the spectacular environment was the key to ultimate success of this workshop.

Ján Minác Mathematics, University of Western Ontario

I had a great time at BIRS -- not only were there excellent talks, but there was also some time to continue my research with Arturo Pianzola. In fact, we achieved a breakthrough there for our current research project.

Erhard Neher Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa

Among the subjects of this workshop, I was very interested in the part concerning torsors and cohomological invariants, as well as on motivic aspects and applications for quadratic forms and algebras with involutions. I was very happy to assist to the very nice talks we had and to learn more on this subjects. I had also a chance to have a lot of conversations with other participants, which gave me some interesting projects, I am currently working on, and I hope this will lead to some new results soon.

Alena Pirutka PhD
IRMA, Strasbourg

I consider the workshop to be a great success. The quantity and quality of young researches and speakers was exceptional. More than half of speakers were young researchers and graduate students. The enthusiasm of the participants was evidenced by the frequent discussions and many questions asked after each talk. I feel that the experience that participants gained during the workshop will prove to be very valuable in their research career and will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the research activity in the area. I think, the idea to bring together people from different areas (Lie algebras and Torsors) was very fruitful and has lead to several interesting collaborations already. I expect that these will grow into joint research projects and publications.

Kirill Zainoulline Department of Mathematics, University of Ottawa
Sep 23 - Sep 28, 2012

The workshop was a fantastic tribute to the outstanding work of Harold Widom. On a personal note I can say that discussions spurred by the talk of K. T. R. McLaughlin and of P. Bleher on the normal matrix model has already lead to interesting development in the study of universality (bulk and boundary), and I am presently very actively pursuing the topic with McLaughlin (Arizona). Already some results seem to appear. Thus I reckon it was an exceptionally fruitful experience and thank BIRS for the opportunity.

Marco Bertola Associate Professor.
Mathematics and Statistics, Concordia University

This was a very high quality workshop and I learned a lot of new results which will be very useful for my current research. I am in this area for a long time, and I know most of the participants, but there were some new people. It is possible that I will have new collaborations originated at the workshop. The workshop can influence the hiring process which we will have this year at our department. We will see. I think that the workshop will have a significant impact on the area of random matrix models and their applications, in terms of new collaborations, publications, presentations, etc.

Pavel Bleher Mathematical Sciences, Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis

The workshop was wonderful. It gave me a chance to catch up and have some very helpful discussions with colleagues, make progress on two current projects with two of the organizers, and present some recent work. It was also a terrific opportunity for my most recent PhD student to present his work and make important contacts which may lead to future collaborations.

Neil O'Connell Prof
Mathematics Institute, University of Warwick

At the workshop the most recent results in our field were reported, an information which otherwise would be obtained much later and only partially. Concrete examples for me are: 1) discussions with Ortmann and O'Connell on Brownian motion in the Weyl chamber, 2) discussions with Sasamoto on duality for ASEP, 3) discussions with Baik, Kazumasa (Baik reported on a new identity for he Airy process, Kazumasa could extract an confirmation from his liquid crystal experiment.) 4) discussions with Corwin on the semi-discrete directed polymer with stationary initial data, 5) discussions with Borodin and Corwin on oblique reflections in the Weyl chamber, 6) discussions with Valko on superdiffusive bounds. Presumably there are more. But these discussions advanced my own research. Item 2 is not applicable. There have been many informal exchanges, which generate a common feeling for separating important from less important items.

Herbert Spohn Professor
Mathematics, Technische Universität München
Sep 09 - Sep 14, 2012

My participation in the BIRS workshop was a significant event on my current research. Talks and private discussions led me to some informal insights and techniques that are often hidden in the formalities of papers. I look forward to launching a research project related to the meeting and following up on fantastic discussions that occurred at the workshop. I am hopeful that these will grow into new collaborations, which are so important to a young mathematician, such as myself.

Timur Akhunov Mathematics, University of Calgary

The workshop was excellent and it did provide me with opportunities for making new contacts, learning about new ideas, and meeting several mathematicians who I have not met before. There were many opportunities for discussing mathematics. The lectures were great and the informal discussions were extremely valuable. The organization was flawless and the atmosphere of the centre is fantastic.

Vladimir Sverak Mathematics, University of Minnesota

The workshop encompassed several topics which were either in my area of current interest or near my extended interests. It was a very good combination, and I had the opportunity to meet both collaborators and researchers I had not met before. We will see if the job prospects of my students/postdocs were affected, but they did get the opportunity to present their work.

Daniel Tataru Professor
Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley

This workshop and the nice scientific atmosphere in BIRS allowed me, with my collaborators Professors S. Ibrahim and K. Nakanishi, to complete the final steps in proving the finite time blowup for the inviscid primitive equations for the large scale oceanic and atmospheric dynamics. This is a nice breakthrough result, and we will certainly acknowledge our visit to BIRS in our paper.

Edriss Titi Professor
Mathematics, University of California and The Weizmann Institute of Science

In the workshop, I listened to several reports I am familiar with and learned some new results and fresh insight; and all of them are useful for my study and research in the future. I also met a lot of outstanding mathematicians in this workshop. I get more confidence from chatting with them.

Shuxia Wang Peking University
Sep 02 - Sep 07, 2012

Thank you very much for supporting our meeting in BIRS this September. The meeting was an absolute success! Just yesterday I received yet another email from a young participant telling me how beneficial the workshop was for him (we will put some of the extracts in the report). It was a very fruitful meeting: new research programs were discussed and what was amazing, some of them turned out to be related in the most unexpected ways! New collaborations were started, the old ones continued, etc. etc. All this would not have been possible without BIRS and your support!

Inna Capdeboscq University of Warwick

During the workshop I was able to discuss a problem with Prof. Andrew Chermak, which I had discussed with Prof. Michael Aschbacher last year. Some new and unpublished results of Chermak seem to point into the right direction, the workshop was an opportunity to bring the ideas together.

Ellen Henke Dr.
Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

The workshop gave me the opportunity to learn about exciting new developments in neighboring fields. I also found the time to work together with several of my coauthors on finishing off joint projects.

Gunter Malle Fachbereich Mathematik, TU Kaiserslautern

I found some new, strange examples of non-growing sets in finite simple groups. With Gill, my former coauthor we discussed possible applications of a new growth result he obtained recently.

Laci Pyber Senior Research Fellow
Discrete Mathematics, Renyi Institute of Mathematics Budapest

I was able to make progress on 2 different research projects, one with Barabra Baumeister, and a second with Kay Magaard. As well, I had preliminary discussions with Tim Burness about a possible collaboration. This was all very valuable and would have taken much longer under ordinary circumstances.

Donna Testerman Mathematics - MATHGEOM, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

In my opinion, the lectures given at the workshop were very interesting and informative. They covered many different important research topics in the area. The workshop's schedule also provided ample time for me to discuss various mathematical questions with other participants. In particular, I had stimulating discussions with M. Aschbacher, R. M. Guralnick, and M. Liebeck on some ongoing research projects. I will continue working on these projects.

Pham Huu Tiep Department of Mathematics, University of Arizona

This conference was very helpful for my own research programme! I had the chance to talk with several people, including Micheal Aschbacher, and could ask some specific and some general questions that are not suitable over email. It is only at such high-level conferences like this one that I meet these persons and can talk to them. For instance, and more exactly, the motivation of Micheal's study of the E_6 module was important for me to know, so that I can consider similar applications for my study of the E_7 and E_8 modules.

Hendrik Van Maldeghem Department of Mathematics, Ghent University

I was at the Banff Centre for the first time and I was impressed by the surroundings and by the atmosphere on campus. There were many interesting talks and plenty of opportunities to talk to colleagues, so I could make progress in an ongoing project, get to know new people and learn a lot about recent important results in my research area.

Rebecca Waldecker Mathematik, Universität Halle
Aug 19 - Aug 24, 2012

This was a an excellent conference including stellar researchers who presented the most exciting developments in combinatorics. Between the talks and informal conversations, several new project ideas came up which may lead to papers. I talked with several researchers in the field that led to several enlightening problems and new proof techniques. I was quite impressed with the conference!

Jacob Fox Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aug 12 - Aug 17, 2012

During the workshop I listened many very interesting talks focused on the topic of syzygies, where I have worked and I have still a open research plan. I had the opportunity to speak directly with some of the main experts in the area, also about the connection with physics. During my talk I left an open computational problem, and other younger participants considered it seriously and I am now in contact with them. I hope future collaboration with postdoc students will arise fromm the contacts I had in this workshop.

Giorgio Ottaviani Dipartimento di Matematica, University of Florence
Aug 05 - Aug 10, 2012

This is a wonderful workshop, I have the chance to talk to the experts about the research I am doing, and hear very useful suggestions and comments from them.

Shibing Chen University of Toronto

During the workshop, I had some stimulating discussions with participants regarding various problems in nonlinear PDE I am interested in. Many of the talks and remarks point to some possible new research projects in the future.

Pengfei Guan Mathematics and Statistics, McGill University

This meeting at BIRS was quite interesting for me. I knew many of the participants, but a lot of the material was new to me and it will certainly be of inspiration for my future research as well as for the topics I will propose to my students and post-docs.

Andrea Malchiodi Sector of Functional Analysis, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA)

I'd like to express my gratitude for the invitation to BIRS. I really enjoyed and appreciated this workshop, which I found perfectly organized, both practically and logistically, as well as the location at Banff Center (actually it was my first time in Banff). Most of the talks were pretty inherent to my mathematical interests. Even though no new collaboration has originated during this week, some clues to probable future research projects have arisen from stimulating discussions with other participants. Moreover I've had the chance to talk to best experts in the topics concerning some problem in geometric analysis I'm facing now.

Giona Veronelli mathématiques - Laboratoire AGM, INdAM Cofund, at Université de Cergy-Pontoise

The workshop on conformal and CR geometry last week was very successful from several perspectives. First of all, there was a lot of interaction among the various groups exchanging information on the new directions, and formation of new collaborations. I personally learned a lot about the new operators from Eastwood's survey lectures and from Kengo Hirachi about his approach to understanding the new operator that Jeffrey Case and I are developing. The survey lecture of Guillarmou covers a lot of new ground, and challenges PDE people to develop criteria of existence and uniqueness for the Poincare-Einstein structures. I had also learned about the work of Alexakis/Mazzeo that may be relevant for my own work with Alice Chang. Each time I come to Banff, I have gained new perspective on future research direction and found the environment absolutely stimulating. I would like to thank the BIRS for creating such possibilities for us.

Paul Yang Mathematics, Princeton University
Aug 03 - Aug 05, 2012

Math Kangaroo Contest workshop at BIRS will impact my future research, since right now I am doing some work about digital signal processing, but it gave me an insight of education. To combine what my background and education, I may get into engineering education. It is about motivation for students and passion of educators. I found it is very interesting and such a wonderful thing to devote yourself into. I may volunteer Math Kangaroo Contest in the future to make a contribution for the kids in mathematical education. I also met nice people from different places and backgrounds with the same interest. I think we will keep contact to each other and the networking will work very well.

Claire Liu graduate
Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Calgary

The organization was great!

Tchavdar Marinov Associate Professor
Natural Sciences, Southern University at New Orleans
Jul 29 - Aug 03, 2012

I enjoyed my stay at BIRS very much, everyone on the staff was very friendly and helpful and the conference was stimulating.

Sagun Chanillo Rutgers University

The workshop is certainly going to be very useful for the future research of my group. It was a great mix of analysis and geometry and it certainly gives new perspectives for PDEs in a geometric context. The lectures were at a great level, and I had the chance to meet several new people, both junior and senior.

Andrea Malchiodi Sector of Functional Analysis, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA)
Jul 27 - Jul 29, 2012

The workshop was very rewarding. The talks were interesting and serval collaborations got started. As always, BIRS staff made everything easy and the setting is beautiful. Thank you very much.

Leslie Hogben Mathematics, Iowa State University
Jul 22 - Jul 27, 2012

The BIRS site is fantastic and inspiring. The physical layout and the schedule promoted collegial interactions. The meeting was a perfect mix of quantitative experiments and modeling.

Dennis Discher Robert D. Bent chaired Professor, NAE
University of Pennsylvania

Our workshop turned out to be a remarkable success. We brought together mathematicians and physicists on the one hand and biologists on the other, and the interaction was both stimulating and revealing. We noticed interesting differences in our angles of viewing the problems of tissue growth, our approaches to describing and rationalizing the process, and even the use of terminology. From a personal standpoint, I was delighted to learn of the latest experimental results on the signaling pathways; these will be incorporated into our mathematical model. Our model, imperfect as it seems to us, so impressed the biologists that I was invited to visit a top group in Duke University. This dialog between math and biology has given me several new ideas, and has greatly broadened our vista of the related biological problems. Judging from the enthusiastic (and uninvited) email messages from the attendees that have come to me in the past few days, I think many share my impression that this workshop has provided a rare opportunity for inter-disciplinary exchange, and will have potentially far-reaching benefits for research on both sides, e.g. by forging new collaborations. Besides, I was interviewed by the Banff Centre Communications Officer and her staff since the topic of our workshop captured their interest. The interview will appear in the Banff Centre website and through a podcast. Thus we might have done a bit of outreach in bringing our science to the awareness of the public. Thanks again for your aegis of this wonderful gathering, which has given the attendees new ideas that we now rush to implement.

James J. Feng Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia

I thought the workshop was a useful forum to learn about new research being done in our field. Many of the results were unpublished and I was quite pleased with that. Also, it was terrific to have such an international representation at the meeting. I did renew contacts with people that could turn into potential collaborations in the future.

Adam Martin Biology, MIT

It was very relevant and could make new contacts with people working in the same field. These contact will probably lead to new collaborations and future work. I had new insight, that may have some effect on my current research. No new hiring or new projects so far though.

Jose Munoz Applied Mathematics III, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya

Although I could not attend the workshop due to visa issues, I enjoyed the presentations. Thanks to the live streaming of most of the talks. I am now aware of many interesting findings which would have otherwise taken much longer time.

Dhananjay Tambe Research Associate
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard University
Jul 15 - Jul 20, 2012

The format, and in particular the way that participants are housed and take meals together in more-or-less isolated surroundings, is a great strength of these meetings and an important factor in their productivity. The talks and more importantly the discussions which went on throughout the week, both scheduled and informal, gave me new insight into various definitions and open questions, with direct impact on ongoing work of my own. A new project was also started at the meeting as a direct result of informal discussions with two other participants.

Patrick Fowler Professor
Chemistry, University of Sheffield

I participated in the BIRS workshop on rigidity this summer. During this meeting I reconnected with two old colleagues and made new connections with 4 or 5 new ones. This may ultimately lead to very fruitful new collaborations. Working with one of the collaborators allowed us to combine techniques from our individual works that should lead to a characterization for global rigidity of periodic frameworks. Additionally, at this meeting, various parties that have worked on complex and hyperbolic rigidity were able to get together to finally figure out what was collectively known and collectively unknown. This will greatly help progress on these questions.

Steven Gortler SEAS, Harvard University

My visit to BIRS saw me concentrating on developing an existing collaboration into a new area, and it provided an ideal environment for this. We certainly developed some new insights - difficult to yet know how significant these will be.

Simon Guest Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

This was a useful workshop, with new insights and at least two new collaborations started. How they finish is yet to be seen. I do believe the workshop made a positive impact on the field.

Igor Pak Professor
Mathematics, University of California at Los Angeles
Jul 13 - Jul 15, 2012

I found the event extremely interesting and helpful, primarily for three reasons. Firstly, the technical presentations from experts in their respective areas gave me a lot of new ideas, some of which I am certain I will be able to consolidate through collaborations. Secondly, this was an extremely useful networking event that gave me the chance to meet important female figures in the IEEE community. Finally, I just had a really great time!

Arsenia Chorti Electrical Engineering, Princeton University

My participation in the BIRS workshop allowed me to make important contacts with people from my research area, as well as to be able to get significant insights of their current areas of research which provides me new interesting ideas for my job. Also the contacts I made during the workshop may help me through my career with postdoc opportunities or joint projects.

Cristina Gomez Santamaria Information and Communications Technologies, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana-Colombia
Jul 08 - Jul 13, 2012

My time at BIRS was really pleasant: it was useful for my mathematical projects and all the activities that your centre offers were absolutely amazing. I agree with you in thanking the organizers of the last week: Han Peters and Erlend Fornaess Wold. I hope to have other opportunities to come to Banff International Research Station.

Cinzia Bisi Mathematics, Universita Ferrara

I found the workshop very interesting and learned some results that I did not know. Also, I started some new collaboration with researchers met there, which I think will produce interesting new results.

Filippo Bracci Matematica, Università di Roma
Jul 01 - Jul 06, 2012

Another superb BIRS conference, bringing computational mathematicians together with number theorists and topologists to drive experimental and theoretical work on a circle of questions which were complete mysteries only a few years ago.

Jordan Ellenberg Mathematics, University of Wisconsin

The conference gave me a unique chance to interact with some of the leading experts on several topics that I have been very interested in recently. I left Banff with several promising ideas/projects and a deeper understanding. I can't wait to visit again!

Mehmet Haluk Sengun Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow
Mathematics Institute, University of Warwick
Jun 24 - Jun 29, 2012

My participation in the BIRS workshop did indeed impact significantly in my current research: it provided great stimulation to graduate students that attended, and it initiated a new collaboration (on the topic of application of integral equation methods to eigenvalue problems, a rather novel approach) with two other participants. Interestingly, subsequent to the initiation of this work, I had two independent requests from colleagues at engineering departments at Caltech (Chemical Engineering and Electrical Engineering), whose needs required exactly the type of method we developed as a result of these interactions in Banff: use of commercial software for these problems had proven unsatisfactory, and our new methods provide the needed accuracy and efficiency. We have thus started three independent highly interesting collaborations as a result of the interactions initiated during the BIRS workshop. Additionally, participating students had a tremendous opportunity to meet and interact with some of the most active scientists in the field. In all, this was an extremely useful experience. Thank you so much for making it possible.

Oscar Bruno Applied and Computational Mathematics, California Institute of Technology

The workshop was the opportunity 1) To present a joint talk with my collaborator M. Costabel and to re-launch this project (Cosserat spectrum), after a good reception by the audience, 2) To meet and have scientific exchanges with J. Ovall, on adaptative eigenvector computations, 3) In connection with point 2), to build a benchmark page http://perso.univ-rennes1.fr/monique.dauge/schroedinger/benchmark.html

Monique Dauge IRMAR (Mathematics), University of Rennes 1, France
Jun 22 - Jun 24, 2012

The discussions outside of the lectures refocused me on certain key questions such as what are "points" in the Delta flat topology and what kind of lifting properties do we have in the differential setting. This was quite useful.

Ray Hoobler Mathematics, CUNY
Jun 17 - Jun 22, 2012

(1) I learned recent results on descriptive set theory and von Neumann algebras, and I found them quite interesting. Among others it was particularly nice to get to know logicians (Farah, Hart, and others) working on applying model theory to von Neumann algebras. I would like to keep discussing about this topic with them. I enjoyed talking with Andrew Toms on central sequence algebras and feel the different flavor of central sequences in C* context. (2) It was nice for me to have had an opportunity to talk in front of experts. It is definitely good for improving my presentation skills and getting to know experts in the relevant field. (3) I found talks on Polish groups quite interesting, and I would like to know more about them. I did not expect to hear such talks, because the workshop were only for set theory and some directly related analysis.

Hiroshi Ando Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University

The conference was not exactly in my field of research (which would be more on the set theory side), but it certainly allowed me to understand better what is currently done in operator algebras, and to meet some people from that field. I appreciated the effort that some of the speakers (not all) from functional analysis put into being understandable from the set theorists. On the other hand, quite a number of pretty close colleagues were also present. That allowed a good balance between discovery and discussions on more precise subject. The latter opened at least three seemingly very interesting research tracks, and will very likely impact my research very soon. All in all, that was a very pleasant stay, and if the results I expect from turn out to be confirmed, it will also have been a very profitable one.

Lionel Nguyen Van The Mathematics, University of Aix-Marseille

It was my second time attending a BIRS workshop and again I found the experience very enjoyable and extremely mathematically productive. The wide range of expertise of the workshop participants was a particular benefit of this meeting: I found the interactions with specialists in the structure theory of von Neumann algebras particularly useful, as well as learning significantly from experts in model theory and descriptive set theory. With Andrew Toms and Wilhelm Winter, I managed to make progress on the regularity conjecture for nuclear C*-algebras. We are currently preparing a paper on this topic in which it will be a pleasure to record our thanks to BIRS.

