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Series: School of Mathematics Colloquium

We prove that a smooth compact submanifold of codimension $2$ immersed in $R^n$, $n>2$, bounds at most finitely many topologically distinct compact nonnegatively curved hypersurfaces. This settles a question of Guan and Spruck related to a problem of Yau. Analogous results for complete fillings of arbitrary Riemannian submanifolds are obtained as well. On the other hand, we show that these finiteness theorems may not hold if the codimension is too high, or the prescribed boundary is not sufficiently regular. Our proofs employ, among other methods, a relative version of Nash's isometric embedding theorem, and the theory of Alexandrov spaces with curvature bounded below, including the compactness and stability theorems of Gromov and Perelman. These results consist of joint works with Stephanie Alexander and Jeremy Wong, and Robert Greene.

Series: School of Mathematics Colloquium

Describe the trajectories of particles floating in a liquid. This is a surprisingly difficult problem and attempts to understand it have involved many diverse techniques. In the 60's Arold, Marsden, Ebin and others began to introduce topological techniques into the study of fluid flows. In this talk we will discuss some of these ideas and see how they naturally lead to the introduction of contact geometry into the study of fluid flows. We then consider some of the results one can obtain from this contact geometry perspective. For example we will show that for a sufficiently smooth steady ideal fluid flowing in the three sphere there is always some particle whose trajectory is a closed loop that bounds an embedded disk, and that (generically) certain steady Euler flows are (linearly) unstable.

Series: School of Mathematics Colloquium

Series: School of Mathematics Colloquium

It has been found about ten years ago that most of the real networks are not random ones in the Erdos-Renyi sense but have different topology (structure of the graph of interactions between the elements of a network). This finding generated a steady flux of papers analyzing structural aspects of networks. However, real networks are rather dynamical ones where the elements (cells, genes, agents, etc) are interacting dynamical systems. Recently a general approach to the studies of dynamical networks with arbitrary topology was developed. This approach is based on a symbolic dynamics and is in a sense similar to the one introduced by Sinai and the speaker for Lattice Dynamical Systems, where the graph of interactions is a lattice. The new approach allows to analyse a combined effect of all three features which characterize a dynamical network (topology, dynamics of elements of the network and interactions between these elements) on its evolution. The networks are of the most general type, e.g. the local systems and interactions need not to be homogeneous, nor restrictions are imposed on a structure of the graph of interactions. Sufficient conditions on stability of dynamical networks are obtained. It is demonstrated that some subnetworks can evolve regularly while the others evolve chaotically. This approach is a very natural one and thus gives a hope that in many other problems (some will be discussed) on dynamical networks a progress could be expected.