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! ;)