Writers Conversation - Poets Panel

Tracy K. Smith, Moderator; Thomas Sayers Ellis, Suji Kwock Kim, Wendy S. Walters
October 8, 2010

The 2010–11 season of Writers Conversations, curated by Institute Artist-in-Residence Derek Bermel, began with a reading and discussion with a younger generation of groundbreaking poets.

Tracy K. Smith, the host of the panel, is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. Her second collection of poems, Duende (Graywolf Press), received the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets.

Thomas Sayers Ellis is Assistant Professor of CreativeWriting at Sarah Lawrence College and a core faculty member of the Lesley University Low Residency MFA Program. He won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares for his first full-length collection, The Maverick Room (Graywolf Press).

Suji Kwock Kim’s first book, Notes from the Divided Country (Louisiana State University Press, 2003), won the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Whiting Writers’ Award, and The Nation/Discovery Award.

Wendy S.Walters’s work resides at the intersection of the poem, essay, and lyric drama. She is the author of Longer I Wait, More You Love Me (Palm Press, 2009) and a chapbook, Birds of Los Angeles (Palm Press, 2005).

Topology of Random Simplicial Complexes

Matthew Kahle
Institute for Advanced Study
October 5, 2010

In this talk I will overview two very different kinds of random simplicial complex, both of which could be considered higher-dimensional generalizations of the Erdos-Renyi random graph, and discuss what is known and not known about the expected topology of each. Some of this is joint work with Eric Babson and Chris Hoffman.

Super-uniformity of the typical billiard path (proof included)

Jozsef Beck
Institute for Advanced Study
October 4, 2010

I will describe the proof of the following surprising result: the typical billiard paths form the family of the most uniformly distributed curves in the unit square. I will justify this vague claim with a precise statement. As a byproduct, we obtain the counter-intuitive fact that the complexity of the test set is almost irrelevant. The error term is shockingly small, and it does not matter that we test uniformity with a nice set (like a circle or a square), or with an arbitrarily ugly Lebesgue measurable subset of the unit square.

Potential Automorphy

Richard Taylor
Institute for Advanced Study
October 4, 2010

I will introduce l-adic representations and what it means for them to be automorphic, talk about potential automorphy as an alternative to automorphy, explain what can currently be proved (but not how) and discuss what seem to me the important open problems. This should serve as an introduction to half the special year for non-number theorists. The other major theme will likely be the `p-adic Langlands program', which I will not address (but perhaps someone else will).