Past Colloquia

10 February 2012
16:30
Professor Karen Vogtmann
Abstract
Free groups, free abelian groups and fundamental groups of closed orientable surfaces are the most basic and well-understood examples of infinite discrete groups. The automorphism groups of these groups, in contrast, are some of the most complex and intriguing groups in all of mathematics. I will give some general comments about geometric group theory and then describe the basic geometric object, called Outer space, associated to automorphism groups of free groups. This Colloquium talk is the first of a series of three lectures given by Professor Vogtmann, who is the European Mathematical Society Lecturer. In this series of three lectures, she will discuss groups of automorphisms of free groups, while drawing analogies with the general linear group over the integers and surface mapping class groups. She will explain modern techniques for studying automorphism groups of free groups, which include a mixture of topological, algebraic and geometric methods.
4 November 2011
16:30
Professor John W.M Bush
Abstract

Yves Couder and co-workers have recently reported the results of a startling series of experiments in which droplets bouncing on a fluid surface exhibit several dynamical features previously thought to be peculiar to the microscopic realm. In an attempt to 

develop a connection between the fluid and quantum systems, we explore the Madelung transformation, whereby Schrodinger's equation is recast in a hydrodynamic form. New experiments are presented, and indicate the potential value of this hydrodynamic approach to both visualizing and understanding quantum mechanics.

 

24 June 2011
16:30
Professor Sir Vaughan Jones
Abstract

Voiculescu showed how the large N limit of the expected value of the trace of a word on n independent hermitian NxN matrices gives a well known von Neumann algebra. In joint work with Guionnet and Shlyakhtenko it was shown that this idea makes sense in the context of very general planar algebras where one works directly in the large N limit. This allowed us to define matrix models with a non-integral  number of random matrices. I will present this work and some of the subsequent work, together with future hopes for the theory.

 

3 June 2011
16:30
Prof Graeme Segal
Abstract
Graeme Segal shall describe some of Dan Quillen’s work, focusing on his amazingly productive period around 1970, when he not only invented algebraic K-theory in the form we know it today, but also opened up several other lines of research which are still in the front line of mathematical activity. The aim of the talk will be to give an idea of some of the mathematical influences which shaped him, of his mathematical perspective, and also of his style and his way of approaching mathematical problems.
4 March 2011
16:30
Prof Arkani-Hamed
Abstract
<p>&nbsp;"Scattering amplitudes in gauge theories and gravity have extraordinary properties that are completely invisible in the textbook formulation of quantum field theory using Feynman diagrams. In this usual approach, space-time locality and quantum-mechanical unitarity are made manifest at the cost of introducing huge gauge redundancies in our description of physics. As a consequence, apart from the very simplest processes, Feynman diagram calculations are enormously complicated, while the final results turn out to be amazingly simple, exhibiting hidden infinite-dimensional symmetries. This strongly suggests the existence of a new formulation of quantum field theory where locality and unitarity are derived concepts, while other physical principles are made more manifest. The past few years have seen rapid advances towards uncovering this new picture, especially for the maximally supersymmetric gauge theory in four dimensions.</p> <p>These developments have interwoven and exposed connections between a remarkable collection of ideas from string theory, twistor theory and integrable systems, as well as a number of new mathematical structures in algebraic geometry. In this talk I will review the current state of this subject and describe a number of ongoing directions of research."</p>
28 January 2011
16:30
Professor Camillo De Lellis.
Abstract
<p>There are nontrivial solutions of the incompressible Euler equations which are compactly supported in space and time. If they were to model the motion of a real fluid, we would see it suddenly start moving after staying at rest for a while, without any action by an external force. There are C1 isometric embeddings of a fixed flat rectangle in arbitrarily small balls of the three dimensional space. You should therefore be able to put a fairly large piece of paper in a pocket of your jacket without folding it or crumpling it. I will discuss the corresponding mathematical theorems, point out some surprising relations and give evidences that, maybe, they are not merely a mathematical game.</p>
12 November 2010
16:30
Professor Luis Caffarelli
Abstract
Anomalous ( non local) diffusion processes appear in many subjects: phase transition, fracture dynamics, game theory I will describe some of the issues involved, and in particular, existence and regularity for some non local versions of the p Laplacian, of non variational nature, that appear in non local tug of war.
22 October 2010
16:30
Nicola Fusco
Abstract
<p>The isoperimetric inequality is a fundamental tool in many geometric and analytical issues, beside being the starting point for a great variety of other important inequalities.</p> <p>We shall present some recent results dealing with the quantitative version of this inequality, an old question raised by Bonnesen at the beginning of last century. Applications of the sharp quantitative isoperimetric inequality to other classic inequalities and to eigenvalue problems will be also discussed.</p>
11 June 2010
16:30
Professor Jacob Lurie
Abstract
Let L be a positive definite lattice. There are only finitely many positive definite lattices L' which are isomorphic to L modulo N for every N > 0: in fact, there is a formula for the number of such lattices, called the Siegel mass formula. In this talk, I'll review the Siegel mass formula and how it can be deduced from a conjecture of Weil on volumes of adelic points of algebraic groups. This conjecture was proven for number fields by Kottwitz, building on earlier work of Langlands and Lai. I will conclude by sketching joint work (in progress) with Dennis Gaitsgory, which uses topological ideas to attack Weil's conjecture in the case of function fields.
14 May 2010
16:30
Professor Artur Avila
Abstract
Since the work of Feigenbaum and Coullet-Tresser on universality in the period doubling bifurcation, it is been understood that crucial features of unimodal (one-dimensional) dynamics depend on the behavior of a renormalization (and infinite dimensional) dynamical system. While the initial analysis of renormalization was mostly focused on the proof of existence of hyperbolic fixed points, Sullivan was the first to address more global aspects, starting a program to prove that the renormalization operator has a uniformly hyperbolic (hence chaotic) attractor. Key to this program is the proof of exponential convergence of renormalization along suitable ``deformation classes'' of the complexified dynamical system. Subsequent works of McMullen and Lyubich have addressed many important cases, mostly by showing that some fine geometric characteristics of the complex dynamics imply exponential convergence. We will describe recent work (joint with Lyubich) which moves the focus to the abstract analysis of holomorphic iteration in deformation spaces. It shows that exponential convergence does follow from rougher aspects of the complex dynamics (corresponding to precompactness features of the renormalization dynamics), which enables us to conclude exponential convergence in all cases.

Pages