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Marc de Montigny
I attended Symmetry 2003, and I have nothing but praises for it! The organization was fantastic: nice and efficient team, great schedule of presentations, great proceedings published within a few months of the conference, nice and free computer access during the conference, hotels within 20 min. walk and near nice touristic areas, etc. You just thought of everything, just like my mother! Kyiv is a great cultural, hospitable, lively, city. The Opera House (and its programme) is beyond description: it is rich in great Classics! I love Kyiv! There are many restaurants, in particular, this very convenient cafeteria at five minutes walk from the conference site. During the evening, there are many cafes and bars where one can discuss with colleagues. The social activities (banquets, tours, boat trip) were unforgettable. Scientifically speaking, it is most interesting that Kyiv lies on the border between western and eastern countries.
My only suggestion would be to provide a list of Internet Cafes (if any) near your Institute.
The conference "Symmetry in Nonlinear Mathematical Physics" (Kyiv, 2003) was organised in the most efficient and pleasant manner. In fact, it was one of the best organised conferences I ever attended. Many thanks to the organisers!
And Kiev overall left a very good impression on me. In particular, self-service restaurants were so good that I was afraid to approach my bathroom scales upon my return to the UK.
Your conference was beyond all limits of perfection. For this reason I suggest that you make, on purpose, some mistakes in organizing its 2005 continuation. Just to make its organizers look more human! :-)
Let me take the opportunity to say again that the hospitality, well-wishing and efficiency of the organizers of Symmetry-2003 was fantastic. And Kiev is just marvellous.
It was a really very well organised conference on very good scientific level. Publications of the Procedings both in hard copy and electronic form is a good idea to enlarge the audience of the Conference. In particular, I like very much the "guidings" issued on the conference web-site about the Kyiv, its sightseengs, how to rich them, the prices in the restorants, fast foods etc. I appreciate the good will to provide partial financial support to people from the countries where it is a problem. In my case, this made my attendance possible.
I think that your collaborators are right: asking people is a statistical process though it might look like fishing compliments.
My comments are grounded on my expirience as a scientist from a eastern european country. I now that is difficult to make good scientists to participate an eastern conference, to find save and comfortable accomodation on reasonable price for everybody. That is why the idea to orginize the conference downtown Kiev is OK: it is well orginised part of the town.
I think that the major problem in any eastern european country is the communication with the local people because only a few of them speak english. And as a rule only the central part of the main towns and resorts are well orginised and save. I personaly encountered the problem. Because I speak Russian, I was asked several times to help participants with the hotel staffs and pharmacies on minor problems. It turned out that neither staff speaks english. My advise in this direction is to orginise the conference at such places that foreigniers would not have problems with communication with local people.
I have enjoyed very much the conferences Symmetry-2003. I gave me ideas to progress on subjects I was thinking about. I attended to bright conferences. Some of course was were less interesting for me, but the whole programm was so important that I could find every day something interesting fo me. I was very pleased to be able to choose. The discussion I had were also very interesting. I got friends, some of them I went to meet in january in Portugal, and who will come in Paris this week. The discover of Kyiv was also for me something very important. I love reading Boulgakov, I was very glad to discover his house in your city. It was for me the first time that I visited the city. I realize how european you are, and also the importance you have toward Orient. And this was for me a discover, though I knew very well the history. I appreciated also to go to your theater and to hear "'La dame de pique". It was for me very important. Your city is a bright one, where I could imagine to live. I was enthousiastic of the kindness and the youth of your population, promissing for the future To discuss my subject in Kyiv gave me the occasion to progress. I know now the precise meaning of the equations I presented in Kiev : these are only a disguised form of the Laplacian of the Poincaré half plane. It was a pleasure to meet you, and it is also a pleasure to say how I appreciated kindness and bright organization.
Here, in France, for professionnal uses, we currently ask for the feelings
of the participants to meetings. It is sometimes hard to suffer for the
people who have organized, but the idea is to improve for the next meeting.
