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Math lecture on understanding financial risk

October 06, 2011

Understanding how the overall collapse of today’s financial market can improve the survival of individual entities, and how mathematics can work to determine how likely certain outcomes with unknown variables are, will be discussed in the public lecture to be given by Stanford mathematician George Papanicolaou, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 17, at the Memorial Union, Ventana C.
The Basil Nicolaenko Memorial Distinguished Lecture Series in Nonlinear Studies was created to recognize and honor professor Nicolaenko's exemplary career in mathematics and his passion and intellectual curiosity for teaching nonlinear studies. He was one of the co-founding members of the Center for Nonlinear Studies at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1980 and joined the ASU mathematics faculty in 1988 where he was a key leader in the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Group.
“In today’s highly interdependent world, many systems are composed of several parts which affect each other and the system as a whole," said Wayne Raskind, director of the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at ASU. "In some cases, components of the system can fail without affecting the whole system. In other cases, failure of some components can increase volatility in the system and raise the risk of its failure greatly.

"The study of such situations is known as systemic risk and this was very relevant during the financial crisis of 2008 and with the problems facing us at the present time such as debt and political gridlock. In this lecture, Papanicolaou will explain more about how systemic risk works from a mathematical point of view.”
Friends, family and colleagues have come together to establish the Basil Nicolaenko Distinguished Nonlinear Studies Endowment. This endowment in the ASU Foundation shall support the distinguished lecture series, scholarships, fellowships, and other academic programs in nonlinear studies. The Basil Nicolaenko Distinguished Nonlinear Studies Endowment creates a legacy that will forever recognize the important and long lasting contributions that he made to our community, to the study of nonlinear studies at ASU, and to mathematics worldwide.

Representatives from the ASU School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering will select the speakers for the lecture series and also scholarship and fellowship recipients from qualified students enrolled at Arizona State University in degree programs that are associated with nonlinear studies.

To support this esteemed lecture series, please consider making a gift online.
For more information on this lecture, click here.