Abstract: The quantum Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov (qKZ) equation is a difference generalization of the famous Knizhnik-Zamolodchikov (KZ) equation. The problem to explicitly capture the monodromy of the qKZ equation has been open for over 25 years. I will describe the solution to this problem, discovered jointly with Andrei Okounkov. The solution comes from the geometry of Nakajima quiver varieties and has a string theory origin.
Part of the interest in the qKZ monodromy problem is that its solution leads to integrable lattice models, in parallel to how monodromy matrices of the KZ equation lead to knot invariants. Thus, our solution of the problem leads to a new, geometric approach, to integrable lattice models. There are two other approaches to integrable lattice models, due to Nekrasov and Shatashvili and to Costello, Witten and Yamazaki. I’ll describe joint work with Nikita Nekrasov which explains how string theory unifies the three approaches to integrable lattice models.
Abstract: An old problem is to find a unified approach to the knot categorification problem. The new string theory perspective on the qKZ equation I described in the first talk can be used to derive two geometric approaches to the problem.The first approach is based on a category of B-type branes on resolutions of slices in affine Grassmannians. The second is based on a category of A-branes in a Landau-Ginzburg theory. The relation between them is two dimensional (equivariant) mirror symmetry. String theory also predicts that a third approach to categorification, based on counting solutions to five dimensional Haydys-Witten equations, is equivalent to the first two.This talk is mostly based on joint work with Andrei Okounkov.
In Fall 2018, CMSA will focus on a program that aims at recent mathematical advances in describing shape using geometry and statistics in a biological context, while also considering a range of physical theories that can predict biological shape at scales ranging from macromolecular assemblies to whole organ systems.
On October 24, 2018, the CMSA hosted our second annual Ding Shum lecture. This event was made possible by the generous funding of Ding Lei and Harry Shum. This year featured Eric Maskin, who spoke on “How to Improve Presidential Elections: the Mathematics of Voting.” Pictures of the lecture can be found here.
In Fall 2018, the CMSA will host a Program on Mathematical Biology, which aims to describe recent mathematical advances in using geometry and statistics in a biological context, while also considering a range of physical theories that can predict biological shape at scales ranging from macromolecular assemblies to whole organ systems.
The videos of the talks are contained in the youtube playlist below.