Atkin Memorial Lecture and Workshop
Expansion in Linear Groups

University of Illinois at Chicago

May 1 through May 3 , 2015

A.O.L (Oliver) Atkin, a noted mathematician of international fame and professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago, died on December 23, 2008 at the age of 83. He made lasting contributions to the theory of numbers: the theory of modular forms (Atkin-Lehner operators, congruences, modular forms for non-congruences groups), theory of partitions, and cryptography (Schoof-Elkies-Atkin Algorithm), among others. He was also a pioneer of the use of computers in mathematics. He was born in England and worked at Bletchley Park in World War II. He completed his doctorate at Cambridge in 1952 under John Littlewood. He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1972. Atkin remained mathematically active until his death.

The annual Atkin Memorial Lecture is aimed at remembering Oliver Atkin's lasting contributions to mathematics and the University of Illinois. The previous speakers are Ken Ono (2009), Steve Kudla (2010), Winnie Li (2011),William Stein (2012), Akshay Venkatesh (2013), and Shouwu Zhang (2014). This year Alireza Salehi-Golsefidi of University of California—San Diego will give the Atkin Lecture on Friday May 1, 2015 at 3 PM. The lecture will be followed by a two day workshop with the same title as the lecture. The theme of the workshop is expansion in linear groups.

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Remi Boutonnet (UCSD)

Elena Fuchs (UIUC)

Alex Furman (UIC)

Alex Gamburd (CUNY)

Harald Helfgott (CNRS Paris VI/VII)

Alex Kontorovich (Rutgers)

Igor Rivin (Temple)

Alireza Salehi-Golsefidi (UCSD)

Nicolas de Saxce (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)




The workshop is funded by the NSF. As soon as you see this announcement, if you are interested in attending the workshop, please fill out the registration form available here. Students should ask their advisor to send a short letter of support to rtakloo at Women, underrepresented minorities, and young mathematicians are strongly encouraged to apply.



Friday, May 1


3 PM

Alireza Salehi Golsefidy

Expansion in linear groups and its applications

4:15 PM


SEO 300


Harald Helfgott

Ternary Goldbach Conjecture



If you would like to join us for dinner, please send an email to



Saturday, May 2 (SEO 636)


9 AM  

Alax Gamburd

Markoff triples and strong approximation

10:15 AM

Alex Furman

Lattice envelopes for countable groups

11:30 AM

Remi Boutonnet

Spectral gap for translation actions on locally compact groups

2:30 PM

Elena Fuchs

Generic thinness and freeness in subgroups of SL_n(Z)

3:30 PM

Coffee Break

SEO 300

4:00 PM

Harald Helfgott

On growth in subgroups



Sunday, May 3 (SEO 636)

10:15 AM

Alireza Salehi-Golsefidy

Expansion in linear groups

11:30 AM

Alex Kontorovich

Homogeneous dynamics and thin groups

2:30 PM

Igor Rivin

3:30 PM

Coffee Break

SEO 300

4:00 PM

Nicolas de Saxce

Hausdorff dimension of products sets


Organizers: Ramin Takloo-Bighash and Alireza Salehi-Golsefidi

A campus map is available here . UIC is easily accessible by public transportation (e.g. UIC-Halsted stop on the Blue Line). For detailed directions see link . A conveniently located hotel is the Crowne Plaza which is on the edge of Chicago's Greektown neighborhood with lots of restaurants and cafes. Another good hotel is the Marriott . This page has lots of useful information about visiting UIC and the city of Chicago. A list of recommended restaurants in the area can be found here . More information to follow.