The Young Mathematicians Symposium of the Greater Region 2020, hosted this year by the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, will take place virtually Sept. 14 to 16. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers are invited to register for free, and slots are still open for participants to present their research.
A mathematics conference organized by graduate students, for graduate students, is going virtual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Young Mathematicians Symposium of the Greater Region 2020 will bring together master’s and Ph.D. students in a wide range of mathematics and computer sciences to share their research and connect with their peers.
“We were looking forward to meeting in person in Kaiserslautern,” says Jayantha Suranimalee, a Ph.D. student at Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK) who is helping to organize the symposium. “However, the virtual platform will now allow us to include more participants from more places. We expect some excellent talks and are working hard to ensure the symposium is still very interactive.”
The annual symposium began in 2018 and has quickly grown. Participants largely come from the universities in the Greater Region, which includes TUK, Trier University and Saarbrücken University in Germany; Université de Lorraine in France; University of Luxembourg; and University of Liège in Belgium. However, the symposium is open to any graduate student or postdoctoral researcher interested in participating, and has attracted participants from universities beyond the region.
“It’s really beneficial to connect with students from other universities,” Suranimalee says. “Building a strong network early in our research careers is important. When we know what others are working on, we can find ways to collaborate or share opportunities with each other.”
The conference is entirely student-run and focused, and meant to have an informal, low-pressure, and friendly atmosphere. All presentations are by students or early career researchers, and talks are selected by a committee of students. Most all logistics are handled by the student committee, with some administrative support from the host institution.
“It’s very impressive for students to organize a complete conference like this,” says Dr. Falk Triebsch, who heads TUK’s Graduate School of Mathematics. “It is an excellent learning experience for the students, many of whom will go on to become researchers and professors.”
This year, the organizers had planned several activities around TUK, including a tour of the nearby Fraunhofer Institute, hiking in the Palatinate Forest, and a pub crawl in Kaiserslautern. Of course, with the COVID-19 pandemic, these activities had to be canceled. Suranimalee says she is disappointed that they can’t provide the full conference experience, but that they are investigating digital options to facilitate interaction between participants, including online coffee breaks, forums and Q&A sessions.
Students who wish to present their research in any mathematical field, which can include some computer science, must submit their abstract for consideration by August 7. Registration is free. Deadline to register is August 24. Talks will be held in English. For further information and registration, please go to: https://www.mathematik.uni-kl.de/opt/ymsgr2020