Green Family Lecture Series

Green Family Lecture Series - Professor Walter Kohn - 120529

Walter Kohn, 2012 Green Family Lecturer

IPAM’s co-founder and former director Mark L. Green and his family established a generous endowment in 2012 to support an annual lecture series at IPAM. Since 2012, the Green Family Lecture Series has attracted speakers of the highest international stature. Their lectures cover topics of interest to IPAM participants, the university audience and the broader community.

The Green Family Lectures are advertised broadly to the relevant communities. The first talk is meant for the general public. The second “research lecture” is intended for those with a general background in science and math. The third talk is on the lecturer’s current research, and the audience is smaller and possesses scientific expertise on the subject. It is often part of an IPAM workshop. The first and second talks are held in a large lecture hall on campus, to accommodate an audience of 100 or more; no RSVP is requested. The third is held at IPAM, and registration is required.  We video record most lectures and make them available on IPAM’s website and YouTube Channel.



Walter Kohn made major contributions to the physics of semiconductors, superconductivity, surface physics and catalysis. He was the founding director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of California in Santa Barbara, and received numerous awards including the Niels Bohr/Unesco Gold Medal, the United States National Medal of Science and the Richard Prange Prize. His role in creating Density Functional Theory, the most widely used theory of the electronic structure of matter, earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1998.

A World Predominately Powered by Solar and Wind Energy? May 29, 2012

Electronic Structure of Matter: Wave Functions and Density Functionals. May 30, 2012

A Physicist’s Approach to Macular Degeneration. May 31, 2012



Wendelin Werner (ETH Zurich) works at the interface of probability theory with complex analysis and mathematical physics. He received the Fields Medal in 2006 for his work on stochastic Loewner evolution and the geometry of two-dimensional Brownian motion. His other awards include the Fermat Prize, the Loève Prize, and SIAM’s George Pólya Prize, shared with his collaborators Gregory Lawler and Oded Schramm. He became a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 2008.

Drawing Pictures at Random. June 6, 2013

Random Mountains. June 7, 2013



Avi Wigderson, Professor of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study, works in theoretical computer science and information science. He was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians on two occasions, and was awarded the Nevanlinna Prize in 1994 and the Gödel Prize in 2009. He also gave the AMS Gibbs Lectures and received the AMS Conant Prize. Wigderson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011, and to the National Academy of Sciences in 2013.

Randomness and Pseudorandomness. May 19, 2014

Permanent & Determinant: Non-identical Twins. May 20, 2014.



Andrew W. Lo (MIT) has published numerous articles in finance and economics journals, and has authored several books including The Econometrics of Financial Markets, A Non-Random Walk Down Wall Street, and Hedge Funds: An Analytic Perspective.  His awards include an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Paul A. Samuelson Award, election to Academia Sinica, the Econometric Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Time Magazine’s 2012 list of the “100 most influential people in the world,” and  teaching awards from the University of Pennsylvania and MIT.

Can Financial Engineering Cure Cancer? A New Approach to Funding Biomedical Innovation. May 18, 2015

Evolutionary Foundations of Economic Behavior, Bounded Rationality, and Intelligence. May 19, 2015



Ingrid Daubechies is best known for her breakthroughs in wavelet research, advances in time-frequency analysis, and contributions to digital signal processing. Some of the wavelet bases and other computational techniques she developed were incorporated into the JPEG2000 standard for image compression. Daubechies was the first female full professor of mathematics at Princeton, the first woman to receive the National Academy of Sciences Award in Mathematics, the first woman president of the International Mathematical Union, and she is very likely the first and only mathematician to have been granted the title of Baroness by Belgium’s King Albert II.

The Master’s Hand: Can Image Analysis Detect the Hand of the Master? May 19, 2016

Bones, Teeth and Animation. May 20, 2016