The subject of this year’s NCGOA Spring Institute is “Algebra and Geometry Quantized and Quantified.” The focus will be on common themes and recent developments in topology, quantum algebra, topological condensed matter physics, subfactor theory, and quantum information theory. One such theme will be the common role of locality in algebra, topology and physics.

The annual spring institute on NCGOA is a combination of spring school and international conference. NCGOA 2019 will feature high-caliber speakers from the above-mentioned areas of mathematics, quantum physics, and statistical mechanics, including many junior researchers.

This year’s featured Shanks Lecturer is Michael Freedman, who was awarded the Fields Medal for his proof of the 4-dimensional Poincaré conjecture. Freedman is a member of the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the founder of Microsoft Quantum – Santa Barbara (Station Q), a collaborative project between Microsoft and academia to explore the mathematical theory and physical foundations for quantum computing. Station Q’s main focus is on topological quantum computing, an idea that uses topological properties of quantum systems to build a scalable quantum computer.

Freedman will deliver the Shanks Lecture at 4:45 pm on Friday, May 3 in Stevenson Center 4307. A reception will follow in the lobby of Buttrick Hall.

The prestigious Shanks Lecture Series is organized annually by the Department of Mathematics of Vanderbilt University in honor of Baylis and Olivia Shanks. The late Professor Baylis Shanks was chairman of the Department from 1956 through 1969. A list of previous Shanks Conferences and Lecturers can be found here.

The 17th Annual Spring Institute on Noncommutative Geometry and Operator Algebras is supported by the National Science Foundation, the College of Arts & Science, and the Shanks Endowment of the Department of Mathematics at Vanderbilt University. The conference organizers are Dietmar Bisch and Vaughan Jones of Vanderbilt University and the Shanks Lecturer Michael Freedman. More information, including a schedule of talks, is available on the conference web site.

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