Bellow Lecture Series

Alexandra Bellow presenting at Northwestern University's 2015 GROW Conference

In 2012, Alexandra Bellow decided to make a gift to Northwestern University, specifically to the Math Department. This gift was used to endow the annual lecture series which became known as the Alexandra Bellow Distinguished Lecture Series in Mathematics, or simply the Bellow Lecture Series.  Each year a world-class mathematician is invited to come to Northwestern and lecture. Bellow's hope is that world-class women mathematicians will also be represented among the speakers, so as not only to enhance the position of mathematics at Northwestern but also to raise visibility of women in the field.   

Sylvia Serfaty, Courant University, presented the 2018 Alexandra Bellow Distinguished Lecture Series 

Monday, October 15
Systems of points with Coulomb interactions
4pm in Lunt 105
Abstract:  Large ensembles of points with Coulomb interactions arise in various settings of condensed matter physics, classical and quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, random matrices and even approximation theory, and they give rise to a variety of questions pertaining to analysis, Partial Differential Equations and probability.  We will first review these motivations, then present the ''mean-field'' derivation of effective models and equations describing the system at the macroscopic scale. We then explain how to analyze the next order behavior, giving information on the configurations at the microscopic level and connecting with crystallization questions, and finish with the description of the effect of temperature.
Tuesday, October 16
Statistical mechanics of the classical Coulomb gas
3pm in Lunt 105
4:30pm in Lunt 107
Abstract:  We focus on the statistical mechanics of systems of N points with Coulomb interactions in general dimension, which corresponds to the situation with temperature in the above abstract. We discuss the free energy expansion as well as a description of the microscopic behavior of the system as N tends to infinity via a Large Deviations Principle and a Central Limit Theorem for fluctuations, and give an idea of tools and methods used to prove the results.
For more information, contact Prof. Laura Demarco at