The Mark Kac seminar on Stochastics and Physics is a monthly meeting held in Utrecht, the Netherlands, between probabilists and statistical physicists, covering their common area of interest. The range of topics covered includes:


The seminar originally started in 1977 with informal meetings of a small group of Dutch mathematicians and physicists discussing topics in their common field of interest. Following a suggestion by P.W. Kasteleyn, one of the founding fathers of statistical physics in the Netherlands, the seminar was named after Mark Kac in 1985. Mark Kac had close contacts with many Dutch scientists and was a regular visitor until his death in 1984. His work is at the very core of the area in mathematical physics that the seminar tries to cover.

Main speakers

Since the academic season 1985–1986, every season a main speaker is invited to give a series of lectures (usually three lectures, often in Spring). Here is a list of all the main speakers we have had in the past, together with the topics of their lectures:

  1. Geoffrey Grimmett Interacting particle systems and random networks
  2. John T. Lewis LDP in statistical mechanics and its application to the Boson gas
  3. Bernard Souillard Electron and wave propagation in disordered media
  4. Burkhard Kümmerer Non-commutative probability
  5. Herbert Spohn Large scale dynamics of interacting particle systems
  6. Christian Maes Stochastic cellular automata
  7. Erwin Bolthausen Large deviations with applications
  8. Reinhard Werner Large deviations and mean field systems
  9. Enzo Olivieri Metastability
  10. Jennifer Chayes Percolation
  11. Domokos Szasz Ergodicity of the billard system
  12. Gordon Slade Lace expansion
  13. Senya Shlosman Metastability
  14. Jeffrey Steif Ergodic properties of Gibbs states
  15. Michael Baake Quasicrystals
  16. Wendelin Werner Critical exponents, conformal invariance and planar Brownian motion
  17. Olle Häggström Percolation and spatial interaction
  18. Kurt Johansson Random matrices
  19. Charles-Edouard Pfister On the nature of isotherms at first order phase transitions
  20. Bertrand Duplantier Conformal random geometry & quantum gravity
  21. Alain-Sol Sznitman Random motions in random media
  22. Thierry Bodineau Phase coexistence for lattice models
  23. Roberto Fernández Cluster expansions for hard-core systems
  24. Franz Merkl What are crystals?
  25. Yvan Velenik Ornstein-Zernike theory and applications
  26. Alan Sokal Some combinatorics and analysis arising out of the Potts model
  27. Anton Bovier Extreme universality
  28. Dima Ioffe Stochastic representations of quantum Gibbs states
  29. Gordon Slade Self-avoiding walk and the renormalisation group
  30. Rongfeng Sun Polynomial chaos and scaling limits of disordered systems
  31. Milton Jara The weak KPZ universality conjecture
  32. Antti Kupiainen Renormalization Group and stochastic PDE’s
  33. Anton Thalmaier Brownian motion, Ricci curvature, functional inequalities and geometric flows
  34. Anna di Masi Macroscopic behavior of stochastic interacting particle systems
  35. Federico Camia (postponed)
  36. (postponed)
  37. (postponed)
  38. Federico Camia Conformal Probability: A personal Perspective.
  39. Nicola Kistler TBA