The AutomatedReasoning Revolution: From Theory to Practice and Back 
Moshe Y. Vardi, Rice University, USA 
Thursday, 1 September 2016 
About the Speaker
Moshe Y. Vardi is the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering at Rice University. He is the recipient of the ACM SIGACT Goedel Prize and ACM SIGMOD Codd Award, and author / coauthor of over 500 papers and two books. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Science, and European Academy of Science. He is the EditorinChief of the Communications of the ACM.

Abstract
For the past 40 years computer scientists generally believed that NPcomplete problems are intractable. In particular, Boolean satisfiability (SAT), as a paradigmatic automatedreasoning problem, has been considered to be intractable. Over the past 20 years, however, there has been a quiet, but dramatic, revolution, and very large SAT instances are now being solved routinely as part of software and hardware design.
In this talk I will review this amazing development and show how automated reasoning is now an industrial reality.
I will then describe how we can leverage SAT solving algorithms to accomplish other automatedreasoning tasks. Counting the number of satisfying truth assignments of a given Boolean formula or sampling such assignments uniformly at random are fundamental computational problems in computer science with applications in software testing, software synthesis, machine learning, personalized learning, and more. While the theory of these problems has been thoroughly investigated since the 1980s, approximation algorithms developed by theoreticians do not scale up to industrialsized instances. Algorithms used by the industry offer better scalability, but give up certain correctness guarantees to achieve scalability. We describe a novel approach, based on universal hashing and Satisfiability Modulo Theory, that scales to formulas with hundreds of thousands of variables without giving up correctness guarantees.
The talk is accessible to a general CS audience.


From Puzzles to Moduli Spaces 
Hugo Parlier, University of Fribourg, Switzerland 
Wednesday, 17 August 2016 
About the Speaker
Hugo Parlier is a professor of mathematics working in Fribourg, Switzerland. His research lies in geometry and topology. He is very involved in outreach and has run multiple workshops for high school students and teachers in the United States and Switzerland. Together with Paul Turner, he has created a popular math bookapp entitled "Mathema" aimed at illustrating mathematics  and in particular research level mathematics  to a broad audience.

Abstract
How do you measure distance between shapes? What is the distance between different Rubik's cubes? How many ways can you cover a chess board with dominos?
The talk will be about finding and exploring geometry in unexpected places and how puzzles illustrate more sophisticated mathematical objects such as moduli spaces.


Apple vs Samsung: a Mathematical Battle 
James Davis, University of Richmond, USA 
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 
About the Speaker
James (Jim) Davis, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Richmond since 1988, does research in combinatorics and error correcting codes. He received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Virginia in 1987. He spent two years working for HewlettPackard and he has 15 patents stemming from that work. He has published more than 50 papers, including several with undergraduates as coauthors. Outside of mathematics, he is an avid squash and bridge player.

Abstract
Apple and Samsung have been fighting patent battles around the world. Come learn about the mathematics at the heart of one of these battles, the error correcting codes used in 3G communication. We will give a gentle introduction to coding theory, explain why this caused a legal battle, and we will conclude by describing why President Obama ultimately vetoed the ruling by the court (the first time a president had used that veto power in nearly 40 years!).


Evolution and Computation 
Nisheeth Vishnoi, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland 
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 
About the Speaker
Nisheeth Vishnoi is a professor in the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. His research focuses both on foundational problems in algorithms, complexity and optimization, and on how computation can be used to gain insight into processes in nature and society. He is the recipient of the Best Paper Award at FOCS 2005, the IBM Research Pat Goldberg Memorial Award for 2006, the Indian National Science Academy Young Scientist Award for 2011 and the IIT Bombay Young Alumni Achievers Award for 2016. He is an associate of the International Center for Theoretical Sciences, Bangalore. Prior to joining EPFL, he held positions at Microsoft Research, the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing, CNRS, UC Berkeley and IBM Research.

Abstract
Billions of years of evolutionary forces have shaped life as we know it: diverse, complex and fascinating. Over the last two centuries there have been tremendous scientific and mathematical advances in our understanding of evolution, life and its mysteries. Recently, the relatively new and powerful tool of computation has joined forces to develop this understanding further: the underlying tenet is that several natural processes, including evolution itself, can be viewed as a form of computation. Not only does this viewpoint give us fundamental insights into life, it holds promise that we will unveil new computational models and techniques in this quest. In this talk, we will present some vignettes on this interplay between evolution and computation.


Foundations of Mathematics: An Optimistic Message 
Stephen G. Simpson, Pennsylvania State University, USA 
Wednesday, 6 January 2016 
About the Speaker
Stephen G. Simpson is a senior mathematician and mathematical logician. He is prominent as a researcher in the foundations of mathematics. His writings have been influential in promoting the foundations of mathematics as an exciting research area.

Abstract
Historically, mathematics has been regarded as a role model for all of science  a paragon of abstraction, logical precision, and objectivity. The 19th and early 20th centuries saw tremendous progress. The great mathematician David Hilbert proposed a sweeping program whereby the entire panorama of higher mathematical abstractions would be justified objectively and logically, in terms of finite processes. But then in 1931 the great logician Kurt Gödel published his famous incompleteness theorems, thus initiating an era of confusion and skepticism. In this talk I show how modern foundational research has opened a new path toward objectivity and optimism in mathematics.


Turning (big) Data into (even better) Decisions 
Assaf Zeevi, Columbia University, USA 
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 
About the Speaker
Assaf Zeevi is the Kravis Professor of Business at the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University. His research work focuses on the formulation and analysis of mathematical models of complex systems, with particular research and teaching interests that lie in the intersection of Operations Research, Statistics, Computer Science and Economics. Assaf received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the Technion, in Israel, and subsequently his Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is the recipient of several research awards including a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, an IBM Faculty Award, Google Research Award, as well as several best paper recognitions.

Abstract
Vast amounts of accessible data are fueling new developments in statistics, computer science and decision sciences, while also giving rise to fundamentally new business models and market disruptions. In fact, one can argue that the newly emergent field of data sciences is impacting the core of the scientific method and bringing it into question. In this talk we will survey some of the key ideas that are driving these developments, and touch upon why (and how) machine learning ideas are playing an increasingly important role in this revolution. Illustrative examples will be drawn from several recent application domains.


Alan Turing, Computing, Bletchley, and Mathematics 
Rod Downey, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand 
Wednesday, 1 July 2015 
About the Speaker
Rod Downey, Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, is a Professor of Mathematics at Victoria University of Wellington. His research is in the theory of computation and complexity theory. He is the only person in New Zealand who is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and the American Mathematical Society. During the Alan Turing Year, he was one of the foundation fellows at the Isaac Newton Institute at Cambridge for the Alan Turing Programme. He recently edited the volume Turing's Legacy for the Association for Symbolic Logic (ASL). He has won numerous awards for his work including a James Cook and Maclaurin Fellowship, the Shoenfield Prize from the ASL, and the Nerode Prize from the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science.

Abstract
Recently there has been a lot of attention on one of the geniuses of the 20th Century, Alan Turing. This is especially true given the prominence of The Imitation Game. In this lecture, I will try to give a more accurate picture of Turing's work and place in history. I will concentrate on his abstract work in computation, and the work of the wonderful team of cryptanalysists at Bletchley Park.


Complex Networks: How Can We Understand Their Behaviour? 
Frank den Hollander, Leiden University, The Netherlands 
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 
About the Speaker
Frank den Hollander is a professor of mathematics at Leiden University in The Netherlands. His research focuses on probability theory, ergodic theory, statistical physics, population dynamics and complex networks.
Frank den Hollander is a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. He has been awarded numerous national and international research grants, including an ERC Advanced Grant and a tenyear consortium grant by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science called NETWORKS. He has supervised 13 graduate students and 33 postdocs, has published over 150 papers, has served on strategic advisory boards across Europe, and has lectured across the world. He is the author of three monographs, and is Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.

Abstract
Everywhere in the world people are connected via networks. Think of Internet, Facebook and Twitter, but also of road traffic, transport of merchandise, mobile telephones and electricity grids. Such networks have become indispensable to our modern society. However, they are generally very complex: huge in size, intricate in structure, very dynamic, often overloaded, sometimes unpredictable, and at times even vulnerable. This is worrying.
To better understand complex networks, to model them adequately, and to control and optimize them in an efficient manner, new ideas are required. Mathematics is a powerful tool that has lots to offer. In this talk I describe a few examples of complex networks, discuss a few key questions, and give an impression of what mathematics is able to do. The combination "stochastics" (the art of hazard) and "algorithmics" (the art of computation) form the basis of a new perspective on networks. The ultimate goal is to design and build intelligent networks.
The talk is aimed at a nonmathematical audience with an interest in science.


BubblesFoams, GrainsMetals: Curvature Flow in Cellular Materials 
David J. Srolovitz, University of Pennsylvania, USA and Penn Institute for Computational Science, USA 
Monday, 9 February 2015 
About the Speaker
David J. Srolovitz is the Joseph Bordogna Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Penn Institute for Computational Science. He is the author of over 400 papers on topics in materials theory and simulation ranging from crystal defects, microstructure evolution, deformation, and growth processes. He is the winner of the 2013 Materials Research Society’s Materials Theory Award. Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania, Srolovitz was a Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and Applied & Computational Mathematics at Princeton University, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Applied Physics at the University of Michigan, and Professor of Physics at Yeshiva University. He also served as the Executive Director of the Institute of High Performance Computing, A*STAR in Singapore and was on the staff of Los Alamos National Laboratory (Theoretical Division) and Exxon Corporate Research (Metallurgy). He was one of the world’s most highly cited researchers in materials theory and simulation.

Abstract
The bubbles in the head of a beer or in dishwater, and grains in metals and ceramics, all evolve according to the same universal law: curvature flow. Curvature flow is driven by surface tension; motion that minimizes the total surface area. In foams and in polycrystalline materials, curvature flow also has to respect the connectedness of the bubbles and grains  giving rise to interesting issues in topology and its evolution. This type of evolution has interested generations of metallurgists, chemical engineers, physicists, and mathematicians including John von Neumann over a half century ago. This talk will focus on the fundamental ideas of curvature flow in foams and in solid materials, including several recent developments and computer simulations.


