The Department of Mathematics and Statistics hosts Meera Sitharam, PhD, computer and information science and engineering professor at the University of Florida, as this year’s Father Haus Memorial Lecture speaker. The lecture takes Wednesday, November 14 at 3:00 p.m. in Science Hall 1028. The lecture is entitled “Geometry and Emergence.”

Tightly enmeshed interplay between geometry and biophysics is commonplace in nature. Yet, when the interplay is cyclic, spanning multiple spatiotemporal scales, the underlying principles are poorly understood, and the intuitive concept of emergence is typically invoked. Emergent properties of the whole are assumed to supervene on basic interactions within the parts, while being irreducible to them, and even downwardly affecting them, yet somehow sidestepping problematic issues such as causal overdetermination. We are developing a mathematical theory of emergence within geometric constraint systems and their configuration spaces. The theory will employ dependence, closure, and recursive decomposability into inherently or contextually low-dimensional structures, impacting long open problems such as combinatorially characterizing generic 3D rigidity. The talk will detail these open problems, move on to the theory of emergence and end with biological applications.

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