Mathematical gems in Distance Geometry


Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management
The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Date: 11:00pm-12:00pm, December 16 (Friday), 2016

Title: Mathematical gems in Distance Geometry

Speaker: Professor Leo Liberti, CNRS LIX, Ecole Polytechnique

Distance geometry focuses on the concept of distance rather than points and lines. Its fundamental problem asks to draw a weighted graph in a given K-dimensional Euclidean space, so that each edge is drawn as a segment with length equal to the weight, and it has applications to many fields of science and engineering (e.g. protein folding, wireless networks, robotic control, nanostructures and more). Distance geometry results are scattered throughout the whole history of mathematics starting with the Greeks. I will present some of those I find most beautiful, from a selection including: Heron's theorem, Cauchy's theorem about rigidity of convex polyhedra, Goedel's theorem about realizability on a sphere, and Schoenberg's theorem linking Euclidean Distance Matrices and Positive Semidefinite Matrices.

Leo Liberti obtained his Ph.D. in Global Optimization at Imperial College London, held postdoctoral fellowships at Politecnico di Milano and Ecole Polytechnique in France, where he then became professor and vice-president of his department. After two years as a Research Staff Member at IBM Research in New York, he became Research Director at CNRS and part-time professor at Ecole Polytechnique. His main research interests are mathematical programming with applications to industrial problems, optimization algorithms, and distance geometry.

Everyone is welcome to attend the talk!

Venue: Room 513,
William M.W. Mong Engineering Building (ERB),
(Engineering Building Complex Phase 2)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The talk will be hosted by:
Prof. Anthony Man-Cho So,
Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong,

SEEM-5201 Website:

Friday, December 16, 2016 - 03:00 to 04:00