American Institute of Mathematics, Palo Alto, California
Persi Diaconis, Daniel Fisher, Cris Moore, and Charles Radin
Phase transitions have been an important part of statistical mechanics for many years. More recently phase transitions have become a hot topic in computer science (study of 3-satisfiability), combinatorics (birth of the giant component for various random graph models) and probability theory (cutoff phenomena for markov chains). We propose to bring together experts within each area to present the various intuitions, motivations, canonical examples and conceptual techniques of their areas, the hope being to come to agreement on a few key definitions, and perhaps thereby to bring fresh ideas to bear on open problems.
Examples of topics for discussion/open problems:
The workshop schedule.
A report on the workshop activities.
You can download slides from the talks by Tom Witten, Andrea Liu, Susan Coppersmith, and Sidney Nagel.
A definition of thermodynamic phases and phase transitions by Michael Fisher and Charles Radin.