Langlands and Twistors?

I just heard about this from George Sparling, who is giving a talk this afternoon with the title “From Roger Penrose to Robert Langlands and back” at a symposium in Pittsburgh. I don’t at all know what this is about, but am posting this quickly because he tells me there may be a live stream of his talk at 5pm today, available at

Evidently yesterday and today at Pittsburgh there’s a symposium on “Towards the Unification of Mathematics and Physics”, with the following schedule:

4pm Wednesday: Mellon Professor Thomas Hales, “The present status of the Langlands Conjecture”.
5pm Wednesday: Jonathan Holland, “Parabolic geometry”.

4pm Thursday: Tim Adamo, University of Oxford, “Twistor-String theory and gravity”
5pm Thursday: George Sparling, “From Roger Penrose to Robert Langlands and back.”

Last week there was a workshop at Banff on The Geometry of Scattering Amplitudes, with videos now available. I’ll try soon to take a look at some of them, Sparling’s may give an idea of what he is up to.

And, for something completely different, see this interview with Edward Frenkel about the Langlands Program at the Fields Institute blog for this fall’s Fields Medal symposium.

Update: There’s a video of the Sparling talk available here.

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5 Responses to Langlands and Twistors?

  1. Thanks for the mention! I hope to interview a number of other mathematicians regarding the Langlands program. If you have any ideas or are willing to do a phone interview with me, that would be great! Please shoot me an email.


  2. Peter Woit says:

    Hi Richard,

    You’ve got a long list of distinguished speakers for the symposium (I’m hoping to come up to Toronto to hear some of them), I’ll send you by e-mail some suggestions about interviewees, many of them would be great choices. As for me, anyone interested in my opinions can get far too much of them already at this site….

  3. Jack says:

    Do you know if this conference will be posted on other websites as well? I have a slower internet connection and the stream on Twistor in loading for more then 10 minutes and nothing happens.


  4. Peter Woit says:

    It doesn’t look so far (5:02 pm) like there will be video of the talk. I don’t have any other information about the talks at this symposium. One reason for the posting was that I’d like to hear from anyone else who does.

  5. Peter Woit says:

    As of 5:15, video of Sparling’s talk is streaming, a bit shakily…