Past Special Lecture

15 May 2015
13:15
Jason Behrstock
Abstract

Divergence, thickness, and relative hyperbolicity are three geometric properties which determine aspects of the quasi-isometric geometry of a finitely generated group. We will discuss the basic properties of these notions and some of the relations between them. We will then then survey how these properties manifest in right-angled Coxeter groups and detail various ways to classify Coxeter groups using them.

This is joint work with Hagen and Sisto.

20 January 2015
17:00
to
18:30
Marcus du Sautoy, Ben Okri, Roger Penrose, Laura Marcus, and Elleke Boehmer
Abstract

“Narrative and Proof”, is an interdisciplinary discussion where one of the UK's leading scientists, Marcus du Sautoy, will argue that mathematical proofs are not just number-based, but also rely on narrative. He will be joined by author Ben Okri, mathematician Roger Penrose, and literature expert Laura Marcus, to consider how narrative shapes the sciences as well as the arts.

The discussion will be chaired by Elleke Boehmer, Professor of World Literature in English, University of Oxford, and will be followed by audience questions and a drinks reception.

The event will take place from 5 to 6:30 pm on Tuesday 20 January 2015 at the Mathematical Institute, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford. The event is free and open to all, but registration is recommended. 

Please click here to register.

This event is co-hosted by the Mathematical Institute and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), and celebrates the launch of TORCH’s Annual Headline Series 2014-15, Humanities and Science.
 

10 November 2014
17:00
Abstract

In highly concentrated surfactant solutions the surfactant molecules self-assemble into long flexible "wormy" structures. Properties of these wormlike micellar solutions make them ideal for use in oil recovery and in body care products (shampoo). These properties depend strongly on temperature and concentration conditions.   In solution the "worms" entangle, forming a network, but also continuously break and reform, thus earning the name ‘living polymers’. In flow these fluids exhibit spatial inhomogeneities,  shear-banding, and dynamic elastic recoil. In this talk a rheological equation of state that is capable of describing these fluids is described   The resultant governing  macroscale equations consist of a coupled nonlinear partial differential equation system.  Model predictions are presented, contrasted with experimental results, and contrasted with predictions of other existing models.  Generalizations of the model to allow the capturing of  behaviors under changing concentration or temperature conditions, namely power law and stretched exponential relaxation as opposed to exponential relaxation, will be discussed and  particularly a mesoscale stochastic simulation network model will be presented.  

9 May 2014
14:30
Montserrat Casals-Ruiz
Abstract

In this talk we will discuss when one right-angled Artin group is a subgroup of another one and explain how this basic algebraic problem may provide answers to questions in geometric group theory and model theory such as classification of right-angled Artin groups up to quasi-isometries and universal equivalence.

9 May 2014
13:15
Nicolas Monod
Abstract
We know since almost a century that a ball can be decomposed into five pieces and these pieces rearranged so as to produce two balls of the same size as the original. This apparent paradox has led von Neumann to the notion of amenability which is now much studied in many areas of mathematics. However, the initial paradox has remained tied down to an elementary property of free groups of rotations for most of the 20th century. I will describe recent progress leading to new paradoxical groups.
4 March 2014
16:00
Professor James D Murray
Abstract
<p>&nbsp;“Understanding the generation and control of pattern and form is still a challenging and major problem in the biomedical sciences. I shall describe three very different problems. First I shall briefly describe the development and application of the mechanical theory of morphogenesis and the discovery of morphogenetic laws in limb development and how it was used to move evolution backwards. I shall then describe a surprisingly informative model, now used clinically, for quantifying the growth of brain tumours, enhancing imaging techniques and quantifying individual patient treatment protocols prior to their use.&nbsp; Among other things, it is used to estimate patient life expectancy and explain why some patients live longer than others with the same treatment protocols. Finally I shall describe an example from the social sciences which quantifies marital interaction that is used to predict marital stability and divorce.&nbsp; From a large study of newly married couples it had a 94% accuracy. I shall show how it has helped design a new scientific marital therapy which is currently used in clinical practice.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
31 May 2013
14:00
Eric Weinstein
Abstract

A program for Geometric Unity is presented to argue that the seemingly baroque features of the standard model of particle physics are in fact inexorable and geometrically natural when generalizations of the Yang-Mills and Dirac theories are unified with one of general relativity.

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