Each year the Department of Mathematical Sciences holds a special lecture in honor of Professor Richard C. DiPrima, who was a professor in the Math Sciences Department and started as chair of the department in 1972.
Abstract: As events of the past decade have tragically demonstrated, tsunamis pose a major risk to coastal populations around the world. Numerical modeling is an important tool in better understanding past tsunamis and their geophysical sources, in real-time warning and evacuation, and in assessing hazards and mitigating the risk of future tsunamis. I will discuss a variety of techniques from adaptive mesh refinement to probabilistic hazard analysis that are being used for tsunamis and related geophysical hazards.
The range of shapes in the plant (and animal) world is "enough to drive even the sanest man mad", wrote Darwin. Motivated by qualitative and quantitative biological observations, I will show that there is a "method in the madness" - using examples of growth and form in tissues and organs such as the undulating fringes on a leaf, the looping of your gut, and the convolutions in your brain. In each case, we will see how a combination of biological and physical experiments, mathematical models and computations allow us to unravel the quantitative basis for the diversity and complexity of biological form, while creating new subjects of study in geometry, analysis and statistics.