Topic #4 ----------- OP-SF NET 18.4 ---------- July 15, 2011 From: Martin Muldoon email@example.com Subject: Hong Kong Conference on Asymptotics and Special Functions An International Conference on Asymptotics and Special Functions was held at the City University of Hong Kong during the period 30 May - 03 June, 2011. The Organizing Committee consisted of Dan Dai, Mourad Ismail and Roderick S. C. Wong. The Conference Coordinator was Sophie Xie of the Lie Bie Ju Centre for Mathematical Sciences. The Plenary Speakers were Richard Askey, Jacob Christiansen, Alberto Grünbaum, Nalini Joshi, Tom Koornwinder, Rupert Lasser, Frank Nijhoff, Eric Rains, Jean-Pierre Ramis, and Nico Temme and there were about 60 other speakers. The conference was notable for its coverage of the diverse areas of the subject matter. No less notable was the worldwide attendance, representing every continent (except Antarctica). Nor was this just tokenism. In the case of Africa alone, the List of Participants distributed included names from Algeria, Egypt, the Gambia, Nigeria, Tunisia and South Africa. At the conference web site http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/rcms/ICASF2011/index.html the organizers have posted a link to about 100 excellent photos taken at the conference. And these represent just the first half-day! The Conference was sponsored by the K. C. Wong Education Foundation, the Lee Hysan Foundation, the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau and the Department of Mathematics, City University of Hong Kong. Tom Koornwinder writes: I want to add a few comments and observations to Martin Muldoon's nice overview of this conference. Few conferences in the last years in the area of OP and SF have attracted so many well-known experts. Many of them spoke in the afternoon sessions, where one always had the choice of two parallel thirty minutes lectures. Often I would have liked to split up to hear both parallel lectures. Maybe the organizers overlooked my taste when they were arranging the parallel speakers. Computer algebra was highlighted by Christoph Koutschan and Veronika Pillwein of RISC Linz, who both gave invited thirty-minute lectures and both also gave a demonstration of their computer algebra software during a special evening session. A very innovative feature was the double projection of digital slides on two parallel screens. Possibly, at a future conference, speakers can even manipulate images on the two screens independently (which would also require a major update of the Beamer package for LaTeX). What I have long regretted at math conferences is that slides of presentations are not made available publicly at the conference website. It was my second visit to Hong Kong. It is a delirious city. After a few days I had learnt which stairs I had to take from the platform at Hung Hom Station in order to avoid walking for 10 minutes through corridors before reaching the hotel. I was happy to visit the Museum of Art and the Museum of History, and to attend a Kanton style opera performance. Finally, Sophie Xie and her team set new standards in organizing a math conference.