Leading International Physicist to Host Conference in Dublin Exploring Relationship Between Computer Science and Mathematics

A leading international physicist and the newly appointed senior Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), Professor Sergei Gukov will host a conference next week exploring the relationship between computer science and mathematics, including machine learning and knot theory.

The conference, ‘Computer science for knotty math problems’, will take place this week until Friday 11th November, in person, at both DIAS Burlington Road and DIAS Dunsink Observatory.

Prof. Gukov joins DIAS from the California Institute of Technology, where he has been a Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics since 2007.

He previously held a long-term prize fellowship at the Clay Mathematics Institute at Harvard University and was a member of the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. His current research areas focus on exploring hidden algebraic structures in topology and in quantum field theory.

He is a graduate of both the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Princeton University.

Louis Kauffman, a top international mathematician, will host a public lecture as part of the conference at 11 am on Friday, 11th November, in DIAS Burlington Road. Prof. Kaufmann is a mathematician, topologist and Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prof. Kauffman is widely known for the introduction and development of the bracket polynomial and the Kauffman polynomial. He is the editor of a number of publications including the Journal of Knot Theory and its Ramifications and the World Scientific Book Series On Knots and Everything.

Prof. Kauffman’s public lecture is titled ‘Knots, Knotted Vortices and the Physics of Knots’. The lecture will discuss the history of knots, from maritime sailing’s practical knot tying in the 17th century, the 19th-century theory of vortex atoms by physicist Lord Kelvin (Sir William Thompson), and more modern knot theory experiments. Films of real experiments and computer models of vortices and the reconnection of vortices will be shown at the event. The problems of unknotting knots via the use of self-repelling fields of charge along the knots will also be discussed.

To attend Prof. Kauffman’s event, please register on Eventbrite.

Conference Details

The conference will bring together international experts from areas that traditionally have very little interaction – theoretical and mathematical sciences, and computer science and machine learning. Confirmed speakers at the conference include:

—  Greg Yang, Senior Researcher at Microsoft;

—  Miranda Cheng, mathematician and physicist, Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam;

—  Mikhail Khovanov, Professor of Mathematics at Columbia University; and

—  Greg Kuperberg, Professor of Mathematics at the University of California.

The full list of speakers and schedule for the workshop can be found here.

Welcoming the appointment, Dr Eucharia Meehan, CEO and Registrar of DIAS, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Prof. Sergei Gukov to his new role as senior Professor of Theoretical Physics at DIAS. Prof. Gukov is a highly accomplished physicist, who has held several leading roles in the scientific community throughout his distinguished career. The fact that such a highly acclaimed physicist has joined DIAS is testament to the strong reputation DIAS enjoys internationally as a leading institute for advanced studies.

“We are honoured to welcome international experts in the world of computer science and mathematics to DIAS next week and look forward to the important discussions that will take place at the conference.”

Commenting on his appointment and the upcoming conference, Prof. Sergei Gukov, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to the position of senior Theoretical Physics Professor and to be able to host this conference at DIAS. Traditionally, mathematical sciences build watertight proofs using paper-and-pencil arguments.

However, in recent years, powerful algorithms and highly non-trivial elements of information and complexity theory have found their way to advance the understanding of problems in sciences like mathematics and theoretical physics. Bringing together international experts from around the world, we will explore how modern tools, like machine learning and AI, can improve our understanding and advance our work in mathematics and theoretical physics.

“The structure of the week will be very different from that of a typical conference and will allow ample time for discussions, brainstorming new ideas, and starting new collaborations.”

Further information about the conference is available here: https://sites.google.com/view/knotsandml/home