Description of the workshop

Fermion point processes were introduced by Odile Macchi in 1975 to model the spatial distribution of fermions in optical beams. Since then, these point processes have lived a life of their own in physics, probability, statistics, machine learning, and signal processing, often being renamed "determinantal point processes" when the connection to physical particles became more anecdotal.

This interdisciplinary workshop will gather experts across physics, mathematics, and signal processing, in order to reconnect, discuss the links between fermions and DPPs in 2019, and determine how much light the two objects can still shed on each other. In particular, we will try to answer the following questions (feel free to suggest some) :

  • what exactly is meant by "DPPs model ensembles of free fermions"?
  • whether physicists still think that DPPs actually are a good model for something, and if not, what has replaced them.
  • to what extent the determinantal feature of fermions has been experimentally validated.
  • what similar models are suggested by physics that could be of use in other fields?
  • Are there mathematical and computational tools that have been developed by physicists to analyze systems of fermions (e.g. clever variational methods) that have not yet been borrowed by DPP users?

Registration is free, but mandatory.

Where and when

The workshop will be held at Laboratoire Painlevé, on the campus of Univ. Lille, buildings M2/M3 (room TBC). From train station Lille Flandres, take the subway line 1 (the yellow one on maps), direction "4 cantons", and stop at "Cité scientifique". Then it's a 5min walk. From the airport, either take a cab or the shuttle to the train station (20min). From train station Lille Europe, walk to train station Lille Flandres (10min), then take the subway as described above. From Lille-Lesquin airport, there is a shuttle that takes you to train station Lille Flandres (20min), then take the subway as described above. A cab from the airport to the campus is also a good option (it's around 5km).

We have arranged so that people can come on Feb 6 and be home before the weekend. The detailed schedule is TBC, but the enddates are

  • Feb 6, 13:30: welcome coffee
  • Feb 6, 14:00: start
  • Feb 8, 15:00: stop

Guest speakers

Background material and output

One of the challenges of interdisciplinary meetings is to determine a common vocabulary. Here is a document that introduces DPPs, fixes notation, and gives suggestions of topics to discuss at the workshop. Depending on the outcome of the workshop, the document could also be a basis for a note that we collectively write to report our discussions.


  • Adrien Hardy, Lab. Painlevé, Univ. Lille, France
  • Rémi Bardenet, CNRS & CRIStAL, Univ. Lille, France


This workshop is funded by ANR programme BoB.

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