Plenary Speakers

R. Baxter (Australian National University, Australia)
Title: Solved lattice models: 1944 – 2010

Rodney Baxter is Emeritus Professor at The Australian National University. His major research interest is exact solutions of statistical mechanics models, such as the eight-vertex and chiral Potts models. He is known for the application of the star-triangle relation, the Yang-Baxter equation, and the corner transfer matrix method to derive exact results. In 1982 he published his book Exactly Solved Models in Statistical Mechanics. He received the Boltzmann Medal in 1980, was made a Fellow of the Royal Society (London) in 1982, and received both the Lars Onsager Prize and the Lars Onsager Medal in 2006.

M. Cates (University of Edinburgh, UK)
Title: Does microbiology need statistical physics?

Mike Cates has held the Chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh since 1995. He is known for his theoretical studies of polymers, emulsions, colloids, surfactant solutions and granular matter. His current interest is in the flow of materials which do not reach equilibrium even at rest: these include colloidal glasses and bacterial suspensions. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society (London) in 2007 and in the same year was appointed to a Royal Society Research Professorship. In 2009 he won both the Gold Medal of the British Society of Rheology and the Dirac Medal of the Institute of Physics (UK).

S. Ciliberto (ENS Lyon, France)
Title: Measuring out of equilibrium fluctuations : from theory to experiments

Sergio Ciliberto has been a Research Director of CNRS at École Normal Supérieure (ENS) de Lyon since 1991. He works at the Laboratoire de Physique at ENS, Lyon, supported by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Before commencing at ENS he held positions at the University of Florence, Institute d'Optique d'Orsay, University of Pennsylvania and Los Alamos National Laboratories. In the past he worked in non-linear optics, dynamical systems and pattern formation. He has a range of research interests which includes statistical properties of fractures, turbulence, aging of amorphous material, and experimental applications of Fluctuation Theorems.

B. Eynard (CEA Saclay, France)
Title: Enumerative geometry and random matrices

Bertrand Eynard is a physicist in the Institut de Physique Théorique at Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique (CEA), Saclay, a position he has held since 1995. He has held visiting fellowships at the University of British Columbia, University of Montreal and the University of Durham. His research field is the area of random matrices and random geometries, which he applies to problems in areas such as string theory, conformal field theory, quantum gravity, and critical phenomena. In 2009 he published the review article Topological recursion in enumerative geometry and random matrices, co-authored with colleague Nicolas Orantin.

D. Fisher (Stanford University, USA)
Title: Can evolution be understood quantitatively?

Daniel Fisher has been Professor of Applied Physics at Stanford University since 2007, after previously holding positions at Harvard and Princeton Universities. He conducts research in the theory of collective and dynamical phenomena in condensed matter physics and biology. His interests include glass transitions, disordered materials, and quantum dissipation in superconductors in physics. In biology he also studies evolutionary dynamics, especially in collaboration with laboratory experiments on microbes, and dynamical processes in cells. He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1986, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999.

M. Freedman (Microsoft Station Q, USA)
Title: Theoretical blueprint for an Ising quantum computer

Michael Freedman was Charles Lee Powell Professor of Mathematics at UCSD, before joining Microsoft Research and becoming director of Station Q. In an earlier career, he solved the long-standing Poincare conjecture in four dimensions, for which he received the Fields Medal, the highest honor in mathematics. Freedman has received numerous other awards and honors including the Veblen prize, a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Medal of Science. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His main research interest is topological states of matter and the construction of mathematical models which illuminate these.

W. Ketterle (MIT, USA)
Title: Towards quantum magnetism with ultracold atoms

Wolfgang Ketterle has been the John D. MacArthur professor of physics at MIT since 1998. He leads a research group exploring the properties of ultracold gases. His research is in the field of atomic physics and laser spectroscopy and includes laser cooling and trapping, atom optics and atom interferometry, and studies of Bose-Einstein condensation and Fermi degeneracy. A major focus is the exploration of new forms of matter, in particular novel aspects of superfluidity, coherence, and correlations in many-body systems. His observation of Bose-Einstein condensation in a gas in 1995 and the first realization of an atom laser in 1997 were recognized with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001 (together with E.A. Cornell and C.E. Wieman).

H. Nishimori (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
Title: Quantum annealing

Hidetoshi Nishimori has held the position of Professor of Physics at Tokyo Institute of Technology since 1996. He leads a research group with a range of interests including the theory of spin glasses, mathematical analyses of phase transitions and critical phenomena, quantum annealing and quantum computation, and general applications of statistical mechanics to information science. His book Statistical Physics of Spin Glasses and Information Processing: An Introduction was published in 2001. He received the Nishina Memorial Prize in 2006, has twice served on the Board of Directors of the Physical Society of Japan, and was elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK) in 2004.

S. Sachdev (Harvard University, USA)
Title: Quantum criticality, the cuprate superconductors, and the AdS/CFT correspondence

Subir Sachdev was appointed Professor of Physics at Harvard University in 2005, and has held previous positions at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Yale University. His research in condensed matter physics has focused on the classification of the many-body ground states of interacting electrons, especially in two spatial dimensions. Fundamental distinctions between such ground states imply that they cannot be smoothly connected to each other, but are necessarily separated by quantum phase transitions at a quantum critical point. In 1999 he published a book on the topic, Quantum Phase Transitions. He was made a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2001.

M. Wang (Cornell University, USA)
Title: Torsional studies of single biological molecules

Michelle Wang is Professor of Physics and heads the Single-Molecule Biophysics Laboratory at Cornell University. Her research applies optical trapping techniques to monitor biological processes at the single-molecule level. Minuscule forces may be exerted on biological materials, and displacements of less than a nanometer can be measured using optical tweezers. These methods allow for studies of interactions between proteins and DNA, such as how proteins mediate the tight packing of DNA in cells. She has received several awards during her career, including a Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research Award for 2000-2007. In 2008 she was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

C.N. Yang (Tsinghua University, China and Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Title: Fermions and Bosons in 1D harmonic traps

Chen-Ning Yang studied at The University of Chicago where he received his doctorate in 1948 and remained for a year as assistant to Enrico Fermi. In 1966 he moved to the State University of New York at Stony Brook and became the Albert Einstein Professor of Physics and the first director of a newly founded Institute for Theoretical Physics which is now known as C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics. He retired from Stony Brook in 1999 as Emeritus Professor. C.N. Yang is most famously known for Yang-Mills theory, the Yang-Baxter equation and Lee-Yang zeros. He, together with T.-D Lee, received the 1957 Nobel prize in physics for their work on parity nonconservation of weak interaction. C.N. Yang has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Academia Sinica, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society, etc. and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Princeton University (1958), Moscow State University (1992), Chinese University of Hong Kong (1997), etc. Yang visited the Chinese mainland in 1971 for the first time after the thaw in China-US relations, and has subsequently made great efforts to help the Chinese physics community to rebuild research atmosphere which was destroyed by the radical political movements during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. After retiring from Stony Brook he returned as honorary director of Tsinghua University, Beijing, where he is the Huang Jibei - Lu Kaiqun professor at the Center for Advanced Study (CASTU).

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