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HandWiki. International Workshop on Operator Theory and Its Applications. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 23 April 2024).
HandWiki. International Workshop on Operator Theory and Its Applications. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed April 23, 2024.
HandWiki. "International Workshop on Operator Theory and Its Applications" Encyclopedia, (accessed April 23, 2024).
HandWiki. (2022, October 27). International Workshop on Operator Theory and Its Applications. In Encyclopedia.
HandWiki. "International Workshop on Operator Theory and Its Applications." Encyclopedia. Web. 27 October, 2022.
International Workshop on Operator Theory and Its Applications

The other major branch of operator theory, Operator algebras (C* and von Neumann Algebras), is not heavily represented at IWOTA and has its own conferences. IWOTA gathers leading experts from all over the world for an intense exchange of new results, information and opinion, and for tracing the future developments in the field. The IWOTA meetings provide opportunities for participants (including young researchers) to present their own work in invited and contributed talks, to interact with other researchers from around the globe, and to broaden their knowledge of the field. In addition, IWOTA emphasizes cross-disciplinary interaction among mathematicians, electrical engineers and mathematical physicists. In the even years, the IWOTA workshop is a satellite meeting to the biennial International Symposium on the Mathematical Theory of Networks and Systems (MTNS). From the humble beginnings in the early 80's, the IWOTA workshops grew to become one of the largest continuing conferences attended by the community of researchers in operator theory.

satellite iwota mtns

1. History of IWOTA

1.1. First IWOTA Meeting

The International Workshop on Operator Theory and its Applications was started on August 1, 1981, adjacent to the International Symposium on Mathematical Theory of Networks and Systems (MTNS)[1] with goal of exposing operator theorists even pure ones to recent developments in engineering (especially H-infinity methods in control theory) which had a great intersection with operator theory. Israel Gohberg was the visionary and driving force of IWOTA[2] and president of the IWOTA Steering Committee. From the beginning, J. W. Helton and M. A. Kaashoek served as vice presidents of the steering committee.

1.2. West Meets East

Besides the excitement of mathematical discovery over the decades at IWOTA, there was great excitement when the curtain between Soviet bloc and Western operator theorists fell. Until 1990, these two collections of extremely strong mathematicians seldom met due to the tight restrictions on travel from and in the communist countries. When the curtain dropped, the western mathematicians knew the classic Soviet papers but had a spotty knowledge of much of what else their counterparts were doing.[3] Gohberg was one of the operator theorists who knew both sides and he guided IWOTA, a western institution, in bringing (and funding) many prominent FSU bloc operator theorists to speak at the meetings. As the IWOTA programs demonstrate,[4] this significantly accelerated the cultures' mutual assimilation.[5]

