Mon, 24 Apr 2017

14:15 - 15:15

The harmonic measure on the boundary of Hastings-Levitov clusters

(University of Cambridge)

The Hastings-Levitov models describe the growth of random sets (or clusters) in the complex plane as the result of iterated composition of random conformal maps. The correlations between these maps are determined by the harmonic measure density profile on the boundary of the clusters. In this talk I will focus on the simplest case, that of i.i.d. conformal maps, and obtain a description of the local fluctuations of the harmonic measure density around its deterministic limit, showing that these are Gaussian. This is joint work with James Norris.

Wed, 01 Mar 2017

Treelike structures in boundaries of hyperbolic groups

Benjamin Barrett
(University of Cambridge)
Inspired by the theory of JSJ decomposition for 3-manifolds, one can define the JSJ decomposition of a group as a maximal canonical way of cutting it up into simpler pieces using amalgamated products and HNN extensions. If the group in question has some sort of non-positive curvature property then one can define a boundary at infinity for the group, which captures its large scale geometry. The JSJ decomposition of the group is then reflected in the treelike structure of the boundary. In this talk I will discuss this connection in the case of hyperbolic groups and explain some of the ideas used in its proof by Brian Bowditch.
Wed, 28 Jun 2017

17:00 - 18:15

Sanjeev Goyal - The Law of the Few

Sanjeev Goyal
(University of Cambridge)

Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures

The Law of the Few - Sanjeev Goyal

The study of networks offers a fruitful approach to understanding human behaviour. Sanjeev Goyal is one of its pioneers. In this lecture Sanjeev presents a puzzle:

In social communities, the vast majority of individuals get their information from a very small subset of the group – the influencers, connectors, and opinion leaders. But empirical research suggests that there are only minor differences between the influencers and the others. Using mathematical modelling of individual activity and networking and experiments with human subjects, Sanjeev helps explain the puzzle and the economic trade-offs it contains.

Professor Sanjeev Goyal FBA is the Chair of the Economics Faculty at the University of Cambridge and was the founding Director of the Cambridge-INET Institute.

28 June 2017, 5.00-6.00pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Mathematical Institute Oxford.

Please email @email to register

Tue, 29 Nov 2016

Decomposing the Complete r-Graph

Imre Leader
(University of Cambridge)

The Graham-Pollak theorem states that to decompose the complete graph $K_n$ into complete bipartite subgraphs we need at least $n-1$ of them. What
happens for hypergraphs? In other words, suppose that we wish to decompose the complete $r$-graph on $n$ vertices into complete $r$-partite $r$-graphs; how many do we need?

In this talk we will report on recent progress on this problem. This is joint work with Luka Milicevic and Ta Sheng Tan.

Mon, 10 Oct 2016

15:45 - 16:45

Small-time fluctuations for sub-Riemannian diffusion loops

(University of Cambridge)

We study the small-time fluctuations for diffusion processes which are conditioned by their initial and final positions and whose diffusivity has a sub-Riemannian structure. In the case where the endpoints agree, we discuss the convergence of the suitably rescaled fluctuations to a limiting diffusion loop, which is equal in law to the loop we obtain by taking the limiting process of the unconditioned rescaled diffusion processes and condition it to return to its starting point. The generator of the unconditioned limiting rescaled diffusion process can be described in terms of the original generator.

Wed, 18 Jan 2017

17:00 - 18:00

Inaugural Roger Penrose Lecture - Stephen Hawking CANCELLED

Stephen Hawking
(University of Cambridge)

In recognition of a lifetime's contribution across the mathematical sciences, we are initiating a series of annual Public Lectures in honour of Roger Penrose. The first lecture will be given by his long-time collaborator and friend Stephen Hawking.

Registration will open at 10am on 4 January 2017. Please email:

@email from that time only.

When registering please give your name and affiliation - your position, department & organisation/institution as appropriate. Or if you are a member of the General Public, please say so. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis with only one place per person. We will only be able to respond if you have a place or are on the waiting list.