Stuart White School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Glasgow
Jun 10 - Jun 17, 2012

This was one of the best workshops that I have ever participated in. The format of having the day split into half the time lectures, the other half problems sessions made it possible to really absorb the material discussed in the lecture. In a typical workshop that I have participated in, having an opportunity to really understand the material has not necessarily been a given. This past week I have expanded my background of number theory into the realm of the methods to solve Diophantine equations. Any opportunity to broaden the scope of one's field is always valuable, especially in such a well structured workshop. I had the opportunity to meet a number of number theorists at this workshop, for the first time, which was really great.

Sarah Chisholm Mathematics, University of Calgary

In my PhD I am specializing in the modular approach to Diophantine equations which was one of the topics taught in the school. This way the summer school was very useful to me to get to know other techniques to solving Diophantine equations and to see how they interact with the modular approach. This was something that was already in my plans but this school allowed me to do it in a fast and systematic way. I also met several people I wouldn't have met otherwise and it is not that I had started a new collaboration during the school but I am sure that some collaboration will happen in the future. Also, I arrived two days earlier in order to meet with another mathematician that was in a BIRS workshop the previous week and stayed late in order for us to collaborate.

Nuno Freitas University of Barcelona

The content of the workshop was very relevant to my dissertation research. By participating in problem sessions and talking to the lecturers I got several new ideas to try on a problem I'm thinking about for my thesis. I met several people at the workshop which I'm very glad to have come in contact with, since we work on closely related subjects. I do expect to have future collaborations in research with some of them.

David Krumm Mathematics, University of Georgia

The workshop gave a good overview of the various tools that mathematicians use today to solve Diophantine equations. There were also exercises that helped us become comfortable using these tools. I gained a good perspective on how Diophantine equations can be solved, and I had a really good time.

Jonah Leshin Mathematics, Brown University

The workshop was great, with all of the talks being interesting and very helpful. The methods to solve Diophantine equations that were shown were all among the most powerful known today and it was nice to see them explained by some of the people that developed them. I believe the workshop will have a noticeable impact on my future research.

Filip Najman Department of Mathematics, University of Zagreb

The BIRS Summer School on Contemporary Methods for Solving Diophantine Equations was outstanding. I got more out of attending this summer school than any summer school or conference I have attended so far. The lectures were really interesting and well presented and the problems were challenging and very enjoyable. I learnt a lot by working on the problems in small groups and discussing the finer points of the lectures with other participants. The BIRS is the perfect location for such a summer school. The Banff Centre is very well set up and the surroundings are beautiful. Many thanks to the organisers for doing such a fantastic job and I hope there will be more events like this in the future.

Rachel Newton Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, Cambridge University

This BIRS summer school on Diophantine equations has been really fruitful for me. I do not work with Diophantine equations, so it was great learning all the modern methods to solve them in one place. The lectures were brilliant and beautifully interrelated. The problem sessions were challenging and it helped in absorbing the lecture materials. I also liked very much the idea of recording the lectures and it will certainly be useful for people who could not attend this summer school. The Banff Centre's hospitality has been awesome and I really thank all the organisers for all their efforts. The experience from Banff will definitely be helpful for my future research.

Soma Purkait Mathematics, University of Warwick
May 25 - May 27, 2012

I work on building algorithms to automate the design of integrated circuits (IC). Even though I am a practitioner, I use mathematical theories and have to follow the new developments in mathematics to be able to apply them in my work. The participation in this workshop had a significant impact on my research as I became familiar with the newest research in Robust optimization and also had time to discuss my issues with the best in the robust optimization field in the great mountain setting and I have two ideas to work on that I think will result in high quality publications. In addition, I met Dr. Bertsimas from MIT and Dr. Stephan Wild from Argonne National Laboratory. These new connections might result in collaborations in the future.

Laleh Behjat Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Calgary

I think the workshop has been well organized and serves well the needs of the optimization society. The value proposition of the workshop is well presented, where the panel discussion was very thought provoking. The workshop certainly provides a great start for researchers in optimization society to re-focus on the real value that robust optimization can bring to the industry. I benefit a lot from the workshop, seeing how the trend of robust optimization may evolve.

Jonathan Li Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto
May 20 - May 25, 2012

The following points made the meeting in Banff useful to me: 1) New contact with brilliant people I did not know before 2) New knowledge of the discipline I am interested in

Stefano Bianchini Professor
Mathematics, SISSA

It is a very nice meeting. We know the recent progress in the optimal transportation theory, in particular, its connection with differential geometry. During the conference, we have the chance to discuss with the colleagues the various applications. These would give the fresh ideas in some "old" problems...

Yuxin Ge Centre des Mathematiques, Universite Paris Est Creteil

It's a such wonderful workshop, the organizers has done a superb job. BIRS is always a great place for mathematicians exchanging and generating ideas. Myself this time benefited from the workshop, I and my collaborators worked out something we struggled for last two years. It was in Banff last week we were able to put all pieces together. Thank you again, BIRS!

Pengfei Guan Mathematics and Statistics, McGill University

I enjoyed most talks and fruitful discussions.

Shin-ichi Ohta Department of Mathematics, Kyoto Univesity

The participation has been particularly fruitful, with a significant impact on my current research.

Giuseppe Savare Mathematics, University of Pavia (Italy)

The workshop expose me to the most recent progress in the area of optimal transport. I get to know many experts in this area and problems that they are interested in.

Yi Wang Szego
Mathematics, stanford university
May 13 - May 18, 2012

The BIRS workshop will impact my research in many aspects. In addition to contribute to my current field of interest, it opened new possibilities along with new collaborations.

Fernando Duda Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

The workshop brought to my attention a new aspect of the mathematical treatment of turbulence that will be part of my research in the next future. Moreover, I had the opportunity to meet people who worked on fluid models with an approach complimentary to mine; with one of them I started a collaboration.

Giulio Giusteri Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington

This workshop gave me a chance to meet with many well-known people in this field. I discussed with these people about the future direction of my research and got great advices and comments from them. I think that I will have many new outcomes based on this workshop in the future.

Tae-Yeon Kim Mechanical Engineering, McGill University

The workshop stimulated me in continuing with the topic on which I gave a presentation and it gave me some useful directions of further research. The informal way in which the workshop was held is a very good way to stimulate interaction between the participants. There was ample time for discussions during and between the presentations. Since the presentations could also be followed by others through the video stream, I also got useful and stimulating comments from non-participants.

Hans Kuerten Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology

The BIRS workshop has been a great experience for me. I could present my latest research results to a group of people closely connected to it. This is not the case in many conferences. In this sense, I think it is a great idea to organize this kind of meetings. On the other hand, I met and shared experiences and impressions with people that I already knew but also with some others that I just knew by their names. So, for me this gathering has been a great opportunity to make new contacts. I am sure that this will positively influence my ongoing and future research.

F.Xavier Trias Connections Between Regularized and Large-Eddy Simulation Methods for Turbulence
Heat and Mass Transfer Technological Center, Technical University of Catalonia

It was great to know what the leading experts in the field are working on, and so the current hot topics. The station provides also a good working environment.

Gantumur Tsogtgerel Mathematics and Statistics, McGill University

I think that the Banff Centre is a magnificent institution which give great opportunities for people to refresh their minds in order to get re-inspired.

C.W.M. van der Geld Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology
May 06 - May 11, 2012

The workshop was an excellent opportunity to get more familiar with recent developments in my research area as well as with new interactions with other areas. It was an occasion to meet researchers from other areas that I did not know yet or that I just met once so far (at the meeting at BIRS in 2010) and to learn more about their work. I appreciated the fact that the workshop had a well defined focus, and I found that the average level of the talks was unusually high, both regarding contents and exposition.

Lidia Angeleri Huegel Dipartimento di Informatica - Settore di Matematica, Universita degli Studi di Verona

During this workshop, we have lots of interesting talks. Moreover, I talked to some colleagues, and the discussion helps me to solve a particular problem in my research. In the same time, I have the opportunity to ask problems to top researchers, like Professor Ringel and Krause, and so on.

Xiao-Wu Chen Professor
School of Mathematical Sciences, USTC Hefei

The subject of the workshop were links between representation theory, singularity theory and non-commutative algebraic geometry. The talks were especially chosen to relate at least two of these subjects. My own expertise is in singularity theory. I learned a lot about new connections, in particular to non-commutative algebraic geometry. This is a subject which I am not familiar with. I got useful insights into this subject and my attention was drawn to relations which I was not aware of. I found particularly interesting a talk of Kazushi Ueda where he gave an general picture of mirror symmetry throwing also a new light on my joint work with David Ploog. Important for my current research was also the fact that I met my coworker Atsushi Takahashi (Osaka) among the participants and we had the opportunity to discuss our ongoing research. I benefitted very much from the workshop and I hope that there will be another workshop of this kind in two years.

Wolfgang Ebeling Institut für Algebraische Geometrie, Leibniz Universität Hannover

The workshop was, like the years before, an excellent selection of talks from algebra and algebraic geometry. My private opinion was, that the workshop covered many new developments, that I took a lot of profit from, and also gave some introduction into recent important developments. In particular, the talks of Ragnar Buchweitz I should mention here. I hope that series will proceed and we can meet again in two years at this excellent place.

Lutz Hille Mathematisches Institut, University Münster

The workshop was very stimulating. I have learned many new ideas from people in various research fields. During the workshop, I was able to find a possible interactive project with people in another research field. I hope it will work!

Izuru Mori Department of Mathematics, Shizuoka University

This was my first experience as a participant of a workshop in BIRS. I met new people and talked to some well known figure (that I didn't really talked to previously) in my area. As a postdoctoral fellow, I even found some opportunities to extend my postdoc. for next year. The organizers gave me the opportunity to give a talk. I had some very constructive comments related to it. They will be useful in my current and future works.

Charles Paquette Mathematics and Statistics, University of New Brunswick
Apr 29 - May 04, 2012

The participation in the BIRS workshop has been very useful for me since I established new contacts and I discussed with experts about my current research projects.

Anna Fino Associate Professor
Matematics, Università di Torino

I did not think about calibrated geometry in Pseudo Riemannion case before the first talk in Banff and I believe some result of Blaine and me should also work for this case. It was a very exciting workshop which broadens my view of math much.

Yongsheng Zhang Graduate Student
Math Department, Stony Brook University
Apr 27 - Apr 29, 2012

It was an excellent website and I had lots of valuable ideas to use in the classroom. I am hoping to hold my first math fair next year in March. I will let you know how it goes.

Carla Taylor math, St.Edmund School
Apr 22 - Apr 27, 2012

The workshop definitely had a positive impact on my future research activities. I already have 3 PhD students taking up different aspects of research problems that are a direct result of my participation at this meeting.

Richard Davis Howard Levene Professor of Statistics
Statistics, Columbia University

The topic touches on fundamentals...how to deal with data that are incomplete or partially inaccessible...a challenging question. The opening sessions gave a very clear over view of the topic and indicated the challenges. The venue and the organization and the associations provided the essentials. There seems now from the workshop to be an essential resolution which was sketched in the final summary session, central to this is the BIRS workshop style and the BIRS organization.

Don Fraser Statistics, University of Toronto

It was great to meet so many people working in the relatively small field of composite likelihood methods. I think that the workshop was very successful in clarifying the progress that has been made in this subject over the past few years, and highlighting the large number of open questions that remain. I have written down pages and pages of new problems to think about, many of which hadn't occurred to me at all before I attended this workshop. As a PhD student I felt that I was treated no differently to the most well known and respected professors - everyone seemed to be judged not on who they were, but on what they had to say. With the reasonably small numbers, I think I got to talk to just about all of the other participants, many of whom had very interesting suggestions for new ways to tackle to problems I discussed in my talk. Thank you BIRS!

Helen Jordan Statistics, University of Warwick

The workshop was excellent in the sense that I met very interesting and influential people in my discipline but also got informed for ongoing research on the field. It also boosted new collaborations which I find very promising for the future!

Dimitris Karlis Associ. Professor
Dept of Statistics, Athens University of Economics and Business

This was my first scientific visit to BIRS and I thoroughly hope it will not be my last. I have nothing but admiration and the highest esteem for the organization, the concept, and the way everything is so efficiently run. Friendly staff, a stimulating natural and built environment do everything to inspire creativity, to use a tag line of the Banff Centre. The research interactions, formal and informal, will have a lasting impact on many people's scientific research, including mine. The Banff Centre, and BIRS as part of it, is the modern-day version of the most splendid concept of "desert" that scholars and monks alike sought in medieval times, and that can also be found in some traditional universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge. It reminded me of the "Chartreuse" in France, where the monks retreated in a superb natural environment to devote themselves to their most beloved activities. The Banff Centre has the additional advantage that the seclusion is wonderfully married with the proximity of downtown Banff. I am ever so grateful for a wonderful experience.

Geert Molenberghs Professor
I-BioStat, Hasselt University & Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Our workshop was outstanding, and I started at least one new project, and continued on two others. The talks were very good, there was lots of time for discussion, and we all felt we were making real contributions to an important area of research. My graduating PhD student got great exposure to the leaders in his area, which he found inspiring. Even better, he got some leads on postdoc opportunities that he would not have had. I met several old friends and made some new ones, and came home feeling intellectually enriched.

Nancy Reid Department of Statistics, University of Toronto

The workshop is very valuable to my current research. A nice collection of talks has updated me significantly the current status of the research progress on composite likelihood methods. With no doubts these heard new ideas, new methods, and new results will impact my pursuit in future research of composite likelihood methods. I am once again convinced that composite likelihood methods will continue to attract a good deal of attention in statistics and have profound impact in theory, methods and applications.

Peter Song Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan

I think this workshop could likely have a substantial impact on the diffusion of composite likelihood methods in statistics and related disciplines. I enjoy the talks and learn much about a diversity of applications of composite likelihood methods. Furthermore, the workshop gave me the opportunity to meet coauthors and discuss about ongoing and new projects.

Cristiano Varin Ph.D.
Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca’ Foscari University
Apr 15 - Apr 20, 2012

One thing that the workshop did was mix geometers and topologists. This was good for me (as a topologist) in two specific ways. I met my collaborator Fuquan Fang (a geometer from China). We put the finishing touches on a project and started a new one. I met and had interesting discussions with Claude LeBrun who suggested the problem of determining which 7-manifolds admit Einstein metrics. I have an ex-student (Diarmuid Crowley) who is the world's expert on the topology of 7-manifolds, and I will talk to him about this interesting mix of geometry and topology.

Jim Davis Mathematics, Indiana University

We had a great week at BIRS. Our report will fill you in on some of the new developments both from the talks (most are available on video), and from the lively discussions among the participants. Several of my own projects got a boost from talking to people at the meeting, so that was a bonus. This was the first time I experienced the new TCPL facility for the lectures. It is perfect, and the video recording produces a surprisingly good quality image and sound. As usual, the local organization by Brenda Williams and Brent Kearney was excellent.

Ian Hambleton Mathematics & Statistics, McMaster University

The BIRS workshop "Geometric structures on manifolds" was wonderful. As with all of my BIRS experiences, I came away from this workshop invigorated and with new mathematical perspective. This workshop, in particular, was great in that it introduced me both to people and to ideas with which I had little prior exposure. I was impressed by the speakers and the diversity of mathematics presented at the workshop. People made a real effort to communicate with mathematicians outside of their normal circles; a rare phenomenon at many conferences that I attend. As usual the organization, the food, the technology, and the accommodations were outstanding. BIRS is a truly special place.

Matthew Hedden Assistant Professor
Mathematics, Michigan State University

First thank you and the organizing committee for the invitation to the BIRS workshop. I enjoyed it a great deal both mathematically and environmentally. For me this is a extremely smooth conference from arriving at Calgary and leaving Calgary. The instruction is clear, on-time and short enough (so that we have patience to read it completely), this takes care of my arriving at and leaving my BIRS room. Since this is my first time to Banff, I like the format that all our food are taken care of so that we do not waste our time on this front. Another thing I like is that the noon time break is long so that we have time to mingle together. Mathematically I extremely like the diversity of the topics of talks and the quality of the talks, though I am a geometric analyst, I benefit from quite a few talks, in particular the talk by LeBrun on the classification of Einstein 4-manifolds with complex structure, the talk by Hillman on the homotopy type of geometric 4-manifolds, and the talk by Biquard on desingularizing Einstein orbifolds. I enjoyed the talk by Baldridge a lot. Out of talks I asked Bryant some questions about the deformation of G_2 manifolds. He also explained to a group of people about his on-going study of Bonnett theorem in affine spaces, I liked it. I also talked quite a bit of math with Fang. To me this is a very fruitful conference, I can not ask more from it. Here I want to say again, thank you and the other organizer and BIRS.

Peng Lu Mathematics, University of Oregon

As a participant, it was nice to have the talks restricted to 45 minutes. With that length, it's easier to pay attention. The facilities, scenery, and food were all magnificent. In terms of professional development and networking, I feel that my presence at these sorts of conferences is crucial. I already have a postdoc, but I will be moving overseas, so I need to form my North American connections now. The talks were very nice, and it was helpful to see several talks in the same subject area, namely Spin7/G2 manifolds. Most valuable were my interactions with other participants. I met several colleagues and big-name researchers, and caught up with several friends. I had many conversations which were very helpful. Foremost, I am currently working on a project about Chern-Simons theory, which was informed by my discussions with Paul Kirk and Matt Hedden. Also, I had a nice discussion with Robert Bryant regarding an identity I had discovered. The conference was very productive, smooth and enjoyable. I hope to return soon to BIRS!

Ben Mares Postdoctoral Fellow
Mathematics & Statistics, McMaster University

The workshop was a great place to meet people working in an area somewhat different from mine, but still related. I also had an opportunity to work with a colleague on a joint project that was conceived at another BIRS meeting last year.

Gordana Matic Mathematics, University of Georgia
Apr 08 - Apr 13, 2012

Attending the BIRS workshop "Open Dynamical Systems: Ergodic Theory, Probabilistic Methods and Applications" was a perfect opportunity for me to reacquaint myself with a subject that I worked on some years ago, and I found the meeting very inspiring, informing me about many aspects of the subject that I can't tell I was thoroughly aware of (such as the developments in numerical computation of spectra of transfer operators and the applications to metastable systems). For renewing contacts and forging new ones, these workshops are ideal, and it helps me in my activities as referee, journal editor and mathematician in general.

Henk Bruin Mathematics, University of Surrey

It a very interesting workshop. I met with many people working on similar problems as myself. I learned about new problems and some new results. I have a chance to talk to people I would not probably meet otherwise. Three of my former PhD students also attended, so it was great to meet with them. And Banff is a wonderful place. I greatly enjoyed the walk on the Sulphur Mountain.

Pawel Góra Dr
Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Concordia University

Many thanks also for the opportunity to stay and work at BIRS again. It is always a very enjoyable stay. As a matter of fact, the workshop initiated a collaboration with Kathrin Padberg-Gehle and Shane Ross and I am very excited about this. We are going to apply techniques on the detection of global bifurcations based on transfer operator techniques to fluid motion. We suspect that this might be a new way to, e.g., predict certain phenomena like vortex splitting and thus have interesting applications in weather forecasts.

Oliver Junge Center for Mathematics, Technische Universität München

The BIRS workshop 'Open Dynamical Systems: Ergodic Theory, Probabilistic Methods and Applications' offered the opportunity to become familiar with many recent results on topics in both abstract and applied ergodic theory. I think that without this opportunity it would have been very hard if not impossible to have gained a reasonable understanding of some of these latest results, which might influence my future research. Also, the workshop facilitated communication with the other participants. Although it is very hard to say a few days after the workshop, how many of the new ideas- my possible collaborators and I came up with during several conversations -will end up in publishable papers, I am very hopeful in this respect. Furthermore, some of these possible new collaborators, are researchers that I would have not been able to discuss at large with, otherwise. I am a postdoc and no, I do not think that the workshop influenced my job prospects. I think that the workshop made realize once more that there are many open questions in both abstract and applied ergodic theory that are worth exploring.

Dalia Terhesiu Dipartimento di Matematica, Università di Roma

Very nice workshop, lots of good talks with interesting differences in background, bravo. Banff is a wonderful place.

Serge Troubetzkoy Institut de Mathématiques de Luminy (UMR 6206)
Apr 01 - Apr 06, 2012

I have been to BIRS on several occasions, attending quite different programs on varying topics. BIRS has always offered a highly-stimulating intellectual environment, without fail. It was exactly that way this time, as well. However, this was the first time that I had organized a meeting in BIRS myself, and so I had a first chance to see more closely how the institute is run. It is truly an amazing undertaking, with wonderful, dedicated staff, in [as always] spectacular surroundings. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have been there. At the end of the conference, several people expressly told me how energized they felt about their research program. I too feel that way. Almost everyone that I spoke with told me how they found the new video technology truly remarkable [it truly is].