1.3. Previous IWOTA Meetings

# Year Location Chief Organizer(s) Proceedings in OTAA-series[6] Participation
1 1981 Santa Monica, CA, USA J. W. Helton   [math]\displaystyle{ \pm }[/math]40
2 1983 Rehovot, Israel H. Dym, I. Gohberg OTAA 12 [math]\displaystyle{ \pm }[/math]25
3 1985 Amsterdam, Netherlands M. A. Kaashoek OTAA 19 [math]\displaystyle{ \pm }[/math]60
4 1987 Mesa, AZ, USA J. W. Helton, L. Rodman OTAA 35 [math]\displaystyle{ \pm }[/math]50
5 1989 Rotterdam, Netherlands H. Bart OTAA 50 [math]\displaystyle{ \pm }[/math]55
6 1991 Sapporo, Japan T. Ando OTAA 59 [math]\displaystyle{ \pm }[/math]50
7 1993 Vienna, Austria H. Langer OTAA 80 [math]\displaystyle{ \pm }[/math]60
8 1995 Regensburg, Germany R. Mennicken OTAA 102 and 103 115
9 1996 Bloomington, IN, USA H. Bercovici, C. Foiaş, J. Stampfli OTAA 115 55
10 1998 Groningen, Netherlands A. Dijksma OTAA 124 97
11 2000 Bordeaux, France N. K. Nikolski OTAA 129 202
12 2000 Faro, Portugal A. F. dos Santos OTAA 142 131
13 2002 Blacksburg, VA, USA J. A. Ball, M. Klaus OTAA 149 [math]\displaystyle{ \pm }[/math]100
14 2003 Cagliari, Italy C. V. M. van der Mee, S. Seatzu OTAA 160 107
15 2004 Newcastle, UK M. A. Dritschel, N. Young OTAA 171 145
16 2005 Storrs, CT, USA V. Olshevsky OTAA 178 53
17 2006 Seoul, Korea I. B. Jung, W. Y. Lee, R. Curto OTAA 187 160
18 2007 Potchefstroom, South Africa J. J. Grobler, G. J. Groenewald OTAA 195 52
19 2008 Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S.A V. Bolotnikov, L. Rodman, I. Spitkovsky OTAA 202 and 203 236
20 2009 Guanajuato, Mexico N. Vasilevski OTAA 220 109
21 2010 Berlin, Germany J. Behrndt, K.-H. Förster, C. Trunk OTAA 221 355
22 2011 Seville, Spain A. Montes-Rodriguez OTAA 236 245
23 2012 Sydney, Australia T. ter Elst, P. Portal, D. Potapov OTAA 240 110
24 2013 Bangalore, India T. Bhattacharyya OTAA 247 172
25 2014 Amsterdam, Netherlands A. C. M. Ran OTAA 255 304
26 2015 Tbilisi, Georgia R. Duduchava OTAA 262 161
27 2016 St. Louis, USA G. Knese   162
28 2017 Chemnitz, Germany A. Böttcher OTAA 268 157
29 2018 Shanghai, China H. Lin, G. Yu   352
  1. Israel Gohberg died on 12 October 2009.[7]
  2. Leiba Rodman died on 2 March 2015.[8]
  3. Reinhard Mennicken died on 13 June 2019.
  4. Sebastiano Seatzu died on 13 February 2018.
  5. Karl-Heinz Förster died on 29 January 2017.

1.4. IWOTA Proceedings

Proceedings of the IWOTA workshops appear in the Springer / Birkhäuser Verlag book series Operator Theory: Advances and Applications (OTAA)[6] (founder: Israel Gohberg). While engineering conference proceedings often are handed to participants as they arrive and contain short papers on each conference talk, the IWOTA proceedings follow mathematics conference tradition and contain a modest number of papers and are published several years after the conference.

1.5. Funding Sources

IWOTA has received support from many sources, including the National Science Foundation[9] [10] ,[11][12] the London Mathematical Society,[13] the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council,[13] Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft,[14] Stichting Advancement of Mathematics, Secretaría de Estado de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación (Spain),[15] Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute,[16] National Board for Higher Mathematics,[17] International Centre for Theoretical Physics,[18] Indian Statistical Institute,[19] Korea Research Foundation,[20] United States-India Science & Technology Endowment Fund,[17] Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek,[21] the Commission for Developing Countries of the International Mathematical Union,[4][18] Stichting Advancement of Mathematics (Netherlands),[4] the National Research Foundation of South Africa,[18] and Birkhäuser Publishing Ltd.

2. The IWOTA Steering Committee

IWOTA is directed by a steering committee[22] which chooses the site for the next meeting, elects the chief local organizer(s) and insures the appearance of the enduring themes of IWOTA. The sub-themes of an IWOTA workshop and the lecturers are chosen by the local organizing committee after hearing the steering committee's board. The board consists of its vice presidents: Joseph A. Ball, J. William Helton (Chair), M. A. Kaashoek, Igor Klep, Christiane Tretter, Victor Vinnikov and Hugo J. Woerdeman. In addition, past chief organizers who remain active in IWOTA are members of the steering committee. The board governs IWOTA with consultation and the consent of the full steering committee. Honorary members of the steering committee, elected in 2016, are: Israel Gohberg (deceased), Leiba Rodman (deceased), Tsuyoshi Ando, Harry Dym, Ciprian Foiaş, Heinz Langer, Nikolai Nikolski.

