Colloquia

The Neurobiology of Beauty

«Today we know that our experience of beauty is linked to the activities of specific parts of the brain, and there is one area located in the emotional brain activity in which always correlates with the experience of beauty. Those who speak of reductionism or simply ignore this evidence, thinking that beauty is a matter only for philosophers, connoisseurs and art historians are committing a serious mistake». These are the words of Semir Zeki, University College London professor, the father of neuroaesthetics - the discipline which combines cognitive neuroscience with aesthetics - and author of best-sellers such as "Inner Vision", "A Vision of the Brain" and "Ou La Quete de L'Essentiel" written with celebrated painter Balthus.

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What is the h-principle?

“Flexible Mathematics, or… what is the h-principle?” is the title of SISSA new colloquium by Stanford University mathematician Yakov Eliashberg. Eliashberg is a world-renowned expert in the area of symplectic and contact topology. He was awarded the Crafoord Prize in Mathematics from the Swedish Academy of Sciences “for the development of contact and symplectic topology and groundbreaking discoveries of rigidity and flexibility phenomena”.  The colloquium will take place at SISSA Main Hall  on Tuesday 17 October starting from 5 p.m. (Image: Wikipedia)

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Unraveling the sense of smell

An odour can trigger a memory, cause disgust or even save our lives. Nonetheless, although it is so important for our existence, olfaction still remains the most enigmatic of our senses. Its mysteries and marvels will be analysed by Nobel Prize Linda Buck during the ICTP-SISSA Colloquium open to the public, titled “Unraveling the sense of smell”. The American neurobiologist will share the main phases of forty years of research on the functioning of the olfactory system and its impact on emotions and behaviours. Buck will be in Trieste to participate in the “Conference on Frontiers in Olfaction” which will be held from 24 to 28 July at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics "Abdus Salam" (ICTP). The Colloquium will take place on Tuesday 25 July at 5:00 p.m at ICTP (Leonardo Da Vinci Building).

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Nature’s optics and our understanding of light

Optical phenomena visible to everyone have been central to the development of, and abundantly illustrate, important concepts in science and mathematics. The phenomena considered include rainbows, sparkling reflections on water, mirages, green flashes, glories, daylight, and the crystals. The concepts include refraction, caustics, wave interference, dispersion, complex angular momentum, polarization singularities, geometric phases, and visual illusions.

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Intelligence in social&economic behaviour

12 October 2016, 3.00 pm

SISSA, Main lecture hall

Via Bonomea 265, Trieste

The Science of Surnames

21 September 2016, 3:00pm

SISSA, Aula Magna

Paolo Rossi, Physicist at the University of Pisa, whose eclectic interests range from particle physics to translating early medieval texts, will be the first speaker in this season’s SISSA colloquium series. His talk will focus on the study of surnames through statistical mechanics, a useful approach for investigating population genetics.

The “mem-computer” explained

Massimiliano Di Ventra, Physicist at the University of California San Diego, will explain the basics of memcomputing, a new computational approach that uses memory for information processing and storage using the human brain as an analogy. The talk will be held in English and is open to the public.

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The mathematics of Nature’s forms

15 June 2016, 3 pm

SISSA, Main Lecture Hall

The shape of a leaf, the pattern on a viper’s skin, a mollusc’s shell: Nature knows how to create accurate patterns. Alberto Bressan, mathematician at Penn State University (Pennsylvania, USA) will give a talk (for the SISSA Colloquia series) on the mathematics governing the growth of biological forms. The event, to be held in English, is free and open to the public

Freedom and Creativity in Mathematics

25 May 2016, 3:30p.m.

SISSA, Room 128

Via Bonomea 265, Trieste

The newest appointment in the SISSA colloquia calendar features Mathematics. Claudio Bartocci, mathematician at the Università di Genova, will give a talk intertwining mathematics and philosophy, specifically addressing the question of what role creativity, and, more generally, freedom play in the study of mathematics.

The brain in space

30th March 2016, 3.00 pm

SISSA, Main Lecture Hall

On Wednesday 30th, a conference about the brain will be held at SISSA: why do the various areas of the brain have their specific shapes, why are they found in specific locations, what is the role of connections? These are the questions that Henry Kennedy, neuroscientist at INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale) in Lyon, invited speaker at the next SISSA colloquium will attempt to answer. The event is free and open to the public, and will be held in English.

Battiston at SISSA: the Future of Physics

1 October 2015, 10:30

SISSA, Aula Magna “P. Budinich”

What science will be the real hotbed of discovery in the near future? According to Roberto Battiston, President of ASI, as well as prominent scientist and lecturer, there is no doubt: Astroparticle Physics. Battiston will paint a picture of the future of Physics research in the first talk of the SISSA lecture series on 1 October at 10:30 at SISSA in Trieste. The event is open to the public and will be held English. 

Rosetta, home at last!

Amalia Finzi

27 May 2015, 2.30 pm

SISSA, “P. Budinich” Main Lecture Hall

Science: there’s no success without failure

Stuart Firestein

28 January, 3.00 pm

SISSA, “P. Budinich” Main Lecture Hall

Via Bonomea 265, Trieste

It wasn’t the successes that allowed science to progress. To the contrary, it was the failures that made it so important and influential in human society. This is the view held by Stuart Firestein, biologist at Columbia University, who will be discussing this topic at the next appointment with the SISSA Colloquia. The meeting, open to the public and held in English, is scheduled for 28 January 2015, at 3.00 pm in the “P. Budinich” Main Lecture Hall of SISSA.

Circuits for deciding “when”

Zachary Mainen

5 December 2014, 4.00 pm

Kastler Room, Adriatico Guest House

Riva Massimiliano e Carlotta, Grignano, Trieste

Seven steps from molecules to mind

Marcello Costa

29 October, 3pm

SISSA, “P. Budinich” Main Lecture Hall

Via Bonomea 265, Trieste

Amazing crystalline helium

Sébastien Balibar

21 May 2014, 2.30 pm

SISSA – Main Lecture Hall

When looking for an answer to a problem we may come across a very different solution from what we expected and end up discovering new phenomena and expanding scientific knowledge.

That's what happened to Sébastien Balibar, director of research at the Statistical Physics Laboratory of the École Normale Supérieure of Paris, who was looking for a supersolid when he found "giant" plasticity. Balibar will tell us about these discoveries at the next SISSA colloquium, on May 21 at 2.30 pm.

A “SMART” spectrometer

Vincenzo Barone

8 May 2014, 3pm

SISSA, Main Lecture Hall

Via Bonomea 265 - Trieste

In order to study complex systems and compare the work of those who carry out empirical observations and those who do research using simulations we need new instruments.

Second thoughts on the second law

Elliot Lieb

June 17, 2014 - 3 pm

SISSA, Main Lecture Hall

Via Bonomea, 265 - Trieste

A public lecture at SISSA provides Elliott Lieb, professor of Mathematics and Physics at Princeton University, the opportunity to review the foundations of the second law of thermodynamics.

This is the physical law which introduces the concept of entropy of the Universe and establishes the direction of the flow of time. Lieb will offer the public his innovative point of view on this fundamental principle.

NGF and stress

Enrico Alleva

April 9, 2014 - 3 pm

SISSA, Main Lecture Hall

Via Bonomea, 265 - Trieste

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