Wed 07 Nov 2012, 6:00pm  Room TBC, Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Professor Bob Coecke (University of Oxford) speaks on

We will demonstrate the following. Category theory, usually conceived as some very abstract form of metamathematics, is present everywhere around us. Explicitly, we show how it provides a kindergarten version of quantum theory, how it helps to automate quantum reasoning, and how it will help Google to understand sentences given the meaning of their words.
Selling category theory to the masses: a tale of food, spiders and GoogleWe will demonstrate the following. Category theory, usually conceived as some very abstract form of metamathematics, is present everywhere around us. Explicitly, we show how it provides a kindergarten version of quantum theory, how it helps to automate quantum reasoning, and how it will help Google to understand sentences given the meaning of their words.

Miscellanea Some references are:
[light] New Scientist (8 December 2010) "Quantum links let computers understand language". www.cs.ox.ac.uk/people/bob.coecke/NewScientist.pdf
[medium] BC (2010) "Quantum picturalism". Contemporary Physics 51, 5983. arXiv:0908.1787
[medium] BC (2012) "The logic of quantum mechanics  Take II". arXiv:1204.3458
[a bit heavier] BC and Ross Duncan (2011) "Interacting quantum observables: categorical algebra and diagrammatics". New Journal of Physics 13, 043016. arXiv:0906.4725
[a bit heavier] BC, Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh and Stephen Clark (2011) "Mathematical foundations for a compositional distributional model of meaning". Linguistic Analysis  Lambek Festschrift. arXiv:1003.4394 