# PIMS lectures

Title: PIMS Emergent Research PDF Seminar: Spaces of geodesic triangulations of surfaces

Speaker: Yanwen Luo, SFU and UVic

Date and time:
29 Nov 2023,
9:30am -
10:30am

Location: via Zoom registration required

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In 1962, Tutte proposed a simple method to produce a straight-line embedding of a planar graph in the plane, known as Tutte’s spring theorem. It leads to a surprisingly simple proof of a classical theorem proved by Bloch, Connelly, and Henderson in 1984, which states that the space of geodesic triangulations of a convex polygon is contractible. In this talk, I will introduce spaces of geodesic triangulations of surfaces, review Tutte’s spring theorem, and present this short proof. It time permits, I will briefly report the recent progress in identifying the homotopy types of spaces of geodesic triangulations of general surfaces.

Title: PIMS Emergent Research PDF Seminar: Around Artin's primitive root conjecture

Speaker: Paul Péringuey, University of British Columbia

Date and time:
22 Nov 2023,
9:30am -
10:30am

Location: via Zoom registration required

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Abstract: In this talk we will first discuss this soon to be 100 years old conjecture, which states that the set of primes for which an integer $a$ different from $-1$ or a perfect square is a primitive root admits an asymptotic density among all primes. In 1967 Hooley proved this conjecture under the Generalized Riemann Hypothesis.

After that, we will look into a generalization of this conjecture, where we don't restrain ourselves to look for primes for which $a$ is a primitive root but instead elements of an infinite subset of $\N$ for which $a$ is a generalized primitive root. In particular, we will take this infinite subset to be either $\N$ itself or integers with few prime factors.

Speaker Biography: Paul Péringuey is a PIMS Postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia where he is working with Prof. Greg Martin, under the sponsorship of the PIMS Collaborative Research Group "L-Functions in Analytic Number Theory". He obtained his PhD in 2022 at Université de Lorraine under the supervision of Cécile Dartyge. His area of research is in Analytic Number Theory, Comparative Prime Number Theory, as well as Additive Combinatorics.

Poster: The poster for the talk is available.

Title: PIMS Network-wide Colloquium: AI4Crypto

Speaker: Kristin Lauter, Meta

Date and time:
16 Nov 2023,
1:30pm -
2:30pm

Location: via Zoom registration required

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Speaker Bio:

Kristin Lauter is an American mathematician and cryptographer whose research interest is broadly in application of number theory and algebraic geometry in cryptography. She is particularly known for her work in the area of elliptic curve cryptography. She was a researcher at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington, from 1999 - 2021, and the head of the Cryptography Group from 2008 - 2021; her group developed Microsoft SEAL. In April 2021, Lauter joined Facebook AI Research (FAIR) as the West Coast Head of Research Science. She became the President-Elect of the Association for Women in Mathematics in February 2014 and served as President from 2015 - 2017.

Registration:

Participants register once on Zoom and can attend any of the Colloquium talks. Please remember to download the calendar information to save the dates on your calendar. PIMS will resend the confirmation from Zoom prior to the event date.

Title: PIMS Network-wide Colloquium: Surface sums and Yang-Mills gauge theory

Speaker: Scott Sheffield, MIT

Date and time:
19 Oct 2023,
1:30pm -
2:30pm

Location: via Zoom registration required

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Constructing and understanding the basic properties of Euclidean Yang-Mills theory is a fundamental problem in physics. It is also one of the Clay Institute's famous Millennium Prize problems in mathematics. The basic problem is not hard to understand. You can begin by describing a simple random function from a set of lattice edges to a group of matrices. Then you ask whether you can construct/understand a continuum analog of this object in one way or another. In addition to a truly enormous physics literature, this topic has inspired research within many major areas of mathematics: representation theory, random matrix theory, probability theory, differential geometry, stochastic partial differential equations, low-dimensional topology, graph theory and planar-map combinatorics.

Attempts to understand this problem in the 1970's and 1980's helped inspire the study of "random surfaces" including Liouville quantum gravity surfaces. Various relationships between Yang-Mills theory and random surface theory have been obtained over the years, but many of the most basic questions have remained out of reach. I will discuss our own recent work in this direction, as contained in two long recent papers relating "Wilson loop expectations" (the fundamental objects in Yang-Mills gauge theory) to "sums over spanning surfaces."

1. Wilson loop expectations as sums over surfaces on the plane (joint with Minjae Park, Joshua Pfeffer, Pu Yu)

2. Random surfaces and lattice Yang-Mills (joint with Sky Cao, Minjae Park)

The first paper explains how in 2D (where Yang-Mills theory is more tractable) one can interpret continuum Wilson loop expectations purely in terms of flat surfaces. The second explains a general-dimensional interpretation of the Wilson loop expectations in lattice Yang-Mills theory in terms of discrete-and not-necessarily-flat surfaces, a.k.a. embedded planar maps.

Speaker Biography:
Scott Sheffield is the Leighton Family Professor of Mathematics at MIT. He is a leading figure at the interface of mathematical physics and probability. He has held positions at Microsoft Research, Berkeley, the Institute for Advanced Study and New York University. He received the Rollo Davidson and Loève prizes in probability and has twice spoken at the International Congress of Mathematicians

Title: PIMS Network-Wide Colloquium - Understanding arithmetic and geometry through cutting and pasting

Speaker: Ravi Vakil, Stanford University

Date and time:
21 Sep 2023,
1:30pm -
2:30pm

Location: via Zoom registration required

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Euler’s famous formula tells us that (with appropriate caveats), a map on the sphere with f countries (faces), e borders (edges), and v border-ends (vertices) will satisfy v-e+f=2. And more generally, for a map on a surface with g holes, v-e+f=2-2g. Thus we can figure out the genus of a surface by cutting it into pieces (faces, edges, vertices), and just counting the pieces appropriately. This is an example of the topological maxim “think globally, act locally”. A starting point for modern algebraic geometry can be understood as the realization that when geometric objects are actually algebraic, then cutting and pasting tells you far more than it does in “usual” geometry. I will describe some easy-to-understand statements (with hard-to-understand proofs), as well as easy-to-understand conjectures (some with very clever counterexamples, by M. Larsen, V. Lunts, L. Borisov, and others). I may also discuss some joint work with Melanie Matchett Wood.

Speaker Biography: Ravi Vakil is a Professor of Mathematics and the Robert K. Packard University Fellow at Stanford University, and was the David Huntington Faculty Scholar. He received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching, an American Mathematical Society Centennial Fellowship, a Frederick E. Terman fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a National Science Foundation CAREER grant, the presidential award PECASE, and the Brown Faculty Fellowship. Vakil also received the Coxeter-James Prize from the Canadian Mathematical Society, and the AndrÉ-Aisenstadt Prize from the CRM in MontrÉal. He was the 2009 Earle Raymond Hedrick Lecturer at Mathfest, and a Mathematical Association of America's Pólya Lecturer 2012-2014. The article based on this lecture has won the Lester R. Ford Award in 2012 and the Chauvenet Prize in 2014. In 2013, he was a Simons Fellow in Mathematics.