Workshop on

Random Polymers

June 18-22, 2007

EURANDOM, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Programme & Abstracts| Speakers  & Participants |Registration | Practical Information


Polymers continue to attract considerable interest. As part of probability theory, combinatorics and statistical physics, polymer models are designed to describe and help understand the configurational and thermodynamic properties of polymer molecules in a variety of different situations.

Linear polymer molecules are characterised by spatial flexibility and by self-interaction and interaction with their surroundings.
Models are needed which take account of their resulting configurational degrees of freedom. The simplest models are random walks and directed walks. Self-avoiding walk models are more difficult, but they properly account for the excluded-volume effect, i.e. the fact that monomers take up space to the exclusion of other monomers.

Polymers can exhibit phase transitions. For instance, a polymer can change from an expanded coil to a compact ball when the temperature is decreased, due to self-attraction or repulsion from a liquid in which it is immersed. Similarly, polymers can adsorb at a surface, with a phase transition from adsorbed to desorbed behaviour as the temperature is increased. There are additional complications in random copolymers, where the polymer consists of at least two types of monomers, arranged along the polymer chain in a random order. Random copolymers exhibit collapse and adsorption transitions, and there are challenging questions about how the randomness affects the nature of the phase transition.
Random copolymers can also localize at an interface between two immiscible liquids, distributing their monomers between the two liquid phases to optimise their energy.

This workshop is designed to review recent progress in the study of polymers. The emphasis will be on their rigorous mathematical treatment. The workshop is intended to bring together researchers in probability theory, combinatorics and statistical physics.


Kenneth Alexander (University of Southern California)
Juan Alvarez (University of Toronto)
Marek Biskup (University of California at Los Angeles)
Erwin Bolthausen (Universität Zürich)
Francesco Caravenna (Universitŕ degli Studi di Padova)
Francis Comets (Université Paris 7)
Jean-Dominique Deuschel (Technische Universität Berlin)
Johan Dubbeldam (Technische Universiteit Delft)
Giambattista Giacomin (Université Paris 7)
Tony Guttmann (University of Melbourne)
Remco van der Hofstad (Eindhoven University of Technology)
Gary Iliev (University of Toronto)
Sebastian Lück (Ulm University)
Thijs Michels (Eindhoven University of Technology)
Enzo Orlandini (Universitŕ degli Studi di Padova)
Alex Owczarek (University of Melbourne)
Nicolas Pétrélis (EURANDOM)
Christoph Richard (Universität Bielefeld)
Andrew Rechnitzer (University of British Columbia)
Buks Janse van Rensburg (York University)
Vladas Sidoravicius (IMPA)
Gordon Slade (University of British Columbia)
Christine Soteros (University of Saskatchewan)
Fabio Toninelli (Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon)


Monday June 18, 2007

08.30 Registration  
08.50 Opening O.J. Boxma, Scientific Director EURANDOM
09.00-10.00 T. Guttmann Prudent self-avoiding walks and polygons
10.00-10.15 Break  
10.15-11.15 A. Rechnitzer Combinatorial models of polymers in a slit with attractive walls
11.15-11.30 Break  
11.30-12.30 A. Owczarek Polymers in a slab with attractive walls: Scaling and numerical results
12.30-15.30 Lunch  
15.30-16.30 E.J. Janse van Rensburg Directed paths in a wedges
16.30-16.45 Break  
16.45-17.45 E. Orlandini Modelling polymers stretched by a force

Tuesday June 19, 2007

09.00-10.00 S. Lück

A stochastic model for the reorganization of keratin networks

10.00-10.15 Break  
10.15-11.15 J. Dubbeldam Translocation of polymers through a narrow pore
11.15-11.30 Break  
11.30-12.30 M.A.J. Michels Disorder and criticality in polymer-like failure
12.30-15.30 Lunch  
15.30-16.30 V. Sidoravicius Columnar effects and pinning for a few oriented polymer models
16.30-16.45 Break  
16.45-17.45 E. Bolthausen On the localization-delocalization transition in a random copolymer model
18.30   Conference Dinner

Wednesday June 20, 2007

09.00-10.00 F. Toninelli A replica-coupling approach to disordered pinning models
10.00-10.15 Break  
10.15-11.15 G. Giacomin Pinning of polymers and renewal theory estimates
11.15-11.30 Break  
11.30-12.30 K. Alexander Distinct quenched and annealed critical points in polymer depinning transitions
12.30-15.50 Lunch  
15.30-16.30 R. van der Hofstad Mean-field behaviour for long-range self-avoiding walks, percolation and the Ising model
16.30-16.45 Break  
16.45-17.45 G. Slade The lace expansion and the enumeration of self-avoiding walks

Thursday June 21, 2007

09.00-10.00 M. Biskup Strong path localization for random walk in random double-exponential potential
10.00-10.15 Break  
10.15-11.15 F. Comets

On -percolation and the number of polymer paths

11.15-11.30 Break  
11.30-12.00 G. Iliev Bicoloured Motzkin Paths: A Model of Unzipping Duplex DNA
12.00-12.30 J. Alvarez Random copolymer adsorption
12.30-15.30 Lunch  
15.30-16.30 J.D. Deuschel Laplacian pinning and wetting models in (1+1)-dimensions
16.30-16.45 Break  
16.45-17.45 C. Richard Some problems in the statistical mechanics of polymers

Friday June 22, 2007

09.00-10.00 F. Caravenna On the phase diagram of random copolymers at selective interfaces
10.00-10.15 Break  
10.15-11.15 N. Pétrélis Copolymer in a multi interface medium
11.15-11.30 Break  
11.30-12.30 C. Soteros Bounds for directed walk models of random copolymer localization
12.30   Closing


There is no registration fee.


Registration deadline is June 5, 2007.


Conference Location

the workshop location is EURANDOM,  Den Dolech 2, 5612 AZ Eindhoven, Laplace Building, 1st floor, LG 1.105.

EURANDOM is located on the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology, in the 'Laplacegebouw' building' (LG on the map). The university is located at 10 minutes walking distance from Eindhoven railway station (take the exit north side and walk towards the tall building on the right with the sign TU/e).


For those arriving by plane, there is a convenient train connection between Amsterdam Schiphol airport and Eindhoven, with only one change at Duivendrecht. This trip will take about two hours. For more detailed information, please consult the NS travel information pages or see EURANDOM web page location. 

Many low cost carriers also fly to Eindhoven Airport. There is a bus connection to the Eindhoven central railway station from the airport. (Bus route number 401). For details on departure times consult 

The University  can be reached easily by car from the highways leading to Eindhoven (for details, see our route descriptions or consult our map with highway connections


EURANDOM made preliminary group reservations in

hotel Hampshire Inn, Stratumsedijk 23d/f, Eindhoven. Special price single room  83* euro, double room 93* euro(breakfast included)

 * excl. tourist tax 3,50 euro per night.

If you want EURANDOM to make a reservation, indicate the requested nights in the registration page.

For private bookings we suggest to consult the web pages of the Tourist Information Eindhoven, Postbus 7, 5600 AA Eindhoven.


June 18-22 lunches are being organised; free of costs for all participants, if ordered on the registration form.

On Tuesday June 19, there will be an organised dinner. For non-invitees an amount of 30 euro is requested, to be paid at arrival in cash (preferably exact amount in euros). Indicate your attendance on the registration form.


For more information please contact Mrs. Lucienne Coolen, workshop officer of  EURANDOM, at


Frank den Hollander Leiden University (
Stu Whittington University of Toronto (


The Organizers would like to acknowledge the following organizations for their contributions





Last up-dated 24-02-09

This page is maintained by Lucienne Coolen