The conference will take place on the main campus of the University of Southampton located in Highfield. Southampton, located approximately 70 mi (110 km) south-west of London, is a vibrant city (and one of the sunniest places in the UK!) in the southern part of England, and one of the largest retail destinations in the area.
A major commercial and leisure port and home to some of the largest cruise ships in the world, Southampton is very close to the New Forest, one of the largest areas of unenclosed pasture land, heath-land, and forest in Southern England. It was proclaimed a "royal forest" by William the Conqueror and is featured in the famous Domesday Book (the "Great Survey" of England and Wales completed in 1086 by order of William the Conqueror, crowned king William I twenty years before right after the battle of Hastings).
Southampton has taken a central spot in the history of the country on many occasions. It was where troops left England for the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 and was victim of many raids from French pirates in the Middle Ages, leading to the construction of the fortified town walls, many of which still stand today. Jane Austen also lived in Southampton for a number of years.
Southampton was the departure point for two of the most famous ships in history: the Titanic (which met its unfortunate fate in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after striking an iceberg, thus setting a gruesome record as the deadliest sinking up to that time) and the Mayflower (on which the Pilgrim sailed on 5 August 1620 on their way to the Americas before the vessel was forced to return to Dartmouth and then to Plymouth for repairs). The Spitfire (the iconic aircraft that was critical in defeating Luftwaffe air attacks during the Battle of Britain in 1940) was also built in the city (in Woolston) and took its first flight on 5 March 1939 from Southampton Airport (Eastleigh Aerodrome at the time). Southampton was heavily bombed during the Second World War during the so-called Southampton Blitz. A total 57 attacks were made during the war on the city, dropping approximately 2,300 bombs amounting to more than 470 tonnes of explosives; nearly 45,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed. It was also one of the major embarkation points for D-Day.
Southampton is home to the University of Southampton, a public research university founded in 1862 as the Hartley Institution and (after becoming the Hartley College in 1902) granted a royal charter by Queen Elisabeth II in 1952. The University of Southampton is one of the founding members of the Russell Group and it has consistently ranked in the world top 100 for many years (in the latest QS World University Rankings, it ranked 78 world-wide and 34 for "Statistics and Operations Research" subject). It is home to CORMSIS, the Centre for Operational Research, Management Science and Information Systems, one of the largest group of academics working in Operations Research in the country.