Leonidas Alaoglu Memorial Lecture
in Mathematics

Tuesday, April 16, 2002
4:15 p.m.
151 Sloan


Professor of Mathematics
Princeton University

will deliver the

Leonidas Alaoglu Memorial Lecture

"Statistical 3x + 1 - problem"

Abstract(3x+1) is a famous number-theoretic dynamical system which appeared 80 years ago. I shall discuss a new approach to the analysis of statistics of orbits of this system which allows also to consider more general classes of similar systems.


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A native of Moscow, Russia, Yakov Sinai earned his B.S. in 1957, his Ph.D. in 1960, and his doctorate in 1963, all from Moscow State University. He was a scientific researcher at Moscow State University for eight years until he became a professor there in 1971. That same year, he became a senior researcher at the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics. In 1993, he became a professor of mathematics at Princeton.

Sinai is considered the leading world authority in the theory of dynamical systems and the mathematics of statistical physics. His work covers areas from the ergodicity of the motion of billiards to spectral properties of quasi-periodic Schrödinger operators.

Of his research interests, he has said "As a mathematician, I work in three different directions: dynamical systems, probability theory, and mathematical physics. For dynamical systems, I am involved in research of systems with marginal properties of hyperbolicity and mixing. This class of systems appears in many problems of chaos theory. For probability theory, I study statistical properties of many-body systems, originated from statistical mechanics and ensembles of random matrices. For mathematical physics, I work on problems of statistical hydrodynamics and on some problems related to Anderson localization."

For his contributions to mathematics, he won the Boltzmann Gold Medal in 1986, the Heineman Prize in 1989, the Markov Prize in 1990, the Dirac Medal of the International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste in 1992, and the Wolf Prize in 1997. He is a foreign member of both the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and an honorary member of the London Mathematical Society.


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The Leonidas Alaoglu Memorial Lecture was established by friends and family of the late Leonidas Alaoglu in recognition of his great talents, distinguished contributions to mathematics, and long friendship with Caltech. The Institute is privileged to honor his memory with a lecture each year by an outstanding mathematician.


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Elizabeth Wood at (626) 395-4334 or
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