The Pacific Rim Conference on Mathematics is a major interdisciplinary mathematical meeting which convenes regularly at major academic institutions gathered around the Pacific. The conference series was conceived when Professor Roderick Wong, who spent twenty-five years at the University of Manitoba before returning to Hong Kong in the mid-90s to take up a faculty position at the City University of Hong Kong, developed the idea with Professor Robert Miura of the University of British Columbia for a mathematical conference supported by the City University and UBC. Professor Tai-Ping Liu of Academia Sinica and Stanford University became involved in planning during a visit to Professor Wong’s department, so that City University of Hong Kong, the Pacific Institute of Mathematical Sciences (an institute with close ties to UBC) and Academia Sinica provided organizational support at the inaugural Pacific Rim Conference in Mathematics which took place in January 1998 at the City University.

Some of the organizers of the First Pacific Rim Conference. From left to right: Roderick Wong, Liu Fong Chi, Robert Miura.

The decision was taken to hold the meeting every three years, and in 2001 its second meeting was hosted by Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan at the Institute of Mathematics, whose Director was at that time Professor Fon-Che Liu. In 2004, the meeting was held at Fudan University in Shanghai, organized principally by Professor Li Ta-Tsien. The Pacific RIm Conference returned to the City University of Hong Kong for its fourth iteration, in 2007. By the time of the fifth meeting, in 2010, when Tai-Ping Liu and Richard Schoen organized the conference at Stanford University, the group of mathematicians comprising its Scientific Committee represented over ten major universities on the west coast of the United States, and in China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Korea and Australia.

An impetus that has driven the PRCM from its inception is a recognition that the economic vibrancy of the Pacific Rim region has been accompanied by rising importance of the region in scientific research, a trend that has only magnified in the intervening years. The sixth meeting was held at the Sapporo Convention Center in Hokkaido, Japan, organized by Professor Yoshikazu Giga; and the seventh, in 2017, at Seoul National University in Korea was organized by Professor Seung-Yeal Ha.

The Eighth Pacific Rim Conference in Mathematics is supported by the Department of Mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley. The meeting being conceived originally as to be held in August 2019 on the Berkeley campus, its local organizers Alan Hammond and Fraydoun Rezakhanlou delayed the meeting by a year and, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, took the meeting online, where it was held from Monday 3rd August to Tuesday 11th August 2020.