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Computational Science and the Ratio of Perimeter to Area

Gilbert Strang
Gilbert Strang (Massachusetts Institute of Technology )
30th May 2007
2:00 pm. Pariser Building, Room C016


Computational science and Engineering is a mixture of scientific computing and applied mathematics (and more). I will describe specific topics from a basic course in this quickly growing area. I hope there will be discussion of what is essential and whether a unity of presentation is possible - or if every subject has to go its own way.

I will also present a problem in plane geometry, to find the maximum area with fixed perimeter. With no other constraints, the Greeks knew that a circle wins. If the set must lie in a square, the solution changes. this leads to a continuous form of the "Maximum Flow-Minimum Cut Theorem" and there are applications of many kind: medical imaging, landslides, traffic flow,... There are also unsolved problems: What set inside a cube gives the least ratio of surface area to volume? (We also hope for a new approach to the original isoperimetric problem).

Pictures of the colloquium

  • Gil Strang
  • Gil Strang blackboard
  • Hovhannes Khudaverdyan, James Montaldi and Gil Strang
(Click on the thumbnail to see the entire picture in high-resolution)

Materials and further information

MIMS The University of Manchester - School of Mathematics - Sackville Street- Manchester - M60 1QD - UK

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