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. The location will be on the campus of Université Lille 1, metro stop "4 cantons", 20 minutes by metro from the train station. The precise building will be posted later.

Guest speakers

Background material and output

One of the challenges of interdisciplinary meetings is to determine a common vocabulary. We will prepare and post here a few pages of introduction to DPPs to fix the notation and concepts beforehand. This preliminary document will contain the main questions that we would like to answer together in this 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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