Jun 012014

Every three years, the International Union of Crystallography holds a Congress and General Assembly. The first was in 1948 at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the 23rd will be held this summer from August 5 to August 12 in Montreal, Canada.

The entire meeting looks rather large – at the 2011 meeting in Madrid, there were 2,655 “scientific participants” from 73 countries, resulting in 490 oral presentations and 1,550 posters – and this meeting will probably be comparable.

  • Registration opens on August 4.
  • The workshops are on August 5, and the Ewald Prize will be awarded to Aloysio Janner and Ted Janssen for their work on aperiodic crystals.
  • The keynote and plenary speeches, microsymposia, software fayres, poster sessions, and various commissions will be held from August 6 to August 12.
  • The Gjønnes Medal in Electron Crystallography will be awarded to John Steeds and Michiyoshi Tanaka on August 12.

Here are some events that may be of interest to the mathematically inclined:

  • As of May 31, there are four plenary lectures listed.
  • As of May 31, I counted 31 keynote speeches, not counting the two Gøonnes Prize lectures. A few heads-up for the mathematically inclined or the crystal engineer:
    • Crystal Engineering and Applications of Functional Metal-Organic Frameworks by Xiao-Ming Chen on August 7.
    • Mathematical Crystallography in the 21st Century by Marjorie Senechal on August 8.
  • Workshops consist of sessions of extended presentations by experts, and cost $ 25 to $ 60 … and space is limited, so make reservations asap. They are all being held on Tuesday, August 5. These seem to be largely on software.
  • There are several ancillary “commission meetings” during the conference, including an Open (i.e., everybody is invited) Commission Meeting on Mathematical and Theoretical Crystallography, which is scheduled to meet on August 11 during lunchtime – 12:15 – 13:45 on the fifth floor in room 441. Come and bring a colleague – or even better, a student!
  • Recent developments are presented in 112 microsymposia and in poster sessions. Here are some microsymposia whose descriptions suggest substantial mathematical content or opportunities.
    • 2. Recent Advances in Quasicrystal Research, organized by An Pang Tsai and Janusz Wolny, on August 6.
    • 31. In-situ XRD: Parametric and Symmetry Constrained Refinement, organized by Robert Dinnebier and John Evans, on August 7.
    • 33. Symmetry Constraints in Magnetic Structure Determination: Experiment and Theory, organized by Branton Campbell and Mois Ilia Aroyo, on August 8.
    • 34. Crystals and Beyond, organized by S. I. Ben-Abraham and Jeong-Yup Lee, on August 8.
    • 62. Symmetry and Isomorphism in Material Design and Crystal Growth, organized by Tatyana Bekker and Antoni Dabkowski, on August 9.
    • 72. Methods, Algorithms and Software for Powder Diffraction, organized by Ryoko Oishi-Tomiyasu and Jon Wright, on August 10.
    • 95. Symmetry and its Generalisations in Science and Art, organized by M.A. Louise de la Penas and Emil Makovicky, on August 11.
    • 96. New Computational Approaches to Structure Solution and Refinement, organized by Richard Cooper and Lukáš Palatinus, on August 11.
    • 104. Crystal Structure Prediction and Materials Design, organized by Roman Martonak and Tian Cui, on August 12.
    • 112. New Approaches to Crystal Structure Prediction, organized by Graeme Day, on August 12.

    Of course, in addition to the microsymposia, there will be approximately five million posters, including mine. Drop by and browse.

  • There will also be a Software Fayre where software developers can demonstrate their software. While mathematical crystallography may influence crystallography in developing theory, it seems likely that the most impact will be in software.

About Montreal…

Montreal is an island in the St. Lawrence River with a population of about two million people. It was inhabited as early as 4,000 years ago, but during the Sixteenth century, all the people disappeared (!). The French started settling the place in the Seventeenth century, but it was surrendered to the British in 1760. It lies in the province of Quebec, and is now the second largest city in Canada.

Major academies in Montreal include Concordia University, Université Laval, McGill University, the Université de Montréal (including its affiliate, the École Polytechnique de Montréal), the Université du Québec à Montréal (the Ecole de technologie superieure) is affiliated with the university), and the Université de Sherbrooke.

The deadline for reserving accommodations is “[u]ntil blocks are sold out or June 25, 2014, whichever comes first,” and since this is a tourist season, blocks may not last until June 25 (and affordable airplane tickets may be difficult to find).

Summers are, according to Wikipedia, hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from 63 F to 77 F (17 C to 25 C), with mean temperature 70 F (21 C), 4 inches (100 mm) of rain a month, and relative humidity of 79 %. In general, sunny with occasional storms. Despite last year’s story on Montreal in July, High heat and humidity warnings bring serious health threat, to a Florida resident like me it sounds comparatively pleasant.

For future reference …

The 24th Congress and General Assembly will be held in 2017 in Hyderabad, India, capitol of Andhra Pradesh, with a population of nearly eight million people, and home to several academic institutions, including the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani – Hyderabad, the English and Foreign Languages University, the University of Hyderabad, the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University of Hyderabad, and Osmania University.

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