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Distinguished Lecture Series

Every year, the Distinguished Lecture Series (DLS) brings two to four eminent mathematicians to UCLA for a week or more to give a lecture series on their field, and to meet with faculty and graduate students.

The first lecture of each series is aimed at a general mathematical audience, and offers a rare opportunity to see the state of an area of mathematics from the perspective of one of its leaders.  The remaining lectures in the series are usually more advanced, concerning recent developments in the area.

Previous speakers of the DLS include: Peter Sarnak, Peter Schneider, Zhenghan Wang, Pierre Colmez, Etienne Ghys, Goro Shimura, Jean Bellissard, Andrei Suslin, Pierre Deligne, Michael Harris, Alexander Lubotzky, Shing-Tau Yau, Hillel Furstenberg, Robert R. Langlands, Clifford Taubes, Louis Nirenberg, Oded Schramm, Louis Nirenberg, I.M. Singer, Jesper Lutzen, L.H. Eliasson, Raoul Bott, Dennis Gaitsgory, Gilles Pisier, Gregg Zuckerman, Freydoon Shahidi, Alain Connes, Jöran Friberg, David Mumford, Sir Michael Atiyah, Jean-Michel Bismut, Jean-Pierre Serre, G. Tian, N. Sibony, C. Deninger, Peter Lax, and Nikolai Reshetikhin, Horng-Tzer Yau, Ken Ono, Leonid Polterovich, Barry Mazur, Grigori Margulis, Mario Bonk, Avi Wigderson, John Coates, Charles Fefferman, C. David Levermore, Shouwu Zhang.

The DLS is currently supported by the Larry M. Wiener fund. 

Past Lectures

05/08/2018 to 05/10/2018
University of Sydney
05/30/2017 to 06/01/2017
College de France
05/09/2017 to 05/11/2017
Princeton University
04/04/2017 to 04/06/2017
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
01/24/2017 to 01/26/2017
Stanford University
11/14/2016 to 11/18/2016
Columbia University
05/17/2016 to 05/19/2016
Harvard University
04/25/2016 to 04/28/2016
Princeton University
05/19/2015 to 05/21/2015
Columbia University
02/17/2015 to 02/19/2015
Microsoft Research
11/03/2014 to 11/06/2014
Cambridge University
10/04/2014 to 10/10/2014
Duke University / UC Berkeley
05/19/2014 to 05/23/2014
IAS, Princeton
10/30/2013 to 11/06/2013
Texas A&M
10/22/2013 to 10/26/2013
Eötvös Loránd University
05/28/2013 to 05/30/2013
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
05/07/2013 to 05/09/2013
University of Strasbourg
04/03/2013 to 04/20/2013
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
01/24/2012 to 01/26/2012
Hebrew University
04/26/2011 to 04/28/2011

Upcoming Lectures

Amie Wilkinson

University of Chicago

05/22/2018 to 05/24/2018


Series Title: The Ergodic Hypothesis and Beyond

Lecture 1 (5/22): "The general case"   

Abstract: The celebrated Ergodic Theorems of  George Birkhoff and von Neumann in the 1930's  gave rise to a mathematical formulation of Boltzmann's Ergodic Hypothesis in thermodynamics. This reformulated hypothesis has been described by a variety of authors as the conjecture that ergodicity -- a form of randomness of orbit distributions -- should be``the general case" in conservative dynamics.   I  will discuss remarkable discoveries in the intervening century that show why such a hypothesis must be false in its most restrictive formulation but still survives in some contexts.  In the end, I will begin to tackle the question, "When is ergodicity and other chaotic behavior the general case?"

Lecture 2 (5/23): Robust mechanisms for chaos, I: Geometry and the birth of stable ergodicity

Abstract:  The first general, robust mechanism for ergodicity was developed by E. Hopf in the 1930's in the context of Riemannian geometry.  Loosely put, Hopf showed that for a negatively curved, compact surface, the ``typical" infinite geodesic fills the manifold in a very uniform way, a property called equidistribution.  I will discuss Hopf's basic idea in both topological and measure-theoretic settings and how it has developed into a widely applicable mechanism for chaotic behavior in smooth dynamics

Lecture 3 (5/24): Robust mechanisms for chaos, II: Stable ergodicity and partial hyperbolicity

Abstract: Kolmogorov introduced in the 1950's a robust mechanism for {\em non-ergodicity}, which is now known as the KAM phenomenon (named for Kologorov, Arnol'd and Moser).  A current, pressing problem in smooth dynamics is to understand the interplay between KAM  and Hopf phenomena in specific classes of dynamical systems.  I will describe a class of dynamical systems, called the {\em partially hyperbolic systems}, in which the two phenomena can in some sense be combined.  I'll also explain recent results that give strong evidence for the truth of a modified ergodic hypothesis in this setting, known as the Pugh-Shub stable ergodicity conjecture.

About Amie Wilkinson :


Peter Oszvath

Princeton University

06/06/2018 to 06/08/2018


Series title: Holomorphic disks, algebra, and knot invariants

Lecture 1 (6/6): An introduction to knot Floer homology

Knot Floer homology is an invariant for knots in three-dimensional
space, defined using methods from symplectic geometry (the theory of
pseudo-holomorphic curves).  After giving some geometric motivation
for its construction, I will sketch the construction of this
invariant, and describe some of its key properties and
applications. Knot Floer homology was originally defined in joint work
with Zoltan Szabo, and independently by Jacob Rasmussen; but this
lecture will touch on work of many others.  This first lecture is
intended for a general audience.

Lecture 2 (6/7): Bordered Floer homology

Bordered Floer homology is an invariant for three-manifolds with
parameterized boundary. It associates a differential graded algebra to
a surface, and certain modules to three-manifolds with specified
boundary.  I will describe properties of this invariant, with a
special emphasis on its algebraic structure. Bordered Floer homology
was defined in joint work with Dylan Thurston and Robert Lipshitz.

Lecture 3 (6/8): A bordered approach to knot Floer homology

I will describe current work with Zoltan Szabo, in which we compute a
suitable specialization of knot Floer homology, using bordered
techniques. The result is a purely algebraic formulation of knot Floer
homology, which can be explicitly computed even for fairly large knots.