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 The Mark Kac Memorial Lectures

To honor the founding Chairman of the CNLS External Advisory Committee, the Mark Kac Annual Memorial Lecture Series was established in 1985 as a fitting and continuing tribute to his lifelong commitment, not only to the pursuit of scientific research of the highest quality, but also to the broad dissemination of the results of this research.

2015 Mehran Kardar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • April 20-24, 2015

2014 Susan Coppersmith, University of Wisconsin-Madison

2013 Joe Pedlosky, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

2012 Paul Chaikin, New York University

2011 Subir Sachdev, Harvard University

2010 Robert Austin, Princeton University


2009 James S. Langer, University of California at Santa Barbara


2008 Michael Fisher, University of Maryland


2007 David R. Nelson, Harvard University

2006 Peter Wolynes, University of California San Diego
  • The Theory of Glasses
  • Recent Suceesses of the Energy Landscape Theory of Protein Folding
  • Quantum Many Body Chaos: Energy Flow in Molecules

2005 Leo Kadanoff, University of Chicago
  • Excellence in Computer Simulations
  • Making a Splash; Breaking a Neck
  • Loewner Evolution: Maps and Shapes in Two Dimensions

2004 David Thouless, University of Washington
  • Topological Quantum Numbers
  • Quantized vortices in superfluids and superconductors
  • Dynamics in the presence of noise: How special is the Boltzmann distribution

2002 Alex Müller, IBM Zurich
  • Fifteen Years After the Discovery of Superconductivity in the Cuprates
  • On the Macroscopic Superconductivity s- and d-wave Symmetry in Cuprate SuperConductors

2001 John Hopfield, California Institute of Technology
  • Neurobiology as a Dynamical Systems: Introduction to 'Neural' Computing
  • Perception in a World Made of 'Objects'
  • Collective Oscillations and Effective Computing Primitives: What is a Moment

2000 Guenter Ahlers, University of California Santa Barbara
  • Turbulent Heat Transport in Fluids Heated from Below
  • Pattern Formation Near Onset of Rayleigh-Benard Convection: Some Simple Unexplained Results
  • Critical Phenomena Near Bifurcations in Systems Far From Equilibrium

1999 Richard Garwin, IBM Watson Research Center
  • Ballistic Missile Defense
  • Nuclear Power

1998 Isadore Singer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Atiyah-Siner Index Theorem and Its Recent Applications

1996 Edward Spiegel, Columbia University
  • Staryoli Waves in the Natural Sciences
  • Patterns of Propogating Pulses
  • Waves of Solar Activity
  • Bifurcation of Species

1995 Joseph Keller, Stanford University
  • Wave Propogation
  • Semiclassical Mechanics
  • Nonreflecting Boundary Conditions

1994 Pierre Hohenberg, AT&T Bell Laboratories
  • Topics in Nonequilibrium Pattern Formation: Spatiotemporal Chaos
  • Fluctuations and Noise in Pattern Forming Systems
  • Nonlinear Waves and Coherent Structures in the Complex Ginzburg-Landau Equation in One Dimension

1993 Israel Gelfand, Rutgers University
  • Some Special Questions of Spectral Theory and Integrable Systems

1992 Nancy Kopell, Boston University
  • Rhythms and Clues: Mathware for Wetware: Chains of Oscillators and Undulatory Swimming
  • Rhythms and Clues, Geometry and Biophysics: Which Differences Make a Difference?
  • A Geometric View of Singular Perturbations: Case Studies
1991 Harry Swinney, University of Texas, Austin
  • Observations of Chaos and Pattern Formation: Laboratory Model of the Great Red Spot of Jupiter
  • Observations of Chaos and Pattern Formation: Chemical Pinwheels, Spirals and Crystals
  • Observations of Chaos and Pattern Formation: Instabilities and Turbulence in Flow between Concentric Rotating Cylinders

1990 Alan Newell, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Arizona
  • Nonlinear Optics

1989 Philip Holmes, Cornell University
  • Poincare, Celestial Mechanics, Dynamical Systems Theory and Chaos
  • Can Dynamical Systems Approach Turbulence?

1988 Jerry P. Gollub, Haverford College
  • Nonlinear Dynamics of Interacting Waves: Symmetry and Multiple Bifurcations
  • Transport Processes and Flow Patterns in Convecting Fluids
  • Pattern Formation at the Liquid/Solid Interface

1987 Joseph Ford, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • The Fermi-Pasta-Ulam Problem: Past Becomes the Future: Paradox Becomes Discovery
  • What is Chaos, That We Should Be Mindful of It?
  • Chaos: Solving the Unsolvable; Predicting the Unpredictable!

1986 Joel L. Lebowitz, Rutgers Univ.
  • From Determinism to Chance and Back Again: Microscopic and Macroscopic Time Evolutions
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