### Categories and Information in Oxford

#### Posted by John Baez

What branch of mathematics is sufficiently general to apply both to quantum physics and linguistics? You guessed it:

- The categorical flow of information in quantum physics and linguistics, Oxford, October 29-31, 2010. Organized by Chris Heunen and Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh.

**ANNOUNCEMENT**

The Quantum and Computational Linguistics groups of the Oxford University Computing Laboratory will host a three-day workshop on the interplay between algebra and coalgebra that can be thought of as information flow, and its applications to quantum physics and linguistics.

**TOPIC**

The aim of the workshop is to bring people together from the fields of quantum groups, categorical quantum mechanics, logic, and linguistics, to exchange talks and ideas of a (co)algebraic nature, about the interaction between algebras (monoids) and coalgebras (comonoids) that can be thought of as “information flow”. Many such structure have been found useful across these fields, such as Frobenius algebras and bialgebras such as Hopf algebras. They have also showed up in grammatical and vector space models of natural language to for example encode meaning of verbs and logical connectives.

**PROGRAMME**

The precise schedule is not yet fixed, but speakers include:

* Samson Abramsky (Oxford)

* Daoud Clark (Hertfordshire)

* Stephen Clark (Cambridge)

* Bob Coecke (Oxford)

* Lucas Dixon (Edinburgh)

* Bertfried Fauser (Birmingham)

* Mai Gehrke (Nijmegen)

* Helle Hansen (Eindhoven)

* Bart Jacobs (Nijmegen)

* Shahn Majid (London)

* Michael Moortgat (Utrecht)

* Michael Müger (Nijmegen)

* Peter Hines (York)

* Alessandra Palmigiano (Amsterdam)

* Benjamin Piwowarski (Glasgow)

* Anne Preller (Montpellier)

* Stephen Pulman (Oxford)

* Keith van Rijsbergen (Glasgow)

**REGISTRATION**

Registration is free, but for logistic purposes, please inform the organizers, Chris Heunen and/or Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, if you plan to attend.

**TRAVEL AND ACCOMODATION**

For more information, please see the website, which is continually updated.

**SPONSORS**

The workshop is made possible by funds of the British Council and Platform Beta Techniek, and cooperation with the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam, the University of Utrecht, and the Radboud University Nijmegen.

**BONUS**

And if you’ve read all this way, why don’t you go to the website and hover your mouse cursor over the title?

## Re: Categories and Information in Oxford

What might be an application of category theory in linguistics? I read in the announcement:

Ah, Frobenius algebras. Can anyone indicate briefly how bialgebras help to “encode meaning of verbs”? And how category theory helps them in helping?