The 51st Southeastern International Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Computing (SEICCGTC) international meeting of mathematical scientists was held on March 9-13, 2020 at the newly renovated Student Union building at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). The conference is held annually in March, during Spring Break at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida. The conference includes a program with plenary lectures by invited speakers, as well as sessions of contributed papers each day. In addition, two or three invitational special sessions are offered each year. A valuable part of the conference is the opportunity afforded for informal conversations about the methods participants employ in their professional work in business, industry, and government and about their current research.
Five distinguished researchers, at various stages of their careers, accepted invitations to attend as plenary speakers at this year's 51st SEICCGTC: Pierre Baldi, University of California, Irvine, USA; Pavol Hell, Simon Fraser University, Canada; Patricia Hersh, University of Oregon, USA; Panos M. Pardalos, University of Florida, USA; and Kai-Uwe Schmidt, Paderborn University, Germany. There were two special sessions this year, which were both well attended and well received. Plenary and contributed talks covered a wide variety of topics including new tools for counting and linear programming, using topological methods: graph homomorphism; graphs with loops; highly non-linear functions and coding theory; association schemes; deep learning and its mathematical foundations; extremal graph theory; posets; Latin squares; combinatorial games; coloring, connectivity, domination, labeling, and partitioning of a graph; along with associated algorithms and applications.
The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 created some difficulties for our conference. One plenary speaker could not attend, and we experienced 20 cancellations due to the virus outbreak. The FAU Department of Mathematical Sciences hosted approximately 150 conference participants and guests marking another successful meeting of the SEICCGTC! Overall, the conference was a great success and participants expressed their approval of the overall quality of speakers and programs and the continuous improvements in the technology provided. We have a cause to celebrate!
The most notable cause to celebrate is the publication of the commemorative book entitled, “50 Years of Combinatorics, Graph theory, and Computing,” published by CRC/ Taylor & Francis. Twenty-nine past plenary speakers and past conference participants contributed 21 chapters for the book, edited by Fan Chung, Ronald Graham, Ronald Mullin, Frederick Hoffman, Douglas West, and Leslie Hogben. On Tuesday, March 10, we celebrated this accomplishment with a fun-filled evening of math, laughter, and cake, complete with a champagne toast!
This year, we took another step toward elevating the quality of the conference, by agreeing to publish our conference proceedings with Springer Nature, in their PROMS series of hardback conference proceedings. The purpose is to more effectively and efficiently continue to disseminate important advances in the represented disciplines and to ensure that the conference continues to promote better understanding of the roles of modern applied mathematics, combinatorics and computer science; demonstrate the contribution of each discipline to the others; and decrease gaps between the fields, as it did through fifty years of publishing in the journal, Congressus Numerantium .
As we embark on another 50 years of the SEICCGTC, we look forward to continued success in growing and improving the conference. Plans are now underway for the 52 nd meeting, and we anticipate another successful conference in 2021!