History of the PNGS

The first meeting of the Pacific Northwest Geometry Seminar (PNGS) occurred in February 1974 when Arnold Kas, then of Oregon State University, Jim Carrell of the University of British Columbia, and Alan Durfee, Jim Morrow, and Lee Stout of the University of Washington met in Seattle over a weekend. The five participants were very enthusiastic with the results of this meeting and decided to meet again during the spring of 1974, and to try to recruit a larger audience of participants.

This second meeting was very successful, and meetings have been held nearly every year since then. The National Science Foundation has generously supported these since 1978. Without the support of the NSF, these meetings could not have been held.

The list of participating universities has gradually expanded: the University of Oregon was added in the 1970's, and the University of Utah participated from the early 1980's until 2007. From the mid-1980's through 2000, winter meetings were held at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), but those have been discontinued. In 1993, Portland State University, which had been sending large number of graduate students to recent meetings, joined the list of participants. From 2004 to 2014, winter meetings were held every other year at Stanford University. In 2016, three primarily undergraduate institutions were added to the organizing group: Lewis & Clark College, Pacific University, and Seattle University.

Since 1991, the NSF has provided travel support for PNGS participants, not just for speakers. This has had an extremely beneficial effect on the conference, resulting in a significant increase in the proportion of conference participants who were graduate students. At most recent meetings, for example, the majority of participants have been graduate students from the participating universities. The average overall attendance at the PNGS meetings has increased as well.

Here is a list of past PNGS meetings, speakers, and titles

Back to PNGS home page.

Suggestions or corrections to

Jack Lee <lee@math.washington.edu>.