Organizers: Richard Wentworth (Math), Tristan Hubsch (Physics, Howard Univ.), Jonathan Rosenberg (Math), Amin Gholampour (Math)
Other Faculty Participants: Joel Cohen (Math), Paul Green (Math, emeritus)
When: Thursdays @ 3:30pm-4:30pm
Where: PHY 1117 (This is the Center for Particle & String Theory, located in what used to be the physics chair's office in the Toll Physics Building adjacent to the Mathematics department.)

This interdisciplinary RIT will aim to foster interactions between mathematicians and physicists on topics of mutual interest.  It will roughly follow the example of a similar RIT from 2010-2011 and from the last three years. The topic for 2016-17 was mirror symmetry.

It is not assumed that participants already be knowledgeable in both math and physics, just in some aspect of one or the other. Relevant math topics are differential geometry, representation theory, algebraic topology, and algebraic geometry. Relevant physics topics are classical and quantum field theories, and supersymmetry.

The organization meeting for Fall 2017 is scheduled for September 7th. Students (advanced undergraduates or graduate students) who want to participate can get credit as MATH 489 (undergrad) or 689 (graduate) if they wish, by contacting the organizers.

We have a wiki where participants can exchange comments and revise notes.  Contact the math/physics computer helpdesk if you need a login id and password.

 Topics from previous years:

  1. Supermanifolds, topology, and integration --- a few references:
    • S. J. Gates, Ectoplasm has no topology, hep-th/9709104 and hep-th/9809056.
    • E. Witten, Notes On Supermanifolds and Integration1209.2199.
    • The Berezin integral.
    • S. J. Gates and G. Tartaglino-Mazzucchelli, Ectoplasm and superspace integration measure for 2D supergravity with four spinorial supercurrents, 0907.5264.
    • S. J. Gates and A. Morrison, A Derivation of an Off-Shell N = (2,2) Supergravity Chiral Projection Operator, 0901.4165.
  2. Dimensonal reduction in supersymmetry
    • For example, S. J. Gates and T. Hubsch, On dimensional extension of supersymmetry: From worldlines to worldsheets, 1104.0722, deals with reduction from 1+1 to 0+1 dimensions.
  3. Adinkras and combinatorics--- a few references:
    • Yan Zhang, The combinatorics of adinkras.
    • Yan Zhang, Adinkras for mathematicians, 1111.6055.
    • Greg Landweber, Bibliography on adinkras.
    • C. Doran, K. Iga, G. Landweber, and S. Mendez-Diez, Geometrization of N-extended 1-dimensional supersymmetry algebras, 1311.3736.
    • T. Hübsch and G.A. Katona, On the Construction and the Structure of Off-Shell Supermultiplet Quotients, Int. J. Mod. Phys. A27 (2012) 1250173, 1202.4342.
    • C.F. Doran, T. Hübsch, K.M. Iga and G.D. Landweber,  On General Off-Shell Representations of Worldline (1D) Supersymmetry, Symmetry 6 no. 1, (2014) 67–88, 1310.3258.
  4. Super-Riemann surfaces and physical applications
  5. The Haag-Łopuszański-Sohnius Theorem and its variants. This is the supersymmetric analogue of the better-known Coleman-Mandula Theorem.
  6. Mirror symmetry (2016-2017).  In the fall, we followed a somewhat ad hoc approach based on looking at a lot of examples (e.g., elliptic curves and the quintic Calabi-Yau).  In the spring, we followed the multi-author book published by AMS, Dirichlet Branes and Mirror Symmetry.  The preface and Chapter 1 can be downloaded from the AMS website; Chapter 2 is at arXiv:hep-th/0609042.  An electronic version of the whole book is available at

Topics and references for 2017-2018

The topic for fall 2017 is topological states of matter. In no particular order, here is a list of references:

