Nonconvexity, Nonlocality and Incompatibility: From Materials to Biology

Conference in honor of Lev Truskinovsky's 60th birthday

Department of Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh
May 5-7, 2017

Download the conference poster: PDF (339 KB)
Register for the conference

Organizing committee:

Anna Vainchtein (University of Pittsburgh)
Yury Grabovsky
(Temple University)
Pierre Recho (CNRS, Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Physique, Grenoble)
Giovanni Zanzotto
(University of Padua)

Questions? Contact us

The conference aims to facilitate exchange of ideas and establish new connections between researchers from different fields working on problems in materials science and biology that involve nonconvex nonlocal interactions and incompatibility, as well as other closely related issues. Conference topics include plasticity and phase transitions in crystals, nucleation and evolution of defects and microstructures in crystal lattices, self-organized criticality and avalanches, crystallization, wrinkling, rupture processes in earthquakes, morphogenesis, cell motility, growth and remodeling of biological tissues, mechanics of muscles and protein motors. Mathematical studies of such problems involve multiscale variational methods and homogenization, stochastic analysis, differential geometry and analysis of nonlinear partial, functional and lattice differential equations.

Plenary Speakers:

  • Basile Audoly (École Polytechnique and Université Pierre et Marie Curie)
  • Victor Berdichevsky (Wayne State University)
  • Andrea Braides (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
  • Ana Carpio (Complutense University of Madrid)
  • Andrej Cherkaev (University of Utah)
  • Antonio DeSimone (Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati)
  • Marcelo Epstein (University of Calgary)
  • Irene Fonseca (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Roger Fosdick (University of Minnesota)
  • Robert Kohn (New York University)
  • Khanh Chau Le (University of Bochum)
  • Marta Lewicka (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Francisco Perez-Reche (University of Aberdeen)
  • Giuseppe Puglisi (Technical University of Bari)
  • James Rice (Harvard University)
  • Phoebus Rosakis (University of Crete)
  • Reuven Segev (Ben-Gurion University)
  • Sylvia Serfaty (New York University)

Call for poster presentations and contributed talks:

The conference will include a limited number of 20-minute contributed lectures and a poster session. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in particular are encouraged to submit abstracts for poster presentations.  To be considered, please fill this form by December 31, 2016. Final decisions on presentation selection will be communicated by February 1, 2017.

Venue and conference schedule:

The conference will be held in room 125 of the Frick Fine Arts Building at the University of Pittsburgh. It will begin at 8:45 am on Friday, May 5, and end by 6 pm on Sunday, May 7. The conference schedule will be posted here at a later date.

Registration and financial support:

There is no registration fee but conference registration is required for logistical reasons. Please register using this link. Limited support for early-career participants may become available.

Local information and accommodation:


Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is 20.5 miles away from the University of Pittsburgh (30-45 minutes driving time depending on the time of day). Due to the Pittsburgh Marathon being held on Sunday, May 7, and some pre-marathon events held on Friday and Saturday, the air traffic into and out of the city is expected to be much larger than usual over the weekend. We therefore strongly recommend arranging  your travel plans well in advance of the conference. Marathon-related road closures will also cause traffic delays in the city, so please plan accordingly.


If you are a plenary speaker, the conference organizers will be in touch with you about the hotel reservation. All other participants must make their own accommodation arrangements.

A large block of rooms was reserved at the Hampton Inn for the conference participants, at the rate $131 per night. The rate includes hot breakfast, free high speed internet and free parking.  Reservations must be made either online using this link or by calling the hotel at 412-681-1000  (tell them you are part of the "Pitt mathematics conference" group) by April 14, 2017. The conference venue and restaurants on campus are within a walking distance from the hotel (see this map for the directions) and can be reached by bus (see these directions (the fare is $2.75, and the exact change is required, note that the directions are for 61C but you can also take 61A or 61D - for all of these, from the hotel, get on the bus at the stop "Forbes Ave at Craft Ave", 3 minutes walk from the hotel, and exit at "Forbes Ave at Bigelow Blvd", walking another 3 minutes to the conference venue). The hotel also provides a complimentary shuttle, which, however, will not be able to transport all participants staying at the hotel, so please use this option only when necessary.

A smaller block of rooms was also reserved at the Residence Inn ($189 per night, includes breakfast and free high speed internet, parking fee is $15 per day). Reservations must be made using this link or by calling the hotel at 412-621-2200 (tell them you are part of "University of Pittsburgh-Mathematics Conference") by March 23, 2017. This hotel is also within walking distance from the conference venue (see this map for the directions).

Other hotels near campus include Quality Inn, Hilton Garden Inn and Wyndham Hotel. Keep in mind, however, that due to the marathon, many local hotels will be either booked or have higher rates, so it is a good idea to take advantage of the university-negotiated rate at the Hampton Inn by making your reservation before the April 14 deadline.

Local transportation and driving directions

There are several options to get to the campus from the airport.

  • Uber: current estimate for the fare from the airport is $25-33 for uberX and $40-53 for uberXL.
  • zTrip taxi service (412-777-7777): the average taxi fare from the airport to campus is approximately $50.
  • SuperShuttle (1-800-258-3826): the fare is $25 one way for a shared-ride van.
  • Port Authority Transit 28X Airport Flyer: the trip cost is $3.75 one way, and the exact change is required. The bus runs every 30 minutes from the airport at gate #6, and the duration of the trip to the Hampton Inn is about one hour. To get to the Hampton Inn, get off at the stop "Forbes Ave at Craft Ave" and walk about 2 minutes to the hotel. See the flyer schedule for more details.
See this link for driving directions to the Hampton Inn and this link for the directions to the Residence Inn.

Campus map

Here is a campus map. The conference will be held at the Frick Fine Arts Building, FKART on the map (F-3).


If you need to park on campus, you may use the following garages:

  • Soldiers and Sailors (SO): The rates are 0-1 hour $4; 1-2 hours $5; 2-4 hours $7; 4-6 hours $8; 6-8 hours $10; 8-10 hours $12; Over 10 hours $14.
  • O'Hara (OH) : The rates are 0-1 hour $4; 1-2 hours $5; 2-4 hours $8; 4-6 hours $9; 6-8 hours $10; 8-10 hours $14; Over 10 hours $17.
  • All garages available for visitor parking are listed on this map.

Dining options

There are many restaurants on and around Pitt campus, some of which are marked here. Locals recommend Spice Island Tea House (Asian), Noodles & Company (American/Asian), The Porch at Schenley (American), Fuel and Fuddle (American).

Conference sponsors:

The conference is sponsored by the Mathematics Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. We have applied for partial support from the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications and the National Science Foundation to help early-career researchers attend the meeting. 

The conference is held in cooperation with the Association for Women in Mathematics and supports its non-discrimination statement.