Past Events

July 9,  2014

Yair Shokef, Tel Aviv University

Title: "
Confinement Effects on the Jamming Transition in Kinetically-Constrained Models"

June 16 - June 27

Igert Summer Institute, Brandeis University

Subject matter/speakers:
*Chris Santangelo (U Mass Amherst)-- "Shape and mechanics of origami folding"
*Matthew Headrick -- "Introduction of quantum information theory"
*Bulbul Chakraborty and Blake Lebaron -- "Applications of Statistical Mechanics to Finance"
*Daniel Ruberman -- "Introduction to Knot Theory"
*Paul Miller -- "Feedback control in neural firing"
*Albion Lawrence -- "An introduction to inflation and gravity waves". This last speech was for a very general audience and  explained the recent excitement surrounding the BICEP2 experiment.
In addition,  student seminars by Eli Putzig (Physics), Honi Sanders (Neuroscience), and Tony Ng (Neuroscience).

Spring 2014
Igert Course held:
"Differential Geometry in Classical and Quantum Mechanics"

March 26, 2014

Daniel Ruberman, Brandeis, Dept. of Mathematics

Title: "
Chern-Weil theory and Chern-Simons invariants"

February 12, 2014
Richard M. Ellis, Umass Amherst

Title: "
From Large Deviations to Statistical Mechanics: What Is the Most Likely Way for an Unlikely Event To Happen?"

January 29, 2014
Prof. Sophia Malamud, Dept. Computer Science, Brandeis University

Title: "
Language as rational behaviour under uncertainty: applications of Decision Theory"

January 22, 2014
Prof. Albion Lawrence, Brandeis University

Title: "
Higgs and hierarchy: the science behind the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics"

December 04, 2013
Yaneer Bar-Yam, Lawrence Albion, NECSI
Title: "
The Global Financial and Food Crisis: A Complex Systems Science Analysis"

November 20, 2013
Lawrence Albion, Michael Hagan, Blake LeBaron
Title: "
"The science behind the 2013 Nobel Prizes"

October 30, 2013
Pavel Sountsov, Brandeis University
Title: "
Statistical mechanics and statistical inference"

October 23, 2013
Patrick Charbenneau, Duke University
Title: "
"A soft-matter perspective on protein crystallization"

October 22, 2013
Patrick Charbonneau, Duke University
Colloquium sponsored by Igert
Title: "
High-dimensional surprises near the glass and the jamming transitions"

October 2, 2013
Prof. Shamit Kachru, Standford University
Title: "
Moonshine and Supersymmetric String Compactifications"

September 25, 2013
David Huse, Princeton University
"Eigenstate phase transitions and localization-protected order"

September 24, 2013
Physics Colloquium, sponsored by Igert
David Huse, Princeton University
"Thermalization and localization in quantum statistical mechanics"

September 4, 2013
 Igert Group Meeting
Agenda: "Discuss goals and opportunities in coming year"

July 31 - August 9, 2013
"Geometry and Dynamics Summer Institute"


Parongama Sen, (University of Calcutta, Kolkata), lecturing on applications of statistical physics to social science problems.
Henry Cohn (Microsoft Research, New England), lecturing on symmetry and optimization.
Ben Allen (Emmanuel College and Harvard), lecturing on evolutionary dynamics
Paul Miller, (Brandeis), lecturing on aspects of theoretical neuroscience.
Blake LeBaron (Brandeis), lecturing on empirical puzzles in financial data, and applications of agent-based modeling.
Albion Lawrence (Brandeis), lecturing on fiber bundles ("gauge theory") and their applications to deformable bodies (falling cats, swimming bacteria).

