Colloquium

The colloquium runs roughly once every month on Mondays, usually in Euler or Pascal at 1515-1615. The ambition of the colloquium is to gather students and employees from all divisions for overview talks by renowned experts about exciting mathematical topics.

The colloquium is organized by Philip G​​erlee, Magn​us Goffeng and Richard Lärkäng. Feel free to contact any one of us for questions or suggestions for colloquia speakers. Even if the colloquium for the term is fully booked, suggestions for the Mathematical Sciences Seminar are always welcome.

Colloquia Spring 2020
20/1 in PascalTobias Ekholm (Uppsala University)Skeins on BranesThe HOMFLY polynomial is an invariant of knots in the 3-sphere allowing one to distinguish different knots. It is a two variable polynomial which is defined combinatorially, via so called skein-relations. We give a geometric interpretation of the coefficients of the polynomial as a count of certain holomorphic curves associated to the knot. One of the variables in the HOMFLY accounts for the area or homological degree of the curves, the other for their Euler characteristic.  This is in line with predictions by Ooguri and Vafa based on topological string theory. The proof embodies a new method to define invariant counts of holomorphic curves with Lagrangian boundary. This is a mathematically rigorous incarnation of the fact that boundaries of open topological strings create line defects in Chern-Simons theory as described by Witten.

17/2 in Pascal
Olle Häggström (Chalmers/GU)
AI Alignment, Embedded Agency and Decision Theory
The term artificial intelligence (AI) had not yet been coined in the days of Alan Turing. Nevertheless, he did foresee the field, and famously predicted that machines would eventually become so capable as to surpass human general intelligence, in which case he suggested that "we should have to expect the machines to take control". The (small but growing) research area known as AI Alignment takes this ominous prediction as a starting point, and aims to work out how to instill the AI with goals that lead to a good outcome (for humans) despite their taking control. Attempts to solve AI Alignment lead to many intriguing philosophical and mathematical questions involving, e.g., the notion of embedded agency, and the fundamentals of decision theory.

9/3 in Pascal
Laura Mancinska (University of Copenhagen)
Harnessing Quantum Entanglement

20/4 in Pascal
Tom Britton (Stockholm University)
Stochastic Models for Social Networks and Infectious Disease Dynamics

25/5 in Pascal
​Stephen Pankavich (Colorado School of Mines)
The Initial Value Problem of Plasma Dynamics

8/6 in Pascal
​Mats Andersson (Chalmers/GU)
Computing Geometric Intersections by Complex Analysis
​​

Published: Fri 24 Jan 2020.