LAHORE A world-level 5-day conference, started in the City on Wednesday, discussed the fertilization of new ideas through sharing of knowledge and interaction. European Mathematical Society President Prof. Dr. Marta Sanz-Sol was the chief guest on opening day of the 5th World Conference on 21st Century Mathematics 2011. Mathematicians from all over the world have gathered at the Government College University for the event. Above 200 research papers are scheduled to be presented at the conference, spread over 22 scientific sessions besides meetings and talks. Delegates from 40 countries including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Norway, Nepal, China, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey, the USA, and Vietnam had already come to attend the opening session of the biggest-ever international conference in Pakistan. Addressing the opening session, Prof. Dr. Marta Sanz-Sol congratulated the GCUs Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences for organising the fifth edition of a series of successful congresses. The conference is being held under the auspices of the National Centre for Mathematics, the Higher Education Commission Pakistan, the European Mathematical Society, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Italy), the International Mathematical Union, and the UNESCO. The mission of such a huge conference is to provide Pakistanis with the scientific base and innovation they need to compete with the world in the 21st century for a prosperous future, Dr Marta said. Mathematics is the language of natural sciences. Historically, it (mathematics) has played, and continues to play, a crucial role in the scientific, technological and cultural development of the humanity. Mathematical theories underpin many of the most brilliant discoveries in Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Economics, etc. Mathematics is one of the fundamental sciences and drives most of the advances in the applied science and in technology. It is also a crucial ingredient in industrial innovation. In these ways, mathematics brings economic wealth and development to a society. Prof. Marta said the Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences and some other top-class research centres outside of Europe have been declared the Emerging Regional Centres of Excellence by the European Mathematical Society. She further said: The EMS strongly believes that the expertise and extensive connections of the large and diverse network it represents can be successfully used to reinforce these Emerging Regional Centers of Excellence in countries outside of Europe. The idea is for the EMS to select, endorse and help a number of such centres to offer training to MSc students in their regions. Subsequently, the EMS would provide help to those (students) who might wish to further up their studies, either in their countries of origin or (partially or totally) in European research institutions. The EMS, said Dr Marta, could also facilitate and collaborate in organizing lectures and courses, given by leading researchers, at the Emerging Centers of Excellence and provide grants for members of these Centres to attend conferences abroad. We see several advantages of this project. GCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Khalid Aftab told the meeting that the conference would provide a platform to the mathematicians from all over the world to exchange ideas about mathematics, education and research and such an interaction can lead to fruitful long term collaborations which would be beneficial for the development of mathematics in Pakistan. It contributes in developing the culture of reading and writing, publication, paper presentation, using libraries and participating in workshops, conferences and seminars, he added. Addressing the ceremony, Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences Director General Dr. A. D. Raza Chaudhry credited the success of holding such a huge gathering to the Scientific Committee of the conference, chaired by Prof. Gert-Martin Greuel, the Director of the world-famous German Mathematics Research Centre, Oberwolfach. He told the conference that in years 2009-2010, the GCU ASSMS students and faculties published more than 270 research papers in core areas of mathematics in good international journals and out of these 148 papers are also published by the PhD students.