Zurich Undergraduate Colloquium
in Mathematics and Physics

ZUCMAP will take place in autumn every Tuesday at 12:15!
If you want to give a talk, please email ana.pavlakovic@math.ethz.ch or aiacopino@student.ethz.ch.

Next Talk

Tuesday, 20th December  •  12:15  •  HG G 3

Arthur Schichl

Optimal transport: a tale of bank robbers, Terminators and Christmas gifts

Abstract. Is there a fastest way of delivering Christmas gifts? Or of getting the Fields medal? And how can the Terminator help with all that? Optimal transport might provide an answer to all of these questions… and many more. This talk will offer a glimpse of the basics of the theory of optimal transport and some of its most prominent applications, covering elements of general optimisation, geometry and geodesics on the way.

Upcoming Talks

There are going to be more talks next semester! :)

What is ZUCMAP?

We run a weekly colloquium where students present topics from diverse areas in mathematics and physics.

The talks are followed by an Apéro, giving you the chance to mingle in informal atmosphere over some delicious food!

All talks are aimed at undergraduate students (from the first semester on!), so don’t let the titles scare you! Who knows, maybe you’ll find a topic for your Bachelor’s thesis or other independent work!

We usually meet Tuesdays from 12:15 to 13:00 at HG G 3 (ETH Zurich).

Give a Talk

Giving talks is a critical part of any scientist's career and so presenting to a group of fellow students in a familiar environment, is an easy way to get started. If you’re interested in giving a talk, contact ana.pavlakovic@math.ethz.ch.

(Note: You do not need to be an undergraduate to give a talk.)

As a thank you, all of our speakers are invited to a dinner at the end of the semester.

Past Talks

You can find recordings of most of our talks on the ETH Video Portal and on YouTube.


We thank the VMP for their support. Also, we would like to thank the IT Services, the Maths Department, and the FIM, for all the exceptions they made for us. ;)


ZUCMAP was initiated in autumn 2020 by Alexander Uhlmann, Jinghao Cao, and Silvio Barandun. It was reborn in spring 2022 by Johann Birnick and Siddharth Setlur. In autumn 2022 it is organised by Alessandra Iacopino and Ana Pavlaković.