(This is really just a supplement to this post.)
The AIM model of conferences encourages real time collaboration, which is unusual as far as mathematical conferences go. But the ne plus ultra of such a conference (among those I have attended) was not at AIM at all, but rather organized by the University Bristol (Although to be fair, I believe it was organized specifically by Brian Conrey). The mission was to take a group of mathematicians and have them work on a very specific problem (which we were not told about in advance). The result: we failed to solve it (c’est la vie). On the other hand, I met a bunch of interesting mathematicians for the first time. My records are spotty, but I did manage to dig out some (poorly executed) photographic evidence from the time, which I present to you below.
The conference was actually located in Clifton rather than Bristol. It didn’t look much like its namesake Clifton Hill (in Melbourne) to me.
Emmanuel Kowalski and Mark Watkins heading towards the Clifton Suspension Bridge. (Check out the snazzy red suitcase!) The conference centre was located in an old manor (Burwalls house, now apparently sold by the University of Bristol to a developer) which is visible in the photo as the orange brick building to the left.
I can’t quite tell if the red suitacase has now transformed into a red backpack or if this is a different day and my fellow blogger has a predilection for vermillion satchels.
Akshay Venkatesh (I’m not going to comment on the hair colour.)
Soundararajan (see comment above)
Elon Lindenstrauss and Erez Lapid
Ben Green and Jon Keating
Brian Conrey and David Farmer.
This collection of photos is definitely incomplete: attending but missing from the photos includes William Stein (who I’m pretty sure was there) and Andy Booker and Sally Koutsoliotas (who were both definitely there) [also Mike Rubinstein]. I think there were a few more local Bristol people as well.
Other things I learnt at this conference: the naive Ramanujan conjecture is false for GSp(4), pork pies are pretty much best avoided, and Collins’s 628.