Breaking boundaries

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Breaking boundaries

As well as the PCC, last week I was at a conference at the University of Sussex entitled Breaking Boundaries between Analysis, Geometry and Topology. With a title like that, how could I resist?

There were some lovely and wide-ranging talks. Here is a whistle-stop tour.

David Edmunds made some “Remarks on Approximation Numbers”. These numbers, for maps on Banach spaces, turned out to be a kind of generalisation of eigenvalues in the positive self-adjoint case, so interesting even if I don’t expect to have an immediate use for them myself. He remarked at one point that nuclear operators are sometimes called “operators of trace class”, even though they may not actually have a trace!

David Applebaum talked about “Generalised spherical functions on groups and symmetric spaces”. This was a blend of harmonic analysis and probability theory, bringing in, among other things, the Lvy?Khintchine formula for the Fourier transform…

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