  1. Emil Prodan and Hermann Schulz-Baldes, "Bulk and Boundary Invariants for Complex Topological Insulators: From K-Theory to Physics", arXiv:1510.08724.
  2. Daniel Freed and Greg Moore, Twisted equivariant matter, Ann. Henri Poincaré 14 (2013), no. 8, 1927–2023, arXiv:1208.5055.
  3. A. Kitaev, Periodic table for topological insulators and superconductors. AIP Conf. Proc. 1134, 22–30 (2009). doi:10.1063/1.3149495, arXiv:0901.2686
  4. F.D.M. Haldane, Model for a quantum Hall effect without Landau levels: condensed-matter realization of the "parity anomaly". Phys. Rev. Lett. 61, 2015–2018 (1988).
  5. C.L. Kane and E.J. Mele, Quantum spin Hall effect in graphene. Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 226801 (2005), arXiv:cond-mat/0411737
  6. C.L. Kane and E.J. Mele, Z2 Topological order and the quantum spin Hall effect. Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 146802 (2005), arXiv:cond-mat/0506581.
  7. C.L. Kane and E.J. Mele, Topological Mirror Superconductivity, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 056403 (2013), arXiv:1303.4144.
  8. Jean Bellissard, Noncommutative Geometry and the Quantum Hall Effect, Proceedings of the International Conference of Mathematicians (Zürich 94), Birkhäuser (1995).
  9. J. Bellissard, A. van Elst, H. Schulz-Baldes, The Non Commutative Geometry of the Quantum Hall Effect (longer version of #8 above), arXiv:cond-mat/9411052.
  10. David Tong: Lectures on the Quantum Hall Effect, Univ. of Cambridge, arXiv:1606.06687.
  11. Edward Witten, Three Lectures On Topological Phases Of Matter, arXiv:1510.07698.
  12. Ralph M. Kaufmann, Dan Li, and Birgit Wehefritz-Kaufmann, Notes on topological insulators, Rev. Math. Phys., 28(10), 1630003, 2016, arXiv:1501.02874.
  13. Anton Akhmerov, Jay Sau, et al., Topological condensed matter, an online course.

The topic for spring 2018 is generalized geometry and its applications to physics (especially supersymmetry and string theory). We will begin with the first reference listed, Hitchin's notes. Here is a short list of basic references:

  1. N. Hitchin, Lectures on Generalized Geometry, arXiv:1008.0973.
  2. M. Zabzine, Lectures on Generalized Complex Geometry and Supersymmetry, arXiv:hep-th/0605148.
  3. Dimitrios Tsimpis, Generalized geometry lectures on type II backgrounds, arXiv:1606.08674.
  4. N. Hitchin, Generalized Generalized Calabi-Yau manifolds, Q. J. Math. 54 (2003), no. 3, 281–308, arXiv:math/0209099.
  5. M. Gualtieri, Generalized Kahler geometry, arXiv:1007.3485.
  6. G. Cavalcantri and M. Gualtieri, Generalized complex geometry and T-duality, arXiv:1106.1747.

Detailed schedule posted below.

Organizers: Ricardo Nochetto, Wujun Zhang
When: Wednesdays @ 5pm-6pm, starting the first week of February
Where: room TBA
Subtitle: PDE theory and numerical analysis

Fully nonlinear second order elliptic PDEs arise naturally from differential geometry, stochastic control theory, optimal transport and other fields in science and engineering. In this RIT, we will discuss the concept of viscosity solutions and regularity theory of these PDEs. Some possible topics include:

  • fully nonlinear elliptic equations and viscosity solutions
  • Alexandroff-Bakelman-Pucci estimates
  • Harnack inequality and Hölder regularity
  • Uniqueness of solutions
  • W2,p estimates
  • C1, α estimates
  • C2, α estimates

In contrast to an extensive PDE literature, the numerical approximation reduces to a few papers. We would like to discuss some criteria for designing convergent numerical methods and some tools developed recently which are useful to obtain rates of convergence. Some possible topics include:

  • criterion for convergence of numerical methods
  • discrete version of the Alexandroff-Bakelman-Pucci estimate
  • finite element method for linear elliptic equations in non-divergence form
  • numerical method for Monge-Ampere equations

Organizers: Niranjan Ramachandran, Dio Margetis, and Leo Koralov
Wednesday @ 3:15pm, Tea 2:45pm - 3:15 pm in room 3201
Math 3206
From time to time special colloquia are held on other days, sometimes as part of conferences.
Other special colloquia are the Aziz Lectures and Avron Douglis Memorial Lectures.

