Colloquia Patavina: Quasicrystals, tilings, and complexity


Martedi' 23 Febbraio 2010 alle ore 16:00 in aula 1A/150 della
Torre Archimede la Prof.ssa Marjorie Senechal (Smith College) terra' una conferenza della serie Colloquia Patavina.

La Commissione Colloquia
M.A. Garuti, M. Pavon, M. Pitteri, F. Rossi

Quasicrystals, tilings, and complexity

Marjorie Senechal (Smith College)

A quarter century ago the discovery of Penrose tilings and icosahedral crystals turned our received notion of "crystal" (and the rules of the tiling game) upside down. Our first, immediate, response was to extend the mathematical model of "crystal" beyond translation symmetry. But how? Matching rules? Self-similarity? Projections from high-dimensions? Discrete diffraction spectra? It turns out that none of these properties characterize "crystal", but the complexity this research has uncovered is much more interesting than the quest for a definition.

-Short cv
-- Louise Wolff Kahn Professor Emerita
in Mathematics and History of Science and Technology

-- Co-Editor-in-Chief, The Mathematical Intelligencer

-- Address:
Burton Hall 211, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063 Office phone (413) 585-3862 Email: fax (413) 585-3393.

-- Research Fields: geometry and its applications, mathematical crystallography,
history of science and technology, history of mathematics

-- Books:

M. Senechal and G. Fleck, editors (and contributors) a) Patterns of Symmetry, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1977, 160 pp. b) Uzori Symmetrii, Russian edition of (a), MIR, Moscow, 1980. With supplementary articles, paperback, c) Paperback edition of (a), University of Massachusetts Press, 1981..

M. Senechal, editor. Structure of Matter and Patterns in Science. Proceedings of a symposium inspired by the work and life of Dorothy Wrinch, September 1977. Schenkman Publishing Co., Cambridge 1980, 210 pp..

M. Senechal and G. Fleck, editors (and contributors). Shaping Space: a polyhedral approach. Birkhauser, Boston, 1988.

M. Senechal, Crystalline Symmetries: An informal mathematical introduction. Institute of Physics, Alan Hilger, Ltd., 1990..

M. Senechal, editor, The Cultures of Science, Nova Science Publishers, 1994..

M. Senechal, Quasicrystals and Geometry, Cambridge University Press, in 1995; paperback edition 1996.; reprinted 2008.
S. Sherer and M. Senechal, Long Life to Your Children! A portrait of High Albania, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1997, 240 pp.

P. Engel, L. Michel, and M. Senechal, Lattice Geometry, Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, preprint, posted 2004 on

M. Senechal, Northampton's Century of Silk, City of Northampton's 350th anniversary chapbook series, 2004, 90 pp.

M. Senechal, editor (and contributor), Silk Unraveled!, Smith College Studies in History, Vol. LIII, 2005, 274 pp.

J. Field, M. Senechal, and M. Shaw, American Silk: 1832 - 1932, Texas Tech University Press, 2007, 326 pp. Winner of the American Costume Society?s Millia Davenport Publication Award, 2008

C. Davis, M. Senechal, and J. Zwicky, eds, The Shape of Content: an anthology of creative writing in mathematics and science, A. K. Peters Ltd, 2008

M. Senechal, ed., Shaping Space: exploring polyhedra through art, nature, and the geometrical imagination, in preparation; to be published by Springer, 2010 (this is a revised and expanded edition of Shaping Space: a polyhedral approach, above.)

M. Senechal, I Died for Beauty, the story of Dorothy Wrinch, in preparation, to be published by Oxford University Press.

-- Selected Lectures 2004 - present:

Reflections and Projections, a conference in memory of H.S.M. Coxeter, University of Toronto, May 2004

Lectures at universities in Chongqing, Xi'an, Zhengjian, and Suzhou, China; May-June 2004

Discrete Geometry Day, Bard College, October, 2004

Mathematical Association of America, University of Delaware, November 2004

NYU (Courant Institute), May, 2005

Boston University, June, 2005

Bridges Conference, Banff Centre, August 2005

Humboldt State University, November, 2005

Ohio State University, March, 2006

Hood College, May, 2006

University of Porto, Portugal, May 2006

Les Moutons Matheux, La Vacquerie, France, July 2006

Computational Geometry Conference, Smith College, November 2006

Mount Holyoke College, April 2007

NYU (Courant Institute), April 2007

International Union of Crystallography, International School on Mathematical and Theoretical Crystallography, Havana, Cuba, July 2007

Conference "Geometry, Information and Theoretical Crystallography of the Nanoworld", St Petersburg, Russia, August 2007

Conference "Quasicrystals: the silver Jubilee", Tel Aviv, Israel, October 2007.

Women Scholars lecture series, University of Victoria, Canada, March 2008

International Nanotechnology Conference, Moscow, Russia, December 2008

Special Session of the American Mathematical Society, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, March 2009

Conference on Complex Metal Alloys, Nancy, France, October 2009

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