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The American Mathematical Society

Mathematics Research Communities

Snowbird Resort, Utah


Mathematics Research Communities - 2013

"I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity as a young researcher to participate in this MRC program. It is a great way to network, think about new research problems not entirely connected to your dissertation topic, and spend a week in a beautiful setting with people who are passionate about math. I would highly recommend the conference to anyone."

The 2013 Mathematics Research Communities (MRC) summer conferences were held at the Snowbird Resort in Utah, June 9 - July 1. The four week-long conferences drew 118 early-career mathematicians. These conferences, funded by the National Science Foundation, are part of the AMS program that will include special sessions at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, a longitudinal study, and a continuation of the connections and collaborations via an electronic network.

More comments from participants:

"This was a phenomenal opportunity and was tremendously energizing."
"I liked the small group sessions and the opportunity to talk to people one on one."
"I truly enjoyed the conference.  It was very rewarding, we made progress on some open problems, and I made so many connections that I hope to continue."

This year's conferences:


A) Complex Dynamics
June 9 – 15, 2013 
Organizers:  Laura DeMarco, University of Illinois at Chicago; Adam Epstein, University of Warwick; Sarah Koch, Harvard University

The Mandelbrot set is one of the most famous objects in modern mathematics. The goal of this MRC engaged participants in the active, central research surrounding the Mandelbrot set and related objects. The emphasis of the week's activities was on experimentation and discovery.

B)  Tropical and Nonarchimedean Analytic Geometry
June 9 – 15, 2013
Organizers:  Matt Baker, Georgia Institute of Technology; Sam Payne, Yale University

Tropical geometry uses a combination of techniques from toric geometry, Groebner theory, combinatorics, and rigid analysis to study algebraic varieties over valued fields.  This workshop focused on links between tropical and nonarchimedean analytic geometry, and potential applications in algebraic geometry and number theory.

"I loved the focus on problems. Spending so much time with a small group working on one hard problem was an important experience for me. I have not been to other conferences where I got to have this experience."


Geometric Group Theory
June 16 – 22, 2013
OrganizersRuth Charney, Brandeis University; Tullia Dymarz, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Dan Margalit, Georgia Institute of Technology; Kim Ruane, Tufts University; Kevin Wortman, University of Utah

Geometric group theory is a large and growing field. This MRC introduced young researchers to a variety of current topics in geometric group theory and aided the participants in creating new and interesting open problems in geometric group theory.

"I thoroughly enjoyed this and felt it was one of the most beneficial workshops I have ever attended."


"The problem solving sessions were very engaging. I felt I learned a lot. My group continued working on our problem after hours and after the workshop ended."


Regularity Problems for Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations Modeling Fluids and Complex Fluids
June 25 - July 1, 2013
Organizers:   Peter Constantin, Princeton University;  Gautam Iyer, Carnegie Mellon University; Igor Kukavica, University of Southern California; Helena Nussenzveig-Lopes, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; Jiahong Wu, Oklahoma State University

This MRC focused on several outstanding systems of partial differential equations modeling fluids and complex fluids: the Euler equations, the Navier-Stokes equations, the primitive equations of oceanic and atmospheric dynamics, the surface quasi-geostrophic equations, the Boussinesq equations, and the Smoluchowski equation of complex materials and polymeric flows.

"The distinguishing feature of this conference is that there are structured opportunities for participants to work on problems in research groups. In my opinion, this is the most valuable thing that happens at the conference."

"It is probably the most hands-on conference I have been to.  Also, the followup and the possibility to meet again to finish our work is unique to this conference."

"The small problem groups were wonderful.   The atmosphere (casual, relaxed, informal) made the serious math/work more possible, for lack of fear and formality."

"The conference exceeded my expectations. It was a great experience."

About the MRC Program

The American Mathematical Society's Mathematics Research Communities program builds social and collaborative networks to inspire and sustain mathematicians who are just beginning their research careers—those who are close to finishing their doctorates or have recently finished. The structured program engages and guides all participants as they start their careers. The program includes:

  • One-week summer conference for each topic (With the exception of week 3, participants arrive on Sunday and depart the following Saturday; sessions are held Monday through Friday.  For week 3, participants will arrive on Tuesday and depart the following Monday; sessions are held Wednesday through Sunday.)
  • Special Sessions at the national meeting
  • Discussion networks by research topic
  • Longitudinal study of early career mathematicians
Those accepted into this program receive support for the summer conference, and will be partially supported for their participation in the Joint Mathematics Meetings which follow in January 2014. The summer conferences of the MRC are held in the breathtaking mountain setting of the Snowbird Resort, Utah, where participants can enjoy the natural beauty and a collegial atmosphere. This program is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

"Get a bunch of really good people in one place, and magic happens."

MRC 2013 MRC 2013

Sunset in Snowbird, Utah. Photos by Sebastian Pancratz.

Read about the 2012 Mathematics Research Communities and the MRC program.

See information on the 2014 MRC sessions and how to apply.

Photos not credited were taken by Ellen Maycock (AMS Associate Executive Director, Meetings and Professional Services) and James Maxwell (AMS Associate Executive Director for Special Projects).

rha 08/01/13