Marsden Memorial Lecture

Marsden Memorial

The Marsden Memorial Lecture Series is dedicated to the memory of Jerrold E Marsden (1942-2010), a world-renowned Canadian applied mathematician. Marsden was the Carl F Braun Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems at Caltech, and prior to that he was at the University of California (Berkeley) for many years. He did extensive research in the areas of geometric mechanics, dynamical systems and control theory. He was one of the original founders in the early 1970s of reduction theory for mechanical systems with symmetry, which remains an active and much studied area of research today.

Marsden lectures are high-profile lectures in applied mathematics (broadly construed), and can take place around the PIMS Network. Suggestions for speakers in the Marsden Memorial Lecture Series can be made at any time to the Deputy Director of PIMS, and there will be an annual call for nominations in March of each year. Nominations of speakers enhancing PIMS's mission to reach out to diverse audiences are especially encouraged. Suggested speakers will be evaluated based on their academic distinction in mathematics and its applications, the ability to deliver an engaging talk to a broad mathematical audience and diversity considerations.

Previous Marsden Memorial Lectures

Scientific, Distinguished Lecture
Marsden Memorial Lecture: Melvin Leok
March 24, 2023
University of Northern British Columbia
Geometric mechanics describes Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics geometrically, and information geometry formulates statistical estimation, inference, and machine learning in terms of geometry. A divergence function is an asymmetric distance...
Scientific, Seminar
Marsden Memorial Lecture: Naomi Leonard
September 27, 2018
University of Alberta
I will present nonlinear dynamics for distributed decision-making that derive from principles of symmetry and bifurcation. Inspired by studies of animal groups, including house-hunting honeybees and schooling fish, the nonlinear dynamics describe a...
Scientific, Distinguished Lecture
PIMS Marsden Memorial Lecture: Richard Schoen
July 19, 2016
Banff International Research Station (BIRS), Banff
The global study of the space of solutions of the Einstein constraint equations goes back to work of Jerry Marsden and co-workers in the early 1970s. Since that time the subject has evolved in interesting ways. First it has been possible to localize...
Scientific, Distinguished Lecture
PIMS Marsden Memorial Lecture: Yann Brenier
June 10, 2015
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
The slides for this event are available on As the Euler theory of hydrodynamics (1757), the Born-Infeld theory of electromagnetism (1934) enjoys a simple and beautiful geometric structure. Quite surprisingly, the BI model which is of...
Scientific, Distinguished Lecture
PIMS Marsden Memorial Lecture: Mathieu Desbrun
April 8, 2014
Instituto Nacional de Matematica Pura e Aplicada (IMPA), Rio de Janeiro
Geometry is at the foundation of many physical theories, even if it is often obfuscated by their formulations in vectorial or tensorial notations. When computational simulation is needed, leveraging geometric formulations of physical models can...
Scientific, Distinguished Lecture
PIMS Marsden Memorial Lecture - Peter Constantin
June 10, 2013
Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences
I will describe results concerning evolution equations involving nonlocal terms. Particular examples will include the Surface Quasi-Geostrophic equation (SQG) and its generalizations. I will discuss a nonlinear maximum principle for linear nonlocal...
Scientific, Distinguished Lecture
Marsden Memorial Lecture: Alan Weinstein
July 20, 2011
Alan Weinstein is a Professor of the Graduate School in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley. He was a colleague of Jerry Marsden throughout Jerry’s career at Berkeley, and their joint papers on “Reduction of...