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Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

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Upcoming Programs

  1. Definability, Decidability, and Computability in Number Theory, part 2

    Organizers: Valentina Harizanov (George Washington University), Barry Mazur (Harvard University), Russell Miller (Queens College, CUNY; CUNY, Graduate Center), Jonathan Pila (University of Oxford), Thomas Scanlon (University of California, Berkeley), Alexandra Shlapentokh (East Carolina University)
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    Title page of Diophantus' Arithmetica - ETH Zurich

    This program is focused on the two-way interaction of logical ideas and techniques, such as definability from model theory and decidability from computability theory, with fundamental problems in number theory. These include analogues of Hilbert's tenth problem, isolating properties of fields of algebraic numbers which relate to undecidability, decision problems around linear recurrence and algebraic differential equations, the relation of transcendence results and conjectures to decidability and decision problems, and some problems in anabelian geometry and field arithmetic. We are interested in this specific interface across a range of problems and so intend to build a semester which is both more topically focused and more mathematically broad than a typical MSRI program.

    Updated on Dec 21, 2021 09:51 AM PST
  2. Floer Homotopy Theory

    Organizers: Mohammed Abouzaid (Columbia University), Andrew Blumberg (Columbia University), Kristen Hendricks (Rutgers University), Robert Lipshitz (University of Oregon), LEAD Ciprian Manolescu (Stanford University), Nathalie Wahl (University of Copenhagen)
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    Illustrated by Nathalie Wahl

    The development of Floer theory in its early years can be seen as a parallel to the emergence of algebraic topology in the first half of the 20th century, going from counting invariants to homology groups, and beyond that to the construction of algebraic structures on these homology groups and their underlying chain complexes.  In continuing work that started in the latter part of the 20th century, algebraic topologists and homotopy theorists have developed deep methods for refining these constructions, motivated in large part by the application of understanding the classification of manifolds. The goal of this program is to relate these developments to Floer theory with the dual aims of (i) making progress in understanding symplectic and low-dimensional topology, and (ii) providing a new set of geometrically motivated questions in homotopy theory. 

    Updated on Oct 02, 2020 03:01 PM PDT
  3. Analytic and Geometric Aspects of Gauge Theory

    Organizers: Laura Fredrickson (University of Oregon), Rafe Mazzeo (Stanford University), Tomasz Mrowka (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Laura Schaposnik (University of Illinois at Chicago), LEAD Thomas Walpuski (Humboldt-Universität)
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    The mathematics and physics around gauge theory have, since their first interaction in the mid 1970’s, prompted tremendous developments in both mathematics and physics.  Deep and fundamental tools in partial differential equations have been developed to provide rigorous foundations for the mathematical study of gauge theories.  This led to ongoing revolutions in the understanding of manifolds of dimensions 3 and 4 and presaged the development of symplectic topology.  Ideas from quantum field theory have provided deep insights into new directions and conjectures on the structure of gauge theories and suggested many potential applications.  The focus of this program will be those parts of gauge theory which hold promise for new applications to geometry and topology and require development of new analytic tools for their study.

    Updated on Oct 28, 2020 09:12 AM PDT
  4. Algebraic Cycles, L-Values, and Euler Systems

    Organizers: Henri Darmon (McGill University), Ellen Eischen (University of Oregon), LEAD Benjamin Howard (Boston College), David Loeffler (University of Warwick), Christopher Skinner (Princeton University), Sarah Zerbes (ETH Zürich), Wei Zhang (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
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    Some Gaussian periods for the 255,255-th cyclotomic extension. Image credit: E. Eischen, based on earlier work by W. Duke, S. R. Garcia, T. Hyde, and R. Lutz

    The fundamental conjecture of Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer relating the Mordell–Weil ranks of elliptic curves to their L-functions is one of the most important and motivating problems in number theory. It resides at the heart of a collection of important conjectures (due especially to Deligne, Beilinson, Bloch and Kato) that connect values of L-functions and their leading terms to cycles and Galois cohomology groups. 

    The study of special algebraic cycles on Shimura varieties has led to progress in our understanding of these conjectures. The arithmetic intersection numbers and the p-adic regulators of special cycles are directly related to the values and derivatives of L-functions, as shown in the pioneering theorem of Gross-Zagier and its p-adic avatars for Heegner points on modular curves. The cohomology classes of special cycles (and related constructions such as Eisenstein classes) form the foundation of the theory of Euler systems, providing one of the most powerful methods known to prove vanishing or finiteness results for Selmer groups of Galois representations. 

    The goal of this semester is to bring together researchers working on different aspects of this young but fast-developing subject, and to make progress on understanding the mysterious relations between L-functions, Euler systems, and algebraic cycles.

    Updated on Apr 12, 2021 10:17 AM PDT
  5. Diophantine Geometry

    Organizers: Jennifer Balakrishnan (Boston University), Mirela Ciperiani (University of Texas, Austin), Philipp Habegger (University of Basel), Wei Ho (University of Michigan), LEAD Hector Pasten (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile), Yunqing Tang (University of California, Berkeley), Shou-Wu Zhang (Princeton University)
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    A rational point on a curve of genus 3

    While the study of rational solutions of diophantine equations initiated thousands of years ago, our knowledge on this subject has dramatically improved in recent years. Especially, we have witnessed spectacular progress in aspects such as height formulas and height bounds for algebraic points, automorphic methods, unlikely intersection problems, and non-abelian and p-adic approaches to algebraic degeneracy of rational points. All these groundbreaking advances in the study of rational and algebraic points in varieties will be the central theme of the semester program “Diophantine Geometry” at MSRI. The main purpose of this program is to bring together experts as well as enthusiastic young researchers to learn from each other, to initiate and continue collaborations, to update on recent breakthroughs, and to further advance the field by making progress on fundamental open problems and by developing further connections with other branches of mathematics. We trust that younger mathematicians will greatly contribute to the success of the program with their new ideas. It is our hope that this program will provide a unique opportunity for women and underrepresented groups to make outstanding contributions to the field, and we strongly encourage their participation.

