## Demetre Kazaras:The geometry and topology of positive scalar curvature

- Graduate/Faculty Seminar,Uploaded Videos ( 1663 Views )I will give an informal overview of the history and status of my field. Local invariants of Riemannian metrics are called curvature, the weakest of which is known as "scalar curvature." The study of metrics with positive scalar curvature is very rich with >100 year old connections to General Relativity and smooth topology. Does this geometric condition have topological implications? The answer turns out to be "yes," but mathematicians continue to search for the true heart of the positive scalar curvature conditions.

## Measure-Theoretic Dvoretzky Theorem and Applications to Data Science

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 1451 Views )SEPC 2021 in honor of Elizabeth Meckes. Slides from the talks and more information are available <a href="https://services.math.duke.edu/~rtd/SEPC2021/SEPC2021.html">at this link (here).</a>

## Oliver Tough : The Fleming-Viot Particle System with McKean-Vlasov dynamics

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 1332 Views )Quasi-Stationary Distributions (QSDs) describe the long-time behaviour of killed Markov processes. The Fleming-Viot particle system provides a particle representation for the QSD of a Markov process killed upon contact with the boundary of its domain. Whereas previous work has dealt with killed Markov processes, we consider killed McKean-Vlasov processes. We show that the Fleming-Viot particle system with McKean-Vlasov dynamics provides a particle representation for the corresponding QSDs. Joint work with James Nolen.

## Alex Hening : Stochastic persistence and extinction

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 1224 Views )A key question in population biology is understanding the conditions under which the species of an ecosystem persist or go extinct. Theoretical and empirical studies have shown that persistence can be facilitated or negated by both biotic interactions and environmental fluctuations. We study the dynamics of n interacting species that live in a stochastic environment. Our models are described by n dimensional piecewise deterministic Markov processes. These are processes (X(t), r(t)) where the vector X denotes the density of the n species and r(t) is a finite state space process which keeps track of the environment. In any fixed environment the process follows the flow given by a system of ordinary differential equations. The randomness comes from the changes or switches in the environment, which happen at random times. We give sharp conditions under which the populations persist as well as conditions under which some populations go extinct exponentially fast. As an example we look at the competitive exclusion principle from ecology, which says in its simplest form that two species competing for one resource cannot coexist, and show how the random switching can facilitate coexistence.

## Roman Vershynin : Mathematics of synthetic data and privacy

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 1110 Views )An emerging way to protect privacy is to replace true data by synthetic data. Medical records of artificial patients, for example, could retain meaningful statistical information while preserving privacy of the true patients. But what is synthetic data, and what is privacy? How do we define these concepts mathematically? Is it possible to make synthetic data that is both useful and private? I will tie these questions to a simple-looking problem in probability theory: how much information about a random vector X is lost when we take conditional expectation of X with respect to some sigma-algebra? This talk is based on a series of papers with March Boedihardjo and Thomas Strohmer.

## Holden Lee : Recovering sparse Fourier signals, with application to system identification

- Graduate/Faculty Seminar,Uploaded Videos ( 1090 Views )The problem of recovering a sparse Fourier signal from samples comes up in signal processing, imaging, NMR spectroscopy, and machine learning. Two major challenges involve dealing with off-grid frequencies, and dealing with signals lacking separation between frequencies. Without a minimum separation condition, the problem of frequency recovery is exponentially ill-conditioned, but the signal can still be efficiently recovered in an "improper" manner using an appropriate filter. I will explain such an algorithm for sparse Fourier recovery, and the theory behind why it works - involving some clever analytic inequalities for Fourier-sparse signals. Finally, I will discuss recent work with Xue Chen on applying these ideas to system identification. Identification of a linear dynamical system from partial observations is a fundamental problem in control theory. A natural question is how to do so with statistical rates depending on the inherent dimensionality (or order) of the system, akin to the sparsity of a signal. We solve this question by casting system identification as a "multi-scale" sparse Fourier recovery problem.

