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Fall 2017

Date Speaker Title Host(s)
September 8 Tess Anderson (Madison) A Spherical Maximal Function along the Primes Tonghai Yang
September 15
September 22, 9th floor Jaeyoung Byeon (KAIST) Patterns formation for elliptic systems with large interaction forces Paul Rabinowitz & Chanwoo Kim
October 6, 9th floor Jonathan Hauenstein (Notre Dame) Real solutions of polynomial equations Nigel Boston
October 13, 9th floor Tomoko L. Kitagawa (Berkeley) A Global History of Mathematics from 1650 to 2017 Laurentiu Maxim
October 20 Pierre Germain (Courant, NYU) Stability of the Couette flow in the Euler and Navier-Stokes equations Minh-Binh Tran
October 27 Stefanie Petermichl (Toulouse) Higher order Journé commutators Betsy Stovall, Andreas Seeger
November 1 (Wednesday) Shaoming Guo (Indiana) Parsell-Vinogradov systems in higher dimensions Andreas Seeger
November 17 Yevgeny Liokumovich (MIT) Recent progress in Min-Max Theory Sean Paul
November 21, 9th floor Michael Kemeny (Stanford) The equations defining curves and moduli spaces Jordan Ellenberg
November 24 Thanksgiving break
November 27, Tristan Collins (Harvard) The J-equation and stability Sean Paul
December 5 (Tuesday) Ryan Hynd (U Penn) Adhesion dynamics and the sticky particle system Sigurd Angenent
December 8 (Friday) Nan Chen (Courant, NYU) A Conditional Gaussian Framework for Uncertainty Quantification, Data Assimilation and Prediction of Complex Turbulent Dynamical Systems Leslie Smith
December 11 (Monday) Connor Mooney (ETH Zurich) Regularity vs. Singularity for Elliptic and Parabolic Systems Sigurd Angenent
December 13 (Wednesday) Bobby Wilson (MIT) Projections in Banach Spaces and Harmonic Analysis Andreas Seeger
December 15 (Friday) 9th floor Roy Lederman (Princeton) Inverse Problems and Unsupervised Learning with applications to Cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM) Leslie Smith
December 18 (Monday) B115 Jenny Wilson (Stanford) Stability in the homology of configuration spaces Jordan Ellenberg
December 19 (Tuesday) 9th floor Alex Wright (Stanford) Dynamics, geometry, and the moduli space of Riemann surfaces Jordan Ellenberg

Fall Abstracts

September 8: Tess Anderson (Madison)

Title: A Spherical Maximal Function along the Primes

Abstract: Many problems at the interface of analysis and number theory involve showing that the primes, though deterministic, exhibit random behavior. The Green-Tao theorem stating that the primes contain infinitely long arithmetic progressions is one such example. In this talk, we show that prime vectors equidistribute on the sphere in the same manner as a random set of integer vectors would be expected to. We further quantify this with explicit bounds for naturally occurring maximal functions, which connects classical tools from harmonic analysis with analytic number theory. This is joint work with Cook, Hughes, and Kumchev.

September 22: Jaeyoung Byeon (KAIST)

Title: Patterns formation for elliptic systems with large interaction forces

Abstract: Nonlinear elliptic systems arising from nonlinear Schroedinger systems have simple looking reaction terms. The corresponding energy for the reaction terms can be expressed as quadratic forms in terms of density functions. The i, j-th entry of the matrix for the quadratic form represents the interaction force between the components i and j of the system. If the sign of an entry is positive, the force between the two components is attractive; on the other hand, if it is negative, it is repulsive. When the interaction forces between different components are large, the network structure of attraction and repulsion between components might produce several interesting patterns for solutions. As a starting point to study the general pattern formation structure for systems with a large number of components, I will first discuss the simple case of 2-component systems, and then the much more complex case of 3-component systems.

October 6: Jonathan Hauenstein (Notre Dame)

Title: Real solutions of polynomial equations

Abstract: Systems of nonlinear polynomial equations arise frequently in applications with the set of real solutions typically corresponding to physically meaningful solutions. Efficient algorithms for computing real solutions are designed by exploiting structure arising from the application. This talk will highlight some of these algorithms for various applications such as solving steady-state problems of hyperbolic conservation laws, solving semidefinite programs, and computing all steady-state solutions of the Kuramoto model.

October 13: Tomoko Kitagawa (Berkeley)

Title: A Global History of Mathematics from 1650 to 2017

Abstract: This is a talk on the global history of mathematics. We will first focus on France by revisiting some of the conversations between Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) and Pierre de Fermat (1607–1665). These two “mathematicians” discussed ways of calculating the possibility of winning a gamble and exchanged their opinions on geometry. However, what about the rest of the world? We will embark on a long oceanic voyage to get to East Asia and uncover the unexpected consequences of blending foreign mathematical knowledge into domestic intelligence, which was occurring concurrently in Beijing and Kyoto. How did mathematicians and scientists contribute to the expansion of knowledge? What lessons do we learn from their experiences?