We will be podcasting the lecture live. More details to follow.

Thu, 27 Oct 2016

14:00 - 15:00

Semidefinite approximations of matrix logarithm

Hamza Fawzi
(University of Cambridge)

 The matrix logarithm, when applied to symmetric positive definite matrices, is known to satisfy a notable concavity property in the positive semidefinite (Loewner) order. This concavity property is a cornerstone result in the study of operator convex functions and has important applications in matrix concentration inequalities and quantum information theory.
In this talk I will show that certain rational approximations of the matrix logarithm remarkably preserve this concavity property and moreover, are amenable to semidefinite programming. Such approximations allow us to use off-the-shelf semidefinite programming solvers for convex optimization problems involving the matrix logarithm. These approximations are also useful in the scalar case and provide a much faster alternative to existing methods based on successive approximation for problems involving the exponential/relative entropy cone. I will conclude by showing some applications to problems arising in quantum information theory.

This is joint work with James Saunderson (Monash University) and Pablo Parrilo (MIT)

Thu, 05 May 2016

Eigenvarieties for non-cuspidal Siegel modular forms

Giovanni Rosso
(University of Cambridge)

In a recent work Andreata, Iovita, and Pilloni constructed the eigenvariety for cuspidal Siegel modular forms. This eigenvariety has the expected dimension (the genus of the Siegel forms) but it parametrizes only cuspidal forms. We explain how to generalize the construction to the non-cuspidal case. To be precise, we introduce the notion of "degree of cuspidality" and we construct an eigenvariety that parametrizes forms of a given degree of cuspidability. The dimension of these eigenvarieties depends on the degree of cuspidality we want to consider: the more non-cuspidal the forms, the smaller the dimension. This is a joint work with Riccardo Brasca.

Mon, 13 Jun 2016

14:15 - 15:15

Asymptotic of planar Yang-Mills fields

(University of Cambridge)

This talk will be about  Lévy processes on compact groups - discrete or continuous - and  two-dimensional analogues called pure Yang-Mills fields. The latter are indexed by  reduced loops of finite length in the plane and satisfy properties analogue to independence and stationarity of increments.     There is a one-to-one correspondance between Lévy processes invariant by adjunction and pure Yang-Mills fields. For Brownian motions, Yang-Mills fields stand for a rigorous version of the Euclidean Yang-Mills measure in two dimension.  I shall first sketch this correspondance for  Lévy processes with large jumps. Then, I will discuss two applications of an extension theorem, due to Thierry Lévy, similar to Kolmogorov extension theorem. On the one hand, it allows to construct pure Yang-Mills fields for any invariant Lévy process. On the other hand, when the group acts on vector spaces of large dimension, this theorem also allows to study the asymptotic behavior  of traces. The limiting objects yield a natural family of states on the group algebra of reduced loops.  We characterize among them the master field defined by Thierry Lévy by a continuity property.   This is  a joint work with Guillaume Cébron and Franck Gabriel.

Fri, 04 Dec 2015

The effect of lateral stresses on the flow of ice shelves and their role in stabilizing marine ice sheets

Sam Pegler
(University of Cambridge)

It has been conjectured that marine ice sheets (those that

flow into the ocean) are unconditionally unstable when the underlying

bed-slope runs uphill in the direction of flow, as is typical in many

regions underneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. This conjecture is

supported by theoretical studies that assume a two-dimensional flow

idealization. However, if the floating section (the ice shelf) is

subject to three-dimensional stresses from the edges of the embayments

into which they flow, as is typical of many ice shelves in Antarctica,

then the ice shelf creates a buttress that supports the ice sheet.

This allows the ice sheet to remain stable under conditions that may

otherwise result in collapse of the ice sheet. This talk presents new

theoretical and experimental results relating to the effects of

three-dimensional stresses on the flow and structure of ice shelves,

and their potential to stabilize marine ice sheets.

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