Close Menu

Rembering Karl Menger Lecture and Awards 2013

Karl MengerThe Department of Applied Mathematics at IIT will host Phillip Protter of Columbia University, as the 2013 Karl Menger Lecturer. The event, part of the seventh annual Karl Menger Lecture and Awards, will be held April 22-23 2013 on the Illinois Institute of Technology Main Campus. Professor Protter's lecture is titled "Financial Bubbles Through History, Viewed Through Mathematics."

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 22, 2013

Events will take place in the McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC)

12:45-1:40 pm - Math Club Meeting
Professor Philip Protter will give a talk: "What Actually Happened in 2008, and Who is to Blame?"
All alumni are welcome. Light lunch provided.

2:00 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
"Financial Bubbles Through History Viewed Through Mathematics"  Delivered by Professor Philip Protter of Columbia University.

Philip ProtterThe history of the western industrialized world is one rich with the stories of financial bubbles. The ones we remember are the more spectacular ones, often leading to stock market crashes and subsequent economic depressions, ranging over history from Tulipmania in the 1630s to the South Sea Bubble in England in the 18th  century and, in the United States, from the market crashes of 1837and 1873 to the panic of 1907, and more recently from the market crash of 1987 and the dot-com crash of 2000 to the housing bubble collapse of 2008. Mathematics does not give us (yet) many insights into what causes bubbles, although economists have many good ideas on that score, but it does help us to detect, before the crash, whether or not a bubble might be occurring. This is something that is often surprisingly difficult to ascertain with the naked eye. We will discuss, in broad terms, how this process works, and how mathematics could – in principle – be used to reduce to some extent the wild swings of the markets.

Philip Protter works in probability theory, with specialties in stochastic calculus, weak convergence and limit theorems, stochastic differential equations and Markov processes, stochastic numerics, and mathematical finance. He is the author of one book and the co-author of three more, and he has published more than 100 research papers. He was a visiting member of the Institute for Advanced Study in 1978, a National Science Foundation/Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (NSF/CNRS) Exchange Scientist (to France) in 1980, and a Fulbright - Tocqueville Distinguished Chaired Professor in Paris in 2007. He gave the inaugural R. Von Mises Lecture at Humboldt Universität, Berlin, in 2007 and the Bullitt Lecture at the University of Louisville in 2009. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Studies (IMS). Currently he is a professor of statistics at Columbia University. Before Columbia, he held positions at Cornell University, Purdue University, and Duke University.

4:15-4:25 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 pm - Reception, McCloska Ballroom, MTCC

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Philip Protter will meet with students and faculty.

11:25 am - Research Talk Presentation: "Can One Detect a Financial Bubble in Real Time" Location: Wishnick Hall, Auditorium

12:30 pm - Lunch Provided

4:40 - 5:30 pm - Lecture: "The Balance Between Theory and Data: A Case Study with Liquidity"
with the SIAM student chapter.  Location: Wishnick Hall, 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.

More 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.