Saturday, March 10, 2018

Impressions of and Photos from the Fabulous Variational Inequalities and Nash Equilibrium Conference in a Castle in Italy

As academics, we sometimes journey to conferences that take place in quite remote locations. And, what never fails to surprise me, is how doing so is so worth it! I believe that academics, driven by intellectual curiosity, always want to exchange ideas and to engage in discussions and, if you can do so in locations that are unique, then the inspirations drawn and experiences as well as the  memories can be exceptionally rewarding.

Today, I will be journeying to England, where I will be conducting a master class in Network Equilibrium at Lancaster University next week but, before I head to the airport, I thought it appropriate to prepare and share this blogpost.

First, I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to the organizers of the fantastic VINEPA (Variational Inequalities, Nash Equilibrium Problems and Applications) 2018 conference, which took place the past two days in Reggio Calabria, Italy. The venue was a castle and the views from the top of the castle are spectacular. One can see Sicily across part of the Mediterranean Ocean.

The organizers, who deserve a medal for this exceptional conference, were: Professors Sofia Giuffre', Patrizia Daniele, and Laura Scrimali. How appropriate that they are all females, given that the conference also coincided with International Women's Day!
I was invited to give a keynote at this conference and, since the theme of the conference is so perfect for my research, I had to accept.

The photo above is of the organizers and of a doctoral student of Professor Patrizia Daniele's, Gabriela Colojanni. We even have a joint paper now on cybersecurity, which is in press.

I enjoyed giving my keynote very much and in hearing all the great talks and discussions. The discussions were especially stimulating since the conference convened operations researchers, applied mathematicians, computer scientists, and even those working in areas of economics and engineering. Conferees came from Italy (of course), Denmark, Norway, Russia, Mexico, France, and the USA! Some journeyed for almost 40 hours to get to Reggio Calabria, which is in the "toe" part of the boot that is the shape of Italy.

Dr. Igor Konnov, in the photo above, presented me with his book.

The attention to detail by the organizers was outstanding, with delicious lunches, coffee breaks, a tour of the castle, and a multicourse banquet. Of course, I could not resist having a cannoli!

I am carrying back not only great research ideas but gifts from the organizers and several participants!
And, we all have new friendships and have renewed friendships!