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Two decades of number theory at SU
Author: Media & Communication, Faculty of Science
Published: 25/01/2017

Mathematicians from all over the world descended on Stellenbosch University during January 2017 to participate in the tenth Number Theory conference, presented bi-annualy since 1997 by Stellenbosch University (SU) and the African Institute for Mathematics (AIMS)

SU’s Prof. Florian Breuer, one of the founding members of the conference and co-organiser, says the conference was originally started to make contact and network with international experts in the field.

“Over the years the conferences have been highly successful at attracting leading international experts in the area of Number Theory. This year we have a particularly large turnout, with 37 participants from 12 countries,” he says.

Financial support for the conference came from Stellenbosch University, AIMS and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand.

The other organisers of this year’s conference were Prof. Barry Green from AIMS and Dr Patrick Rabarison from Antananarivo University in Madagascar.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences also hosted the second  model theory conference. Organised by SU’s Dr Gareth Boxall in collaboration with Dr Charlotte Kestner from University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom, the conference attracted 20 participants from seven countries.

Dr Boxall says a few experts gave sequences of talks, similar to mini-courses, while other speakers gave single stand-alone talks: “We were very fortunate this year to have two very prominent senior members of the model theory community, namely Prof. Angus Macintyre and Prof. Alex Wilkie.”

Prof. Macintyre is a British mathematician and logician known for his work in model theory, logic and its applications in algebra, algebraic geometry and number theory. He is currently emeritus professor of mathematics at Queen Mary University of London. Prof. Wilkie is the Fielden Professor of Pure Mathematics in the School of Mathematics at the University of Manchester.

This conference was financially supported by the Association for Symbolic Logic – an international organisation that supports research and critical studies in logic – as well as SU and AIMS.

Dr Boxall says the purpose of the conference was to interest both experts in the field and less experienced researchers to start working in this field.

On the photo, participants in the second Model Theory conference, hosted by SU's Division Mathematical Sciences during January 2017 (Photo credit: Florian Breuer). On the photo above, participants in the Number Theory conference, also hosted in January 2017.