2020-21 Serge Lang Undergraduate Lecture

The 2020-21 Serge Lang Undergraduate Lecture will be given on Thursday, November 6, 2020 at 4:10PM over Zoom. Our lecturer this year is Steven Strogatz.

MUSA and the Department of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley, present

The 2020-21 Serge Lang Undergraduate Lecture
Steven Strogatz
Cornell University

Networks of oscillators that synchronize themselves

Abstract: Populations of coupled oscillators are pervasive in the natural world, from swarms of rhythmically flashing fireflies to groups of pacemaker cells in the heart. Some systems of oscillators have the amazing ability to synchronize themselves, such that all the oscillators end up firing in unison, no matter how disorganized they were at the start. In this (hopefully) entertaining Zoom talk, Prof. Strogatz will discuss the simplest mathematical model of a self-synchronizing system, the so-called Kuramoto model, and discuss how it behaves on different kinds of networks. Using techniques from nonlinear dynamics, numerical linear algebra, and computational algebraic geometry, we will discuss new bounds, conjectures, and open problems about the densest networks that do *not* always synchronize and the sparsest ones that do. This is joint work with Alex Townsend and Mike Stillman.