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Math conference highlights need to strengthen cross-area cooperation

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Published on Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Homotopy is used in many fields of science and the term stands, roughly speaking, for increased flexibility. The aim of the conference on "Interactions and Applications of Homotopical Algebra and Geometry" was to bring together leading scholars from both areas as well as the best experts in applications - all too often living in three parallel universes - and encourage them to present their recent work to a broader audience in a simplified way.

The meeting attracted 56 registered on-site participants and roughly 25 registered online participants. Indeed, besides the mentioned highly recommended presentation type that explains the big picture rather than interesting technical aspects, another highlight was the streaming of the last day's lectures on applications of homotopy and homology in neuroscience, topological data analysis, M-theory and quantization.

There was unanimity among the participants on the necessity of increasing the number of such interdisciplinary initiatives in order to strengthen cross-area cooperation within pure mathematics, cooperation between pure and applied mathematics and cooperation between mathematics and industry. Otherwise, research takes place in closed communities, and it becomes quite unrealistic to expect to be able to provide enough significant returns to society.

In connection with new cooperative links and new conference formats, one participant made the thoughtful remark that in a world that is rapidly changing on all levels, university teaching is one of the only areas that has not really changed since the early 1900's. An idea worth considering...

Ieke Moerdijk and Vladimir Hinich

Wojciech Chacholski

Ellipse lecture hall

Sergey Shadrin

Bruno Vallette

Nils Baas

Benoît Fresse

Vladimir Hinich