Applications of Real Algebraic Geometry


1. Overview

The Department of Mathematics and systems analysis and the Aalto Science Institute at Aalto University School of Science organized a conference titled Applications of Real Algebraic Geometry (ARAG). This event was one of several Science Factories funded by the Aalto Institute of Science (AScI) and was held in the main building of Aalto University between February 27th and March 2nd 2014. Real Algebraic Geometry (RAG) is a classical domain of mathematics which is concerned with the study of the solution sets of polynomial systems with real coefficients. Research questions in this field have their origins in Hilbert's 16h and 17th problem. Although RAG is classically viewed as a subject of pure mathematics, developments within recent years have built bridges to various other domains and fields of science. In particular, results from sums of squares decompositions of non-negative polynomials have led to new paradigms for otherwise hard problems. Research fields, which apply Real Algebraic Geometry include combinatorial optimization, algebraic statistics, rigidity, complexity theory and the interplay of these areas has been proven to be very fruitful during the last years. The aim of the organized Science Factory event was to bring together various applications of RAG in order to foster the exchange of ideas between them. In addition to this, the conference in particular aimed to present this domain, which classically is not established in Finland to students at Aalto University.

The organizing committee was integrated by;

  • Alexander Engström (Department of Mathematics and systems analysis)
  • Cordian Riener (Aalto Science Institute)

2. Participants

Altogether the Science factory conference attracted 51 participants from all over the world and from  different domains of mathematics and computer science. 

51 participants: Finland 19, Germany 18, France 3, Austria 3, USA 2, UK 1, Singapore 1, Netherlands 1, Greece 1, Norway 1, Russia 1. (Faculty 12, PostDocs 8, (PhD-)Students 31.)

9 invited speakers:  Germany 3, France 2, Austria 1, Norway 1, Singapore 1, USA 1.

  • Saugata Basu (Perdue University, USA)
  • Jean Bernard Lasserre (CNRS, Toulouse, France)
  • Mihai Putinar (NTU, Singapore)
  • Kristian Ranestad (Oslo University, Norway)
  • Marie Francoise Roy (Rennes University, France)
  • Claus Scheiderer (Konstanz University, Germany)
  • Markus Schweighofer (Konstanz University, Germany)
  • Frank Vallentin (Cologne University, Germany)


11 contributed speakers: Germany 5, Austria 2, France 1, Finland 1, Greece 1, Russia 1.

  • David de Laat (TU Delft, Netherlands)
  • Francesco Grande (FU Berlin, Germany)
  • Christoph Hanselka (Konstanz University, Germany)
  • Anna Karasoulou (University of Athens, Greece)
  • Mario Kummer (Konstanz University, Germany)
  • Victor Magron (INRIA Toulouse, France)
  • Abraham Martin del Campo (IST Austria, Austria)
  • Patrik Norén (IST Austria, Austria)
  • Erik Sjöland (Aalto University, Finland)
  • Louis Theran (FU Berlin, Germany)
  • Christian Trabandt (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany)
  • Oleg Vasiliev (Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia)

3. Program

The conference was concentrated on 4 days. Besides invited and contributed talks the participants also got the possibility of getting to know Aalto University by an introduction provided by the Dean of the School of Science, Risto Nieminen and a tour through the Otaniemi campus and the “learning hubs”. Coffee breaks between the talks provided the opportunity of engaging in scientific discussions. The highlight of the social program was a  conference dinner, which was held in a restaurant in downtown Helsinki.

4. Conclusion

In summary, this Science factory was a very successful event, which increased the visibility of Aalto University inside the mathematical community and will also lead to further collaborations.

Page content by: | Last updated: 12.03.2015.