The first Rocky Mountain Great Plains Graduate Research Workshop in Combinatorics (GRWC) was cohosted by CU Denver (with the University of Denver) from July 27 - August 9th, 2014. The workshop, co-organized by Michael Ferrara, Stephen Hartke and Florian Pfender from the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Science, brought together 32 graduate students, 4 postdocs and 10 faculty from 13 different institutions. Seven doctoral students and 1 postdoc in Applied Mathematics participated in the GRWC, serving as cohosts and guides for visitors from across the U.S. For 2 weeks, participants collaborated in small groups on open problems in combinatorics, a branch of mathematics that combines beautiful theoretical frameworks with deep applications to nearly all areas of the sciences.
As opposed to similar student workshops in mathematics, all of the open problems at the GRWC were researched and presented by participating doctoral students, with input from a faculty mentor. In addition to their research activities, students participated in professional development workshops and had the opportunity to build their professional peer networks through a number of social events around Denver. The GRWC was funded in part by a workshop grant from the National Science Foundation (DMS 1427546) along with generous support from CLAS, the Graduate School, the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, and the other organizing institutions (DU, Iowa State, Nebraska and Wyoming).