• Prony’s method: an old trick for new problems 

      [SNAP-2018-004-EN] Sauer, Tomas (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2018-03-06)
      In 1795, French mathematician Gaspard de Prony invented an ingenious trick to solve a recovery problem, aiming at reconstructing functions from their values at given points, which arose from a specific application in ...
    • Computing with symmetries 

      [SNAP-2018-003-EN] Roney-Dougal, Colva M. (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2018-03-06)
      Group theory is the study of symmetry, and has many applications both within and outside mathematics. In this snapshot, we give a brief introduction to symmetries, and how to compute with them.
    • The mathematics of aquatic locomotion 

      [SNAP-2018-008-EN] Tucsnak, Marius (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2018-06-19)
      Aquatic locomotion is a self-propelled motion through a liquid medium. It can be of biological nature (fish, microorganisms,. . .) or performed by robotic swimmers. This snapshot aims to introduce the reader to some ...
    • The codimension 

      [SNAP-2018-009-EN] Lerario, Antonio (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2018-06-19)
      In this snapshot we discuss the notion of codimension, which is, in a sense, “dual” to the notion of dimension and is useful when studying the relative position of one object insider another one.
    • Geometry behind one of the Painlevé III differential equations 

      [SNAP-2018-010-EN] Hertling, Claus (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2018-06-20)
      The Painlevé equations are second order differential equations, which were first studied more than 100 years ago. Nowadays they arise in many areas in mathematics and mathematical physics. This snapshot discusses the ...
    • Fast Solvers for Highly Oscillatory Problems 

      [SNAP-2018-006-EN] Barnett, Alex (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2018-06-26)
      Waves of diverse types surround us. Sound, light and other waves, such as microwaves, are crucial for speech, mobile phones, and other communication technologies. Elastic waves propagating through the Earth bounce ...
    • Data assimilation: mathematics for merging models and data 

      [SNAP-2018-011-EN] Morzfeld, Matthias; Reich, Sebastian (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2018-07-10)
      When you describe a physical process, for example, the weather on Earth, or an engineered system, such as a self-driving car, you typically have two sources of information. The first is a mathematical model, and the ...
    • Tropical geometry 

      [SNAP-2018-007-EN] Brugallé, Erwan; Itenberg, Ilia; Shaw, Kristin; Viro, Oleg (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2018-07-19)
      What kind of strange spaces hide behind the enigmatic name of tropical geometry? In the tropics, just as in other geometries, one of the simplest objects is a line. Therefore, we begin our exploration by considering tropical ...
    • Number theory in quantum computing 

      [SNAP-2018-012-EN] Schönnenbeck, Sebastian (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2018-08-07)
      Algorithms are mathematical procedures developed to solve a problem. When encoded on a computer, algorithms must be "translated" to a series of simple steps, each of which the computer knows how to do. This task is ...
    • A short story on optimal transport and its many applications 

      [SNAP-2018-013-EN] Santambrogio, Filippo (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2018-08-08)
      We present some examples of optimal transport problems and of applications to different sciences (logistics, economics, image processing, and a little bit of evolution equations) through the crazy story of an industrial ...
    • Topological Complexity, Robotics and Social Choice 

      [SNAP-2018-005-EN] Carrasquel, José; Lupton, Gregory; Oprea, John (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2018-08-10)
      Topological complexity is a number that measures how hard it is to plan motions (for robots, say) in terms of a particular space associated to the kind of motion to be planned. This is a burgeoning subject within the ...
    • Mixed volumes and mixed integrals 

      [SNAP-2018-014-EN] Rotem, Liran (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2018-12-29)
      In recent years, mathematicians have developed new approaches to study convex sets: instead of considering convex sets themselves, they explore certain functions or measures that are related to them. Problems from ...
    • Estimating the volume of a convex body 

      [SNAP-2018-015-EN] Baldin, Nicolai (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2018-12-30)
      Sometimes the volume of a convex body needs to be estimated, if we cannot calculate it analytically. We explain how statistics can be used not only to approximate the volume of the convex body, but also its shape.
    • Snake graphs, perfect matchings and continued fractions 

      [SNAP-2019-001-EN] Schiffler, Ralf (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2019-02-13)
      A continued fraction is a way of representing a real number by a sequence of integers. We present a new way to think about these continued fractions using snake graphs, which are sequences of squares in the plane. You ...
    • On radial basis functions 

      [SNAP-2019-002-EN] Buhmann, Martin; Jäger, Janin (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2019-03-13)
      Many sciences and other areas of research and applications from engineering to economics require the approximation of functions that depend on many variables. This can be for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we have a ...
    • Diophantine equations and why they are hard 

      [SNAP-2019-003-EN] Pasten, Hector (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2019-04-24)
      Diophantine equations are polynomial equations whose solutions are required to be integer numbers. They have captured the attention of mathematicians during millennia and are at the center of much of contemporary research. ...
    • Positive Scalar Curvature and Applications 

      [SNAP-2019-004-EN] Rosenberg, Jonathan; Wraith, David (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2019-04-25)
      We introduce the idea of curvature, including how it developed historically, and focus on the scalar curvature of a manifold. A major current research topic involves understanding positive scalar curvature. We discuss why ...
    • Algebra, matrices, and computers 

      [SNAP-2019-005-EN] Detinko, Alla; Flannery, Dane; Hulpke, Alexander (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2019-05-03)
      What part does algebra play in representing the real world abstractly? How can algebra be used to solve hard mathematical problems with the aid of modern computing technology? We provide answers to these questions that ...
    • Counting self-avoiding walks on the hexagonal lattice 

      [SNAP-2019-006-EN] Duminil-Copin, Hugo (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2019-06-04)
      In how many ways can you go for a walk along a lattice grid in such a way that you never meet your own trail? In this snapshot, we describe some combinatorial and statistical aspects of these so-called self-avoiding ...
    • Random permutations 

      [SNAP-2019-007-EN] Betz, Volker (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2019-07-12)
      100 people leave their hats at the door at a party and pick up a completely random hat when they leave. How likely is it that at least one of them will get back their own hat? If the hats carry name tags, how difficult ...