Jon Chaika to Give Invited Lecture at ICM
Jon Chaika, associate professor of mathematics, will give an invited lecture at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in July 2022, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Chaika will present jointly with Barak Weiss, professor of mathematics at Tel Aviv University. Invited lectures are organized into sections, and Professors Chaika and Weiss will present within the “Dynamics” section.
The U’s Department of Mathematics will have outstanding representation at the ICM. In addition to Chaika, Mladen Bestvina, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, will give a plenary lecture at the event.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to present my math at the ICM,” Chaika said. “The ICM is an important conference that brings together the international mathematical community to share ideas and discuss and disseminate the latest advances in active research in mathematics.”
His research is in the field of dynamical systems, which seeks to understand a space
and a map by following individual points. This map could represent the passage of
time in a physical system. Ergodic theory is a sub-branch of dynamical systems that
uses an idea called a measure to do this. A measure is an abstraction of the idea
of length or area (or volume). One of the families of systems Chaika studies is billiards
in polygons. In these systems, a point travels in a straight line inside a polygon
until it hits one of the sides. Once it hits a side, it obeys the law of elastic collision,
bouncing off the side the same way a billiard ball would off the side of a pool table.
It then continues to travel in a straight line until it hits the next side, where
it again has an elastic collision. Chaika and Giovanni Forni, a mathematician at the University of Maryland, have been able to show there are
billiards in polygons in which the flow in different directions is usually uncorrelated.
Chaika received a Simons Fellows Award in Mathematics in 2020. He obtained a Ph.D. in mathematics in 2010 from Rice University and joined the University of Utah in 2013.
The ICM is the largest and most significant conference on pure and applied mathematics as well as one of the world’s oldest scientific congresses. The first ICM was held in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1897. ICMs are run every four years by the International Mathematical Union in partnership with host country organizers.