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Remembering Karl Menger Lecture and Awards 2012

Karl MengerThe Department of Applied Mathematics at IIT will host Philip Holmes, of Princeton University, as the 2012 Karl Menger Lecturer.  The event, part of the sixth annual Karl Menger Lecture and Awards, will be held April 23-24, 2012 on the Illinois Institute of Technology main campus.  Professor Holmes' lecture is titled One and a Quarter Centuries of Nonlinear Dynamics: More Is Different and Less Is More.  Please return to this page, as information will be posted here as it becomes available.



Made possible with the generous support of the Menger family; Department of Applied Mathematics, Illinois Institute of Technology; the Menger Fund; and Alumni Relations.

Schedule of Events

Monday, April 23, 2012

Events from 12:45 - 3:15 p.m. will take place in the McCloska Ballroom, McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC).

12:45-1:40 pm - Math Club Meeting
Professor Philip Holmes, Princeton University, will give a talk: "Chaos and Classical Mechanics: How a Double Pendulum is Like Throwing Dice". All alumni are welcome. Light lunch provided.

2 pm - Memories of IIT
Join in as alumni and friends tell their stories of IIT & Professor Karl Menger.

2:50 pm - Poster Session
Viewing of Student Research Posters. Light refreshments available.

3:15 - 4:15 pm - Lecture, McCloska Auditorium, MTCC
"One and a Quarter Centuries of Nonlinear Dynamics: More Is Different and Less Is More."

Delivered by Professor Philip Holmes, Princeton University.

Philip HolmesIn 1889, for his paper on Hamiltonian dynamics and the three-body problem of celestial mechanics, Henri Poincare was awarded a prize established to honor the 60th birthday of King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway. As the paper was being edited for publication in Acta Mathematica, a serious error came to light. In correcting the error, Poincare discovered the phenomenon that we now call deterministic chaos. The resulting 270-page paper is essentially the first textbook in the modern geometrical theory of dynamical systems. I shall tell the story of this paper, some of the key contributions to which it led (Smale's horseshoe, Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser theory, center manifolds and bifurcations), and end by describing some applications of dynamical systems theory in fluid, solid and celestial mechanics.

Philip Holmes is Eugene Higgins Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineer, Professor of Applied Computational Mathematics and a member of Princeton's Neuroscience Institute. He currently works on the neuromechanics of animal locomotion, and on the neurodynamics of decision making. He has co-authored over two hundred scientific papers, three books on dynamical systems, and with Florin Diacu, 'Celestial Encounters' - an historical account of the origins of chaos theory.

4:15 pm - Presentation of Awards
Presentation of the IIT Karl Menger Student Award for Exceptional Scholarship by a Student and the Applied Math poster competition winners.

4:25 - 4:45 pm - Break
Light refreshments available.

4:45 - 5:45 pm - Panel Discussion, McCloska Auditorium, MTCC
The title of the discussion is "Future Challenges and Opportunities for Applied Mathematics."
The panelists are: Steven Cunningham, Treasurer, Discover; Philip Holmes, Professor, Princeton University;
and Rob Meyer, CEO, The Numerical Algorithms Group.

6:00 pm - Reception, Ballroom, MTCC

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Professor Holmes will meet with students and faculty.

11:25 am - Research Talk Presentation: "How Cockroaches Run Fast and Stably Without Much Thought". Location: SB 113.

12:30 pm - Lunch with Faculty

4:40 - 5:30 pm - Lecture: "Adventures Inside and Outside the Math Department: How I Got Invovled with Engineers, Biologists, Neuroscientists, Psychologists, and ...Mathematicians".
With the SIAM student chapter.  Location: SB Auditorium.


Out-of-state travelers: for questions or hotel suggestions, please call 312.567.3132
Campus Map (including a Parking Map), Directions to IIT, and Transportation

Discounted Hotels for IIT visitors: [Older list] [Newer List]   (Best Westerns are the best bet, followed by the Hyatt Regency McCormick)
Not on the lists: Club Quarters (2 locations downtown; must mention "Illinois Institute of Technology").

About Karl Menger

Karl Menger was a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics at IIT from 1946-1971, and influenced many students, fellow faculty members, and friends during his lifetime. Regarded as one of the finest mathematicians of the 20th century, he made significant contributions to the fields of dimension theory, probability, economics, ethics, geometry, and calculus.

Further Reading

Biography of Karl Menger, compiled by Professor Greg Fasshauer at IIT.

Calculus: A Modern Approach, Menger's Calculus textbook.

Selecta Mathematica, Vol 1 & 2, a compilation of Menger's major mathematical papers.

Unexplored Dimensions: Karl Menger on Economics and Philosophy, a collection of Menger's papers while at the University of Vienna.