Davar Khoshnevisan Professor
Mathematics, University of Utah

My participation in the BIRS workshop was very helpful to my research. I learned about new developments and recent results, and I could discuss with major experts in the field in a very relaxing atmosphere.

David Nualart Professor
Mathematics, University of Kansas

The fact that the workshop's main subject was restricted to Stochastic Analysis and SPDEs made that almost all talks were very interesting and definitively provided me a fresh insight in the topic. I also had the opportunity to discuss with some of my current collaborators about our ongoing projects, some of which are related to the content of some of the workshop talks. In general, I found the workshop's format very convenient and it has positively influenced my research projects.

Lluís Quer-Sardanyons Mathematics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

I appreciate very much to listen to new problems related to the area in which I work. In particular I think to the problem of parabolic Anderson model that I was not familiar before. It has maybe helped a PhD student of mine to have a new significant contact.

Francesco Russo Unité de mathématiques appliquées, ENSTA-Paris Tech
Mar 30 - Apr 01, 2012

I like every aspect of this workshop. The level and areas of mathematics I had seen in this workshop is excellent.

Niushan Gao Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta

It was worthwhile for me. In particular, for doing more attractive works in visit other partners.

Omid Zabeti University of Alberta
Mar 25 - Mar 30, 2012

Attending this workshop was very helpful for my research. During the week I was able to spend time working on some examples with participants Geraschanko and Satriano which we hope will lead to a joint paper on integration on toric stacks. I was also able to meet Amalendu Krishna and learn about the use of A^1 homotopy techniques in cycle theory on stacks. This too looks like it may lead to a joint project. Finally, the conferenece gave me a chance to work with ongoing collaborators Jarvis and Kimura and an opportunity to present some of our joint work on $\lambda$-ring structures in orbifold K-theory. This is the second Banff conference I've attended. At the first conference in 2008 I met Jarvis and Kimura and we began a collaboration that continues to date. Once again, it looks like I'll be able to gain new collaborators by attending a Banff conference. I think that having participants share a dormitory and common meals definitely helps foster mathematical discussion.

Dan Edidin Mathematics, University of Missouri
Mar 18 - Mar 23, 2012

Thank you very much for the great job that was put forward by BIRS to make the workshop such a wonderful experience. I agree that the organizers put together a set of very interesting and stimulating topics. I indeed brought back several ideas that I plan to investigate in the next few months.

Jose Blanchet Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Columbia University

We had a fantastic workshop on Monte Carlo methods. The atmosphere is very conducive to discussions and planting the seeds for new research directions and projects. I am currently working on two ideas. They will however take time before they become publications.

Nando de Freitas Associate Professor
Department of Computer Science, University of British Columbia

As always, I fully enjoyed the privilege of attending a workshop at BIRS! If you do not mind, here are the links to my reflections on the meeting: http://xianblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/banff-worshop-birs-12w5105-meeting/; http://xianblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/banff-workshop-birs-12w5105-meeting-2/; http://xianblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/banff-workshop-birs-12w5105-meeting-3/; Once again, the organisation was flawless, the facilities beyond the reasonable, the new feature of videotaping the lectures brilliant (I have had several feedbacks from people who were NOT at the workshop), and the atmosphere at the workshop particularly congenial (a. everyone attended a. every talk and there were only two talks that I found superfluous). Incidentally, I took the opportunity of sleepless nights at BIRS to write the following http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.6249; although it is not related to the theme of the workshop.

Christian Robert CEREMADE, Universite Paris-Dauphine
Mar 11 - Mar 16, 2012

A lot of talks were very interesting and informative for me. I have met several people interested in the theory of Elliptic algebras (I worked at this theory during ten years, see Russ.Math.Surveys 57 (2002) 6 or arXiv:math/0303021 for a survey). I have made an informal talk for them and we had a lot of discussions. When I returned to elliptic algebras (preparing to my informal talk and during our discussions) I realized that there are some possible directions of research there and I plan to start these research.

Alexander Odesskii Dr.
Mathematics, Brock University

This conference was very influential for me to learn many subjects related to my area but not exactly the same area. In particular, results from a view of representation and non-compact symplectic varieties were impressive for me. Bedies these, I was happy to hear from Doctor Gunnar Magnusson (a participant) that my talk is also applicable to construct non-K\"ahler manifolds of intertesting nature. This was very impressive for me, as I never thought about applications in such directions.

Keiji Oguiso Professor
Graduate School of Science, Departmenrt of Mathematics, Osaka University
Mar 04 - Mar 09, 2012

The conference enabled me to continue some collaborations in progress and made me aware of some new work that is closely related to things I had done years ago on the C(alpha) spaces and may lead to additional results. In addition I was able to talk to a prospective postdoc, Dosev, and we subsequently completed arrangements for him to spend next year in Stillwater.

Dale Alspach Professor
Mathematics, Oklahoma State University

The workshop kept me up to date with a field of research close to mine. I had new contacts that I wouldn't have had otherwise. Feedback about my talk helped me improve a paper.

Florent Baudier Visiting Assistant Professor
Mathematics, Texas A&M University

During the workshop, I had an idea for a proof that originated a paper that is almost ready now (tentatively entitled "A new proof of Pietsch's composition theorem"). Also, a question after my talk made me realize a result that followed from what I already had. Moreover, another comment made me aware of the fact that I was looking at a situation well understood in categorical Banach space theory; I am now in the process of incorporating these categorical methods into my research. Thanks to the workshop, I got invited to give a talk at another conference. I don't think this would have happened if I had not been there.

Javier Alejandro Chavez Dominguez Graduate Student
Department of Mathematics, Texas A&M University

The workshop gave an impulse to my current research, essentially by talking with people I already collaborated with, as well as opening possibilities of organizing future events with some people I met at the workshop.

Valentin Ferenczi Mathematics, Universidade de São Paulo

I would like to thank you and the organizers of BIRS 12w5019 for doing an outstanding job on organizing this workshop. It is perhaps the best conference, evaluating facilities, attendance and scientific program, I've ever attended. Best regards,

Ioannis Gasparis Mathematics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

I learned that a problem I was very much interested in on commutators had been solved by Matt Tarbard. Since he did not know that his example solved the problem, it was good that I was in the audience when he spoke. I was struck by the depth in the development of the infinite dimensional theory. Due to the work of the Argyros and Odell-Schlumprecht schools, we have a completely different picture of the structure of general Banach spaces than we had a few years ago. It was gratifying to see how many good young people are working in the field.

Bill Johnson Department of Mathematics, Texas A&M University

1. I worked on current projects with current coauthors. 2. I discussed possible future projects with recent coauthors. 3. Most importantly, I met new people with whom I discussed possible future projects. 4. The whole atmosphere was very inspiring.

Denka Kutzarova Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

I found the workshop very inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable. There was a good mix between people specializing in various directions of Banach space theory. I definitely made some new connections and learnt some new results relevant for my ongoing research.

Niels Laustsen Mathematics and Statistics, Lancaster University

The workshop was excellent in every way. The talks were of very high quality. I was introduced to the latest directions in research in Banach space theory. I also had the chance of interacting with colleagues to discuss possible joint projects.

Denny Leung Mathematics, National University of Singapore

In general, my participation in the BIRS workshop has only had a positive impact upon me, in every aspect. Indeed, i was given the chance to get more familiar with fields i was not involved in so far, as well as offered the opportunity to become better informed about methods and results concerning my main field of study. Since i am a young researcher, the workshop was an excellent way for me to meet other researchers, young and more experienced alike, which led to various scientific discussions, offering the prospect of new collaborations and papers. Since i still have a few years ahead of me in order to obtain my Ph.d, my job prospects may not be a matter of primary concern to me, nevertheless i believe that coming in touch with all these members of the scientific community will have a positive influence on this aspect in the future.

Pavlos Motakis Mathematics, National Technical University of Athens

The workshop was very fruitful for my current and future research, thanks to new methods I got more familiar with during the workshop and new research projects which I started there - also in collaboration with other participants. I appreciate very much the talks delivered during the workshop as well as the possibility of discussion with other researchers I don't have opportunity to meet often.

Anna Pelczar-Barwacz Institute of Mathematics, Jagiellonian University

The participation in the workshop was very stimulating for me. I learned about new advances in the field. In particular, after the talk of Christian Rosendal, I realized that his new joint paper with Ferenczi is related to my old work on isometries. I started a new cooperation with Steve Dilworth and we expect to answer some of the problems described by Ferenczi and Rosendal in their paper (some of these questions are quite old, but the new approach of Ferenczi and Rosendal shed very good light on them). Without coming to the workshop it is highly unlikely that I would have known about this modern approach and that I would contribute to the solutions of these problems. I expect that Steve Dilworth and I will have a paper about this coming out in the fall. I also had a chance to discuss another research project with Gideon Schechtman and Bill Johnson. This project was not directly related to the theme of the workshop, but it was a great opportunity to meet and be able to discuss the problem in person. This will also lead to a joint publication with Gideon Schechtman. Seeing many young people at the conference was very valuable to me as a member of the hiring committee at my department. We may be able to offer some temporary positions to some people I met at the workshop, this is still uncertain in the present economic situation, but I am working towards it.

Beata Randrianantoanina Mathematics, Miami University

This was a splendid conference,one of the best I've ever been to, and I've been to a lot! All of the talks were at an exceptionally high level,and well illustrated the great diversity in our field of research-hats off to the organizers! Informal discussions ,some with people I'd never met, produced very stimulating questions and new directions of research. In particular, i'd like to mention the following questions which emerged during the workshop. Let X be a separable Banach space with the bounded approximation property. Is the double dual of the space of compact operators on X non-separable? An affirmative answer would show there cannot be a reflexive Banach space with the approximation property such that every operator on it is compact + scalar multiple of the identity. But here is an approach,which in any case points to a new fundamental object associated with this problem. Suppose X has a monotone basis,and let Se denote the space of sequences tending to zero,which act as bounded operators on the basis by multiplication,endowed with the operator norm. A beautiful argument shown me by Ted Odell shows that every sequence tending to 0, of bounded variation belongs to Se. Is Se^** non-separable? Even if one could simply show that Se is not quasi-reflexive, the above mentioned problem about reflexive spaces would have a negative answer. The conference greatly helped me crystallize my thinking concerning the Invariant Subspace problem, Although I believe i am close to a negative solution to the Hyper-Invariant subspace problem (for Hilbert space), I understood during the conference that results I've already obtained yield a new direction in research in classical harmonic analysis,of independent interest. Furthermore, i discovered formulations of a "suitable" class of Banach spaces for which my ideas would work,if they carry through for Hilbert space itself. Finally, I started a joint project with a young guy from Canada,concerning the following open problem If an operator on a complex Banach space has the unit circle as it's spectrum,but no point spectrum,does it have a log? i conjecture that my recently discovered weighted invertible bilateral shift is a counterexample. Of course the organizers created a marvelous,warm atmosphere during the entire conference. a most enjoyable and highly stimulating experience!

Haskell Rosenthal John T Stuart IIi Centennial Professor of Mathematics Emeritus
Department of Mathematics, University of Texas at Austin

My participation helped established a new cooperation on a paper to be written. This collaboration would most probably have taken place also without the conference but it would have been much more time consuming and painful. I think the participation of my postdoc, Detelin Dosev, (and of Dale Alspach, Bill Johnson and myself) helped him secured a job at Oklahoma State University next year.

Gideon Schechtman Mathematics, Weizmann Institute

The Banach space conference was excellent and I had the opportunity to learn about new developments and talk with mathematicians I haven't met before. I also worked with a colleague present at the conference on a project of common interest and we arranged to meet again over the summer to continue our collaboration. The setting of the conference, the organization, accommodations, facilities, are all very very good.

Adi Tcaciuc Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Grant MacEwan University

I enjoyed the Banach space workshop enormously. The program was mathematically exceptionally strong with a number of very deep and difficult results on constructions of some special spaces with very few bounded operators and on related structures in arbitrary Banach spaces or in algebras B(X). Several "more fundamental" general lectures presented perspectives (and some technicalities) of the theory of infinite-dimensional Banach spaces in the last several years and pointed out directions for the future. These lectures were complemented by shorter technical talks illustrating concrete recent results and methods, given by a number of obviously very talented researchers of younger generation. Most of talks were on a highest scientific level, and all were interesting. I could not pick talks to miss would I want to "play hooky" so as a result I attended all of them (!). To tell the truth this was quite an unusual experience for me. I discussed that with some other "senior" friends and we were all very impressed especially by a quality and a number of young people in the area. I was happy to see breakthrough developments of recent years, especially the construction of Argyros and Haydon which has as a starting point Bourgain--Delbaen's space from the late 1970's. In Banff i started to understand some other potential ideas closer to my own research. It was a very stimulating meeting.

Nicole Tomczak-Jaegermann Department of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta

The workshop: Banach space theory did have positive impact on my current research. There were several new results about closed ideals and commutators of operators on certain Banach spaces. These are the topics I am currently working on. I also got to know some people working on Banach space theory from Europe whom I never met before.

Bentuo Zheng University of Memphis
Feb 26 - Mar 02, 2012

I had conversations with Vern Paulsen, Marius Junge, Benoit Collins, Toby Cubitt, Matt Hastings and Andreas Winter that I want to follow up on. It's too early to know if these will lead to new results, but Vern and Marius told me about areas of math that are far enough outside of what I normally do that it would be very interesting if a new connection were made. Also, I mentioned an open problem and Matthias Christandl came up with a partial solution to it. And I made some small progress on an open problem of Magdalena Musat and Uffe Haagerup, and helped simplify a result of Carlos Palazuelos. In general, the workshop left me with some small concrete new pieces of knowledge, and a large number of promising directions that I want to pursue. Overall, a great way to spend a week!

Aram Harrow Computer Science, Univerity of Washington

My time at BIRS was great. The workshop brought together people in operator theory and quantum information theory. I am a quantum information theorist, so this was a great chance to learn about some problems in operator theory that are closely related to quantum information theory. I have to admit that I learned about and started thinking about one of the biggest open problems in operator theory, the Connes embedding conjecture. To be honest with myself, I probably have very little chance of making progress on this conjecture, since it has been such an outstanding problem in operator theory. However, since I learned about it, and further learned about various related conjectures in quantum information theory and about how to cast the embedding conjecture as a certain natural problem in information theory, I have been very interested in this problem and it has captured my attention. So, perhaps something good will come out of this---unlikely, but if it does it will be very nice! I also had a chance to present some topics that I am working on, and got some outstanding feedback from different perspectives than I am used to. This has already benefitted my thoughts on these problems, and some of the insights from my discussions at BIRS will likely benefit a paper that should be finished fairly soon. The organization was outstanding in every aspect. The venue is excellent, the rooms are great for discussion and the TCPL is a wonderful spot.

Matthew Hastings Duke University

The workshop was very important to me, and I think also to Gdansk group of quantum information. Thanks to the workshop I have become aware about a rapidly growing sub-community of quantum information that uses powerful mathematical tool to solve problems that have been so far intractable by our community, including myself. If I did not participate in the workshop, I might have not noticed this big trend for quite a while, which would seriously affect me and my group. I have realized that I have to learn these techniques, and also I have actually treated this workshop as a first course, asking all the time, more or less stupid questions, trying to get as much as possible. I am going now to invite several people that presented their results during the workshop to my group, so that we can learn more. I feel, that this workshop will prove very fruitful for several projects, which our group in Gdansk have are just starting. I am therefore extremely grateful to BIRS as well as the organizers of the workshop.

Michal Horodecki Prof
University of Gdansk

The workshop remains an important condensing point (and is quite unique for the operator algebra QI interaction), and initiates or boosts a lot of collaboration, I had lots of important talks lat week. I will make sure we mention the workshop in resulting papers.

Marius Junge Mathematics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

As on previous occasions, this BIRS workshop was a hugely pleasant and intellectually stimulating experience. I got some nice ideas to take away from it, on which I'm working now. I found particularly useful the "open problems" session, during which I posed a question, and was delighted to learn some of those of my colleagues. I think the whole thing was a great success and helped bringing two sub-communities closer together, with potentially significant impact in the future.

Andreas Winter Mathematics, University of Bristol
Feb 19 - Feb 24, 2012

Just to let you know that the program was very successful and stimulating for my research. I hope there will be other such opportunities for Combinatorics on Words. I thank you for all the work you do.

Francine Blanchet-Sadri Computer Science, University of North Carolina Greensboro

This workshop certainly inspired my research. Most participants shared their work in progress stressing open problems they feel important and directions they hope promising. I appreciate the informal atmosphere which allowed people to speak about topics where they do not have any tangible results (yet), which is usually not possible on conferences. The workshop helped me to clarify several subject areas suitable for Ph.D. students. I have met people with whom I had been considering some long term research goal for some time, therefore this helped to move them a step forward. Finally, I got involved in one or two new open problems during the workshop.

Stepan Holub Department Of Algebra, Charles University of Prague
Feb 12 - Feb 17, 2012

This workshop allowed me to discuss my research with other mathematicians interested in similar topics. I am shifting the direction of my research slightly as a result of the many talks and informal discussions I had with my colleagues at BIRS.

Anna Marie Bohmann Boas Assistant Professor
Mathematics, Northwestern University

This was a very focused workshop, and the level of the discussion was unusually constructive and to the point. I learned much that I did not know and which would not have been uncovered with a broader thematic coverage. This will surely affect my future research in many ways.

Bjorn Dundas mathematics, University of Bergen
Feb 12 - Feb 17, 2012

Participation in the BIRS workshop was extremely helpful for me. Being an outsider to the field of left-orderability helped to make me aware of the important questions and gave me some new ideas to think about. Furthermore, I was able to meet many new mathematicians that I had not met before and was thus able to learn a great deal of new things from them; there was also a lot of opportunity to speak more with people I had already met - it was particularly helpful to have so many of them all in the same place! I also started a new project with someone based on the discussions that were facilitated at BIRS, which seems quite promising.

Tye Lidman Mathematics, UCLA

Yes, the BIRS workshop was very productive for me. In my talk, I said slightly jokingly, no doubt Dave Witte Morris (one of the participants) should be able to finish this off using his techniques. However Dave made a very clever comment in my talk, and then we got together and finished the problem off. I believe we have proved a significant result, which we wouldn't have done without the workshop. At this time I'm writing a joint paper with Dave.

Peter Linnell Mathematics, Virginia Tech
Feb 12 - Feb 17, 2012

Great chance to exchange ideas with other experts. Several new ideas and probable collaborations. Many of my (former) students and postdocs were there and gained a lot from the experience.

Peter May Professor
Mathematics, University of Chicago
Feb 12 - Feb 17, 2012

The workshop brought together around the orderable groups people from different fields ranking from low dimensional topology to algorithmic group theory, through the dynamical systems. The quality of the lectures as well as the conversations among the participants were exceptional from my point of view. It is a bit early to say how this workshop will influence my research. The only concrete fact in this direction is a draft of collaboration with Cristobal Rivas. However, the amount of information I learned from the lectures and the conversations as well as the new contacts I made during the week will definitively help me in my research, but I cannot predict how and when.

Luis Paris Professor
IMB, UMR 5584, Université de Bourgogne

We had an extremely productive meeting. Although I was originally concerned that we had only a half workshop, I now realize that it was in many ways an advantage to have a more intimate group. We had a very good mix of old hands, younger mathematicians and graduate students -- female experts and persons from as far as Japan, France and Chile. Even less than a week after the workshop, I know of at least two publications which are direct results of collaboration last week at BIRS -- by Dave Morris (http://arxiv.org/abs/1202.4716) and Patrick Dehornoy (still in progress). Other people collaborated in small groups working on aspects of the subject of our meeting, between talks an in the evenings. For myself, I spent virtually every free hour in a new collaboration with the Harvard grad student Thomas Koberda on an open problem regarding the space of orderings of a free group (not yet solved, but we're still hard at work on it). I would like to thank the staff at BIRS for helping to create an environment in which mathematicians can maximize their research interaction. It was such a pleasure!

Dale Rolfsen Professor
University of British Columbia
Feb 05 - Feb 10, 2012

This was a very productive workshop for me, leading to new results, a new collaboration that I expect will lead to a paper, and learning about a result very closely related to something I had recently done with a lot of potential for cross-pollination.

