It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to Samos and to the University of the Aegean to participate in the International Workshop on Performance Evaluation and Optimisation of Production Lines.
I am pleased and delighted that you have honoured us with your presence here in Samos. A few a years ago, I had a dream of bringing together at the University of the Aegean a group of international scholars interested in the twin questions of the performance evaluation and optimisation of production lines. My vision was that we would spend a few days together discussing and reflecting on our research work and getting to know one another better during our time together. Of course in a sense we know one another quite well already through our research papers and reports but after all we are social animals! In this respect, the social side of the workshop is just as important as the formal sessions themselves. I do hope you will enjoy your stay in Greece and that you will return again and again.
Two thousand and five hundred years ago, Greece was the centre of the Western World. Pythagoras was born in Samos 572 (approx.) BC and his work both as a mathematician and philosopher has had a very major influence on the intellectual development of the world. A number of different principles are expounded in Pythagoreanism but I am sure that all here would agree with the first principle which states that at "its deepest level, reality is mathematical in nature".
I hope that during our time together we will be able to discuss the more philosophical and religious aspects of Pythagoreanism but certainly the spirit of the workshop is fully in tune with the Pythagorean view that "All is Number".
As you see from the Programme the papers to be presented at the workshop range over a number of topics of importance in the design and operation of production and assembly lines. Some of the work presented is mathematical in nature, while a number of papers quite properly consider analytical issues in operations and manufacturing strategy.
I would like to thank the generous sponsors and promoters of our
workshop. Without their leadership, the workshop would not have
become a reality. A special word of gratitude is due to my colleagues
in the Department of Mathematics at the University of the Aegean
and to the Members of the Organising Committee for all the help
I received in the planning and setting up of the workshop.