Mathematics and Science: In Honour of Sir John Ball

Mathematical Institute, Oxford 17-19 May 2018

A conference has been organized in celebration of Professor Sir John Ball’s 70th birthday and in honour of his impressive mathematical contributions. The conference will provide a unique opportunity for researchers and current PhD students to learn about recent exciting developments in some of the areas most associated with John Ball’s name and most influenced by his work, both in the UK and internationally.

The Conference will focus on aspects of John Ball’s research interests and wider mathematical interests including Analysis of Nonlinear PDEs, General Aspects of Mathematical Research, Calculus of Variations, Liquid Crystals and Materials Science.


Sir Michael Atiyah (University of Edinburgh) - Numbers are Serious but they are also Fun
Andrea Braides (University of Rome Tor Vergata) - Variational Flows in Heterogeneous Media
Constantine M Dafermos (Brown University) - Hyperbolic Balance Laws with Relaxation
Maria J Esteban (CNRS & University Paris-Dauphine) - Functional inequalities, flows and symmetry
Martin Grötschel (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities) - John: The international science representative
Duvan A Henao Manrique (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) - Existence of Equilibria for 3D NeoHookean Materials
Tomonari Inamura (Tokyo Institute of Technology & University of Oxford) - Microscopy Study on Interface and Dynamics of Microstructure in Shape Memory Alloy
Tadeusz Iwaniec (Syracuse University) - Monotone Sobolev Mappings and the Principle of Non-Interpenetration of Matter
David Kinderlehrer (Carnegie Mellon University) - Towards a Gradient Flow for Microstructure
Fanghua Lin (New York University) - Liquid Crystal Droplets and Sharp Interface Limits
Pierre-Louis Lions (College de France) - On Mean Field Games
Shigefumi Mori (Kyoto University) - On the Birational Classification of Algebraic Varieties
Barbara Niethammer (University of Bonn) - Self-Similarity in Smoluchowski's Coagulation Equation
Laure Saint-Raymond (ENS de Lyon) - Internal Waves in a Domain with Topography
Peter Sarnak (Princeton University) - The topologies of the zero sets of random monochromatic waves and of random real algebraic hyper-surfaces
Vladimir Sverak (University of Minnesota) - Some Computations for PDEs of Fluid Mechanics and their Models
Arghir Zarnescu (Basque Centre for Applied Mathematics and "Simion Stoilow" Institute) - Various Incarnations of Half-Integer Planar Point Defects and their Qualitative Study: An Overview


  • Days 1 and 2 - Analysis of Nonlinear PDEs and General Aspects of Mathematical Research. In addition on day one there will be a public lecture by Sir Michael Atiyah. In the evening there will be a drinks reception in the upper library of Queen's College. On day two there will be a joint colloquium lecture by Shigefumi Mori. In the evening there will be a dinner at Balliol (optional).
  • Day 3 - Calculus of Variations, Liquid Crystals and Materials Science - speakers include Duvan A. Henao Manrique, Tomonari Inamura, David Kinderlehrer, Barbara Niethammer, and Arghir Zarnescu with a Distinguished ARMA Lecture by Fanghua Lin.

Standard registration  £52.50 includes daily tea and coffee provision at breaks and sandwich lunches
Thursday only £17.50 includes tea and coffee provision at breaks and sandwich lunch
Friday only £17.50 includes tea and coffee provision at breaks and sandwich lunch

Saturday only £17.50 includes tea and coffee provision at breaks and sandwich lunch
Conference dinner, Friday at Balliol College (now closed for booking). Smart dress code.
Registration is now closed.
As part of their support for this event, the London Mathematical Society is providing funding to help up to 10 UK-based research students attend the meeting.  LMS support is for research students studying at universities in the UK who do not have other means of support (for example, from Doctoral Training Awards).  To apply for this financial support, please email and include a brief letter of reference from your academic supervisor.  The deadline for financial aid applications is 16 April 2018.


Accommodation isn't provided for the conference, but can be booked via usual websites such as and


Gui-Qiang G Chen, Konstantinos Koumatos (Sussex), Jan Kristensen and Endre Suli.

Scientific Committee

Gui-Qiang G. Chen (Chair), Maria Esteban, Richard James, Stefan Müller, Peter Palffy-Muhoray, and John Toland.


Organised in partnership with the Clay Mathematics Institute.
The organisers also thank London Mathematical Society, the EPSRC CDT in PDEs, Mathematical Institute, the Modelling and Computation of Shocks and Interfaces innovative training network and Oxford Solid Mechanics for their support.


Please email with queries about the conference.