Thursday, February 3, 2011


During more or less at the same period when the rich and powerful of the world were meeting in Davos this year, I had the privilege to attend another type of select meeting in nearby (for North American standards that is) Oberwolfach, at the ultra prestigious institute known to all mathematicians around the world.

It was my first time there and hopefully not the the last. It goes without saying that the place is ideal for mathematical work and communication between peers. Everything is design to contribute to what they call the "Oberwolfach atmosphere": the isolation from burdens of modern life, great meals, exceedingly good and low cost beer, wine and spirits, no locks at the doors, no internet in your room, a hand written book of abstracts, mid-conference hike towards the place where Black Forest cake was invented, and the list goes on and on.

There were simply too many high caliber talks for me to do justice in a short commentary like this, so I'll restrict myself to sharing a picture which, for me at least, perfectly encapsulates the experience:

Challenge: try to see how many financial mathematicians you can recognize in the official picture for the workshop.