Virtual WCNT 2021 is Happening! Dec 16-19

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving (or as we call it in Canada: Thursday). Now that the turkey has settled, we are pleased to announce the details of this year’s fully virtual West Coast Number Theory event.

Problems in Number Theory

We’ve been known to use the term “West Coast” pretty loosely for this conference over the years, (Las Vegas, anyone?), but since this year’s West Coast Number Theory will be a fully virtual event, we’re going to go with a slightly less geographical name. This year’s event will be known as:

  WCNT 2021: Problems in Number Theory
  Dec 16-19, 2021

Online (Zoom, Slack, and a Wiki)

As in previous years, the event will feature a mix of talks and problem sessions, with one new formal addition this year: community sessions.

What are community sessions?

“Community sessions” are an opportunity for us to stay connected in a variety of interesting, innovative, and potentially amusing ways during the conference. These are the types of activities that often go on before, between, and after the formal sessions at the in-person event. Because we’re not in-person, we’re going to bring them to this year’s virtual event in the form of themed and guided community sessions.

Some examples of Community Sessions might be:

  • Co-author speed-finding. Think “speed dating”, but as a way of finding potential co-authors.
  • WCNT Family Tree: How did we all get here
  • Problems *About* Number Theory: Moderated conversations around things that keep us up at night; e.g. “Balancing career and family”,  “Non-traditional careers in Math”, “Becoming a better mathematician.”
  • Happy Hour: virtual version of our traditional (but informal) “late-night session”
  • Awards Session: The Lehmer prizes! (And the “other” prizes :)


Registration costs will range from $25 to $75 per person, based on your ability to pay. Since it’s Black Friday, here’s a special deal. Register before Tuesday Nov 30 and we’ll knock $5 off.

After Dec 5, prices will increase by $15. Register at

Financial Assistance

We realize there can be challenges to attending a virtual event (e.g. “Kids”). If you have circumstances that would make it difficult for you to attend a virtual event this year, and you think a small grant (< $200) could enable you to overcome these challenges, please submit a proposal answering the questions “how much” and “how it will help” to: Some answers to the second question might include:

  • Childcare or caregiver costs during meeting times
  • Meeting room / desk rental (say, at a co-work space for the duration)


As always, the finalized schedule will be posted after the first business meeting, and will depend on the number of talks that are submitted. Tentatively, the conference will resemble the in-person events of the past, with a virtual banquet and business meeting from 4-6pm (Pacific) on Dec 16, a shorter (“half”) day on Dec 18, and an informal late night (“happy hour”) session in the evenings. The awards session will be held on Dec 19, and will be the final event of the conference.

We hope you are keeping well, and hope to see you at this year’s (virtual) event!

(Register now! Prices go up in a week:

Amy, Eva, Kjell and introducing: Nandita!
Your “WCNT 2021: Problems in Number Theory” organizers

Save the Date: Dec 16-19, 2021

We are pleased to announce that West Coast Number Theory will be happening in 2021, in some form. Given current world circumstances (pandemic, wildfires, border closures), we haven’t yet decided on the format of the event. (Virtual? In-person? A combination or permutation?) We’ve given up trying to predict the future, so in true WCNT style, we’re just going to run with it and see what happens.

Regardless of whether we decide on a virtual or in-person event, consider this message your “save the date” announcement. We are investigating our options, and testing our personal limits.  We will let you know as soon as we have a clear idea of what kind of event we are comfortable running. In the meantime, please mark your calendars and prepare to join us at:

West Coast Number Theory, 2021 edition
Date: Dec 16-19, 2021    
Location: Virtual of Physical: TBD

Update, Nov 26: It’ll be virtual

Your organizers,
Amy, Eva, and Kjell

2019 Lehmer Prizes

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Emma and Dick Lehmer prizes, given to the committee’s favorite talks of the conference. The 2019 recipients are:

Congratulations to our 2019 recipients!

