Meetings Archive

Set Theory in the UK (STUK) 2

Set Theory in the United Kingdom is a joint research group in set theory funded by the London Mathematical Society (Scheme 3) with members at the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, East Anglia, Leeds, Oxford, Warwick and University College London.

STUK 2 will take place on Wednesday, 8 May 2019, 11.00-18.00 at the University of Bristol. It is organized by Dan Nielsen, Philipp Schlicht and Philip Welch.

Location: 4th floor seminar room, School of Mathematics, University of Bristol, Howard house, Queen’s avenue, Bristol BS8 1SD.

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DISTINGUISHED LECTURE SERIES ELLENBERG

15 – 17 May 2019 University of Bristol

We are pleased to announce we will be hosting two Distinguished Lecture Series in 2019, the second of which will be given by Jordan Ellenberg.

The talks will be over three days:

15th May, Colloquium in SM1, Maths Building, 16.00 followed by wine reception in Maths Common Room

16th May SM2, Maths Building 16.00

17th May, SM2, Maths Building 16:00

Please register for the colloquium here

Registration not required for the talks of the 16th and 17th May.

Colloquium Title and Abstract:

Title: Caps, sets, lines, ranks, polynomials, and (the absence of) arithmetic progressions Abstract:  Here is an innocent-looking problem. Suppose you wish to construct a subset of the numbers from 1 to 1,000,000 — or, more generally, from 1 to some large number N — with the property that no three of the numbers ever form an arithmetic progression. How big can your subset be? It’s not clear that this problem is hard and it’s not clear that it’s important.  In fact it is both! I’ll talk about the long history of this problem and its variants, including the “cap set” problem, which is related to the card game Set: how many cards can be on the table if there is no legal play? This problem sounds different but is in many ways the same. I’ll talk about a sudden burst of progress on the cap set problem that took place in 2016, and explain what it all has to do with polynomials over finite fields, spinning needles (they’re also over finite fields), notions of rank for NxNxN “matrices”, and the data science of embedding points in space.

Support for travel for UK based PhD students may be available, please contact heilbronn-coordinator@bristol.ac.uk with any requests by 15th April.

We are pleased to announce that we are able to consider applications for funding to support care costs*

This event is organised in collaboration with the Heilbronn Institute of Mathematical Research.

*Applies to expenses incurred exceptionally as a result of attending the lecture series. Please contact heilbronn-coordinator@bristol.ac.uk for further information.

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Distinguished Lecture Series – Geordie Williamson

1 – 3 April 2019 University of Bristol

We are pleased to announce we will be hosting two Distinguished Lecture Series in 2019, the first of which will be given by Geordie Williamson.

The talks will be held over three days:

Monday 1st April 16:00 (Colloquium) 1.15 Queens building followed by a wine reception in Pugsley foyer

Tuesday 2nd April, 16:00, SM2, Maths Building

Wednesday 3rd  April, 16:00, SM2, Maths Building

Please register for the colloquium here.

Registration not required for the talks of the 2nd and 3rd April.

Colloquium Title and Abstract:

Title: Semi-simplicity in representation theory
Abstract: Representation theory is the study of linear symmetry. Since the first papers on the representation theory of finite groups by Frobenius at the end of the 19th century, the theory has grown to form a fundamental tool of modern pure mathematics, with applications ranging from the standard model in particle physics to the Langlands program in number theory. Some of the most important theorems in representation theory assert some form of semi-simplicity. Examples include Maschke’s theorem on representations of finite groups over the complex numbers (proved in 1897), Weyl’s theorem on representations of compact Lie groups (proved in 1930), and the Kazhdan-Lusztig conjecture (proved by Beilinson-Bernstein and Brylinski-Kashiwara in 1980). The lectures will provide an introduction to these ideas, with an emphasis on our attempts to uncover further layers of hidden semi-simplicity.

Support for travel for UK based PhD students may be available, please contact heilbronn-coordinator@bristol.ac.uk with any requests by 18th March.

We are pleased to announce that we are able to consider applications for funding to support care costs*

This event is organised in collaboration with the Heilbronn Institute of Mathematical Research.

*Applies to expenses incurred exceptionally as a result of attending the lecture series. Please contact heilbronn-coordinator@bristol.ac.uk for further information.

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The mysteries of water: a journey of (almost) 100 years

Speaker: Fausto Martelli, IBM Research

Date / Time: Thursday 11 April, 6pm – 7pm

Venue: School of Mathematics, University of Bristol (Room SM1)

 

 

The discovery of the Hydrogen bond can be dated back to the early 1920’s. This discovery opened the way to a new understanding of the Chemistry and Physics of materials. In the 1940’s Nobel Laureate chemist Linus Pauling observed that water, if it weren’t for the hydrogen bonds, should freeze at around -120 Celsius. As odd as Pauling’s conclusion may seem, it is one of the first scientific foot steps that, little by little, uncovered a profound truth: water hides many strange behaviors. Since then, scientists have discovered a plethora of anomalous behaviors in water that make it truly exceptional, and wildly unconventional. We now count more than 70 anomalies, i.e., behaviors that deviate from the theories taught in textbooks on Chemistry and Physics.

Without its peculiar behaviors, life on our planet would have never existed. For example, ice floats instead of sinking (as normally occurs in all other materials), and liquid water at 4 Celsius is denser than at other temperatures. As a result, the surface of water freezes during winter, while the bottom maintain a comfortable constant temperature of approximately 4 Celsius that allows life to advance. If water would have been a “normal” material, water would freeze from the bottom up, thereby killing all marine life.

In this talk, I will offer a journey on the history of scientific explorations that led to the discovery of many of the water anomalies. In doing so, I will present some of its most remarkable and unconventional behaviors—behaviors that directly affect our daily life without us even noticing it.


