Plenary lecture

Day 2 (Wednesday 3 April) @ 16:00 – 16:45

Amie Wilkinson (University of Chicago)

Asymmetry in dynamics

The origins of the subject of dynamical systems lie in classical mechanics, in the study of such fundamental problems as the stability of the solar system.  A theme that traces back to Noether’s theorem is that symmetries in such physical systems must occur for a reason: for example, if the motion of a system does not depend on position in space, then there must be a conserved quantity, such as angular momentum. I will discuss, in the broader contexts of modern dynamics, how this theme expands and reoccurs in beautiful ways: on the one hand, a typical object has the minimum amount of symmetry possible, and on the other hand, a little extra symmetry implies a lot of symmetry, a phenomenon known as rigidity.


Amie Wilkinson (born 1968) is a professor of Mathematics at the University of Chicago. Her research topics include dynamical systems, ergodic theory, chaos theory, and semisimple Lie groups. Wilkinson received a PhD in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkely in 1995 under Charles Pugh. She gave an invited talk at the ICM in 2010, was named fellow of the AMS in 2014 and elected for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021. In 2020 she received the AMS Levi L. Conan Prise for her overview article on the modern theory of Lyapunov exponents and their applications to diverse areas of dynamical systems and mathematical physics.