EMS seminar: Vignettes in Mathematics

If you have an enthusiasm for mechanics or applied maths generally and you’d like to get an idea of what’s going on in current research, there’s an upcoming talk in the Department on Friday 16 November that I’d heartily recommend.

The talk is by Prof. Richard Craster from Imperial College London. It’s part of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society’s series of meetings, and it’s aimed at a general mathematical audience. The title is “Vignettes in Mathematics”, and the abstract runs as follows:

An argument one occasionally hears runs as follows: In an age of symbolic/computer algebra and high speed computing surely everything can now be done semi-automatically? The algebra being done symbolically using Maxima, Reduce, Mathematica or Maple, to mention but a few, and the resulting equations solved numerically by, say, Matlab or put into large scale finite element packages such as Abacus or Comsol. This surely renders the bespoke Mathematician obsolete in this brave new world? Indeed one barely needs to be able to even code — apparently.

This talk will present a series of vignettes based on real-world problems from the interface between Mathematics and Physics (Metamaterials), Mechanical Engineering (Waves) and Chemical Engineering (coating flows) and Geophysics (lava and wrinkling) that will be discussed as exemplars where the judicious use of asymptotically small or large terms, or the pattern recognition and manipulations well-known to Mathematicians have a real role to play in explaining phenomena in many areas of modern science. Indeed, as a species the Mathematician may be evolving, but, to steal a well known phrase — reports of their death have been greatly exaggerated!

The talk will start at 1600 in LT908, with tea and biscuits starting at 1530. All are welcome; please pass this message on to anyone who may be interested!


PS: If anyone who attends this talk would like to write a short piece for DoF giving a summary and/or your perspective on it, please let us know…

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