## James Keener : Flexing your Protein muscles: How to Pull with a Burning Rope

- Mathematical Biology ( 727 Views )The segregation of chromosomes during cell division is accomplished by kinetochore machinery that uses depolymerizing microtubules to pull the chromosomes to opposite poles of the dividing cell. While much is known about molecular motors that pull by walking or push by polymerizing, the mechanism of how a pulling force can be achieved by depolymerization is still unresolved. In this talk, I will describe a new model for the depolymerization motor that is used by eukaryotic cells to segregate chromosomes during mitosis. In the process we will explore the use of Huxley-type models (population models) of protein binding and unbinding to study load-velocity curves of several different motor-like proteins.

## Yang Li : On the Donaldson-Scaduto conjecture

- Geometry and Topology ( 708 Views )Motivated by G2-manifolds with coassociative fibrations in the adiabatic limit, Donaldson and Scaduto conjectured the existence of associative submanifolds homeomorphic to a three-holed 3-sphere with three asymptotically cylindrical ends in X \times R^3, where X is an A2-type ALE hyperkähler manifold. We prove this conjecture by solving a real Monge-Ampère equation with singular right hand side. The method produces many other asymptotically cylindrical U(1)-invariant special Lagrangians in X \times R^2, where X arises from the Gibbons-Hawking construction. This is joint work in progress with Saman Habibi Esfahani.

## David Aldous: Probability Seminar

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 649 Views )David Aldous, Probability Seminar Sept 30, 2021 TITLE: Can one prove existence of an infectiousness threshold (for a pandemic) in very general models of disease spread? ABSTRACT: Intuitively, in any kind of disease transmission model with an infectiousness parameter, there should exist a critical value of the parameter separating a very likely from a very unlikely resulting pandemic. But even formulating a general conjecture is challenging. In the most simplistic model (SI) of transmission, one can prove this for an essentially arbitrary large weighted contact network. The proof for SI depends on a simple lemma concerning hitting times for increasing set-valued Markov processes. Can one extend to SIR or SIS models over similarly general networks, where the lemma is no longer applicable?

## Calvin McPhail-Snyder : Making the Jones polynomial more geometric

- Geometry and Topology ( 370 Views )The colored Jones polynomials are conjectured to detect geometric information about knot complements, such as hyperbolic volume. These relationships ("volume conjectures") are known in a number of special cases but are in general quite mysterious. In this talk I will discuss a program to better understand them by constructing holonomy invariants, which depend on both a knot K and a representation of its knot group into SL_2(C). By defining a version of the Jones polynomial that knows about geometric data, we hope to better understand why the ordinary Jones polynomial does too. Along the way we can obtain more powerful quantum invariants of knots and other topological objects.

## Wei Ho : Integral points on elliptic curves

- Algebraic Geometry ( 349 Views )Elliptic curves are fundamental and well-studied objects in arithmetic geometry. However, much is still not known about many basic properties, such as the number of rational points on a "random" elliptic curve. We will discuss some conjectures and theorems about this "arithmetic statistics" problem, and then show how they can be applied to answer a related question about the number of integral points on elliptic curves over Q. In particular, we show that the second moment (and the average) for the number of integral points on elliptic curves over Q is bounded (joint work with Levent Alpoge)

## Oguz Savk : Bridging the gaps between homology planes and Mazur manifolds.

- Geometry and Topology,Uploaded Videos ( 315 Views )We call a non-trivial homology 3-sphere a Kirby-Ramanujam sphere if it bounds a homology plane, an algebraic complex smooth surface with the same homology groups of the complex plane. In this talk, we present several infinite families of Kirby-Ramanujam spheres bounding Mazur type 4-manifolds, compact contractible smooth 4-manifolds built with only 0-, 1-, and 2-handles. Such an interplay between complex surfaces and 4-manifolds was first observed by Ramanujam and Kirby around nineteen-eighties. This is upcoming joint work with Rodolfo Aguilar Aguilar.

