This is a working seminar, where we try to figure out the relationship between the following three sets of ideas:
- John Wentworth’s Natural Abstraction: there exist abstractions (relatively low-dimensional summaries which capture information relevant for prediction) which are “natural” in the sense that we should expect a wide variety of cognitive systems to converge on using them (taken from here). The original post seems to be this.
- Resolution of singularities in algebraic geometry, which exist by a famous theorem of Hironaka.
- Renormalisation of physical theories, typically quantum (field) theories, a procedure by which we move in the space of theories / Hamiltonians, ideally removing degrees of freedom that are “irrelevant” to the phenomena that we wish to study.
Some of the topics to be explored:
- Renormalisation of Ising models and diagonalisation of Hamiltonians (= finding a presentation of the dynamics that emphasises creation and annihilation operators for degrees of freedom that are “important”, i.e. have large eigenvalues).
- PCA (= finding a presentation of data that emphasises degrees of freedom that are “important” i.e. such that a scalar projection has large variance)
- Emch-Liu “The Logic of Thermostatistical Physics” Section 13.2 The renormalisation program.
- Di Francesco-Mathieu-Sénéchal “Conformal Field Theory” Ch. 3, statistical mechanics.
- A tour of renormalisation by Simon Dedeo.
- 29-9-22 Alexander Oldenziel Natural Abstraction I 11:00 GMT, 20:00 Melbourne
- 13-10-22 Daniel Murfet Resolution I: Blowing up
- 27-10-22 Ben Gerraty Renormalisation I: The Ising model
- 10-11-22 Alexander Oldenziel Natural Abstraction II