The Mark Kac seminar takes place in Utrecht, in one of the university buildings in the magnificent city center. The seminar rooms are equipped with a beamer and whiteboard. If you plan to use the beamer, you should always bring a copy of your presentation (a PDF file) on a memory stick to the seminar. It is usually no problem to use your own laptop, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
If you plan to use the beamer, you should also take into account that the screen might obscure part of the whiteboard, leaving you little space to write on. If you plan to use only the whiteboard, you should be aware that the room might only be equipped with a single whiteboard, which means that you may not have as much space to write on as you are used to. This is one of the minor drawbacks of organizing a seminar in the city centre of Utrecht.
The Mark Kac seminar attracts an audience of researchers from all over the Netherlands working in the areas of probability theory and statistical physics. A majority specializes in mathematics rather than physics. The number of attendants typically lies between 15 and 25.
We emphasize that the seminar attracts many young researchers (PhD students and postdocs, and the occasional Master student), not all of whom specialize in statistical physics. As a speaker, you should take this into consideration. You can count on a basic knowledge of (spatial) probability theory and general mathematics, but not everyone in the audience is familiar with the foundations of statistical physics, quantum physics, or other advanced fields of expertise.
The schedule of the Mark Kac seminar is one of the keys to its success. A lecture in the Mark Kac seminar takes quite a bit longer than you are probably used to: each of the two speakers will have 90 minutes (twice 45 minutes) to speak, with a 15-minute break half-way each talk. This means that as a speaker, you have ample time to explain things and go into details. We warn you, however, not to overestimate the amount of material you can cover in the given time. The seminar leaves ample room for questions and discussion, and this has been known to catch speakers out before.
In view of the above, we suggest that you keep the first part of your talk at an accessible, introductory level, aimed at a general audience of PhD level and above. The second part of your talk can be more advanced. Make good use of the time given to you to explain your results and, if possible, to go into the ideas and details of their proofs, but make sure to also leave time for discussion and questions.
The two lectures are separated by a lunch break. If you are the morning speaker, please take into account that we need to stop in time to have enough time for lunch before the start of the afternoon session. The schedule for the day is as follows:
12:15–13:00morning speaker, part 2
14:30–15:15afternoon speaker, part 1
15:30–16:15afternoon speaker, part 2
After the seminar, a group usually goes for a beer somewhere in the city center, to which you are of course invited.
Title and abstract
Please send title and abstract of your talk to the organizers well in advance (at least 4 weeks before the seminar). Title and abstract should be sent in plain text. If you need special characters, the preferred way to include them is to use HTML character entities (for instance, á for á or ë for ë) in your message. If you cannot or do not know how to do this and you do use special characters, please make sure that your e-mail header specifies which character set is used (not all e-mail clients do this automatically), so that we can identify the proper character to use. Your title and abstract will be published on our website, and will also be included in the e-mail announcement of the seminar.
Hotel and reimbursement
We can arrange hotel accommodation for speakers from abroad. You will receive a per diem if you stay overnight. If you come from abroad, you should make your own travel arrangements, but we will reimburse you your travel expenses if you send us your tickets, bills and receipts after the seminar. The hotel bill is usually paid directly by us.
The hotel we normally use to accommodate our speakers is Hotel Oorsprongpark, located at F.C. Dondersstraat 12 in Utrecht. This is point B on the map below. Points A, C and D mark the locations where the Mark Kac seminar is held (see also our location page): A is Janskerkhof 15a (or JK15a), C is Kromme Nieuwegracht 80 (or KNG80) and D is Achter de Dom 22 (or ADD22). Utrecht central station is in the lower-left corner. The hotel is situated at a convenient 15 to 20 minute walking distance from either seminar location. The Oorsprongpark bus stop is around the corner. It is frequented by buses 11, 50, 52, 53 and 74 from Utrecht central station.