12th International meeting of EWM
September 18-23, 2005
The 12th General Meeting of EWM took place in Volgograd from the 18th to the 23rd of September 2005. Thirty-three participants from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Germany, Switzerland, France, Finland and Sweden attended. Among these, 29 gave talks on their mathematical research.
Among the invited lectures, given by Catherine Bandle, Ljudmila Bordag, Sabine Pickenhaim, G.V. Khromova, most were deeply connected to the theory of PDE's. They focused on different methods: classical variational methods and new geometrical methods, with actual applications in economics and finance as well as in modeling of natural phenomena. Two of the invited speakers, Nina Uraltzeva and Inna Yemeljanova, were unfortunately forced to cancel their trip because of health problems. We regretted this of course, as well as the low participation, especially from outside of Russia, but took advantages of the small scale of the meeting. This gave us the chance to invite all participants to give 20-minute talks on their research problems.
In general, the quality of the talks was quite good, and the women presented interesting results. Most of the talks led to interesting questions and discussion. In particular, surprisingly many young women, PhD students and new PhDs, took the opportunity to present their work in a conference setting for the first time. Many of the speakers were also presenting their work in English for the first time. In this sense, our Volgograd meeting was especially useful for the young women, who got an occasion to compare their own results with those of other mathematical schools and see their own position in a wider context.
Some of the lectures were attended not only by conference participants but also by students and faculty from the university. Several men attended regularly, including the dean of the mathematical faculty, and the vice-dean of Rostov State University's mathematical faculty and dean of the open faculty of Rostov State University.
Representatives from the regional administration and from the university participated in the opening session, which was shown on the TV news of the regional channel. EWM was also shown on the municipal TV, heard on the radio, and written about in newspapers. A multimedia presentation of EWM was prepared by the university's information services, showing EWM's goals and pictures from previous meetings. This was shown in the main hall of the university. It is a very pleasant and informative presentation which we can probably use in the future.
The meeting was financially supported by the university and local authorities. Support from the Russian Science Foundation was announced, but was cancelled a week before the conference.
The devoted and efficient local organizing committee, including young Volgograd mathematicians, was visibly happy to welcome the participants and did everything to facilitate our stay, from picking up participants at the airport, with the help of the university rector's car and driver, to arranging police authorizations and email access...while giving their own mathematical talks. The web site of the conference gave in advance a lot of information about the meeting and the venue, with the possibility of registering online and sending abstracts and visa documents. It now includes pictures of the meeting. A well-prepared book of abstract was published in advance and available at the meeting.
The General Assembly decided to publish proceedings entirely electronically. The reports will be accessible from the conference web-page. Each invited talk will dispose of 10 pages, contributed talks of 5 pages. The deadline is 31 January 2006. There will be no external refereeing process.
Participants lived in a sanatorium center near the university. All the mathematical talks were given at the university, whilst some discussions on women in mathematics and EWM's General Assembly took place at the residence. We had a shuttle bus at our disposal for transportation.
In the middle of the week, the local organizers led an excursion to the Mamaev Kurgan monument and the Panorama Museum,both of which commemorate the Battle of Stalingrad. After lunch, the participants enjoyed a boat trip on the Volga. The university folk-singing women's quintet performed powerful Kazak songs for us on Monday evening.
Discussion on the place of women in mathematics in Russia, Belarus, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Finland and France took place after Catherine Bandle's historical overview on famous women in mathematics' history.
EWM, its history,goals and activities were presented at the opening ceremony. The functioning of the association was discussed at a pre-general assembly on Tuesday, and at the General Assembly on Thursday. The General Assembly was attended by 24 people from 7 countries. In addition to reelecting some of the active members, the assembly chose Rachel Camina, Sylvie Paycha, Tatiana Sannikova and Tatiana Vassilieva as new members of the Standing Committee.
lauramath [dot] chalmers [dot] se (Laura Fainsilber)