Lancaster skyline

Rigidity, Flexibility and Applications

LMS Hybrid School on Knowledge Exchange

Lancaster University, 18th-22nd July 2022

Organisers: Dr Bernd Schulze and Professor David Leslie (Lancaster University)

The mathematical theory of rigidity and flexibility has a rich history and dates back at least to Euler’s conjecture on the rigidity of polyhedra in 1766 and Maxwell’s studies of mechanical linkages, trusses, and other engineering structures in the 19th century. Mathematically, the field sits at the nexus of combinatorics, geometry and algebra.

The purpose of this Research School on Knowledge Exchange is to introduce talented young scientists to the increasingly active research area of rigidity and flexibility and to enable them to produce excellent mathematical and inter-disciplinary research in this area.


The Research School will run as a hybrid event and feature the following 4 mini-courses:

  • ‘Geometric rigidity’ taught by Louis Theran (St. Andrews)
  • ‘Statistical mechanics and sphere packings’ taught by Miranda Holmes-Cerfon (NYU)
  • ‘Topology of linkages’ taught by Michael Farber (Queen Mary)
  • ‘Applications of rigidity to soft matter physics’ taught by Silke Henkes (Bristol)

There will be three plenary talks by members of the Statistics Section of Lancaster University. Idris Eckley will explain how to build strategic partnerships to support research programmes; Rebecca Killick will talk about the benefits of collaboration in early career research; and David Leslie will talk about the national KE landscape (based on learnings from the Bond review).

In addition, Andea Liu (Pennsylvania) will speak about the design of functional materials by exploiting the malleability of disorder, John Owen (SIEMENS UK) will speak about applications of rigidity-based methods to the development of CAD software and William Baker (SOM) will speak about applications of geometric rigidity to structural engineering.

The KE Research School schedule is now available to download. The introduction and all lectures and plenary talks will take place in the Postgraduate Statistics Centre (PSC), Lecture Theatre A54. All lectures and plenary talks will be live-streamed and recordings will be posted on the School's website.

On Wednesday afternoon we will make an excursion to Brockhole in the Lake District: This coach trip is included in the registration fee. We will ask you on the first day of the school whether you would like to take part in this.


Registration is now closed.

Registration Fees

  • Research students (in person): £150 (no charge for subsistence costs).
  • Early career researchers* (in person): £250 (no charge for subsistence costs).
  • Other in person participants: £250 (plus subsistence costs).
  • Online participants: £0 (no fee).

* defined as within five years of completing their PhD (excluding career breaks).

Fees are not payable until a place at the Research School on Knowledge Exchange is offered but will be due before the Research School on Knowledge Exchange.

Financial Support

Limited need-based financial support is available for participants.

For UK-based mathematicians with caring duties the LMS has a Caring Supplementary Grant scheme which allows participants to apply for help covering caring costs.

Contact and Travel

The University provides information on travelling to Lancaster here.

Directions to Postgraduate Statistics Centre

From Alexandra Square, follow the South Spine to Fylde College. Cross Fylde Quad to the Postgraduate Statistics Centre. Further detailed instructions can be obtained from the organisers if required.