August 22, 2011

New Academic Year Features Busy Conference Lineup

Several exciting conferences and workshops are scheduled for the 2011-2012 academic year, demonstrating the department’s support for faculty-organized conferences that bring mathematicians from all over the world to Vanderbilt each year.

The events kick off with a Shanks Workshop organized by the department’s newest faculty member, Fields Medalist Vaughan Jones, and Department Chair Dietmar Bisch. The workshop on“Conformal Field Theory and von Neumann Algebras,” will be held October 29-30, 2011. Like several of the department’s conferences and workshops, it is funded by an endowment from the Shanks family.

Also in the early fall, Professors Doug Hardin and Ed Saff will host a Shanks Workshop on “Inverse Problems and Applications to Physical Sciences.” Among those attending will be geophysicists from MIT who are collaborating with Hardin and Saff on the applications of inverse problems to geosciences research. Dates for this workshop have not yet been set.

“Symplectic Topology and Hamiltonian Dynamics” is the subject of a Shanks Workshop organized by Assistant Professor Başak Gürel February 17-18, 2012. This will be followed in the spring by a Shanks Workshop entitled “Analysis of Geometric Networks,” organized by Professors Mark Sapir and  Guoliang Yu, which will be held in March.

May brings the department’s two largest conferences, both annual events that attract hundreds of  international attendees. The Spring Institute on Noncommutative Geometry and Operator Algebras will celebrate its tenth year when it convenes early in the month. This year’s emphasis will be operator algebras and mathematical physics.

The academic year will culminate with the 27th Annual Shanks Conference and Lecture May 30-June 2, 2012. The “International Conference on Cycles in Graphs,” will feature Daniela Kühn, Mason Professor in Mathematics at the University of Birmingham, England, as the Shanks Lecturer. The organizing committee of the 2012 Shanks Conference comprises Professors Mark Ellingham and Paul Edelman.

The Shanks Conference and Shanks workshops are supported by an endowment honoring Baylis and Olivia Shanks. The late Professor Baylis Shanks was chairman of the Department from 1955 through 1969. A list of previous Shanks Lecturers can be found here.