Seminars and Colloquia by Series

Series: Other Talks
Monday, March 19, 2012 - 09:20 , Location: Klaus 1116 , Tutorial lectures by Andreas Krause, Kazuo Murota and Jan Vondrak , ETH, University of Tokyo, and IBM , Organizer: Prasad Tetali
Workshop Theme: Submodular functions are discrete analogues of convex functions, arising in various fields of computer science and operations research. Since the seminal work of Jack Edmonds (1970), submodularity has long been recognized as a common structure of many efficiently solvable combinatorial optimization problems. Recent algorithmic developments in the past decade include combinatorial strongly polynomial algorithm for minimization, constant factor approximation algorithms for maximization, and efficient methods for learning submodular functions. In addition, submodular functions find novel applications in combinatorial auctions, machine learning, and social networks. This workshop aims at providing a forum for researchers from a variety of backgrounds for exchanging results, ideas, and problems on submodular optimization and its applications. The workshop will be held from March 19-22, 2012. For complete details and workshop program, please see the website.
Series: Other Talks
Monday, March 12, 2012 - 15:00 , Location: Markus Nano Conference Rm. 1116 , Rob Phillips , Cal Tech , Organizer:
The viruses that infect bacteria have a hallowed position in the development of modern biology, and once inspired Max Delbruck refer to them as "the atom of biology". Recently, these viruses have become the subject of intensive physical investigation. Using single-molecule techniques, it is actually possible to watch these viruses in the act of packing and ejecting their DNA. This talk will begin with a general introduction to viruses and their life cycles and will then focus on simple physical arguments about the forces that attend viral DNA packaging and ejection, predictions about the ejection process and single-molecule measurements of ejection itself.
Series: Other Talks
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 17:30 , Location: Clough Commons, Room 144 , Dr. Bernd Heinrich , University of Vermont , Organizer:

Booksigning to follow.

Author and biologist Bernd Heinrich will discuss his research into the biological mysteries of social insects and birds, including the seemingly illogical food-sharing behavior of ravens.
Series: Other Talks
Monday, March 5, 2012 - 11:00 , Location: Skiles 114 , Shel Swenson , Georgia Tech , Organizer: Christine Heitsch
The paper "Complete probabilistic analysis of RNA shapes" (2006) by Voss, Giegerich, and Rehmsmeier will be discussed.
Series: Other Talks
Monday, February 27, 2012 - 11:00 , Location: Skiles 114 , Shel Swenson , Georgia Tech , Organizer: Christine Heitsch
The paper "Abstract shapes of RNA" (2004) by Giegerich, Voss, and Rehmsmeier will be discussed.
Series: Other Talks
Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 13:00 , Location: Math and Science Center, Emory University , Jacob Fox , Massachusetts Institute of Technology , Organizer: Xingxing Yu
The 5th in a series of 9 mini-conferences features Jacob Fox as the prominent researcher who will give 2 fifty-minute lectures and 4 other outstanding researchers each giving one fifty-minute lecture. There will also be several 25-minute lectures by young researchers and graduate students. The lectures will begin at 1 PM on Saturday, February 25 and conclude at at noon on Sunday, February 26.To register, please send an email to and for complete details, see the website. Registration is free.
Series: Other Talks
Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 08:30 , Location: Room S175, Coverdell Center, University of Georgia , Georgia Scientific Computing Symposium , University of Georgia , Organizer: Luca Dieci
The purpose of the GSC Symposium is to provide an opportunity for professors, postdocs, and graduate students in the Atlanta area to meet in an informal setting, to exchange ideas, and to highlight local scientific computing research. Certainly, the symposium is open to whole mathematics and computer sciences communities. Three previous meetings were held at Emory University (2009), Georgia Institute of Technology (2010), and Emory University (2011). The 2012 GSC Symposium will be held at the University of Georgia campus and is organized by Dept. of Mathematics, University of Georgia. The following researchers have agreed to give invited plenary lectures: David Bader, College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology; Michele Benzi, Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science, Emory University; Sung Ha Kang, School of Mathematics, Georgia Institute of Technology; Tianming Liu, Dept. of Computer Sciences, University of Georgia; Andrew Sornborger, Dept. of Mathematics, University of Georgia. There will be two poster sessions. Anyone attending this symposium may present a poster. We especially encourage graduate students and postdocs to use this opportunity displaying their research results. Please register at the  website.
Series: Other Talks
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 16:00 , Location: Klaus 1116 , George V. Lauder , Harvard University , Organizer:

Hosted by Dan Goldman, School of Physics

There are over 28,000 species of fishes, and a key feature of this remarkable evolutionary diversity is a great variety of propulsive systems used by fishes for maneuvering in the aquatic environment. Fishes have numerous control surfaces (fins) which act to transfer momentum to the surrounding fluid. In this presentation I will discuss the results of recent experimental kinematic and hydrodynamic studies of fish fin function, and their implications for the construction of robotic models of fishes. Recent high-resolution video analyses of fish fin movements during locomotion show that fins undergo much greater deformations than previously suspected and fish fins possess an clever active surface control mechanism. Fish fin motion results in the formation of vortex rings of various conformations, and quantification of vortex rings shed into the wake by freely-swimming fishes has proven to be useful for understanding the mechanisms of propulsion. Experimental analyses of propulsion in freely-swimming fishes have led to the development of a variety of self-propelling robotic models: pectoral fin and caudal fin (tail) robotic devices, and a flapping foil model fish of locomotion. Data from these devices will be presented and discussed in terms of the utility of using robotic models for understanding fish locomotor dynamics.
Series: Other Talks
Monday, February 20, 2012 - 11:00 , Location: Skiles 114 , TBA , Georgia Tech , Organizer: Christine Heitsch
A discussion of the paper "Algorithm independent properties of RNA secondary structure predictions" by Tacker et all (1996).
Series: Other Talks
Monday, February 13, 2012 - 18:00 , Location: CULC Room 152 , Douglas Osheroff , Nobel Laureate, Stanford University , Organizer:

Host: Carlos Sa de Melo, School of Physics

How advances in science are made, and how they may come to benefit mankind at large are complex issues. The discoveries that most infuence the way we think about nature seldom can be anticipated, and frequently the applications for new technologies developed to probe a specific characteristic of nature are also seldom clear, even to the inventors of these technologies. One thing is most clear: seldom do individuals make such advances alone. Rather, they result from the progress of the scientific community, asking questions, developing new technologies to answer those questions, and sharing their results and their ideas with others. However, there are indeed research strategies that can substantially increase the probability of one's making a discovery, and the speaker will illustrate some of these strategies in the context of a number of well known discoveries, including the work he did as a graduate student, for which he shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1996.