## Ben Krause : Dimension independent bounds for the spherical maximal function on products of finite groups

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 271 Views )The classical Hardy-Littlewood maximal operators (averaging over families of Euclidean balls and cubes) are known to satisfy L^p bounds that are independent of dimension. This talk will extend these results to spherical maximal functions acting on Cartesian products of cyclic groups equipped with the Hamming metric.

## Dan Hu : Optimization, Adaptation, and Initiation of Biological Transport Networks

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 180 Views )Blood vessel systems and leaf venations are typical biological transport networks. The energy consumption for such a system to perform its biological functions is determined by the network structure. In the first part of this talk, I will discuss the optimized structure of vessel networks, and show how the blood vessel system adapts itself to an optimized structure. Mathematical models are used to predict pruning vessels in the experiments of zebra fish. In the second part, I will discuss our recent modeling work on the initiation process of transport networks. Simulation results are used to illustrate how a tree-like structure is obtained from a continuum adaptation equation system, and how loops can exist in our model. Possible further application of this model will also be discussed.

## Bruce Donald : Some mathematical and computational challenges arising in structural molecular biology

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 303 Views )Computational protein design is a transformative field with exciting prospects for advancing both basic science and translational medical research. New algorithms blend discrete and continuous mathematics to address the challenges of creating designer proteins. I will discuss recent progress in this area and some interesting open problems. I will motivate this talk by discussing how, by using continuous geometric representations within a discrete optimization framework, broadly-neutralizing anti-HIV-1 antibodies were computationally designed that are now being tested in humans - the designed antibodies are currently in eight clinical trials (See https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?cond=&term=VRC07&cntry=&state=&city=&dist= ), one of which is Phase 2a (NCT03721510). These continuous representations model the flexibility and dynamics of biological macromolecules, which are an important structural determinant of function. However, reconstruction of biomolecular dynamics from experimental observables requires the determination of a conformational probability distribution. These distributions are not fully constrained by the limited information from experiments, making the problem ill-posed in the sense of Hadamard. The ill-posed nature of the problem comes from the fact that it has no unique solution. Multiple or even an infinite number of solutions may exist. To avoid the ill-posed nature, the problem must be regularized by making (hopefully reasonable) assumptions. I will present new ways to both represent and visualize correlated inter-domain protein motions (See Figure). We use Bingham distributions, based on a quaternion fit to circular moments of a physics-based quadratic form. To find the optimal solution for the distribution, we designed an efficient, provable branch-and-bound algorithm that exploits the structure of analytical solutions to the trigonometric moment problem. Hence, continuous conformational PDFs can be determined directly from NMR measurements. The representation works especially well for multi-domain systems with broad conformational distributions. Ultimately, this method has parallels to other branches of applied mathematics that balance discrete and continuous representations, including physical geometric algorithms, robotics, computer vision, and robust optimization. I will advocate for using continuous distributions for protein modeling, and describe future work and open problems.

## Harbir Lamba : Efficient Numerical Schemes for Stochastic Differential Equations

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 205 Views )Mathematical models incorporating random forcing, and the resulting stochastic differential equations (SDEs), are becoming increasingly important. However general principles and techniques for their robust and efficient numerical approximation are a very long way behind the corresponding ODE theory. In both cases the idea of adaptivity, that is using varying timesteps to improve convergence, is a key element. In this talk I will describe an approach based upon (low-order) Milstein-type methods using multiple error-controls. The idea is to monitor various terms in the truncation error, both deterministic and stochastic, and then to construct an algorithm that is robust enough to work efficiently in the presence of deterministic/diffusion-dominated regimes and differing accuracy requirements. Such an approach also has other benefits, such as improved numerical stability properties. No knowledge of stochastic calculus will be assumed.

