VIASM Annual Meeting 2021

On July 24, 2021, Vietnam Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics organized the Annual Meeting 2021 (AM 2021). The Meeting is the highlight scientific activity that the Institute holds each year.

Initially planned, the Annual Meeting 2021 would have been staged as a hybrid event with engaging experiences for both in-person and virtual audiences at the Institute’s new headquarter. However, due to the complicated situation of COVID-19 and the implementation of Directive 17 of the Hanoi People's Committee on social distancing, the conference was made to pivot to virtual.


Prof. Ngo Bao Chau delivering the opening speech.

The invited speakers at this year's conference were five leading Vietnamese scientists, who are currently working in Vietnam or abroad. Among the five lectures presented, two were relevant to Physics, one by Prof. Dam Thanh Son (University of Chicago, USA) and the other by Prof. Phan Thanh Nam (LMU Munich, Germany)

The Annual Meeting 2021 went online on MS Teams.

The conference began with Prof. Dam Thanh Son’s lecture on “Schrödinger symmetry and its applications in quantum mechanics”, with the results of nonrelativistic quantum systems described mathematically by the Schrödinger equation. Prof. Dam Thanh Son guided us from classical and quantum mechanics, to the role of Schrödinger symmetry. One interesting anecdote about  the differences between Physics and Mathematics by Cliff Taubes: “Physics is the study of the world while Mathematics is the study of all possible worlds”. Physicists have been trying to speculate about other worlds and universes, but eventually all go back to our world and determine what’s real. In his lecture, Prof. Son also introduced a recent research result to answer the question of whether the Hilbert space arising from Schrodinger symmetry can be realized in our real world. Problems from this kind of question can be a new source of inspiration for Mathematics.

The next lecture on “On the geometry of parametric linear differential equations over the punctured affine line” was presented by Prof. Phung Ho Hai (Vietnam Institute of Mathematics).  His lecture began with  a review through categorical lenses of the classical theory of regular-singular differential systems over C((x)) and P^1_C - {0, ∞}, where C is algebraically closed and of characteristic zero. The aim was to interpret  the existing classification results as an equivalence between regular-singular systems and representations of the group Z. In the second part, he dealt with regular-singular connections over R((x)) and P^1_R - {0, ∞}, where R = C[[t1, . . . , t_r]]/I.

Prof. Phung Ho Hai at the Meeting.

The afternoon session began  with lecture given by  Prof. Ngo Viet Trung (Vietnam Institute of Mathematics) on “Depth functions and symbolic depth functions of homogeneous ideals”. This was the result of group work with Dr. Nguyen Dang Hop, Prof. Ha Huy Tai, and Assoc. Prof. Tran Nam Trung in 3 working sessions at VIASM. The depth function of a homogeneous monomial ideal is one of the most important arithmetic functions, providing a wealth of information about homogeneous algebra and combinatorics of the original ideals.  Prof. Ngo Viet Trung  and his groups have contributed to solving a number of important conjectures about arithmetic functions that can be expressed as depth functions of homogeneous ideals, and symbolic ideals (symbolic powers).

The next talk on “Reaching a consensus on random networks: The power of few” was presented by Prof. Vu Ha Van (Yale University, USA & Vingroup Big Data Institute). The topic was inspired from a conversation between Prof. Vu Ha Van and Prof. Do Quoc Anh on  issues that  economics researchers are interested in: How are individual views in a community formed and influenced when they interact with others? The presentation received a number of questions from attendees: some about the applicability of its models in other real life situations such as predicting Covid waves, designing chat rooms, some even opened new perspectives to Prof. Vu’s research.

Prof. Ngo Viet Trung presenting his report.

Wrapping up the meeting was the lecture by Prof. Phan Thanh Nam, an outstanding scientist to receive the EMS award 2020 of the European Mathematical Society for talented mathematicians under 35. His talk on “The mathematical theory of interacting Bose gases at high temperature” originated from the predicted Bose-Einstein condensation in 1924, then observed in a laboratory in 1995. The lecture focused on the phase transition at the critical temperature with interactions.

The AM 2021 attracted the attention of nearly 150 online participants including senior mathematicians and young researchers from domestic and foreign universities and organizations. The curiosity and earnest spirit that these attendees  brought in have made the already special Annual Meeting 2021 more fulfilling and memorable.