Student Talks on Trending Topics in Theory 2017 is a discussion meeting on field theory-related topics organised by and for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows working in India.

It will be held during 8 — 19 May 2017, at the Chennai Mathematical Institute.

In spirit, it is similar to the Modave Summer School on Mathematical Physics, held in Belgium every year.

The participants will primarily be graduate students from their last two years and postdoctoral fellows. We are open to younger participants depending on logistical constraints; this age bracket will merely be the one given preference.

We hope to create a somewhat interdisciplinary environment by forming a meeting out of students and postdocs working in string theory, general quantum field theory and general relativity.

The primary aims of the meeting (in no particular order) are:

  • To convert the set of Indian grad students and postdocs into a vibrant community, to get us into the habit of interacting with each other.
  • To broaden the horizons of the participants.
  • To deepen the teaching and speaking experience of students.
  • To create an environment where students can get aggressive feedback about their thoughts in a low-pressure setting.
  • To open channels of communication between string theory and other field theoretic areas at the level of students and postdocs.

The format will be intensive, and intensely interactive, lecture series given by students and postdocs to an audience of their peers. We hope to have four or five lecturers over this period, giving four or five lectures each, with the topics to be decided by popular vote. We will endeavour to minimise the number of hard cutoff times for lectures, to better engender an atmosphere of free inquiry and unfettered discussion.

Further, we also hope to keep slots for one-off lectures (which can also be lecture series!) by any participant who wishes to talk about anything that pleases them. We will not be scheduling these before the meeting; we will just delineate slots at the time and they can be taken up by anyone who wants to.

This year’s meeting is being organised by students and postdocs at CMI, IIT Kanpur, IMSc, and TIFR. We sincerely hope that this meeting will live on to become a regular yearly phenomenon.