Amazing AMS spring sectional in Pullman WA

I just attended an amazing constellation of events around the AMS spring sectional meeting Saturday/Sunday April 22-23, 2017, in Pullman, Washington, organized by Kevin Vixie of Washington State University.

The meeting was preceded by a day on Data Science, with an incredible variety of short talks every 15 minutes, interspersed with discussion periods.Kris Kaufman, for example, talked about financial prediction and kindly evaluated some of my own investments for me. In the lunch talk, accompanied by most delicious catered bag lunches, Paul Vixie offered to help colleges and universities with DNS security, and I’ve just forwarded the offer to my own college. The afternoon session consisted of 5-minute presentations of practical open questions with discussion. The next day we had a hike with a beautiful view of the green, brown, and soon-to-be-yellow wheat fields below. I even made it to the impressive Pullman March for Science.

The excellent sectional meeting, organized superbly by the Michel Lapidus, included three excellent invited addresses, by Michael Hitrik, Daniel Rogalski, and Andrew Raich, all featured in alluring introduction in the April Notices of the American Mathematical Society. The evening reception, held in the inspiring art museum and graced by the lunch talk caterers, generously sponsored by the WSU Mathematics Department, chair Charles Moore, was the best I’ve ever attended.

Sunday Vixie organized a morning on geometric measure theory, where I was honored to speak with the likes of Jean Taylor, Bob Hardt, and Vixie himself, along with the next generation, well represented by Yunfeng Hu, Enrique Alvarado, and Sharif Ibrahim. A lunch panel, again graced by the by now legendary caterers, gave first-hand experience and advice on “Internships and Postgraduate Positions in Industry and the National Labs.” The closing poster session program included 58 listings by graduate students, one perhaps to be featured in Notices. The day closed with a most enjoyable and delicious informal buffet supper at Vixie’s house.

Everything seemed to move so quickly and efficiently. It was a model for what can be done at sectional meetings, with my hat off to Vixie, his co-conspirator Laramie Paxton, and to Michel Lapidus.

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