14th Math Colloquium BCAM-UPV/EHU

Date: Wed, May 10 2023

Hour: 11:45

Location: UPV/EHU - Salón de grados of the Faculty of Science and Technology (Leioa).

Speakers: Pavel Shumyatsky (UPV/EHU), Carme Torras (CSIC-UPC)

11:45-12:45 | Pavel Shumyatsky: Recent applications of Lie methods to group theory
About 35 years ago Efim Zelmanov solved the famous Restricted Burnside Problem (Fields prize 1994). While the problem was about finite groups, a significant part of the solution happened to be Lie-theoretical. Nowadays we know that the tools created in the solution can be applied successfully to other problems in group theory. In the talk I will describe some new results in group theory whose proofs are based on a Lie-theoretical theorem of Zelmanov.

13:00-14:00 | Carme Torras: Combining topology and machine learning for cloth representation and manipulation by robots
Manipulating clothes in a versatile way remains a challenging open problem in robotics. The vast number of degrees of freedom involved in deformations undermines the effectiveness of the modelling, planning and control methods available for rigid objects. Within the CLOTHILDE project (https://clothilde.iri.upc.edu/), we have combined powerful recent developments in computational topology, machine learning and model-predictive control to endow robots with both quasi-static and dynamic cloth manipulation skills. Regarding the former, we defined a taxonomy of grasps and characterized macro-states of textiles by encoding task-relevant topological changes, so as to enable planning in the resulting state-graph to accomplish a task. Dynamic cloth manipulation has been attained through learning by demonstration and reinforcement learning, and then applying model-based control by modelling cloth dynamics as that of an inextensible surface. Some robot prototypes equipped with these skills will be shown in the talk.

Lunch will be offered at the end


Confirmed speakers:

Pavel Shumyatsky received his PhD in Mathematics in 1989 from Urals University (Yekaterinburg, Russia). His doctoral thesis dealt with torsion groups and their automorphisms. He then held research positions in Urals University (1990-1991) and Technion, Israel (1992-1995). Since 1995 he has worked in the Department of Mathematics, University of Brasilia, Brazil (Full Professor since 2003). He is a world-class expert in word problems in group theory and in the application of Lie methods to group theoretical problems.
He has authored over two hundred research papers and supervised about 15 doctoral students. He was also an invited speaker at numerous international conferences on group theory. Currently he is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of the Basque Country for a period of six months.

Carme Torras is Research Professor at the Institut de Robótica i Informática Industrial (CSIC-UPC) in Barcelona, where she leads a research group on assistive robotics. She received M.Sc. degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Barcelona and the University of Massachusetts, respectively, and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). She has supervised 20 PhD theses and led 17 European projects, among which her ERC Advanced Grant project CLOTHILDE Cloth manipulation learning from demonstrations. Prof. Torras is IEEE, EurAI and ELLIS Fellow, and her research achievements have been recognized with several distinctions, the latest being the Catalan National Research Award (2020), and the Spanish National Research Prize in mathematics and ICT (2020). Committed to promoting ethics in the deployment of digital technologies, she has developed freely available online materials to teach a course on Ethics in Social Robotics and AI based on her science fiction novel The Vestigial Heart (MIT Press, 2018), which is being taught at several universities worldwide. She is vice-president of CSIC's Ethics Committee.