Really, I found the city of Kiyv very interesting and bright. I went some
years ago to Saint Petersbourg, and the feelings of dangerousity were less
for me in your town. So it was for me in some parts of american cities.
The cultural flavour I could taste in Kyiv was a real pleasure. As for
the good restrants, I remember the situation of Spain twenty years ago,
or the situation of China where I went for the International Mathematician
Congress. They were worst than what I saw in your town. Of course they
are differences with the situation we have in our country. But it moves
everywhere. When peace is present, the economic development can take place.
I am quite sure that your population can do great progress. I did not realized
why it could not be accessible for you as it was for us. Nothing comes
without efforts. But your population seems young and full of possibilities.
The scientific level and the historical past are very bright. I had not
enough time to study the precise economical situation of the whole country,
but I got positive feelings when visiting. Of course I thought
to Tchernobyl, asking to me what could be the situation in the whole region. I could not have any idea of it because I stayed in the town.
I omitted also to say that the documents giving the different contributions are very good. I look at them with pleasure. Also the Internet site was good as the for the help for writting the documents.
Another point, for the exposition of books, many of them were in russian. I could have appreciated to be able to access to more East mathemtics in english. It is the only point I found possible to improve.
Delfim F.M. Torres
In my opinion the organization was perfect. I am glad to know that you plan to organize the conference in the Future.
Just a suggestion: I think the scientific level of the Proceedings is good, and I think the Proceedings deserve to participate in all major science citation indexes: AMS Mathematical Reviews, Zentralblatt MATH, etc. I really think this would be of great importance.
The Symmetry conference you organized in Kiev in 2003 was great. I was impressed by the number and variety of participants, the level of organization and the quality of the proceedings... And, of course, the city was simply beyond my expectations: very clean, very friendly and very beautiful. The first (and unfortunately, the last) time I visited Kiev when I was 7 (i.e more than 25 year ago). Last summer, during the conference, I had a chance to walk around its streets and enjoy its views again. It was an unforgettable experience: I am still full of impressions ...
The 2003 conference was very well composed and my wife and I enjoyed the whole experience very much.
On the plus side: (i) A nice selection of talks and participants. (ii) Kiev is a lovely city.
On the minus side: (i) My wife would have welcomed a more extensive social program. (ii) A number of people who were listed as participants in advance did not come (this has nothing to do with SARS). This may be a device to attract other people but it was disappointing since I had hoped to talk with some of these people.
Overall it was a plus and I'm grateful for the opportunity you provided.
Your 2003 Conference was well organised in all senses. I enjoyed it very much and will definitely share my high opinion of it with my colleagues. I have only one suggestion for your future cultural program: Kyev has fabulous cultural and historical heritage and mileau. During the Conference I and my family enjoyed greatly the theaters (opera, Lesi Ukrainki), exhibitions and museums (one of them with a unique collection of geological samples is few hundred meters from your Institute as well as a wonderfull artgallery). In the city museum of Kiev and in the museum of your University I found many intersting items. You might consider including (in the next Conference brochure and webpage) a couple of links to the websites of Kyev theaters, museums and art galleries. I wish you success in your endeavours.
As regard evaluation of your Conference, I am sure that nobody will consider them as flattering or fishing for compliments. In the future I would recommend a standard survey of the participants. For instance, in our conferences and workshops in Oman on the last day we distribute questionnaries (a sample copy is attached) and collect opinions of the participants. This cheap action serves three goals. First, it highlights inevitable week points in the structure, content, logistics of the event. Second, if the conference is organised regularly (as yours) it gives a feeling of affiliation of the participants and their involvement in building the matrix of the entity- a simple sociological trick. At the opening ceremony of the next conference you can spent 2-3 minutes to show that the opinions and critical comments of the previous conference are taken into account (a couple of bar graphs, few numbers, etc.). Third, our students doing the survey learn how to use standard statistical packages.
Another point: you can consider a small award to the best paper presented by a young mathematician in your Conference. Although it calls for some efforts but makes the closing ceremony more vibrant. Besides, young researchers need motivation.
