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この会議には第2回から参加し、「今回のテーマは"システムズ×ひろげる"。

I'm having problems understanding the meaning of から参加し in the above sentence. Is it something like "having participated since the 2nd conference"?

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    Yes, I think so. – Yuuichi Tam Dec 9 '15 at 5:43
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This 「から」 is a Case particle meaning "from or since," which is used when you want to tell a spacial or time/sequential starting point.

  • 東京{とうきょう} から -> FROM Tokyo (Spatial)
  • 7時{じ} から -> FROM/SINCE 7 (Time)
  • 3番目{ばんめ} から -> FROM/SINCE 3rd (Sequential, This case)

So, as you guessed, 「から参加し」 in this context is interpreted as "... participate from ..." or "... participate since ..."
In this specific case, we don't know when this "participation streak" ends, so we get to choose since.

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