Point Configurations: Deformations and Rigidity

LMS Research School at the University College London

27th JUNE - 1st JULY 2022 (see video recordings below)

Organisers: Codina Cotar (UCL, London) and Mircea Petrache (PUC, Santiago)

The aim of the research summer school was to present several different modern perspectives on the rigidity and deformability of optimum point configurations. Three main points of view are presented in the lecture courses: the point of view of material science and elasticity; the point of view of approximation theory; and the point of view of the methods of Viazovska, based on linear programming bounds.


(click on the title = abstract+slides+videos)

by Douglas Hardin and Edward Saff, from Vanderbilt University (tutorial classes by Oleksandr Vlasiuk from Vanderbilt University)

by Gero Friesecke, from Technical University of Munich (including tutorials)

by Danylo Radchenko, from Lille University (tutorial classes by Steven Charlton, from University of Hamburg)

Plenary lectures:

  • Werner Krauth (Ecole Normale Superieure) -- Markov-Chain Monte Carlo and the hard-disk universe

  • Keith Ball (University of Warwick)-- Packing Spheres in high dimensions

(slides) (video recording )

  • Franz Merkl (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich) -- Dislocation lines in three-dimensional solids at low temperature

  • Sylvia Serfaty (New York University) -- Systems of Points with Coulomb Interactions

Mini talks (in order of appearance)

  • Continuous Kasteleyn theory and the bead process

  • Nearest neighbor interactions and meshing algorithms

by Oleksandr Vlasiuk, from Vanderbilt University (abstract+slides) (video recording)

  • Large Deviations Principles for Coulomb gases at intermediate temperature regime

by David Padilla-Garza, from TU Dresden, Germany (abstract+slides) (video recording)

  • Almost sure recovery of some Discrete Structures

by Rodolfo Viera, from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (abstract+slides) (video recording)

  • The Mathematics of the Magnetisation Ripple

by Tobias Ried, from Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig (abstract+slides) (video recording)

  • Multiple zeta values and modular forms

by Steven Charlton, from University of Hamburg (abstract+slides) (video recording)

  • Minimization of Multivariate Geometric Riesz Energies

by Ryan Matzke, from Technical University Graz (abstract+slides) (video recording)


Here are the recordings in chronological order: 27 june, 28 june, 29 june, 30 june, 1 july


Research students (MSc, PhD students, or equivalent) and early career researchers (i.e. researchers within 5 years of PhD graduation date, excluding career breaks) are invited to apply for an in-person place on the Research School at reduced registration rates here. They can furthermore apply for Financial Aid (towards travel costs and/or waiving registration fees) by filling in the additional section in the form.

Other in-person participants can register directly here.

Online-only participants are required to register via this link as well, though their participation is free.

Applications from research students and early career researchers will be reviewed starting from March 1st 2022 and on a rolling basis until all places are filled. Applications will have a processing time of at most two weeks; information about individual applications will not be available before March 14th 2022.

Registration fee for in-person participants includes:

  • Five nights on-campus accommodation* (private single room in UCL accommodation in central London, breakfast and dinner included, between 26.06.2022 - 01.07.2022)

  • All lunches and coffee breaks

  • Monday evening welcome reception

* for research students and early career researchers only - other participants will have to contribute to their subsistence costs (accommodation, breakfasts and dinners)

Registration Fees (in-person participants only)

  • Research students*: £150 (accommodation and food will be included)

  • Early career researchers**: £250 (accommodation and food will be included)

  • Other participants: £250 + subsistence costs (only lunch and dinner will be included, and not accommodation and breakfast)

  • Research students and early career researchers from UCL and other London universities (who only require lunches and coffee breaks, but do not require on-campus accommodation, breakfasts and dinners): £0

* defined as MSc students and PhD students (including also PhD students who have submitted their thesis, but who have not yet been officially awarded the PhD ).** defined as within five years of completing their PhD (excluding career breaks).

Fees for research students and early career researchers who apply for reduced registration rates, should not be paid until a place at the Research School is offered, and will be due by June 14th 2022.

Photo by Carmen Paas

Photo: Wikimedia commons

Financial Aid

Financial Aid (towards travel costs and/or registration fees): Research students who have successfully secured a place on the Research School following the instructions above, and who would otherwise be unable to attend, can apply for financial aid by filling in the appropriate section in the registration form here.

We anticipate that we will be able to cover full local expenses (that is, provide accommodation and all meals, and waive the registration fees) for around 30 research students who have successfully secured a place. We also have some funds available towards the travel costs of research students and early career researchers.

Photo: NY Times, 25 Aug 2009

Local Information


The summer school was held at:

Lecture Theatre rooms G12, G13 in 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HB

The Lecture Theatre G13 will be used between the 27th June -29th June, and the Lecture Theatre G12 will be used on the 30th June and on the 1st July.

The main (security-manned) entrance is on the eastern side of the 1-19 Torrington Place building. Directions to the building.

Photo: Hedley &Betaud, J. Protozool. 9(1), p.83, 1962

Email: c.cotar@ucl.ac.uk, mpetrache@mat.uc.cl