Organizing Committee

Applications often pose many algorithmic, computational, and theoretical challenges, and overcoming these challenges has been a driving force behind many recent innovations in nonlinear algebra. This workshop will bring together mathematicians and practitioners with a focus on recently developed methods that have been motivated by solving problems arising in applications. Three key hallmarks of the methods presented are efficient computation of solutions, exploitation of structure, and reformulation of numerically unstable systems. Some of the topics planned for discussion include algebraic cryptanalysis and coding theory, chemical reaction networks, computational biology, computer-aided geometric design, applications of enumerative and tropical geometry, gauge and string theory in physics, and applications to statistics such as probabilistic graphical models and singular learning theory.

Confirmed Speakers & Participants

Workshop Schedule

Monday, November 12, 2018
8:30 - 8:55Registration - ICERM 121 South Main Street, Providence RI 0290311th Floor Collaborative Space 
8:55 - 9:00Welcome - ICERM Director11th Floor Lecture Hall 
9:00 - 9:45Newton Polytopes and Relative Entropy Optimization - Venkat Chandrasekaran, Caltech11th Floor Lecture Hall
10:00 - 10:30Coffee/Tea Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:30 - 11:15Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Totally Positive Densities - Elina Robeva, MIT11th Floor Lecture Hall
11:30 - 12:15Stochastic Exploration of Real Varieties - David Kahle, Baylor University11th Floor Lecture Hall
12:30 - 2:30Break for Lunch / Free Time  
2:30 - 3:15Patterns in Calabi-Yau Threefolds - Vishnu Jejjala, University of the Witwatersrand11th Floor Lecture Hall
3:30 - 4:00Coffee/Tea Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
4:00 - 4:45Stratifying Multiparameter Persistent Homology - Hal Schenck, Iowa State University11th Floor Lecture Hall
5:00 - 6:30Welcome Reception11th Floor Collaborative Space 
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
9:00 - 9:45Codes and Designs over GF(q) - Eimear Byrne, University College Dublin11th Floor Lecture Hall
10:00 - 10:30Coffee/Tea Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:30 - 11:15Network Coding and the Rank Metric - Alberto Ravagnani, University College Dublin11th Floor Lecture Hall
11:30 - 12:15Hide-and-Seek with Quadratic Forms and Finite Field Isomorphisms - Joe Silverman, Brown University11th Floor Lecture Hall
12:30 - 2:30Break for Lunch / Free Time  
2:30 - 3:15Applications of Numerical Homotopy Continuation to Mechanism Design - Mark Plecnik, University of California - Berkeley11th Floor Lecture Hall
3:30 - 5:30Poster Session and Coffee/Tea Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
9:00 - 9:45The distance function from a real algebraic variety - Giorgio Ottaviani, University of Florence11th Floor Lecture Hall
10:00 - 10:30Coffee/Tea Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:30 - 11:15Algorithm for rank and cactus rank of a polynomial - Alessandra Bernardi, University of Trento11th Floor Lecture Hall
11:30 - 12:15TBA - Gretchen Matthews, Virginia Tech11th Floor Lecture Hall 
12:30 - 2:30Break for Lunch / Free Time  
2:30 - 3:15TBA - Jose Rodriguez, University of Wisconsin - Madison11th Floor Lecture Hall 
3:30 - 4:00Coffee/Tea Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
4:00 - 4:45Nonlinear algebra for network models - Dane Wilburne, ICERM11th Floor Lecture Hall 
Thursday, November 15, 2018
9:00 - 9:45Reconstructing hybridization networks - Elizabeth Allman, University of Alaska - Fairbanks11th Floor Lecture Hall
10:00 - 10:30Coffee/Tea Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:30 - 11:15Invariants of even ternary forms , under the orthogonal group, as biomarkers - Evelyne Hubert, Inria Mediterranee11th Floor Lecture Hall
11:30 - 12:15Recent advances in Mathematical Virology - Pierre-Philippe Dechant, York St. John University11th Floor Lecture Hall
12:30 - 2:30Break for Lunch / Free Time  
2:30 - 3:15Identifiability of linear compartment models- input-output equations and the singular locus - Anne Shiu, Texas A&M University11th Floor Lecture Hall
3:30 - 4:00Coffee/Tea Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
4:00 - 4:45Graphs, network motifs, and threshold-linear algebra in the brain - Carina Curto, The Pennsylvania State University11th Floor Lecture Hall
Friday, November 16, 2018
9:00 - 9:45Comparing models and biological data using computational algebra and topology - Heather Harrington, University of Oxford11th Floor Lecture Hall
10:00 - 10:30Coffee/Tea Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:30 - 11:15Calabi-Yau Manifolds, Discrete Symmetries and String Theory - Challenger Mishra, ICMAT - Madrid11th Floor Lecture Hall
11:30 - 12:15TBA - Tomas Pajdla,Czech Technical University in Prague11th Floor Lecture Hall 
12:30 - 2:30Break for Lunch / Free Time  
2:30 - 3:15Nonlinear algebra and matrix completion - Daniel Bernstein, MIT11th Floor Lecture Hall
3:30 - 4:00Coffee/Tea Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 

Application Information

ICERM welcomes applications from faculty, postdocs, graduate students, industry scientists, and other researchers who wish to participate. Please fill out the application form to register for the event.