James Aspnes Professor of Computer Science
Department of Computer Science, Yale University

Being at BIRS was a wonderful experience: The wonderful surroundings, the convenient facilities, and the warm hospitality of the staff has made the stay very comfortable. (Similar thanks go to the Banff centre staff, in the recreation facilities and the dining room.) For me it was first and foremost an opportunity to catch up on interesting research in my area. But it was also an opportunity to create new research: With 11 of my collaborators attending the workshop, I could make progress on several papers that I am writing (in one case, a presentation of the work by one of my coauthors has helped to find new applications). I also had a chance to describe some fresh results to relevant researchers and get their feedback. Finally, I got started on one or two new research directions.

Hagit Attiya The Technion

I formed new collaborations during the workshop and started working on two new projects with researchers I met there. In addition, I gained new insights about several topics that were discussed, which will definitely impact my research.

Keren Censor-Hillel CSAIL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This was an extremely productive workshop for me, maybe more so than almost any other workshop I've been involved in. The workshop was not quite in my area, though I have expertise in general randomized techniques. I was able to get feedback and encouragement from experts on shared memory computation on some half-baked ideas that I came with. An expert in this area whom I had never really talked to joined me and a couple of others in a collaboration which extended one of those ideas and will likely lead to a publication. On another idea, I received encouragement to publish and names of people to contact who might know more about the problem. Finally, working there with someone I often collaborate with, we came up with ideas which I think can be used to solve a major open problem.

Valerie King Professor
Department of Computer Science, University of Victoria
Feb 05 - Feb 10, 2012

My participation in the workshop had a very concrete impact on my research. Indeed, at this workshop I began a collaboration with Luc Devroye on a problem related to my talk. This resulted in some new research that has now been submitted to a journal, and which can be found on the arxiv http://arxiv.org/abs/1202.5945.

Pat Morin School of Computer Science, Carleton University
Jan 29 - Feb 03, 2012

I worked closely with Chris Laskowski on a continuing project related to my talk and made significant progress. The talks of Kim and Scow helped clarify a further paper I am working on. The paper of Hils may resurrect a project that has been on the back burner. Discussions with Tanevic and Haskell were helpful with my editorial responsibilities with the Bulletin of Symbolic Logic. Many other talks provided inspiration and insight that should be helpful in the future.

John Baldwin Professor, Emeritus
Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science, University of Illinois at Chicago

On February 2009 when a similar Classification theory (model theory) Workshop was help at BIRS, I talked with Dr. John Goodrick for the first time. Then we promised to start a research project together. Some months after, he and I and Alexei Kolesnikov met together and started a research project: A category theoretical understanding of model theoretic amalgamation. This project was very successful and resulted as a joint paper accepted in Israel Journal of Mathematics. The project was continued and we are now developing model theoretic homology theory connected with our earlier work. We already submit our some 70 page homology paper, and continue to work on extending the results in the paper. All these fruition began with the mentioned BIRS Worshop. Moreover in the new BIRS Workshop (Neostability theory), I and John met again, and we work and talk together. On Thursday evening in the lounge, we finally resolve the problem how to compute the higher homology group of a canonical higher groupoid. This is a big jump toward the study on computing higher homology groups and on solving our related conjectures. We express our deep thanks to the meeting organizers and BIRS administrators and staffs who support all this happening. Finally I want to mention the following. During the workshop, Dr. Joon Kim (who graduated in 2011 under my supervision) gave a talk. Many audience including scholars from Bogota, Colombia seemed impressed by his talk. And I just received an email from Joon Kim that he will get an official postdoc offer from Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia. This is a great help as well to the beginning-stage Korean logic community. Joon Kim is the first Ph. D. ever produced in South Korea specialized in mathematical logic. So his success as a research scholar is crucial in growing Korean logic community.

Byunghan Kim Professor
Mathematics, Yonsei University

First of all many thanks for giving me the opportunity to take part in this conference, in such a beautiful, inspiring and well organized environment. It gave me the opportunity to have constructive talks with at least two people coming from very far away, which is not always as successful when writing emails. It also allowed me to meet new researchers having close interests to mine, which could be a first step towards future projects. Of course, it also permitted to have an up to date overview of what people are looking at in my field of research : I did learn a lot.

Cédric Milliet mathematics, Galatasaray Üniversitesi
Jan 22 - Jan 27, 2012

Thank you so much for having me to BIRS for this workshop. The talks were excellent and the workshop was very well organized. The Banff Centre is a fantastic place to have this type of conference, and I will definitely highly recommend it to others, as well as hopefully attending or organizing future workshops myself! Thanks again very much for you wonderful hospitality.

Alethea Barbaro Mathematics, UCLA

Thank you very much for organising these fantastic workshops at BIRS. I had a great time in Banff last week. I have learned about new mathematical models in my field, I have met great researchers (such as Prof. Jose Carillo de la Plata - whom I would have not met otherwise), and started a possible collaboration (and a possible paper). BIRS is a fantastic place to do research (to start new projects, to establish new contacts, ...). I was honoured to be invited to attend this workshop, and I am already looking forward to my next visit at BIRS.

Raluca Eftimie Mathematics and Statistics, McMaster University

This workshop was addressed very timely and interesting problems and is certainly going to have significant impact on my future research. It served excellently in forming closer relations with key players of the field I had hardly opportunity to meet otherwise.

Klemens Fellner Institute for Mathematic and Scientific Computing, University of Graz

I was one of the few engineers among mathematicians and researchers from other fields working on the topic of swarms or multi-particle systems with local and non-local interactions. I learned a lot about the view and aspect researchers from other fields have. It helped me form new ideas for expanding my current research. I also had the opportunity to communicate our results and views. I believe that it was a very useful interaction.

Veysel Gazi Professor
Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Istanbul Kemerburgaz University

It was a very nice and interesting workshop. I particularly enjoyed hearing about the work of up-and-coming junior people. A junior colleague (postdoc) and I also started a new collaboration with one of the participants.

Joceline Lega Professor
Mathematics, University of Arizona
Jan 15 - Jan 20, 2012

I was very fortunate to attend the BIRS workshop on interactive information theory. As a computer scientist I don't usually get to interact with information theorists and electrical engineering researchers. This workshop provided me with such an opportunity. I have been working on applications of information theory in the field of computational complexity -- a subarea of computer science. The workshop has really impacted my research agenda in two ways. It exposed me to new ideas from information theory, which allowed me and my students to make progress on the problems we have been working on. At the same time, it made me aware of the problems and challenges in information theory to which the techniques we have been developing can be applied. I hope BIRS will hold another workshop in this area in the future years.

Mark Braverman Computer Science, Princeton University and University of Toronto

The workshop was very beneficial in getting people from related fields together. This is valuable to our community as it created a better awareness of the specific problems people are currently addressing, and available mathematical methods to address these problems. It also gave me an opportunity to meet and exchange with new researchers in my area. This too is of great value. I think that the BIRS workshop will have a definite impact on the research in our area (interactive information theory). It may take a few months or a couple of years for the seeds planted during the workshop to come to fruition.

Jean-Francois Chamberland Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University

The wonderful BIRS Workshop on Interactive Information Theory (Jan 16-20, 2012) afforded several intellectual benefits. I met and learned of the research of several computer scientists who work on areas related to my own but who normally do not attend the same meetings as I do. The tutorial lectures organized by Profs. Devroye, Khisti and Blake, as part of the Workshop program, were very useful. Several new and exciting ideas were discussed. My student, Himanshu Tyagi, gave a well-received one-hour tutorial which, I think, will have a beneficial impact on his future career in academia.

Prakash Narayan Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Maryland

This has been perhaps one of the three best scientific gatherings I have ever been to. The small number of selected participants and the focused topic provided opportunity for intensive discussions. After this workshop there is a potential for at least 3-4 new collaborations, which is excellent and rare in other conferences.

Petar Popovski Professor
Electronic Systems, Aalborg University
Jan 08 - Jan 13, 2012

The participants, and the organisers in particular, have really appreciated the BIRS experience. The organizational help we received and the facilities and location were all outstanding, and allowed us to concentrate on the meeting goals and scientific discussions. We are currently in the process of gathering all the material of the discussions/talks into the basis of our report which we look forward to sending to you in due course. Please pass on our sincere thanks to the BIRS team.

Lloyd Hollenberg University of Melbourne

We really enjoyed organising the workshop with BIRS. The organisational help we received was outstanding and made it easy to setup the workshop. The facilities at BIRS are excellent, very well suited for such a workshop. So overall we were able to concentrate on the science instead of lots of administrative issues. I believe the workshop brought together scientists working on different approaches towards quantum devices, which triggered quite a few new directions to explore. We are currently in the process of compiling the report describing the overall results in far more detail.

Frank Langbein School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University
Dec 11 - Dec 16, 2011

The conference was wonderful. I found out about a new model for dynamic networks that my student and I will examine this semester. I also got caught up on several areas that I had not followed closely for the last few years.

David Banks Professor
Statistics, Duke University

The reception some of my ideas got has motivated me to work faster on some of them with a view towards publication. They are joint work with a PhD student so I'm hopeful it will help his career as well. Certainly, I made new contacts (I even got invited to be an AE for a journal!) and kept up with developments in the work of some people I follow. Of particular note is that one researcher gave a talk and I didn't know she was working in that area (longitudinal) so I have asked her to read over a section of a review paper I'm working on and she agreed. That will be helpful to me. The workshop left me with the overwhelming feeling that sparsity issues, which were a major topic of the talks, has been pushed about as far as it can be. It told me we need new ideas since we've hit the limit of the old ones. This is particularly true in the statistical side of data mining and machine learning. I think I saw some glimmers of new ideas that might become important in the future, especially predictive criteria ...but only time will tell. I think we need another conference!!!

Bertrand Clarke Medicine, University of Miami

My research recently stalled and this workshop was a lifesaver! It was very stimulating to meet with other people in my research area and to hear what they are doing. I'm now much more enthusiastic about some of my ongoing projects and thinking about new ones. This is quite a small research area and it's easy to feel isolated and somewhat alienated from the mainstream of the discipline. A small workshop is ideal for bringing potential collaborators together and renewing existing ones.

Adele Cutler Mathematics and Statistics, Utah State University

The workshop was small enough for me to get to know all the participants in person. It was interesting that some presenters are using the same datasets with mine, taking different approach to research to a different finding. I could also hear a presentation which supports our methodologies. In summary, the workshop was very motivating for me to proceed my research in this field.

Yumi Kondo Statistics, The University of British Columbia

I saw several talks that change how I think about topics I will teach. I also got some good research ideas that I started following up on while on the trip home. In addition I met some up and coming Canadian statisticians that I expect to keep in touch with over the years.

Art Owen Professor
Statistics, Stanford University

The conference is great. Talks are interesting and I learned a lot. I like small conference like this one so that participants can interact well with each other.

Yichao Wu North Carolina State University

I am very pleased I was invited to participate of this workshop. The level of the talks and interaction with colleagues were excellent. For example, Matias, Yumi, and I had very nice discussions with Alejandro Murua (from U. of Montreal) We believe we started a very nice future collaboration. I also had fruitful discussions with other participants including Steven Wang and Bert Clarke. The facilities and accommodations were outstanding. Thank you VERY MUCH.

Ruben Zamar Statistics, University of British Columbia

The program was excellent and all of the talks were of high quality. A lot of fresh ideas were conveyed and exchanged during the workshop. I liked that all the talks were plenary, so that I would not worry about missing any of them! I truly enjoyed the communications after the talks, informal chats in the evening, and conversations with other participants during the meals. Actually, some new research ideas came up over my conversation with a speaker, and we started the collaborations now. Statistical learning is an important research area under rapid development. This workshop was just on time. It was at a proper scale, making it very easy for participants to talk with each other for a long time.

Helen Zhang Associate Professor
Mathematics, University of Arizona
Dec 04 - Dec 09, 2011

Actually, I've been to BIRS twice. The first was in March 2010. There was a little hike up Tunnel Mountain with Philip Candelas that led after dinner to some scribbling on napkins. A year and a half later, I was there again for the Hodge theory and string duality workshop, and during that week the finished paper went on the arXiv. A lot of work took place in between, of course - but it was nice to have both bookends firmly rooted in the Canadian Rockies.

Ron Donagi Department of Mathematics, University of Pennsylvania
Dec 04 - Dec 09, 2011

The BIRS workshop last week was indeed useful and stimulating. It is wonderful that BIRS is able to sponsor this sort of interdisciplinary research that spans art and math. There was a great mix of folks with varying backgrounds and we all gained enormously from the interactions. I made a number of new contacts, learned of many references to follow up on, and came back with interesting new ideas to pursue. So I expect the workshop will have a significant impact on my work both as a mathematical artist and as a designer of The Museum of Mathematics, which will open next year in New York City. I should mention that the workshop organizers were fantastic. They invited a great set of researchers and kept things moving very well. Everyone had opportunities to present and interact. In addition, the facilities at BIRS are just ideal for this kind of work. The meeting rooms, the Corbett Hall lounge and hotel rooms, the cafeteria, and the wider Banff Center facilities leave no room for complaint. Finally, I must give the highest praise to Brenda Williams, who went beyond the call of duty again and again to arrange for our special needs. It is such a pleasure to work with her. Her energy and good will are outstanding. Thank you BIRS!

George W. Hart Museum of Mathematics

Our BIRS workshop was incredibly useful to me. Example outcomes include: - Initiated a joint paper with two of my colleagues from the workshop - Am currently writing a proposal with another colleague from the workshop (Although we have collaborated before, we had not thought to write this proposal before talking at the workshop.) - Got new data to work on from another colleague at the workshop - Have proposed collaborating on an educational project to try to teach math to high school students using the ideas of stylometry of art with yet another colleague from the workshop - Am leaving feeling more inspired than I have in a long time Thanks for your support for our wonderful workshop!

Shannon Hughes Assistant Professor
Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder

The impact for my research will probably be very important: meetings with people I had not met previously, who will potentially be new collaborators, and also new ideas for research that popped up after discussions. The very unusual mixture in this meeting (mixing people from maths and from arts) was also very enriching. BIRS is an unique place for this type of meetings: I have not seen such experiments elsewhere, and I hope that the experience will be renewed, and the idea will be picked by other conference centers! My warmest thanks for this very special and exciting meeting!

Stephane Jaffard professor
Mathematics, Université Paris est Créteil
Dec 04 - Dec 09, 2011

Thank you very much for your good support. Although the outside temperature was low for me, I felt warm. I enjoyed the lectures of course. I also enjoyed the talks and discussions in the restaurant and in the residence. They were stimulating. Thank you very much again. Please give my best regards to all your staff.

Sampei Usui Mathematics, Osaka University
Dec 04 - Dec 09, 2011

The BIRS workshop will be very important to my current research. It offers fresh insights in the intersection between math and art, an area that not many people are working on but has high societal significance. By looking at what others in this interdisciplinary field are doing, I will be able to better determine future directions. I have got new contacts that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

James Wang Professor
College of Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State University and NSF

This workshop was a huge success, and every participant has come to us and said it. It was easily the best workshop I had gone to, mainly because of the diverse participants. The workshop has focused on arts and mathematics, as the title has suggested. In the end we have gathered a number of mathematicians whose research areas are in art stylometry, and a few others whose research focuses on art generation. There are also three participants whose work focuses on music and mathematics. In all, all the talks showed a good balance of mathematics and arts. The interaction was unbelievable, and it was so much better by the beautiful surrounding and great food!

Yang Wang Mathematics, Michigan State University
Nov 27 - Dec 02, 2011

The opportunity to gather together a few dozen researchers is priceless. I am employed at a university with no other researcher in my area and so these opportunities to collaborate with and learn from my colleagues is immensely important.

Glencora Borradaile Assistant Professor
School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Oregon State University

On behalf of my co-organizers, I would like to thank you and the staff at BIRS for all the great work you (and they) did before and during the workshop. Based on our own experience and the feedbacks we have received from the participants it was a great workshop and everything went very smoothly. People liked the venue, the rooms were excellent, the food was very good, and the staff (in particular Brenda) made sure everything was going well. I am not sure we could have had asked for anything more. I The workshop provided an excellent opportunity for many participants to do research collaboration and many of my colleagues liked this workshop so much that they have suggested we should do this again. And that's what we plan to do in a few years; hopefully this time we can organize it in a warmer time of year :-) Once again, we thank you, Wynne, and other BIRS staff for giving us this opportunity.

Mohammad R. Salavatipour Computing Science, University of Alberta

This workshop was outstanding. It fused ideas from complexity theory lower bounds, and algorithmic upper bounds very nicely. Top attendees and a couple real surprises (some significant and surprising new results, ef Chuzhoy and Moscovitz's lectures). I cannot think offhand how this could have been done better.

Bruce Shepherd Professor
Mathematics and Statistics, McGill University
Nov 20 - Nov 25, 2011

As a researcher working on black holes, BIRS workshop has had very positive impact on my research. I was introduced to some of the hottest research topics by very renowned black hole physicists. Discussions with some of the participants were inspiring. The very friendly environment of the workshop helped lots in developing interpersonal relationships with scientists I already knew before or just met there. Generally, it was a great source of enthusiasm.

Abdallah M. Al Zahrani Physics, University of Alberta

Our BIRS workshop on Black Holes was extremely successful. This was a joint activity of 3 theoretical physics institutes: ITP of UofA (Canada), APCTP (Korea), and Yukawa ITP (Japan). It was really international: The meeting attracted leading experts in the field from 10 countries. As a result we had very fruitful and informative discussions of the exciting and intriguing problems of the physics and mathematics of black holes. I must say that the staff of the BIRS helped us a lot both at the stage of preparation of the meeting, as well as during its work. All the participants enjoyed very much a friendly atmosphere of Banff Center and BIRS. I would like to thank you and all the staff of BIRS for your cooperation and help.

Valeri Frolov Physics, University of Alberta

This was a very well organized and balanced workshop. Most participants were there for the full duration, which meant that discussions could progress and evolve over the week. Although I was familiar with the punchlines of most of the talks, there were a couple of talks on subjects I was not so aware of, which was great, as well as getting some of the details and nuances of work I was more familiar with, which greatly enhanced my general perspective. Finally, the time allowed me to make some good progress on a current research project, stimulated by the discussions and talks taking place.

Ruth Gregory Physics, University of Durham

The workshop was great. I could refresh myself, updating on current status of various interesting subjects of research. In particular, the presentation by Matt Choptuik had some relation with a work I'm doing with a collaborate. It was quite useful. Discussions with Emparan, Lehner and Unruh were also very helpful for extending my understanding on the evolution of the Gregory-Lafflamme instability.

Gungwon Kang Principal Researcher & Adjunct Professor
Supercomputing Center, KISTI (Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information)

I had many stimulating discussions with other participants. Some of them might start new collaborations. Thank you for providing very nice atmosphere for scientific work.

Shinji Mukohyama IPMU

This was a splendid workshop. The interactions among all the participants were extremely cordial and informative, and it seems clear that some of the discussions will lead to full-fledged collaborations. For example, some of us are currently continuing discussions initiated during the workshop over email, and these may well lead to some new results worthy of publication. I wish to thank you for your support, and for making the workshop possible.

Eric Poisson Physics, University of Guelph

Now we are starting a small project stimulated by the discussion during the workshop. Hopefully, we will soon write a short paper on it.

Takahiro Tanaka Professor
Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kyoto University

Three years ago, at the BIRS workshop "Black Holes: Mathematical and Computational Aspects," I gave a talk on the black hole solution in the Randall-Sundrum scenario. There, I insisted that the solution is unlikely to exist judging from my numerical result. This year, at the very same BIRS workshop, Prof. Don Page gave an evidence for a solution of large black hole in the same scenario. This talk was best (at least to me) because it raised my curiosity to that problem again. Also, I could discuss with many researchers on this issue, which would be valuable to my future research. I would reconsider that problem again to clarify what is the real solution space, although it may take a year.

Hirotaka Yoshino Postdoc
Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies, KEK (High Energy Accelerator Research Organization)
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
Nov 11 - Nov 13, 2011

I attended a "calculus teaching workshop", which naturally did not impact my current research. However, the workshop allowed me to see different ways to teach calculus, it made new resources for teaching calculus available (through a sharing of materials of the participants), it introduced me to many colleagues who teach calculus and with whom I can "network" in future, and it inspired me to strive to become a better calculus instructor. It was a great workshop for me personally, not just because of the ideas I encountered and the contacts I made, but also because of the stunning setting of BIRS. I am very grateful to BIRS (and its funders) for enabling this workshop.

William Hackborn Professor of Mathematics and Computing Science
Sciences, University of Alberta, Augustana campus

I found this very interesting and this is the first time I interacted with other calculus teachers. It was refreshing to see that we are not alone and that we all have the same concerns. The heads up on Math 31 is also very useful. I am glad I made contact with Mont Royal and I hope collaboration can start soon.

