Dear Colleague,
In the following lines you will find a few words about the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) and Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO).

Inaugurated in 2003, BIRS is a joint Canada-US-Mexico initiative that addresses the imperatives of collaborative and cross-disciplinary research with a focus on the mathematical
sciences and their vast array of applications in the sciences and in industry. Its modus operandi facilitates intense and prolonged interactions between scientists in a secluded environment, with uninterrupted research activities in a variety of formats, all in a most inspiring and supportive setting.

In 2005, Mexico’s National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) joined Alberta Innovation, the US National Science Foundation and Canada’s Natural Science and
Engineering Research Council, becoming a BIRS sponsor.

In 2013, upon the initiative of three of the main mathematical institutions in México: the Instituto de Matemáticas and the Centro de Ciencias Matemáticas, both from the National University of Mexico, UNAM, and the Centro de Investigación en Matemáticas (CIMAT), a CONACYT research center, CONACYT supported the creation of Casa Matemática Oaxaca as a BIRS affiliated research Centre.

There were many reasons to select Oaxaca as the seat of the new international station: Oaxaca is one of the most charming, beautiful, enjoyable and interesting cities one can find in Mexico and in the world. It is a cultural capital, with a base of academic institutions that offer a propitious environment for the confluence of mathematical researchers. It has multiple historical, gastronomic and artistic attractions with deep roots in the ethnic richness of its original cultures. And additionally, its geographical location and climate makes it an ideal place to host scientists from all over the world, inspiring creativity and collaborative work.

CIMAT, led by its Director José Antonio de la Peña, brilliantly conducted the CMO-BIRS program during 2015 and 2016. Its temporary headquarters were at Hotel Hacienda Los
Laureles, in the outskirts of the city of Oaxaca. The responsibility of conducting the CMO-BIRS program is now in the hands of UNAM’s Institute of Mathematics. Founded in 1942, it is the oldest mathematics research Institute in Latin America and it has been ever since a houselight for mathematics in Mexico.

Casa Matemática Oaxaca will keep this year its headquarters at Los Laureles. We will work hard to ensure that you will have a most fruitful and enjoyable experience at Casa Matemática Oaxaca.

Dr. José A. Seade
Casa Matemática Oaxaca