Regarding prejudices, I have already spread the message between my colleagues, especially in Russia: you are doing very good job and we, in Russia have to learn how the Ukrainain colleagues manage this. Again, the memory of Kiev is unforgetable. I have been to Kiev many times in the 80-th and 90-th and the city is now in a much better shape. The Bulgakov museum, Stolypin grave, Sikorskii's photos, National Gallery, gorgeous Dnepr views ... - next time- provide a link to correpsonding Internet sites. Please, let me thank your team again, I do wish you success in the next Conference!
I was very impressed by the conference'2003. It was a very well organized meeting of high scientific level. The web site was enough informative, and it was a real help for me in my first visit to Kyiv, especially the information about hotels and their location. The help of your collegues in booking me a room in a hotel was of great importance to me. I'm also quite impressed by quick preparing and sending the proceedings.
I thank you and all your collegues very much for the conference'2003. I wish you success in preparing the next one. I hope to visit your beautiful city next Summer and participate in the Symmetry'2005.
I just can add that those who think life in Kyiv is wild or dangerous, are wrong. And especially I should mention that there are many good restaurants in the nearest neighborhood of the conference location with tasty high quality food. The city is a very beautiful and interesting place to visit. I was enjoyed my visit very much. I really have nothing to suggest about the preparation of the next conference. In my opinion, the organization of the previous one was an example of very good work.
Thank you very much for the mail asking my impression on the Conference
at your place. First of all, it was a wonderful conference I attended.
The topics covered were apt and timely. The level of the papers presented
was high and I wish to maintain the standard. The discussions during the
meeting were friendly, challenging and useful to further our knowledge.
The campus was excellent. It was academic, unlike some conferences in hotels!
The adjoining library was an asset. The city Kiev was very warming in reception,
friendly in movement and cultural. The participants whom I talked had no
complaints. I wish to add that the future conference must have the same
features with possible improvement such as to have less number of parallel
sessions as it was difficult to choose one of them to attend. I wish
to participate in the forthcoming conference and give an invited talk. I must thank you and your able team for the success of the previous conferences.
Your request is "sympathic" and you all know that I am particularly positive with respect to your organizations ... I have already congratulated the responsible people for the final form of the Proceedings and I am sure you remember my comments! Other comments can evidently be proposed in order to improve your next conferences ... In my opinion, the presence of a "personality" in one (or more) of the domain(s) you present 'ld be very welcome in order to increase the interest to be present but I recognize that it is not easy in holiday time when a lot of other conferences take place elsewhere (BUT may be to exploit their timetables could be a solution in fixing yours)! Kiev is attractive by itself and please don't change your cultural programme! The show of local singers (during your preceding conferences) was really welcome and was missing in a certain sense in 2003!
Related to the conference, I can say that the conference organization was perfect. I would like to thank you and the conference organizing committee. I participated first time to the conference and I visited to Kiev also first time. Kiev is also a perfect city to visit. If I have a opportunity I wish I could participate to the next symmetry conference. I would like to thank you again for your conference organizing.
Wojtek J. Zakrzewski
I did enjoy the conference you organised last year. I did enjoy it for many reasons; first of all it was very well organised, the speakers were not allowed to overrun their alloted times as has been the case in some other conferences.
The meeting itself had a broad spectrum of talks though on the whole most talks were very 'mathematical'. Some gave too many details of calculations (which was hard to follow) but not more so than other meetings.
The social part of the program was very good; not only a very successful boat trip but also a superb 'conference dinner'. And the conference being held in Kiev, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, gave a headache to some of us (as it tempted us to skip lectures for some sightseeing!).
I would love to come again. If I could give any constructive advice - it would be great to 'organise' going together for lunch ... to the restaurant next door but maybe this is not so important. For the lectures themselves - keep them as they are but encourage less 'dryness' - less details.
The social part was great, there is little you could add, maybe a trip (collecting money from participants) to your Filharmonic Hall (you have a great orchestra) or the Opera...
But it wass great - many thanks again.
