Spin Glasses and Related Topics (18w5036)


Dmitry Panchenko ()

Antonio Auffinger (Northwestern University)

(University of Minnesota)

Lenka Zdeborova (EPFL)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Spin Glasses and Related Topics" workshop from September 30th to October 5th, 2018.

Spin glasses and related models of disordered media have been studied since the sixties, and have their roots in experimental physics and chemistry. The original motivation was understanding the behaviour of magnetic alloys of ferromagnets and conductors, such as AuFe or CuMg, which gave rise to a class of theoretical models whose analysis by both physicists and mathematicians has grown into one of the most fascinating fields of statistical mechanics over the last fifty years. The methodology developed in the study of these models led to further important tools and ideas that found applications in different branches of computer science, including combinatorial optimization theory, machine learning and signal processing. Fundamental concepts appeared relating average algorithmic complexity of optimization and inference problems with phase transitions in spin glass models. In the last two decades this connection flourished and spin glass theory was used for algorithmic development and analysis in many applications including error correcting codes, clustering of graphs and data, compressed sensing, training of neural networks, reconstruction of interaction networks from biological data, to name a few.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).