Autumn 2007 schedule

Spring 2007 schedule

Autumn 2006 schedule

Spring 2006 schedule

Autumn 2005 schedule

Spring 2005 schedule

Autumn 2004 schedule

Spring 2004 schedule

Mathematics Department Colloquium : Spring 2008 schedule


   Monday, January 28, 1530-1630

SPEAKER : John MacNamara, University of Bristol and Erlanderprofessor GU.

TITLE : The importance of individual differences in conflict and the evolution of cooperation.

ABSTRACT : Animals are often in competition with other members of the same population. They compete over access to resources such as food, mates and breeding sites. Even parents compete with each other over who should provide care for their common young. When there is competition the fitness of one member of the population usually depends on the behavioural strategies adopted by others. In such circumstances the evolutionary endpoints can be characterised using evolutionary game theory. I first present a brief outline of this theory as it is usually formulated and used. However, uses often ignore differences between individuals. Using a series of examples I will demonstrate that such differences are not innocuous noise, but can fundamentally change the nature of a game. Difference can completely reverse the direction of evolution in a simple prisoner's dilemma game, and can interact with lifespan to determine how cooperative parents are with each other. Finally, differences in personality promote the need to be socially sensitive; and once individuals are socially sensitive, this can lead to the maintenance of differences.


   Monday, February 18, 1530-1630

VIDEO PRESENTATION (presented by Torgny Lindvall)

TITLE : On Wolfgang Doeblin and the fate of a manuscript.

ABSTRACT : Wolfgang Doeblin (1915-1940) is one of the founding fathers of modern probability theory, with Markov chains and processes as his main fields. Considering the shortness of his career, it is remarkable that he published 13 papers; all of interest, several of profound importance.

At this colloquium, we will watch a documentary (55 minutes) about the stunning fate of one of Doeblin's manuscripts. The story is intertwined with gripping aspects of his life. The spoken languages are French and German, but there are English subtitles.

The documentary, published by Springer, is intended for a wide audience, including all of our students, of course. Much attention is paid to Brownian motion and stochastic calculus.


   Monday, February 25, 1530-1630

SPEAKER : Olle Häggström, Chalmers MV.

TITLE : Using unacknowledged probabilistic assumptions is a lousy habit.

ABSTRACT : Rule number one in applied mathematics is, or ought to be, that all calculations need to be preceded by model specification. This is often overlooked by researchers who lack specialized training in mathematics - and sometimes even by those who have it. A particularly common special case seems to be arguments that, unbeknowst to the researcher him- or herself, require probabilistic assumptions about some key quantity being uniformly distributed. In this talk I will go through a series of examples where far-reaching and in some cases spectacular conclusions are drawn based on such assumptions. Once the assumptions are noticed, we may go on to discuss whether they can be justified.


   Monday, March 17, 1530-1630 CANCELLED !!





   Monday, April 28, 1530-1630

SPEAKER : Edward Witten, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA .

TITLE : Electric-magnetic duality on a half space

ABSTRACT : To be announced.

OBS! This will be a repitition of Witten's Crafoord lecture, to be delivered in Stockholm on April 24.