## Xiangsheng Xu : Mixed boundary conditions for a simplified quantum energy-transport model in multi-dimensional domains

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 124 Views )In this talk we consider the existence of suitable weak solutions for a quantum energy-transport model for semiconductors. The model is formally derived from the quantum hydrodynamic model by J\"{u}ngel and Mili\v{s}i\'{c} (Nonlinear Anal.: Real World Appl., 12(2011), pp. 1033-1046). It consists of a fourth-order nonlinear parabolic equation for the electron density, an elliptic equation for the electron temperature, and the Poisson equation for the electric potential. Our solution is global in the time variable, while the space variables lie in a bounded Lipschitz domain with a mixed boundary condition. The existence proof is based upon a carefully-constructed approximation scheme which generates a sequence of positive approximate solutions. These solutions are shown to be so regular that they can be used to form a variety of test functions , from which we can derive enough a prior estimates to justify passing to the limit in the approximate problems.

## Jean-Philippe Thiran : Multimodal signal analysis for audio-visual speech recognition

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 120 Views )After a short introduction presenting our group and our main research topics, I will address the problem of audio-visual speech recognition, i.e. a typical example of multimodal signal analysis, when we want to extract and exploit information coming from two different but complementary signals: an audio and a video channel. We will discuss two important aspects of this analysis. We will first present a new feature extraction algorithm based in information theoretical principles, and show its performances, compared to other classical approaches, in our multimodal context. Then we will discuss multimodal information fusion, i.e. how to combine information from those two channels for optimal classification.

## Lek-Heng Lim : Fast(est) Algorithms for Structured Matrices via Tensor Decompositions

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 157 Views )It is well-known that the asymptotic complexity of matrix-matrix product and matrix inversion is given by the rank of a 3-tensor, recently shown to be at most O(n^2.3728639) by Le Gall. This approach is attractive as a rank decomposition of that 3-tensor gives an explicit algorithm that is guaranteed to be fastest possible and its tensor nuclear norm quantifies the optimal numerical stability. There is also an alternative approach due to Cohn and Umans that relies on embedding matrices into group algebras. We will see that the tensor decomposition and group algebra approaches, when combined, allow one to systematically discover fast(est) algorithms. We will determine the exact (as opposed to asymptotic) tensor ranks, and correspondingly the fastest algorithms, for products of Circulant, Toeplitz, Hankel, and other structured matrices. This is joint work with Ke Ye (Chicago).

## Blair Sullivan : Can we Quantify & Exploit Tree-like Intermediate Structure in Complex Networks?

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 115 Views )Large complex networks naturally represent relationships in a variety of settings, e.g. social interactions, computer/communication networks, and genomic sequences. A significant challenge in analyzing these networks has been understanding the intermediate structure those properties not captured by metrics which are local (e.g. clustering coefficient) or global (e.g. degree distribution). It is often this structure which governs the dynamic evolution of the network and behavior of diffusion-like processes on it. Although there is a large body of empirical evidence suggesting that complex networks are often tree-like at intermediate to large size-scales (e.g. work of Boguna et al in physics, Kleinberg on internet routing, and Chung & Lu on power-law graphs), it remains a challenge to take algorithmic advantage of this structure in data analysis. We discuss several approaches and heuristics for quantifying and elucidating tree-like structure in networks, including various tree-decompositions and Gromov's delta hyperbolicity. These approaches were developed with very different "tree-like" applications in mind, and thus we discuss the strengths and short-comings of each in the context of complex networks and how each might aid in identifying intermediate-scale structure in these graphs.

## Changzheng Qu : Blow up solutions and stability of peakons to integrable equations with nonlinear dispersion

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 142 Views )In this talk, we study blow-up mechanism of solutions to an integrable equation with cubic nonlinearities and nonlinear dispersion. We will show that singularities of the solutions can occur only in the form of wave-breaking. Some wave-breaking conditons on the initial data are provided. In addition, this equation is known to admit single and multi-peaked solitons, of a different character than those of the Camassa-Holm equation. We will prove that the shapes of these waves are stable under small perturbations in the energy space.