Your Visit to ICERM

ICERM Facilities
ICERM is located on the 10th & 11th floors of 121 South Main Street in Providence, Rhode Island. ICERM's business hours are 8:30am - 5:00pm during this event. See our facilities page for more info about ICERM and Brown's available facilities.
Traveling to ICERM
ICERM is located at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Providence's T.F. Green Airport (15 minutes south) and Boston's Logan Airport (1 hour north) are the closest airports. Providence is also on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. In-depth directions and transportation information are available on our travel page.
To secure ICERM's preferred hotel rate at the Hampton Inn & Suites Providence Downtown, use this link. ICERM regularly works with two additional area hotels for short visits. The Providence Biltmore and Hilton Garden Inn both have discounted rates available. Contact before booking outside of the preferred rate or if you would like to book alternate accommodations.
The only way ICERM participants should book a room is through the hotel reservation links located on this page or through links emailed to them from an ICERM email address ( ICERM never works with any conference booking vendors and never collects credit card information.
Those traveling with family who are interested in information about childcare and/or schools should contact
Family Support
With a recent gift from Microsoft Research, we are pleased to announce that there are fellowships available to assist in defraying dependent care costs. A separate application for this fellowship will be provided to those that have accepted an invitation to participate in an NSF-funded research program. Fellowship decisions will be made based on the justification and the availability of funds.
Technology Resources
Wireless internet access ("Brown-Guest") and wireless printing is available for all ICERM visitors. Eduroam is available for members of participating institutions. Thin clients in all offices and common areas provide open access to a web browser, SSH terminal, and printing capability. See our Technology Resources page for setup instructions and to learn about all available technology.
Discrimination and Harassment Policy
ICERM is committed to creating a safe, professional, and welcoming environment that benefits from the diversity and experiences of all its participants. The Brown University "Discrimination and Workplace Harassment Policy" applies to all ICERM participants and staff. Participants with concerns or requests for assistance on a discrimination or harassment issue should contact the ICERM Director, who is the responsible employee at ICERM under this policy.
Exploring Providence
Providence's world-renowned culinary scene provides ample options for lunch and dinner. Neighborhoods near campus, including College Hill Historic District, have many local attractions. Check out the map on our Explore Providence page to see what's near ICERM.

Financial Support

Acceptable Costs
  • 1 roundtrip between your home institute and ICERM
  • Flights on U.S. or E.U. airlines – economy class to either Providence airport (PVD) or Boston airport (BOS)
  • Ground Transportation to and from airports and ICERM.
Unacceptable Costs
  • Flights on non-U.S. or non-E.U. airlines
  • Seats in economy plus, business class, or first class
  • Change ticket fees of any kind
  • Multi-use bus passes
  • Meals or incidentals
Advance Approval Required
  • Personal car travel to ICERM from outside New England
  • Multiple-destination plane ticket; does not include layovers to reach ICERM
  • Arriving or departing from ICERM more than a day before or day after the program
  • Multiple trips to ICERM
  • Rental car to/from ICERM
  • Flights on a Swiss, Japanese, or Australian airlines
  • Arriving or departing from airport other than PVD/BOS or home institution's local airport
  • 2 one-way plane tickets to create a roundtrip (often purchased from Expedia, Orbitz, etc.)
Reimbursement Request Form

Refer to the back of your ID badge for more information. Checklists are available at the front desk.

Reimbursement Tips
  • Scanned original receipts are required for all expenses
  • Airfare receipt must show full itinerary and payment
  • ICERM does not offer per diem or meal reimbursement
  • Allowable mileage is reimbursed at prevailing IRS Business Rate and trip documented via pdf of Google Maps result
  • Keep all documentation until you receive your reimbursement!
Reimbursement Timing

6 - 8 weeks after all documentation is sent to ICERM. All reimbursement requests are reviewed by numerous central offices at Brown who may request additional documentation.

Reimbursement Deadline

Submissions must be received within 30 days of ICERM departure to avoid applicable taxes. Submissions after thirty days will incur applicable taxes. No submissions are accepted more than six months after the program end.

Associated Semester Workshops

Nonlinear Algebra
Nonlinear Algebra Bootcamp
Core Computational Methods
Real Algebraic Geometry and Optimization