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Series: High Dimensional Seminar

A single soap bubble has a spherical shape since it minimizes its surface area subject to a fixed enclosed volume of air. When two soap bubbles collide, they form a “double-bubble” composed of three spherical caps. The double-bubble minimizes total surface area among all sets enclosing two fixed volumes. This was proven mathematically in a landmark result by Hutchings-Morgan-Ritore-Ros and Reichardt using the calculus of variations in the early 2000s. The analogous case of three or more Euclidean sets is considered difficult if not impossible. However, if we replace Lebesgue measure in these problems with the Gaussian measure, then recent work of myself (for 3 sets) and of Milman-Neeman (for any number of sets) can actually solve these problems. We also use the calculus of variations. Time permitting, we will discuss an improvement to the Milman-Neeman result and applications to optimal clustering of data and to designing elections that are resilient to hacking. http://arxiv.org/abs/1901.03934

Series: Analysis Seminar

It is well known that a Euclidean set of fixed Euclidean volume with least Euclidean surface area is a ball. For applications to theoretical computer science and social choice, an analogue of this statement for the Gaussian density is most relevant. In such a setting, a Euclidean set with fixed Gaussian volume and least Gaussian surface area is a half space, i.e. the set of points lying on one side of a hyperplane. This statement is called the Gaussian Isoperimetric Inequality. In the Gaussian Isoperimetric Inequality, if we restrict to sets that are symmetric (A= -A), then the half space is eliminated from consideration. It was conjectured by Barthe in 2001 that round cylinders (or their complements) have smallest Gaussian surface area among symmetric sets of fixed Gaussian volume. We discuss our result that says this conjecture is true if an integral of the curvature of the boundary of the set is not close to 1. https://arxiv.org/abs/1705.06643 http://arxiv.org/abs/1901.03934

Series: Other Talks

Understanding the structure of RNA is a problem of significant interest to biochemists. Thermodynamic energy functions are often key to this pursuit, but it is well-established that these energy functions do not perform well when applied to longer RNA sequences. This work specifically investigates the branching properties of RNA secondary structures, viewed as plane trees. By employing Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques, we sample from the probability distributions determined by these thermodynamic energy functions. We also investigate some of the challenges in employing Markov chain Monte Carlo, in particular the existence of local energy minima in transition graphs. This talk will give background, share preliminary results, and discuss future avenues of investigation.

Series: Research Horizons Seminar

The Mapper algorithm constructs compressed representations of the underlying structure of data but involves a large number of parameters. To make the Mapper algorithm accessible to domain experts, automation of the parameter selection becomes critical. This talk will be accessible to graduate students.

Series: Graph Theory Working Seminar

Let $g(n) = \max_{|T| = n}|\text{Aut}(T)|$ where $T$ is a tournament. Goldberg and Moon conjectured that $g(n) \le \sqrt{3}^{n-1}$ for all $n \ge 1$ with equality holding if and only if $n$ is a power of 3. Dixon proved the conjecture using the Feit-Thompson theorem. Alspach later gave a purely combinatorial proof. We discuss Alspach's proof and and some of its applications.

Series: Geometry Topology Seminar

We show that the three-dimensional homology cobordism group admits an infinite-rank summand. It was previously known that the homology cobordism group contains an infinite-rank subgroup and a Z-summand. Our proof relies on the involutive Heegaard Floer package of Hendricks-Manolescu and Hendricks-Manolescu-Zemke. This is joint work with I. Dai, M. Stoffregen, and L. Truong.

Monday, February 18, 2019 - 13:55 ,
Location: Skiles 005 ,
Rongjie Lai ,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ,
lair@rpi.edu ,
Organizer: Wenjing Liao

Abstract: The Euclidean distance geometry problem arises in a wide variety of applications, from determining molecular conformations in computational chemistry to localization in sensor networks. Instead of directly reconstruct the incomplete distance matrix, we consider a low-rank matrix completion method to reconstruct the associated Gram matrix with respect to a suitable basis. Computationally, simple and fast algorithms are designed to solve the proposed problem. Theoretically, the well known restricted isometry property (RIP) can not be satisfied in the scenario. Instead, a dual basis approach is considered to theoretically analyze the reconstruction problem. Furthermore, by introducing a new condition on the basis called the correlation condition, our theoretical analysis can be also extended to a more general setting to handle low-rank matrix completion problems under any given non-orthogonal basis. This new condition is polynomial time checkable and holds for many cases of deterministic basis where RIP might not hold or is NP-hard to verify. If time permits, I will also discuss a combination of low-rank matrix completion with geometric PDEs on point clouds to understanding manifold-structured data represented as incomplete inter-point distance data. This talk is based on:1. A. Tasissa, R. Lai, “Low-rank Matrix Completion in a General Non-orthogonal Basis”, arXiv:1812.05786 2018. 2. A. Tasissa, R. Lai, “Exact Reconstruction of Euclidean Distance Geometry Problem Using Low-rank Matrix Completion”, accepted, IEEE. Transaction on Information Theory, 2018. 3. R. Lai, J. Li, “Solving Partial Differential Equations on Manifolds From Incomplete Inter-Point Distance”, SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, 39(5), pp. 2231-2256, 2017.

Series: Algebra Seminar

We survey dissertation work of my academic sister Sarah Mayes-Tang (2013 Ph.D.). As time allows, we aim towards two objectives. First, in terms of combinatorial algebraic geometry we weave a narrative from linear star configurations in projective spaces to matroid configurations therein, the latter being a recent development investigated by the quartet of Geramita -- Harbourne -- Migliore -- Nagel. Second, we pitch a prospectus for further work in follow-up to both Sarah's work and the matroid configuration investigation.

Series: CDSNS Colloquium

We will discuss the regularity of the conjugacy between an Anosov automorphism L of a torus and its small perturbation. We assume that L has no more than two eigenvalues of the same modulus and that L^4 is irreducible over rationals. We consider a volume-preserving C^1-small perturbation f of L. We show that if the Lyapunov exponents of f with respect to the volume are the same as the Lyapunov exponents of L, then f is C^1+ conjugate to L. Further, we establish a similar result for irreducible partially hyperbolic automorphisms with two-dimensional center bundle. This is joint work with Andrey Gogolev and Victoria Sadovskaya

Series: CDSNS Colloquium

We consider a hyperbolic dynamical system (X,f) and a Holder continuous cocycle A over (X,f) with values in GL(d,R), or more generally in the group of invertible bounded linear operators on a Banach space. We discuss approximation of the Lyapunov exponents of A in terms of its periodic data, i.e. its return values along the periodic orbits of f. For a GL(d,R)-valued cocycle A, its Lyapunov exponents with respect to any ergodic f-invariant measure can be approximated by its Lyapunov exponents at periodic orbits of f. In the infinite-dimensional case, the upper and lower Lyapunov exponents of A can be approximated in terms of the norms of the return values of A at periodic points of f. Similar results are obtained in the non-uniformly hyperbolic setting, i.e. for hyperbolic invariant measures. This is joint work with B. Kalinin.