International Conference Honors Mathematician

The Department of Mathematics at UCF hosted an International Conference on Orthogonal Polynomials and q-Series in honor of Mourad Ismail’s, Ph.D, 70th birthday.

Organized by a committee headed by Zuhair Nashed, Ph.D, a mathematics professor at UCF, the conference was organized to honor Ismail’s work in the fields of orthogonal polynomials and q-series.

Mourad Ismail, an emeritus professor and research professor at UCF, has had a great influence in the fields of orthogonal polynomials and q-series. 41 lecturers spoke during the three-day event.

Nashed said many of the speakers had long collaborated with Ismail.

Nashed said conferences celebrating important occasions are often held for distinguished mathematicians; those who have collaborated with others and who have made substantial contributions to their field.

The lecturers came from Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Qatar, Spain, the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates.

The plenary speakers were Richard Askey, Some of what I owe to Mourad Ismail and some elementary inequalities; both old and new, and Dennis Stanton, A small slice of Mourad’s work.

The keynote speakers were George Andrews, Bressoud’s easy proof of the Rogers-Ramanujan identities and Bressoud polynomials, Willi Freeden, Euler summation and Shannon sampling, Frank Garvan, Transformation properties of Dyson’s rank function, Erik Koelink, An explicit family of matrix-valued orthogonal polynomials in the q-Askey scheme, Tom Koornwinder, Fractional integral and generalized Stieltjes transforms for hypergeometric functions as transmutation operators, Victor Moll, A collection of questions coming from the evaluation of integrals, Paul Nevai, Some inequalities in approximation theory, Luc Vinet, A q-generalization of the Bannai-Ito polynomials and the quantum superalgebra ospq (1|2), Roderick Wong, Asymptotics and orthogonal polynomials, and Ruimin Zhang, On the Fourier transform and Q-spherical function.

There were also parallel sessions of contributed talks.

A reception was held on Sunday evening. On Monday, a group photo was taken and a banquet of honor for Mourad Ismail was held that evening. The conference wrapped up on Tuesday at lunchtime after talks by Paul Nevai and Luc Vinet.

Nashed emphasized how far Ismail’s history with other mathematicians extended.

“He has collaborated with over 110 coauthors,” Nashed said. “And he has about 265 publications in journals and proceedings of conferences. He is a highly cited mathematician.”

Mourad Conference

The organizing committee worked with multiple sponsors to host the conference. Sponsors include UCF, King Saud University, the UCF College of Sciences, the UCF Department of Mathematics, Elsevier and Pearson.

Nashed said, “I think the conference was a great success. Many of them expressed satisfaction with the conference, they felt it was a splendid and highly successful conference.”

World Scientific Publishing will publish the conference proceedings in a book entitled Frontiers in Orthogonal Polynomials and q-Series, which was edited by Nashed and Xin Li, Ph.D.

Last October, Ismail was honored for his hard work and research in the field of mathematics with another conference in China. Read about it here.

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