## Casey Rodriguez : The Radiative Uniqueness Conjecture for Bubbling Wave Maps

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 191 Views )One of the most fundamental questions in partial differential equations is that of regularity and the possible breakdown of solutions. We will discuss this question for solutions to a canonical example of a geometric wave equation; energy critical wave maps. Break-through works of Krieger-Schlag-Tataru, Rodnianski-Sterbenz and Rapha ̈el-Rodnianski produced examples of wave maps that develop singularities in finite time. These solutions break down by concentrating energy at a point in space (via bubbling a harmonic map) but have a regular limit, away from the singular point, as time approaches the final time of existence. The regular limit is referred to as the radiation. This mechanism of breakdown occurs in many other PDE including energy critical wave equations, Schro ̈dinger maps and Yang-Mills equations. A basic question is the following: • Can we give a precise description of all bubbling singularities for wave maps with the goal of finding the natural unique continuation of such solutions past the singularity? In this talk, we will discuss recent work (joint with J. Jendrej and A. Lawrie) which is the first to directly and explicitly connect the radiative component to the bubbling dynamics by constructing and classifying bubbling solutions with a simple form of prescribed radiation. Our results serve as an important first step in formulating and proving the following Radiative Uniqueness Conjecture for a large class of wave maps: every bubbling solution is uniquely characterized by it’s radiation, and thus, every bubbling solution can be uniquely continued past blow-up time while conserving energy.

## Dave Schaeffer : Finite-length effects in Taylor-Couette flow

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 144 Views )Taylor-Couette flow provides one of the pre-eminent examples of bifurcation in fluid dynamics. This phrase refers to the flow between concentric rotating cylinders. If the rotation speed is sufficiently rapid, the primary rotary flow around the axis becomes unstable, leading to a steady secondary flow in approximately periodic cells. Assuming infinite cylinders and exact periodicity in his theory, Taylor obtained remarkable agreement with experiment for the onset of instability, agreement that remains unsurpassed in fluid mechanics to this day. This talk is concerned with incorporating the effect of finite-length cylinders into the theory, an issue whose importance was emphasized by Benjamin. Numerous experiments and simulations of the Navier Stokes equations all support to the following, seemingly paradoxical, observations: No matter how long the apparatus, finite-length effects greatly perturb many of the bifurcating flows but, provided the cylinders are long, hardly perturb others. We understand this paradox as a result of symmetry breaking. The relevant symmetry, which is only approximate, is a symmetry between two normal-mode flows with large, and nearly equal, numbers of cells.

## Hongkai Zhao : Approximate Separability of Greens Function for Helmholtz Equation in the High Frequency Limit

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 181 Views )Approximate separable representations of Greens functions for differential operators is a basic and important question in the analysis of differential equations, the development of efficient numerical algorithms and imaging. Being able to approximate a Greens function as a sum with few separable terms is equivalent to low rank properties of corresponding numerical solution operators. This will allow for matrix compression and fast solution techniques. Green's functions for coercive elliptic differential operators have been shown to be highly separable and the resulting low rank property for discretized system was explored to develop efficient numerical algorithms. However, the case of Helmholtz equation in the high frequency limit is more challenging both mathematically and numerically. We introduce new tools based on the study of relation between two Greens functions with different source points and a tight dimension estimate for the best linear subspace approximating a set of almost orthogonal vectors to prove new lower bounds for the number of terms in the representation for the Green's function for Helmholtz operator in the high frequency limit. Upper bounds are also derived. We give explicit sharp estimates for cases that are common in practice and present numerical examples. This is a joint work with Bjorn Engquist.