October 20: Pierre Germain (Courant, NYU)

Title: Stability of the Couette flow in the Euler and Navier-Stokes equations

Abstract: I will discuss the question of the (asymptotic) stability of the Couette flow in Euler and Navier-Stokes. The Couette flow is the simplest nontrivial stationary flow, and the first one for which this question can be fully answered. The answer involves the mathematical understanding of important physical phenomena such as inviscid damping and enhanced dissipation. I will present recent results in dimension 2 (Bedrossian-Masmoudi) and dimension 3 (Bedrossian-Germain-Masmoudi).

October 27: Stefanie Petermichl (Toulouse)

Title: Higher order Journé commutators

Abstract: We consider questions that stem from operator theory via Hankel and Toeplitz forms and target (weak) factorisation of Hardy spaces. In more basic terms, let us consider a function on the unit circle in its Fourier representation. Let P_+ denote the projection onto non-negative and P_- onto negative frequencies. Let b denote multiplication by the symbol function b. It is a classical theorem by Nehari that the composed operator P_+ b P_- is bounded on L^2 if and only if b is in an appropriate space of functions of bounded mean oscillation. The necessity makes use of a classical factorisation theorem of complex function theory on the disk. This type of question can be reformulated in terms of commutators [b,H]=bH-Hb with the Hilbert transform H=P_+ - P_- . Whenever factorisation is absent, such as in the real variable setting, in the multi-parameter setting or other, these classifications can be very difficult.

Such lines were begun by Coifman, Rochberg, Weiss (real variables) and by Cotlar, Ferguson, Sadosky (multi-parameter) of characterisation of spaces of bounded mean oscillation via L^p boundedness of commutators. We present here an endpoint to this theory, bringing all such characterisation results under one roof.

The tools used go deep into modern advances in dyadic harmonic analysis, while preserving the Ansatz from classical operator theory.

November 1: Shaoming Guo (Indiana)

Title: Parsell-Vinogradov systems in higher dimensions

Abstract: I will present a few results on counting the numbers of integer solutions of Parsell-Vinogradov systems in higher dimensions. Applications to Waring’s problem and to the problem of counting rational linear subspaces lying on certain hyper-surface will be discussed. Joint works with Jean Bourgain, Ciprian Demeter and Ruixiang Zhang.

November 17:Yevgeny Liokumovich (MIT)

Title: Recent progress in Min-Max Theory

Abstract: Almgren-Pitts Min-Max Theory is a method of constructing minimal hypersurfaces in Riemannian manifolds. In the last few years a number of long-standing open problems in Geometry, Geometric Analysis and 3-manifold Topology have been solved using this method. I will explain the main ideas and challenges in Min-Max Theory with an emphasis on its quantitative aspect: what quantitative information about the geometry and topology of minimal hypersurfaces can be extracted from the theory?

November 21:Michael Kemeny (Stanford)

Title: The equations defining curves and moduli spaces

Abstract: A projective variety is a subset of projective space defined by polynomial equations. One of the oldest problems in algebraic geometry is to give a qualitative description of the equations defining a variety, together with the relations amongst them. When the variety is an algebraic curve (or Riemann surface), several conjectures made since the 80s give a fairly good picture of what we should expect. I will describe a new variational approach to these conjectures, which reduces the problem to studying cycles on Hurwitz space or on the moduli space of curves.

November 27:Tristan Collins (Harvard)

Title: The J-equation and stability

Abstract: Donaldson and Chen introduced the J-functional in '99, and explained its importance in the existence problem for constant scalar curvature metrics on compact Kahler manifolds. An important open problem is to find algebro-geometric conditions under which the J-functional has a critical point. The critical points of the J-functional are described by a fully-nonlinear PDE called the J-equation. I will discuss some recent progress on this problem, and indicate the role of algebraic geometry in proving estimates for the J-equation.

December 5: Ryan Hynd (U Penn)

Title: Adhesion dynamics and the sticky particle system.

Abstract: The sticky particle system expresses the conservation of mass and momentum for a collection of particles that only interact via perfectly inelastic collisions. The equations were first considered in astronomy in a model for the expansion of matter without pressure. These equations also play a central role in the theory of optimal transport. Namely, the geodesics in an appropriately metrized space of probability measures correspond to solutions of the sticky particle system. We will survey what is known about solutions and discuss connections with Hamilton-Jacobi equations.

December 8: Nan Chen (Courant, NYU)

Title: A Conditional Gaussian Framework for Uncertainty Quantification, Data Assimilation and Prediction of Complex Turbulent Dynamical Systems

Abstract: A conditional Gaussian framework for uncertainty quantification, data assimilation and prediction of nonlinear turbulent dynamical systems will be introduced in this talk. Despite the conditional Gaussianity, the dynamics remain highly nonlinear and are able to capture strongly non-Gaussian features such as intermittency and extreme events. The conditional Gaussian structure allows efficient and analytically solvable conditional statistics that facilitates the real-time data assimilation and prediction.