Location: Math 3206
Day: Wednesday (with occasional talks Friday)
Time: 3:15pm
Tea: 2:45pm in 3201
Organizers: Giovanni Forni, Harry Tamvakis, Konstantina Trivisa

2011 - 2012 Colloquium Schedule

Sept 14

Wonderful compactifications of groups as moduli spaces of principal bundles
Michael Thaddeus (Columbia University),

Sept 28

An introduction to essential dimension
Patrick Brosnan(University of Maryland),

Oct 21

Rigidity of group actions, cohomology and compactness
David Fisher (Indiana University, Bloomington),

Oct 28

A Filtration of Open/Closed Topological Field Theory
Ezra Getzler (Northwestern University),

Nov 2

Rational billiards and the SL(2,R) action on moduli space
Alex Eskin (University of Chicago),

Nov 9

Why and how do we use wavelets to study turbulence?
Marie Farge(Directrice de Recherche CNRS)

Nov 16

Mixed volume computation and solving polynomial systems
Tien-Yien Li (Michigan State University),

Dec 2

Optimal and Practical Algebraic Solvers for Discretized PDEs - Aziz Lecture
Jinchao Xu (Pennsylvania State University),

Dec 7

Sastry G. Pantula(National Science Foundation)

Feb 8

On the rigidity of black holes - Douglis Lecture
Sergiu Klainerman(Princeton University )

Feb 17

Product formulas for positive measures and applications - February Fourier Talks
Peter Jones(Yale University),

Feb 22

Semismooth Newton Methods: Theory, Numerics and Applications - Aziz Lecture
Michael Hintermüller (Humboldt University, Berlin),

Feb 29

On the size of the Navier - Stokes singular set
Walter Craig (McMaster University),

Mar 14

De Giorgi methods applied to regularity issues in Fluid Mechanics
Alexis Vasseur (UT Austin )

Mar 30

Birkhoff Normal Form and a problem of Herman - Dynamics Conference
Hakan Eliasson (University of Paris-6 and IAS),

Apr 25

Lyapunov Functions: Towards an Aubry-Mather theory for homeomorphisms?
Albert Fathi (ENS-Lyon),

May 2

Contractions of Lie Groups and Representation Theory
Nigel Higson (Penn State University), cancelled

May 9

The Pfaffian-Grassmannian Derived Equivalence
Andrei Caldărăru (University of Wisconsin, Madison),

This area includes information on research done in the department, seminars and conferences hosted by the department, as well as access to electronic research resources.


Archives: 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

  • Math Department Welcome

    Speaker: () -

    When: Wed, September 13, 2017 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Approximation Algorithms: Some ancient, some new - the good, the bad and the ugly

    Speaker: Samir Khuller (University of Maryland Computer Science ) -

    When: Wed, September 20, 2017 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Faculty Meeting with CMNS Interim Dean, Jerry Wilkinson

    Speaker: (CMNS Dean's Office) -

    When: Wed, September 27, 2017 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Binet-Legendre metric and applications of Riemannian results in Finsler geometry

    Speaker: Vladimir Matveev (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena ) -

    When: Wed, October 4, 2017 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • (No colloquium)

    Speaker: General Departmental Meeting () -

    When: Wed, October 11, 2017 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • No colloquium

    Speaker: Departmental Meeting () -

    When: Wed, October 18, 2017 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • No colloquium

    Speaker: Departmental Meeting () -

    When: Wed, October 25, 2017 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Some results on affine Deligne-Lusztig varieties

    Speaker: Xuhua He (UMD) -

    When: Wed, November 1, 2017 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Quantitative estimates of propagation of chaos for large systems of interacting particles

    Speaker: Pierre-Emmanuel Jabin (UMD) -

    When: Wed, November 8, 2017 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Scale, pattern and biodiversity

    Speaker: Simon Levin (Princeton ) -

    When: Wed, November 15, 2017 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Math Teaching Forum

    Speaker: () -

    When: Fri, November 17, 2017 - 3:00pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Ergodic properties of parabolic systems.

