Past Colloquia

28 November 2003
16:30
Abstract
A little more than 100 years ago, Issai Schur published his pioneering PhD thesis on the representations of the group of invertible complex n x n - matrices. At the same time, Alfred Young introduced what later came to be known as the Young tableau. The tableaux turned out to be an extremely useful combinatorial tool (not only in representation theory). This talk will explore a few of these appearances of the ubiquitous Young tableaux and also discuss some more recent generalizations of the tableaux and the connection with the geometry of the loop grassmannian.
24 October 2003
16:30
Keith Moffatt
Abstract
Why does a spinning coin come to such a sudden stop? Why does a spinning hard-boiled egg stand up on its end? And why does the rattleback rotate happily in one direction but not in the other? The key mathematical aspects of these familiar dynamical phenomena, which admit simple table-top demonstration, will be revealed.

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