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The Third Annual Abel Conference—A Mathematical Celebration of Endre Szemerédi

The IMA’s third annual Abel Conference—a collaboration between the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters and the IMA—was held this year in honor of Endre Szemerédi.

Szemerédi received the Abel Prize in 2012 for his fundamental contributions to discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science. He is a permanent research fellow at the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in Budapest. He also serves as the New Jersey professor of computer science at Rutgers University.

Szemerédi is described as a mathematician with exceptional research power whose influence on today's mathematics is immeasurable. Many of his results have generated research for the future and have laid the foundations for new directions in mathematics. He has published over 200 papers in a career spanning five decades.

It is no wonder then that this year's conference was the largest to date with more than 100 participants gathered from across the globe. Opening with an introduction given by University of Minnesota Provost Karen Hanson, the conference lasted three days with talks that included Hillel Furstenberg (Hebrew University) who presented on "A Szemeredi-type theorem for non-amenable groups," Terence Tao (University of California, Los Angeles) on "Arithmetic and algebraic regularity lemmas," and Avi Wigderson (Institute for Advanced Study) on "Points, lines, and ranks of design matrices," and many more.

According to organizer Joel Spencer, "Szemerédi’s approach to mathematics is through discrete mathematics. Moreover, he worked on asymptotically large discrete objects, such as graphs and subsets of the integers. By moving toward infinite limit objects, his results have been recast in terms of dynamical systems and Fourier analysis. This conference saw a synthesis of these diverse methodologies.”

Photos from the conference can be found online at www.ima.umn.edu/group-photo/SW11.29-12.1.12.

The IMA gratefully acknowledges the generous support of IBM Research, Microsoft Research and the University of Minnesota for this annual conference series.