Skip to content Skip to navigation


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». 

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)

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).

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.

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 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