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30/10/2002, 16:30 — 17:30 — Amphitheatre Pa1, Mathematics Building

Freddy Van Oystaeyen, *University of Antwerp*

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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.