Andrew Lorent (University of Cincinnati) The Aviles Giga functional. A history, a survey and some new results Abstract: The Aviles-Giga functional $I_{\epsilon}(u)=\int_{\Omega} \frac{\left|1-\left|\nabla u\right|^2\right|^2}{\epsilon}+\epsilon \left|\nabla^2 u\right|^2 \; dx$ is a well known second order functional that models phenomena from blistering to liquid crystals. The zero energy states of the Aviles-Giga functional have been characterized by Jabin, Otto, Perthame. Among other results they showed that if $\lim_{n\rightarrow \infty} I_{\epsilon_n}(u_n)=0$ for some sequence $u_n\in W^{2,2}_0(\Omega)$ and $u=\lim_{n\rightarrow \infty} u_n$ then $\nabla u$ is Lipschitz continuous outside a locally finite set. This is essentially a corollary to their theorem that if $u$ is a solution to the Eikonal equation $\left|\nabla u\right|=1$ a.e. and if for every "entropy" $\Phi$ function $u$ satisfies $\nabla\cdot\left[\Phi(\nabla u^{\perp})\right]=0$ distributionally in $\Omega$ then $\nabla u$ is locally Lipschitz continuous outside a locally finite set. In recent work with Guanying Peng we generalized this result by showing that if $\Omega$ is bounded and simply connected and $u$ satisfies the Eikonal equation and if $$ \nabla\cdot\left(\Sigma_{e_1 e_2}(\nabla u^{\perp})\right)=0\text{ and }\nabla\cdot\left(\Sigma_{\epsilon_1 \epsilon_2}(\nabla u^{\perp})\right)=0\text{ distributionally in }\Omega, $$ where $\Sigma_{e_1 e_2}$ and $\Sigma_{\epsilon_1 \epsilon_2}$ are the entropies introduced by Ambrosio, DeLellis, Mantegazza, Jin, Kohn, then $\nabla u$ is locally Lipschitz continuous outside a locally finite set. Most of the talk will be an elementary introduction to the Aviles Giga functional, why it is important, why the $\Gamma$-convergence conjecture is so interesting. The final third will motivate and very briefly indicate some of the methods used in the proof of the above result. We will finish with some open problems.