This project supports a 3-year sequence of regional conferences in Algebra, Combinatorics & Number Theory. The goals of the conferences are to encourage and stimulate research efforts of regional PhD students in mathematics and computer science, to foster collaborations among senior researchers and students, and to further strengthen the developing group of researchers in the Rocky Mountain region in the focus areas. A tentative list of topics is: 2010 Topic: Expander graphs, Speaker: H.A. Helfgott (University of Bristol); 2011 Topic: Finite Geometry and its applications, Speakers: Gary Ebert (University of Delaware) and William Kantor (University of Oregon); 2012 Topic: Algebraic Graph theory applied to complex networks, Speakers: Sebi Ciaoba (University of Delaware). Each conference will have two plenary speakers. Those listed have already confirmed their participation. The remaining slots will be filled in consultation with the speakers to support the chosen topic.

Graduate student involvement will be a high priority. Graduate students will be encouraged to present their research, and the schedule will be designed with break-outs and problem sessions so that faculty can offer suggestions and direction to the students. Creating an environment to foster new collaborations will be another priority, and the topics and speakers have been chosen because of their timeliness and the high potential for collaborations with regional faculty. The project provides funds to defray some of the travel expenses for speakers and participants. Priority for travel funds will go to minority applicants and graduate students. The project will (a) provide an encouraging environment for young researchers and graduate students, (b) inform researchers of some of the latest developments in Algebra, Combinatorics and Number Theory, and (c) strengthen collaborative, and interdisciplinary research ties among mathematicians in the Rocky Mountain region.

Project Report

. Each meeting focused on a contemporary topic, and featured two or three plenary speakers. The topics were: Finite Geometry, Spectral Graph Theory, Extremal Combinatorics, and Expander Graphs. Keynote speakers were selected for their expertise, their known ability and interesting in working with graduate students, and to provide role models for underrepresented groups in mathematics. These meetings focused on providing graduate students in the Rocky Mountain area in these disciplines the opportunities to: give a presentation of their research to a friendly audience of peers and faculty; develop collaborations and mentoring relationships; be exposed to some of the frontiers of research in Algebra, Combinatoric and Number Theory through plenary talks; become part of a vibrant, supportive, research community. Meetings averaged approximately 30 participants per year, with about half of the participants being graduate students. Several new collaborations were developed each year, which have resulted in refereed publications. These meetings enhanced the education of over 50 student participants who completed an MS or PhD during this time period. In addtion, professional development, such as a mock interviews for PhD students nearing completion, were a part of the project.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Tomek Bartoszynski
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University of Wyoming
United States
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