The talk will include three applications of such conditional Gaussian framework. In the first part, a physics-constrained nonlinear stochastic model is developed, and is applied to predicting the Madden-Julian oscillation indices with strongly non-Gaussian intermittent features. The second part regards the state estimation and data assimilation of multiscale and turbulent ocean flows using noisy Lagrangian tracers. Rigorous analysis shows that an exponential increase in the number of tracers is required for reducing the uncertainty by a fixed amount. This indicates a practical information barrier. In the last part of the talk, an efficient statistically accurate algorithm is developed that is able to solve a rich class of high dimensional Fokker-Planck equation with strong non-Gaussian features and beat the curse of dimensions.

December 11: Connor Mooney (ETH Zurich)

Title: Regularity vs. Singularity for Elliptic and Parabolic Systems

Abstract: Hilbert's 19th problem asks if minimizers of “natural” variational integrals are smooth. For the past century, this problem inspired fundamental regularity results for elliptic and parabolic PDEs. It also led to the construction of several beautiful counterexamples to regularity. The dichotomy of regularity vs. singularity is related to that of single PDE (the scalar case) vs. system of PDEs (the vectorial case), and low dimension vs. high dimension. I will discuss some interesting recent counterexamples to regularity in low-dimensional vectorial cases, as well as outstanding open problems. Some of this is joint work with O. Savin.

December 13: Bobby Wilson (MIT)

Title: Projections in Banach Spaces and Harmonic Analysis

Abstract: In this talk, we will discuss the measure theoretic principles of orthogonal projections that follow from the classical Besicovitch-Federer projection theorem. The Besicovitch-Federer projection theorem offers a characterization of rectifiability of one-dimensional sets in R^d by the size of their projections to lines. We will focus on the validity of analogues to the Besicovitch-Federer projection theorem with respect to such sets in general Banach spaces. In particular, we will show that the projection theorem is false when the Banach space is infinite-dimensional and discuss related applications to questions in Harmonic Analysis. This is joint work with Marianna Csornyei and David Bate.

December 15: Roy Lederman (Princeton)

Title: Inverse Problems and Unsupervised Learning with applications to Cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM)

Abstract: Cryo-EM is an imaging technology that is revolutionizing structural biology; the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was recently awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson “for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution".

Cryo-electron microscopes produce a large number of very noisy two-dimensional projection images of individual frozen molecules. Unlike related methods, such as computed tomography (CT), the viewing direction of each image is unknown. The unknown directions, together with extreme levels of noise and additional technical factors, make the determination of the structure of molecules challenging.

While other methods for structure determination, such as x-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), measure ensembles of molecules together, cryo-EM produces measurements of individual molecules. Therefore, cryo-EM could potentially be used to study mixtures of different conformations of molecules. Indeed, current algorithms have been very successful at analyzing homogeneous samples, and can recover some distinct conformations mixed in solutions, but, the determination of multiple conformations, and in particular, continuums of similar conformations (continuous heterogeneity), remains one of the open problems in cryo-EM.

I will discuss a one-dimensional discrete model problem, Heterogeneous Multireference Alignment, which captures many of the group properties and other mathematical properties of the cryo-EM problem. I will then discuss different components which we are introducing in order to address the problem of continuous heterogeneity in cryo-EM: 1. “hyper-molecules,” the mathematical formulation of truly continuously heterogeneous molecules, 2. computational and numerical tools for formulating associated priors, and 3. Bayesian algorithms for inverse problems with an unsupervised-learning component for recovering such hyper-molecules in cryo-EM.

December 18: Jenny Wilson (Stanford)

Title: Stability in the homology of configuration spaces

Abstract: This talk will illustrate some patterns in the homology of the space F_k(M) of ordered k-tuples of distinct points in a manifold M. For a fixed manifold M, as k increases, we might expect the topology of these configuration spaces to become increasingly complicated. Church and others showed, however, that when M is connected and open, there is a representation-theoretic sense in which the homology groups of these spaces stabilize. In this talk I will explain these stability patterns, and describe higher-order stability phenomena -- relationships between unstable homology classes in different degrees -- established in recent work joint with Jeremy Miller. This project was inspired by work-in-progress of Galatius--Kupers--Randal-Williams.

December 19: Alex Wright (Stanford)

Title: Dynamics, geometry, and the moduli space of Riemann surfaces

Abstract: The moduli space of Riemann surfaces of fixed genus is one of the hubs of modern mathematics and physics. We will tell the story of how simple sounding problems about polygons, some of which arose as toy models in physics, became intertwined with problems about the geometry of moduli space, and how the study of these problems in Teichmuller dynamics lead to connections with homogeneous spaces, algebraic geometry, dynamics, and other areas. The talk will mention joint works with Alex Eskin, Simion Filip, Curtis McMullen, Maryam Mirzakhani, and Ronen Mukamel.