B. Kent Harrison
I was pleased to be invited, by Professor Wilhelm Fushchych, to the first International Conference on Symmetry in Nonlinear Mathematical Physics in 1995. Since then, I have very much enjoyed participating in all the subsequent Conferences, up to 2003. I hope to be able to attend the 2005 Conference.
I have found the Conferences to be extremely well organized. There was always transportation from the airport to my hotel and back again; assistance was provided to help attendees get around the airport when arriving and when leaving; meals and banquets were planned; excursions in and around Kiev were also part of the program. I have enjoyed the Dnieper River trips especially. I have seen the planning improve with each succeeding conference, as the organizers learned more about what to do. In the 2003 conference, for example, there were T-shirts printed with the conference logo, in Ukrainian colors, and the conference took place in June rather than July so that attendees could attend the Kiev Opera (I attended "Madame Butterfly" and enjoyed it very much. I also attended a symphony concert. I hope similar performances will be available for future conferences.
The beginning Conferences were held at the Pedagogical University building near the University Metro Stop, but later conferences were held at the Institute for Mathematics, where there were more rooms for parallel sessions. The 2003 Conference was very large, and if the next Conference is larger it will be rather difficult to fit everyone in the main lecture hall for plenary sessions -- but I think that will still be the best place to hold those sessions. Earlier conferences had prepared meals for lunch and for dinner, and I was a little disappointed in 2003 that those were not available. However, there is a good cafeteria near the Institute, and I was able to find other good restaurants, so this is not a problem. (I assume that, because of the large number of participants, that prepared meals for everyone were simply not possible, and that is all right.)
I have always been impressed with the hospitality and friendliness of the conference organizers. I always felt totally welcome. They have gone out of their way, and have gone to great expense, to assure the attendees that they would have a pleasant time in Kiev. I consider Professor Nikitin and other conference organizers now as personal friends. It is partly that hospitality that has kept me coming back for every conference.
I have enjoyed the quality of the presentations. The mathematics and science discussed have been of excellent quality. Much of it has been rather specialized, because of the particular topic of the conferences (symmetry), but within that there has been a very broad range of material covered. I myself have spoken on many different topics and have found all to be acceptable to the organizers. The Proceedings of the Conferences have clearly taken an enormous amount of work to put together. The material included and the quality of the binding and the typography have been superior. I have been proud to have my papers included in such fine collections. It has been good to meet other researchers. I was pleased to be able to contribute some suggestions for the 2003 program.
I have enjoyed my visits to Kiev. It is a beautiful city. There are some gorgeous buildings in Kiev, and I have appreciated learning its history. It is a very large city, and I have seen only a small part of it, but each time I go I see a little more of it. The extended bus excursion during the 2003 conference was very nice; I saw more and learned more than I have before. I especially like the St. Sofia Cathedral, St. Michael's Church, and the Monastery of the Caves. (I have even been glad to see the Kiev Cemetery, where we have gone sometimes to visit Professor Fushchych's grave.) The Metro system provides a good way to get around, although sometimes I have been on long walks with people from the conference. I am limited because I know little Russian or Ukrainian, so I have been grateful that the conference talks have been in English (also a little embarrassed, because so many of the attendees are citizens of Ukraine, Russia, or other Slavic countries, yet they are speaking my language!)
The website for the conference has been very helpful. I have enjoyed seeing the photographs exhibited at the website; there were many fine ones for the 2003 conference (another improvement over previous years.)
I have obtained some very nice gifts for my family while I have been in Kiev. A number of those are on exhibit in my home. My wife was able to come to Kiev for the 1997 Conference--we had some friends here who took her around while I was in meetings--and enjoyed it very much.
I enjoyed the hotels I stayed in. The University Hotel in which I stayed the first year had a problem or two, and it was quite far. The Express Hotel, in which I stayed during the last two Conferences, is pleasant and has an excellent breakfast buffet. The list of hotels, provided by the organizers at the last conference, was very helpful.