## Ingrid Daubechies : Surface Comparison With Mass Transportation

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 154 Views )In many applications, ranging from computer animation to biology, one wants to quantify how similar two surfaces are to each other. In the last few years, the Gromov-Haussdorff distance has been applied to this problem; this gives good results, but turns out to be very heavy computationally. This talk proposes a different approach, in which (disk-like) 2-dimensional surfaces (typically embedded in 3-dimensional Euclidean space) are first mapped conformally to the unit disk, and the corresponding conformal densities are then compared via optimal mass transportation,. This mass transportation problem differs from the standard case in that we require the solution to be invariant under global Moebius transformations. The metric we construct also defines meaningful intrinsic distances between pairs of "patches" in the two surfaces, which allows automatic alignment of the surfaces. Numerical experiments on "real-life" surfaces to demonstrate possible applications in natural sciences will be shown as well. This is joint work with Yaron Lipman.

## Yian Ma : Bridging MCMC and Optimization

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 221 Views )In this talk, I will discuss three ingredients of optimization theory in the context of MCMC: Non-convexity, Acceleration, and Stochasticity.

I will focus on a class of non-convex objective functions arising from mixture models. For that class of objective functions, I will demonstrate that the computational complexity of a simple MCMC algorithm scales linearly with the model dimension, while optimization problems are NP-hard.

I will then study MCMC algorithms as optimization over the KL-divergence in the space of measures. By incorporating a momentum variable, I will discuss an algorithm which performs "accelerated gradient descent" over the KL-divergence. Using optimization-like ideas, a suitable Lyapunov function is constructed to prove that an accelerated convergence rate is obtained.

Finally, I will present a general recipe for constructing stochastic gradient MCMC algorithms that translates the task of finding a valid sampler into one of choosing two matrices. I will then describe how stochastic gradient MCMC algorithms can be applied to applications involving temporally dependent data, where the challenge arises from the need to break the dependencies when considering minibatches of observations.

## Mateusz Michalek : Algebraic Phylogenetics

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 127 Views )Phylogenetics is a science that aims at reconstructing the history of evolution. Phylogenetic tree models are generalizations of well-known Markov chains. In my talk I will present so-called group-based models and their relations to algebra and combinatorics. To a model of evolution one associates an algebraic variety that is the Zariski closure of points corresponding to probability distributions allowed by the model. Many important varieties arise by this construction, e.g. secant varieties of Segre products of projective spaces. It turns out that group-based models provide toric varieties. In particular, they may be studied using tools from toric geometry relating to combinatorics of lattice polytopes.

## Greg Forest : An overview of the Virtual Lung Project at UNC, and whats math got to do with it?

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 190 Views )An effort at UNC is involved in understanding key mechanisms in the lung related to defense against pathogens. In diseases ranging from Cystic Fibrosis to asthma, these mechanisms are highly compromised, requiring therapeutic strategies that one would like to be able to quantify or even predict in some way. The Virtual Lung Project has focused on one principal component of lung defense: "the mucus escalator" as it is called in physiology texts. My goal in this lecture, with apologies to Tina Turner, is to give a longwinded answer to "what's math got to do with it?", and at the same time to convey how this collaboration is influencing the applied mathematics experience at UNC.

## Lucy Zhang : Modeling and Simulations of Fluid and Deformable-Structure Interactions in Bio-Mechanical Systems

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 163 Views )Fluid-structure interactions exist in many aspects of our daily lives. Some biomedical engineering examples are blood flowing through a blood vessel and blood pumping in the heart. Fluid interacting with moving or deformable structures poses more numerical challenges for its complexity in dealing with transient and simultaneous interactions between the fluid and solid domains. To obtain stable, effective, and accurate solutions is not trivial. Traditional methods that are available in commercial software often generate numerical instabilities.

In this talk, a novel numerical solution technique, Immersed Finite Element Method (IFEM), is introduced for solving complex fluid-structure interaction problems in various engineering fields. The fluid and solid domains are fully coupled, thus yield accurate and stable solutions. The variables in the two domains are interpolated via a delta function that enables the use of non-uniform grids in the fluid domain, which allows the use of arbitrary geometry shapes and boundary conditions. This method extends the capabilities and flexibilities in solving various biomedical, traditional mechanical, and aerospace engineering problems with detailed and realistic mechanics analysis. Verification problems will be shown to validate the accuracy and effectiveness of this numerical approach. Several biomechanical problems will be presented: 1) blood flow in the left atrium and left atrial appendage which is the main source of blood in patients with atrial fibrillation. The function of the appendage is determined through fluid-structure interaction analysis, 2) examine blood cell and cell interactions under different flow shear rates. The formation of the cell aggregates can be predicted when given a physiologic shear rate.

