Fields-Carleton Distinguished Lecture Series 2017

Fields-Carleton Distinguished Lecture Series 2017

Categories: General, Lectures and Seminars | Intended for

Thursday, April 06, 2017 - Friday, April 07, 2017

6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Atrium (Second Floor) Richcraft Building

1125 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON

Contact Information

Rima Mattar, 613-520-2600 x 8760,


Limited - Register Now



About this Event

Host Organization: Carleton University and the Fields Institute
More Information: Please click here for additional details.

The Fields-Carleton Distinguished Lecture Series have been jointly sponsored by the Fields Institute and Carleton University annually. Each year, a worldwide top notch research leader in mathematical sciences or related fields is invited to Carleton to deliver two lectures, one is for general audience and the other is more technical.

It is our honour to make the following announcement: Prof. William J. Cook, University of Waterloo, is the guest speaker for 2016-17 lecture series, who will deliver two lectures (both at Carleton University):

Prof. William Cook is a University Professor in Combinatorics and Optimization at the University of Waterloo, where he received his Ph.D. in 1983. Bill was elected a SIAM Fellow in 2009, an INFORMS Fellow in 2010, a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2011 and an American Mathematics Society Fellow in 2012. He is the author of the popular book In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman: Mathematics at the Limits of Computation. Bill is a former Editor-in-Chief of the journals Mathematical Programming (Series A and B) and Mathematical Programming Computation. He is the past chair and current vice-chair of the Mathematical Optimization Society and a past chair of the INFORMS Computing Society.

General Lecture (6:30pm Thursday April 6, 2017 -- reception at 5:45pm), Atrium (second floor) of Richcraft Hall (formerly River Building)
In Pursuit of the Salesman: Mathematics at the Limits of Computation

The traveling salesman problem is easy to state: given a number of cities along with the cost of travel between each pair of them, find the cheapest way to visit them all and return to your starting point. Easy to state, but difficult to solve. It is a real possibility that there may never exist an efficient method that is guaranteed to solve every instance of the problem. This is a deep mathematical question: Is there an efficient solution method or not? The topic goes to the core of complexity theory concerning what computers can and cannot solve. In this talk, we discuss the history, applications, and computation of this fascinating problem.

Research Lecture (1:30pm Friday April 7, 2017), Macphail Room (4351HP)
The traveling salesman problem with road distances

Following Dantzig, Fulkerson, and Johnson, we show that a certain tour of 49,603 sites in the US is the shortest possible, measuring distance with point-to-point routes obtained from Google Maps. We highlight aspects of algorithms, combinatorics, and optimization that make the computation possible, including a cost-refinement technique to generate lower bounds on the tour length. The talk is based on joint work with Daniel Espinoza, Marcos Goycoolea, and Keld Helsgaun.

Register For this Event

100 spaces capacity, 16 spot(s) left.