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Series: Math Physics Seminar

Unusual time.

In standard (mathematical) billiards a point particle moves uniformly in a billiard table with elastic reflections off the boundary. We show that in transition from mathematical billiards to physical billiards, where a finite size hard sphere moves in the same billiard table, virtually anything may happen. Namely a non-chaotic billiard may become chaotic and vice versa. Moreover, both these transitions may occur softly, i.e. for any (arbitrarily small) positive value of the radius of a physical particle, as well as by a ”hard” transition when radius of the physical particle must exceed some critical strictly positive value. Such transitions may change a phase portrait of a mathematical billiard locally as well as completely (globally). These results are somewhat unexpected because for all standard examples of billiards their dynamics remains absolutely the same after transition from a point particle to a finite size (”physical”) particle. Moreover we show that a character of dynamics may change several times when the size of the particle is increasing. This approach already demonstrated a sensational result that quantum system could be more chaotic than its classical counterpart.

Series: Math Physics Seminar

In this talk I will discuss a particular fast-slow system, and describe an averaging theorem. I will also explain how this particular slow-fast system arises in a certain problem of energy transport in an open system of interacting hard-spheres. The technical aspect involved in this is how to deal with singularities present and the fact that the dynamics is fully coupled.

Series: ACO Student Seminar

In an optimal design problem, we are given a set of linear experiments v1,...,vn \in R^d and k >= d, and our goal is to select a set or a multiset S subseteq [n] of size k such that Phi((\sum_{i \in [n]} v_i v_i^T )^{-1}) is minimized. When Phi(M) = det(M)^{1/d}, the problem is known as the D-optimal design problem, and when Phi(M) = tr(M), it is known as the A-optimal design problem. One of the most common heuristics used in practice to solve these problems is the local search heuristic, also known as the Fedorov's exchange method. This is due to its simplicity and its empirical performance. However, despite its wide usage no theoretical bound has been proven for this algorithm. In this paper, we bridge this gap and prove approximation guarantees for the local search algorithms for D-optimal design and A-optimal design problems. We show that the local search algorithms are asymptotically optimal when $\frac{k}{d}$ is large. In addition to this, we also prove similar approximation guarantees for the greedy algorithms for D-optimal design and A-optimal design problems when k/d is large.

Friday, April 5, 2019 - 12:00 ,
Location: Skiles 006 ,
Justin Chen ,
Georgia Tech ,
jchen646@gatech.edu ,
Organizer: Cvetelina Hill

Series: High Dimensional Seminar

Computing the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a large matrix is a basic task in high dimensional data analysis with many applications in computer science and statistics. In practice, however, data is often perturbed by noise. A natural question is the following: How much does a small perturbation to the matrix change the eigenvalues and eigenvectors? In this talk, I will consider the case where the perturbation is random. I will discuss perturbation results for the eigenvalues and eigenvectors as well as for the singular values and singular vectors. This talk is based on joint work with Van Vu, Ke Wang, and Philip Matchett Wood.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

Following an idea of Hugelmeyer, we give a knot theory reproof of a theorem of Schnirelman: Every smooth Jordan curve in the Euclidian plane has an inscribed square. We will comment on possible generalizations to more general Jordan curves.

Our main knot theory result is that the torus knot T(2n,1) in S^1xS^2 does not arise as the boundary of a locally-flat Moebius band in S^1xB^3 for square-free integers n>1. For context, we note that for n>2 and the smooth setting, this result follows from a result of Batson about the non-orientable 4-genus of certain torus knots. However, we show that Batson's result does not hold in the locally flat category: the smooth and topological non-orientable 4-genus differ for the T(9,10) torus knot in S^3.

Based on joint work with Marco Golla.

Series: Analysis Seminar

In this talk we will discuss some some extremal problems for polynomials. Applications to the problems in discrete dynamical systems as well as in the geometric complex analysis will be suggested.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 12:45 ,
Location: Skiles 005 ,
Peter Feller ,
ETH Zurich ,
peter.feller@math.ethz.ch ,
Organizer: JungHwan Park

In the setup of classical knot theory---the study of embeddings of the circle into S^3---we recall two examples of classical knot invariants: the Alexander polynomial and the Seifert form.

We then introduce notions from knot-concordance theory, which is concerned with the study of slice surfaces of a knot K---surfaces embedded in the 4-ball B^4 with boundary the knot K. We will comment on the difference between the smooth and topological theory with a focus on a surprising feature of the topological theory: classical invariants govern the existence of slice surfaces of low genus in a way that is not the case in the smooth theory. This can be understood as an analogue of a dichotomy in the study of smooth and topological 4-manifolds.

Series: Research Horizons Seminar

Mathematical billiards naturally arise in mechanics, optics, acoustics, etc. They also form the most visual class of dynamical systems with evolution covering all the possible spectrum of behaviours from integrable (extremely regular) to strongly chaotic. Billiard is a (deterministic) dynamical system generated by an uniform (by inertia) motion of a point particle within a domain with piecewise smooth walls ("a billiard table"). I will introduce all needed notions on simple examples and outline some open problems. This talk is also a preparatory talk to a Mathematical Physics seminar (on Monday April 8) where a new direction of research will be discussed which consider physical billiards where instead of a point (mathematical) particle a real physical hard sphere moves. To a complete surprise of mathematicians and PHYSICISTS evolution of a billiard may completely change (and in different ways) in transition from mathematical to physical billiards. It a rare example when mathematicians surprise physicists. Some striking results with physicists are also already obtained. I will (again visually) explain at the end of RH why it is surprising that there could be difference between Math and Phys billiards.