How to register

The talk is open to all University of Bristol staff and students as well as the general public. We ask that all attendees please register in advance of the event via Eventbrite.

Contact information

For practical information please contact maths-conference-administrator@bristol.ac.uk

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Matrix Society Talk Series – Monday 18 February

Join us on Monday 18 February, 6pm, SM2 for the first of this terms Matrix talks, designed to show off bits of maths that you won’t see in lectures – no special knowledge required!

 

Title: Password hacking, the de Bruijn way – Dan Fretwell

Abstract: How does one brute force a password of length n? You try all the possibilities of course*.

But what if the machine lets you type until the correct password is entered? Then you can do much better…by using de Bruijn sequences**!

Intrigued? Then come along. There might even be magic***…

(* not recommended)

(** also not recommended, but is definitely better…honest)

(*** a poor attempt at, but probably worth coming for just in case I mess it up)

 

Title: The Circles of Apollonius – Nick Rome

Abstract: Over 2000 years ago, the Greek mathematician Apollonius of Perga described how given three touching circles you can construct two more that touch each of the original circles. This neat construction is still studied today leading to all sorts of interesting questions in geometry, fractals, group theory and number theory.

 

The talk will take place in SM2 from 6pm – 7pm. The talk is open to all, booking is not required.
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Colloquium – Dr Ashley Montanaro, University of Bristol

Title: Quantum algorithms from foundations to applications

Quantum computers are designed to use quantum mechanics to outperform any standard, “classical” computer based only on the laws of classical physics. Following many years of experimental and theoretical developments, it is anticipated that quantum computers will soon be built that cannot be simulated by today’s most powerful supercomputers. But to take advantage of a quantum computer requires a quantum algorithm: and designing and applying quantum algorithms requires contributions to be made at all levels of the theoretical “stack”, from underpinning mathematics through to detailed running time analysis. In this talk, I will describe one example of this process. First, an abstract quantum algorithm due to Aleksandrs Belovs is used to speed up classical search algorithms based on the technique known as backtracking (“trial and error”). Then this quantum algorithm can be applied to fundamental constraint satisfaction problems such as graph colouring, sometimes achieving substantial speedups over leading classical algorithms. The talk will aim to give a flavour of the mathematics involved in quantum algorithm design, rather than going into full details.


Further information

The talk will be held in Enderby Lecture Theatre, Physics, from 4pm – 5pm and will be followed by a drinks reception in the Maths common room.

The event is open to University of Bristol staff and students.

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Heilbronn Colloquium – Prof. Marta Casanellas, UPC Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

Title: From phylogenetics to algebraic geometry

Abstract: Many of the evolutionary models used in phylogenetics can be viewed as algebraic varieties. In this expository talk we will explain the main goals of phylogenetics, introduce evolutionary Markov models on trees, and show how algebraic varieties arise in this context. Moreover, we will see how an in-depth geometric study of these varieties leads to improvements on phylogenetic reconstruction methods. We shall illustrate these improvements by showing results on simulated and real data and by comparing them to widely used methods in phylogenetics.


Further information

The colloquium will take place in Mott Lecturer Theatre in the Physics Building at 16.00-17:00 on Wednesday 12th December. It will be followed by a drinks reception in the Maths Common Room.

To help us plan space and catering, please complete the short registration form if you are planning to come.

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Heilbronn Colloquium Wahl – Professor Nathalie Wahl, University of Copenhagen

We are very pleased to welcome Nathalie Wahl to the University of Bristol for a Heilbronn colloquium.
Nathalie Wahl is a leading expert in algebraic topology, homotopy theory and geometric topology, and is distinguished for her work on homological stability. She is a professor at the University of Copenhagen and is spending the autumn semester at the Isaac Newton Institute.

Title: Homological stability: what is that for?

Abstract: Homological stability is a topological property shared by many configuration spaces and groups of matrices, or, more generally, groups of symmetries. In recent years, it has turned into a powerful computational tool. The talk will give an overview of the subject.

Further information
The colloquium will take place in SM1 in the Main Maths Building at 14.30 on Wednesday 21st November. It will be followed by afternoon tea in the Common Room.
To help us plan space and catering, please complete the short registration form if you are planning to come.
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A3G 2018: Advances in Applied Algebraic Geometry

Bristol

University of Bristol Organising Committee: Fatemeh Mohammadi 

In recent years, modern algebraic geometry methods have been picked up by applied mathematicians, engineers and computer scientists to solve real-world problems. This conference brings world leaders in this field to Bristol to present their research.

Confirmed Speakers:

Spencer Backman (Frankfurt)

Marta Casanellas (Barcelona)

Carlos D’Andrea (Barcelona)

Emanuele Delucchi (Freiburg)

Robin Evans (Oxford)

Kaie Kubjas (Aalto)

Anna Levina (Tübingen)

Marta Panizzut (TU Berlin)

Johannes Rauh (MPI Leipzig)

Cordian Riener (Tromsø)

Felipe Rincón (Queen Mary)

Kayvan Sadeghi (Cambridge)

Eduardo Sáenz de Cabezón (Logroño)

Anna Seigal (Berkeley)

Bernd Sturmfels (MPI Leipzig)

Timo de Wolff (TU Berlin)

Henry Wynn (LSE)

Piotr Zwiernik (Barcelona)

There is limited space available for participation in this conference. Please register your interest at the conference website by the 10th November 2018. Participants will be notified if they have been allocated a place at the conference by the 15th of November.

Supported by:

Heilbronn Institute of Mathematical Research, Institute of Mathematics, London Mathematical Society, University of Bristol

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