IGERT Institutes and Workshops

IGERT Summer Institutes (2015 and 2016)

Past Events

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Matthew Roberts (U. of Chicago)
3:30 pm
Abelson 229
Emergent geometry in quantum Hall states & the composite Fermi liquid
Host: Albion Lawrence

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Arijeet Pal (Oxford)
10:00 am
Abelson 307
Finite temperature mobility
edge in many-body localized systems
Host: Kabir Ramola

Thursday, October 13, 2016

An Huang (Brandeis)
2:oo pm
Volen 119
Graph embedding, quadratic forms, and toric geometry
Host: Albion Lawrence

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Shreyas Gokhale (MIT)
2:00 pm
Volen 119
Dissecting the glass transition through critical experiments on colloids
Host: Bulbul Chakraborty

Abstract: The human race has engineered and manipulated glasses since times immemorial and yet, the basic physics underlying glass formation continues to elude our grasp. Even the most basic question of whether glass formation is a fundamentally thermodynamic or dynamic phenomenon remains unanswered. This state of affairs is due largely to the fact that available experimental data on molecular liquids, over as many as fourteen orders of magnitude, are unable to distinguish between macroscopic predictions of competing theoretical frameworks. In this talk, I will demonstrate how information on particle dynamics from experiments on dense colloidal suspensions can be harnessed to critically compare and contrast microscopic predictions of the random first-order transition theory (RFOT) and dynamical facilitation (DF), two of the most prominent competing theories of glass formation. In particular, I will show that a detailed analysis of shapes of cooperatively rearranging clusters of particles reveals a dynamical crossover from a facilitation dominated regime to one dominated by collective hopping events postulated within RFOT. Further, I will discuss how quenched disorder in the form of an amorphous wall can potentially serve as a diagnostic tool to assess the relative importance of structural relaxation mechanisms envisioned in RFOT and DF. In a broader context, these results indicate that even over the limited dynamical range available to colloid experiments and numerical simulations, dynamical crossovers can yield valuable insights into the physical processes responsible for glass formation.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Special IGERT/Physics Department Colloquium
Jeffrey Morris, CUNY
Friction and adhesion in colloids: Yielding, thickening, jamming
Host: Bulbul Chakraborty

Abstract: In recent work, we have shown [1,2] that frictional interactions provide a rational basis for both continuous and discontinuous shear thickening in viscous suspensions.   When the repulsive forces (such as those due to electrostatic or steric colloidal stabilization) are overwhelmed by shearing forces, contact is assumed to occur, and the system transitions from a low-viscosity (lubricated) to a high-viscosity (frictional) state. Contacting particles may experience both adhesive forces as well as friction.  We will consider the influence of attractive forces at contact, in combination with the stabilizing repulsive forces.  This combination of forces would be seen in the case of particles with van der Waals attraction in combination with colloidal stabilization.  For sufficient attractive force a yield stress and shear thinning give way to the shear thickening response, a behavior observed in certain flocculated dispersions.  At sufficient yield stress, the shear thickening is completely obscured, as the dispersions shear thins after yielding directly onto the high-viscosity (frictional) plateau.  The suggestion that a material may exhibit both yielding at low stress and jamming at large stress [3] is explored. 

1. R. Seto, R. Mari, J. F. Morris & M. M. Denn 2013 Discontinuous shear thickening of frictional hard-sphere suspensions. Phys. Rev. Lett. 111 218301.
2. . R. Mari, R. Seto J. F. Morris & M. M. Denn 2015 Discontinuous shear thickening in Brownian suspensions by dynamic simulation. Proc. National Acad. Sci.
  112. 15326.
3. N. J. Wagner & J. F. Brady 2009 Shear thickening in colloidal dispersions. Phys. Today62, 27-32.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Daniel Ruberman (Brandeis)
2:00 pm
Volen 119
Topological configurations of complex lines
Host: Albion Lawrence

