Park City Mathematics Institute
Summer School Teachers Program
Summer 2014
Clay Senior Scholar-in-Residence Public Lecture
L. Mahadevan, Harvard University

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Gilding the lily: geometry, physics and botany

Mahadevan explained, "I will discuss some mathematical and physical problems inspired by the form of and motion in plant organs, including:
(i) the macroscopic undulations of a leaf,
(ii) the blooming of a flower,
(iii) the morphogenesis of tendrils,
(iv) the growth and form of shoots, and
(v) the rapid movements of certain plants.

In each case, we will see how a combination of physical experiments, mathematical models and simple computations allow us to begin to unravel the basis for diversity and complexity of biological form and motion in plants, a topic which Darwin famously said 'might drive even the sanest man mad.'"

 

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IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute is an outreach program of the Institute for Advanced Study, 1 Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540.
Send questions or comments to: Suzanne Alejandre and Jim King

With program support provided by Math for America

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0314808 and Grant No. ESI-0554309. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.