Nicholas Barella | December 5, 2017
Mathematics has never been constrained by global boundaries, and over time has become even more internationally focused. In 2011, the Center for Mathematics at Notre Dame capitalized on this trend by hosting the University’s first international summer thematic program. During June 2017, the seventh consecutive program—which highlighted Kahler geometry—met a milestone with the attendance of its 1,000th participant.
“Through the end of the 19th century, it was conceivable for an individual mathematician to be in touch with all of mathematics. Now, the average number of authors per math paper is going up and you have to depend on other people,” said Jeffrey Diller, chair of the Department of Mathematics.
The summer programs, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, provide opportunities for topic experts around the world to come together to present their research and connect with their peers. Gabor Szekelyhidi, a professor of mathematics and an organizer of the 2017 conference, said, “The goal is to bring together people working on related problems. They can discuss progress in person and see if their ideas can help one another.”
Another important facet of the program is its international nature, with participants coming from 43 states and 34 countries. “Myself and the other organizers feel that the program represents well the diversity and strength of our subject,” said Anand Pillay, the William J. Hank Family Professor of Mathematics and an organizer for the 2016 conference on model theory.