Word of Welcome
by Professor Jonas Kubilius,
President of the Lithuanian Mathematical Society

Dear Guests, Dear Colleagues,

this conference is a great moment for the Lithuanian mathematical community on whose behalf I (as President of the Lithuanian Mathematical Society) would like to cordially welcome all guests. This is a gathering of huge mathematical family and not representatives of countries, but just to illustrate its wide character, I mention the fact that there are more than 250 participants from 36 countries.

The first Vilnius Conference on probability theory and mathematical statistics was organized 37 years ago. It took place in June 1973. In the postwar years, different level scientific conferences on probability theory and mathematical statistics began to be organized in the USSR. All-union conferences that were held in Tashkent, Yerevan, Vilnius, Tbilisi and other venues stand out from the rest. Finally, the idea evolved to organize international conferences. Scientists in Moscow and Vilnius agreed to organize them in Vilnius. Since 1973, they have been held here every fourth or fifth year. In the presence of the Iron Curtain between the USSR and foreign countries, these conferences had a wider political meaning. They rendered an opportunity for the more extensive communication between mathematicians from various countries.

The period after the Fifth Vilnius conference encompass an important data in the history of this country. On the 11th of March 1990 Lithuania declared the restitution of its independence. For fifty years Lithuania was disappeared from the political map of the world. It was terra incognita for almost all politicians. However its problems were familiar to many mathematicians who participated at Vilnius Conferences.

The general aim of this international conference is to give an appraisal of current research in some fields of probability theory and mathematical statistics. The broad spectrum of this branch of science does not make it possible to cover a wide range of questions. Therefore the organizing committee have chosen some of them. The making of the program could not be reached without wide international cooperation, and the active involvement and hard work of many leading mathematicians in these fields.

With these words I would like wish you, Dear Colleagues, welcome to this meeting here in Vilnius, and in doing so I would express the hope that, both scientifically and personally, a happy outcome will arise from our association these days.

Thank you for your attention.