Howard Rowlee Lecture Series

Professor Marta Lewicka of the University of Pittsburgh will give the 2017 Howard Rowlee Lecture in 115 Avery Hall at 4:00pm, on Friday, April 21, 2017.

The lecture will be followed by the KUMUNU Conference in PDE, Dynamical Systems and Applications.

A Tour of Shape Formation


Imagine an airplane wing manufactured in a hyperbolic universe and imported into our Euclidean space. The incompatibility of the two geometries would be an obstacle for the relative ideal hyperbolic distances in the wing to be realized in the ambient Euclidean space. As a consequence, the wing would take on a deformed shape and be subject to internal stresses, making it not suitable for flying. This scenario, though imaginary, describes an everyday phenomenon known as prestrain in nonlinear elasticity. Here, prestrain refers to an incompatible ideal metric, and contrary to the above situation, it can play a positive role in nature and in applications. The math that explains how "good" the optimal shapes are when allowed to freely seek a strain minimizing deformation in space, combines some beautiful, old-standing questions in Riemannian Geometry with new techniques in Analysis and Calculus of Variations.

About the Speaker

Marta Lewicka

Marta Lewicka is a professor of mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh. She specializes in nonlinear analysis, calculus of variations, mathematical theory of elasticity, conservation laws and reaction-diffusion equations. Dr. Lewicka earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in mathematics in 1996 from the University of Gdansk, and a second Bachelor's degree in computer science in 1998 from Czestochowa University of Technology. She completed her Ph.D. in 2000 from the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy under the supervision of Alberto Bressan. After postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig, Germany and a term as L.E. Dickson Instructor at the University of Chicago, she joined the University of Minnesota faculty in 2005. She moved in 2010 to Rutgers University, and again in 2011 to Pittsburgh.

Marta Lewicka's research has been continuously supported by the National Science Foundation through many individual investigator grants including the prestigious NSF CAREER Award 2009-2015. In 2016 she gave an invited address at the AMS/MAA Joint Mathematical Meetings, in the area of nonlinear elasticity.

Rowle Lecture Series

The Howard Rowlee Lecture Series is made possible through a generous donation by Mr. Howard E. Rowlee, Jr., a Lincoln resident and friend of the department, who has established a fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation to support research in mathematics. The Howard Rowlee Lecture is an annual event which seeks to bring internationally acclaimed scholars in the mathematical sciences to UNL to promote public understanding of mathematical research and to stimulate the environment for mathematics research at UNL.

Complete Listing of Howard Rowlee Lecturers

2016 Jordan Ellenberg University of Wisconsin-Madison
2015 Irene Fonseca Carnegie Mellon
2014 Tony DeRose Pixar Animation Studios
2013 George E. Andrews Pennsylvania State University
2012 Mark Lewis University of Alberta
2011 David Eisenbud University of California-Berkeley
2010 Carlos Kenig University of Chicago
2009 Mike Hopkins Harvard University
2008 Peter Sarnak Institute for Advanced Study
2007 Béla Bollobás Trinity College, Cambridge, and the University of Memphis
2006 Ingrid Daubechies Princeton University
2005 James P. Keener University of Utah
2004 Donald Saari University of California, Irvine
2003 Mark J. Ablowitz University of Colorado, Boulder
2002 Ron Graham University of California, San Diego
2001 Vaughan F. R. Jones University of California, Berkeley
2000 Melvin Hochster University of Michigan
1999 Bradley Efron Stanford University
1998 Avner Friedman University of Minnesota
1997 Efim Zelmanov Yale University