Maria Torres Dr.
Centre of Science, University of Athabasca
Nov 06 - Nov 11, 2011

This workshop impacted my research by giving me an opportunity to learn about many areas of number theory that I was quite unfamiliar with therefore expanding my knowledge in this field. My particular project in the group I worked with had only a small overlap, and I was able to learn about quite a different branch of number theory altogether, yet still having connections to my research. I had worked with each of the participants in my group for the first time, creating previously nonexistent contacts. Our group hopes to produce a few papers related to the work we began during this workshop. My job prospects have certainly been increased. I learned about industrial positions that I was largely unfamiliar with, which have a great similarity to academic jobs. Overall, it can't be emphasized enough how amazing it is to work with strictly women in the field for a week. It is such a pleasant atmosphere that is rare to be involved in. In fact, I have only been in such situations at WIN1 and WIN2.

Sarah Chisholm Mathematics, University of Calgary

Although I am just a graduate student, I hugely profited from this experience. It was valuable to get to know experienced researchers but also fellow graduate students, where some future collaboration might evolve. I was pointed towards possible research directions in my field by our group leaders. It was also very interesting to get some insight in other projects and fields which are not so much related to my subject.

Veronika Ertl Mathematics, University of Utah

The BIRS WIN2 workshop was wonderful. BIRS provides a phenomenal environment for doing research, especially in small collaboration groups, so it was ideal for the format of our workshop. At this workshop I co-led a new collaboration group to address an open problem in arithmetic intersection theory. Our group consisted of myself and 2 NSF postdocs and 2 graduate students from Harvard, MIT, and Brown. We were trying to prove that the Bruinier-Yang and Lauter-Viray arithmetic intersection formulas agree. During the workshop, we partially proved this result under some extra assumptions. We came up with a plan of how to extend the proof and lift these assumptions, and we plan to continue the collaboration over the next few months to finish the proof. This collaboration will result in a joint paper which will either be submitted to a journal or will appear in the WIN2 proceedings volume. This paper will help the group members' careers and job applications, especially the students. I think the collaboration group will help empower the students and the postdocs and may lead to further collaboration projects between group members. For example, after the last WIN workshop, one of my group members did an internship at Microsoft Resarch working with me, which resulted in two additional papers. This time I expect one of the postdocs to visit me next summer at MSR to start another project. A number of students from other groups also asked me about internships at MSR and about how to get funding to continue their WIN collaboration groups. We also used some time in the evenings at the conference to meet and plan for future conferences and the extension of the Women In Number Theory network. We selected organizing committees for future WIN conferences, selected editors for the proceedings volume, and got volunteers to set up the WIN web page, distribution list, and discussion group. It was great fun! Thank you so much for hosting this conference and for the memorable opportunity to take advantage of the BIRS research environment!

Kristin Lauter Principal Researcher, Senior Leadership Team
Cryptography, Microsoft Research

The Banff WIN II provided an excellent opportunity for me to meet so many good female number theorists, in particular some young talented ones. As a female mathematician, I know it is not easy to survive in a world which is still largely dominated by males. The Banff WIN II helped us to know each others' areas, to build a good connection that is helpful for finding jobs or promotion. It also helped me to introduce my research program to a boarder audience. I am very delighted to work with my group. I am sure the collaboration we started last week is just the rich beginning.

Ling Long Associate Professor
Mathematics, Iowa State University

New contacts, research project and collaborations. Useful informations on job prospects. Got support for the choice of pursuing an academic career.

Antonella Perucca Departement Wiskunde, University of Leuven

The week at BIRS was very good for me to think about new problems, (remember the format for this was different than the usual conferences) focus on getting to know the state of the art and see what possible progress could be made. It is fantastic that such facilities with international participation is available in this part of the world.

Sujatha Ramdorai Mathematics, University of British Columbia

As a result of the WIN2 conference, I have started a collaboration with new collaborators on an important project in my current research area. We already have some new results, and many new ideas for further results. These collaborators are people I wouldn't have otherwise worked with, but they bring important new perspectives and insights from related but slightly different fields to the project. I expect the collaboration we have started to result in several papers.

Melanie Matchett Wood American Institute of Mathematics and University of Wisconsin-Madison
Nov 04 - Nov 06, 2011

The workshop served to re-frame the results of my doctoral dissertation in therms of embodied cognition. That is actually helping me in the writing of a paper for the conference of the Psychology and Mathematics Education international group.

Paulino Preciado Babb Faculty of education, University of Calgary
Oct 30 - Nov 04, 2011

The workshop was really excellent, with a focus that was narrow enough to provide real opportunities for research synergy but broad enough that one was not seeing "the same people, one always sees." The talks of Rotger and Darmon suggested a research project that I could undertake with them, and with a postdoctoral collaborator, Kirsten Wickelgren.

Jordan Ellenberg Mathematics, University of Wisconsin

The workshop has exceeded my expectations. The program was carefully thought out, balanced current results with some background material and was of exceptionally high level altogether. A mixture of current results and recent work were reported which informed me and broadened my understanding of the current state of the field. I returned home inspired by the great mathematics I have learned. The facilities and staff were, as always, superb. It remains to congratulate BIRS and the organizers for once again putting together a great workshop

Eyal Goren Professor
Mathematics and Statistics, McGill University

One of the main topic of the workshop was strongly connected with my recent work and thus the impact of this week on my research has been great and wide. I heard about many related topics and see what people are currently doing in related areas. I also met other matematicians and started thinking about a possibile collaboration with one of them.

Matteo Longo Dr.
Mathematics, Universita' di Padova

During the workshop I got to talk to some of the people working in similar areas as my own. Apart from talking and working with current collaborators, I got the chance to start working in a new project with another participant. Hopefully this will yield some exciting results in the future!

Marc Masdeu Ritt Assistant Professor
Mathematics, Columbia University
Oct 23 - Oct 28, 2011

I enjoyed myself a lot. Fun and educational. Keep up the good work! Thanks for running such a nice collection of programs.

Dean Foster University of Pennsylvania

I would like to thank you for running such a great program. I enjoyed the BIRS workshop tremendously, in content and in environment alike!

Mesrob Ohannessian MIT

This has given me some new insight and new problem ideas in this area, and I think it will influence my research for the next few years. I met many people and got some new tools to tackle these problems.

Anand Sarwate Research Assistant Professor
Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago
Oct 16 - Oct 21, 2011

I think in summary it helped a lot to feel the culture of my discipline. As a PhD candidate who had not done much research, it is hard to comment further. But I think it will help me a lot in the future.

Yuncheng Lin PhD Candidate at Stanford University
Mathematics, Stanford University

A little over two years ago when I was coordinating with other co-organizers to file a workshop proposal, we knew that the particular area of mathematics we were working at that time would grow and produce many interesting results. The actual outcome of the workshop was far beyond the boundary of our wildest imaginations. Originally we thought it would be nice to have a few review talks that would summarize what had happened in the last two years. When the workshop date was approaching, it became clear to me that all talks would feature the most up-to-date and on-going research endeavors. All participants contributed to creating the atmosphere filled with a high level of excitement. Spontaneous discussions took place everywhere, during the breaks and meals, and the night times. Speakers have shared their energy and enthusiasm with the audience. Everybody was invited to have a glimpse of future with the speaker. Physicists proposed new conjectures and challenged mathematicians. Mathematicians responded with new insights, new understanding, and even new conjectures that do not follow from the physics predictions. Often essential questions and constructive criticisms erupted during the talks. The topics discussed were rather diverse, as evidenced from the list of talks. Yet there was a strong backbone that united the theme of all the talks. A characteristic feature of our workshop was the energy of young participants (20 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars) and many first-time participants of BIRS events. I believe the lively event of our workshop that exhibited the excitement of research frontier influenced and engaged these young participants. I myself was able to learn a huge amount of new ideas. Mysteries are deepened. Yet more understandings are developed. I was able to launch two new collaborations during the workshop, which would probably have never taken place without the BIRS event. In short, the workshop was a phenomenal success.

Motohico Mulase Professor
Mathematics, University of California, Davis

I found the scientific content of the workshop really excellent. It was one of the most interesting workshops that I have attended recently. Though there is no direct outcome in terms of new results and/or papers that I can report already, I had plenty of very interesting and useful discussions and hope to continue them since I invited about 5 or 6 people I met there to visit me in Amsterdam next spring.

Sergey Shadrin Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics, University of Amsterdam

I benefited a lot from this wonderful workshop. This is no doubt one of the best workshops/conferences that I have ever attended. It is a rare chance to meet so many world leading experts in the field. It exposed me to interesting new problems and I cannot wait to start working on them.

Hao Xu Postdoc
Mathematics, Harvard University
Oct 09 - Oct 14, 2011

I have started a new collaboration in my research area as a result of my trip to BIRS. This collaboration happened with a question posed during my lecture. It was really gratifying to be exposed to the best research in my field! There was such a feel of creativity motivated by the excellent research talks as well as by top of the line artistic performances. I enjoyed watching native Canadian dances and a wonderful music performance.

Victor de La Pena Professor of Statistics
Statistics, Columbia University

As an organizer, I didn't give a talk and so was free to concentrate on listening to others'. One talk gave me useful input on revising a book in a related field for a second edition as I'm currently doing. Other input came from conversations at meals. I met some young people for the first time and got reacquainted with others I had not seen very often. I am happy in my job and not concerned with job prospects, and currently do not have postdocs or Ph. D. students. Our hiring season will be next spring and summer, so I don't know yet whether there will be an impact. Certainly some young people gave talks that impressed me very well. I think the workshop had a very positive impact on the area (high dimensional probability) by indicating which sub-areas are currently making good progress and which others may not be.

Richard M. Dudley Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I work on applications of Fourier transform to different areas of mathematics. At this workshop I was looking for problems in probability that are related to Fourier analysis. I found several such problems, where I may be able to contribute.

Alexander Koldobsky Mathematics, University of Missouri

The meeting on high dimensional probability was very attractive. It featured a broad program that included papers on random matrix theory, empirical processes, small deviation probabilities, and a number of other areas that involve interesting directions in probability. When I leave a conference as good as this one I have lots of new energy and ideas. Of course, many of those ideas do not develop immediately, but they certainly provide a template for future investigations.

James Kuelbs Professor-Emeritus
Mathematics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The quality of talks was very high and I learned many useful things, as well as got useful information about other colleagues' works not presented in the talks. There was also a very meaningful feedback on my own talk. I appreciated that very much. Some new interesting young people whom I would not meet otherwise were present there. There was also an occasion to push forward some ongoing projects that we had started (with other participants) before the conference.

Mikhail Lifshits Professor
Mathematics and Mechanics, St-Petersburg State University

The workshop was fantastic. I met a lot of people , whom I wouldn't have encountered elsewhere. I have work for two years !!! Great ;-)

Patricia Reynaud-Bouret Laboratoire Jean-Alexandre Dieudonne, CNRS - Universite de Nice Sophia Antipolis
Oct 02 - Oct 07, 2011

Thank you so much for the organizers for including me. I am a prof at York University. I have worked on other things with Toni Pitassi, Russell Impagliazzo and a few others at this conference, but Proof Complexity has not really been my area. For years, I have been wanting to be able to catch up and learn all about this fine field. At the last minute someone was not able to go and I stepped in. It was a wonderful opportunity. I learned so much. Brilliant people. Brilliant talks. And expect to work more in the area with these people.

Jeff Edmonds Computer Science, York University

The first item is true in all details listed. I learned some new results and got valuable recommendations on what old results I still have to learn. I learned a recently found solution to a problem I have been working on. I made scientific progress during discussions with another participant in some ongoing work started before the workshop. With yet another participant, whom I never met before, we agreed to do some joint work.Two more participants gave me valuable hints on how to proceed with some current work. To summarize, for me this workshop has been scientifically very fruitful, in fact, it establishes some kind of record in this respect.

Moritz Mueller CRM Centre de Recerca Matematica

This is a very quick and spontaneous response, since I have returned back to an impressive backlog at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and am currently rather swamped. Regardless of this, however, I just wanted to let you know that this is very possibly the best workshop I have ever attended. And I spoke to several other participants who felt the same. Proof complexity is an exciting field, that touches on the very deepest open questions in theoretical computer science, but also has close connections to applications (via so-called SAT solving). My personal impression is that the field has been struggling a bit in the last decade, but during this workshop I heard about several new results that are exciting news of progress. The workshop provided invaluable opportunities to meet colleagues and initiate new research, as well as to follow up on ongoing projects. Personally I started two new research projects as a result of this workshop and I hope that interesting things will come out of them (in one we already had some preliminary results while in Banff). Also, it was very valuable to be able to meet and discuss with some of the giants of the field in the relaxed informal atmosphere of the BIRS lounge, and to ask their opinion and advice on various questions. And last but not least, the very venue itself, with its breathtaking beauty, was amazing. Some of the best research discussions I had during the week was when hiking to the Hoodoos and during our outing to Lake Louise. I can only fervently wish that I will be able to visit BIRS soon again...

Jakob Nordstrom School of Computer Science and Communication, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Thank you very much for this opportunity. This is the area in which I was very active before, but not lately, and this trip was really really helpful to me to get reconnected. I in fact even composed a short list of selected problems asked at the workshop for the benefit of our students (and everyone interested) and it is likely that I will start new research project(s) with other participants.

Alexander Razborov Princeton University, Institute for Advanced Study

I had a great time at the workshop, making contact with old friends and learning of new ideas in the area of proof complexity in the wonderful and relaxing atmosphere of the Banff centre. The invitation also prompted me to produce a talk, which I presented. The comments from other participants, particularly Paul Beame, were very useful to me, and led me to correct a serious error in my research -- fortunately not fatal to the main result. Many thanks to BIRS and to the organizers for a great workshop!

Alasdair Urquhart Computer Science, University of Toronto
Sep 25 - Sep 30, 2011

The meeting in honour of Robert Moody's upcoming 70th birthday and his contribution to the field of Aperiodic Order was not only very successful, it also came at the right time: it predated the Nobel Price to Danny Shechtman in Chemistry for the discovery of quasicrystals by a few days !! The mathematical activities in the field of Aperiodic Order were triggered by Shechtman's discovery, and the meeting showed how stimulating this has been over the past years. The interaction between the participants was outstanding, and showed the advantage of a relatively young field -- lots of things still to discover. Also, the possibility to stay one day longer was used by a number of people, and proved to be very productive -- sometimes one extra day can help a lot !!

Michael Baake Professor
Faculty of Mathematics, University of Bielefeld

The week has been absolutely fantastic - we had lots of excellent talks and many useful informal discussions. Thank you in particular for allowing me to stay for an additional night - the extra day proved very fruitful, as, on a collaborative project with two of the other participants, we managed to understand and solve a problem on Saturday morning which we had been stuck with for a while. I am sure that this will eventually lead to a joint publication which would presumably not have been produced (or at least not until much later) without the workshop and the stimulating atmosphere at BIRS.

Uwe Grimm Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The Open University

The workshop was a very good opportunity for me to meet the world-wide experts in the field to discuss the scientific problems related to aperiodic order. I learned a lot from the comments concerning my presentation at the workshop. It was also inspiring to see the state of the art of research in the different aspects of almost periodic order. I had a number of discussions, which gave me new insight into my own ongoing research. I also continued an ongoing collaboration during the workshop -- direct discussion is much more effective than exchange of notes. It was also interesting learn about a non-intersecting lattice path problem -- this was not in the focus of the workshop, but worthwile for me, since a student of mine has currently worked on a similar problem and might be interested in contacting the speaker.

Christoph Richard Dr.
Department of Mathematics, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

The meeting was of direct help for my research, in three ways: 1) I got a lot of helpful feedback on the project I'm working on, and on the preliminary results that I gave a talk about. 2) I got to spend time with my collaborator Natalie Frank to plan our next steps, and 3) I learned about other problems out there. In particular, a comment that Jacek Miekicz (sp?) made in his talk let to a bunch of discussions between Jean-Marc Gambaudo and me that will probably result in a paper on the stability of quasicrystals. That's not even counting the indirect help that a conference like this can give. Your brain just works faster, and better, when in the company of the world experts in the field. I left with a much better understanding of the whole field, and not just my corner of it, than I came in with.

Lorenzo Sadun Mathematics, University of Texas at Austin
Sep 18 - Sep 23, 2011

Outstanding location and outstanding workshop. All in all, a great place for such meetings.

Rodrigo Banuelos Mathematics, Purdue University

We would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to have the workshop at Banff. It was a very successful workshop, attended by 41 participants from around the world. There were 38 research talks, surveying the frontier of stochastic analysis. Participants had engaged in stimulating discussions and scientific exchanges. We also took the opportunity to do some excursions last Wednesday afternoon. The staff members at BIRS are very friendly and helpful. We hope to return to BIRS in near future.

Zhen-Qing Chen Professor of Mathematics
Mathematics, University of Washington

This was a very high-level conference on stochastic analysis, broadly interpreted. The roster of the speakers was selected carefully; the talks were terrific; and the environment was truly conducive to doing quality mathematics research. The conference was attended well, from the beginning to the end of the conference. This was an extremely positive scientific experience.

Davar Khoshnevisan Professor
Mathematics, University of Utah

I really enjoyed the workshop and my stay at BIRS. BIRS did a wonderful job hosting the workshop. I am looking forward to my next visit at BIRS.

Renming Song Department of Mathematics, University of Illinois

1. The participation in the BIRS workshop impacts my current research. 2. The workshop affects my job prospects. 3. The workshop has other impacts on my favorite scientific discipline.

Kainan Xiang Professor
School of Mathematical Sciences, Nankai University
Sep 11 - Sep 16, 2011

The workshop introduced me to several new contacts whose work is very relevant to my field but whom I would not have otherwise met do to the traditional departmental disciplinary boundaries that divide us. Similarly many of the presentations I found particularly interesting and would not have seen at the other conferences I attend during the year. I took away several methods which I hope to apply to my own research. One of these statistical methods I hope to discuss further with a colleague I met at the meeting and hopefully it can grow into a more substantial collaboration.

Alistair Boettiger post-doc
Chemistry, Harvard University

This workshop was very useful for raising awareness of potential collaborations with other researchers in the field. I made tentative plans for three such collaborations, and I'm excited to see how they develop.

Bernie Daigle University of California at Santa Barbara

The workshop was excellent, with a dynamic group of scientists at the top of the field. There was plenty of time for discussion and the selection of talks was fantastic. I came out of the workshop with several new ideas and potential collaborators.

Mary Dunlop Assistant Professor
School of Engineering, University of Vermont

It was one of the best workshops I have ever participated in. It certainly has favorably impacted and will continue to impact my research. It allowed me to get a general view of the discipline, learning new things that are relatively far from my research topic and also meeting people and learning lots of things in specialized topics. It certainly has fostered a collaboration, that was barely in progress before the workshop, with one of the participants of the symposium. But it will also allow me to create new connections and collaborations with other participants. It has greatly contributed to get new motivations for my work. I think the workshop had the right combination of: i) exceptional people, ii) researchers from my generation and iii) lots of discussion and questions during the talks. I am definitely grateful to BIRS for inviting me to such an exceptional workshop.

Andre Estevez-Torres Laboratoire de photonique et de nanostructures, Centre national de la recherche scientifique

It was a great meeting !! not only in the strict technical aspects, but also on the open and collaborative efforts most of the participants did to 'translate' their expertise to others, which certainly encouraged the 'cross-pollination' of ideas. It profoundly affected my views on several topics that will most certainly imprint on my research activities. My deepest congratulations to the organizers.

Diego Ferreiro Dr
Departamento de Quimica Biologica, Universidad de Buenos Aires

It was a great meeting. I got to chat with many colleagues, and talked about future collaborations with two of them. The informal talks helped me put my own research in perspective and think about it in different ways.

Thierry Mora Laboratoire de physique statistique, Ecole normale superieure

Our workshop was an enormous success, and I want to thank you and BIRS very much for providing the perfect location and environment for such a stimulating meeting. I personally met with collaborators to make important progress on two ongoing works, and started three projects with new colleagues. Online feedback from our participants suggests that my experience was commonplace among our participants--Many new collaborations were born out of this meeting, and I expect that the effect of this workshop will be seen well into the future.

