Nick Proudfoot and I are organizing a week long workshop in June 2011 on connections between Cluster Algebras and Canonical Bases. Our target audience is graduate students and postdocs who would like to get up to speed on the many fields which overlap here, including cluster algebras, representation theory of Lie groups and quantum groups, and perverse sheaves. Roughly speaking, Nick is handling logistics, I am handling math, and we are going to try to rope Ben in one way or another.

To quote from Nick’s description of the workshop:

The workshop will be aimed at graduate students and postdocs, with most of the talks given by the participants. We do not expect any of the participants to be experts in all of the subjects that are represented in this workshop. Rather, we hope to bring together participants with diverse backgrounds, and to weave these backgrounds together into a coherent picture through a combination of lectures and informal discussion sessions.

This is a really fun family of subjects, and one which is leading to a lot of exciting research right now, so it should make an excellent workshop.

Some financial support is available, see our webpage for details.

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You do realize you are overlapping with FPSAC.

Oh well. Probably too late now. And the number of people who would be interested in both, while not zero, is fairly small.

We were indeed aware of the conflict. It’s unfortunate, but everything overlaps with something.

I notice that there are two cluster algebra workshops for grad students this summer — both of which David is involved with (the other is at MSRI).

Which is going to be better?

(This is not an entirely stupid question — I would like to know where to direct my students.)

David presumably knows more than me, but the Banff workshop looks much more like an actual conference. So if you want your students to get a solid grounding in how cluster algebras originated and their connection to the canonical basis, the Eugene workshop will be better. if you want them to meet all the important people in the field, and learn about cutting-edge stuff, Banff will be better.

Put another way, if you send them to Eugene, they’ll meet lots of other grad students and a smattering of faculty (maybe just David and people from the Oregon department). If you send them to Banff, they’ll meet lots of older people (or possibly no one at all). It depends a lot on the student which one is a better experience.

Actually, Joel, there are FOUR workshops on cluster algebras this summer!

One is David’s and mine (the subject of this post), one is at MSRI (the one to which you referred), one is at Banff (the one to which Ben referred), and one is at Brown. Here are the links for the last three:

http://www.msri.org/web/msri/scientific/workshops/summer-graduate-workshops/show/-/event/Wm550

http://icerm.brown.edu/topical/tw11-2-cluster/

http://www.birs.ca/events/2011/5-day-workshops/11w5137

Ben – why all this mention about Banff? I was referring to the grad student workshop at MSRI.

Ben – why all this mention about Banff? I was referring to the grad student workshop at MSRI.I’m going have to plead temporary insanity on this one; in my defense, I didn’t go check back to see if I had remembered Banff right, because I found something called a workshop on cluster algebras there (though it looked a bit advanced for your graduate students).

Of course, you should ask Greg and Lauren, but it sure looks to me from reading the webpage (and knowing Greg and Lauren) that the MSRI workshop is going to be a lot more combinatorial. Certainly, one key difference is that at the Eugene workshop, most of the talks will be given by graduate students, whereas presumably the Berkeley workshop has recruited more senior people to teach their mini-classes.

I think it’s a bit of a stretch to call September summer ;)

In any case, sometimes the MSRI workshops do fill up, so it’s worth taking care of that soon if you have a student who wants to attend.

For the cluster algebras workshop at MSRI, the tentative plan is to have morning lectures and afternoon problem sessions, and I think the fourth lecturer is Nathan Reading.

Details of the cluster algebra school at MSRI have not been finalized, but it will consist of four mini-courses, with

each mini-course comprised of five 1.5-hour lectures.

Tentative topics:

Foundations of cluster algebras

Total positivity

Cluster algebras from surfaces and Teichmuller theory

Cluster combinatorics, including generalized associahedra,

Cambrian fans, etc.