Earlier this week, SIAM finalized the details and announced that SIAM DS 2021 will be held in Portland, Oregon at the DoubleTree Hotel. Portland boasts a vibrant restaurant scene, efficient public transportation, a northwestern hipster vibe, and some of the best coffee, donuts and ice cream I’ve ever had (and your chance to weigh in on the Blue Star vs. Voodoo donut controversy). While many individuals enjoyed the seclusion and the spectacular mountain views the Snowbird resort offers, altitude sickness precluded some people from attending and the food choices were limited, expensive, and often congested. Others expressed frustration at the difficulty of getting up the mountain. After surveying the membership earlier this year, we learned that there is a split among preferences for being in an urban venue versus a secluded resort. In the end, after the viable options narrowed to Portland and Snowbird, a second survey (with 245 responses) showed 52.7% preferred Portland, 38.4% preferred Snowbird with 8.9% remaining neutral. The SIAG leadership in concert with the SIAM staff decided to follow the majority opinion and pursue the Portland option.
Personally, I have very fond memories of Snowbird. The SIAM dynamical systems community is my academic home; I’m particularly fond of our broad reach across pure and applied communities, with a mixture of mathematicians, physicists, biologists, and engineers in attendance. The SIAM Applied Dynamical Systems conference is a biennial gathering of our tribe, and Snowbird served us well for many years. The first SIAM DS Conference at Snowbird was in 1992 and we will return there for the fourteenth time in 2019. While we will be taking a break from Snowbird in 2021, we could return there in 2023 although there are many other possibilities including venues on the east coast and even possibly in Canada and Europe.
I encourage those of you who are attending DS 2019 to take a moment to reflect upon the mountain surroundings, and to thank the Snowbird resort for the great service it has provided us over the years. Personally, I look forward to sitting in the rooftop hot tub late at night and contemplating the mountains and the stars, but knowing me I’ll probably start daydreaming about Portland’s Voodoo donuts.