The second edition of the Nonlocal School on Fractional Equations took place on campus from June 9 to 11, 2022. The conference brought to ISU campus a total of 50 graduate students, postdocs, researchers and faculty from 22 different academic and research institutions in the US, Argentina and Spain. The event featured two mini-courses by world-wide renowned professors Ovidiu Savin (Columbia University) and Mahamadi J. Warma (George Mason University), along with five invited presentations by distinguished researchers.
The conference focused on recent advances in modeling, mathematical analysis and computational simulation of nonlocal phenomena. In many real-world situations, objects, people and local communities are affected by the direct influence of others that are not physically close by, but far away. Examples include the interaction between atoms, globalization, pandemics and the spread of information in social media. These behaviors are described by an emerging new class of mathematical tools called nonlocal and fractional equation models, which were addressed during the conference.
The inaugural edition of the Nonlocal School on Fractional Equations took place on campus in 2017. After a long pause due to the pandemic, the second edition came back with the same format as the first one.
In addition to the mini-courses and research presentations, the invited speakers held a panel discussion on research trends, funding opportunities and collaborative efforts to create a diverse scientific workforce, followed by a Q&A session from students in the audience.
At the end of the conference, one of the participants said “Big thank you to the organizers for going above and beyond to facilitate a pleasant experience to the participants.” Another participant emphasized that “[the conference] solidified my choice in research topic.”
Pablo Raúl Stinga, associate professor of mathematics, spearheaded the organization and management of NSFE 2022, with the collaboration of Harbir Antil, professor of mathematics at George Mason University, and Paul Sacks, professor of mathematics and former chair of the Department of Mathematics at ISU.
Due to the organizers’ significant efforts to promote women and other underrepresented and minority groups in mathematics, the Association for Women in Mathematics granted NSFE 2022 the “in cooperation with the AWM” honorific status. Indeed, 24% of participants were women and 24% belonged to other underrepresented and minority racial groups in STEM. One participant expresses that “the conference has been well organized, informative, and had a good environment. Thank you.”
Educational materials were created and made available as an open source. In the website https://pabloraulstinga.github.io/NSFE2022.html lecture notes, slides, papers, YouTube videos of the mini-courses and photos taken during the event can be found.
The conference was funded by the ISU Department of Mathematics, the ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, and National Science Foundation through the award DMS – 2213723.
NSFE 2022 helped ignite the interest of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the timely scientific topic of nonlocal and fractional equations. It provided an excellent platform for participants to learn about current cutting edge scientific research in the field and establish new collaborations. One participant said that “[it was a] great conference. Can’t wait for the next one!” In fact, the third edition of NSFE is currently being planned.