ICERM Semester Program on "Point Configurations in Geometry, Physics and Computer Science"
(February 1 - May 4, 2018)



The arrangement of point configurations in metric spaces, whether deterministic or random, is a truly interdisciplinary topic of great interest in mathematics, physics and computer science. Mathematical aspects involve optimization, discretization of manifolds, best packing and cubature, among others. For physics, such configurations arise in the study of crystallization, point processes connected with random matrices, self-assembling materials, jammed states, hyperuniformity and phase transitions. For computer science, extremal point configurations play a fundamental role in coding and information theory, and lattice-based protocols in cryptography and related computational complexity issues are of growing importance. Furthermore, there has been recent and substantial progress on related age-old problems (such as the Kepler conjecture).

The investigation of the above topics often evolves from the development of efficient computational methods that enable extensive numerical experiments. In turn, these experiments suggest conjectures that become the focus of rigorous theorem proving, which may also require some computer assistance.  The program topics include random point configurations, computation and optimization of energy, packing and covering, multi-pole methods, sparsity, and frames, and the theory of lattices with applications to coding and cryptography.

Organizing Committee

  • Christine Bachoc
    (University of Bordeaux)
  • Henry Cohn
    (Microsoft Research - New England)
  • Peter Grabner
    (Technische Universität Graz)
  • Doug Hardin
    (Vanderbilt University)
  • Edward Saff
    (Vanderbilt University)
  • Achill Schürmann
    (University of Rostock)
  • Sylvia Serfaty
    (Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris)
  • Salvatore Torquato
    (Princeton University)
  • Rob Womersley
    (University of New South Wales)

Associated Events & Information

Spring 2018 Semester Workshops

February 26–March 2, 2018Optimal and Random Point Configurations Peter Grabner, Doug Hardin, Arno Kuijlaars, Sylvia Serfaty
March 12-16, 2018Fast Algorithms for Generating Static and Dynamically Changing Point Configurations Natasha Flyer, Adrianna Gillman, Doug Hardin, Jingfang Huang, Ed Saff
April 9–13, 2018Computation and Optimization of Energy, Packing, and Covering Achill Schürmann, Salvatore Torquato, Frank Vallentin, Rob Womersley
April 23–27, 2018Computational Challenges in the Theory of Lattices Christine Bachoc, Henry Cohn, Renaud Coulangeon, Gabriele Nebe, Chris Peikert, Akshay Venkatesh

This page will show upcoming seminars that will be scheduled by organizers, speakers, and participants of the Spring 2018 semester program. Walk-ins are welcomed and encouraged for these seminars. Please check back regularly for updates.

We provide an iCal link for those attendees who wish to sync their own devices and/or calendars to our schedule.