## Dick Hain : Hecke actions on loops and periods of iterated itegrals of modular forms

- Number Theory ( 314 Views )Hecke operators act on many invariants associated to modular curves and their generalizations. For example, they act on modular forms and on cohomology groups of modular curves. In each of these cases, they generate a semi-simple, commutative algebra. In the first part of this talk, I will recall (in friendly, elementary, geometric terms) what Hecke operators are and how they act on the standard invariants. I will then show that they also act on loops in modular curves (aka, conjugacy classes in modular groups). In this case, the Hecke operators generate a non-commutative subalgebra of the vector space generated by the conjugacy classes, which leads to a very natural non-commutative generalization of the classical Hecke algebra. In the second part of the talk will discuss why one might want do construct such a Hecke action. As a prelude to this, I will explain why this Hecke action commutes with the natural action of the absolute Galois group after taking profinite completions. And, in the unlikely event that I have sufficient time, I will also explain how (after taking the appropriate completion) this Hecke action is also compatible with Hodge theory.

## Simon Brendle : Singularity formation in geometric flows

- Geometry and Topology ( 309 Views )Geometric evolution equations like the Ricci flow and the mean curvature flow play a central role in differential geometry. The main problem is to understand singularity formation. In this talk, I will discuss recent results which give a complete picture of all the possible limit flows in 2D mean curvature flow with positive mean curvature, and in 3D Ricci flow.

## Rahul Krishna : A New Approach to Waldspurgers Formula.

- Number Theory ( 305 Views )I will present a new trace formula approach to Waldspurger's formula for toric periods of automorphic forms on $PGL_2$. The method is motivated by interpreting Waldspurger's result as a period relation on $SO_2 \times SO_3$, which leads to a strange comparison of relative trace formulas. I will explain the local results needed to carry out this comparison, and discuss some small progress towards extending these results to high rank orthogonal groups.

## Christine Heitsch : The Combinatorics of RNA Branching

- Mathematical Biology ( 304 Views )Understanding the folding of RNA sequences into three-dimensional structures is one of the fundamental challenges in molecular biology. For example, the branching of an RNA secondary structure is an important molecular characteristic yet difficult to predict correctly, especially for sequences on the scale of viral genomes. However, results from enumerative, probabilistic, analytic, and geometric combinatorics yield insights into RNA structure formation, and suggest new directions in viral capsid assembly.

## Francis Brown : Periods, Galois theory and particle physics: Galois theory and transcendence

- Gergen Lectures ( 302 Views )Classical Galois theory replaces the study of algebraic numbers with group theory. This idea is extremely powerful, and led to the proof of the insolubility of the general quintic equation. A deep idea, originating in the work of Grothendieck, is that Galois theory should extend to the theory of periods. I will describe a cheap way to set up such a theory and illustrate it in the case of multiple zeta values. It gives rise to a symmetry group which respects the algebraic identities satisfied by these numbers and explains their underlying structure.

## Shweta Bansal : Got flu? Using small and big data to understand influenza transmission, surveillance and control

- Mathematical Biology ( 301 Views )Traditional infectious disease epidemiology is built on the foundation of high quality and high accuracy data on disease and behavior. While these data are usually characterized by smallsize, they benefit from designed sampling schemes that make it possible to make population-level inferences. On the other hand, digital infectious disease epidemiology uses existing digital traces, re-purposing them to identify patterns in health-related processes. In this talk, I will discuss our work using data from small epidemiological studies as well as administrative ??big data? to understand influenza transmission dynamics and inform disease surveillance and control.