Brian Munsky Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Sep 04 - Sep 09, 2011

My participation at the BIRS workshop was indeed quite useful. Since it has only been a few months since the workshop, the most tangible research that I can point to is a recent paper "Bases for cluster algebras from surfaces" with Ralf Schiffler and Lauren Williams. Having time at Banff to discuss some finishing touches with my collaborators, as well as discuss questions that arose about related results with the other experts attending the workshop was quite useful. Several new contacts were also beneficial, including Demonet, Early, Muller, Plamondon, Tumarkin, among others. I had heard about the work of several of my new contacts (and in some cases been at the same conferences as them before) but this was the first opportunity to have long conversations with them about their research, which were quite enlightening to us both. I am now in the process of pursuing some of the references and ideas that I learned about while at BIRS (both through lectures and discussions around the dining hall). Some of these projects include looking further at atomic bases, as discussed with Schiffler, Thomas, and Williams; investigating more connections to character varieties, as discussed with Muller; and studying (generalized cluster categories and their relation to surfaces, as discussed with Brustle, Keller, Plamondon, and Todorov.

Gregg Musiker Assistant Professor
School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota

I discussed with another participant, Leclerc, on his recent new preprint with Hernandez. It gives me a fresh insight on my old result on graded quiver varieties. I have talked with Schroer on my student who will defend Ph.D soon, and plan to visit Bonn. He told me that he welcome my student.

Hiraku Nakajima Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Kyoto University
Sep 02 - Sep 04, 2011

A feature of this workshop is the opportunity provided for interactions between the participants. Workshop organizers have facilitated round-table sessions in which questions and answers were shared, and lively discussions were encouraged. Invited participants are from diverse interdisciplinary background and top in their field. Such a combination of ideas and perspectives have been beneficial to all attendees. The workshop presentations, discussion in the round-table sessions, and potential collaborations amongst participants have created the opportunity for meaningful progress in the field of energy and environment modeling and simulation.

Zhangxin John Chen Professor
Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary

I believe this BIRS visit has indeed helped me, in letting me show some of my results to important contemporary applied mathematicians, and in making new or keeping strong contacts. As concerns of concrete, present and future effects, other that those stated, it is still early to make an assessment, but, as I said, I believe strongly BIRS visit has provided me with a strong forwarding jump for my mathematical career. If at least one good collaboration starts out of this, and this in turn results in a good scientific paper, then I think my expectations would have been more than exceeded, beyond the positive effects I feel now. At any rate, BIRS environment is surely inspiring, and I for one will tell my colleagues to seize the opportunity to assist to BIRS, if they have the chance. I would like to thank you and of course the organizer, Zhangxin John Chen, who will be with us soon, at the mexican petroleum institute.

Arturo Ortiz-Tapia Molecular Engineering, Mexican Petroleum Institute

Thank you very much for your arranging me at Banff. It is a beautiful place. I shall remember this trip.

Xijun Yu Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics

Attending this Workshop of Modelling and Simulation was really exciting, not only for the academic experience but also for enjoying the beauty of nature here. It was a very spiritual experience. I really felt I could be one with Nature for a while. I could contact people in order to (potentially) publish papers, I got new ideas for my own research,I could learn other perspectives of my own field of reasearch,etc. Definitly it was an amazing experience in all senses.

Ricardo Zavala Yoe Dr.
Departamento de Matematicas, Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM)
Aug 28 - Sep 02, 2011

It was a great workshop, in a marvelous and inspiring setting. Fruitful discussions did help me a lot to get new ideas for future work and to get insight in other people's work. The informal atmosphere contributed to better collaboration opportunities.

Luc Florack Professor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Eindhoven University of Technology

I met several people whom I had not met before, and in particular learned about work on functions given by images and the special interest in the case where these are Morse functions. I was also able to talk to a participant about persistence homology which enabled me to write a much better review of a research proposal from the European Research Foundation. I was able to spend very useful time with Prof James Damon, also a participant, working on a joint project which we have in progress. This will lead to a research visit by myself to Prof Damon. And of course there is the general interest of the lectures, many of which were really informative and interesting.

Peter Giblin Mathematical Sciences, Univ Of Liverpool

I really enjoyed the workshop and met a lot of new colleagues. It was inspiring and refreshing to see different view points on an interesting topic.

M. Eduard Groeller Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms, Vienna University of Technology

The workshop most certainly extended my horizons by getting know a lot of work outside my field (yet relevant to my work!) Hence, I found the workshop immensely valuable.

Torsten Moeller Professor
School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University

I am most grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in this BIRS workshop on Geometry for Anatomy. It has been really great: a lot of excellent talks and very serious discussions, a good mix of people from overlapping but not identical areas. I left this workshop with fresh ideas and also with a specific topic for cooperation with one of the participants. I assume that BIRS has been modeled a bit like Oberwolfach in Germany. I must say that you did a great job in achieving this (of course, the scenery in Banff is a lot nicer than in the German Blackforest .... ).

Helmut Pottmann Geometric Modeling and Scientific Visualization Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Aug 26 - Aug 28, 2011

In the workshop we gathered knowledge of different fields where the queuing theory can be applied and got to know about a lot of queuing models and other stochastic modeling methods. It will for sure help me in my future studies.

Chamara Devanarayana Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Manitoba (Winnipeg)

Personally, I learned quite a lot at the CanQueue workshop. In particular, I got a good introduction to the application of queueing in health, and I learned about queueing in radio networks. Both are applications of mathematics to urgent problems of society. The meetings were all well attended, and a significant part of the meetings were used for questions and discussions. In conclusion, I thank BIRS for its support, and I hope you continue your valuable services in the future.

Winfried Grassmann Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan

I received useful feedback and suggestions on two of my current research projects. My doctoral students made contacts with their peers and with top queuing theory researchers. The process of forming a Special Interest Group (SIG) on queuing theory and applications within the Canadian Operational Research Society (CORS) started during the workshop.

Armann Ingolfsson School of Business, University of Alberta

It was our pleasure to visit BIRS. BIRS is an outstanding center for researchers in order to get together and have scientific discussions. Once again it was an excellent experience for all of participants to be in BIRS as indicated to me. The group of people working with you in both Vancouver, Wynne and Brenda, and in the Station, Kameko and Caroline, did an excellent job for us and we are really appreciate their work.. They manage everything in a high level, nicely. We, as Canadian researcher, should be proud to have a such facilities and I hope in the near future we could visit BIRS for more research activities. Once again, I would like to thank you and your people for helping us to have Canqueue11 in a very nice environment.

Javad Tavakoli Mathematics, University of British Columbia, Okanagan

The workshop helped me a lot. I entered this area 4 months ago and what I am working on is a specified 3-D random walk. I met Dr. Li here and her suggestions about this model are really helpful. And Barbara Margolius's work is interesting for me, maybe I would like to have a try to work on it. Besides, It is the first time for me to see some real applications of queueing theory which are very interesting. Also Dr.Grassmann and Dr.Tavakoli's question about the effects of numerical methods is thought-provoking. And Dr. Zhang gave me some career guide from the prospect of an applicator.

Wenzhe Ye mathematics and statistics, Carleton University
Aug 21 - Aug 26, 2011

BIRS is a wonderful place to work with people that have common interests. The atmosphere, the faciities, and the great surrounding are very inspiring. With the workshop I had the opportunity to meet people whose work I knew very well and discussed several ideas.

Sergio Cabello FMF, Dept Mathematics, University of Ljubljana

I have found the workshop "Crossing Numbers Turn Useful" very stimulating. We had plenty of opportunities to work together on various problems, which we certainly used. In particular, in addition to continue already existing projects/collaborations I have started a collaboration on new project that was motivated by crossing numbers but which is a different area. I feel that we have made tremendous progress and hope to be able to return to Banff for similar programs.

Eva Czabarka Mathematics, University of South Carolina

The workshop was very nice. The small number of participants (20) gave it a friendly atmosphere. We have attacked several problems outlined at the problem sessions, and at the end of the workshop some serious success has been reported. Personally, I am already preparing a manuscript with Zdenek Dvorak about computability of the average crossing number, a problem asked at the meeting by B. Richter and G. Salazar. I also took opportunity to work with Dvorak and Hlineny on our long time involvement towards describing structure of crossing critical graphs. Nice partial success was achieved.

Bojan Mohar Simon Fraser University

This has been really the perfect workshop. It has achieved the perfect balance in putting together a group with different backgrounds but definitely with common interests. As a result, the work these days has been really enriching, opening new approaches to important classical problems and new insights to the relation between different, but neighboring fields.

Pedro Ramos Mathematics, Universidad de Alcala
Aug 21 - Aug 26, 2011

I think this workshop inspired me to consider other directions towards the resolution of the central problem in Cosmology. Furthermore, various issues that were somewhat obscure to me before this workshop became much more clear. From this perspective it did impact my current research and I believe the new results will follow shortly.

Misha Smolkin Perimeter Institute
Aug 21 - Aug 26, 2011

BIRS provided an excellent opportunity for communication and collaboration within the crossing number community through this workshop. The facilities are excellent and the location is beautiful. Thank you for supporting our workshop! With Balogh and Czabarka we checked that certain type of arguments cannot prove the Albertson Conjecture - but still proved something positive. We also formulated a new conjecture: the crossing number of the complete on n vertices is a concave up function. The truth of this conjecture would effect the truth of the Albertson Conjecture. As the these crossing numbers of complete graphs are asymptotic to (an unknown) constant times n^4, this conjecture is true unless the crossing number show a very erratic behaviour, which is certainly not present for the first few known values. With Bokal and Czabarka, we collaborate on a topic on how to optimize lower bounds for crossing numbers that can be bigger on a subgraph than on the whole graph. Although we started this project earlier, meeting in person moved the project ahead.

Laszlo Szekely Mathematics, University of South Carolina
Aug 14 - Aug 19, 2011

The workshop was a great opportunity to discuss information theory problems in depth and in a wonderful setting. I think a more relaxed program would also be fine since the main point is for people to make the time and think deeply. The BIRS environment is truly inspiring creativity.

Alex Dimakis University of Southern California
Aug 07 - Aug 12, 2011

I got new results that I had studied and also relations with another areas.

Jeong-Ah Kim Department of Mathematics, University of Seoul

The workshop has been a wonderful experience for me. The talks provided a comprehensive and inspiring picture of the cutting edge research in the field. Through conversations with the participants I discovered new approaches to develop a promising direction of research which will involve quantum versions of vertex algebras.

Alexander Molev Dr
School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sydney

The conference was great. Everything was right - the organization, the participants, the timing, etc. It was my 4th time (I think) at BIRS and I would come again anytime. I have surely learned many things and even started a couple of new projects. It is too early to say how they will go, but it is certainly a very interesting twist...

Evgeny Mukhin University-Purdue University Indianapolis

The workshop was wonderful with lots of interactions with experts on quantum groups.

Anne Schilling Professor
Mathematics, University of California, Davis
Jul 31 - Aug 05, 2011

The meeting was superb. Aside from the stimulating formal program, I was able to meet some colleagues whose work I was unaware of and found most exciting. I expect some of those interactions will lead to real collaborations. I intend to invite at least 2 of the participants to visit our center during the next year. It also gave me a chance to reinvigorate previous relationships.

Leslie Loew Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling, University of Connecticut Health Center

The workshop was a little outside my area of expertise, so I did not know exactly what to expect. It was fabulous! I came away inspired and enthused, with many new ideas and hopefully future collaborations. The group size was perfect, there was a lot of useful discussion and I particularly enjoyed that even disagreement was constructive. The organisers deserve an enormous amount of credit for bringing together this group and inspiring this atmosphere of collegiality.

Inke Nathke Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Dundee

Again, a terrific meeting in Banff. The BIRS is the best venue I have been to for a scientific meeting. The organizers put together an outstanding program.

David Odde Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota

The organizers assembled an ideally balanced group of junior/senior, female/male and physical-mathematical/biological scientists for this stimulating meeting. Everything ran on time and allowed for lots of stimulating discussions.

Thomas D. Pollard Sterling Professor of MCDB
Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University

This meeting was a tremendous success and multiple participants told me this was perhaps the best scientific meeting they had ever attended. The facilities, support, participants and format of the workshop were obviously significant factors, and the fact that we had absolutely perfect weather all week certainly helped as well. Brenda was also a really great asset and helped in many aspects of the planning, organization and operation of the workshop. I expressed my personal thanks to her, but I wanted you to know how valuable she was in making this a success (I'm sure you knew that already). As for BIRS, this is a very unique scientific organization with no equal. We feel privileged to have been selected, and hope that the outcomes, collaborations, and breakthroughs resulting from this meeting will help ensure the success of BIRS in the future.

David Sept Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan
Jul 24 - Jul 29, 2011

My participation in the BIRS workshop had a positive impact on my work, primarily because of the comments I received from colleagues after presenting a recent result. This lead to a discussion of a physical phenomenon directly connected with my mathematical result that I had previously been unaware of.

Margaret Beck Mathematics and Statistics, Boston University

Thanks a lot for running such a terrific program. It helped a lot in strengthening the communication between analytical and experimental studies of pattern formations, and sharing the new developments in this field. I personally like it very much because I was able to meet many authors of the references I cited, it was great to talk to them and have some discussions. Besides, the stay in BIRS was very nice, and the manager was very helpful and hospitable, I had a wonderful time at the workshop. Thank you very much.

Wan Chen Oxord University

I very much enjoyed this BIRS workshop, which was particularly interesting, not only because of the mixture theory, modeling, and experiments. On short time, I could advance on my current work (theoretical), but could learn a lot from the talks on modeling and experiments. Meeting people from so different areas, and having the possibility to discuss with them was a great experience. Moreover, the environment at BIRS contributed a lot in the success of this workshop. It is a great place and thank you to you all for making this possible!

Mariana Haragus Professor
Departement de Mathematiques, Universite de Franche-Comte

Several of the talks were very inspiring. Scott McCalla (one of my former students) and I were fascinated by Kondo's talk on pattern formation in zebra fish and plan to work on a mathematical explanation of his findings using agent-based models. Furthermore, I started another collaboration with Arnd Scheel. I learned more about various areas, such as matched asymptotic expansions, than I had hoped for. The talks also helped me to prioritize some of my projects. Overall, it was a very helpful and inspiring experience.

Bjorn Sandstede Division of Applied Mathematics, Brown University
Jul 17 - Jul 22, 2011

The workshop was really a great occasion for all participants, who expressed to the organizers their happiness to meet, work and stay in such a wonderful place as the BIRS. The BIRS organization and assistance were simply perfect!

Andrea Colesanti Mathematics, University of Florence

It's a great experience for me in this workshop. The talks were stimulation, and more important, there were so many interesting discussions between various groups of the participants. From my part, during the workshop, C.S. Lin and I made some further progress in our on-going project on local isometric embeddings of Lagrangian surfaces; Colesanti, Salani, and I initiated some new ideas regarding the establishment of Alexanderov-Fenchel type inequality for quermassintegrals on non-convex domains. It's our hope this will lead to some breakthrough of the problem in a near future. I also had some inspiring discussions with Cabre, Ni and others related to level-set convexity of solutions to nonlinear PDEs. The setting and the organization of BIRS is superb and unique for the inspiration of mathematical ideas.

Pengfei Guan Professor
Mathematics and Statistics, McGill University

It was a great meeting, I was able to go on works and discussions with four colleagues and friends, making significant progress in two cases and initiate new collaborations with two other young Italian colleagues The working atmosphere was quite good.

Antoine Henrot Professor
Universite de Nancy, Institut Elie Cartan (France)

The workshop highly impacted my current research. It helped pushing forward an important research project and led to its further improvement. I met a number of new and very interesting people that I had not met before. I profited immensely from the presentation of their work.

Wolfgang Reichel Mathematics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

The workshop was very fruitful and completely satisfactory to me. It gave me the opportunity to establish new contacts and discuss with many experts in my discipline; some new collaboration could easily arise from this experience. I want to thank all the staff of the Banff International Research Station.

Paolo Salani Dipartimento di Matematica , Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy
Jul 10 - Jul 15, 2011

This workshop was extremely beneficial to me academically. The chance to network with such high-level researchers and to share my work with them, in such a beautiful and energizing part of the world, was unparalleled. I will certainly recommend BIRS to my colleagues when they are looking for places to hold a conference.

Adam Larios Visiting Assistant Professor
Mathematics, Texas A&M University
Jul 03 - Jul 08, 2011

First I would like to thank BIRS for the support to attend the workshop. The workshop is quite special for me. There are at least half of the speakers are biologists.They show us their biological viewpoints of Spatial Ecology.It help us mathematicians to construct different type of mathematical models. In the workshop I discussed with some people and learn that we have some overlaps in our work. It is good to know other's people work related to your work. Also I learn some progress made in the principal eigenvalues. Mathematicians and biologists think in different ways. I hope in the near future I shall have opportunity to collaborate with the biologists I met in the workshop.

S.B. Hsu Mathematics, National Tsing-Hua University

I have participated recently at the workshop Emerging Challenges at the Interface of Mathematics, Environmental Science and Spatial Eco. Although during my career I attended several conferences and workshops, this one was really unique among them. First of all, there were the most outstanding scientists in the field of theoretical spatial ecology I can think about. Second, the workshop organization was really excellent. The workshop brought together people from different fields (i.e., pde, game theory, real applications), that would otherwise probably never met. And I'm pretty sure that this diversity will lead to new results and publications. For example, as I'm working mostly on game theory, this workshop was a unique opportunity for me to learn how partial differential equations are used to solve a similar problem. Indeed, I started some new collaboration during the workshop. Overall, I have to say that my experience from this workshop is very positive, I started some new collaborations, and learnt things I would have never learnt otherwise. I thank B.I.R.S. for this unique opportunity.

Vlastimil Krivan Prof. Dr.
Theoretical Ecology, Biological Research Center

The participation in the BIRS workshop will likely foster some new collaborations, e.g., with Cressman and Krivan on the theory of ideal free distribution, and I hope to report papers in near future.

Yuan Lou Mathematics, Ohio State University

The workshop renewed my excitement about the research area. I met a number of people whose papers I had read, and I had the chance to talk to them directly. I have a number of new contacts that I would not have had otherwise. The group discussions were very stimulating, and their content will be a source of inspiration for the next while. The only reason that I did not get new research projects out of this meeting is that I already have too many projects going, and I deliberately decided not to start anything new. Otherwise, there would have been many opportunities.

Frithjof Lutscher Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa

I enjoyed the workshop very much and expect that it will result in a number of continuing collaborations. The place and the facilities are incredibly nice!

Otso Ovaskainen Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki

This workshop was one of the most stimulating meetings I have attended in years. Aside from learning about many new research directions, I received valuable feedback on my own research project which will result in an improved forthcoming paper.

Hal Smith Professor
Mathematics & Statistics, Arizona State University

I indeed opened some collaborations with some participants in the field of spatial and evolutionary ecology modeling. I got quite a few interesting ideas and learned a lot from the workshop.

Hao Wang Assistant Professor
Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta
Jun 26 - Jul 01, 2011

I feel my visit to BIRS was very beneficial to my current research. I would like to thank the organizers and the staffs of BIRS very much for the very stimulating workshop and hospitality extended to me during my stay there.

Shunsuke Yamana Ph.D.
Department of Mathematics, Graduate School of Science, Osaka City University
Jun 24 - Jun 26, 2011

This was a very informative workshop and I must say that I learned a lot from other participants, including computer scientists and mathematicians. Definitely I'll try to use the software Prover9 and its future renovations to solve problems in my research and teaching. The atmosphere was informal and very friendly. Everybody is ready to help and share with other people. The ac commendation and food service was excellent. Looking forward to attending another conference or workshop in Banff Center in the nearest future.

Qiduan Yang Associate Professor
Unit 5: Math, Stats, and Physics, University of British Columbia, Okanagan
Jun 19 - Jun 24, 2011

Through my participation at the BIRS workshop, I made several new contacts and learned quite a lot. I began a collaborative project with Yair Glasner (whom I just met for the first time) and Miklos Abert on generic graphings and invariant random subgroups. I also learned a lot from Anders Karlsson (whom I met for only the second time) about his work on random walks and possible applications to a current research project of my own. Also I spoke frequently with Russell Lyons and Vadim Kaimanovich, learning about the current work which impacts my own very much. I also spoke with Yuval Peres on reverse martingales - which might impact some of my work on pointwise ergodic theorems. All in all, it was a very enjoyable and fruitful conference.

Lewis Bowen Mathematics, Texas A&M

I am definitely very happy that I participated to this workshop: it was very helpful to meet people interested in my same topic. Moreover I had the possibility to exchange some ideas about mathematics with some of the participants. It is even possible that some collaborations will arise after this visit, but it is still too early to say. Since I am still a PhD student, this workshop was very helpful to get more involved in the topic, and to think further in the perspective also of a possible postdoc. During this workshop I have learned many new things, and got more information about the ones I knew. I hope there will be more workshops like this one!

