Amin Coja-Oghlan: The cavity method

Amin Coja-Oghlan - Goethe-Universitt, Institut für Mathematik Fachbereich

Feb. 24, 2017, 2:30 p.m. - Feb. 24, 2017, 3:30 p.m.


Over the past 20 years exciting conjectures (or "predictions") about random combinatorial structures and their phase transitions have been put forward on the basis of a non-rigorous but analytic physics approach called the cavity method. The potential impact of the physics ideas on combinatorics, information theory and computer science is enormeous. In effect, a substantial effort has been devoted to putting the physics calculations on a rigorous basis. In this talk I will give an overview of this work, of recent success stories and of the challenges that remain.

Amin Coja-Oghlan studied Mathematics and Computer Science in Hamburg and Berlin and graduated with a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Hamburg in 2002. From 2002 to 2006, he held postdoc/visiting lecturer positions at the Computer Science Institute of Humboldt University Berlin, where he obtained a Habilitation in 2005. After spending a year at Carnegie Mellon University, he joined the University of Edinburgh as a Reader in 2008. In 2010, he moved to the University of Warwick and, finally, joined Goethe University as a professor in 2012. From 2011-2016 he held a European Research Council Starting Grant in theoretical computer science, titled “Phase transitions and computational complexity.”