The 8th AIMS Conference on Dynamical Systems, Differential Equations and Applications

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Handling editor and photographer: Hinke Osinga
Photographers from TU, Dresden: Lutz Liebert, Frank Henschel
Markus Piersig, Martin Däumler

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The 8th AIMS Conference on
Dynamical Systems, Differential
Equations and Applications

Dresden University of Technology
Dresden, Germany, May 25–28, 2010

A few years ago the East German region of Saxony-Anhalt was running a promotional campaign, advertising itself as the "Land of the early birds." I am not sure if this resulted in crowds of tourists packing out the country's hotels and B&Bs in the hope for a very early morning call, but the slogan stuck. And it immediately came to my mind, when I saw the programme of the 8th AIMS Conference on Dynamical Systems, Differential Equations and Applications in Dresden (in Saxony, neighbours with Saxony-Anhalt): with the plenary lectures starting at 8.15 in the morning, you had to get up early if you wanted to get the most out of the conference (or at least hear those plenary lectures).

AIMS Director Shouchuan Hu at the opening
ceremony     Barbara Gentz
(Bielefeld) with Conference Chair Stefan Siegmund (Dresden)
AIMS Director Shouchuan Hu at the opening ceremony. Barbara Gentz (Bielefeld) with Conference Chair Stefan Siegmund (Dresden).

Even before I noticed how packed the programme was, the first surprise was the size of the conference. I had not heard of AIMS before this meeting, so I certainly did not expect to find 1400 participants at one of their meetings. This is about twice the number of people compared to SIAM's Dynamical Systems conference at Snowbird, and it was a great opportunity to catch up with many old friends and colleagues.

Since the Snowbird conference is a popular and big meeting dealing with dynamical systems, how does the AIMS conference compare?

For both meetings, the scheduling is very similar, with plenary lectures and blocks of parallel sessions. There were 71 Special Sessions and 10 Contributed Sessions in Dresden, with topics ranging from the very foundations of the theory (Topological Dynamics, Operator Semigroups) to computational methods and applications in Physics or Biology (Magnetohydrodynamics, Mathematical Cancer Modelling), hardly any aspect of dynamical systems theory was left untouched.

    Claudia Wulff (Surrey)
Claudia Wulff (Surrey).

Topic-wise, my impression was that there were relatively more "pure" sessions in Dresden. (I even heard rumours of talks being given on the blackboard.) There was also a difference in the areas of applications being addressed. Whereas mathematical biology has become a big topic at the SIAM meeting, sessions in the AIMS conference mainly discussed "classical" applications in physics, fluid dynamics, control theory, etc. In any case, with usually 35 sessions running in parallel there was more than enough to choose from and planning the day's talks could take a while.

Marty Golubitsky (MBI, Ohio)     Yulij Ilyashenko (Moscow/Cornell)
Marty Golubitsky (MBI, Ohio) and Yulij Ilyashenko (Moscow/Cornell).

Apart from talks, there was a poster session, but unfortunately it went almost unnoticed.

Conference banquet at Westin Bellevue    

The social programme was more successful. At least that's what I heard from others. (Being a fairly regular visitor to Dresden, I did not take part in any of the tours myself.) What I can confirm is that the conference dinner in the Westin Bellevue was excellent. It was impressive how the catering staff managed to feed hundreds of hungry mathematicians in hardly any time. And who can possibly dislike a buffet of Saxonian delicacies incl. the finest cake of them all, the Dresdner Eierschecke? Nobody, of course. Especially, if the dinner comes with a pleasant lack of long speeches.

The conference banquet at
Westin Bellevue

It is clearly a challenge to organise a meeting of such a size and I can only take my hat off to the organisers and their many helpers, for how smoothly things went. Chaired by Stefan Siegmund, they did a fantastic job.

Thomas Wagenknecht (Leeds)   

The next AIMS meeting will take place in July 2012 in Orlando.

Thomas Wagenknecht
University of Leeds

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