Howard Rowlee Lecture 2015

Irene Fonseca, Mellon College of Science University Professor of Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University, will give the 2015 Howard Rowlee Lecture in 115 Avery Hall at 4:00pm Friday, April 17, 2015.

In addition to the Rowlee Lecture, there will be a conference on Recent Developments in Continuum Mechanics and PDEs held April 18-19, 2015.

Variational Methods in Materials and Image Processing


Several questions in applied analysis motivated by issues in computer vision, physics, materials sciences and other areas of engineering may be treated variationally leading to higher order problems and to models involving lower dimension density measures. Their study often requires state-of-the-art techniques, new ideas, and the introduction of innovative tools in partial differential equations, geometric measure theory, and the calculus of variations. In this talk it will be shown how some of these questions may be reduce to well understood first order problems, while in others higher order terms play a fundamental role. Applications to quantum dots in epitaxy deposition, and recolorization and denoising in imaging science will be addressed.

About the Speaker


 An internationally respected educator and researcher in applied mathematics; Irene Fonseca is the director of Carnegie Mellon's Center for Nonlinear Analysis (CNA). The CNA is one of the few centers in the United States that receives significant federal funding for research in applied mathematics. In recognition for her contributions to the advancement of research in her area of expertise, Fonseca was bestowed a knighthood in the Military Order of St. James (Grande Oficial da Ordem Militar de Santiago da Espada) by the then-President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, in 1997. For her teaching and research contributions to Carnegie Mellon University, Fonseca was honored with the Mellon College of Science endowed chair in 2003 and named a University Professor in 2014. In 2012, she was elected President of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), one of the largest organizations dedicated to mathematics and computational science in the world.


Irene Fonseca's research program sits at the interface between pure and applied analysis, and is motivated by applications in the physical sciences and engineering. Her recent work is focused on variational techniques as they apply to contemporary problems in materials sciences and computer vision, including the mathematical study of shape memory alloys, ferroelectric and magnetic materials, composites, liquid crystals, thin structures, phase transitions, epitaxy, image segmentation, staircasing and recolorization in computer vision.