Conference on Waves, Spectral Theory & Applications - A Celebration for Weinstein's 60th Birthday

by James Lee-Thorp

In honor of his 60th birthday, past and present colleagues and students of Prof. Michael Weinstein, including APAM alumni Braxton Osting (Ph.D. ‘11), Gideon Simpson (Ph.D. ‘08) and Jeremy Marzuola (Postdoctoral Research Scientist), gathered together at Princeton University on September 10-11, 2015, for a conference on Waves, Spectral Theory and Applications.

The conference focused on a dozen talks by mathematicians, physicists and engineers, who spoke on subjects to which Professor Weinstein has made important contributions. The speakers were a mix of both early career and accomplished researchers with whom Professor Weinstein has collaborated closely. The talks covered a wide range of topics, including, to mention but a few, spectral theory, partial differential equations, photonics, seismic wave detection, betting against the financial market and insect locomotion. More so than anything, this range of topics served as a reflection of Professor Weinstein’s varied academic contributions.

One of the early career speakers was Professor Braxton Osting from the University of Utah. Before sharing his recent results on graph theory algorithms – obtained in part using methods related to his doctoral work under Professor Weinstein – Professor Osting took the time to thank Professor Weinstein for being incredibly generous with his time and putting great investment into Professor Osting’s early career; a sentiment that was echoed by other past and current students of Professor Weinstein.

Many of the talks began with personal anecdotes and happy recollections of previous collaborations, and all speakers underlined Professor Weinstein’s infectious desire to learn about new fields. It was particularly touching on the last day to hear Professor Weinstein’s academic advisor, Professor George Papanicolaou of Stanford University, speak of his immense personal pride at the range and influence of Professor Weinstein’s work.

Invited speakers included:

Anthony Bloch, University of Michigan
Charles Fefferman, Princeton University
Steven Golowich, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Philip Holmes, Princeton University
Robert Kohn, NYU Courant Institute
Braxton Osting, University of Utah
George Papanicolaou, Stanford University
Robert Pego, Carnegie Mellon University
Pierre Raphael, University of Nice
Mikael Rechtsman, Pennsylvania State University
Avy Soffer, Rutgers University
Catherine Sulem, University of Toronto

Organizing Committee:

Peter Constantin, Princeton University
Roy Goodman, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Panayotis Kevrekidis, University of Massachusetts and Los Alamos National Laboratory
Eduard Kirr, University of Illinois
Jeremy Marzuola, University of North Carolina
Judy Miller, Georgetown University
Gideon Simpson, Drexel University
Vadim Zharnitsky, University of Illinois

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