The Western Algebraic Geometry Symposium (WAGS) is a twice-yearly meeting of algebraic geometers in the western half of the United States and Canada. The symposium is supported by the National Science Foundation and Washington University. On Nov. 4 and 5, Washington University in St. Louis hosted the symposium for the first time since the start of the conference series in 2002. WashU event organizers — including Roya Beheshti Zavareh, Matthew Kerr and Wanlin Li, in Arts & Sciences — believe this was the largest conference organized by the math department in recent years, with approximately 150 participants.
WAGS aims to build a regional community among algebraic geometers of all career stages, from advanced undergraduates to full professors. The meetings are centered around research talks delivered by leading mathematicians from around the world, highlighting exciting recent results in and around algebraic geometry.
The event at Washington University featured speakers on topics including: measures of association between algebraic varieties; Arakelov invariants and non-archimedean geometry; parahoric Bruhat-tits from galois covers; the period-index conjecture for abelian threefolds; canonical representations of surface groups; the singularities of the minimal model program in positive characteristics; and rationality criteria for cubic hypersurfaces.