Magic Pictures About Higgs Bundles 
Tamás Hausel, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland 
Thursday, 7 August 2014 
About the Speaker
Tamás Hausel's research interests include, among others, algebraic, combinational and differential geometry, number theory and mathematical physics. He is Professor and Head of the Chair of Geometry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. He was on the faculty of University of Oxford and University of Texas previously. He held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in Oxford, a Miller Research Fellowship in Berkeley, and a membership at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He received an Alfred Sloan Fellowship, the Whitehead Prize of the London Mathematical Society and an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council.

Abstract
A traditional puzzle, going back to centuries, is a "magic picture". The task is to find a figure, for example a person or animal, hidden in some otherwise normal looking picture. Some versions depict objects which can be viewed at different angles and perceived as different entities. We will show some examples of such magic pictures in a mathematical context. Such a mathematical magic picture serves as a dictionary between two otherwise unrelated mathematical theories. Our magic pictures will be about Higgs bundles, which are at the center of investigations in theoretical physics and many fields of mathematics, including geometry, number theory and representation theory. In particular, the original definition of Higgs bundles was motivated by the mathematical theory of the famous Higgs particle which was recently found in the Large Hadron Collider in CERN, Geneva.


Shape of the Earth, Motion of the Planets and the Method of Least Squares 
Probal Chaudhuri, Indian Statistical Institute, India 
Thursday, 20 March 2014 
About the Speaker
Probal Chaudhuri is a Professor at the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. He did his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the same Institute and received his PhD in Statistics from the University of California at Berkeley. Before returning to India to join the Indian Statistical Institute, he was a faculty member of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is an elected fellow of all three national science academies in India.

Abstract
In the 18th century, while dealing with astronomical and geodesic measurements, scientists were confronted with a statistical problem, which in those days was described as "the problem of combining inconsistent equations". People who worked on this problem and contributed towards its solutions include Boscovich, Euler, Gauss, Laplace and Legendre among many others. I shall discuss the history of the problem and how it eventually led to the invention of the method of least squares.


A Walk Down the ArithmeticGeometric Mean Streets of Mathematics 
Bruce Reznick, University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, USA 
Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 
About the Speaker
Bruce Reznick grew up in New York City and Los Angeles. He received his BS from Caltech in 1973, where he was on the First Place Putnam teams of 1971 and 1972. His PhD in mathematics is from Stanford (1976), and after stops at Duke and Berkeley, he joined the Department of Mathematics at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign in 1979, where he has been a Professor since 1989. He has been a member of the preparation committee for the 19831985 Putnam exams, a Sloan Foundation Fellow (19831986) and was in the inaugural 2012 class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society. He has written more than sixty research publications, mainly in polynomials, combinatorial number theory and computational real algebraic geometry, with a special emphasis on Hilbert's 17th problem on sums of squares, sums of higher powers of polynomials and moments. He has supervised more than a hundred undergraduate mathematics research projects and 10 PhD dissertations. He received the UIUC Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2009. In his spare time, he likes to work on math problems.

Abstract
How should you compute the "mean" or average of a set of n positive numbers? One way is to add them and divide by n. This gives the arithmetic mean. Another way is to multiply them and take the nth root. This gives the geometric mean. Euclid knew that for two numbers, the arithmetic mean is always larger than the geometric mean unless the numbers are equal, and this is true for more than two as well.
This talk will explore many applications in optimization and finance and will let you solve some familiar calculus problems without using calculus. We will also look at a famous example of Motzkin which has had wide applications in moment problems and which, in turn, has a lot to do with the way integer points appear inside triangles and tetrahedra. You do not need to know calculus to understand most of this talk!


Order, Disorder, Symmetry and Complexity 
Daniel L. Stein, New York University, USA 
Friday, 15 Nov 2013 
About the Speaker
Daniel L. Stein is Professor of Physics and Mathematics at New York University. From 20062012 he served as NYU Dean of Science. Prior to coming to NYU, he served on the faculties at Princeton University and at the University of Arizona, where he was Head of the Department of Physics for a decade. He received his Ph.D. In Physics from Princeton University in 1979.
His research is in the fields of theoretical condensed matter physics and statistical mechanics. It focuses primarily on randomness and disorder in condensed matter systems, with an emphasis on magnetic materials and on stochastic processes leading to rare nucleation events. In addition, he has worked on topics as diverse as protein biophysics, biological evolution, amorphous semiconductors, superconductors and superfluids, liquid crystals, neutron stars, and the interface between particle physics and cosmology.
His awards include an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, Princeton University C.E. Proctor Fellowship, University of Arizona College of Science Distinguished Teaching Award, Commission on the Status of Women Vision 2000 Award, election as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the U.S. Air Force Exemplary Civilian Service Medal.

Abstract
One of the deepest scientific questions we can ask is, how might complexity arise? That is, starting from simple, undirected processes subject to physical and chemical laws, how could structures with complex shapes and patterns arise, and even more perplexing, what processes could give rise to living cells, and how might they then organize themselves into complex organisms, leading ultimately to such things as brains, consciousness, and societies?
We are far from answering these questions at almost any level, but they have attracted increasing attention in the scientific community, and some initial headway has been made. The basic problem can be reframed as one involving the selforganization of microscopic constituents into larger assemblies, in such a way that the process leads to an increase of information, the creation of new patterns, and eventually increasing hierarchical levels of complex structure. The key to understanding these processes cannot be found in any single (natural or social) scientific field but rather in collaborations that cross many disciplinary boundaries.
Although we are still at the initial stages of inquiry, new and interesting approaches and points of view have arisen. In this talk I present one that arises from the point of view of physics. We start by describing the (wellunderstood) phenomenon of matter organizing itself into simple ordered structures, like crystals and magnets, and then explore how our ideas are affected when we consider the effects of randomness and disorder, pervasive in the physical world. We will see that randomness and disorder are, paradoxically, essential for more ordered, complex structures to arise. Using these ideas, we provide some hints (but only hints) as to how we can gain a handle on issues related to the increase of complexity. Underlying all of our considerations is the notion of symmetry in physics: where it comes from and how matter "breaks" its inherent symmetry to create new information and everincreasing complexity.


Gambling Against the Second Law of Thermodynamics 
Renato Renner, ETH Zurich, Switzerland 
Tuesday, 10 Sep 2013 
About the Speaker
Renato Renner studied physics, first at EPF Lausanne and later at ETH Zurich. After graduating, he moved to the ETH Computer Science Department for doctoral studies under the direction of Ueli Maurer. He completed his PhD degree in 2005 with a thesis on quantum cryptography, for which he received the ETH Medal and the dissertation award of the German Chapter of the ACM. For the following two years he was a HP Research Fellow in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge (UK). Since 2007 he is a professor for theoretical physics at ETH Zurich. His research interests are in quantum information science as well as in the foundations of quantum theory and thermodynamics.

Abstract
When we gamble in a casino, we are occasionally lucky and win  but in the long run our net earnings are always zero (or negative). In his famous 1929 paper, physicist and inventor Leo Szilard argued that we are in the same situation when trying to build a perpetual motion machine of the second kind, i.e., a machine that converts heat into usable work. He considered a cylinder, filled with only few gas molecules. A piston may be inserted in the middle of the cylinder and connected to a weight. In general, the number of gas molecules on the two sides of the cylinder will not be exactly equal, resulting in a net pressure on the piston. If we are lucky, the cylinder will be pushed in the direction that lifts the weight  we have then converted heat (from the movement of the gas molecules) into work. However, the piston will also sometimes be pushed in the opposite direction, thereby lowering the weight. In the long run the net work yield will be zero (or negative). But Szilard now went one step further and imagined an "intelligent being" knowledgeable about the position of the particles at all times. In the same way as a fraudulent gambler, able to predict the behaviour of a roulette wheel, this "intelligent being" could, by cleverly choosing the times at which the piston is inserted, always win. The result is a net conversion of heat into work, in contradiction to the second law of thermodynamics. In this talk, I will revisit Szilard's argument from a modern perspective and exhibit the important role that the concept of "information" plays in our understanding of the laws of physics.


Quantum Physics, Public and Private Information, and the Lost Literature of Antiquity 
Charles Bennett, IBM, USA 
Thursday, 29 Aug 2013 
About the Speaker
Charles H. Bennett was born in 1943, the son of music teachers. He received his PhD from Harvard in 1971.
In 40 years at IBM Research Division he has worked on various aspects of the relation between physics and information. In 1973, building on the work of IBM's Rolf Landauer, he showed that generalpurpose computation can be performed by a thermodynamically reversible apparatus that avoids throwing away information about past logical states; and in 1982 he proposed the currently accepted resolution of the Maxwell's demon paradox, attributing the demon's inability to violate the Second Law to the thermodynamic cost of destroying, rather than acquiring, information. In collaboration with Gilles Brassard of the University of Montreal he developed a practical system of quantum cryptography, allowing secure communication between parties who share no secret information initially, and with the help of John Smolin built a working demonstration of it in 1989.
In 1993 Bennett and Brassard, in collaboration with Claude Crepeau, Richard Jozsa, Asher Peres, and William Wootters, discovered "quantum teleportation," in which the complete information in a system is decomposed into a classical message and quantum entanglement, then reassembled from these ingredients in a new location to produce an exact replica of the original quantum state that was destroyed in the sending process.
Lately he has become interested in the emergence of classical correlations and computationally complex behavior from quantum laws, arguing that thermal disequilibrium is necessary for this emergence, and that most classical information created on earth, e.g. the pattern of sand grains on a beach, is transient, eventually escaping into space as thermal radiation.
Bennett is an IBM Fellow, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He is a recipient of the Rank Prize, the Harvey Prize, the Okawa Prize, and four honorary doctorates. He is married with three grown children and seven grandchildren. His hobbies are photography and music.

Abstract
Quantum information theory provides a coherent picture of the emergence and decay of correlations, even in macroscopic systems exhibiting few traditional quantum hallmarks. It helps explain why the future is more uncertain than the past, and how some information remains private or is quickly forgotten, while other information becomes ever more public and durable. The most evanescent information, such the path of a particle in the famous twoslit experiment, may best be viewed as never having existed. Less private kinds of information include classical secrets, facts known only to a few, or informationlike the lost literature of antiquitythat once was public but has been forgotten over time. Finally there is information that has been replicated and propagated so widely as to be infeasible to conceal and unlikely to be forgotten. Modern information technology has caused a proliferation of such information, eroding personal privacy while at the same time deterring crime and tyranny. It might seem that whenever information is amplified to the point of becoming macroscopic and classical, it becomes permanent and ineradicable. But we argue that most onceclassical information about the pastfor example the pattern of drops in last week's rainfallescapes from the earth in outgoing radiation, becoming nearly as ambiguous, from a terrestrial perspective, as the path of an unobserved particle.


