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Series: School of Mathematics Colloquium

Molecular topology is an application of graph theory to fields like chemistry, biology and pharmacology, in which the molecular structure matters. Its scope is the topological characterization of molecules by means of numerical invariants, called topological indices, which are the main ingredient of the molecular topological models. These models have been instrumental in the discovery of new applications of naturally occurring molecules, as well as in the design of synthetic molecules with specific chemical, biological or pharmacological properties. The talk will focus on pharmacological applications.

Series: School of Mathematics Colloquium

Consider the 2-d ideal incompressible fluid moving inside a bounded domain (say 2-d torus). It is described by 2-d Euler equations which have unique global solution; thus, we have a dynamical system in the space of sufficiently regular incompressible vector fields. The global properties of this system are poorly studied, and, as much as we know, paradoxical. It turns out that there exists a global attractor (in the energy norm), i.e. a set in the phase space attracting all trajectories (in spite the fact that the system is conservative). This apparent contradiction leads to some deep questions of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics.

Series: School of Mathematics Colloquium

In this talk we will review some of the global asymptotic results obtained during the last two decades in the theory of the classical Painleve equations with the help of the Isomonodromy - Riemann-Hilbert method. The results include the explicit derivation of the asymptotic connection formulae, the explicit description of linear and nonlinear Stokes phenomenon and the explicit evaluation of the distribution of poles. We will also discuss some of the most recent results emerging due to the appearance of Painleve equations in random matrix theory. The Riemann-Hilbert method will be outlined as well.

Series: School of Mathematics Colloquium

Issai Schur (1918) considered a class of polynomials with integer coefficients and simple zeros in the closed unit disk. He studied the limit behavior of the arithmetic means s_n for zeros of such polynomials as the degree n tends to infinity. Under the assumption that the leading coefficients are bounded, Schur proved that \limsup_{n\to\infty} |s_n| \le 1-\sqrt{e}/2. We show that \lim_{n\to\infty} s_n = 0 as a consequence of the asymptotic equidistribution of zeros near the unit circle. Furthermore, we estimate the rate of convergence of s_n to 0. These results follow from our generalization of the Erdos-Turan theorem on discrepancy in angular equidistribution of zeros. We give a range of applications to polynomials with integer coefficients. In particular, we show that integer polynomials have some unexpected restrictions of growth on the unit disk. Schur also studied problems on means of algebraic numbers on the real line. When all conjugate algebraic numbers are positive, the problem of finding \liminf_{n\to\infty} s_n was developed further by Siegel and many others. We provide a solution of this problem for algebraic numbers equidistributed in subsets of the real line.

Series: School of Mathematics Colloquium

In this talk, we discuss 1.) the nonlinear instability and unstable manifolds of steady solutions of the Euler equation with fixed domains and 2.) the evolution of free (inviscid) fluid surfaces, which may involve vorticity, gravity, surface tension, or magnetic fields. These problems can be formulated in a Lagrangian formulation on infinite dimensional manifolds of volume preserving diffeomorphisms with an invariant Lie group action. In this setting, the physical pressure turns out to come from the combination of the gravity, surface tension, and the Lagrangian multiplier. The vorticity is naturally related to an invariant group action. In the absence of surface tension, the well-known Rayleigh-Taylor and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities appear naturally related to the signs of the curvatures of those infinite dimensional manifolds. Based on these considerations, we obtain 1.) the existence of unstable manifolds and L^2 nonlinear instability in the cases of the fixed domains and 2.) in the free boundary cases, the local well-posedness with surface tension in a rather uniform energy method. In particular, for the cases without surface tension which do not involve hydrodynamical instabilities, we obtain the local existence of solutions by taking the vanishing surface tension limit.

Series: School of Mathematics Colloquium

We prove that a smooth compact submanifold of codimension $2$ immersed in $R^n$, $n>2$, bounds at most finitely many topologically distinct compact nonnegatively curved hypersurfaces. This settles a question of Guan and Spruck related to a problem of Yau. Analogous results for complete fillings of arbitrary Riemannian submanifolds are obtained as well. On the other hand, we show that these finiteness theorems may not hold if the codimension is too high, or the prescribed boundary is not sufficiently regular. Our proofs employ, among other methods, a relative version of Nash's isometric embedding theorem, and the theory of Alexandrov spaces with curvature bounded below, including the compactness and stability theorems of Gromov and Perelman. These results consist of joint works with Stephanie Alexander and Jeremy Wong, and Robert Greene.

Series: School of Mathematics Colloquium

Describe the trajectories of particles floating in a liquid. This is a surprisingly difficult problem and attempts to understand it have involved many diverse techniques. In the 60's Arold, Marsden, Ebin and others began to introduce topological techniques into the study of fluid flows. In this talk we will discuss some of these ideas and see how they naturally lead to the introduction of contact geometry into the study of fluid flows. We then consider some of the results one can obtain from this contact geometry perspective. For example we will show that for a sufficiently smooth steady ideal fluid flowing in the three sphere there is always some particle whose trajectory is a closed loop that bounds an embedded disk, and that (generically) certain steady Euler flows are (linearly) unstable.

Series: School of Mathematics Colloquium

Series: School of Mathematics Colloquium

It has been found about ten years ago that most of the real networks are not random ones in the Erdos-Renyi sense but have different topology (structure of the graph of interactions between the elements of a network). This finding generated a steady flux of papers analyzing structural aspects of networks. However, real networks are rather dynamical ones where the elements (cells, genes, agents, etc) are interacting dynamical systems. Recently a general approach to the studies of dynamical networks with arbitrary topology was developed. This approach is based on a symbolic dynamics and is in a sense similar to the one introduced by Sinai and the speaker for Lattice Dynamical Systems, where the graph of interactions is a lattice. The new approach allows to analyse a combined effect of all three features which characterize a dynamical network (topology, dynamics of elements of the network and interactions between these elements) on its evolution. The networks are of the most general type, e.g. the local systems and interactions need not to be homogeneous, nor restrictions are imposed on a structure of the graph of interactions. Sufficient conditions on stability of dynamical networks are obtained. It is demonstrated that some subnetworks can evolve regularly while the others evolve chaotically. This approach is a very natural one and thus gives a hope that in many other problems (some will be discussed) on dynamical networks a progress could be expected.