    Speaker: Adam Kanigowski

    When: Wed, November 29, 2017 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Mobius disjointness for some dynamical systems of controlled complexity

    Speaker: Zhiren Wang

    When: Wed, December 6, 2017 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Dimension gaps in self-affine sponges

    Speaker: David Simmons (University of York) -

    When: Thu, December 7, 2017 - 2:00pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • TBA (Douglas Lecture)

    Speaker: Daniel Tataru (UC Berkeley) -

    When: Fri, December 8, 2017 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Taking Mathematics to Heart

    Speaker: Alfio Quarteroni (Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy and EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland ) -

    When: Fri, February 2, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Defects in periodic homogenization problems : Toward a complete theory [Appl Math Colloquium]

    Speaker: Claude Le Bris (Ecole des Ponts and Inria) -

    When: Tue, February 6, 2018 - 3:30pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Aziz Lecture

    Speaker: Claude Le Bris () -

    When: Wed, February 7, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Spectral analysis on singular spaces

    Speaker: Alexander Teplyaev (University of Connecticut) -

    When: Fri, February 9, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Stability for symmetric groups and Hecke algebras

    Speaker: Weiqiang Wang (University of Virginia)

    When: Wed, February 14, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Alpha invariants and birational geometry.

    Speaker: Ivan Cheltsov (University of Edinburgh, UK) -

    When: Wed, February 21, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Nonlinear fluid-structure interaction with fiber-reinforced soft composites: a unified mathematical framework for mathematical analysis, computation and applications

    Speaker: Suncica Canic (University of Houston) -

    When: Fri, February 23, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Recent Work in Mixture Models and Clustering

    Speaker: Paul McNicholasAbstract: The application of mixture models for clustering has burgeoned into an important subfield of multivariate statistics and, in particular, classification. The framework for mixture model-based clustering is established and some historical context is provided. Then, some previous work is reviewed before some recent advances are presented. Previous work is discussed with some focus on technical detail. However, recent advances are presented with more focus on illustration via real data problems. The recent work discussed will include an approach for clustering Airbnb reviews as well as applications of mixtures of matrix variate distributions.

    When: Tue, February 27, 2018 - 3:30pm
  • Five points on the sphere

    Speaker: Richard Schwartz (Brown University) -

    When: Wed, March 14, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Distinguished Lecture in Geometry - Richard Schoen (Stanford, UC Irvine)

    Speaker: Richard Schoen (Stanford, UC Irvine)

    When: Thu, March 15, 2018 - 4:30pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Distinguished Lecture Geometry - Richard Schoen (Stanford, UC Irvine)

    Speaker: Richard Schoen (Stanford, UC Irvine)

    When: Fri, March 16, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Overview of the N-body Problem

    Speaker: Richard Montgomery (UCSC) -

    When: Wed, March 28, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • A Structure Theorem for Stationary Group Actions

    Speaker: Hillel Furstenberg () -

    When: Wed, April 4, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Spring Teaching forum

    Speaker: Teaching forum () -

    When: Wed, April 11, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Eigenvalue problem for reductive groups

    Speaker: Shrawan Kumar (UNC at Chapel Hill) -

    When: Wed, April 18, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Agreeing to Disagree in Anisotropic Crowds

    Speaker: Alexander Vladimirsky (Cornell University) -

    When: Wed, April 25, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Counting points, counting fields, and new heights

    Speaker: Jordan Ellenberg

    When: Fri, April 27, 2018 - 11:00am
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • The Geometry of Redistricting - Jordan Ellenberg

    When: Fri, April 27, 2018 - 3:30pm
    Where: 3206 Kirwan Hall
  • On a conjecture for p-torsion in class groups of number fields

    Speaker: Lillian Pierce (Duke University/IAS) -

    When: Wed, May 2, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206
  • Sumca: Simple, Unified, Monte-Carlo Assisted Approach to Second-order Unbiased MSPE Estimation

    When: Thu, May 3, 2018 - 2:00pm
    Where: Kirwan 3206
  • Mad Guys Conference

    When: Fri, May 4, 2018 - 9:00am
  • Stochastic nonlinear Schroedinger equations [Aziz Lecture]

    Speaker: Arnaud Debussche (ENS Rennes) -

    When: Fri, May 4, 2018 - 3:15pm
    Where: Kirwan Hall 3206