Certain problems in mathematics, physics, and engineering are formulated as minimizing cost functions that take as input a set of points on a compact manifold. In applied and computational harmonic analysis one is usually interested in finding tight frames and equiangular tight frames, which are respectively minimizers of different cost functions. In quantum information theory, the study of SIC-POVMS is equivalent to the existence of a point configuration made of antipodal points on a complex sphere. There seems to be a phenomenon where highly symmetric configurations are optimizers and optimizers often exhibit (partial) symmetries. The theory of spherical designs in combinatorics and discrete geometry with applications in approximation theory in the form of cubature formulas is deeply related to point configurations and distributions. Training a neural network involves minimizing a cost function relating to the desired task; it was recently discovered that doing so often results in the last layer of the neural network corresponding to an optimal configuration of points on a sphere, a phenomenon called neural collapse.
Numerical solutions to optimization problems are used to study the putative geometric and arithmetic structure of the corresponding optimal configurations. Linear programming bounds have been a major tool in point configurations and led to the recent breakthrough in sphere packing problems in dimensions 8 and 24. Semidefinite programming is used to find exact solutions of maximal two-distance sets. Many spherical designs and point distribution problems are motivated by numerical integration and interpolation. Moreover, understanding neural collapse requires an understanding of the training of neural networks. As such, there is a need to expand the use of numerical and computational methods to solve these problems. Our goal is to provide a forum to explore problems in point configurations and distributions from the various aforementioned perspectives.
Confirmed Speakers & Participants
Talks will be presented virtually or in-person as indicated in the schedule below.
- Poster Presenter
- Virtual Attendee
Holon Institute of Technology
University of Minnesota
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Universidad de Cantabria
Air Force Institute of Technology
Texas A&M University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Tel Aviv University
Iowa State University
Air Force Institute of Technology
Colorado State University
University of Bristol and Heilbronn Institute of Mathematical Research
City University of New York
Ohio State University
Florida State University
Bridgewater State University
Texas A&M University
Colorado State University
ICERM welcomes applications from faculty, postdocs, graduate students, industry scientists, and other researchers who wish to participate. Some funding may be available for travel and lodging. Graduate students who apply must have their advisor submit a statement of support in order to be considered.
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.
- ICERM's special rate will soon be made available via this page for our preferred hotel, the Hampton Inn & Suites Providence Downtown. ICERM also regularly works with the Graduate Hotel and Hilton Garden Inn who both have discounted rates available. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org before booking anything.
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 (email@example.com). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- To request special services, accommodations, or assistance for this event, please contact email@example.com as far in advance of the event as possible. Thank you.
- 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. Brown University's "Code of Conduct", "Discrimination and Workplace Harassment Policy", "Sexual and Gender-based Misconduct Policy", and "Title IX Policy" apply to all ICERM participants and staff. Participants with concerns or requests for assistance on a discrimination or harassment issue should contact the ICERM Director or Assistant Directors Kathryn Boots or Jenna Sousa; they are the responsible employees at ICERM under this policy.
- Fundamental Research
- ICERM research programs aim to promote Fundamental Research and mathematical sciences education. If you are engaged in sensitive or proprietary work, please be aware that ICERM programs often have participants from countries and entities subject to United States export control restrictions. Any discoveries of economically significant intellectual property supported by ICERM funding should be disclosed.
- 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.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- Eligible to be reimbursed
- B-1 or Visa Waiver Business (WB)
- Ineligible to be reimbursed
- B-2 or Visa Waiver Tourist (WT)
- Already in the US?
F-1 and J-1 not sponsored by ICERM: need to obtain a letter approving reimbursement from the International Office of your home institution PRIOR to travel.
H-1B holders do not need letter of approval.
All other visas: alert ICERM staff immediately about your situation.
ICERM does not reimburse visa fees. This chart is to inform visitors whether the visa they enter the US on allows them to receive reimbursement for the items outlined in their invitation letter.
This section is for general purposes only and does not indicate that all attendees receive funding. Please refer to your personalized invitation to review your offer.
- ORCID iD
- As this program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), ICERM is required to collect your ORCID iD if you are receiving funding to attend this program. Be sure to add your ORCID iD to your Cube profile as soon as possible to avoid delaying your reimbursement.
- 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
- Flights on U.K. 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.)
- Travel Maximum Contributions
- New England: $350
- Other contiguous US: $850
- Asia & Oceania: $2,000
- All other locations: $1,500
- Note these rates were updated in Spring 2023 and superseded any prior invitation rates. Any invitations without travel support will still not receive travel support.
- Reimbursement Requests
Refer to the back of your ID badge for more information. Checklists are available at the front desk and in the Reimbursement section of Cube.
- 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.