The GAeL conferences are a series of annual meetings of young researchers in algebraic geometry. Their objective is not only to introduce participants to subjects that are likely to be of relevance in the forthcoming years, but also to allow them to participate actively in scientific communication at an early stage of their career. This is fostered by the selection of participants who are PhD students or early-career postdoctoral fellows, and the inclusion of numerous junior talks. These short talks are of a non-technical nature and usually focus on explaining the approach to the problems that the participants are currently investigating. At the end of the meeting, participants choose from among themselves a board of organisers for the next year which reflects the name:
GAeL - Géométrie Algébrique en Liberté.
We believe that this concept for a school is very well adapted to research, specifically in algebraic geometry where the threshold for developing independent research projects is particularly high and complete results are only achieved at the end of a thesis project.
The annual character of the meetings contributes to the network spirit of GAeL. The establishment of these networks at an early stage contributes to output in the highly specialized field of algebraic geometry. In addition the provision of international contacts is invaluable to students who aim to join algebraic geometry’s workforce at the end of their PhD studies.
This year’s edition, the 17th, gathered 42 junior participants (including organisers), from a wide range of European and American countries. In addition, three senior participants took part in the conference, namely Gavril Farkas, Stefan Müller-Stach and Frank Sottile. They gave three independent introductory lectures on the topics “Intersection theory on moduli spaces,” “Higgs bundles and families of special varieties,” and “Real solutions to equations from geometry”. However the emphasis was on talks of young participants, 19 in total. These covered a wide variety of topics in algebraic geometry. Most of the junior speakers followed the organisers’ request to give introductory talks without too many technical details. This fact, along with the ample time for free interaction, contributed to many enthusiastic discussions during and after the talks.
This year’s GAeL was sponsored by the Lorentz Center, Foundation Compositio Mathematica, the Thomas Stieltjes Institute, the Mathematical Research Institute, and the Cluster Geometry and Quantum Theory (GQT) institute.