MSCS Seminar Calendar

Monday August 25, 2014
pdf * Geometry, Topology and Dynamics Seminar
Organizational Meeting
Steve Hurder (UIC)
3:00 PM in SEO 636
Friday August 29, 2014
pdf * Departmental Colloquium
TBA
Douglas Arnold (University of Minnesota)
3:00 PM in SEO 636
Wednesday September 3, 2014
pdf * Statistics Seminar
Stat Wars Episode VI: Return of the Fiducialist
Keli Liu (Stanford University)
4:00 PM in SEO 636
Priors are the path to the dark side. Fisher developed the Fiducial argument to obtain prior free "posterior" inferences but at the seeming cost of violating basic probability laws. Was Fisher crazy or did madness mask innovation? Fiducial calculations can be easily understood through the missing-data perspective which illuminates for us that the Fiducial "posterior" is in fact a prior updated not with the full data likelihood, but a partial likelihood in the spirit of Cox regression. Just as Cox regression arose from a need to render inferences robust to an unknown hazard function, so Fiducial inferences are insensitive to the prior. While Statistics has fixated two extremes---fully conditional (but fragile) Bayesian inferences or unconditional (but robust) Frequentist inferences---a compromise via partial conditioning has gone ignored. Surely, the middle ground is more fiducial than either extreme.
Monday September 8, 2014
pdf * Geometry, Topology and Dynamics Seminar
von Neumann algebras of negatively curved groups
Thomas Sinclair (UCLA)
3:00 PM in SEO 636
Negatively curved groups have long been and continue to be one of the most intensely studied classes of discrete groups. These groups have also played an important role in functional analysis, notably via K-theory and the Baum-Connes conjecture. In this talk I will survey some recent results in the classification of von Neumann algebras generated by negatively curved groups and their measurable actions. I will explain how negative curvature is central to these results in terms of a broad, cohomogical-type property such groups possess. As an application, I will show how these techniques generalize some results on the measurable dynamics of hyperbolic groups. No knowledge of von Neumann algebras will be assumed.

pdf * Applied Mathematics Seminar
Modeling tuberculosis, from cells to populations
Leonid Chindelevitch (Harvard School of Public Health)
4:00 PM in SEO 636
Tuberculosis continues to afflict millions of people and causes over a million deaths a year worldwide. Multi-drug resistance is also on the rise, causing concern among public-health experts. This talk will give an overview of my work on modeling tuberculosis at various scales. On the cellular side I will describe models of the metabolism of M. tuberculosis, where insights from duality led to a consistent analysis of existing models, a systematic method for reconciling discrepant models, and the identification of putative drug targets. On the population side I will describe models of strain evolution, where a new metric combined with an optimization-based approach resulted in an accurate classification of complex infections as originating from mutation or mixed infection, as well as the identification of the strains composing these complex infections.
Tuesday September 9, 2014
pdf * Logic Seminar
Existentially closed C*-algebras
Thomas Sinclair (UCLA)
4:00 PM in SEO 427
A C*-algebra A is said to be existentially closed if, roughly, every set of equations involving norms of noncommutative *-polynomials which has a solution in B(H) has a sequence of approximate solutions in A. A basic result in continuous logic shows that every separable C*-algebra is contained in a separable, existentially closed C*-algebra. In this talk I will survey some basic properties of existentially closed C*-algebras. In particular I will describe how existential closure is deeply connected to several open problems in C*-algebras such as Kirchberg's problem on whether every separable C*-algebra embeds in an ultrapower of the Cuntz algebra O_2, as well as Kirchberg's C*-algebraic reformulation of of Connes' embedding problem. This talk is based on joint work with Isaac Goldbring.
Monday September 15, 2014
pdf * Applied Mathematics Seminar
TBA
David Ambrose (Drexel University)
4:00 PM in SEO 636
Tuesday September 16, 2014
pdf * Logic Seminar
TBA
Spencer Unger (UCLA)
4:00 PM in SEO 427
Monday September 22, 2014
pdf * Applied Mathematics Seminar
Soft metrics for decision analysis under uncertainty
Michelle Quirk (National Intelligence University and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency)
4:00 PM in SEO 636
Modern decision making challenges the human capacity to reason in an environment of uncertainty, imprecision, and incompleteness of information. Probability measures are not well-suited when the evidence is scarce and unreliable. Built from fuzzy sets, possibility metrics overcomes some of the restrictions and insufficiencies of probabilities, in a complementary, yet not competitive manner. We show the theoretical foundation and the interdisciplinary approach required to devise soft metrics as attributes of decision criteria that cannot be expressed numerically. This talk concludes with an example of soft metrics used in real-world ranking exercises.
Friday September 26, 2014
pdf * Departmental Colloquium
TBA
Rodrigo Banuelos (Purdue University)
3:00 PM in SEO 636
Monday September 29, 2014
pdf * Geometry, Topology and Dynamics Seminar
Hausdorff dimension in graph matchbox manifolds
Olga Lukina (UIC)
3:00 PM in SEO 636
A lamination is a compact connected metric space, where each point has a neighborhood homeomorphic to the product of a Euclidean disc and a totally disconnected space. Given a lamination, one can ask if this lamination can be realised as a subset of a smooth foliated finite-dimensional manifold, so that the leaves of the lamination are contained in the leaves of the foliation of the manifold. More precisely, one asks if there exists a foliated embedding of a given lamination into a smooth foliated manifold by a bi-Lipschitz homeomorphism.
Hausdorff dimension provides an obstruction to the existence of such an embedding. In the talk, we study a specific class of laminations, called graph matchbox manifolds, obtained as suspensions of pseudogroup actions on the space of pointed trees. We give examples of such laminations which have infinite Hausdorff dimension of their transversals, and, therefore, cannot be embedded as a subset of a smooth foliation of a finite-dimensional manifold by a bi-Lipschitz homeomorphism.