Regulatory Boundaries for the Banking System 
Darrell Duffie, Stanford University, USA 
Thursday, 4 July 2013 
About the Speaker
Darrell Duffie is the Dean Witter Distinguished Professor of Finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a
Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an Independent Director of Moody’s Corporation. He is
considered by many to be one of the most influential financial economists of his era. He has developed the modern
toolkit of term structure and credit modeling, which stands out for its immense practicality. He was President of the
American Finance Association in 2009.

Abstract
I reconsider the debate over the appropriate regulatory boundaries of the banking system in the light of the financial
crisis of 20072009, recently enacted laws, and proposed new regulations. The central issues are the range of
financial services to which regulated banks should be restricted and the extent to which "shadow banks" offering these
services should be subject to corresponding regulation. A closely related issue is access to emergency lending of last
resort from central banks by financial institutions that are outside of the regulated banking system.


What Really Happened in 2008, and Why? 
Philip Protter, Columbia University 
Thursday, 13 June 2013 
About the Speaker
Professor Philip Protter works in Probability Theory, with specialties in Stochastic Calculus, Weak Convergence and Limit Theorems, Stochastic Differential Equations and Markov Processes, Stochastic Numerics, and Mathematical
Finance. He is the author of one book, and the co‐author of three more, and he has published over 100 research papers. He was a visiting member of the Institute for Advanced Study in 1978, an NSF‐CNRS Exchange Scientist (to France) in 1980, and a Fulbright‐De Tocqueville Distinguished Chaired Professor in Paris in 2007. He gave the inaugural R. Von Mises Lecture at Humboldt Universitӓt, Berlin, in 2007, the Bullit Lecture at the University of Louisville in 2009, and the Karl Menger Lecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2013. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Currently he is a Professor of Statistics at Columbia University. Before Columbia, he held positions at Cornell University, Purdue University, and Duke University.

Abstract
The collapse of the bubble in the U.S. housing market in 2008 has arguably led to a world wide depression. We will examine its many causes and how they interacted to create the massive economic disaster of 2008.


Epigenetics: A New Frontier

Terry Speed, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia and University of California at Berkeley, USA 
Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 
About the Speaker
Terry Speed completed a BSc (Hons) in mathematics and statistics at the University of Melbourne (1965), and a PhD in mathematics at Monash University (1969). He held appointments at the University of Sheffield, U.K. (196973) and the University of Western Australia in Perth (1974‐82), and he was with Australia's CSIRO between 1983 and 1987. In 1987, he moved to the Department of Statistics at the University of California at Berkeley (UCB), and has remained with them ever since. In 1997, he took an appointment with the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) in Melbourne, Australia, and was 50:50 UCB:WEHI until 2009, when he became Emeritus Professor at UCB and fulltime at WEHI, where he heads the Bioinformatics Division. His research interests lie in the application of statistics to genetics and genomics, and to related fields such as proteomics, metabolomics and epigenomics.

Abstract
Apart from a few exceptions the DNA sequence of an organism, that is, its genome, is the same no matter which cell you consider. If we view the genome as a universal code for an organism, then how do we obtain cellular specificity? The answer seems to be via epigenetics, where the Greek prefix epi denotes above or on top of, that is epigenetics is on top of genetics. Epigenetics controls the spatial and temporal expression of genes, and is also associated with disease states. It involves no change in the underlying DNA sequence, and epigenetic marks are typically preserved during cell division.
With the advent of microarrays 15 years ago, these platforms began to be used to give high‐throughput information on epigenetics. In the last 5 years, second (also called next‐) generation DNA sequencing has been used to study epigenetics, in particular using bisulphite‐treated DNA or chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays, each followed by massively parallel DNA sequencing. There are now large national and international consortia compiling DNA sequence data relevant to epigenetics, and many statistical challenges are arising.
If we think of the single (reference) human genome, there will be literally hundreds of reference epigenomes, and their analysis will occupy biologists, bioinformaticians and biostatisticians for some time to come. This talk will introduce the topic, outline the data becoming available, summarize some of the progress made so far, and point to future biostatistical challenges.


Carbons: From Diamonds to Space Elevator and Future Electronics 
Boris Yakobson, Rice University, USA 
Tuesday, 10 Jan 2012 
About the Speaker
Professor Boris I. Yakobson is a worldleading expert in theory and computational modeling of materials nanostructures, their synthesis, mechanics, defects and relaxation, transport and electronics. Presently, he is Karl F. Hasselmann Chair Professor in Engineering, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and Professor of Chemistry at Rice University, USA. He received his PhD from Russian Academy of Sciences in 1982. From 19821989, he was the Head of Theoretical Chemistry group at the Institute of Solid Materials of the Russian Academy. From 19901999, he was on the faculty of the Department of Physics at North Carolina State University. His research, sponsored over the years by the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, NASA, Department of Defense, Army Research Office, Air Force Research Laboratory and AFOSR, Office of Naval Research, as well as private industry and foundations, resulted in over 170 publications and several patents. His honors include the Department of Energy Hydrogen Program Award, the Nano 50 Innovator Award from Nanotech Briefs (Boston), the Royal Society (London) Professorship Award, the Department of Energy R&D Award, and the NASA Faculty Award. He has mentored a number of PhD and postdoctoral students, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals.

Abstract
While “diamonds are forever”, a cornucopia of other forms of carbon has been in focus of research. Of great interest are the fundamental strength of carbon fibers and their ultimate incarnation—nanotubes, the adsorption area of graphene and its curved threedimensional surfaces for hydrogen energy storage or for batteries, the gapless electronic structure and how to engineer it for electronics use. Mathematical models, rooted in physicochemical principles and enhanced by computing, guide the progress in this rich field of knowledge and applications.


Order and Rigidity Sensing by Biological Cells 
Samuel Safran, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel 
Monday, 14 Nov 2011 
About the Speaker
Professor Samuel Safran has been a professor in the Department of Materials and Interfaces of the Weizmann Institute since 1990. He also served as Vice President of the Weizmann Institute and Dean of its Graduate School. From 19801990 he was at the Exxon Corporate Research Labs where he worked on the theory of soft matter with a focus on the structure and phase behavior of oilwatersurfactant dispersions. His recent research interests have extended soft matter concepts to treat biological membranes and cells. Professor Safran is the author of a graduate text on Statistical Thermodynamics of Surfaces, Interfaces and Membranes and a recipient of the de Gennes and Beller Lectureship Awards of European and American Physical Societies as well as the Lectureship Award of the Japanese Chemical Society.

Abstract
Understanding the fundamental response of biological cells to mechanical stress is an important theoretical challenge that can impact both invivo and synthetic biology. Recent research at the interface of physical/materials science and cell biology has shown that the regulation of cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation and tissue development, is controlled by the elastic rigidity of cells and their environment. This talk reviews current experiments on cellular sensing of substrate rigidity and stress and how this relates to orientational (nematic) and layer (smectic) ordering that occur in the cellular cytoskeleton of nascent tissues derived from stem cells. We then present simple, theoretical models that integrate the active, elastic forces exerted by cells with liquidcrystal analogies to understand the observed ordering with a focus on the longrange nature of the cytoskeletal interactions that characterize living matter. Finally, we speculate on how environmentally responsive, physical forces in the cellular cytoskeleton can affect the longterm fate of stem cells.


The Shape of Inner Space 
ShingTung Yau, Harvard University, USA 
Tuesday, 4 Jan 2011 
About the Speaker
Professor ShingTung Yau studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley under the great geometer Professor ShiingShen Chern. Professor Yau is William Casper Graustein Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University. He has made fundamental contributions to mathematics,
particularly differential geometry, and is well known for solving a number of important conjectures such as the Calabi Conjecture and the positive mass conjecture. The CalabiYau manifolds, named after him and Calabi, has now become a cornerstone of mathematics and theoretical physics. In Professor Yau's 40year career in mathematics, he has received numerous awards and honours, including the Fields Medal in 1982, the Veblen Prize in Geometry in 1981, the MacArthur Fellowship in 1985, the Crafoord Prize in 1994, and the US National Medal of Science 1997. He received the Wolf Prize in 2010 in recognition of ‘his work in geometric analysis that has had a profound and dramatic impact on many areas of geometry and physics’.

Abstract
I would like to talk about how mathematics and physics can come together to the benefit of both fields, particularly in the case of CalabiYau spaces and string theory. This, not coincidentally, is the subject of my new book with Steve Nadis. The book is called THE SHAPE OF INNER SPACE. The book tells the story of those spaces. It also tells some of my own story and a bit of the history of geometry as well. In that spirit, I'm going to back up and talk my personal introduction to geometry and the evolution of the ideas that are discussed in this book.
I wanted to write this book to give people a sense of how mathematicians think and approach the world. I also want people to realize that mathematics does not have to be a wholly abstract discipline, disconnected from everyday phenomena, but is instead crucial to our understanding of the physical world.


Numbers and Code, Behind the Magic of Visual Effects 
Chong Jiayi, Pixar Animation Studios 
Wednesday, 7 Jul 2010 
About the Speaker
Chong Jiayi is a Singaporean currently working at Pixar Animation Studios as a Technical Director. He graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelors and Masters in Computer Science. Jiayi has film credits on Walle, Up and Toy Story 3. Currently, his work at Pixar mainly involves researching, designing and implementing simulation tools for use in feature films.

Abstract
Movies and computer games are some of the most exciting and fun aspects of
media today. Audiences and consumers worldwide experience amazing visuals and spectacular imagery brought to them via advances in computer graphics. In this talk, I will attempt to explain some aspects of how such visual effects are achieved through a mix of physics, mathematics and computer science.


