Seminar Calendar
for Graduate Student Colloquium events the year of Friday, April 21, 2017.

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More information on this calendar program is available.
Questions regarding events or the calendar should be directed to Tori Corkery.
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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Graduate Student Colloquium
4:00 pm   in 245 Altgeld Hall,  Wednesday, February 1, 2017
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Submitted by hquan4.
Tayyab Nawaz (UIUC Math)
Application of Stein's method in Spin Glass Systems
Abstract: In 1960’s, Stein introduced a method to bound the distance between two probability distributions using a specific probability metric. For a large complex stochastic system, mean field theory is considered as a starting point to study its physical properties. In mean field theory we assume that each particle interacts with the rest of the system in a homogeneous 'average' way. In this talk, I will discuss how Stein’s method and mean field theory are used to study the energy minimization problem for spin-glass models in statistical mechanics. I will also discuss the idea of optimal Monte Carlo algorithms for solving energy minimization problem and related open problems.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Graduate Student Colloquium
4:00 pm   in 245 Altgeld Hall,  Wednesday, March 1, 2017
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Submitted by hquan4.
William Karr (UIUC Math)
Convexity and curvature in space-time geometry
Abstract: A space-time is said to satisfy $\mathcal{R} \geq K$ if the sectional curvatures of spacelike planes are bounded below by $K$ and the sectional curvatures of timelike planes are bounded above by $K$. Similarly, one can define $\mathcal{R} \leq K$ by reversing the inequalities. These conditions naturally generalize the notion of curvature bounds for Riemannian manifolds to the Lorentzian setting. We describe how these conditions can be used to construct two types of convex functions. We then describe two geometric consequences of space-times supporting these functions. One result establishes geodesic connectedness for a class of space-times satisfying $\mathcal{R} \geq 0$. Another result rules out submanifolds associated with black holes and wormholes in certain domains of space-times satisfying $\mathcal{R} \leq 0$. This is joint work with Stephanie Alexander.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Graduate Student Colloquium
2:00 pm   in 245 Altgeld Hall,  Monday, March 27, 2017
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Submitted by hquan4.
Vanessa Rivera-Quiñones (Illinois Math)
A Mathematical View of Biology and Diversification
Abstract: Have you ever wondered about the meaning of the phrase "survival of the fittest"? To an evolutionary biologist, fitness simply means reproductive success and reflects how well an organism is adapted to its environment. How systems adapt over time has been a central question in Biology and other Life-Sciences. While I will focus on the theory of Adaptive Dynamics, there are many areas of mathematics that have contributed to our understanding of adaptation. In this talk, I will give an overview of how we can use mathematical models to understand adaptation as an evolutionary process and its relationship to creating and preserving diversity. If time permits, I will also address the connections between this theory and my own research in disease modeling.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Graduate Student Colloquium
4:00 pm   in 245 Altgeld Hall,  Wednesday, April 19, 2017
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Submitted by hquan4.
Yun Shi (UIUC Math)
An introduction to enumerative geometry
Abstract: One important question in enumerative geometry concerns how many curves there are on a Calabi-Yau 3-fold. In this talk, I will present one of the approaches to the classical problem: there are 27 lines on a smooth cubic surface. Motivated by this approach, we will discuss the modern set-up to answer the curve counting questions, in particular its applications to Donaldson-Thomas theory.