I am back after my trip to the annual meeting of the Australian Maths Society in Adelaide. There were 12 plenary speakers this year. Going to one of these general meetings always reveals how big a subject mathematics is and how little of it I know. For this reason I always prefer “big picture” plenaries over more detailed ones. A couple of personal highlights were Terry Tao’s public lecture on `Structure and randomness in the prime numbers’, Jacqui Ramagge’s talk on `Totally disconnected, locally compact groups’ which outlined the theory of the subject developed mainly by George Willis, and Akshay Venkatesh’s talk on his work with Ellenberg and Westerland on `The Cohen-Lenstra heuristics over global fields’.
There were up to 12 parallel sessions on at any given time. I mainly attended the combinatorics session where there were many good talks and I spoke on `3/2-transitive permutation groups’. I have uploaded the slides for my talk. I also ventured to the Topological groups session and enjoyed Daniel Horadam’s talk there on `Automorphism groups of trees’. There were many other talks I would have liked to have gone to but they clashed with other interesting talks or me speaking.
Overall the conference went very well and the organisers should be congraulated on the great job they did. The conference dinner was also very well done: the food and wine was great and there was even a band.