Cold Atoms and Quantized Vortices 
Jakob Yngvason, Universität Wien, Austria 
Tuesday, 23 Feb 2010 
About the Speaker
Jakob Yngvason is Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Vienna and Scientific Director of the Erwin Schrödinger Institute of Mathematical Physics (ESI) in Vienna. His research interests include quantum field theory, thermodynamics, and quantum theory of manybody systems, in particular cold atomic gases and BoseEinstein condensation.
He is coauthor, together with E.H. Lieb, J.P. Solovej and R. Seiringer, of the monograph The Mathematics of the Bose Gas and its Condensation. Jakob Yngvason obtained his PhD from the University of Göttingen, Germany, in 1973. He was Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik before taking up his present position in Vienna in 1996 and has held visiting positions at many institutions in Germany, France, Italy and the USA. He was VicePresident of the International Association of Mathematical Physics 20002005 and has served on many boards and committees, including the board of the Austrian Science Fund, and the Steering Committee of the Niels Bohr International Academy, Copenhagen. He is EditorinChief of Reviews in Mathematical Physics and on the editorial board of Advances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics. Professor Yngvason has received the Levi Conant Prize of the America Mathematical Society, the Erwin Schrödinger Prize of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and is elected Corresponding Member of Academy of Sciences in Göttingen and the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters, Copenhagen.

Abstract
The experimental realization of BoseEinstein Condensation (BEC) in ultracold atomic gases in 1995 has created lasting interest in the strange quantum properties exhibited by such systems. These include superfluidity and the appearance of quantized vortices in rotating gases. BEC was predicted by Albert Einstein in 1924 but its full theoretical understanding still poses highly challenging problems. In the lecture a nontechnical introduction to BEC and some of the phenomena associated with it will be given.


Mathematics and the Financial Crisis 
Paul Embrechts, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich

Monday, 16 Nov 2009 
About the Speaker
Paul Embrechts is Professor of Mathematics at the ETH Zurich specialising in actuarial mathematics and quantitative risk management. Previous academic positions include the Universities of Leuven, Limburg and London (Imperial College). Dr. Embrechts has held visiting professorships at the University of Strasbourg, ESSEC Paris, the Scuola Normale in Pisa (Cattedra Galileiana), the London School of Economics (Centennial Professor of Finance), the University of Vienna, Paris 1 (PanthéonSorbonne), and has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waterloo. He is an Elected Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, ActuarySAA, Honorary Fellow of the Institute and the Faculty of Actuaries, Corresponding Member of the Italian Institute of Actuaries and is on the editorial board of numerous scientific journals. He belongs to various national and international research and academic advisory committees. He coauthored the influential books "Modelling of Extremal Events for Insurance and Finance", Springer, 1997 and "Quantitative Risk Management: Concepts, Techniques and Tools", Princeton UP, 2005. Dr. Embrechts consults on issues in quantitative risk management for financial institutions, insurance companies and international regulatory authorities.

Abstract
In various articles in the popular press, mathematics is (partly) being blamed for the current financial crisis. In this talk, I will review some of these allegations, and try to put them into the right perspective. No doubt, (financial) mathematics has contributed substantially to a better methodological understanding of the fundamentals of modern finance. The critical question however we have to pose ourselves is whether in the process we have lost (too much) sight of the real world outside. Mathematics was definitely used (abused) for putting scientific respectability on products and prices which lacked sound macroeconomic principles. I will definitely answer the question: "Why did nobody warn?" It is to be hoped that consequences will be drawn with respect to teaching and research, but this not only in (financial) mathematics.


Keeping Afloat in a Deluge of DNA Data 
Terry Speed, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia

Tuesday, 22 Sep 2009 
About the Speaker
Professor Terry Speed is worldrenowned for his numerous and
important contributions to the applications of statistics to genetics and
molecular biology, in particular, to biomolecular sequence analysis,
the mapping of genes in experimental crosses and human pedigrees,
and the analysis of gene expression data. As a member of the NIH
Genome Study Section from 1995 to 1998, he investigated
fundamental problems arising from the Human Genome Project. His
current research focus is on cancer genomics.
For his many contributions, he has received numerous honors from
the world's leading scientific bodies, including the NHMRC
Achievement Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research
(2007), the Moyal Medal (2003), the Pitman Medal (2002), fellowship
of the Australian Academy of Sciences (2001), and fellowship of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science (1990).
Professor Speed has served, and continues to serve on a number of
scientific advisory boards and editorial boards in biology, statistics
and mathematics. He was also the President of the Institute of
Mathematical Statistics in 20032004 and of the Western North
American Region of the International Biometric Society in 19941995.
He has held teaching appointments at universities in Sheffield (UK),
Perth (Australia), and Berkeley (USA), and has been a research
manager in Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organization. He is currently the head of the Bioinformatics
Division of the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in
Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract
There have been many advances in science and technology since
Watson and Crick's 1953 publication of the structure of DNA, with
several leading to novel ways of generating DNA data. In this talk,
I'll outline the growth of technologies producing large amounts of DNA
data, and talk about the corresponding efforts to store, display,
analyze and interpret these data (called bioinformatics). My primary
focus will be on DNA sequence data, but I'll also discuss genotyping
and gene expression data. Technological themes include multiplexing,
miniaturization and Moore's Law, while computational themes include
algorithmic time and space requirements, and quick and dirty vs. slow
and careful, and creative visualization. The underlying psychological
theme is working harder and running faster to stay in the same place
in some dimensions, at the same time as advancing dramatically in
others.


Roles of Differential Equations in Mathematics and Sciences 
Fanghua Lin, Courant Institute, New York University, USA

Tuesday, 11 Aug 2009 
About the Speaker
Professor Fanghua Lin is the Silver Professor of Mathematics at
the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York
University. He is a world leader in applied and pure mathematics.
His research interests include analysis, partial differential
equations and geometric analysis, among others. Professor Lin
obtained his PhD from University of Minnesota in 1985 and was
promoted to full professor in 1989 at the Courant Institute of
Mathematical Sciences in New York University. He has published
over 150 papers, supervised 11 PhD students and 20 postdocs.
His honors include a Sloan Fellowship in 1989, a Presidential
Young Investigator award (19891994), the Changjiang
Professorship at Zhejiang University in 1999, the AMS Bocher
Prize in 2002, election to the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences in 2004 and the S.S. Chern Prize at the ICCM in 2004.
Professor Lin was an invited speaker at the International
Congress of Mathematics in 1990, an invited speaker at the AMS National Meeting in 2002 and
Plenary speaker at the ICCM 2004 and 2007. He is currently on the editorial board of over 10
journals including Comm. Pure. Appl. Math., SIAM J. Math. Anal., J. Diff. Geometry and Math. Res.
Letters.

Abstract
We shall describe some fundamental roles played by the theories of differential equations in both
pure mathematics and applied sciences. By examining past themes and the current developments,
the goal of the lecture is to illustrate some philosophical views as well as some new scientific
directions and challenges. It is a talk intended for an audience having no specialized knowledge in
mathematics.


Mathematics in the Public Eye  The Story of Perelman and the Poincaré Conjecture 
Sir John Ball, University of Oxford, UK

Wednesday, 22 Jul 2009 
About the Speaker
Sir John Ball is Sedleian Professor of Natural Philosophy at the
Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Fellow of The Queen's College, and
also honorary Professor at HeriotWatt University. For his wideranging work in
applied mathematics and contributions to the scientific community, he has won
numerous prizes and honours. These include election as Fellow of the Royal
Society of Edinburgh (1980), Fellow of the Royal Society (1989), an Associé
Etranger of the Académie des Sciences (2000), foreign member of the Instituto
Lombardo (2005), foreign member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and
Letters (2007), honorary member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society (2008)
and member of the Academia Europaea (2008). Other awards include the 1981
Whittaker Prize of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, honorary doctorates
from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, HeriotWatt University, the
University of Montpellier II, and the University of Sussex; the 1990 Keith Prize of
the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the 1995 Naylor Prize in Applied Mathematics of
the London Mathematical Society, the 1999 Theodore Von Karman Prize of the
Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the 2003 David Crighton Medal of
the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and the London Mathematical Society, and the Royal Medal of the Royal
Society of Edinburgh (2006). He was conferred the knighthood in 2006.
He has served on numerous UK and international boards and advisory committees, including Council Member of the
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council from 1994–1999, President of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society from
1989–90, and of the London Mathematical Society from 1996–1998. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee and
PastPresident of International Mathematical Union (IMU), Chair of the IMU Committee on Electronic Information and
Communication (CEIC), member of the Board of Governors and Scientific and Academic Advisory Committee, Weizmann
Institute, Israel, Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee (and Member of Management Committee, National Advisory Board) of
the Isaac Newton Institute, member of the EPSRC College and Trustee of MARM (Mentoring African Research in Mathematics
project). It was during his term as president of the IMU that the unusual events that will be described in the talk took place.

Abstract
In August 2006 the Russian mathematician Grigori Perelman refused to accept the Fields Medal awarded to him by the
International Mathematical Union at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Madrid. He had been awarded the Medal,
regarded as the equivalent of a Nobel Prize, because of his groundbreaking work on the Poincaré conjecture, one of the most
famous open problems of mathematics. The lecture will describe the conjecture, the unusual events surrounding its proof, and
how this unfolding story of mathematics and personalities attracted unprecedented worldwide media attention


Rattleback Reversals: a Prototype of Chiral Dynamics 
Keith Moffatt, University of Cambridge, UK

Tuesday, 28 Apr 2009 
About the Speaker
Keith Moffatt is Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Physics and Fellow of
Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. His speciality is fluid
mechanics and its applications in astrophysics and geophysics, particularly
the dynamo theory of generation of planetary and stellar magnetic fields. He
is interested in all aspects of theoretical mechanics, and is a past President
of the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM).
Keith served as Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical
Sciences from 1996 to 2001. Since then, he has served on the Scientific
Advisory Board of IMS (NUS), and on the Councils of CISM (Centre
Internationale des Sciences Mécaniques, Italy) and of AIMS (African
Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cape Town).
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, London, a foreign member of the
Academies of France, Italy, Netherlands and of the National Academy of
Sciences, USA. He also holds honorary doctorates from a number of
Universities, including his Alma Mater, Edinburgh University. He has been
awarded many prizes including the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society, the
Euromech Prize for fluid dynamics, and the Senior Whitehead Prize of the
London Mathematical Society.