## Ju Sun : When Are Nonconvex Optimization Problems Not Scary?

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 154 Views )Many problems arising from scientific and engineering applications can be naturally formulated as optimization problems, most of which are nonconvex. For nonconvex problems, obtaining a local minimizer is computationally hard in theory, never mind the global minimizer. In practice, however, simple numerical methods often work surprisingly well in finding high-quality solutions for specific problems at hand.

In this talk, I will describe our recent effort in bridging the mysterious theory-practice gap for nonconvex optimization. I will highlight a family of nonconvex problems that can be solved to global optimality using simple numerical methods, independent of initialization. This family has the characteristic global structure that (1) all local minimizers are global, and (2) all saddle points have directional negative curvatures. Problems lying in this family cover various applications across machine learning, signal processing, scientific imaging, and more. I will focus on two examples we worked out: learning sparsifying bases for massive data and recovery of complex signals from phaseless measurements. In both examples, the benign global structure allows us to derive geometric insights and computational results that are inaccessible from previous methods. In contrast, alternative approaches to solving nonconvex problems often entail either expensive convex relaxation (e.g., solving large-scale semidefinite programs) or delicate problem-specific initializations.

Completing and enriching this framework is an active research endeavor that is being undertaken by several research communities. At the end of the talk, I will discuss open problems to be tackled to move forward.

## Xiantao Li : The Mori-Zwanzig formalism for the reduction of complex dynamics models

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 127 Views )Mathematical models of complex physical processes often involve large number of degrees of freedom as well as events occurring on different time scales. Therefore, direct simulations based on these models face tremendous challenge. This focus of this talk is on the Mori-Zwanzig (MZ) projection formalism for reducing the dimension of a complex dynamical system. The goal is to mathematically derive a reduced model with much fewer variables, while still able to capture the essential properties of the system. In many cases, this formalism also eliminates fast modes and makes it possible to explore events over longer time scales. The models that are directly derived from the MZ projection are typically too abstract to be practically implemented. We will first discuss cases where the model can be simplified to generalized Langevin equations (GLE). Furthermore, we introduce systematic numerical approximations to the GLE, in which the fluctuation-dissipation theorem (FDT) is automatically satisfied. More importantly, these approximations lead to a hierarchy of reduced models with increasing accuracy, which would also be useful for an adaptive model refinement (AMR). Examples, including the NLS, atomistic models of materials defects, and molecular models of proteins, will be presented to illustrate the potential applications of the methods.

## Leonid Berlyand : Flux norm approach to finite-dimensional homogenization approximation with non-separated scales and high contrast

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 162 Views )PDF Abstract

Classical homogenization theory deals with mathematical models of strongly
inhomogeneous media described by PDEs with rapidly oscillating coefficients
of the form A(x/\epsilon), \epsilon → 0. The goal is to approximate this problem by a
homogenized (simpler) PDE with slowly varying coefficients that do not depend
on the small parameter \epsilon. The original problem has two scales: fine
O(\epsilon) and coarse O(1), whereas the homogenized problem has only a coarse
scale.
The homogenization of PDEs with periodic or ergodic coefficients and
well-separated scales is now well understood. In a joint work with H. Owhadi
(Caltech) we consider the most general case of arbitrary L∞ coefficients,
which may contain infinitely many scales that are not necessarily well-separated.
Specifically, we study scalar and vectorial divergence-form elliptic PDEs with
such coefficients. We establish two finite-dimensional approximations to the
solutions of these problems, which we refer to as finite-dimensional homogenization
approximations. We introduce a flux norm and establish the error
estimate in this norm with an explicit and optimal error constant independent
of the contrast and regularity of the coefficients. A proper generalization of
the notion of cell problems is the key technical issue in our consideration.
The results described above are obtained as an application of the transfer
property as well as a new class of elliptic inequalities which we conjecture.
These inequalities play the same role in our approach as the div-curl lemma
in classical homogenization. These inequalities are closely related to the issue
of H^2 regularity of solutions of elliptic non-divergent PDEs with non smooth
coefficients.

