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List of Events

2017 Summer Institute

Schedule and Speakers

Spring 2017

All seminars take place at 2pm on Thursdays in Abelson 229, unless otherwise indicated.

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Wednesday, February 8

4pm (note later time)
Abelson 229
Baylor Fox-Kemper (Brown University)
From climate to Kolmogorov - upper ocean variability across scales
Host: Albion Lawrence
Thursday, March 2

Pavel Chvykov (MIT)
Principle of least rattling: a tale of non-equilibrium systems with disparate timescales
Host: Albion Lawrence

Abstract: For a large class of complicated interacting many-body systems, equilibrium thermodynamics manages to provide surprisingly simple principles governing the behaviors of some macroscopic, or coarse-grained, variables -- such as pressure or total energy. Nonetheless, many systems found in nature -- such as in biochemistry, ecology, traffic modelling, etc -- fall outside the constraints of equilibrium as they operate on constant energy fluxes. The vast generality of these non-equilibrium systems forces us to make simplifying assumptions to make progress: in this talk I restrict to dynamics with strong time-scale separation between a class of slowly varying degrees of freedom of interest, and the fast microscopic variables. I argue that in this case, quite generally, the slow variables tend to seek out the locations where fast dynamics are, in some sense, least chaotic or random. While illustrating this effect in specific toy-model simulations of a kicked-rotor on a cart, I also argue for more general applicability of the presented principle to active matter systems or even evolutionary adaptation. 
Monday, March 6

Srikanth Sastry (Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research)
2:00pm, Abelson 229
Structure Formation and Force Networks in Shear Jammed Sphere Packings
Host: Prof. Bulbul Chakraborty


Thursday, March 30

Walter Fontana (Harvard Medical School)
Replacing a world we don’t understand with a model we don’t understand

Abstract: Simplifying somewaht, we might say that, in physics, understanding precedes modeling. In molecular systems biology, as we get to know more about the inner workings of cells at the molecular scale, it appears as if modeling may have to precede understanding (at least initially). A model then must become a formal and executable representation of the facts it is based upon. I will sketch a rule-based approach of this vision that is aimed at reasoning about systems of protein-protein interaction. My intent is to spend most of the time on the opportunity, but also the challenge, of reasoning about causality in such models. 
Host: Albion Lawence
Thursday, April 13
No seminar -- Passover and spring recess
Thursday, April 20

Archana Kamal (U Mass Lowell)
Quantum information processing with chiral parametric interactions

Abstract: Harnessing parametric interactions is emerging as a new paradigm in quantum information processing platforms, with applications ranging from high-efficiency readout to implementation of fast qubit gates. In this talk, I will focus on how rendering these interactions chiral leads to new functionality and qualitatively new physics.  I will first describe the use of parametrically-induced chirality for in-situ routing and directional amplification of quantum signals. I will then discuss the connection of such chirality with dissipation engineering, and how it may be used to realize novel dynamics in open quantum systems.
Host: Albion Lawrence

Thursday, April 27
Open