The Amplituhedron BCFW Triangulation

Abstract:  The (tree) amplituhedron was introduced in 2013 by Arkani-Hamed and Trnka in their study of N=4 SYM scattering amplitudes. A central conjecture in the field was to prove that the m=4 amplituhedron is triangulated by the images of certain positroid cells, called the BCFW cells. In this talk I will describe a resolution of this conjecture. The […]

Invariant theory for maximum likelihood estimation

Abstract:  I will talk about work to uncover connections between invariant theory and maximum likelihood estimation. I will describe how norm minimization over a torus orbit is equivalent to maximum likelihood estimation in log-linear models. We will see the role played by polytopes and discuss connections to scaling algorithms. Based on joint work with Carlos […]

Equiangular lines and regular graphs

Abstract: In 1973, Lemmens and Seidel asked to determine N_alpha(r), the maximum number of equiangular lines in R^r with common angle arccos(alpha). Recently, this problem has been almost completely settled when r is exponentially large relative to 1/alpha, with the approach both relying on Ramsey’s theorem, as well as being limited by it. In this talk, […]

Rational Polypols

Abstract: Eugene Wachspress introduced polypols as real bounded semialgebraic sets in the plane that generalize polygons. He aimed to generalize barycentric coordinates from triangles to arbitrary polygons and further to polypols. For this, he defined the adjoint curve of a rational polypol. In the study of scattering amplitudes in physics, positive geometries are real semialgebraic […]

Greedy maximal independent sets via local limits

Abstract: The random greedy algorithm for finding a maximal independent set in a graph has been studied extensively in various settings in combinatorics, probability, computer science, and chemistry. The algorithm builds a maximal independent set by inspecting the graph’s vertices one at a time according to a random order, adding the current vertex to the independent […]

Moduli space of tropical curves, graph Laplacians and physics

Abstract: I will first review the construction of the moduli space of tropical curves (or metric graphs), and its relation to graph complexes. The graph Laplacian may be interpreted as a tropical version of the classical Torelli map and its determinant is the Kirchhoff graph polynomial (also called 1st Symanzik), which is one of the two […]

Flip processes

Abstract: We introduce a class of random graph processes, which we call \emph{flip processes}. Each such process is given by a \emph{rule} which is just a function $\mathcal{R}:\mathcal{H}_k\rightarrow \mathcal{H}_k$ from all labelled $k$-vertex graphs into itself ($k$ is fixed). The process starts with a given $n$-vertex graph $G_0$. In each step, the graph $G_i$ is obtained […]

BCFW recursion relations and non-planar positive geometry

Abstract: There is a close connection between the scattering amplitudes in planar N=4 SYM theory and the cells in the positive Grassmannian. In the context of BCFW recursion relations the tree-level S-matrix is represented as a sum of planar on-shell diagrams (aka plabic graphs) and associated with logarithmic forms on the Grassmannian cells of certain dimensionality. […]

Some combinatorics of Wilson loop diagrams


Abstract: Wilson loop diagrams can be used to study amplitudes in N=4 SYM.  I will set them up and talk about some of their combinatorial aspects, such as how many Wilson loop diagrams give the same positroid and how to combinatorially read off the dimension and the denominators for the integrands. **This talk will be […]

Algebraic Statistics with a View towards Physics

Abstract: We discuss the algebraic geometry of maximum likelihood estimation from the perspective of scattering amplitudes in particle physics. A guiding examples the moduli space of n-pointed rational curves. The scattering potential plays the role of the log-likelihood function, and its critical points are solutions to rational function equations. Their number is an Euler characteristic. Soft […]

The threshold for stacked triangulations


Abstract: Consider a bootstrap percolation process that starts with a set of `infected’ triangles $Y \subseteq \binom{}3$, and a new triangle f gets infected if there is a copy of K_4^3 (= the boundary of a tetrahedron) in which f is the only not-yet infected triangle. Suppose that every triangle is initially infected independently with […]

Hypergraph Matchings Avoiding Forbidden Submatchings

Abstract:  In 1973, Erdős conjectured the existence of high girth (n,3,2)-Steiner systems. Recently, Glock, Kühn, Lo, and Osthus and independently Bohman and Warnke proved the approximate version of Erdős’ conjecture. Just this year, Kwan, Sah, Sawhney, and Simkin proved Erdős’ conjecture. As for Steiner systems with more general parameters, Glock, Kühn, Lo, and Osthus conjectured the […]