• Swallowtail on the shore 

      [SNAP-2014-007-EN] Buchweitz, Ragnar-Olaf; Faber, Eleonore (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2014)
      Platonic solids, Felix Klein, H.S.M. Coxeter and a flap of a swallowtail: The five Platonic solids tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, icosahedron and dodecahedron have always attracted much curiosity from mathematicians, not ...
    • The ternary Goldbach problem 

      [SNAP-2014-003-EN] Helfgott, Harald (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2014)
      Leonhard Euler (1707–1783) – one of the greatest mathematicians of the eighteenth century and of all times – often corresponded with a friend of his, Christian Goldbach (1690–1764), an amateur and polymath who lived and ...
    • What does ">" really mean? 

      [SNAP-2014-004-EN] Reznick, Bruce (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2014)
      This Snapshot is about the generalization of ">" from ordinary numbers to so-called fields. At the end, I will touch on some ideas in recent research.
    • Matrixfaktorisierungen 

      [SNAP-2014-002-DE] Lerche, Wolfgang (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2014)
      Im Folgenden soll ein kurzer Abriss des Themas Matrixfaktorisierungen gegeben werden. Wir werden darlegen, warum dieses recht simple Konzept zu erstaunlich tiefen mathematischen Gedankengängen führt und auch in der modernen ...
    • Arrangements of lines 

      [SNAP-2014-005-EN] Harbourne, Brian; Szemberg, Tomasz (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2014)
      We discuss certain open problems in the context of arrangements of lines in the plane.
    • Operator theory and the singular value decomposition 

      [SNAP-2014-009-EN] Knese, Greg (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2014)
      This is a snapshot about operator theory and one of its fundamental tools: the singular value decomposition (SVD). The SVD breaks up linear transformations into simpler mappings, thus unveiling their geometric properties. ...
    • Statistics and dynamical phenomena 

      [SNAP-2014-006-EN] Tong, Howell (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2014)
      A friend of mine, an expert in statistical genomics, told me the following story: At a dinner party, an attractive lady asked him, "What do you do for a living?" He replied, "I model." As my friend is a handsome man, the ...
    • The Kadison-Singer problem 

      [SNAP-2014-008-EN] Valette, Alain (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2014)
      In quantum mechanics, unlike in classical mechanics, one cannot make precise predictions about how a system will behave. Instead, one is concerned with mere probabilities. Consequently, it is a very important task to ...
    • Drugs, herbicides, and numerical simulation 

      [SNAP-2014-010-EN] Benner, Peter; Mena, Hermann; Schneider, René (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2014)
      [also available in German] The Colombian government sprays coca fields with herbicides in an effort to reduce drug production. Spray drifts at the Ecuador-Colombia border became an international issue. We developed a ...
    • Dirichlet Series 

      [SNAP-2014-001-EN] McCarthy, John E. (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2014)
      Mathematicians are very interested in prime numbers. In this snapshot, we will discuss some problems concerning the distribution of primes and introduce some special infinite series in order to study them.
    • Ideas of Newton-Okounkov bodies 

      [SNAP-2015-008-EN] Kiritchenko, Valentina; Timorin, Vladlen; Smirnov, Evgeny (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2015)
      In this snapshot, we will consider the problem of finding the number of solutions to a given system of polynomial equations. This question leads to the theory of Newton polytopes and Newton-Okounkov bodies of which we will ...
    • How to choose a winner: the mathematics of social choice 

      [SNAP-2015-009-ENSNAP-2015-009-DE] Powers, Victoria Ann (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2015)
      [also available in German] Suppose a group of individuals wish to choose among several options, for example electing one of several candidates to a political office or choosing the best contestant in a skating competition. ...
    • Friezes and tilings 

      [SNAP-2015-004-EN] Holm, Thorsten (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2015)
      Friezes have occured as architectural ornaments for many centuries. In this snapshot, we consider the mathematical analogue of friezes as introduced in the 1970s by Conway and Coxeter. Recently, infinite versions of such ...
    • Minimizing energy 

      [SNAP-2015-002-EN] Breiner, Christine (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2015)
      What is the most efficient way to fence land when you’ve only got so many metres of fence? Or, to put it differently, what is the largest area bounded by a simple closed planar curve of fixed length? We consider the answer ...
    • Chaos and chaotic fluid mixing 

      [SNAP-2015-005-EN] Solomon, Tom (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2015)
      Very simple mathematical equations can give rise to surprisingly complicated, chaotic dynamics, with behavior that is sensitive to small deviations in the initial conditions. We illustrate this with a single recurrence ...
    • From computer algorithms to quantum field theory: an introduction to operads 

      [SNAP-2015-017-EN] Krähmer, Ulrich (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2015)
      An operad is an abstract mathematical tool encoding operations on specific mathematical structures. It finds applications in many areas of mathematics and related fields. This snapshot explains the concept of an operad and ...
    • Modeling communication and movement: from cells to animals and humans 

      [SNAP-2015-006-EN] Eftimie, Raluca (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2015)
      Communication forms the basis of biological interactions. While the use of a single communication mechanism (for example visual communication) by a species is quite well understood, in nature the majority of species ...
    • Visual analysis of Spanish male mortality 

      [SNAP-2015-012-ENSNAP-2015-012-DE] Marron, J. S. (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2015)
      [also available in German] Statistical visualization uses graphical methods to gain insights from data. Here we show how a technique called principal component analysis is used to analyze mortality in Spain over about the ...
    • Quantum diffusion 

      [SNAP-2015-014-EN] Knowles, Antti (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2015)
      If you place a drop of ink into a glass of water, the ink will slowly dissipate into the surrounding water until it is perfectly mixed. If you record your experiment with a camera and play the film backwards, you will see ...
    • Modelling the spread of brain tumours 

      [SNAP-2015-013-EN] Swan, Amanda; Murtha, Albert (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, 2015)
      The study of mathematical biology attempts to use mathematical models to draw useful conclusions about biological systems. Here, we consider the modelling of brain tumour spread with the ultimate goal of improving treatment ...