Campus Digest: Institute builds statistical mechanics foundations

By Communications Staff
April 24, 2013

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Each year, the Rotman Summer Institute brings graduate students together with exceptional faculty from around the world to focus on a topic of special interest. The institute will take place Sunday, July 14-Saturday, July 20, on the shores of Lake Huron.

This year’s institute is aimed at fostering an understanding of conceptual issues in the foundations of statistical mechanics. The goal for students is to come away from the course prepared to engage the philosophical literature on the foundations of statistical mechanics at a professional level.

As there isn’t a consensus as to what the correct approach is to understanding statistical mechanics, the institute will be bringing together leading contributors to the philosophical debates to date. Lecture topics will include both introductions to basic issues, and specialized topics.

Faculty for this year’s institute are David Z. Albert (Columbia University), Wayne Myrvold (Western), John Norton (University of Pittsburgh), Jos Uffink (University of Minnesota) and David Wallace (University of Oxford).

Tuition, including meals and accommodations, but excluding travel, is $800. Tuition relief will be available to selected students; if you wish to be considered for this, please indicate in cover letter.

To apply, students should send the following materials to Carol Suter ( A cover letter describing current research interests, explaining the relevance of the Summer Institute to these interests; a current CV; and a letter of reference from the student’s supervisor, or a faculty member familiar with their research related to the Summer Institute.

The deadline for applications has been extended to April 30.

Visit the Rotman Institute website,, for more details.


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