27 June 2016 to 2 July 2016
Collège de France
Europe/Paris timezone

General Public Session

Poster Séminaire Poincaré

On Saturday July 2nd, 2016, a session for the General Public entitled "Cordes & Maths" ("Mathematics of Superstrings") is organized at Collège de France, in collaboration with the séminaire Poincaré and the Clay Mathematics Institute.

Some of the most distinguished contributors in the areas of High Energy Theory and Mathematics will try to convey their excitement about outstanding challenges, recent achievements and prospects for the future of our understanding of mathematical structures in Nature.

The session is open to everyone, no registration is required. No familiarity with advanced concepts in physics or mathematics will be assumed (at least for a large part of each talk).

Programme / Schedule:

10h00: Hirosi Ooguri (Caltech and IPMU): "What is gravity ?"



After two years in the graduate school at Kyoto University, Ooguri became a tenured faculty member at the University of Tokyo. He then became a research associate at the Institute for Advanced Study and was awarded his Ph.D. from Tokyo in 1989. In 1994, he was appointed as a professor at the University of California at Berkeley and stayed there until 2000, when he became a professor at California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Currently, Ooguri is the Fred Kavli Professor of Theoretical Physics and Mathematics and the Director of the Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics at Caltech. He is also a Principal Investigator of the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo. Ooguri has received numerous awards and honors including the Eisenbud Prize for Mathematics and Physics from the American Mathematical Society, the Humboldt Research Award, and the Nishina Memorial Prize. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Simons Investigator, and a Trustee of the Aspen Center for Physics. Ooguri is active in science outreach; his four popular science books have been sold over a quarter of a million copies in Japan and his book on Superstring Theory was selected for the 2014 Kodansha Prize for Science Books. He is a contributing writer for Asahi Shimbun, a leading national newspaper in Japan, and has a monthly column on science on a business magazine. He served as a science adviser to the 3D dome theater movie "The Man from the 9 Dimensions," which debuted in Tokyo this April.


11h15: Andrei Okounkov (Columbia University): "Catching monodromy"


Andrei Okounkov studied at the Moscow State University, from which he received his bachelor degree and his doctorate in mathematics (1995). He taught at University of Chicago, UC Berkeley, and Princeton University and is currently Samuel Eilenberg Professor of Mathematics at Columbia University. Andrei is a recipient of the Sloan Research Fellowship (2000), a Packard Fellowship (2001), the European Mathematical Society Prize (2004), the Fields Medal (2006), and the Compositio Prize (2010). His main research interest is modern mathematical physics.



14h00: Robbert Dijkgraaf  (IAS, Princeton): "Quantum geometry"

Robbert Dijkgraaf is Director and Leon Levy Professor of the Institute for Advanced Study, one of the world’s leading centres for curiosity-driven research in the sciences and humanities. Dijkgraaf is a mathematical physicist who has made important contributions to string theory and the advancement of science education. In addition to discovering deep connections between matrix models, topological string theory, and supersymmetric quantum field theory, Dijkgraaf has developed precise formulas for the counting of bound states that explain the entropy of certain black holes. Past President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and Co-Chair (since 2009) of the InterAcademy Council, Dijkgraaf is a distinguished public policy adviser and passionate advocate for science and the arts. Many of his activities––which have included frequent appearances on Dutch television, a monthly newspaper column, and the launch of the science education website Proefjes.nl––are at the interface between science and society.


CANCELLED: Nigel Hitchin (Oxford) : "Geometry and Physics: Past and Future"

Nigel Hitchin studied Mathematics at Jesus College, Oxford,  obtaining his BA in 1968. He subsequently gained a D.Phil and continued research with Michael Atiyah at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton until 1973. After a year at New York University, he returned to a Research Fellowship in Oxford and in 1977 played a key role with Atiyah and Singer in showing how the physicists’ “instantons” could be constructed mathematically. This formative experience of using pure mathematics at the interface with physics governed much of his future research, involving differential and algebraic geometry in a variety of contexts. In 1979 he became Tutor in Mathematics at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford and in 1990 was appointed Professor at Warwick. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1991 and was President of the London Mathematical Society from 1994-96. In 1994 he was elected to the Rouse Ball Chair in Cambridge, but then in 1997 accepted the offer of the Savilian Professorship of Geometry in Oxford, where he remains. Nigel Hitchin has won the Whitehead, Berwick and Polya prizes of the London Mathematical Society and the Sylvester Medal of the Royal Society and was recently awarded the 2016 Shaw Prize for Mathematics. He is frequently called upon to give named lectures in the USA, Europe and Asia and has served on numerous committees both national and international.

Unfortunately Prof. Hitchin had to cancel this engagement for personal reasons.

RESCHEDULED: 15h30: Nima Arkani-Hamed (IAS, Princeton): "Physics and Mathematics for the End of Spacetime"

Nima Arkani-Hamed is a theoretical physicist with broad interests in high-energy physics and cosmology. He was educated at Toronto and Berkeley and was a professor of physics at Berkeley and Harvard before joining the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 2008. He was an inaugural recipient of the Fundamental Physics Prize in 2012, and was one of six physicists featured in the award-winning documentary "Particle Fever" in 2014.



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