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Robert Friedman Awarded the Mark Van Doren Teaching Award

Congratulations to Prof. Robert Friedman for winning the Mark Van Doren Teaching award! This honor is given by the Columbia College Academic Awards Committee to recognize a faculty’s humanity, devotion to truth, and inspiring leadership.

The Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching has been awarded annually since 1962 and was established in honor of Mark Van Doren GSAS ’21, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, novelist, scholar, and legendary teacher who inspired generations of Columbia students. Check out all the previous award winners here, and find out more information about Columbia College’s Academic Prizes.

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Spring 2014 Kolchin Lecture by Prof. Melvin Hochster

The Spring 2014 Kolchin Lecture by Prof. Melvin Hochster (University of Michigan) will take place on Thursday, May 1, 2014.

Prof. Hochster will deliver a talk titled:

“Bounding syzygies and the nature of subrings of polynomial rings”

Abstract: A famous theorem of Hilbert asserts that in the polynomial ring in N variables over a field K, if one repeatedly takes modules of relations (or “syzygies”), the process terminates after at most N steps. One may think of having, at each step, finitely many vectors of polynomials. At the next step one replaces them with finitely many generators for the relations among these vectors. Even if one starts with relations on individual polynomials, one must deal with vectors as one iterates. Recently, there has been a great deal of study of how many steps are needed if one starts with n polynomials of degree d but without any assumption about N. The question was raised by Michael Stillman, and the best answer is not known even for four quadrics or three cubics, nor is it known in general whether there is a bound that depends only on b, n. The talk will survey what is known and discuss recent joint work with Tigran Ananyan that shows such bounds exist in degrees 2, 3, and 4. The methods used raise fundamental questions about the nature of subrings and of ideals in polynomial rings that go far beyond the original motivation. The talk is intended for a general audience.

Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 5:30pm; Room 312 Math

*Kolchin Lecture Flyer*

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Spring 2014 Ritt Lectures by Prof. Fernando Coda Marques

The Spring 2014 Ritt Lectures by Prof. Fernando Codá Marques (IMPA) will take place on Monday, April 28, 2014 & Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

Prof. Codá Marques will deliver a two talk series titled:

“Min-max minimal surfaces and applications”

Abstract: We will present general constructions of unstable minimal surfaces, and discuss several recent applications to geometry and topology.

Monday, April 28, 2014 at 11:45am; Room 203 Math
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 11:45am; Room 207 Math

*Ritt Lecture Flyer*

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Spring 2014 Minerva Lecture Series by Prof. Alexei Borodin

The Spring 2014 Minerva Lectures by Prof. Alexei Borodin (MIT) will take place during the week of April 21, 2014.

Prof. Borodin will deliver the following talks:

“Macdonald processes”

Abstract: Our goal is to explain how certain basic representation theoretic ideas and constructions encapsulated in the form of Macdonald processes lead to nontrivial asymptotic results in various ‘integrable’ probabilistic problems. Examples include dimer models, general beta random matrix ensembles, and various members of the (2+1)d anisotropic KPZ and (1+1)d KPZ universality classes, such as growing stepped surfaces, q-TASEP, q-PushASEP, and directed polymers in random media.

April 21, 2014 & April 24, 2014 from 5:30pm-7pm; Room 507 Math


“Gaussian Free Field in beta ensembles and random surfaces”

Abstract: The goal of the talk is to argue that the two-dimensional Gaussian Free Field is a universal and unifying object for global fluctuations of spectra of random matrices and random surfaces. This viewpoint leads to natural Gaussian processes on larger spaces which, despite their explicit covariance structure, so far lack conceptual understanding.

April 25, 2014 from 11am-12pm; School of Social Work, Room 903

*Minerva Lecture Flyer*

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Columbia-Princeton Probability Day 2014

On Friday, April 11, 2014, the annual Columbia-Princeton Probability Day conference will take place at Columbia University’s Northwest Corner Building.

The scheduled speakers are:
•Martin Barlow (U. British Columbia)
•Thierry Bodineau (Ecole Polytechnique)
•Steve Lalley (U. Chicago)
•Subhro Ghosh (Princeton University)
•Clement Hongler (Columbia University)
•Jason Miller (MIT)

For more information regarding the talks, please VISIT THIS LINK.

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Ivan Corwin Awarded the 2014 Rollo Davidson Prize

Congratulations to Ivan Corwin for being awarded the prestigious Rollo Davidson prize in Probability for 2014.

This award recognizes Prof. Corwin’s outstanding achievements in the area of stochastic growth processes and their relation to integrable systems.

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Spring 2014 Minerva Lecture Series by Prof. Martin Hairer

The Spring 2014 Minerva Lectures by Prof. Martin Hairer (University of Warwick) will take place during the week of February 24, 2014.

Prof. Hairer will deliver a five talk series titled:

“Regularity Structures”

Abstract: When considering the large-scale behaviour of physical models arising naturally in statistical mechanics, one is often lead to stochastic partial differential equations that seem to be nonsensical: they are typically nonlinear with nonlinearities involving products of distributions. Examples of such models are the KPZ equation, the dynamical $\Phi^4_3$ model, the continuous parabolic Anderson model, etc. The theory of regularity structures provides a unified way of interpreting and analysing these equations in a robust way. It also provides a clean separation of the problem into an algebraic, an analytic, and a probabilistic component. I will give an introduction to the main concepts and results of the theory, as well as a number of applications.

February 24 – 27, 2014 from 5:30pm-7pm, Room 507 Math
February 28, 2014 from 11am-1pm, SSW 903 (1255 Amsterdam Ave.)

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Fall 2013 Ritt Lectures by Professor Sir Simon Donaldson

The Fall 2013 Ritt Lectures by Professor Sir Simon Donaldson will take place on November 7th and November 8th. Professor Donaldson (Imperial College; Simons Center for Geometry and Physics) will deliver a two talk series titled:

“Kähler-Einstein metrics on Fano manifolds”

Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 5:30pm in Room 312 Math
Friday, November 8, 2013 at 5:30pm in Room 203 Math


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Eugene Gorsky Awarded 2013 Prize of the Moscow Mathematical Society

Eugene Gorsky has been awarded the 2013 Prize of the Moscow Mathematical Society for his work “The homology of algebraic knots”. The prize is awarded to young scientists for work or series of works on mathematics, representing a significant scientific interest.

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Six Faculty Members Invited to the 2014 ICM in Seoul, Korea

Columbia counts six faculty members among the invited speakers at the 2014 International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul, more than any other institution.

They are Mohammed Abouzaid, Maria Chudnovsky, Ivan Corwin, Panagiota Daskalopoulos, Michael Harris, and Davesh Maulik. They join fourteen current Columbia faculty who have given invited addresses at past Congresses. Congratulations to all our speakers!

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