A Message from Michael Morrison

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary, we received the following note from attendee and past organizer, Michael Morrison, which he asked us to pass along to all of you:

Hello to all of you who are lucky to be at the 50th West Coast Number Theory Conference:

Enjoy and treasure it for the next 50 years.

I attended the Conference in 1969. In the summer, I had just finished active duty with the US Army and had returned to graduate school at UCLA, where they graciously awarded me a continuation of my NSF Traineeship.

Of course, I had heard about the Christmas-time gatherings at Dick and Emma Lehmer’s home for many years, since John Brillhart had mentored me as an under-graduate student. Those gatherings were attended by past and present students of Dick and close friends and associates of the Lehmers.

Emma finally decided to expand the gathering and chose the magical location of Asilomar. I was very excited to attend and it was magical. The weather (though some would call it bad) only added to the mystique. It rained the whole time and was super foggy during the day. It was like were enclosed in our own little world. In fact, we were essentially the only ones at Asilomar. At meals, there were only 1 or 2 other groups and they had only 1 or 2 tables each.

In the evening most folks gathered in the lobbies and around the fireplaces located in the two main buildings we used for lodging. It was pretty heady stuff for a young graduate student. I went on to attend many other such meetings and even hosted a few at Asilomar.

Here’s hoping a few of you go on to host future meetings at Asilomar, too! ;)

The 2019 Schedule is posted

The 2019 Schedule of Talks is now available online. All talks will be held in the Nautilus room at Asilomar.

See you there!

WCNT 2019 Has Begun!

The 50th anniversary edition of West Coast Number Theory is upon us!

This year, we will be starting the conference with an informal reception,
to be held in the Nautilus Room at Asilomar from 7-9pm. Drinks (Beer, Wine, Soda) will be available. Some small snacks will be provided, but we strongly encourage you to eat dinner before the reception. If you are staying at Asilomar, Dinner is from 6pm-7pm in the Crocker dining room.

The reception will include the first business meeting which will begin at approximately 7:30pm.

IMPORTANT: If you cannot make the first business meeting, but do plan to give a talk, please send your talk title to before 6pm on Dec 16 so we can make sure you are on the schedule.

2018 Problem Sets posted

Hello Number Theorists,

Thanks to the tireless work of Gerry Myerson, the notes from the 2018 problem sessions are now available online. Thanks Gerry for all your hard work!

For this problem set, and many more, visit our Problem Sets page.

A note from Richard Guy

Last week, we received a note from long-time attendee Richard Guy. Richard was the long-time maintainer of the West Coast Number Theory problem sets (which eventually turned into his classic book: Unsolved Problems in Number Theory):

Please pass this to all the participants in the West Coast Number Theory Conference. I am sorry that the passage of years has rendered it infeasible to come and join you. Happy memories going back 50 years. The Lehmers, the Robinsons, the Todds, John Selfridge and John Brillhart.
I hope that John B. is still flourishing and will be able to join you. And Gerry Myerson, who took over the problems section from me many years ago. Best to all! Richard.

Call for talks: 50th Anniversary (Historical) Session

For this year’s 50th anniversary conference, we are planning a special session of historical talks. If you’d like to give a talk that reflects on a historical aspect of number theory, your work, or the conference itself, please make a note on your registration form.

Announcement: the 50th Anniversary Conference

Hello Number Theorists,

Please join us for the 50th anniversary edition of the West Coast Number Theory Conference, to be held Dec 16-20, 2019, where it all began back in 1969:

Asilomar Conference Grounds
Pacific Grove, CA

The early registration rate for students, postdocs, and retirees is $75; for all others it is $100. Early registration ends November 1, 2019, after which registration will increase by $25. Financial assistance is available for those who need it.

Full details on registration and accommodations can be found here on the website. Note if you are applying for funding, you must stay at Asilomar as part of the conference block

We hope you can make a special effort to come celebrate with us in December!


Your WCNT 2019 organizers:

  • Kjell Wooding,
  • Amy Wooding,
  • Colin Weir,
  • Amanda Tucker,
  • Kevin McGown, and
  • Eva Goedhart