In addition, seminars by IGERT students:

Sumantra Sarkar, Physics Dept., Brandeis University, "Origin of Rigidity in Dry Granular Solids"
Blake Stacey, Physics Dept., Brandeis University, "Mesoscale Structure in Complex Networks”
Danny Goldstein, Physics Dept., Brandeis University, TBA

May 15, 2013
Justin Kinney, Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory
Title: "Quantum field theories for modeling biochemical systems"

May 08, 2013
Raul Kulkarni, Umass Boston
Title: "Stochastic gene expression and queueing theory: analytical results and application"

April 25, 2013
Women in Science Seminar
Thseh-Hwan Yong, Threla Cosmetics
Title: Science Entrepreneurship

April 17, 2013
Art of Science Lecture Series
Debbie Chacra,   Professor, Olin College of Engineering
Info at:

April 10, 2013
IGERT Seminar
Claudio Chamon, Boston University
"Renyi entropies as a measure of the complexity of counting problems"

March 20, 2013
IGERT Seminar
Pietro Dindo, University of Pisa
Title: "Evolution and market behavior with endogenous rules"

March 13, 2013
Art of Science Lecture Series
Dianna Dabby,   Professor, Olin College of Engineering
Title: "Creating Musical Variation - from Chaos"
Info at:

February 06, 2013
IGERT Seminar
Olivier Bernardi,  Brandeis University, Dept. of Mathematics
Title: "Random colored lattices"

October 28, 2012
IGERT Seminar
Tom Butler, MIT
Title: "Universal Critical Dynamics in High Resolution Neuronal Avalanche Data"

October 24, 2012
IGERT Seminar
Royce Zia, Virginia Tech
Title: "Survival of the Weakest? Lessons from studies of many competing species in general and four cyclic competitor in particular"

October 03, 2012
IGERT Seminar
Tony Ng, Dept. of Neuroscience, Brandeis University.
Title: "Criticality in neuronal networks: Existing evidence and models"

September 19, 2012
IGERT Seminar
Blake Stacey, Dept. of Physics, Brandeis University
"Community Formation in Nonequilibrium Spatial Ecosystems"

July 03, 2012
IGERT Seminar
Debashish Chowdhury, Physics Dep., Indian Institute of Technology
"Stochastic kinetics of template-directed bio-polymerization: machines and mechanisms"

April 25, 2012
IGERT Seminar
Taylor Hughes, UIUC
"Torsion and Viscosity in Condensed Matter Physics"

April 18, 2012
IGERT Seminar
Dr. Alvaro Sanchez, MIT
"Evolution and ecology in a feedback loop: consequences of social and antisocial behavior in microbial communities"

April 04, 2012
IGERT Seminar
Jordan Pollack, Brandeis University (Computer Science)
"Beyond Competition: Progress in Co-evolutionary Learning"

March 21, 2012
IGERT Seminar
Susan Coppersmith, U. of Wisconsin, Madison
"Quantum random walks of interacting particles and the graph isomorphism problem."

March 14, 2012
IGERT Seminar
Patrick Hayden, McGill University
"Towards the fast scrambling conjecture"

March 07, 2012
IGERT Seminar
Matthew Headrick, Brandeis University
"Some basic aspects of quantum information theory"

March 05, 2012
IGERT Seminar
Takashi Odagaki, Dept. of Physics, Tokyo Denki University
"The 99%: Who is to blame?"

February 24, 2012
IGERT Seminar
David Sivak, Lawrence Berkley national Laboratory
"The 99%: Who is to blame?"

February 15, 2012
IGERT Seminar
Albion Lawrence, Brandeis University
"An Introduction to Information and Entropy"

December 07, 2011
IGERT Seminar
Max Bi, Brandeis University
"The statistical mechanics of granular matter"

December 01, 2011
Eisenbud Lecture 2
Jennifer Chayes, Microsoft Research New England
"The Mathematics of Dynamic Random Networks"

November 29, 2011
Eisenbud Lecture 1
Jennifer Chayes, Microsoft Research New England
"The Mathematics of Dynamic Random Networks"

November 16, 2011
IGERT Seminar
Matthew Graham, Brandeis University
"Knots, invariants and how a low dimensional geometric topologist thinks"

November 9, 2011
IGERT Seminar
David Lazer,  Northeastern University
"How we think together: the role of networks in collective problem solving"

October 19, 2011
IGERT Seminar
Paul Miller, Brandeis University
"Leaning to solve cognitive tasks: global function from local rules"