Simons Collaboration on Localization of Waves Kickoff Meeting

400 Lind Hall, University of Minnesota

September 1 - 3, 2019

Organizers: Doug Arnold

Group photo from WAVE kickoff

The three main goals of the first Kickoff meeting were to 1) Set up logistics including detailed plan of activities, financial planning, deadlines, press release, meeting agendas, website; 2) Begin work as an interdisciplinary group looking at how mathematical tools from harmonic analysis, partial differential equations and probability, with high performance computational simulations and state-of-the-art experimental investigations of ultra-cold atoms and semiconductors can be leveraged to address the problems detailed in the written grant problem; 3) Form collaborative research groups to jump-start localization discoveries. 

The Kickoff Meeting was graciously hosted by the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA).

Conference Highlights

Day 1:

  • The project Executive Committee provided an overview; The Collaboration Administrator led a review of logistics, financial planning, key deadlines etc. and the group began to share foundational Wave localization principles from both respective fields of Mathematics and Physics.

Day 2:

  • A detailed presentation of successes and problems in a) GaN semiconductors, b) organic semiconductors, and c) enzymes was led by PI’s Speck, Weisbuch and Friend. PIs David and Jerison shared their research on Mathematical aspects of localization including the impact of the potential, decay of eigenfunctions, and geometry. The group then discussed joint questions for the application of landscape theory to the real world devices – What is the potential entering the landscape equation? What is the zero energy reference? How can we use Agmon distance for transport properties? Day 2 ended with a full team dinner to discuss all aspects of the day.

Day 3:

  • A presentation from PI Aspect on Cold atoms, addressing both the bigger picture and what model is most conducive to concrete problems, zooming on specific equations, and potentials. PIs Filoche and Mayboroda presented on Weyl law and led a discussion to fully understand the constraints and opportunities of localization landscape method in application to spectral problems in disordered media. How can new Weyl law be leveraged to prove the emerging range of probabilistic results, what are the errors, the applicability to periodic and disordered potentials, Urbach tails, and whether or not we can read off delocalization or interactions (cold atoms). The larger collaboration group then broke into mini-groups to delve into specific problems and set goals for the next in-person event in January 2019.


Day 1:

  • 9:30 AM — 12:00 PM: Introduction to the project
  • 12:00 PM — 1:00 PM: Lunch provided — Kafe 421
  • 1:00 PM — 3:30 PM: Finances, logistics, planning of future activities
  • 3:30 PM — 5:30 PM: Discussions, breakout
  • 7:00 PM: Founding PI-only dinner — Grand Café

Day 2:

  • 09:30 AM — 12:00 PM: Semiconductors: GaN, organic semiconductors, enzymes
  • 12:00 PM — 1:00 PM: Lunch provided — Chow Girls Catering Taco Bar
  • 1:00 PM — 2:30 PM: Mathematical aspects of localization
  • 2:30 PM — 5:30 PM: Discussions, breakout
  • 7:00 PM: Meeting dinner, all participants — Restaurant Alma

Day 3:

  • 09:30 AM — 11:00 AM: Cold atoms
  • 11:00 AM — 11:15 AM: Break
  • 11:15 AM — 12:45 PM: Weyl law
  • 12:45 PM — 1:45 PM: Lunch provided — Holyland Deli Catering
  • 1:45 PM — 05:30 PM: Discussions, breakout


  • Svitlana Mayboroda — Collaboration Director and Founding PI — University of Minnesota
  • Doug Arnold — Founding PI — University of Minnesota
  • Alain Aspect — Founding PI — Institut d’Optique
  • Guy David — Founding PI — Université de Paris-Sud
  • Marcel Filoche — Founding PI — École Polytechnique
  • Sir Richard Friend — Founding PI — University of Cambridge
  • David Jerison — Founding PI — Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • James Speck — Founding PI — University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Claude Weisbuch — Founding PI — University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Yann Chalopin — Collaborator — Laboratoire d'Energétique Moléculaire et Macroscopique, CNRS
  • Yuhrenn Wu — Collaborator — National Taiwan University
  • Jean-Marie Lentali — Ph.D. Student — École Polytechnique
  • Perceval Desforges — Ph.D. Student — École Polytechnique
  • Brian Shi — Ph.D. Student — University of Minnesota
  • Tyson Loudon — Ph.D. Student — University of Minnesota
  • Kaibu Hu — Postdoctoral Associate — University of Minnesota
  • Guillermo Rey — Postdoctoral Associate — University of Minnesota
  • Bruno Poggi — Ph.D. Student — University of Minnesota
  • Zanbing Dai — Ph.D. Student — University of Minnesota
  • Katherine Lindsay — Wave Localization Collaboration Administrator — University of Minnesota