    Updated on Feb 25, 2021 04:59 PM PST
  6. Mathematics and Computer Science of Market and Mechanism Design

    Organizers: Michal Feldman (Tel-Aviv University), Nicole Immorlica (Microsoft Research), LEAD Scott Kominers (Harvard Business School), Shengwu Li (Harvard University), Paul Milgrom (Stanford University), Alvin Roth (Stanford University), Tim Roughgarden (Stanford University), Eva Tardos (Cornell University)

    In recent years, economists and computer scientists have collaborated with mathematicians, operations research experts, and practitioners to improve the design and operations of real-world marketplaces. Such work relies on robust feedback between theory and practice, inspiring new mathematics closely linked – and directly applicable – to market and mechanism design questions. This cross-disciplinary program seeks to expand the domains in which existing market design solutions can be applied; address foundational questions regarding our ways of developing and evaluating mechanisms; and build useful analytic frameworks for applying theory to practical marketplace design.

    Updated on Feb 10, 2022 08:58 AM PST
  7. Algorithms, Fairness, and Equity

    Organizers: Vincent Conitzer (Duke University), Moon Duchin (Tufts University), Bettina Klaus (Université de Lausanne), Jonathan Mattingly (Duke University), LEAD Wesley Pegden (Carnegie Mellon University)
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    A graphical representation of a Markov Chain fairness analysis of a political districting in North Carolina from Chin, Herschlag, Mattingly

    This program aims to bring together researchers working at the interface of fairness and computation. This interface has been the site of intensive research effort in mechanism design, in research on partitioning problems related to political districting problems, and in research on ways to address issues of fairness and equity in the context of machine learning algorithms.

    These areas each approach the relationship between mathematics and fairness from a distinct perspective. In mechanism design, algorithms are a tool to achieve outcomes with mathematical guarantees of various notions of fairness. In machine learning, we perceive failures of fairness as an undesirable side effect of learning approaches, and seek mathematical approaches to understand and mitigate these failures. And in partitioning problems like political districting, we often seek mathematical tools to evaluate the fairness of human decisions.

    This program will explore progress in these areas while also providing a venue for overlapping perspectives. The topics workshop “Randomization, neutrality, and fairness” will explore the common role randomness and probability has played in these lines of work.

    Updated on May 13, 2022 11:47 AM PDT
  8. Commutative Algebra

    Organizers: Aldo Conca (Università di Genova), Steven Cutkosky (University of Missouri), LEAD Claudia Polini (University of Notre Dame), Claudiu Raicu (University of Notre Dame), Steven Sam (University of California, San Diego), Kevin Tucker (University of Illinois at Chicago), Claire Voisin (Collège de France; Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu)
    9 points theorem
    Image for theorem about 9 point on cubic curve, the special case of Cayley–Bacharach theorem.

    Commutative algebra is, in its essence, the study of algebraic objects, such as rings and modules over them, arising from polynomials and integral numbers.     It has numerous connections to other fields of mathematics including algebraic geometry, algebraic number theory, algebraic topology and algebraic combinatorics. Commutative Algebra has witnessed a number of spectacular developments in recent years, including the resolution of long-standing problems, with new techniques and perspectives leading to an extraordinary transformation in the field. The main focus of the program will be on these developments. These include the recent solution of Hochster's direct summand conjecture in mixed characteristic that employs the theory of perfectoid spaces, a new approach to the Buchsbaum--Eisenbud--Horrocks conjecture on the Betti numbers of modules of finite length, recent progress on the study of Castelnuovo--Mumford regularity, the proof of Stillman's conjecture and ongoing work on its effectiveness, a novel strategy to Green's conjecture on the syzygies of canonical curves based on the study of Koszul modules and their generalizations, new developments in the study of various types of multiplicities, theoretical and computational aspects of Gröbner bases, and the implicitization problem for Rees algebras and its applications.

    Updated on May 24, 2022 10:29 AM PDT
  9. Noncommutative Algebraic Geometry

    Organizers: Wendy Lowen (Universiteit Antwerp), Alexander Perry (University of Michigan), LEAD Alexander Polishchuk (University of Oregon), Susan Sierra (University of Edinburgh), Spela Spenko (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Michel Van den Bergh (Universiteit Hasselt)
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    Optical illusion staircase

    Derived categories of coherent sheaves on algebraic varieties were originally conceived as technical tools for studying cohomology, but have since become central objects in fields ranging from algebraic geometry to mathematical physics, symplectic geometry, and representation theory. Noncommutative algebraic geometry is based on the idea that any category sufficiently similar to the derived category of a variety should be regarded as (the derived category of) a “noncommutative algebraic variety”; examples include semiorthogonal components of derived categories, categories of matrix factorizations, and derived categories of noncommutative dg-algebras. This perspective has led to progress on old problems, as well as surprising connections between seemingly unrelated areas. In recent years there have been great advances in this domain, including new tools for constructing semiorthogonal decompositions and derived equivalences, progress on conjectures relating birational geometry and singularities to derived categories, constructions of moduli spaces from noncommutative varieties, and instances of homological mirror symmetry for noncommutative varieties. The goal of this program is to explore and expand upon these developments. 

    Updated on May 19, 2022 01:51 PM PDT