Elisabetta Candellero Dottoressa Magistrale
Department of Mathematical Structure Theory, Graz University of Technology

This week was very fruitful for me. I made some new contacts, that gave me some feedback on the research I presented. I had several stimulating discussions, where some of my ideas was potentially useful for others, in for me unexpected way. A couple of the talks directly lead to a research project, that I want to work on the coming months. It concerns trying to modify the methods in a recent paper of mine to problems of another type. I will the two scientists again in the fall at MSRI and my hope is to be able to report on progress in this direction then. At present time, there seems to be no effect on jobs for me or my students or postdocs, except for the general network building. People were very excited about the workshop. Many said that all talks were very interesting and stimulating. I agree. So the impact is/will be significant on the subject. It was a very well chosen topic(s), quite of current interest and activity.

Anders Karlsson Mathematics, University of Geneva

There were great talks and I met new people. It is too soon to say there will be new collaborations, but that is possible.

Russell Lyons Mathematics, Indiana University

The workshop was a great opportunity to me to be in contact with a community slightly different from that I used to be in permanent contact. The presence of certain people has been crucial for instance to solve some problem concerning my most recent publications.

Andres Navas PhD
Mathematics, Universidad de Santiago de Chile
Jun 17 - Jun 19, 2011

The Alberta Number Theory Workshop was indeed a success. There were several stimulating talks, and the large proportion of graduate students (and I believe one undergraduate!) benefited from being exposed to several interesting avenues of advancement.

Richard Guy Mathematics & Statistics, University of Calgary

The Alberta Number Theory Days conference is a great opportunity for us, number theorists in Alberta, to maintain a tight scientific bond among us. The workshop was very good in both the scientific and human aspect: - the quality of talks was very good, with new and interesting results. It was an opportunity to discover the research of people who recently moved in Alberta, such as postdocs. Also the senior professors gave very good lectures that were accessible to the younger attendance, such as graduate students. I am sure that they got a lot from these talks. - the facilities at BIRS are very good and the size of the conference is perfect to allow interaction with other researchers, even outside my area of expertise. This may not have happened in another type of workshop. I personnaly got to learn about new results and get feedback about my work, which gives me new perspectives for my work.

Habiba Kadiri Assistant proffessor
Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Lethbridge

The scientific program for the workshop was excellent and varied greatly, even within the field of number theory. Although the program won't impact my current research, the workshop did give me several ideas for future projects and allowed me the opportunity to collaborate with my peers on ongoing projects.

Matthew Musson Mathematics and Statistics, University of Calgary

Although the topics itself was above the level of my studies I think the whole conference was interesting for me because some of the subjects may be related to my future area of researching. So that is my pleasure to attend such a conference and I hope I will have the opportunity to attend such a conference in the future!

Majid Shahabi University of Lethbridge

I enjoyed the workshop very much. The following comments are symptomatic: * Many new and interesting aspects of number theory have been presented. * Two collaborators of mine were attending the workshop and were giving talks. * I obtained new ideas and started new projects with the collaborators. * The friendly atmosphere of the workshop was very important for creativity. * I obtained several new ideas for research topics of my Ph.D. students in Germany.

Andreas Stein Prof. Dr.
Mathematics, Carl von Ossietzky Universitat Oldenburg
Jun 12 - Jun 17, 2011

I have enjoyed this conference enormously, and I am grateful to the organizers for the opportunity to give a talk to such a distinguished audience. It was quite satisfying to see triangulated categories bring together researchers from such varied subjects, and I had a great number of stimulating discussions with several of them. For instance, I have started right then a collaboration with Goncalo Tabuada which has already produced a preprint ("Morita homotopy theory of C*-categories"). At least one other collaboration started then is still in incubation.

Ivo Dell'Ambrogio Fakultät für Mathematik, Universität Bielefeld

The conference was wonderful, and I felt like I came away with several new ideas for research projects. Some new results did originate during the conference, from discussions with other participants.

Dan Dugger University of Oregon

I belonged to the smallest group of the participants, algebraic geometers. But other participants were very friendly, and I got some familiarity to the subject, the category theory. Of course the participation to a conference did not have an immediate impact, but I believe that the new connections made at the conference will have a long term impact.

Yujiro Kawamata Prof
Graduate School of Mathematical Sciences, The University of Tokyo

The conference was a great success. I learned a lot about triangulated categories in different domains of application, esp. in algebraic topology, an area which will become increasingly important in my future research. I also made interesting new contacts, and had the opportunity to discuss with experts some ideas related to the work I presented at the conference. This will have a very positive impact on my research in the very near future, and is also likely to result in new collaborations.

Wendy Lowen Prof
Department of Mathematics and Informatics, Universiteit Antwerpen

This workshop brought decisive new ideas for several projects I have been working on. I view triangulated categories as a link between my field, noncommutative geometry, and homotopy theory and representation theory. I find it very stimulating to meet experts in these other fields because o their complementary interests. The lecture by Strickland allowed me to connect previous work of mine on bivariant K-theory for certain diagrams of C*-algebras to May's axioms for tensor triangulated categories. This showed the way for a joint project with Tabuada to understand these axioms. I got several representation theorists interested in the hereditary exact categories that I constructed in this work on diagrams of C*-algebras, which may lead to future collaboration. I happened to meet Ferdinando Muro who knows a lot about strictification of symmetric monoidal categories, which is exactly what I needed to understand the question of uniqueness of differential extensions of cohomology theories.

Ralf Meyer Mathematisches Institut, Universitat Gottingen

The subject of the workshop was a very interesting one. Most speakers talked about their latest discoveries. I got much feedback after my talk. The organizers managed to gather an interesting group of people. I am happy because I managed to attract the interest of some experts in module theory to open problems in that area that arose in my research on algebraic topology. In discussions with another participant which focuses on differential geometry and analysis, we have come to solve an open question about the uniqueness of differential cohomology theories. I have also met there for the first time to some keynote researched that previously I only knew from references. Overall, I am very satisfied with my participation in the workshop, I do think it will be very influential in the direction that my future research take.

Fernando Muro Dr.
Algebra, Universidad de Sevilla
Jun 05 - Jun 10, 2011

This is a wonderful workshop. I met several old friends and made some new friends too. Also, it is very high standard scientifically. I presented our recent work and learned many new stuff and the state-of-the-art in the field. I am benefited significantly from attending this workshop.

Weizhu Bao Professor
Department of Mathematics, National University of Singapore

I'm very happy with my participation at the workshop: KAM theory and Geometric Integration. The organisation and the talks were very good and I learned a lot: problems, results, people. I also had time to work with one of my collaborator.

David Cohen University of Basel

It was a great week at BIRS, and quite an unusual set of people to convene. It was a combination of mathematicians in Hamiltonian dynamical systems and KAM theory, meeting the community concerned with the numerical analysis of Hamiltonian systems with many degrees of freedom (such as the n-body problem). We had several of the big names in symplectic integration techniques, both those who have worked out the theory (such as Ernst Hairer - Geneva) and those who us it in their large scale numerical simulations (such as Carles Simo - Barcelona). We also had several of the most active people in dynamical systems, KAM theory and Arnold diffusion (Rafael de la Llave - University of texas - Austin), Nekhoroshev stability (Dario Bambusi - Milano), and Birkhoff normal forms (Thomas Kappeler - Zurich). I myself learned many things about numerical stability of simulations of the N-body problem. In addition I had an intense time of collaboration with Philippe Guyenne (University of Delaware) having to do with Hamiltonian PDEs, the modulational approximation in the presence of resonances, and the description of a particular physical phenomenon of a `rip' wave train which accompanies and is the signature of a large internal ocean wave. Thanks again for the stimulating environment.

Walter Craig Mathematics and Statistics, McMaster University

Our workshop was a success in part thank to the organisation of the BIRS. The two communities, theoretical and numerical, have benefited of this unusual mix. This workshop allows me to contact some researcher I never met before.

Benoit Grebert Laboratoire de Mathematiques Jean Leray, Universite de Nantes, France

This workshop was the first that brought together people working on theoretical aspects of KAM theory and numerical analysts interested in geometric integration. I belong to the second group, but I profited a lot from the talks and from discussions with people from the other group. Some ideas and techniques are closer than I thought before the workshop. In my opinion, the workshop was really a great success.

Ernst Hairer Mathematics, University of Geneva

I have enjoyed the workshop immensely and I profited a lot from the discussions with colleagues as well as their feedback to my talk. In addition, the workshop gave me the opportunity to meet for the first time people I always wanted to get to know in person.

Thomas Kappeler Mathematics, University of Zurich

This workshop was a very interesting mixture of two different communities, from KAM and geometric numerical integration. I was very happy of that. Every speaker made a real effort to speak to the whole assistance. As a result, the ambiance was very relaxed and offered a lot of opportunities to discussions.

Florian Mehats Professor
IRMAR, Universite Rennes

I appreciated very much that specialists from different communities (dynamical systems and numerical analysis) were at the workshop. This created a very inspiring atmosphere, and I got new ideas to treat an old problem.

Alexander Ostermann Department of Mathematics, University of Innsbruck

It has been one of the better experience I ever had on workshops, especially for the scheduled plan, which included only 4/5 long talks a day, starting not too late in the morning (8:30 a.m.) and leaving the after lunch time for discussions or personal businesses. About the scientific point of view: I had the opportunity to discuss with some young researchers about some topics on PDE I'm interested in, but with respect to which my knowledge is quite poor. These connections are expected to be useful in the next future for possible visits and even collaborations. Furthermore, I took the chance to start thinking about a new result on my favorite topic. The level of most of the talks have been pretty high, in spite of the differences among the communities. The experiment of mixing people working on numerics and on more abstract topics have been however successful, I think.

Tiziano Penati Dr.
Mathematics , University of Milan

I really enjoyed attending the meeting on KAM theory and Geometric Integration. Thank you for making this possible. I take this to congratulate you. The staff has an impressive efficiency and everything is prepared to make the stay pleasant and fruitful. My best wishes for the future of this magnificent centre.

Carles Simo Matemàtica Aplicada i Anàlisi, Universitat de Barcelona
May 29 - Jun 03, 2011

The BIRS workshop gave me new contacts I wouldn't have had otherwise and also fresh insight on a field of study I was not so familiar with.

Jean-Bernard Bru Departamento de Matematicas, Universidad del Pais Vasco-Ikerbasque Basque Foundation for Sciences

I found the week in Banff very helpful for my research program. Although I benefited from all the talks there were three which were of particular interest to me: (a) talks of Funaki and Nishigawa: In these talks the speakers discussed their work on hydrodynamic limits. I learned that so called Glauber dynamics leads to second order equations and Kawasaki dynamics to fourth order. These fourth order equations are of Cahn-Hilliard type. I have been studying Cahn-Hilliard equations for several years now in the context of understanding the phenomenon of coarsening, so it was very interesting for me that these equations can be derived from a microscopic model. I think this may have some relevance for my research in the future. (b) talk of Felix Otto: This talk was very close to what I have been working hard on for the past year or so. It is a kind of parallel development to what I have been doing. Otto has been studying rates of convergence in homogenization, while I have been working on the asymptotics of averaged Green's functions for solutions of PDE with random coefficients. Otto has stronger results in his situation, so I am looking forward to applying the new methods he has developed to the problems I have been working on. Apart from professional enrichment, the week in Banff was thoroughly enjoyable for me. The accommodation and food were excellent, and the splendid natural environment absolutely wonderful. I am very glad I had the opportunity to attend the workshop.

Joseph Conlon Mathematics, University of Michigan

The workshop was very stimulating because the speakers of the talks belonged to three different areas of Mathematics: Analysis, Probability and Math Physics; and yet we were all studying similar problems. Of course for me it was a good occasion to present to an audience of experts my recent results and, most importantly, my methods, which are slightly different from the one used my the majority of scholars in the field. Besides, during the long pauses between the morning and the afternoon sections, and even during an afternoon hike in the mountains, discussions with some of the participants gave me new points of view about a certain class of models that I am studying currently: hopefully this will lead to some progress.

Pierluigi Falco School of Mathematics, IAS Princeton

The participation at this workshop did had a very good impact to my research. I particular I started two new collaborations with participants at the workshop, and had many stimulating discussions. I did not gave a talk myself, since I do not have recent results on the specific topic of the conference.

Stefano Olla Professor
Mathematics, CEREMADE - Université Paris Dauphine
May 27 - May 29, 2011

I think we owe BIRS a great thank you note more than anything. As you know, our main goal with this meeting was to discuss technical problems related to our network, aiming at strengthening collaboration and identifying further avenues for joint work. I am sure I speak for all when I say BIRS provided us with the ideal setting in which to have a focused and productive meeting. All the feedback I got, and I did get lots of it, pointed to people finding their visit extremely worth their time. I know our researchers will look back at our BIN@Banff meeting as a highlight of our network. Most attendees had their first visit this past weekend, while some were coming back after several years. The consensus, however, is that BIRS is a truly outstanding facility and a tremendous resource. We will certainly not hesitate in coming back should another opportunity arise. I would also like to thank BIRS and Caroline for your hospitality.

Denilson Barbosa Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta

I had a great time in Banff. I just finished putting my notes in order and wrote down a whole page of insights and action items. It was a very stimulating and fun event!

Giuseppe Carenini Computer Science, University of British Columbia

My participation in the BIRS workshop on Data Analytics was very helpful to my research. It provided a unique opportunity to interact with colleagues in our research network and to develop and explore new collaborations.

Sheila McIlraith Associate Professor
Computer Science, University of Toronto

The workshop offered a wonderful opportunity for the academic participants to interact with each other and with the industrial partners. I expect two and possibly three new collaborations to arise from contacts made at the workshop.

Evangelos Milios Computer Science, Faculty of, Dalhousie University

The research workshop helped me understand new trends in Data Management and Business Intelligence; in terms of Real-time and Live Business Intelligence, Social Data Analysis; and their associated collaborations in research in the NSERC BIN network. Also, the workshop made me make new contacts of researchers from different Universities; since the BIN network comprises of different researchers.

Michael Mireku Kwakye Student Researcher
SCHOOL OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND ENGINEERING (SITE), University of Ottawa

It was great. I think that I will start a new long term collaboration based on it.

Rachel Pottinger Computer Science, University of British Columbia

The workshop was great and I made valuable contacts.

Herna Viktor Associate professor
School of IT and Engineering, University of Ottawa
May 22 - May 27, 2011

The BIRS workshop greatly impacted my research. In general, over the past year I have wanted to begin a successful collaborative mathematical project in algebraic combinatorics, with an aim of broadening the scope of my active research beyond the immediate sphere of my thesis. Geographical and financial constraints make forging such collaborations difficult, and I am incredibly indebted to the organizers for helping to make this professional goal a reality during the BIRS workshop. In particular, there was a new project that I was interested in working on, for which I did not feel as though I was individually equipped with the requisite background. I proposed this problem to my designated research group, we generated a conjecture which would solve the problem, and we currently have a working draft of a joint paper. Of the four other group members, three of the four are individuals with whom I likely would not have had a chance to collaborate otherwise, and whose energy and expertise were vital to the movement of the project. My group members will certainly remain important contacts for me, and without the workshop several of these professional relationships would not have been made. Moreover, given more time at the workshop, I am confident that one or two additional collaborations might have begun, both with people in and outside of my designated working group.

Elizabeth Beazley Assistant Professor
Mathematics & Statistics, Williams College

On behalf of all 42 participants of the Algebraic Combinatorixx Workshop, I would like to thank you and BIRS for inviting us to hold this meeting in such a spectacular venue. The workshop achieved its goals of introducing participants to recent developments in areas of active research and of fostering much collaboration. BIRS was an ideal location to make this happen. The response to the workshop has been quite overwhelming.

Georgia Benkart Mathematics, University of Wisconsin - Madison

The participation in the workshop was an amazing experience. The quality of the talks was exceptional, and the discussion between talks was very lively; I met many mathematicians (in particular younger ones) whom I hadn't known before. The 'research in teams' initiated by the organizers will probably lead to a joint paper with members of the team; it was a fruitful discussion on quasisymmetric analogs of Schur P-functions which both are among my current research interests (apart from the organizer Steph van Willigenburg I had not met any other member of the team before). A talk of one of the principal speakers (Anne Schilling) on the rather new topic of k-Schur functions together with direct exchange on her data on k-Schur functions already led to a conjecture on the determinants of the corresponding tables and a refined one on the invariants; this is closely related to my own work on character tables of the symmetric groups. We have exchanged emails after the meeting and will keep in touch on these questions. A poster and short presentation by a younger participant (Kelli Talaska) on determinants for special graphs led to an exchange on determinants and invariants for paths in certain quiver algebras, where formulae of a similar structure occurred in work of mine; it is not clear yet what can be learned from this observation. Also, data on the composition poset appearing in work with Steph van Willigenburg and collaborators were discussed also with Georgia Benkart; here, the question is whether the data helps in finding an algebra that is connected with the composition data.

Christine Bessenrodt Professor
Department of Mathematics and Physics, Leibniz University Hannover

This was, by far, the best conference I have ever been to. Everything was organised as to maximize interactions between (junior and senior) participants. And it worked brilliantly! I have come back with several new research projects with new collaborators. More specifically, I have started a project with Rosa Orellana on the restriction/induction rules for the Partition algebra (and other diagram algebras). This should give a new approach to the longstanding problem of describing the Kronecker product of Schur functions. With my "working group" at the conference (Benkart, Vazirani, Parker, Orellana), we have started investigating possible representation theoretic interpretations of the quasi-Schur functions introduced by van Willigenburg, Mason, Bessenrodt and al. and we plan to continue this work in the coming months. Following my talk at the conference, I have also had very useful discussions with Georgia Benkart, who suggested new directions for my own work, such as investigating the representation theory of the derragement algebra, and the relationship between the decomposition of tensor space for the orthosymplectic super Lie algebra and the Brauer algebra. I would also like to mention another aspect of the conference which (indirectly) influences my research as well. I did not know there were so many women in this field. I usually only meet a few at conferences. And many of them face the same challenge of juggling research and family life. I felt really encouraged hearing about other (more senior) people's stories and sharing experiences.

Maud De Visscher Lecturer
Centre for Mathematical Science, City University London

This was an extremely valuable conference for me, and I believe for many other participants as well. I was actually a little skeptical of the idea, but I think it worked well for a couple reasons -- a tone was created in which speakers felt comfortable trying to make talks as understandable as possible (rather than feeling like they simply should impress people as much as possible), and I think there was a team spirit created in which people really did try to draw in and help the younger participants both to learn about important areas and to get included in new collaborations.

Patricia Hersh mathematics, North Carolina State University

Participation in the BIRS workshop Algebraic Combinatorixx led to new research ideas, new research collaborations, and meeting new people. This was a fantastic workshop, well scheduled to really take advantage of being at BIRS. We had many interesting talks, but also plenty of time dedicated to small working groups. This workshop had a secondary theme beyond the research topic. It was an all women's workshop and time was set aside for panel discussions and general group discussion of the issues and difficulties facing women in mathematics. I truly appreciate BIRS supporting this additional aspect of the workshop. It is hard to describe the need and positive effect such gatherings have for female mathematicians. Among other things, I was "re-charged" to come home and face the challenges that arose while I was away.

Caroline Klivans Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Chicago

I found this conference to be well-organised with a surprisingly refreshing format. The organisers decided to have more expository talks - from which one learns more anyhow and fewer talks in general in order to put an emphasis on group discussions. My particular group was a good mix of people from different backgrounds and stages in their career. Our group started a project in a area that is new to all of us but for which our common background allowed us to discuss. I learned quite a lot from these discussions as well as from the talks. We hope that a paper (at least one) will result from this collaboration and are in the process of working further on it. This collaboration most likely would not have started up without this conference. Although this workshop did not personally affect my job prospects as I am tenured, it was a valuable opportunity for mentoring as most of the participants were in the early stages of their career. I had some doubts about the all-woman format before attending, but was pleasantly surprised on how the whole thing worked out. I would say that it was one of the most effective workshops that I have attended and the organisers are to be congratulated.

Nicole Lemire Mathematics, University of Western Ontario

The workshop impacted my current research. In our group, we worked on quasi-symmetric Schur P-functions. We conjectured the formula for that and plan to work on more problems related to quasi-symmetric Schur P-functions. We hope to write a paper together. In this workshop I worked with some professor from Korea. This was the first time I could collaborate a Mathematician from a such far place. The workshop affected my job prospects. The other participants told us that women in Math usually are more productive as age grows.

