This summer semester the Giovanni Prodi Chair is assigned to Professor Karma Dajani from Utrecht University (The Netherlands), a renown mathematician specialising in Ergodic Theory.
In Ergodic Theory the long time behaviour of dynamical systems are studied by analytic and probabilistic methods. The origin of Ergodic Theory lies in problems arising from 19th century Statistical Mechanics; it was founded by the path-breaking works of Henri Poincar? John von Neumann, and George D. Birkhoff from the period 1890 - 1932. Meanwhile Ergodic Theory has been successfully applied to other mathematical disciplines, e.g., Number Theory (in particular, with respect to questions concerning statistics of continued fraction expansions). Recently, the 2014 Abel-Prize was awarded to Yakov G. Sinai for his important works in Ergodic Theory (among others).
The recommendable monography 'Ergodic Theory of Numbers' by Karma Dajani and Cor Kraaikamp (Math. Association of America, Washington DC 2002) is a standard reference for Ergodic Theory and its number theoretical applications. Building on this book, and going further, Karma Dajani will give a course (lectruing four hours per week plus a two hours tutorial) aimed at Master students. Basics in Functional Analysis and Number Theory may be helpful (but are not necessary).
Karma Dajani studied at the George Washington University, Washington DC, and there she finished her doctorate in 1989, supervised by the renown Ergodic theorist E. Arthur Robinson; her dissertation was about 'Simultaneous Recurrence of Weighted Cocycles'. During her studies she did win the Taylor-Prize in Mathematics twice. After several guest visits at different universities in the U.S. and the Netherlands Karma Dajani lectures at the University of Utrecht since 1995, and as a professor since 2001.
Since then Karma Dajani put her strength in promoting her field of research as well as in encouraging young scientists, in particular in the framework 'European Women in Mathematics'. Her worldwide expertise with more than forty research papers on Ergodic Theory, published in leading journals, provides a remarkable background. On April 23 Karma Dajani will give a talk at the Mathematical Colloquium of our institute about her recent research.