3. Future IWOTA Meetings

  • IWOTA 2019 will be held at the University of Lisbon in Lisbon, Portugal. Main organizer is Amélia Bastos. Dates are July 22–26, 2019
  • IWOTA 2020 will be held at Lancaster University in Lancaster, United Kingdom. Main organizer is Gordon Blower. Dates are August 17–21, 2020

4. Israel Gohberg ILAS-IWOTA Lecture

The Israel Gohberg ILAS-IWOTA Lecture was introduced in August 2016 and honors the legacy of Israel Gohberg, whose research crossed borders between operator theory, linear algebra, and related fields. This lecture is in collaboration with the International Linear Algebra Society (ILAS).[23] This series of lectures will be delivered at IWOTA and ILAS Conferences, in different years, in the approximate ratio two-thirds at IWOTA and one-third at ILAS. The first three lectures will take place at IWOTA 2020, ILAS 2022, and IWOTA 2024. Donations for the Israel Gohberg ILAS-IWOTA Lecture Fund are most welcome and can be submitted via the ILAS donation form.[24] Donations are tax deductible in the United States.


  1. International Symposium on Mathematical Theory of Networks and Systems : August 5-7, 1981, Miramar-Sheraton Hotel, Santa Monica, California. North Hollywood, California: Western Periodicals Co. 1981. p. iii. 
  2. Langer, Heinz (2008-06-23). "VI.2. The Vienna University of Technology at Vienna, Austria". Israel Gohberg and Friends: On the Occasion of his 80th Birthday. Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag. pp. 249–252. ISBN 9783764387334. 
  3. Landau, Henry J. (2008-06-23). "To Israel". Israel Gohberg and Friends: On the Occasion of his 80th Birthday. Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag. pp. 309–310. ISBN 9783764387334. 
  4. "IWOTA-2015 Program". Georgian Mathematical Union, Georgian National Academy of Sciences. 2015. 
  5. Dijksma, A.; Kaashoek, M.A.; Ran, A.C.M., eds (2001). Recent Advances in Operator Theory. Operator Theory: Advances and Applications. 124 (1 ed.). Basel, Boston, Berlin: Birkhäuser Verlag. pp. xiii–xxii. ISBN 978-3-0348-9516-3. 
  6. Ball, J.A.; Dym, H.; Kaashoek, M.A. et al., eds. Operator Theory: Advances and Applications. Series. Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag. 
  7. A. E. Frazho; M. A. Kaashoek; L. Rodman (2010). "Israel Gohberg [Obituary]". IEEE Control Systems Magazine 30: pp. 135–139. 
  8. "Notice regarding Professor Leiba Rodman". 
  9. "Travel Support for IWOTA 2004". 
  10. "NSF Award". National Science Foundation. 2008. 
  11. "Travel Support for IWOTA 2009". 
  12. "Travel Support for IWOTA 2012". 
  13. "IWOTA 2004". Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  14. "IWOTA 2010". Retrieved 2015-11-22. 
  15. "IWOTA 2011". Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  16. "AMSI Annual Report 2012-2013". p. 24. 
  17. "IWOTA 2013". Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  18. Grobler, J.J.; Labuschagne, L.E.; Möller, M., eds (2010). Operator Algebras, Operator Theory and Applications. Operator Theory: Advances and Applications. 195 (1 ed.). Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag. p. vii. doi:10.1007/978-3-0346-0174-0. ISBN 978-3-0346-0173-3. 
  19. "IMAGE, the Bulletin of the International Linear Algebra Society". International Linear Algebra Society. 2014. p. 35. 
  20. Ando, T.; Curto, R.E.; Jung, I.B. et al., eds (2009). Recent Advances in Operator Theory and Applications. Operator Theory: Advances and Applications. 187 (1 ed.). Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag. p. viii. doi:10.1007/978-3-7643-8893-5. ISBN 978-3-7643-8892-8. 
  21. "IWOTA 2014". Retrieved 2015-11-22. 
  22. "International Workshop on Operator Theory and its Applications (IWOTA)". 
  23. "International Linear Algebra Society (ILAS)". 
  24. "International Linear Algebra Society (ILAS) donation form". 
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