Participant Testimonials

Jul 14 - Jul 19, 2013

It was a great meeting in a wonderful setting. I benefited a lot from many discussions with several prominent colleagues - a few for the first time. But also it gave me the opportunity to interact with several young researchers, which I found to be rewarding.

Tim Healey Mathematics, Cornell University

An interesting link was discovered at the workshop during the discussion following the talk of Reidun Twarock. During her lecture she explained that the structures of the capsids of numerous animal viruses, including not only the overall icosahedral structure but also the detailed structure of the subunits, could be understood by by applying a finite set of powers of two generators of an isometry group to a point in \mathbb{R}^3. This provides an interesting link to the theory of "objective structures" of James, which can be viewed essentially as the union of orbits of a discrete group of isometries on a finite set of points in \mathbb{R}^3. The distinction is that the generators used by Twarock do not generate a discrete group. There are a great many nondiscrete groups of isometries and the subfamily used by Twarock enjoys a certain uniformity property. As explained by Twarock, there are links between these ideas and the "method of projection" from higher dimensions used to construct quasicrystals. The possible implications of this circle of ideas is that potentially a large class of non-periodic (and non-objective) structures seen in Nature, including possibly quasicrystals, polymers, glasses, can be viewed as the action of a nondiscrete group of isometries on a set of simple structures.

Richard D. James Aereospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Minnesota

I found the workshop extremely useful on several aspects. On the one hand, I was able to present my work in front of a very selected and high quality community, which is hard to gather together in the same room in a standard conference. On the other hand, I was able to have discussions that helped me move my research forward. Additionally, I established long conversations with another attendee which is likely to be the beginning of a collaboration. Thank you for the great organization and for making this type of workshop possible.

It has been a great meeting with a high impact on my current research.

I very much appreciated being part of the Mathematics and Mechanics in the Search for New Materials workshop, organised on the occasion of the 60th birthday of Dick James. I had the opportunity to refresh several of my long standing collaboations with people in this field, get first hand information on some new opportunities for joint research and provided some of my colleagues at home with potentially interesting new contacts. I also very much appreciated the beautiful surroundings of the centre.

Dominique (Nick) Schryvers Prof.
Physics, University of Antwerp, Belgium