pdf * Applied Mathematics Seminar
TBA
Thomas Chen (University of Texas at Austin)
4:00 PM in SEO 636
Monday October 6, 2014
pdf * Applied Mathematics Seminar
TBA
Phoolan Prasad (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore)
4:00 PM in SEO 636
Wednesday October 8, 2014
pdf * Algebraic Geometry Seminar
TBA
Jarek Bucynzki (Institute of Mathematics, Polish Academy of Sciences)
4:00 PM in SEO 427
Monday October 13, 2014
pdf * Applied Mathematics Seminar
TBA
Florian Mehats (University of Rennes)
4:00 PM in SEO 636
Wednesday October 15, 2014
pdf * Distinguished Lecture Series
The "P vs. NP" problem: efficient computation, Internet security, and the limits to human knowledge
Avi Wigderson (Institute for Advanced Study)
4:00 PM in TBA
The "P vs. NP" problem, formulated by computer theorists in the 1970s, quickly became a central outstanding problem of science and mathematics. In this talk I will attempt to describe its mathematical, scientific and philosophical content. I will discuss its status, and the implications of its resolution on science and technology (making clear that the \$1M prize on solving it pales in comparison with these implications).
No special background will be assumed.

pdf * Statistics Seminar
TBA
Mengyu Xu (University of Chicago)
4:00 PM in SEO 636
Thursday October 16, 2014
pdf * Distinguished Lecture Series
Randomness
Avi Wigderson (Institute for Advanced Study)
3:00 PM in SEO 636
Is the universe inherently deterministic or probabilistic? Perhaps more importantly - can we tell the difference between the two?
Humanity has pondered the meaning and utility of randomness for millennia. There is a remarkable variety of ways in which we utilize perfect coin tosses to our advantage: in statistics, cryptography, game theory, algorithms, gambling... Indeed, randomness seems indispensable! Which of these applications survive if the universe had no randomness in it at all? Which of them survive if only poor quality randomness is available, e.g. that arises from "unpredictable" phenomena like the weather or the stock market?
A computational theory of randomness, developed in the past three decades, reveals (perhaps counter-intuitively) that very little is lost in such deterministic or weakly random worlds. In the talk I'll explain the main ideas and results of this theory.
The talk is aimed at a general scientific audience.
Friday October 17, 2014
pdf * Distinguished Lecture Series
Permanent & Determinant: non-identical twins
Avi Wigderson (Institute for Advanced Study)
3:00 PM in SEO 636
The determinant is undoubtedly the most important polynomial function in mathematics. Its lesser known sibling, the permanent, plays very important roles in enumerative combinatorics, statistical and quantum physics, and the theory of computation. In this lecture I plan to survey some of the remarkable properties of the permanent, its applications and impact on fundamental computational problems, its similarities to and apparent differences from the determinant, and how these relate to the P vs. NP prolem.
This lecture is intended to a general Math & CS audience.
Monday October 20, 2014
pdf * Applied Mathematics Seminar
TBA
Kasso Okoudjou (University of Maryland)
4:00 PM in SEO 636
Wednesday October 22, 2014
pdf * Algebraic Geometry Seminar
TBA
Alex Kuronya (Budapest University of Technology and Economics)
4:00 PM in SEO 427
Monday October 27, 2014
pdf * Applied Mathematics Seminar
TBA
Rafael Iorio (Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada)
4:00 PM in SEO 636
Wednesday October 29, 2014
pdf * Statistics Seminar
TBA
Prof. Sonja Petrovic (IIT)
4:00 PM in SEO 636
Friday November 7, 2014
pdf * Departmental Colloquium
TBA
Wilfrid Gangbo (Georgia Tech)
3:00 PM in SEO 636
Monday November 10, 2014
pdf * Applied Mathematics Seminar
TBA
Natasa Pavlovic (University of Texas at Austin)
4:00 PM in SEO 636
Friday May 1, 2015
pdf * Departmental Colloquium
Atkin Memorial Lecture
Alireza Salehi-Golsefidi (University of California, San Diego )
3:00 PM in TBA
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