Past Colloquia

E.g., 2019-08-21
E.g., 2019-08-21
E.g., 2019-08-21
14 June 2019
16:00
Abstract

The subject of $p$-adic cohomologies is over fifty years old. Many new developments have recently occurred. I will mostly limit myself to discussing some pertaining to the de Rham-Witt complex. After recalling the historical background and the basic results, I will give an overview of the new approach of Bhatt, Lurie and Mathew.

7 June 2019
16:00
Michael Hintermueller
Abstract

Solidification processes of liquid metal alloys,  bubble dynamics (as in Taylor flows), pinch-offs of liquid-liquid jets, the formation of polymeric membranes, or the structure of high concentration photovoltaic cells are described by the dynamics of multiphase fluids. On the other hand, in applications such as mass spectrometry, lab-on-a-chip, and electro-fluidic displays, fluids on the micro-scale associated with a dielectric medium are of interest. Moreover, in many of these applications one is interested in influencing (or controlling) the underlying phenomenon in order to reach a desired goal. Examples for the latter could be the porosity structure of a polymeric membrane to achieve certain desired filtration properties of the membrane, or to optimize a microfluidic device for the transport of pharmaceutical agents.

A promising mathematical model for the behavior of multiphase flows associated with the applications mentioned above is given by a phase-field model of Cahn-Hilliard / Navier-Stokes (CHNS) type. Some strengths of phase field (or diffuse interface) approaches are due to their ability to overcome both, analytical difficulties of topological changes, such as, e.g., droplet break-ups or the coalescence of interfaces, and numerical challenges in capturing the interface dynamics between the fluid phases. Deep quenches in solidification processes of liquid alloys or rapid wall hardening in the formation of polymer membranes ask for non-smooth energies in connection with Cahn-Hilliard models. Analytically, this gives rise to a variational inequality coupled to the equations of hydrodynamics, thus yielding a non-smooth system (in the sense that the map associated with the underlying operator equation is not necessarily Frechet differentiable). In contrast to phase-field approaches,
one may consider sharp interface models. In view of this, our microfluidic applications alluded to above are formulated in terms of  sharp interface models and Hele-Shaw flows. In this context, we are particularly interested in applications of electrowetting on dielectric (EWOD) with contact line pinning. The latter phenomenon resembles friction, yields a variational inequality of the second kind, and – once again – it results in an overall nonsmooth mathematical model of the physical process.

   In both settings described above, optimal control problems are relevant in order to influence the underlying physical process to approach a desired system state.  The associated optimization problems are delicate as the respective constraints involve non-smooth structures which render the problems degenerate and prevent a direct application of sophisticated tools for the characterization of solutions. Such characterizations are, however, of paramount importance in the design of numerical solution schemes.

This talk addresses some of the analytical challenges associated with optimal control problems involving non-smooth structures, offers pathways to solutions, and it reports on numerical results for both problem classes introduced above.
 

16 November 2018
15:00
Alan Sokal
Abstract

A matrix M of real numbers is called totally positive if every minor of M is nonnegative. This somewhat bizarre concept from linear algebra has surprising connections with analysis - notably polynomials and entire functions with real zeros, and the classical moment problem and continued fractions - as well as combinatorics. I will explain briefly some of these connections, and then introduce a generalization: a matrix M of polynomials (in some set of indeterminates) will be called coefficientwise totally positive if every minor of M is a polynomial with nonnegative coefficients. Also, a sequence (an)n≥0  of real numbers (or polynomials) will be called (coefficientwise) Hankel-totally positive if the Hankel matrix H = (ai+j)i,j ≥= 0 associated to (an) is (coefficientwise) totally positive. It turns out that many sequences of polynomials arising in enumerative combinatorics are (empirically) coefficientwise Hankel-totally positive; in some cases this can be proven using continued fractions, while in other cases it remains a conjecture.

2 November 2018
16:00
Jon Keating
Abstract

The moments of characteristic polynomials play a central role in Random Matrix Theory.  They appear in many applications, ranging from quantum mechanics to number theory.  The mixed moments of the characteristic polynomials of random unitary matrices, i.e. the joint moments of the polynomials and their derivatives, can be expressed recursively in terms of combinatorial sums involving partitions. However, these combinatorial sums are not easy to compute, and so this does not give an effective method for calculating the mixed moments in general. I shall describe an alternative evaluation of the mixed moments, in terms of solutions of the Painlevé V differential equation, that facilitates their computation and asymptotic analysis.

12 October 2018
16:00
Abstract

Consider a network of agents connected by communication links, where each agent holds a real value. The gossip problem consists in estimating the average of the values diffused in the network in a distributed manner. Current techniques for gossiping are designed to deal with worst-case scenarios, which is irrelevant in applications to distributed statistical learning and denoising in sensor networks. We design second-order gossip methods tailor-made for the case where the real values are i.i.d. samples from the same distribution. In some regular network structures, we are able to prove optimality of our methods, and simulations suggest that they are efficient in a wide range of random networks. Our approach of gossip stems from a new acceleration framework using the family of orthogonal polynomials with respect to the spectral measure of the network graph (joint work with Raphaël Berthier, and Pierre Gaillard).

15 June 2018
16:00
Abstract

Mathematical models based on first principles can describe the interaction between electrical, mechanical and fluid-dynamical processes occurring in the heart. This is a classical multi-physics problem. Appropriate numerical strategies need to be devised to allow for an effective description of the fluid in large and medium size arteries, the analysis of physiological and pathological conditions, and the simulation, control and shape optimisation of assisted devices or surgical prostheses. This presentation will address some of these issues and a few representative applications of clinical interest.

2 March 2018
16:00
Miranda Cheng
Abstract

The so-called moonshine phenomenon relates modular forms and finite group representations. After the celebrated monstrous moonshine, various new examples of moonshine connection have been discovered in recent years. The study of these new moonshine examples has revealed interesting connections to K3 surfaces, arithmetic geometry, and string theory.  In this colloquium I will give an overview of these recent developments. 
 

Pages