Speaker: L. Mahadevan, Professor at School of Engieering and Applied Mathematics, Harvard University
December 6, 2017 (Wednesday), French 2231, 4:30-5:30pm (Tea at 3pm Physics 101)
Title: Morphogenesis: geometry, physics and biology
Abstract: A century after the publication of D'Arcy Thompson's classic
On growth and form his vision has finally begun to permeate into the fabric of modern biology. Within this framework, I will show how a combination of biological and physical experiments, mathematical models and computations allow us to begin unraveling the physical basis for morphogenesis in the context of examples such as shoots, leaves, guts and brains.
February 13, 2017 (Monday), Physics 128, 4:30-5:30pm (Tea at 3pm Physics 101)
Title: Voting in Agreeable Societies
Abstract: When does a candidate have the approval of a majority? How does the geometry of the political spectrum influence the outcome? What does mathematics have to say about how people behave? When mathematical objects have a social interpretation, the associated results have social applications. We will show how some classical mathematics can be used to understand voting in "agreeable" societies. This talk also features research with undergraduates.