Future conferences, especially if there are increased numbers of attendees, will be much work for the conference organizers. They may need to get additional help. But I feel assured that the conference quality will remain high.
I have a personal request. I do not drink coffee or tea; it would be nice to have some powdered chocolate for hot chocolate at the breaks (assuming I am able to come in 2005!)
For 2005, it might be nice to have a list of restaurants near the Insitute -- also a map of the nearby area (if one could be obtained or prepared inexpensively). (I have used maps I obtained previously.)
Thanks to the organizers for some of the most enjoyable professional conferences I have attended in my professional career!
In my oppinion, the Conference was organised excellently. But I guess, I can not be expert of the Conference stay because my Kyiv frends rendered me inestimable assistance. And my feelings with this are the cordial gratitude.
My impressions of Kyiv are very deep and private. I happy that I had luck to be in Kyiv, it is significant for me. As for Conference work, all was OK. Most of participants and their topics were interesting.
There was a point which is useful for me to take it into account next time. This is the acoustics of the Conference hall. My talks were rather low, although I give a lot of lectures for students. I will try to get over this problem next time, but it would be made easier if the Conference hall would be equipped with some acoustic system.
I am very happy if I could make any contribution to your goal to organize the best ever Symmetry (important notion!) conference.
My impressions -- its scientific level: good (including various levels). I think this is natural in a sence that your conference seems completely open, which enables many (young) researchers, especially from east europe countries, can participate and enjoy the useful communications (for the future). I think that the larger number of the participant is welcome from this viewpoint and that your institute (Ukraine) is occupying the best position.
Poster session should be strengthened for increasing the number of participant: (Flash oral presentations for some posters: 2min. 1-OHPsheet, may be worth considering... ) web site including all abstrats of all participants should be prepared enough before conference.
I think your conference is growing up steadyly and rapidly to the goal. I am enjoying the situation.
Thanks for your message. I feel that the Symmetry 2003 meeting is one of a few best conferences among all the conferences I have ever attended. To list some reasons; it has a very good feature that all participants can talk if (s)he prefers doing it to presenting a poster, the Organizing Committee replied very kindly and promptly to every e-mail enquiry I sent before the conference, the atmosphere of the conference was very warm and there was of course no racial discrimination even in any implicit form, ... .
If I have to find fault with the conference, I mention that the poster presentations were not very easy to read because they were too dense and light was a little dim, though this is not so serious.
Anyway, I like this conference very much and thanks for your enormous efforts made for organizing it.
As for the conference, it was interesting and generally well organized. The only improvement that I would suggest is to divide the parallel sessions by topic. In fact, it happened that there were more than one session with talks about the same thing, and it was impossible to participate to all of them.
The place where the conference has been held is really `strategic': one could go everywhere in Kyiv from there. So it would be perfect to have the conference in that place again.
About the website, it would be better to write near each invited speaker if the speaker confirmed his presence there.
Well, Kyiv has been an authentic surprise to me, because I expected a smaller replica of Moskva, instead it is much more similar to other cities in the centre of Europe. Kyiv is indeed wonderful, for sure one of the most fascinating cities I've ever visited. Among the most beautiful things, the river Dnipro was what impressed me more strongly (in Italy we have nothing similar). But also Sofia Kyivska (which is a masterpiece), and many other churches. Walking in Kyiv's center is very pleasant, the hills, the gardens, the trees, all the ancient buildings contribute to produce a relaxing athmosphere. I also had the pleasant company of Ukrainian people who have been glad to show me the most interesting parts of their capital. Thank you for your efforts in the organization of the conference.
I found that it would be much better to divide the talks among parallel session by topics. Moreover, it would be better to announce confirmed invited speakers, not just invited ones.
Yes, especially people in the West have very few and confused ideas about the life in Ukraine, as well as other former Soviet countries. In particular, in Italy I listen or read very few news about Ukraine. On one hand it is a good sign (we say `no news -- good news'), on the other hand this does not help people to make an idea about what's going on in Ukraine.
Well, local cuisine is very good as well as local drinks. And the company of Ukrainians is very warm (bud'mo!).
