Two Complementary Views of ICIAM 2019 

The International Congress of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM2019), which took place in Valencia, brought together in Spain more than 4,000 mathematicians from more than 100 countries to share the greatest advances in this discipline that contributes so much to industry and society in general. 

The Basque Centre for Applied Mathematics – BCAM (Bilbao, Spain) actively participated in the congress and two of its members have decided to share their experience at the congress with us. The authors of this short article: Luis Vega, who was elected an Officer-at-Large of the International Council of Industrial and Applied Mathematics during the event; and Nagore Valle, BCAM’s Communication Manager, have two very different backgrounds. We present views of ICIAM 2019 that are certainly complementary. 

Nagore Valle: “As someone who had recently joined the center as the Communication Manager, ICIAM 2019 was my first experience at a large event involving the mathematical community. Getting to share what our institute is all about at our academic stand, with the invaluable support of the researchers from the center who attended the conference, was a very enriching experience”.  

Luis Vega: “It was a fascinating week both personally and scientifically. It was also a small satisfaction to see the impact that the Industrial Day had and to verify in situ how mathematics is essential in all the areas that surround us: social networks, technological companies, industrial processes, finances, artificial intelligence and machine learning…”

This photograph shows the bcam booth at ICIAM 2019. (Photo from the ICIAM2019 website, used by permission.

The two of us agree that the non-stop exchange of knowledge and ideas between researchers from all over the world was inspiring to see. We observed networking raised to another level. From Professor Vega: “I would specially underline the opportunity the congress offered for interaction between researchers in different fields, from medicine and biology to computer science and artificial intelligence”.   

In the opinion of Valle, the involvement and interest of many industry representatives was also “a great thing to witness” in a time where applied mathematics is becoming of the utmost importance. 

And from Vega, “I can’t finish without mentioning how satisfying it was to see the recognition by the authorities and the community of the growing work of Spain in the contribution to European achievements in science and innovation, in the field of mathematics”.

And both of us are clear about this: see you in Tokyo 2023!



Nagore Valle and Luis Vega

Nagore Valle is Communications Manager of BCAM (Basque Centre for Applied Mathematics); Luis Vega is Group Leader there, and Mathematics Professor at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Vega is currently an Officer-at-Large of ICIAM.