Abstract
The rattleback is a toy that exhibits a curious and surprising dynamical
property: when spun in one direction, it spins quite smoothly before gently
coming to rest. When spun in the opposite direction, it reacts violently, and
rapidly reverses direction. It will be shown that this is a consequence of its
'chirality', i.e. its lack of mirror symmetry.
Chirality is endemic in nature: for example turbulence in rotating fluid
systems is chiral in character, and it is this property that is responsible for
the spontaneous generation of magnetic fields in stars and planets. The
nature of this fundamental process will be described.


The Scientific Basis of Climate Change 
Emily Shuckburgh, British Antarctic Survey, UK

Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 
About the Speaker
Dr Emily Shuckburgh is a UK Natural Environment Research
Council fellow based at the British Antarctic Survey and a
Fellow of Darwin College, University of Cambridge. She is a
climate science expert who has worked at École Normal
Supérieure in Paris and at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, as well as at the University of Cambridge. She is a
Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society and a Fellow of the
Royal Society of Arts. Dr Shuckburgh's research aims to
improve our understanding of the physics of the circulation of
the atmosphere and oceans. She has recently spent time
taking climate measurements in Antarctica. Dr Shuckburgh is
editor of a book published by Cambridge University Press in
2008 entitled ‘Survival: The Survival of the Human Race’, which
considers many of the challenges to human survival, now and
in the past, including the threat to human societies posed by
climate change.

Abstract
There is much discussion of the dangers of climate change, but what is the scientific basis for the predictions? This talk will review
the science behind the headlines.
Global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased markedly as a result of human
activities since 1750 and now far exceed preindustrial values determined from ice cores spanning many thousands of years. The
global increases in carbon dioxide concentration are due primarily to fossil fuel use and landuse change, while those of methane
and nitrous oxide are primarily due to agriculture.
Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean
temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level. Data on past climate indicates that the
warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years. The last time the polar regions were significantly
warmer than present for an extended period (about 125,000 years ago), reductions in polar ice volume led to 4 to 6 metres of sea
level rise.
The scientific community now believes that it is very likely that most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures
since the mid20th century is due to the observed increase in manmade greenhouse gas concentrations. Continued greenhouse
gas emissions at or above current rates will cause further warming and induce many changes in the global climate system during
the 21st century. The latest predictions of these changes have recently been published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change and will be reviewed in this talk.


Are Quantum Computers The Next Generation Of Supercomputers? 
Reinhard Werner, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2008 
About the Speaker
Professor Reinhard Werner was educated in Germany and the USA, at the
universities in Clausthal, Marburg, and Rochester NY. He received his PhD
in Physics at Marburg (1982), and the habilitation in Theoretical Physics at
Osnabrück (1987). After some years in Osnabrück, he became Professor of
Mathematics at the Technical University of Braunschweig in 1997, and very
recently he accepted an offer from the University of Hannover.
Professor Werner's research interests are the conceptual and mathematical
foundations of quantum theory, including quantum statistical mechanics.
More recently, he has become interested in Quantum Information theory.
He is wellknown for his many original contributions, in particular to the
theory of entangled states. He is presently participating in a Session as part
of the IMS Program on Mathematical Horizons for Quantum Physics.

Abstract
Quantum Computers are said to outperform all classical computers, even
the classical computers of the future. In particular, the standard public key
encryption methods, which rely on the difficulty of factoring large numbers,
could be broken on a quantum computer. In this talk, we will see how to
make sense of such wild claims, and which features of quantum mechanics,
the theory of atomic scale systems, enable such feats. We will also describe
the current state of quantum technology, which still lags far behind the
dreams, but has made remarkable progress in recent years.
Quantum simulators, i.e., especially designed quantum systems, which
simulate the dynamics of other quantum systems too complex for classical
numerical methods, are singled out as the most likely candidate for the first
quantum computer beating classical computers at a practically relevant task.


Knot or not Knot? 
Burkhard Kümmerer, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany

Wednesday, 13 Aug 2008 
About the Speaker
Professor Burkhard Kümmerer was educated in
Germany at the University of Tübingen, his home town, where he earned his
diploma (1979) and his PhD in mathematics (1982), and finally also the
habilitation (1987). He held teaching and research appointments at various
European institutions, including the King’s College London and the University of
Heidelberg. In 1997, he was appointed Associate Professor at the University of
Stuttgart, and since 2002 he is Professor of Mathematics at the Technical
University of Darmstadt.
Professor Kümmerer has received numerous prizes and awards in recognition of
his excellence as a researcher and teacher. His research in the fields of operator
algebras and quantum probability are highly appreciated by his peers.
His outstanding contributions include work on the mathematical aspects of
quantum scattering theory, a subject on which he collaborated with Professor
Hans Maassen. Both of them are presently organizing a Session as part of the
IMS Program on Mathematical Horizons for Quantum Physics.

Abstract
Knots are found in Celtic ornaments and the story, how
Alexander the Great "untied" the Gordic knot is legendary. But why are serious
mathematicians spending their time with knots? Do sailors really need their help?
The path along which knots found their way into mathematics is more entwined.
The problem of how sailors on their journeys round the world could navigate on
the oceans has made the great mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss to think
about knots. Some years later people were hoping to understand the periodic
table of chemical elements by studying knots.
What is knot theory about? It tries to answer the simple question, whether a knot
is really knotted or whether it is only looking complicated but nevertheless can be
disentangled to become a circle (without using a pair of scissors).
More generally, one is asking whether two knots are "equal".
In our talk we take a look at the origins of knot theory and we look with the eyes
of mathematicians at messing up a knot. A method for distinguishing different
knots by attributing to them certain polynomials is one of the great achievements
in recent mathematics: For this discovery V. Jones was awarded the fields medal
in 1990, which is the most distinguished price in mathematics. Essential features
of this discovery can be understood with only elementary mathematics. We end
this talk by mentioning some further unexpected applications.
The talk is on knots but it is also on the question: "What is mathematics?"
Mathematics is more than about numbers, mathematics requires lots of
fantasy, and, last but not least: mathematics is fun.


Climate Past, Climate Present and Climate Future: A Tale from a Statistician 
Douglas Nychka, US National Center for Atmospheric Research

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

About the Speaker
Professor Douglas Nychka is the
Director of the Institute for Mathematics Applied to the Geosciences
(IMAGe) and a Senior Scientist in the Geophysical Statistics Project
(GSP) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) at
Boulder, Colorado. Before that, he was at North Carolina State
University and National Institute of Statistical Science (NISS), NC.
He is world renowned for groundbreaking and multidisciplinary
research that spans a wide range from basic statistical science to
atmospheric science, climatology, environmetrics and the geosciences.
Through his own work and through his direction as project leader and
active research collaboration and inspiring mentorship at GSP, he has
exerted a tremendous influence on the modeling and analysis of
atmospheric data, such as those in ocean winds, dispersion of
pollutants, extreme precipitation and the assessment of climate
models. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and was
awarded the NISS Jerry Sacks Award for Multidisciplinary Research in
2004.
His current research interests are in nonparametric regression (mostly
splines), statistical computing, spatial statistics and spatial designs.
He is engaged on projects investigating the large sample properties of
geostatistics estimators and applications of inverse methods and
hierarchical models to the reconstruction of past climate. He is a key
player in the study of climate change.

Abstract
A grand scientific challenge for this century is to
understand the complex interrelationships among the physical
processes and human activities that define the Earth’s climate.
One specific concern is the warming of our climate brought about by
the increase of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, being
released into the atmosphere. What do we know about the Earth’s
past climate? Is global warming over the last century real? What is a
climate model and how is it used to understand changes in our future
climate? In answering each of these questions, statistical science
can play a role in quantifying the uncertainty in scientific conclusions,
for combining different kinds of information and summarizing complex
data.


Data Mining with Modeling: Managing Diabetes 
Larry Shepp, Rutgers University

Thursday, 24 April 2008

About the Speaker
Professor Larry Shepp is renowned for his
pioneering and fundamental contributions to discrete tomography and for his work on
applications of probability, statistics and mathematics to physics, engineering,
communications, genetics and mathematical finance. His work in tomography has a
profound influence on biomedical imaging with important applications in medical Xray
and nuclear magnetic resonance technology.
He is a member of the U.S. National academy of Sciences, National Academy of
Medicine (Institute of Medicine) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
For his research in stochastic processes and computer tomography, he has won awards
and recognition from major scientific and professional bodies such as IEEE and Institute
of Mathematical Statistics. He is actively involved in editorial work and services for
leading journals in probability, imaging sciences and computer assisted tomography.
He was professor of statistics in Stanford University and Columbia University before
joining Rutgers University in 1997 and has been the Board of Governor’s Professor of
Statistics since 2004. Before joining academia, he worked in Bell Laboratories from
1962 to 1980. After joining academia, he continues to contribute his expertise in the
service of the medical and engineering industries.

Abstract
Should one allow data to “speak for itself” or should one inject one's
preconceptions of the data set at hand with a mathematical model? In the '60's,
John Tukey and his followers brought exploratory data analysis into statistics, partly as a
revolt against what was then perceived as an overly rigid and brittle mathematical
modeling philosophy that held sway at that time. Some problems seem to demand such
a purely datadriven approach. Tukey did not want to be biased by preconceived ideas
about the origin of the data by formulating a model. Instead, he wanted to allow the data
to “speak for itself'”, via graphical methods alone.
I will argue that Tukey's approach, as he stated it, does not permit the solution to a
problem to depend on the problem; and thereby inhibits statistics to grow and interact
with the rest of science.
I will illustrate my point with datamining examples, in particular discussing a new large
data set composed of glucose levels of blood of a large number of diabetics at 5 minute
intervals over a period of a year to study the important problem of how to make
algorithmic use of these readings for closedloop control of an insulin pump.


Applied Partial Differential Equations: A Visual Appoach 
Peter Markowich, University of Cambridge, UK and University of Vienna, Austria

Tuesday, 11 Dec 2007

About the Speaker
Peter A. Markowich works in the area of partial differential equations and their applications
in science and engineering. He holds a Chair in Applied Mathematics at the Department of Applied Mathematics and
Theoretical Physics of the University of Cambridge. He is also Professor at the University of Vienna and leader of a research group at
the Johann Radon Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics in Linz. He was the recipient of
the Austrian Wittgenstein Award in 2000 and of the Wolfson Research Merit Award of the Royal Society in 2007.