Thank you for everything. This organization was very good. Kyiv is very beautiful and historical place. I liked there very much and I would like to participate the next Symetry-2005. Congratulations.
I have received best impression of the conference, its high scientific level and its rapid and good production of the proceedings. I am glad that could participate at this conference.
Michel Rausch de Traubenberg
As I said in Kiev last year, for me it was a very interesting conference. The organisation was very efficient (the way you have picked every body at the airport, the availability of all your staff etc). You could perfectly solved one of my problem related with a change in my return ticket. The level of the conference was to my opinion very good, but I would have preferred more conference on supersymmetry and all that, but that depends on the participants.
About the city of Kiev: it was a city that I have liked a lot, very dynamic, very safe. It was a real pleasure to walk the evening through this city. On the cultural point of view it was appreciable to have the opportunity to go to the opera.
I thought the Symmetry-2003 conference was well organized and there were some very interesting and useful talk. In particular Prof. Benders talk on PT quantum mechanics was very interesting to me. Overall the only improvement to the conference talks would be to make sure there are enough projectors for laptop talks.
As far as the social program and tours this was fantastic and well arranged. The hotel I stayed at (Kozatsky) was very comfortable and well located to the conference. The tours of the caves monastery and the river cruise were excellent. I also had a great time exploring the city on my own in particular Hydropark and the Podil. Kyiv is an amazing city and I hope to be able to return either for a future Symmetry conference or just to visit.
I want to thank you again for a very informative, professional, and enjoyable conference. I found Kyiv to be a charming and beautiful city and I hope more Americans have a chance to visit this wonderful city.
Last summer's conference was my first participation (though I was very keen to attend the previous ones). As a whole, I am satisfied with the quality and diversity of the contributions. I found the scientific level considerably high.
I enjoyed very much spending five days in your beautiful city Kyiv. The river cruise was fine. But because my flight was on the Saturday morning (unfortunately no daily flights to Kyiv from Istanbul) Regrettably, I missed the city tour. I think most of us would agree with me: Organizing city tours earlier would be nice. I would like to see more possibilities to get know the city better. Because you do not have much freedom by yourself as a result of communication problem.
Your web pages are simply very helpful.
Keep up the good future Symmetry conferences.
My general opinion is very good. I enjoyed the conference and the trip on the river Dnieper, and I think that you have done a great job with the proceedings, which are well edited and published. I also liked Kiev, though I had little time for visiting places, and I found the Ukrainians friendly, despite the language barrier. I met nice people and participated in interesting discussions. The food was good as well.
I think that you have managed to organize a very good series of Conferences on Mathematical Physics. As a physicist, I missed more talks on some areas of current interest, such as fractals, chaos or stochastic differential equations. Regarding the cultural program, I may criticise somewhat the official visit to Kiev, since I could hardly hear the guide's explanations on the bus; maybe, this could be improved.
It was a nice experience and I am looking forward to next Symmetry-2005. I'll be glad if my comments are of some utility.
By the way, I have read other participants' comments and it seems that we all agree in our satisfaction with the organization. There are some mild criticisms as well. For example, Wojtek Zakrzewski, whom I have known for many years and I consider a sensible person with experience in conference organization, says: "... most talks were very 'mathematical'. Some gave too many details of calculations (which was hard to follow) ..." I agree with this criticism and I would add that a few speakers projected copies of parts of their papers, which are very hard to read and understand on the screen. I did not comment on these matters myself because it is not the organizers' fault. And it's fair to say that there were many excellent presentations. Since you ask for advise, maybe you could encourage the speakers to keep their presentations simple and do not overload the audience with hard-to-follow details; but one must be respectful with every speaker's idiosincrasy, of course!
Indeed you are the organizers of one of the best Symmetry conference. The web site and the cultural program of the conference were excelent. The scientific level was very high and the proceedings of the conference were well typed. Kyiv is a very attractive town.
I think it will be better to publish the proceedings of the next conference on a CD.
Back to the conference's main page.