The meeting 'Clusters, Cages and Giant Molecules: Structure and Function. Can Discrete Mathematics Help?' was organised by a group of four scientists including a mathematician, a theoretical chemist, a chemical physicist and a synthetic chemist. It was motivated by the recognition that new directions in chemical synthesis and theory are demanding closer cooperation with modern mathematics, especially in the area of discrete mathematics. Speakers were selected to represent the perceived growth points of the subject interface: synthesis of complex, multifunctional molecules, physical properties in the mesoscopic regime, isomer generation and enumeration, tilings and packings, topologically non-trivial molecules, molecular magnetism, and fullerenes. The presence of experts from these various fields was used by a working party of the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) to organize a round-table discussion regarding nomenclature in inorganic chemistry which was open to all participants of the workshop, and by the biology and chemistry group of the DFG-research cluster ‘Efficient Algorithms for Discrete Problems and their Applications’ to organize a satellite conference. In the 3-day meeting, 27 talks were given to an audience of over 50 people from 15 countries, spanning the disciplines of chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science and engineering. Discussion was open and wide-ranging, sometimes focusing on the technical problems of synthesis and characterisation, sometimes on the mathematics best suited to the description of structures and classes of structure. The success of the meeting will ultimately be in the new links forged between researchers, and it was evident already from the intense discussions inside and outside the formal sessions that most members of the audience found common ground for collaboration across the discipline boundary.
Yohij Achiba (Tokio), Bernard Barbara (Grenoble), Marc Bénard (Straßburg), Günter Bergerhoff (Bonn), Gunnar Brinkmann (Bielefeld), Arnout Ceulemans (Heverlee), E.C. Constable (Basel), D.N. Coucouvanis (Ann Arbor, MI), Ture Damhus (Bagsvaerd), Olaf Delgado Friedrichs (Bielefeld), Ekkehard Diemann (Bielefeld), André Dreiding (Herrliberg), Mitsutaka Fujita (Tsukuba), Harald Gropp (Heidelberg), Pierre Hansen (Montréal), Istvan Hargittai (Budapest), Peter E. John (Ilmenau), L. Jos de Jongh (Leiden), Peter Jutzi (Bielefeld), Michael O’Keeffe (Tempe, AZ), Adalbert Kerber (Bayreuth), R. Bruce King (Athens, GA), Edward C. Kirby (Pitlochry), Douglas J. Klein (Galveston, TX), Hans-Joachim Klein (Kiel), Jacek Klinowski (Cambridge, UK), Alan L. Mackay (London), Markus Meringer (Bayreuth), Tomasz Pisanski (Ljubljana), K. Raghavachari (Murray Hill), André Rassat (Paris), David B. Redmond (Kildare), Marie-Madeleine Rohmer (Strasbourg), Nicolas Rivier (Strasbourg), Herbert W. Roesky (Göttingen), Horst Sachs (Ilmenau), Jean François Sadoc (Orsay), Günter Schmid (Essen), Hansgeorg Schnöckel (Karlsruhe), Ulrich Simon (Essen), Tibor Tanai (Budapest), Fritz Vögtle (Bonn), Jörg Wills (Siegen), R. E. P. Winpenny (Edinburgh), Francesco Zerbetto (Bologna)