The workshop Variational Problems in Differential Geometry was held at the University of Leeds from March 30 to April 2nd, 2009.
The aim of the meeting was to bring together researchers working on disparate geometric problems, all of which admit a variational formulation. Among the topics discussed were recent developments in harmonic maps and morphisms, minimal and CMC surfaces, extremal Kähler metrics, the Yamabe functional, Hamiltonian variational problems, and topics related to gauge theory and to the Ricci flow.
The meeting incorporated a special session in honour of John C. Wood, on the occasion of his 60th birthday, to celebrate his seminal contributions to the theory of harmonic maps and morphisms.
The following mathematicians gave one-hour talks: Bernd Ammann, Claudio Arezzo, Paul Baird, Olivier Biquard, Christoph Boehm, Francis Burstall, Josef Dorfmeister, Akito Futaki, Mark Haskins, Frederic Helein, Nicolaos Kapouleas, Mario Micallef, Frank Pacard, Simon Salamon, Lorenz Schwachhoefer, Peter Topping, Richard Wentworth, and Jon Wolfson.
There were about 50 participants from the UK, US, Japan and several European countries. The schedule allowed plenty of opportunities for discussion and interaction between official talks and made for a successful and stimulating meeting.
The workshop was financially supported by the London Mathematical Society, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council of Great Britain and the School of Mathematics, University of Leeds.
The articles presented in this volume represent the whole spectrum of the subject.