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Professor and Fields medalist Hugo DuminilCopin will give two talks for the 2024 Stelson Lecture series: "From Coffee to Mathematics: Making Connections and Finding Unexpected Links," a public lecture on March 7 designed to be accessible to a wide audience, as well as a School of Mathematics Colloquium on March 8 focused on the Ising model.
Public lecture:
From Coffee to Mathematics: Making Connections and Finding Unexpected Links
March 7, 2024
Welcome reception: 4 p.m.
Lecture: 4:30  5:30 p.m.
Location: HoweyPhysics L3
No RSVP required
The game of HEX has deep mathematical underpinnings despite its simple rules. What could this game possibly have to do with coffee, and how does that connection, once identified, lead to consideration of ferromagnetism and even to the melting polar ice caps? Join Hugo DuminilCopin, Professor of Mathematics at Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHES) and the University of Geneva, for an exploration of how mathematical thinking can help us make some truly surprising connections.
Colloquium:
Critical phenomena through the lens of the Ising model
March 8, 2024
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Skiles 006
The Ising model is one of the most classical lattice models of statistical physics undergoing a phase transition. Initially imagined as a model for ferromagnetism, it revealed itself as a very rich mathematical object and a powerful theoretical tool to understand cooperative phenomena. Over one hundred years of its history, a profound understanding of its critical phase has been obtained. While integrability and meanfield behavior led to extraordinary breakthroughs in the twodimensional and highdimensional cases respectively, the model in three and four dimensions remained mysterious for years. In this talk, we will present recent progress in these dimensions based on a probabilistic interpretation of the Ising model relating it to percolation models.
About the speaker
Professor Hugo DuminilCopin is a French mathematician specializing in probability theory, who studies the border between mathematics and physics and analyzes models of fluids flowing through a porous medium, such as water coursing through coffee grounds. Such models, which involve the formation of connected clusters in random networks, can also represent the spread of a disease, the circulation of a rumor, or the advance of a forest fire.
Professor DuminilCopin has diverse interests in a range of activities which also characterizes his work, and has sampled tools from various fields in an ongoing effort to transform mathematicians’ understanding of phase transitions.
For that work, DuminilCopin was awarded the Fields Medal in 2022 for "solving longstanding problems in the probabilistic theory of phase transitions in statistical physics, especially in dimensions three and four".
About the Stelson Lecture Series
Thomas Stelson was a distinguished Civil Engineer who served as the Dean of Georgia Tech's College of Engineering from 1971 to 1974, as Vice President for Research from 1974 to 1988, and as Executive Vice President from 1988 to 1990.
During the 70's and 80's, he oversaw a vast expansion in Tech's research expenditures during an era when Tech went from being primarily teachingoriented university to a major research institution.
Thomas Stelson helped the School of Mathematics create the Center for Dynamical Systems and Nonlinear Studies, and he endowed the School's Stelson lectures in 1988 in honor of his father, Hugh Stelson, who was a mathematician. Hugh Stelson was born in 1903 and earned his doctorate from the University of Iowa in 1930. From 1925 to 1930, Hugh taught mathematics at several universities in Iowa, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and then he went on to teach at Kent State University (19301947) and Michigan State University (19471970). During that time Hugh worked on problems related to interest rates, annuities, and numerical analysis. Hugh Stelson was married to Ada May Woolley on June 4, 1925, and he was the father of Paul, Thomas, Lois, and Glenda Stelson.
Contact: Please contact Christian Houdré (houdre@math.gatech.edu) for questions in connection to the visit.
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Event Details
Date/Time:

Thursday, March 7, 2024  12:00am to Friday, March 8, 2024  11:59pm