## Sam Stechmann : Clouds, climate, and extreme precipitation events: Asymptotics and stochastic

- Presentations ( 298 Views )Clouds and precipitation are among the most challenging aspects of weather and climate prediction. Moreover, our mathematical and physical understanding of clouds is far behind our understanding of a "dry" atmospheric where water vapor is neglected. In this talk, in working toward overcoming these challenges, we present new results on clouds and precipitation from two perspectives: first, in terms of the partial differential equations (PDEs) for atmospheric fluid dynamics, and second, in terms of stochastic models. A new asymptotic limit will be described, and it leads to new PDEs for a precipitating version of the quasi-geostrophic equations, now including phase changes of water. Also, a new energy will be presented for an atmosphere with phase changes, and it provides a generalization of the quadratic energy of a "dry" atmosphere. Finally, it will be shown that the statistics of clouds and precipitation can be described by stochastic differential equations and stochastic PDEs. As one application, it will be shown that, under global warming, the most significant change in precipitation statistics is seen in the largest events -- which become even larger and more probable -- and the distribution of event sizes conforms to the stochastic models.

## Jessica Fintzen : Frontiers in Mathematics Lecture 1: Representations of p-adic groups

- Presentations ( 294 Views )The Langlands program is a far-reaching collection of conjectures that relate different areas of mathematics including number theory and representation theory. A fundamental problem on the representation theory side of the Langlands program is the construction of all (irreducible, smooth, complex) representations of certain matrix groups, called p-adic groups. In my talk I will introduce p-adic groups and provide an overview of our understanding of their representations, with an emphasis on recent progress. I will also briefly discuss applications to other areas, e.g. to automorphic forms and the global Langlands program.

## Camille Scalliet : When is the Gardner transition relevant?

- Nonlinear and Complex Systems ( 289 Views )The idea that glasses can become marginally stable at a Gardner transition has attracted significant interest among the glass community. Yet, the situation is confusing: even at the theoretical level, renormalization group approaches provide contradictory results on whether the transition can exist in three dimensions. The Gardner transition was searched in only two experimental studies and few specific numerical models. These works lead to different conclusions for the existence of the transition, resulting in a poor understanding of the conditions under which a marginally stable phase can be observed. The very relevance of the Gardner transition for experimental glasses is at stake.

We study analytically and numerically the Weeks-Chandler-Andersen model. By changing external parameters, we continuously explore the phase diagram and regimes relevant to granular, colloidal, and molecular glasses. We revisit previous numerical studies and confirm their conclusions. We reconcile previous results and rationalise under which conditions a Gardner phase can be observed. We find that systems in the vicinity of a jamming transition possess a Gardner phase. Our findings confirm the relevance of a Gardner transition for colloidal and granular glasses, and encourage future experimental work in this direction. For molecular glasses, we find that no Gardner phase is present, but our studies reveal instead the presence of localised excitations presumably relevant for mechanical and vibrational properties of glasses.

## Florian Naef : A real description of brackets and cobrackets in string topology

- Presentations ( 289 Views )Let M be a manifold with non-vanishing vectorfield. The homology of the space of loops in M carries a natural Lie bialgebra structure described by Sullivan as string topology operations. If M is a surface, these operations where originally defined by Goldman and Turaev. We study formal descriptions of these Lie bialgebras. More precisely, for surfaces these Lie bialgebras are formal in the sense that they are isomorphic (after completion) to their algebraic analogues (Schedler's necklace Lie bialgebras) built from the homology of the surface. For higher dimensional manifolds we give a similar description that turns out to depend on the Chern-Simons partition function.

This talk is based on joint work with A. Alekseev, N. Kawazumi, Y. Kuno and T. Willwacher.

## Viktor Burghardt : The Dual Motivic Witt Cohomology Steenrod Algebra

- Geometry and Topology ( 279 Views )Over a field k, the zeroth homotopy group of the motivic sphere spectrum is given by the Grothendieck-Witt ring of symmetric bilinear forms GW(k). The Grothendieck-Witt ring GW(k) modulo the hyperbolic plane is isomorphic to the Witt ring of symmetric bilinear forms W(k) which further surjectively maps to Z/2. We may take motivic Eilenberg-Maclane spectra of Z/2, W(k) and GW(k). Voevodsky has computed the motivic Steenrod algebra of HZ/2 and solved the Bloch-Kato conjecture with its help. We move one step up in the above picture; we study the motivic Eilenberg-Maclane spectrum corresponding to the Witt ring and compute its dual Steenrod algebra.