## Courtney Paquette : Algorithms for stochastic nonconvex and nonsmooth optimization

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 133 Views )Nonsmooth and nonconvex loss functions are often used to model physical phenomena, provide robustness, and improve stability. While convergence guarantees in the smooth, convex settings are well-documented, algorithms for solving large-scale nonsmooth and nonconvex problems remain in their infancy.

I will begin by isolating a class of nonsmooth and nonconvex functions that can be used to model a variety of statistical and signal processing tasks. Standard statistical assumptions on such inverse problems often endow the optimization formulation with an appealing regularity condition: the objective grows sharply away from the solution set. We show that under such regularity, a variety of simple algorithms, subgradient and Gauss Newton like methods, converge rapidly when initialized within constant relative error of the optimal solution. We illustrate the theory and algorithms on the real phase retrieval problem, and survey a number of other applications, including blind deconvolution and covariance matrix estimation.

One of the main advantages of smooth optimization over its nonsmooth counterpart is the potential to use a line search for improved numerical performance. A long-standing open question is to design a line-search procedure in the stochastic setting. In the second part of the talk, I will present a practical line-search method for smooth stochastic optimization that has rigorous convergence guarantees and requires only knowable quantities for implementation. While traditional line-search methods rely on exact computations of the gradient and function values, our method assumes that these values are available up to some dynamically adjusted accuracy that holds with some sufficiently high, but fixed, probability. We show that the expected number of iterations to reach an approximate-stationary point matches the worst-case efficiency of typical first-order methods, while for convex and strongly convex objectives it achieves the rates of deterministic gradient descent.

## Haizhao Yang : Data-driven fast algorithms in applied harmonic analysis and numerical linear algebra

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 127 Views )Exploring data structures (e.g, periodicity, sparsity, low-rankness) is a universal method in designing fast algorithms in scientific computing. In the first part of this talk, I will show how this idea is applied to the analysis of oscillatory data in applied harmonic analysis. These fast algorithms have been applied to data analysis ranging from materials science, medicine, and art. In the second part, I will discuss how this idea works in some basic numerical linear algebra routines like matrix multiplications and decompositions, with an emphasis in electronic structure calculation.

## Greg Baker : Accelerating Liquid Layers

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 186 Views )A pressure difference across a liquid layer will accelerate it. For incompressible and inviscid motion, it is possible to describe the motion of the surfaces through boundary integral techniques. In particular, dipole distributions can be used together with an external flow that specifies the acceleration. The classical Rayleigh-Taylor instability and the creation of bubbles at an orifice are two important applications. A new method for the numerical approximation of the boundary integrals removes the difficulties associate with surfaces in close proximity.

## Xiaoqian Xu : Suppression of chemotactic explosion by mixing

- Applied Math and Analysis ( 177 Views )Chemotaxis plays a crucial role in a variety of processes in biology and ecology. One of the most studied PDE models of chemotaxis is given by Keller-Segel equation, which describes a population density of bacteria or mold which attract chemically to substance they secrete. However, solution of Keller-Segel equation can exhibit dramatic collapsing behavior. In other words, there exist initial data leading to finite time blow up. In this talk, we will discuss the possible effects resulting from interaction of chemotactic and fluid transport processes, namely we will consider the Keller-Segel equation with additional advection term modeling ambient fluid flow. We will prove that the presence of fluid can prevent the singularity formation. We will discuss two classes of flows that have the explosion arresting property. Both classes are known as very efficient mixers.