Renowned Probability Theorist Visits NYU Shanghai

On Tuesday, Professor Alain-Sol Sznitman from the ETH Zurich, a renowned mathematician,  member of the Academia Europaea and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, delivered a riveting lecture titled “On Disconnection and Level Sets” at the NYU-ECNU Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU Shanghai.

In recent years, research in probability theory has grown in an explosive way, attracting increasing attention of researchers from various fields of mathematics and gaining huge international recognition. Three Fields Medals (the top-most award in Mathematics, equivalent to the Nobel Prize) in the last three International Congresses of Mathematicians were delivered to researchers in Probability Theory.  

Professor Sznitman presented a talk on the large scale asymptotics related to the way the trajectory of a simple random walk in dimension three and above can disconnect a macroscopic body from infinity. This is one of the hot topics in contemporary probability, which connects many areas of Mathematics and Physics. Graduate students and  post-doctoral researchers marveled at the opportunity of having in-depth discussions with the topmost mathematician.

“We had lively discussions with post-docs after the talk, which was really great,” said Professor Sznitman, “Mathematical sciences are somewhat different from other areas. What we need are not expensive lab equipment or too many facilities, but rather people and ideas. The probability group at NYU Shanghai is world-class, and I found scientific atmosphere at the NYU-ECNU Mathematics Institute very vibrant and extremely stimulating."

Professor Vladas Sidoravicius, Co-Deputy Director of the Institute, who hosted Professor Sznitman’s visit to NYU Shanghai, said “We have a very intense and rapidly growing mathematics community at NYU Shanghai. This academic year is particularly significant in this regard with a full roster of many exciting scientific events, research projects, etc., and it is extraordinarily important that our faculty, and especially young researchers and students, have the opportunity  to interact with leaders of the field, such as Prof. Sznitman, whose work lies at the cutting edge of modern science.”

About the Joint Research Institutes’ Lecture Series

The NYU-ECNU Joint Research Institutes at NYU Shanghai hosts several lecture series in the disciplines of math, neuroscience, computational chemistry, and physics. The lecture series facilitate cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and scholarly exchanges, and bring graduate students and post-docs to access to frontier research. Renowned scientists have spoken at these lectures, including Charles Newman, Fanghua Lin, Alain Bensoussan, Pierre Hohenberg, Stanislas Dehaene, William Newsome, Charles G. Gross, Robert Desimone, Michael Merzenich, J. Anthony Movshon and others. Hundreds of researchers and students from home and abroad have benefited from this lecture series.

Written by the Office of Research