Prologue As we well know, ever since the modern study of mathematics began in Mexico a little over seventy years ago, many Mexican mathematicians have studied abroad at many different universities in many different countries. Interestingly, however, to date the vast majority of us have returned to Mexico, and are occupying a variety of positions, mostly academic. Like the Mexican mathematicians currently scattered around the world, when we embarked on the adventure and enterprise of carrying out our graduate studies abroad, we wanted to stay connected with the Mexican mathematical community and with our fellow students abroad. As a background to the “Mexican Mathematicians in the World Meeting” in Guanajuato in 2012, and to these proceedings, I have vague memories of Socorro Sober´ on, Jos´ e Seade, El´ ıas Micha and me in Oxford in early 1979 talking about how interesting it would be, both academically and socially, to organize a meeting of Mexican mathematicians studying in Europe at the time, in which we would talk about our doctoral work and, of course, share our experiences. With the enthusiasm of youth, we decided to organize the meeting for the coming summer and hold it at University of Cambridge. I still remember the astonished face of the famous Profes- sor J. W. S. Cassels, Sadleirian Professor of Pure Mathematics at Cambridge, at the time head of the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, when I proposed our idea and asked for the use of their facilities for the meet- ing. He generously agreed, and a similar process was repeated when I requested reservations for some rooms in Pembroke College, Cambridge, to accommodate vis- iting participants. The meeting, which was called the “First Congress of Mexican Mathematicians Abroad” was held on June 26 to 29, 1979. There are a number of differences between the original conference and the 2012 meeting that are no doubt a reflection of the change for the better that Mexican mathematics has undergone. At the original Cambridge meeting, we were few in number, the most advanced of us were in our third year of graduate studies, and communication among us was limited to a few short letters and a very small number of telephone calls between those who were at Oxford (Sober´ on, Seade and Micha) and me, at Cambridge. The congress had only twelve presentations, on topics in analysis, geometry, and topology. Besides those already mentioned, the participants were Amira Acosta (Leipzig), Marcelo Aguilar (Warwick), Ricardo Berlanga (Cambridge), Berta Gam- boa (Paris VI), Carlos omez Mont (Harvard), Jos´ e Alfredo Jim´ enez (Durham), Guillermo Pastor (Warwick) and Guillermo Sienra (Southampton). I also remem- ber that in addition to the scheduled talks, there was a presentation by Spanish mathematician Luc´ ıa Contreras, then a student of Jos´ e Mar´ ıa Montesinos, who was visiting Cambridge at the time. I am able to list these facts thanks to Jos´ e Seade vii
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