Abstract: Configurations of lines in the plane have been studied since antiquity. In recent years, combinatorial methods have been used to decide if a specified incidence relation between certain objects ("lines") and other objects ("points") can be realized by actual points and lines in a projective plane over a field. For the real and complex fields, one can weaken the condition to look for topologically embedded lines (circles in the real case, spheres in the complex case) that meet according to a specified incidence relation. I will explain some joint work with Laura Starkston (Stanford) giving new topological restrictions on the realization of configurations of spheres in the complex projective plane.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Steven Gubser (Princeton)
Joint IGERT/High Energy Theory Seminar
2:00 pm
Volen 119
p-adic AdS/CFT
sponsored by DOE
Host: Albion Lawrence

Abstract:  I will explain how replacing the real numbers by the p-adic numbers and the bulk geometry of anti-de Sitter space by a discrete graph, we can arrive at a new version of the AdS/CFT correspondence with some links to the p-adic string.  Two-point, three-point, and four-point correlators can be computed starting from a classical action in the bulk.  In some cases, adelic product identities show interesting relationships with standard results in ordinary AdS/CFT.  I will describe candidate geometries for Wilson loops and comment on some ongoing work to find further probes of the correspondence.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 - Tuesday July 12, 2016
IGERT Summer Conference

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Naziru Awal (Brandeis)
Piecewise Linear Model of the BZ reaction

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Ruoran Zhang, Northeastern University (Note: Quantitative Biology Lunch also held at this time).
Contact Chern-Simons Theory and Legendrian Knots

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Carl Merrigan, Brandeis University
Role of the Initial Force Configuration  for Unjamming Grains in a Hopper

Tuesday, March 8, 2016  
Aditi Mitra (NYU)
Quantum Quenches 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Melanie Mitchell, Portland State
Using Analogy to Recognize Visual Situations

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Jörn Callies (MIT)
Macroturbulence in the ocean

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Edward Fredkin (Carnegie Mellon University)
On Cellular Automata and Physics

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
R. Loganayagam (IAS Princeton)
Joint IGERT/Condensed Matter Seminar
Second law and the eightfold structure of relativistic fluid dynamics

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Itamar Procaccia, Weizmann Institute
What determines force chains in granular media?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Arunima Ray (Brandeis)
Concordance classes of knots and satellite operations

January 21, 2015 
Bard Ermentrout, University of Pittsburgh
Keeping the beat : Homeostatic frequency control in coupled oscillators

February 04, 2015 
Anatoli Polkovnikov, BU
Emergent non-adiabatic dynamics and geometric response in interacting systems

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Brad Marston, Brown University
The Quantum and Fluid Mechanics of Climate Change

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Maxim Braverman (Northeastern University) 
Berry phase and the phase of the determinant 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Sho Yaida, Duke University
Panoramic correlations in glassy systems

December 3 - December 5, 2014
Peter Sarnak, Institute for Advanced Study and Princeton University
Eisenbud Lectures
Theme: "Randomness in Number Theory and Geometry"

November 13, 2014
Ryan Grady, Boston University
Applications of quantum field theory to geometry and topology: observables and index theory

October 15, 2014
Ben Allen, Emanuel College and Harvard University
Title: "An Information-Theoretic Formalism for Multiscale Structure in Complex Systems"

October 01, 2014
Daniel Goldstein, Brandeis University
Title: "How Many Timescales Can I Fit into the Brusselator

September 17,  2014
Jessica Lowell, (Computer Science), Brandeis University
Title: "The evolution of modularity in neural networks

September 3, 2014
Igert Kickoff Meeting 

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
Tiitle: "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: http://www.brandeis.edu/programs/wgs/news/womeninscience.html

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"
Paper1: http://www.brandeis.edu/igert/images/documents/pietro2011.pdf
Paper2: http://www.brandeis.edu/igert/images/documents/pietro2012b.pdf

March 13, 2013
Art of Science Lecture Series
Dianna Dabby,   Professor, Olin College of Engineering
Title: "Creating Musical Variation - from Chaos"
Info at: http://www.brandeis.edu/programs/wgs/news/womeninscience.html

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"