“Bulletin Board”

 School of Mathematics - March 15, 2003

Reflections on
The Workshop on Inverse Problems

 F. Natterer:

"I want to take the opportunity to thank you for your most generous hospitality. I enjoyed every bit of my stay in Iran, in particular the lively (though controversial) debates we had. I must say that I have now a much better picture of your country. I also sympathize with your attempts to foster applied mathematics in Iran. Let me know when I can be of any help."

L. Shepp

"In my opinion it is an excellent idea to arrange an ongoing exchange program with IPM and I would urge this both from the viewpoint of opening up Iran politically and for scientific advantage to both sides. They are actually quite strong scientists despite all the religiousness. Mehrdad and I had invited many other people (up to the limit of IPM's ability to offer full expenses) but all invitees begged off sooner or later except for we three; some admitted to being afraid. Misconceptions and surprises: I expected a poor country with few educated people and with down-trodden women. I expected to see fear, terror, and general impoliteness as in Soviet Russia. None of this is the case. Iran is rich, on a high intellectual level, with many educated people. Women seem to have a full spectrum of rights over their education, employment and opportunity and are treated with respect except for the hejab restriction. I had the advantage of constant reassurance by Mehrdad and others that I would face no danger whatsoever. The talks were rather good, especially my 3 talks, and I was favorably impressed by the talks of the locals, considering how isolated Iran is."

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