Instructional Workshop on Subfactors and Planar Algebras (SFPA2008)

August 26-28, 2008.

The work of Vaughan Jones in the late 1980's once again revolutionised the theory of von Neumann algebras. The study of subfactors emerging from it took various directions; in particular their structure theory became extremely important, also for other branches of Mathematics and Mathematical Physics. The so-called `planar algebras' introduced by Jones and Bisch, which also play a role in Free Probability Theory, appear to be particularly useful constructs.

The purpose of this three-day Instructional Workshop is to provide a forum for information on the latest developments in this highly specialised and vibrant area of Mathematics. The core activity will be six one-hour lectures delivered by Prof Dietmar Bisch, Vanderbilt (on the first afternoon and the mornings of the following two days). The afternoons of the second and third day shall be used for informal discussions or shorter talks by either advanced PhD students or other researchers in the field of von Neumann algebras.

This workshop is organised by Dr Martin Mathieu and supported by the School of Mathematics and Physics, the Irish Mathematical Society and the London Mathematical Society. Graduate students studying in the RoI or the UK can be supported; for details please contact


The meeting will be held in the new David Bates Building (7 College Park), next to the site where the new Library is being built. Signposts will be put up.

Click here for a timetable.


Belfast has an International Airport, linked to the city centre by a regular bus service running every half hour, as well as the George Best City Airport (from which you can take the train to Botanic Station; the station is called "Sydenham'' and "Botanic" is the third stop). A taxi from the City Airport to the Department costs about £7.

Some airlines flying to Belfast :





Belfast can also be conveniently reached by train (every two hours) from Dublin Connolly Station. There are many low fares from a number of locations in Europe to Dublin Airport, and there is a shuttle from the airport to the Main Bus Station (Busáras) near Connolly. There are also direct bus services from Dublin Airport to the City Centre of Belfast every half hour.

See Translink and Aircoach

Here's some information on Belfast; and here is some more.


Participants will be accommodated in the new Elms Village close to the University (15min walk), unless they prefer to make their own arrangements. The cost for a single ensuite room is £35 per night; this includes continental breakfast in the Elms Village. If you want us to book such a room for you, please indicate this on the registration form below. 

Registration for this event is now closed.