Mon, 28 May 2012

12:00 - 13:00

Instanton - a window into physics of M5-branes

Sungjay Lee
(University of Cambridge)
Instantons and W-bosons in 5d N=2 Yang-Mills theory arise from a circle

compactification of the 6d (2,0) theory as Kaluza-Klein modes and winding

self-dual strings, respectively. We study an index which counts BPS

instantons with electric charges in Coulomb and symmetric phases. We first

prove the existence of unique threshold bound state of U(1) instantons for

any instanton number. By studying SU(N) self-dual strings in the Coulomb

phase, we find novel momentum-carrying degrees on the worldsheet. The total

number of these degrees equals the anomaly coefficient of SU(N) (2,0) theory.

We finally propose that our index can be used to study the symmetric phase of

this theory, and provide an interpretation as the superconformal index of the

sigma model on instanton moduli space. 

Tue, 29 May 2012

Solitons from geometry.

Dr M Dunajski
(University of Cambridge)
Solitons are localised non-singular lumps of energy which describe particles non perturbatively. Finding the solitons usually involves solving nonlinear differential equations, but I shall show that in some cases the solitons emerge directly from the underlying space-time geometry: certain abelian vortices arise from surfaces of constant mean curvature in Minkowski space, and skyrmions can be constructed from the holonomy of gravitational instantons.
Mon, 20 Feb 2012

12:00 - 13:00

M-theory dualities and generalised geometry

Hadi Godazgar
(University of Cambridge)
In this talk we will review M-theory dualities and recent attempts to make these dualities manifest in eleven-dimensional supergravity. We will review the work of Berman and Perry and then outline a prescription, called non-linear realisation, for making larger duality symmetries manifest. Finally, we will explain how the local symmetries are described by generalised geometry, which leads to a duality-covariant constraint that allows one to reduce from generalised space to physical space.
Thu, 25 May 2000

14:00 - 15:00

Self-scaled barriers for semidefinite programming

Dr Raphael Hauser
(University of Cambridge)
I am going to show that all self-scaled barriers for the

cone of symmetric positive semidefinite matrices are of the form

$X\mapsto -c_1\ln\det X +c_0$ for some constants $c_1$ > $0,c_0 \in$ \RN.

Equivalently one could state say that all such functions may be

obtained via a homothetic transformation of the universal barrier

functional for this cone. The result shows that there is a certain

degree of redundancy in the axiomatic theory of self-scaled barriers,

and hence that certain aspects of this theory can be simplified. All

relevant concepts will be defined. In particular I am going to give

a short introduction to the notion of self-concordance and the

intuitive ideas that motivate its definition.

Thu, 07 Jun 2001

14:00 - 15:00
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, nr Didcot

Some properties of thin plate spline interpolation

Prof Mike J D Powell
(University of Cambridge)
Let the thin plate spline radial basis function method be applied to

interpolate values of a smooth function $f(x)$, $x \!\in\! {\cal R}^d$.

It is known that, if the data are the values $f(jh)$, $j \in {\cal Z}^d$,

where $h$ is the spacing between data points and ${\cal Z}^d$ is the

set of points in $d$ dimensions with integer coordinates, then the

accuracy of the interpolant is of magnitude $h^{d+2}$. This beautiful

result, due to Buhmann, will be explained briefly. We will also survey

some recent findings of Bejancu on Lagrange functions in two dimensions

when interpolating at the integer points of the half-plane ${\cal Z}^2

\cap \{ x : x_2 \!\geq\! 0 \}$. Most of our attention, however, will

be given to the current research of the author on interpolation in one

dimension at the points $h {\cal Z} \cap [0,1]$, the purpose of the work

being to establish theoretically the apparent deterioration in accuracy

at the ends of the range from ${\cal O} ( h^3 )$ to ${\cal O} ( h^{3/2}

)$ that has been observed in practice. The analysis includes a study of

the Lagrange functions of the semi-infinite grid ${\cal Z} \cap \{ x :

x \!\geq\! 0 \}$ in one dimension.

Thu, 28 Nov 2002

14:00 - 15:00

On the convergence of interior point methods for linear programming

Dr Coralia Cartis
(University of Cambridge)
Long-step primal-dual path-following algorithms constitute the

framework of practical interior point methods for

solving linear programming problems. We consider

such an algorithm and a second order variant of it.

We address the problem of the convergence of

the sequences of iterates generated by the two algorithms

to the analytic centre of the optimal primal-dual set.

Thu, 13 Mar 2003

14:00 - 15:00
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, nr Didcot

Combinatorial structures in nonlinear programming

Dr Stefan Scholtes
(University of Cambridge)
Traditional optimisation theory and -methods on the basis of the

Lagrangian function do not apply to objective or constraint functions

which are defined by means of a combinatorial selection structure. Such

selection structures can be explicit, for example in the case of "min",

"max" or "if" statements in function evaluations, or implicit as in the

case of inverse optimisation problems where the combinatorial structure is

induced by the possible selections of active constraints. The resulting

optimisation problems are typically neither convex nor smooth and do not

fit into the standard framework of nonlinear optimisation. Users typically

treat these problems either through a mixed-integer reformulation, which

drastically reduces the size of tractable problems, or by employing

nonsmooth optimisation methods, such as bundle methods, which are

typically based on convex models and therefore only allow for weak

convergence results. In this talk we argue that the classical Lagrangian

theory and SQP methodology can be extended to a fairly general class of

nonlinear programs with combinatorial constraints. The paper is available


Thu, 01 May 2003

14:00 - 15:00

Modelling bilevel games in electricity

Dr Danny Ralph
(University of Cambridge)
Electricity markets facilitate pricing and delivery of wholesale power.

Generators submit bids to an Independent System Operator (ISO) to indicate

how much power they can produce depending on price. The ISO takes these bids

with demand forecasts and minimizes the total cost of power production

subject to feasibility of distribution in the electrical network.



Each generator can optimise its bid using a bilevel program or

mathematical program with equilibrium (or complementarity) constraints, by

taking the ISOs problem, which contains all generators bid information, at

the lower level. This leads immediately to a game between generators, where

a Nash equilibrium - at which each generator's bid maximises its profit

provided that none of the other generators changes its bid - is sought.



In particular, we examine the idealised model of Berry et al (Utility

Policy 8, 1999), which gives a bilevel game that can be modelled as an

"equilibrium problem with complementarity constraints" or EPCC.

Unfortunately, like bilevel games, EPCCs on networks may not have Nash

equilibria in the (common) case when one or more of links of the network is

saturated (at maximum capacity). Nevertheless we explore some theory and

algorithms for this problem, and discuss the economic implications of

numerical examples where equilibria are found for small electricity


Thu, 29 Jan 2004

14:00 - 15:00

Spreading fronts and fluctuations in sedimentation

Prof John Hinch
(University of Cambridge)
While the average settling velocity of particles in a suspension has been successfully predicted, we are still unsuccessful with the r.m.s velocity, with theories suggesting a divergence with the size of

the container and experiments finding no such dependence. A possible resolution involves stratification originating from the spreading of the front between the clear liquid above and the suspension below. One theory describes the spreading front by a nonlinear diffusion equation

$\frac{\partial \phi}{\partial t} = D \frac{\partial }{\partial z}(\phi^{4/5}(\frac{\partial \phi}{\partial z})^{2/5})$.



Experiments and computer simulations find differently.

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