Members Seminar

Information complexity and applications

Mark Braverman
Princeton University; von Neumann Fellow, School of Mathematics
March 6, 2017

Over the past two decades, information theory has reemerged within computational complexity theory as a mathematical tool for obtaining unconditional lower bounds in a number of models, including streaming algorithms, data structures, and communication complexity. Many of these applications can be systematized and extended via the study of information complexity – which treats information revealed or transmitted as the resource to be conserved.

Mirror symmetry via Berkovich geometry I: overview

Tony Yue Yu
Visitor, School of Mathematics
February 13, 2017
Berkovich geometry is an enhancement of classical rigid analytic geometry. Mirror symmetry is a conjectural duality between Calabi-Yau manifolds. I will explain (1) what is mirror symmetry, (2) what are Berkovich spaces, (3) how Berkovich spaces appear naturally in the study of mirror symmetry, and (4) how we obtain a better understanding of several aspects of mirror symmetry via this viewpoint. This member seminar serves also as an overview of my minicourses in the same week.

Local systems and the Hofer-Zehnder capacity

Alexandru Oancea
Université Pierre et Marie Curie; Member, School of Mathematics
February 6, 2017
The Hofer-Zehnder capacity of a symplectic manifold is one of the early symplectic invariants: it is a non-negative real number, possibly infinite. Finiteness of this capacity has strong consequences for Hamiltonian dynamics, and it is an old question to decide whether it holds for small compact neighborhoods of closed Lagrangians. I will explain a positive answer to this question for a class of manifolds whose free loop spaces admit nontrivial local systems.

Homological versus Hodge-theoretic mirror symmetry

Timothy Perutz
University of Texas, Austin; von Neumann Fellow, School of Mathematics
January 30, 2017
I'll describe joint work with Sheel Ganatra and Nick Sheridan which rigorously establishes the relationship between different aspects of the mirror symmetry phenomenon for Calabi-Yau manifolds. Homological mirror symmetry---an abstract, categorical statement---implies Hodge theoretic mirror symmetry, a concrete relation between counts of rational curves and variations of Hodge structure.

Points and lines

Nathaniel Bottman
Member, School of Mathematics
December 12, 2016
The Fukaya category of a symplectic manifold is a robust intersection theory of its Lagrangian submanifolds. Over the past decade, ideas emerging from Wehrheim--Woodward's theory of quilts have suggested a method for producing maps between the Fukaya categories of different symplectic manifolds. I have proposed that one should consider maps controlled by compactified moduli spaces of marked parallel lines in the plane, called "2-associahedra".

Asymptotic representation theory over $\mathbb Z$

Thomas Church
Stanford University; Member, School of Mathematics
November 28, 2016
Representation theory over $\mathbb Z$ is famously intractable, but "representation stability" provides a way to get around these difficulties, at least asymptotically, by enlarging our groups until they behave more like commutative rings. Moreover, it turns out that important questions in topology/number theory/representation theory/... correspond to asking whether familiar algebraic properties hold for these "rings".

Modular forms with small Fourier coefficients

Florian Sprung
Princeton University; Visitor, School of Mathematics
November 21, 2016
Computing the class number is a hard question. In 1956, Iwasawa announced a surprising formula for an infinite family of class numbers, starting an entire theory that lies behind this phenomenon. We will not focus too much on this theory (Iwasawa theory), but rather describe some analogous formulas for modular forms. Their origins have not been explained yet, especially when the $p$-th Fourier coefficient is small.

Eigenvalue bounds on sums of random matrices

Adam Marcus
Princeton University; Member, School of Mathematics
November 14, 2016
For certain applications of linear algebra, it is useful to understand the distribution of the largest eigenvalue of a finite sum of discrete random matrices. One of the useful tools in this area is the "Matrix Chernoff" bound which gives tight concentration around the largest eigenvalue of the expectation. In some situations, one can get better bounds by showing that the sum behaves (in some rough way) like one would expect from Gaussian random matrices.