Abstract
The lecture illustrates topics of science/engineering, which occur in nature and/or are part of our daily lives.
The described natural/engineering phenomena are modeled by partial differential equations, which relate
physical variables like mass, velocity, energy etc. to their spatial and temporal variations. Typically these equations
are highly nonlinear, in many cases they are also vectorial systems, and they represent a challenge even for the most
modern and sophisticated mathematicalanalytical and mathematicalnumerical techniques. The chosen topics
reflect the longtime scientific interests of the author. They include flows of fluids and gases, granular material
flows, biological processes like pattern formation on animal skins, kinetics of rarified gases and semiconductor devices.
Each topic is briefly presented in its scientific or engineering context, followed by an introduction of the
mathematical models in the form of partial differential equations with a discussion of the most basic mathematical
properties. Also, each topic is highlighted by a series of high quality photographs, taken by the author.
They illustrate in an allegoric way that partial differential equations can be used to address a large variety of
phenomena occurring in and influencing our daily lives. The lecture is based on a book with the same title,
authored by the speaker and published by Springer Verlag Heidelberg in 2006.


What is Mathematical
Biology and How Useful is it? 
Avner Friedman, Director, Mathematical
Biosciences Institute, Ohio State University

Thursday, 13 December 2007

About the Speaker
Professor Avner Friedman has made important contributions,
both in theory and applications, to partial differential
equations, stochastic differential equations and control
theory. His career, especially during the past two
decades, epitomizes a personal mission and relentless
drive in bringing the tools of modern analysis to bear
in the service of industry and science. He was the
Director of the Institute for Mathematics and its
Applications at Minneapolis from 1987 to 1997 and has
been the Director of the Mathematical Biosciences
Institute of the Ohio State University since 2001. He is
also Distinguished University Professor at the Ohio
State University. He has served on many U.S. national
boards and advisory committees. He has also served and
continues to serve on the editorial boards of numerous
leading journals in analysis, applied mathematics and
mathematical physics. His prolific research and
scholarly output has resulted in more than 400
publications, written singly and jointly, and 20 books.
Among the honors and awards he has received for his
wideranging contributions are the Stampacchia Prize,
NSF Special Creativity Award, and membership of American
Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the U.S. National
Academy of Sciences. As a founding member of the
Scientific Advisory Board of the NUS Institute for
Mathematical Sciences, he has contributed to the
development and success of the Institute since its
inception in 2000.

Abstract
Biological processes are very complex, and mathematical
models of such processes are at best just a crude
approximation. Nevertheless one can gain some useful
knowledge from the models. In this talk, I shall give
examples of biological and biomedical problems that have
been addressed by mathematical models. The examples will
be from areas as diverse as wound healing, hemodialysis,
tuberculosis, and cancer.


Quantum World of UltraCold Atoms 
Christopher Foot, University of Oxford, UK

Tuesday, 13 Nov 2007

About the Speaker
After having begun his physics career with a firstclass honours degree and doctorate from the University of Oxford, Professor Christopher Foot spent several years working at Stanford University, supported for part of that time by a Lindemann Trust Fellowship. He returned to the Oxford Physics Department and started research on laser cooling and trapping of atoms. Since 1991 he has been a tutorial fellow at St. Peter’s College, Oxford. His current research interests include the study of the superfluid properties of ultracold atomic gases (BoseEinstein condensates), and experiments on ultracold atoms held in arrays of optical traps formed by laser light to study the quantum properties of manyparticle systems. Such atomic physics techniques give very precise control over the coldatom systems so that they can be used to simulate phenomena that occur in condensed matter physics and, in the future, for quantum information processing.

Abstract
Nowadays it is possible to cool atoms to temperatures less than a millionth of a degree (microkelvin) above absolute zero and this enables us to study the many fascinating quantum mechanical properties of atomic systems at such extremely low temperatures. The lecture will describe the tremendous advances in physics that have made such experiments possible, and which led to the Nobel prizes in physics for the “development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light” in 1997, and for the “achievement of BoseEinstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms” in 2001. It seems counterintuitive that shining laser light on atoms cools them and this will be explained, together with the way that laser beams are used to hold the cold atoms at fixed positions in space and arrange them into regular patterns to construct ultracold quantum matter. The concepts will be explained without mathematics in a manner suitable for a general audience.


Real People, Virtual Worlds: Watching a Plague Unfold 
Nina Fefferman, Rutgers University and Tufts University, USA

Monday, 29 Oct 2007 
About the Speaker
Professor Nina Fefferman is an Assistant Research Professor at the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) at Rutgers University and the CoDirector of the Tufts University School of Medicine Initiative for the Forecasting and Modeling of Infectious Diseases. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics and a Ph.D. in biology. She has been a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Defense University, and has worked closely with the US Department of Homeland Security, all in the areas of biodefense.

Abstract
Infectious disease passes from person to person, from friend to friend, from parent to child, from shopkeeper to customer. Basic social interactions, necessary in every day life, can suddenly become themselves lifethreatening in outbreaks of deadly disease. One of the fundamental problems in understanding how diseases will spread, and how that spread will affect society, is understanding how people will (possibly) change their behaviors in the face of an outbreak. In 2005, an accidental plague unleashed in the game world, "World of Warcraft (R)" (by Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.), provided a first glimpse of how scientists might be able to exploit these virtual game worlds to study how people react socially to communal threat from infectious disease. As recently reported in the Lancet Infectious Diseases (and covered by BBC World News, the Associated Press, and Reuters news agencies, among others) we will discuss what current mathematical models of disease
spread can predict about disease, and how these virtual games may be able to help us all plan for global pandemics.


Mathematical Models of
Dengue Fever 
Eduardo Massad, University of São
Paulo, Brazil 
Wednesday, 24 Oct 2007 
About the Speaker
Professor Eduardo Massad is Professor of Medical Informatics at the University of São Paulo in Brazil and has been an Honorary Professor of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine since 2003. He visited Singapore in 2005 as the inaugural Courage Fund Visiting Professor of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology. His present visit is also sponsored by the Courage Fund.
Professor Massad’s main research interests are in Medical Informatics and Mathematical Biology. He is a worldrenowned specialist in the field of infectious disease epidemiology and the mathematical modeling of infectious diseases. He has done a wide range of modeling work spanning Dengue, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, vaccine preventable diseases, parasitology, HIV and antimicrobial resistance.

Abstract
Mathematical modelling enables medical and research workers to discover the
likely outcome of an epidemic or to help determine optimal control strategies
against infectious diseases. In this public lecture, an original mathematical
model of dengue transmission will be presented. The model takes into account the
impact of temperature increase on the Aedes mosquito population. The model is
tested against real data from Singapore and it explains a number of
epidemiological features of the last epidemics.


Robot Swarms and the Topology of Coordination 
Robert Ghrist, University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign 
Tuesday, 26 June 2007 
About the Speaker
Robert Ghrist is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign, with Research
Professor appointments at that university's Coordinated Science Laboratory and the Information Trust
Institute. Prof. Ghrist is also a founding member of CAESAR, the Center for Autonomous Engineering Systems And
Robotics at the University of Illinois.
Professor Ghrist's research covers a broad array of topological methods in applied mathematics. These include applications
of knot and braid theory in differential equations, applications of contact topology in fluid dynamics, applications of geometric
group theory in robotics, and applications of algebraic topology in sensor networks.
Professor Ghrist has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo (BS 1991,
valedictorian) and graduate degrees in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University (MS 1994, PhD 1995). Professor
Ghrist held postdoctoral appointments at the Institute for Advanced Studies (Princeton) and the University of Texas
(Austin), followed by assistant and associate professorships at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of
Illinois. Professor Ghrist is the recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award and was awarded the
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by President G. W. Bush in 2004. Professor Ghrist was named
a University Scholar by the University of Illinois in 2007.

Abstract
The ability to fabricate increasingly smaller and cheaper sensing and actuation devices portends a future in which
swarms of robots provide critical services, including searchandrescue at disaster sites, environmental monitoring, and
border security. But as individual robots and sensors shrink in size and cost, they multiply in number, requiring methods of
coordination. One of the most fundamental and challenging problems is moving from local information (at the level of
individual robots) to a global understanding of an environment (at the level of the full swarm). A century ago, mathematicians
invented a new field  ``topology,'‘ the study of abstract spaces  to handle very similar issues of passing from local
to global. A century of subsequent work has yielded a dizzying array of elegant algebraic tools which have remained largely
hidden within Mathematics. This talk will illustrate several surprising applications of this onceesoteric mathematical
subject to the understanding and control of robot and sensor swarms.


Computer and Genomes 
Michael Waterman, University of Southern California 
Wednesday, 7 March 2007 
About the Speaker
Professor Michael Waterman received his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics
from Oregon State University and his Ph.D. in Statistics and Probability from
Michigan State University. He held positions at the Los Alamos National
Laboratory and Idaho State University before joining the University of Southern
California in 1982. He now holds an Endowed Associates Chair at USC and is
Professoratlarge at the Keck Graduate Institute of Life Sciences. He is also a
member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Singapore's Bioinformatics Institute.
Professor Waterman works in the area of Computational Biology, concentrating on the creation and
application of methods in mathematics, statistics and computer science to solve fundamental
problems in molecular biology, particularly those arising from DNA, RNA and protein sequence data.
He is the codeveloper of the SmithWaterman algorithm for sequence comparison and of the Lander
Waterman formula for physical mapping. A founding editor of Journal of Computational Biology, he is
on the editorial board of seven journals, and is coauthor of the two classic texts Introduction to
Computational Biology: Maps, Sequences and Genomes and Computational Genome Analysis: An
Introduction.
He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1995, the National Academy of
Sciences in 2001 and the French Academy of Sciences in 2005. He became the first Fellow of Celera
Genomics in 2000 and received a Gairdner Foundation International Award in 2002.

Abstract
The modern revolution on biology based on the decoding of the genomic material of many organisms
including man would have been impossible without the extensive and pervasive use of computers.
This lecture will describe and trace a computational theme and method which played an essential role
in this revolution, and which continues to be extensively used today. In addition recent studies on
human genome variation including race will be described.


