Jerusalem Combinatorics ’93

Jerusalem Combinatorics ’93 is the title of a conference I organized that took place fifteen years ago in May 9-17, 1993 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It was a conference that was devoted to all areas of combinatorics. The other organizers were Noga Alon, Hélène Barcelo, Anders Björner, and Edna Wigderson. Altogether there were around thirty plenary talks, and about fifty additional invited talks in 10 sections representing various subareas of combinatorics. There were also four special talks for a large audience. Overall, it was a fruitful and a very nice event that I think people enjoyed.

A special aspect of the conference was the unusually large number of female speakers. 16 out of the 30 main plenary speakers were women, and also many of the additional speakers,  special session organizers, and other participants. The four large audience lecturers were Vera Sós, who talked about irregularities of distributions, Mireille Bousquet-Mélou who talked about polyominoes, Hillel Furstenberg who talked about Ergodic theory and Combinatorics, and Joan Birman who talked about the combinatorics of finite-type invariants for knots.

collection of papers   by participants of the conference, edited by Barcelo and myself, appeared as Volume 178 of Contemporary  Mathematics.

The poster of the conference also has an interesting story behind it. It displayed the intricate scissors handiwork of Gershon Hanoch who was a student at my combinatorics course in the mid eighties,  who was so impressed by the beautiful formula for enumerating horizontally-convex animals (polyominoes), that he cut from a paper all such animals up to n=6.



Briman  Hillel_Furstenberg


From top: Vera Sos (at Bollobasfest 2003, top) Mireille Bousquet Melou (At the Bordeaux Alea meeting 1999), Joan Birman (2006), and Hillel Furstenberg (2007),


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