Stefan Jackowski (President of the PTM, Chair of the EOC)

Madame Minister, Rector Magnificus, Madame President of the EMS,
Fellow mathematicians,

On behalf of the Polish Mathematical Society and everyone involved in the organization of the Congress, I welcome all of you to the 6th European Congress of Mathematicians! I would like to extend a particular welcome to all the members of the European Mathematical Society.

Let me remind you that the Society was founded in 1990 in Poland, near Warsaw We are very pleased and honoured that this year the flagship meeting of the EMS is taking place in our country - welcome back!

Thanks are due to the Scientific Committee of the 6ECM for selecting speakers and to the prize award committees for nomination of the prize winners. I welcome cordially the speakers and organisers of many congress activities.

I offer a special welcome to our colleagues from countries which do not yet enjoy the privileges of free travel around Europe. They often had to overcome many bureaucratic and financial obstacles to come here.

I'd like to express our thanks to the sponsors of the congress
- especially the EMS and the Polish Science Foundation whose generous grants made participation possible for many young mathematicians and for mathematicians from the economically challenged countries.

Welcome to all our friends from other continents who are with us today. Welcome to everybody!

Mathematicians are very grateful to the President of Poland who is the patron of our Congress and to the members of the Honorary Committee. The presence here of the Minister of Science and Higher Education emphasizes the place of mathematics in science, and will help to raise awareness of the role of mathematics and its prestige among the general public. Thank you very much, Professor Kudrycka for coming!.

We are very grateful for the hospitality of the city of Kraków and the Małopolska region, the AGH University of Science and Technology and last but not least the Jagiellonian University - co-organizer of the Congress.

I cannot speak about the Jagiellonian University without mentioning Professor Andrzej Pelczar, a former Rector of the University, a past President of the PTM and a past vice-president of the EMS - the initiator and original organizer of the congress, who died in May 2010 at the beginning of the preparations, leaving us with the obligation to turn his dream into reality.

Professor Pelczar was a great patriot of his city. Kraków is a magical historic place for all Poles, also for mathematicians.

I'd like to remind you that the Polish Mathematical Society was founded here. 93 years ago, and Stefan Banach, born in Kraków, was one of its founders.
In the special volume of Wiadomości Matematyczne - journal of the Polish Mathematical Society - which participants will find in their conference bags, there is a lot of information about the history of mathematics in Poland, and in particular in Kraków.

Besides the strictly scientific programme which offers a panorama of contemporary mathematics, the congress has very important social and cultural aspects. Panel discussions will touch upon social and political issues related to mathematics. Exhibitions of old mathematical books and of art related to mathematics, as well as ‘maths busking’ in the streets of Kraków, will help to raise public awareness of mathematics.

The tourist programme will provide an opportunity to learn more about Poland’s complex history, and about its contemporary affairs, with the emphasis on its broader European context.
I wish all of the participants a mathematically illuminating experience at the congress, and interesting social encounters. I wish all participants and their companions an interesting and pleasant stay in Krakow.

Thank you for your attention.