SIAM AG on Orthogonal Polynomials and Special Functions


Extract from OP-SF NET

Topic #4 ----------- OP-SF NET 18.4 ---------- July 15, 2011
From: Martin Muldoon
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
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

Back to Home Page of
SIAM AG on Orthogonal Polynomials and Special Functions
Page maintained by Bonita Saunders