Topic #5 -------------- OP-SF NET 8.3 ---------------- May 15, 2001 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From: Walter Van Assche (Walter.VanAssche@wis.kuleuven.ac.be) Subject: Report on Lucknow Conference on Special Functions The following report was received from K. Srinivasa Rao (Convenor) and S. Ahmad Ali (Secretary). The second annual conference of the Society for Special Functions and their Applications (SSFA) was held in the historic city of Lucknow, from February 2 to 4, 2001. The delegates and the participants were housed in the Institute of Management and Development of the U.P. Government, which was also the venue of the conference. The inaugural function on Feb. 2 was presided over by Prof. S. Bhargava (Mysore University), a vice president of the SSFA. Prof. S.K. Joshi -- former Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India and Chairman, Research and Assessment Committee, Defence Research and Development Organization, Government of India -- was the chief guest. It was a very special occasion for the Society since it felicitated Prof. R.P. Agarwal, the Founder and Patron of SSFA, and a dedicated researcher in the field of special functions, on the occasion of his 76th Birthday. Prof. K. Srinivasa Rao (Institute of mathematical Sciences, Chennai), in his felicitation speech, outlined the outstanding contributions of Prof. Agarwal, the awards and honours conferred on him and emphasised the qualities of his leadership which resulted in the formation of a dedicated group of research workers in the area of special functions and their applications and which led to the formation of the SSFA. Prof. Joshi and Prof. Bhargava, while felicitating Prof. Agarwal, stressed the importance of special functions in mathematics, physics and other applied disciplines, such as, biological and social sciences. Prof. S. Kanemitsu (Kinki University, Japan), one of the four foreign invitees to the conference, delivered a keynote address on "Higher Mathematics from an elementary point of view." In this three-day meeting, fifteen invited talks were delivered by experts, -- including one by Prof. M. V. Subbarao (University of Alberta, Canada, read in absentia by Prof. Bhargava) -- on different aspects of special functions and their applications. Besides these, thirty-four research contributions were presented by their authors. The general meeting of the Society took place during this period and the conference concluded on Feb. 4 with a valedictory function at which the following recommendations were adopted: - To publish a journal of international quality for research papers, duly refereed by experts, in the area of special functions and their applications. - To encourage the starting of local chapters of the society, state-wise, in places where there are twenty or more members to start with. The aims and objectives of such chapters are to organize periodically lectures by experts and to encourage young research workers in the field of special functions. - To involve applied mathematicians, engineers and other users of special functions to project their problems, especially those of interest in the scientific and technological development of the country. - To further strengthen the relationship of the Society with the Activity Group on Orthogonal Polynomials and Special Functions of SIAM, in order to mutually benefit by their experiences for the cause and furtherance of real life problems facing physicists, applied mathematicians, engineers and other users of special functions.