Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Department Colloquium


Aaron Smith, Queen's University

Friday, October 5th, 2018

Time: 2:30 p.m.  Place: Jeffery Hall 234

Speaker: Aaron Smith (Queen's University)

Title: Mixing and the Glass Transition.

Abstract: Supercooled liquid forms when a liquid is cooled below its usual freezing temperature without entering a crystalline solid phase. As supercooled liquids continue to get colder, they exhibit something called the glass transition: they remain disordered, but start to otherwise behave much like solids. This glass transition is important for many materials, including rubbers and colloids, but is not theoretically well-understood. In this talk I will introduce a simple model for the glass transition that is easy to understand but difficult to study. I will then introduce two related families of models, introduced by physicists, that seem to give similar "glassy" behaviour. Finally, I will present some heuristics and recent results on the relaxation and mixing behavior of these two models. My results in this talk are from joint and ongoing work with Paul Chleboun, Alessandra Faggionato, Fabio Martinelli, Natesh Pillai and Cristina Toninelli.

Aaron Smith works in the areas of applied probability, with a focus on Markov chain Monte Carlo and related methods from computational statistics or statistical physics. He also has interest in in data mining and machine learning. He obtained his Ph.D. at Stanford in Mathematics, and was an undergraduate student at Queen's University. He held short-term appointments at Federal government of Canada, Brown University (applied math), and Harvard (statistics). He is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Ottawa.