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30/10/2002, 16:30 — 17:30 — Amphitheatre Pa1, Mathematics Building
Freddy Van Oystaeyen, University of Antwerp

Mathematical methods of technology

In recent years several methods stemming from absolutely pure mathematics find very concrete applications, e.g., Algebraic Topology in Hardware Robotics and Genetics, Elliptic Curves in Coding Theory, Fractal Theory in Geology etc... In this talk a survey of applications of some rather elementary pure mathematics is given. For example, a problem about motions of Robot fingers leads to new quantum groups, or "supershape" defined in terms of Lame ovals becomes an omnipresent notion connecting : Bamboo, architecture, Traffic control, plant morphogenesis, stress flow on a solid body and a proof of the position of the quiescent centre in roots of plants. The exposition is on a general level and almost no knowledge of mathematics is presupposed.
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The Mathematics Colloquium is a series of monthly talks organized by the Department of Mathematics of IST, aiming to be a forum for the presentation of mathematical ideas or ideas about Mathematics. The Colloquium welcomes the participation of faculty, researchers and undergraduate or graduate students, of IST or other institutions, and is seen as an opportunity of bringing together and fostering the building up of ideas in an informal atmosphere.


Organizers: Conceição Amado, Lina Oliveira e Maria João Borges.