Mathematical Aspects of Financial Risk 
Hans Föllmer, Humboldt University 
Thursday, 15 February 2007 
About the Speaker
Hans Föllmer is world renowned for fundamental multidisciplinary contributions to statistical mechanics,
stochastic analysis and mathematical finance.
With a broad education in philosophy, languages, physics and mathematics in four European universities,
he obtained his doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) from the University of Erlangen. He has taught at MIT, ETH Zurich
and the University of Bonn, and is professor of mathematics at Humboldt University, Berlin since 1994.
He received the following prestigious awards: Emmy Noether award (University of Erlangen), Science
Prize of the GMÖOR (Gesellschaft für Mathematik, Ökonomie und Operations Research), Prix Gay
Lussac/Humboldt and the Georg Cantor Medal of the German Mathematical Society. He is a member of
Academia Europaea, Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, and BerlinBrandenburgische
Akademie der Wissenschaften.
He is actively engaged in the training of scientists and mathematicians both inside and outside of Europe.
He is involved in the International Research Training Group (IRTG) BerlinZurich and the DFG Research
Center "Mathematics for key technologies". He is also a member of the IMS Scientific Advisory Board and
is advisor to the NUS Department of Mathematics financial mathematics program.

Abstract
Concepts and methods, which have been developed within mathematics for purely theoretical reasons,
often turn out to be highly relevant in other areas. Stochastic calculus is a striking example for this
"unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics": Invented by Kiyosi Itô as a means of understanding the
microstructure of Markov processes, it has become a key technology in the world of finance. The speaker
will first sketch the amazing story which led from Bachelier's use of Brownian motion as a model for the
fluctuation of stock prices to the formula of Black and Scholes for option pricing and to the emergence of a
new scientific field at the interface of mathematics, economics, and finance. He will then describe some
recent developments beyond the BlackScholes paradigm of a perfect hedge, and in particular new
approaches to the quantification of financial risk.


The Role of Mathematics and Computer Science in Molecular Biology Research 
Martin Tompa, University of Washington, USA 
Wednesday, 19 Jul 2006 
About the Speaker
Professor Martin Tompa graduated from Harvard University in 1974
and received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of
Toronto in 1978. For the next 7 years he was on the Computer Science
faculty at the University of Washington, where he received an NSF
Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1984, the inaugural year for
these awards. From 1985 to 1989 he was on the staff of the IBM
Research Division at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center, and
became manager of its Theory of Computation group. In 1989 he
rejoined the Computer Science faculty at the University of Washington,
and in 1998 and 1999 received the first two ACM Undergraduate
Teaching Awards.
Professor Tompa's research interests are in computational complexity
and computational molecular biology, with emphases on biological
sequence analysis and regulatory analysis.

Abstract
What role do mathematicians and computer
scientists have to play in the genome projects that
have revolutionized biology over the past decade?
The speaker will try to give some indication by
looking in some depth at two particular problems in
the analysis of biological sequences. One is an
overview of how the human genome was
sequenced. The other is called "phylogenetic
footprinting", and is a method for discovering
functional regions of DNA by comparing the DNA
sequences of multiple species.
No prior knowledge of mathematics, computer
science, or molecular biology will be assumed.


Epidemics in Technological and Social Networks: The Downside of Six Degrees of Separation 
J.T. Chayes, Microsoft Research 
Friday, 9 Jun 2006 
About the Speaker
Professor Jennifer Tour Chayes is an expert in the emerging field at the interface of mathematics, physics and theoretical computer
science. Her current research focuses on phase transitions in combinatorics and computer science, structural and dynamical
properties of selfengineered networks, and algorithmic game theory. She is the coauthor of over 80 scientific papers and the
coinventor of 13 patents.
Professor Chayes is cofounder and comanager of the Microsoft Theory Group, as well as Research Area Manager for Mathematics
and Theoretical Computer Science at Microsoft Research. She also heads the new Algorithms, Computation and ECommerce
(ACE) subgroup of the Microsoft Theory Group. Professor Chayes is Affiliate Professor of Mathematics and Physics at the University
of Washington, and was for many years Professor of Mathematics at UCLA. She serves on numerous institute boards, advisory
committees and editorial boards, including the the Board of Trustees of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, the Scientific
Board of the Fields Institute, the Advisory Boards of the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Computer Science and the Miller
Institute for Basic Research in Science, the Communications Advisory Committee of the National Academies, the U.S. National
Committee for Mathematics, the Association for Computing Machinery Advisory Committee on Women in Computing, the Leadership
Advisory Council of the Anita Borg Institute, and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Commission on Statistical
Physics. Professor Chayes is a past Chair of the Mathematics Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,
and a past VicePresident of the American Mathematical Society.

Abstract
During the past decade, complex networks have become increasingly important in communication and information technology.
Vast, selfengineered networks, like the Internet, the World Wide Web, and Instant Messaging Networks, have facilitated the flow of
information, and served as a medium for social and economic interaction. In social networks, the ease of information flow goes by
many names: the “small world” phenomenon, the “Kevin Bacon phenomenon,” and “six degrees of separation”  the claim that any
two people on earth can be connected through a chain of acquaintances with at most five intermediaries. Unfortunately, many of the
properties that facilitate information transmission also facilitate the spread of viruses in both technological and social networks. The
speaker uses simple mathematical models to explain these epidemics and to examine strategies for their containment.


Trends in Wireless Communications 
Sergio Verdú, Princeton University 
Tuesday, 28 Feb 2006 
About the Speaker
Professor Sergio Verdú is Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University where he teaches and conducts research on information theory. He is also affiliated with the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics.
Professor Verdú was born in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. He received the Telecommunications Engineering degree from
the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain, in 1980 and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the
University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign in 1984. He was awarded a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the
National Science Foundation, the 2000 Frederick E. Terman Award from the American Society for Engineering Education,
and the IEEE Third Millennium Medal in 2000.
In 2005, he received a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. His papers have received
several awards: the D. Fink Paper Award from the IEEE, the 1998 Information Theory Outstanding Paper Award, a Golden
Jubilee Paper Award from the IEEE Information Theory Society, the 2000 Paper Award from the Japan
Telecommunications Advancement Foundation, and the 2002 Leonard G. Abraham Prize Award from the IEEE
Communications Society.
Professor Verdú was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 1993 and was President of the IEEE Information Theory Society in
1997. He is currently EditorinChief of Foundations and Trends in Communications and Information Theory.

Abstract
This talk gives an overview of recent advances and current trends in wireless communications technologies. Our emphasis
is on physicallayer techniques used to improve spectral efficiency for multiuser channels subject to fading.


The Epidemic Clockwork: Exploring the Population Dynamics of Infectious Diseases 
Bryan T. Grenfell, Pennsylvania State University, USA 
Tuesday, 23 Aug 2005 
About the Speaker
Professor Bryan Grenfell is a population biologist, focusing in
particular on the dynamics of infectious diseases in space and
time. He combines the development of theory with pioneering
analyses of empirical data sets from a range of diseases: from
measles to Foot and Mouth Disease and influenza.
Originally trained as a zoologist, Professor Grenfell has worked on
the dynamics of epidemics since 1980. He recently moved from
Cambridge University, UK, to the Center for Infectious Disease
Dynamics in Pennsylvania State University, USA. Professor
Grenfell was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 2002 and
is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.

Abstract
Infectious diseases have exerted a huge toll on human and animal populations, both historically and
up to the present. Starting with measles as an example, this lecture explores how the pattern of
epidemics in space and time depends on a balance between the spread of infection, the natural 'herd
immunity' of the population and our efforts to control the infection by vaccination and other means.
The speaker will discuss how the evolution of influenza and other disease causing organisms affect
the pattern of epidemics and our ability to control them.


Logic and Computation 
Ted Slaman, University of California, Berkeley, USA 
Monday, 1 August 2005 
About the Speaker
Professor Theodore Slaman received his Bachelor's Degree from
Pennsylvania State University, his Ph.D. in Mathematics from
Harvard University in 1981 and joined the University of Chicago
thereafter. He was promoted to full Professor at the University of
Chicago in 1987 and joined University of California, Berkeley in
1992 where he is currently the Chair of Department. He has made
fundamental contributions to the field of recursion theory and was
a speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in
1990 (Toyko, Japan).

Abstract
Two of the great virtues of Mathematics are its wide applicability and its precise verifiability. In Mathematics, we prove that our conclusions are correct and calculate accurate answers to
quantitative questions.
What happens to us when the methods of proof and computation are insufficient? In the 1930's, K.
Gödel gave fascinating ways to generate true statements in elementary arithmetic which cannot be
proven. Proof and computation are reflections of each other, and a similar incompleteness exists in
the methods of computation.
There is a detailed and beautiful structure supporting mathematical methodology. In this talk, the
speaker will discuss his favorite aspects of this structure. The one that he likes the best is the border
between finite and infinite, but there are others more surprising.


Can a wire have a memory? 
Georg Dolzmann, University of Maryland 
Thursday, 13 Jan 2005 
About the Speaker
Prof. Dolzmann received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University Bonn in
1992. After several years of postgraduate studies in Rome, Freiburg, Leipzig, Pittsburgh,
and Pasadena, he accepted a position at the University of Maryland
at College Park. In his research he combines theoretical and numerical techniques
to the analysis and simulation of mathematical problems related to
applications in materials science.

Abstract
The search for optimal shapes has inspired scientists for centuries. A celebrated
example is Johann Bernoulli's challenge at the end of the seventeenth
century: Given the top and the bottom point of a slide, what shape
would the slide need to have for a ball to slide from the top to the bottom
in the shortest possible time? Is it a straight line, is it an arc of a circle, or
is it a different curve?
Bernoulli's challenge is often regarded as the starting point for one of the
most successful fields in mathematics, the socalled Calculus of Variations.
Broadly speaking, it deals with all sorts of problems that require minimizing
a suitable function. A good example would be the question how to find the
minimum of the parabola y=x² (which would of course be the origin). In
Bernoulli's example it is the time the ball takes to go from the top to the
bottom of the slide. This is a more difficult task, and we will describe
the solution only geometrically  it is an interesting curve which has a lot
of fascinating properties.
Now how do all these relate to the title of this lecture?
You might be tempted to say that a wire cannot possibly
have a memory! However, I will show you that this is in fact
possible by making an experiment with a socalled shape
memory wire. Similar wires are being used today for example
in stents in heart surgery. The explanation for this effect lies again
in the fact that the wire tries to minimize something! These surprising
connections between the century old field of the Calculus of Variations
and modern applications to materials with memory have stimulated a lot
of research in mathematics today.


