Forthcoming Seminars

Please note that the list below only shows forthcoming events, which may not include regular events that have not yet been entered for the forthcoming term. Please see the past events page for a list of all seminar series that the department has on offer.

Past events in this series
31 July 2017
Claude LeBrun

  Any constant-scalar-curvature Kaehler (cscK) metric on a complex surface may be viewed as a solution of the Einstein-Maxwell equations, and this allows one to produce solutions of these equations on any 4-manifold that arises as a compact complex surface with even first Betti number. However, not all solutions of the Einstein-Maxwell equations on such manifolds arise in this way. In this lecture, I will describe a construction of new compact examples that are Hermitian, but not Kaehler.

1 August 2017

Since the pioneering work of Hodgkin and Huxley , we know that electrical signals propagate along a nerve fiber via ions that flow in and out of the fiber, generating a current. The voltages these currents generate are subject to a diffusion equation, which is a reduced form of the Maxwell equation. The result is a reaction (electrical currents specified by an ODE) coupled to a diffusion equation, hence the term reaction diffusion equation.

The heart is composed of nerve fibers, wound in an ascending spiral fashion along the heart chamber. Modeling not individual nerve fibers, but many within a single mesh block, leads to partial differential equation coupled to the reaction ODE.

As with the nerve fiber equation, these cardiac electrical equations allow a propagating wave front, which normally moves from the bottom to the top of the heart, giving rise to contractions and a normal heart beat, to accomplish the pumping of blood.

The equations are only borderline stable and also allow a chaotic, turbulent type wave front motion called fibrillation.

In this lecture, we will explain the 1D traveling wave solution, the 3D normal wave front motion and the chaotic state.

The chaotic state is easiest to understand in 2D, where it consists of spiral waves rotating about a center. The 3D version of this wave motion is called a scroll wave, resembling a fluid vortex tube.

In simplified models of reaction diffusion equations, we can explain much of this phenomena in an analytically understandable fashion, as a sequence of period doubling transitions along the path to chaos, reminiscent of the laminar to turbulent transition.

  • OxPDE Special Seminar
1 August 2017

Fibrillation is a chaotic, turbulent state for the electrical signal fronts in the heart. In the ventricle it is fatal if not treated promptly. The standard treatment is by an electrical shock to reset the cardiac state to a normal one and allow resumption of a normal heart beat.

The fibrillation wave fronts are organized into scroll waves, more or less analogous to a vortex tube in fluid turbulence. The centerline of this 3D rotating object is called a filament, and it is the organizing center of the scroll wave.

The electrical shock, when turned on or off, creates charges at the conductivity discontinuities of the cardiac tissue. These charges are called virtual electrodes. They charge the region near the discontinuity, and give rise to wave fronts that grow through the heart, to effect the defibrillation. There are many theories, or proposed mechanisms, to specify the details of this process. The main experimental data is through signals on the outer surface of the heart, so that simulations are important to attempt to reconstruct the electrical dynamics within the interior of the heart tissue. The primary electrical conduction discontinuities are at the cardiac surface. Secondary discontinuities, and the source of some differences of opinion, are conduction discontinuities at blood vessel walls.

In this lecture, we will present causal mechanisms for the success of the virtual electrodes, partially overlapping, together with simulation and biological evidence for or against some of these.

The role of small blood vessels has been one area of disagreement. To assess the role of small blood vessels accurately, many details of the modeling have been emphasized, including the thickness and electrical properties of the blood vessel walls, the accuracy of the biological data on the vessels, and their distribution though the heart. While all of these factors do contribute to the answer, our main conclusion is that the concentration of the blood vessels on the exterior surface of the heart and their relative wide separation within the interior of the heart is the factor most strongly limiting the significant participation of small blood vessels in the defibrillation process.


  • OxPDE Special Seminar
12 October 2017
Charles-Albert Lehalle

This talk explains how to formulate the now classical problem of optimal liquidation (or optimal trading) inside a Mean Field Game (MFG). This is a noticeable change since usually mathematical frameworks focus on one large trader in front of a " background noise " (or " mean field "). In standard frameworks, the interactions between the large trader and the price are a temporary and a permanent market impact terms, the latter influencing the public price. Here the trader faces the uncertainty of fair price changes too but not only. He has to deal with price changes generated by other similar market participants, impacting the prices permanently too, and acting strategically. Our MFG formulation of this problem belongs to the class of " extended MFG ", we hence provide generic results to address these " MFG of controls ", before solving the one generated by the cost function of optimal trading. We provide a closed form formula of its solution, and address the case of " heterogenous preferences " (when each participant has a different risk aversion). Last but not least we give conditions under which participants do not need to instantaneously know the state of the whole system, but can " learn " it day after day, observing others' behaviors.

  • Mathematical and Computational Finance Seminar
18 October 2017
Vicky Neale

Prime numbers have intrigued, inspired and infuriated mathematicians for millennia and yet mathematicians' difficulty with answering simple questions about them reveals their depth and subtlety. 

Join Vicky to learn about recent progress towards proving the famous Twin Primes Conjecture and to hear the very different ways in which these breakthroughs have been made - a solo mathematician working in isolation, a young mathematician displaying creativity at the start of a career, a large collaboration that reveals much about how mathematicians go about their work.  

Vicky Neale is Whitehead Lecturer at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford and Supernumerary Fellow at Balliol College.

Please email to register.


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