The last Foundations of Computational Mathematics conference was held at University of Minnesota on 5-14 August 2002, as guests of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

The conference, organised by Society for Foundations of Computational Mathematics, was next in a sequence that commenced with Park City, Rio de Janeiro and Oxford FoCM meetings. The format was similar: plenary invited lectures in the mornings, theme-centred parallel workshops in the afternoons. Each workshop went on for three days and the conference consisted of three `periods', comprising of different themes. Some participants chose to attend just one or two `periods' but, on past experience, the greatest benefit followed from attending the conference for its entire ten days.

The choice of speakers in a workshop was the responsibility of workshop organisers. Many (but by no means all) talks was by invitation.

Like previous FoCM conferences, the Minneapolis gathering proved itself as a unique meeting point of workers in computational mathematics and of theoreticians in mathematics and in computer sciences. While presenting plenary talks by foremost world authorities and maintaining the highest technical level in the workshops, the emphasis, like in Park City, Rio de Janeiro and Oxford, was on multidisciplinary interaction across subjects and disciplines, in an informal and friendly atmosphere. It is only fair to say that for many of us the opportunity of meeting colleagues from different subject-areas and identifying the wide-ranging (and often surprising) common denominator to our research was a real journey of discovery.

Click here for a discussion panel on "Future of the foundations of computational mathematics" at the Minneapolis conference, moderated by Endre Suli and with Steve Smale, Lenore Blum, Peter Olver and Ron DeVore on the panel.