Huilan Li Postdoctoral Fellow
Mathematics, Drexel University

This workshop was the best of all workshops/conferences I have ever attended. I am so happy I was able to be at BIRS. I have learned a lot of new mathematics and new perspectives on mathematics, as well as found new potential research projects and collaborators that I likely would not have found otherwise. My time in Banff was very rewarding and enjoyable!

I had conversations with many new people that might ultimately lead to research collaborations. For example, Patricia Hersh came to my informal presentation on crystal bases and got an idea on how to apply this to symmetric chain decompositions of the Boolean algebra modulo a cyclic action. As a result of our discussions at the workshop we published the following article:http://arxiv.org/abs/1107.4073. Georgia Benkart had some interesting question regarding the decomposition of tensor products of Demazure characters. Christine Bessenrodt made some interesting observations about the character tables I presented in my talk.

Anne Schilling Mathematics, University of California, Davis

The workshop was incredibly useful for me. I expect 2-3 new collaborations to come out of conversations during the workshop. I found out about some jobs that sounds like especially good fits for me, and got advice on contacts for those. I met quite a few new people, and managed to form better relationships with others I had briefly met before.

Kelli Talaska NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
Mathematics, University of California-Berkeley

This was the best conference I have ever attended. The mathematics was superb, and I have started (at least) two new collaborative projects as a result. Additionally, the opportunity for panels and other discussions about women's issues in academia/mathematics was very valuable. I hope we can do this again!!!

Bridget Tenner Department of Mathematical Sciences, DePaul University

This was a fantastic workshop. The scholarship was outstanding. The focus on professional development was at an exceptionally high level. The research that I began during that workshop has continued with a dedication that I have never experienced in a research group this large, or from research arising out of an impromptu discussion. The professional contacts that I made and solidified promise to be exceedingly useful, both to my research and career more broadly (mine as well as theirs, I hope). The organizers are to be commended for the time, energy, and thoughtfulness that they put into this conference. I hope that BIRS will support more workshops of this form---I can only imagine the scientific impact if every research area had a group of organizers who could bring together women in their discipline this effectively.

Julianna Tymoczko Mathematics, University of Iowa

Every time I have the opportunity to attend BIRS I have an outstanding experience. This workshop was no exception. The opportunity to meet a wide range of women algebraic combinatorialists led to my making many new valuable contacts across the globe. Furthermore the breadth of talks and high quality of exposition meant that I cemented a number of concepts and deepened my knowledge of many more. The poster sessions for graduate students helped them to bring their research to the attention of many senior mathematicians, and the panels gave much valuable insight to life in academia for all participants. One of the most amazing aspects of the workshop was the collaboration groups, which brought together researchers of similar interests in groups to discuss open problems. By the end of the workshop at least four papers were originated (my group included), with the amenities that BIRS provides being crucial to the success of these projects: breakout rooms to work in, the library for resources, the lounge for continuing discussions late into the night, the mealtimes for swapping ideas with other groups. As an organizer, I was thrilled to hear from a number of participants that this was the best conference they had *ever* attended, and that BIRS was a fundamental contributor to this.

Stephanie van Willigenburg Mathematics, University of British Columbia
May 15 - May 20, 2011

My participation helped me to strengthen my knowledge on current ongoing research especially in my field which is Functional Analysis, Geometry and Probability, and of course, present a talk on new very recent joint results I had with colleagues. My job is secure and so Birs had no effect on job prospects. The workshop was important and interesting and it will take to digest its significance on my research. I was encouraged to see that my current joint research is interesting to other mathematicians in the workshop.

Yehoram Gordon Professor Emeritus
Department of Mathematics, Technion

The program at BIRS was definitely first rate. The organizers did a wonderful job and the list of speakers was truly impressive. The interaction between convex geometry and harmonic analysis was very interesting, but this brings me to a related point. While I enjoyed the program greatly, looking at the list of programs I was struck by the nearly complete absence of activity in classical harmonic analysis and related fields like additive combinatorics and geometric measure theory. With Izabella Laba, Akos Magyar and Malabika Pramanik at UBC, and Eric Sawyer in McMaster, among others, it should be possible to organize an excellent program in Banff with focus on modern trends in harmonic analysis. While the PDE end of harmonic analysis has been thoroughly represented at Banff, other areas of harmonic analysis have not been featured nearly to the same extent and I believe that it would be very time to do something about that.

Alex Iosevich Mathematics, University of Rochester

The meeting in Banff was great : good organization, good staff, good mathematics, and certainly very useful, at least for me, and certainly also for most others.

Mathieu Meyer Mathematics, Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée

The stay at BIRS was a perfect opportunity to keep the contact to the other experts in my research field. We started discussing a new research project which looks rather promising. The contact to some people from Case Western University helped me to find the appropriate place for my PhD student for a stay in the USA.

Matthias Reitzner Inst. f. Mathematics, University of Osnabrueck

The participation in the workshop "Harmonic analysis in convex geometry" enabled the continuation of two research projects with Matthias Reitzner (Univ. Osnabrueck) and Paul Goodey (Univ. Oklahoma). We made substantiall progress towards completing at least one new paper during the time in Banff. Also two of my graduate students (Thomas Wannerer, Manuel Weberndorfer) had the opportunity to participate in the workshop which has lead to new collaborations with Wolfgang Weil (Karlruhe Institute of Technology) and Rolf Schneider (Univ. Freiburg). This will undoubtedly have a positive affect on their future job prospects after they finished their PhD.

Franz Schuster Dr.
Institute of Discrete Mathematics and Geometry, Vienna University of Technology

There were several directions of research which I was less familiar with and the workshop provided the means to understand the technicalities of these sub-areas. I also had the opportunity to start a new research project. Its basic idea originated prior to the workshop, but it took off the ground while I was in Banff. Obviously, the atmosphere was very stimulating and conducive to research and I'm very grateful to BIRS for providing it. I also made new contacts in my field and became aware of the work and interests of several young people who are just starting out in their career.

Alina Stancu Mathematics and Statistics, Concordia University

As always when I am at BIRS everything was perfect and the scientific program was excellent. Thanks to my stay there, I was able to continue discussions on a project I have with 2 other colleagues that were also attending the workshop and we made quite some progress during the stay. Also, I did tentatively start two new projects with 2 other colleagues. The talks during the workshop were very interesting and gave me a lot of new ideas to think about. Alex, Artem, Dima and Vlad did a great job and so did everybody at BIRS!

Elisabeth Werner Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University

This workshop allows me to learn recent contributions in convex geometry and its connection with other fields, such as quantum information theory, random matrices, etc. I also have opportunities to present my recent work on quantum information theory where we used a lot of techniques from convex geometry. Besides, I also have wonderful discussions with some great mathematicians and have chance to know some new mathematicians. This workshop definitely benefits me in my future research of convex geometry and its applications. I really appreciate your excellent work for organizing and holding such a wonderful workshop.

Deping Ye Fields-Ontario Postdoc fellowship
School of Mathematics and Statistics, Carleton University
May 08 - May 13, 2011

This workshop was one of the most inspiring ones that I ever attended. The seemingly diverse range of topics are indeed all tightly knitted together, and I think a beautiful big tapestry is being woven right at this moment. Listening to physicists Bouchard and Klemm, and number theorists Rodriguez-Villegas and Stienstra, and talking to Zagier, I found a hint that I have been searching some time. I need to sit down and think through it, but it looks very promising. I was also immensely impressed by the talks of Brown and Walcher. Bouchard and I will be organizing our own workshop later this fall in your institute. The topics we have chosen are getting a lot of attention and excitement now. The enthusiasm is increasing. I'm so glad to be able to attend the last week's workshop, where I received inspiration and excitement. Thank you for providing this great opportunities to the world!

Motohico Mulase Chair
Mathematics, University of California, Davis

This was a fantastic workshop, with some very good talks. I particularly enjoyed having Prof Zagier in the audience, who always asked pertinent questions and made the speakers explain their work better. I also had a number of very useful conversations with Prof Zagier which I think will move my research forward in interesting ways, in particular in the search for finding modular forms in the noncommutative DT series of the local projective plane. Discussions on this subject with Prof Rodriguez Villegas were also very useful. At the meeting, I also had very good discussions with Prof Doran about one of my PhD students' work, including discussing a job offer to this student from Prof Doran.

Balazs Szendroi Oxford University

The workshop was a huge success. We indeed worked very hard with six lectures from 9:30am til 9:30pm, lectures were so interesting and nobody complained about the heavy schedule. We really felt that the barrier between mathematics and physics is coming down and both camps now find the common language. Modular forms occupy the central roles in mathematics, but they appear frequently in string theory landscape, and we would really like to understand conceptual reasons why modular (automorhic) forms play such important roles in physics. Many participants urged me to apply for the squeal to this workshop at BIRS in two years time. I plan to do so. This past workshop was partially dedicated to Don Zagier for his 60st birthday. Thank you very much.

Noriko Yui Mathematics and Statistics, Queens University
May 01 - May 06, 2011

It was a very stimulating workshop that you organized, in a fabulous location and with spectacular scenery, lots of snow on the mountains and yet mild sunshiny weather. Couldn't have been better! Yes, the time at BIRS was very stimulating and the interactions will lead to some new projects and hopefully to a resolution of the origin of the MJO. Thank you for making the excellent facilities of BIRS available and thank you to your staff for facilitating a very successful workshop.

Jorgen Frederiksen Marine and Atmospheric Research, CSIRO

Thank you for providing the resources for the workshop. They were exceptional. The workshop itself was very beneficial from a variety of perspectives. I'm an observationalist that will be involved in a large international field campaign to study the Madden-Julian Oscillation and I had many fruitful discussions with other scientists studying the problem from theoretical and modeling perspectives.

Courtney Schumacher Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M

This workshop was one of the most valuable meetings that I have ever attended. Through feedback from other workshop participants, I sharpened the focus of my current research (some of which was inspired by the Banff workshop of two years ago). I also made new contacts and received suggestions/references for a future project. I learned a huge amount from the other workshop participants about observations, modeling and theory of tropical convection.

Leslie Smith Professor
Mathematics, University of Wisconsin

This is my second time participating in a BIRS workshop. I enjoyed it even more than the first time. During the workshop, I had chances to clarify research issues that had been confusing, forge new collaborations, and reach a much clearer picture of where our field is and what the main challenges are than before the workshop.

Chidong Zhang Professor
MPO, U Miami
Apr 24 - Apr 29, 2011

I also think the organisers did a first-rate job. The conference was of much interest to me. I was very much encouraged by the efforts of the younger researchers in the field. I have already started to follow up a couple of ideas that arose as a direct result of discussions at BIRS, I hope these lead to some fruitful outcome. I hope BIRS will continue to support Algebraic Graph Theory and more generally Discrete Mathematics in the future.

Simeon Ball Matematica Aplicada IV, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

Coming to a BIRS conference is always stimulating, both due to the surrounding environment and the mathematical content. During the Algebraic Graph Theory conference the talks covered a wide range of topics that were insightful and have motivated me to pursue some new directions in my research (particularly the talks by Sebi Cioaba and Willem Haemers). Also during the conference I started a new collaboration with Alyssa Gottshall, Kara Greenfield and Michael Young on a problem about a game played on graphs and in the space of a few days we made tremendous product (what would normally have taken several weeks or even months outside of BIRS).

Steve Butler Mathematics, UCLA
Apr 17 - Apr 22, 2011

My participation in the BIRS workshop had a high impact on my current research. I had the opportunity to discuss my current research with other people working in the same area. From this discussions I had new interesting ideas regarding my research.

Maria Buzano Mathematics, University of Oxford

Since there were not too many colleagues working in numerics at this conference, the most important impact on my research was to see what the important problems in the field of Ricci flow and related topics were. We are working in numerical methods for Ricci flow (a PhD student and I) and I could collect a lot of problems which should be attacked numerically. Also the discussions concerning applied geometric evolution equations have been very helpful, specially the organizers Eric Woolgar and Gerhard Huisken pushed forward the connection between theoretical and applied studies.

Gerhard Dziuk Professor
Applied Mathematics, University of Freiburg

It's a wonderful experience for me to participate BIRS workshop on "Geometric flows in mathematics and physics", April 17-22. I attended all the talks, and engaged many fruitful discussions with other participants. The talks are of very high quality, topics touch the most recent development in the field. More importantly, what I like the most is the stimulation interactions with people there. I also worked out with my collaborator Lei Ni during the stay in BIRS. We made some good progress on the problem we have been working on for some time. In conclusion, it's a very successful workshop!

Pengfei Guan Mathematics and Statistics, McGill University

Heard some nice new ideas, and met some interesting people. Could present my own work in a talk. It was also nice to talk again to people I met before at other conferences.

Robert Haslhofer Department of Mathematics, ETH Zurich
Apr 10 - Apr 15, 2011

I will remember the discussions at Banff, and some of the people I spoke to in person for the first time, for many years; they are having an important influence on the directions of my research.

Grant Lythe University of Leeds

Yes, this workshop did impact on my research, indeed. It was a great and discussion loving atmosphere with great colleagues. Most of them were known to me in one way or another. However, there were also a few new contacts that I could establish and from which both sides will benefit. I have rediscussed seemingly established knowledge and learned about other point of views. I cannot yet tell whether these discussions will on long term lead to new collaborations or additional papers. However, I also had the opportunity to let colleagues know about job opportunities in my lab. This workshop was excellent and outstanding, which is certainly not only due to the attending scientists but also to the nice atmosphere in BANFF and the excellent facilities.

Michael Meyer-Hermann Department Systems Immunology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI)

I learnt a considerable amount about the current state of the art in techniques such as single particle tracking and two photon imaging. It was very useful also to be introduced to the main players in mathematical modeling in my field. These personal contacts will make it much easier to interact in future.

Anton van der Merwe Professor
Pathology, Oxford University
Apr 03 - Apr 08, 2011

I am very glad to have participated in the Workshop on Quantum Control, which gave me a rare opportunity to know the research achievements in interdisciplinary fields of quantum control. At the same time I also found that some problems existed and stimulated me to have new ideas about the study. I’ll be happy to take part in a similar workshop next time. In this workshop on Quantum Control (QC), I notice that there are 17 people who are mathematicians, which is half of the total number of participants. Indeed mathematics plays a very important rule in QC, I think, especially in controllability, observability, filter, estimation, identification, stability, convergence and new control method proposed, etc, all of which should combine the mathematics with the individual physical or chemical systems. I am impressed that only those people who are able to combine their own specialty with other specialties such as quantum physics or chemistry, can do well the QC. Owing to the interdisciplinary, QC concerns the physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, system control and engineering. The meaning of a terminology in one field could be understood as another meaning in other field. I find there exist some confusion or mix up in some terms. One example is “optimal control”. Optimal control is a terminology in system control field, which means a kind of special control theory or method called “optimal control (theory)”. One can say that all different kinds of control methods are not optimal except the optimal control (method). So people often want to optimize the parameters of other control methods or controller and do so indeed, which produces another terminology called “control optimization”. Another situation at present is one creates a new term, but the new term is in fact not new and it has the different meaning in one existed. These stimulate me to want to write a paper to describe and set forth the basic concepts, general configuration and various kinds of control methods in a quantum control system. I believe that quantum control belongs to the system control category or field, only the system is a microscopical one.

Shuang Cong Dept. of Automation, University of Science and Technology of China

The workshop was phenomenal! In addition to continued I met several mathematicians/scientists whose work greatly coincides with my own, particularly Christiane Koch. Based on discussions with Robert Kosut during the workshop, we identified a promising new approach for robust control of uncertain quantum systems. Overall, the workshop was very motivating. It was quite refreshing to learn that mathematicians are also looking at quantum control protocols from a rigorous perspective.

Matthew Grace Senior Member of the Technical Staff
Scalable & Secure Systems Research, Sandia National Laboratories

I have to be absent from the workshop due to lack of travel funds, but from the online discussion, I obtained helpful research insight and a possible collaboration on project or papers. I'm involved in the field of quantum control for many years, and I wish to have the opportunity to do research concerning this topic. Quantum control always stand in the front of other subjects, and it has a great impact on my applied mathematics major. Thanks again for the wonderful workshop at BIRS!

Quan-Fang Wang Dr.
Mechanical and Automation Engineering, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Mar 27 - Apr 01, 2011

BIRS significantly impacted my current research and career development. Several new and interesting insights were gained through meeting others in related scientific disciplines. Future directions for my research will be affected by the subjects discussed within the workshop. Connections exploring new research areas were helpful in directing future research for myself and the entire multiscale research community.

Paul Arendt Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University

It was a very very exciting experience. I would certainly look forward to another "follow-up" workshop possibly in a year. For me, it has opened up the "possibility" of new collaborations and rejuvenated the process of resuming some not-so-old collaborations.

Sonjoy Das Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, SUNY - Buffalo

The recent workshop at BIRS impacted my current research in several ways. (1) I was able to interact and network with leaders in my field to understand commonalities in my research and potential for collaboration. I also was able to ask clarifying questions about other researchers' work. (2) I was able to discern with more clarity the outstanding research questions in my area. (3) I was able to see and begin to address the difficulties in connecting two sometimes disparate fields: engineering and mathematics, as both communities have different needs, interests, and language. Also, the workshop most likely helped my job prospects as I will eventually pursue a faculty position. Being able to network with the participants will help me have a better name when I go through the interview process.

Steven Greene Theoretical & Applied Mechanics, Northwestern

As a 4th-year graduate student, I attended this workshop for educational purposes, although the topic was not completely directly related to my current research. In that respect, I did not have the necessary hindsight/knowledge to contribute to the discussions or engage in future work for now. However, the workshop was very fruitful, in that it successfully opened a constructive dialogue between engineers and academics, through the presentations and the evening discussions. In addition, I certainly made new contacts that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

Francois Monard Graduate Student
Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University
Mar 20 - Mar 25, 2011

I had a great time at BIRS! I came away with at least one new paper with V. Vertesi and D.S. Vela-Vick, in which we prove that the Legendrian invariant defined using grid diagrams agrees with that defined using open books. I started a new project with C. Manolescu, in which we identify the contact invariant of a contact surgery in his combinatorial formulation of HF+. I also began a project with L. Watson which could lead to an understanding of Szabo's spectral sequence in terms of holomorphic polygon counts.

John Baldwin Mathematics, Princeton University

Thank you for your kind e-mail which perfectly illustrates why BIRS works so well : attention to detail, great organization and a genuine care for the work done by mathematicians during their stay. Last week's meeting was really excellent from so many perspectives. Some amazing talks with deep results, a few excellent talks by more junior mathematicians, a great variety of areas represented allowing (formally and informally) to have an overall vision of what is in fastest expansion, and many small groups working on projects until late at night. Every time we organize one of these, we are amazed at how well this works. With my co-organizers we will write to participants to know what results came out of last week and it will be a pleasure to write up our report during the summer. We are really grateful to BIRS as this was the 3rd edition of this conference around interactions between contact/symplectic/geometric topology.

Olivier Collin Mathématiques, Université du Quebec à Montréal

The workshop was very helpful for me since it allowed me to get up to date with the latest developments in my field, even with the internet it is still very helpful to hear experts talk about their latest research. I also used my time at BIRS to finish a paper with Stefano Vidussi. I am very grateful for the time at BIRS.

Stefan Friedl Mathematics, University of Cologne

As always, my time at BIRS was amazing. The talks were excellent, the participants engaged, and the organization impeccable. Almost without fail, a BIRS conference leads me to new avenues of research. This past week was no exception, as a chance breakfast conversation led to a new result and has opened up an exciting direction in my research and a new collaboration. In fact, the talk I gave last week was based on a theorem that was dreamed up at the conference 2 years ago. In addition to the theorem, that conference also led to a fruitful ongoing collaboration. The posters sprinkled around the Banff center aren't just propaganda - it truly is an inspiring place. I also wanted to thank you for accommodating my early arrival. This allowed me and a collaborator - Olga Plamenevskaya - to make serious progress on a project which, thanks to the support of BIRS, is nearly complete. I am extremely grateful to have access to such a special place.

Matthew Hedden Mathematics, Michigan State University

This conference was a great opportunity. As a graduate student, it is important to be exposed to the most current topics in research, especially what is not published. It was very helpful to hear about what people have been working on, both through lectures and speaking with people. This process introduced me to many new people and gave me perspective on how people are thinking about the field and its current state. I am hoping that this will help improve my job prospects when I apply for postdoctoral positions next year, as I was given an opportunity to give a talk, which exposed me to people who had either not interacted mathematically with me before or seen me give a talk. One of the most valuable aspects of this conference was that it got me inspired to work more on my research. In fact, a colleague that I was already collaborating with mentioned something to me at the conference and I was able to come up with some results on the plane ride home.

Tye Lidman UCLA