The Mathematics of Scientific Computation 
Eitan Tadmor, University of Maryland 
Wednesday, 12 Jan 2005 
About the Speaker
Eitan Tadmor is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park and the Director of the University Center for Scientific Computation and Mathematical Modeling (CSCAMM).
Tadmor's primary research interests include the development of novel, highresolution algorithms for the approximate solution of timedependent problems and the interplay between analytical theory and computational aspects of such approximate methods, with applications to shockwaves, kinetic transport, and incompressible flows.
Tadmor received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Tel Aviv University (TAU) in 1979 and began his scientific career in CalTech, 19801982. He held professorship positions at TAU, 19831998, and at UCLA, 19952004, where he was the founding codirector of the NSF Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) in 19992001. Since 2002, he serves on the faculty of the Department of Mathematics and the Institute for Physical Sciences and Technology in the University of Maryland. Tadmor serves on the editorial boards of more than a dozen international journals and has given numerous invited lectures, including plenary addresses in the international conferences on hyperbolic problems in 1990 and 1998 and an invited lecture in the 2002 Internation Congress of Mathematicians. He published more than one hundred research papers, mostly in Numerical Analysis and applied Partial Differential Equations.

Abstract
Before emails and media players, the sole purpose of computers was to perform scientific computations. That purpose remains the central task of today's high performance computers. Indeed, scientific computation has emerged as one of the fundamental tools of scientific investigation, and it has revolutionized the scientific methodology through its interplay with experiments and theory.
Numerical algorithms are at the heart of this revolution. They simulate quantitative assembly of different small scale dynamics and convert it into accurate predictions of large scale phenomena. It is here that mathematics, modeling and experiments interact through scientific computation. In this talk, the speaker will provide a bird's eye view on the mathematics behind numerical algorithms. He will review applications ranging from computational fluid dynamics and image processing to weather prediction and computational tomography.


Macromolecular "Fluids" and Liquid Crystals 
Qi Wang, Florida State University 
Wednesday, 12 Jan 2005 
About the Speaker
Prof Wang is currently Professor of Mathematics, Director of Applied Mathematics Program at the Florida
State University. Many remarkable materials are produced through processing of complex fluids, e.g. high
performance light weight polymeric materials like vectran and kevlar that have been used widely in industrial
and military applications, household materials, like egg yolks, glues, shampoos, ketchups, and many
more in our daily life. Due to their complex molecular compositions and intermolecular interaction, the materials
may exhibit fascinating mesoscopic structures in equilibrium and transient leading to extraordinary material
properties. His research focuses on developing mathematical models to analyze the flowing materials
and simulate their flow phenomena in various flow geometries.

Abstract
Many flowing materials in nature and in the world of manmade materials are made of
"large" (macromolecular) molecules or inclusions (micro or nanosized particles). Sometimes,
it is hard to call them liquids anymore because they flow very slowly. Do you know
how fast KETCHUP flows? Several tens of miles per year!
These macromolecular fluids exhibit many properties between a "true" fluid and a solid.
Can you imagine materials like playdoughs are actually complex fluids? All these are due
to their microstructural compositions and intermolecular interactions. Due to the molecular
interaction among the macromolecular molecules and/or inclusions, the materials may
show quite distinctive behavior than the liquids that one is familiar with such as water,
cooking oil, etc.
For example, if you disturb some polymeric liquids using a rotating rod, you will see the
materials climb up along the rod. This is the wellknown rodclimbing phenomenon for
complex fluids. You can experiment with it at home with eggs and an eggbeater or other
household materials. When the materials are extruded from a tube, they swell due to the
relaxation of the elastic stress. Also, you can suck them up with a capillary tube even if the
tube is pulled well above the averaged surface of the fluids.
Liquid crystals are macromolecular fluids of rigid molecules that can form partial orientational
order and are sensitive to external fields. Because of it, liquid crystal display devices
(LCD) have been widely used in computer monitors, TVs, high resolution display devices
these days. High strength and high performance materials like vectran are manufactured
commercially from liquid crystal materials. In this talk, I will introduce the some complex
fluids and their fascinating properties and discuss how we can model them mathematically.


The Romance of Hidden Components 
David Donoho, Stanford University, USA 
Wednesday, 25 August 2004 
About the Speaker
David Donoho is one of the most distinguished statistical scientists in the world. His groundbreaking research in data
analysis and reconstruction is widely used. This work finds application in a number of different areas ranging from medical
imaging to seismology and astronomy. His recent work used wavelets and other novel mathematical tools to help
scientists get sharper signals and images.
He earned his bachelor's degree from Princeton in 1978 and his doctorate from Harvard in 1984. He joined the faculty at the University of CaliforniaBerkeley in 1984, moved to Stanford in 1990, and is currently Professor of Statistics and the Anne and Robert Bass Professor of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University.
Honored for his fundamental work in statistical sciences, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992 and the National Academy of Sciences USA in 1998. He was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 19911996, the Presidents' Award of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Sciences in 1994, and the John von
Neumann Prize by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 2001. He was a plenary speaker at the
International Congress of Mathematicians 2002.

Abstract
Perhaps the most romantic and seductive idea in all of science is that, hiding behind the enormously complex structures we
see in the world around us, there are hidden components that are on the one hand very simple and even elegant and on
the other hand easily combine to generate all the variety we see about us. Classical examples include Newton and the
spectrum of light, Eugenecists and the idea of IQ; modern examples include wavelets and quarks. The speaker will review
some of the classical ideas of hidden components, starting from principal components or even before, and describe some
of the most recent notions, such as independent components analysis, sparse components analysis, nonnegative matrix
factorizations, and cumulant components. He will try to keep things at an elementary level, communicating the
attractiveness of these ideas to scientists and engineers outside of statistics, the wideranging impact these ideas are
having from hightech industry to neuroscience and astronomy, and describing what he thinks is the much greater role that
statisticians should be playing in developing and deploying these methods.


Genes, Disease and Genetic Diseases 
Terry Speed, University of California at Berkeley and Walter & Eliza Hall
Institute of Medical Research, Australia 
Wednesday, 7 January 2004 
About the Speaker
Terry Speed is world renowned for his important contributions to the applications of statistics to genetics and
molecular biology, and in particular, to biomolecular sequence analysis, the mapping of genes in experimental
crosses and human pedigrees, and the analysis of gene expression data. A member of the NIH Genome Study
Section from 1995 to 1998, he investigated fundamental problems arising from the Human Genome Project.
He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences, American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical
Statistics and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been on the editorial boards of many
international journals including the Annals of Statistics, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Statistical
Science, Bernoulli and Journal of Computational Biology. He is currently the President of the USbased Institute of
Mathematical Statistics.

Abstract
Emerging from its beginnings about 100 years ago with the rediscovery of Mendel’s laws of hereditary, genetics is
now experiencing a hitherto unimagined explosion in molecular and biological data brought about by breakthroughs in
biotechnology. This has spawned the new field of bioinformatics which is helping biomedical scientists in storing,
retrieving, displaying, analyzing and interpreting the complex of data. The advent of the recent human and other
genome projects has resulted in geneticists turning to mathematics and statistics for assistance in unraveling the
connection between genes and diseases. From the earliest recognition of the role of single gene defects in rare
hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s chorea and Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, it is now known
that more common diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis and susceptibility to malaria may be caused by
multiple genes and by the environment. Such diseases are known as complex genetic traits and pose a much greater
challenge to human geneticists in bearing and resolving the overall human disease burden.
This talk will illustrate some aspects of statistical genetics and bioinformatics in the context of our continuing efforts to
understand particular complex genetic traits.


Mathematics in the Real World and the Fake World 
Stanley Osher, University of California, Los Angeles, USA 
Thursday, 18 December 2003 
About the Speaker
Stanley Osher is the Director of Applied Mathematics at the University of California, Los Ange
les. He has won many awards, including the NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award
and the Pioneer Prize of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He is the co
inventor of various methods in applied mathematics and scientific computing. His work has
been written up numerous times in the scientific and international media. He has cofounded
three companies based, in part, on his own research.

Abstract
With the advent of the computer we can now develop algorithms that perform incredible tasksspecial effects in Hollywood, catching bad guys on video, predicting all kinds of natural and un
natural phenomena. A common theme in these algorithms is rather elementary geometry. In
this talk the speaker will discuss geometric algorithms and their applications in every day life.


What's Math got to do with it? Mathematics at the Frontiers of Sciences and Technology 
Tony Chan, Department of Mathematics, University of California, USA 
Monday, 15 December 2003 
About the Speaker
Tony Chan has made many interdisciplinary contributions to applied mathematics and
scientific computing. He serves on the editorial boards of wellknown journals on applied
mathematics and is actively involved in various mathematical and scientific organizations
in the United States. He is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the Univer
sity of California, Los Angeles. He is also the Dean of the Division of Physical Sciences.

Abstract
Mathematics is at the foundation of our highly technological society. The application of
mathematics can be found in almost all walks of life, and often in the most unexpected
places. In this talk, the speaker will provide some examples of interesting applications of
frontier research mathematics in areas that are quite close to everyday life. Examples
include the movies, the stock market, the internet, medicine, communication, etc.


The Search for Randomness 
Persi Diaconis, Stanford University 
Thursday, 19 August 2003 
About the Speaker
Persi Diaconis, a legendary figure in mathematics, studied violin at
Juilliard and magic with Dai Vernon, who has been called the greatest
magician in the US. For 10 years from the age of 14, he pursued a
successful and colorful career as a magician until his destiny was
changed after a friend recommended him a book on probability which he
could not understand. It led to his enrollment into mathematics programs
in the City College of New York and Harvard University. The rest, as they
say, is history.
He is currently the Mary Sunseri Professor of Statistics and Professor of
Mathematics at Stanford University. Honored for his fundamental work in
statistics and probability (including the mathematics of card shuffling), he
was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1989 and
the National Academy of Sciences USA in 1995. He was President of
the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, a Gibbs Lecturer of the American
Mathematical Society and a plenary speaker at the International
Congress of Mathematicians.
His diverse interests have led him to write on parapsychology, and to
introduce mathematical magic shows. As he says, “Inventing a magic
trick and inventing a theorem are very, very similar activities.”

Abstract
The speaker will discuss some of our most primitive examples of random phenomena: tossing a coin,
rolling dice and shuffling cards. While common practice can produce randomness, usually a close
look shows that it just isn't so.

