Research Area: Analysis, Applied Mathematics
Research Profile: Nonlinear partial differential equations, mathematical physics.
I work in the areas of elliptic partial differential equations, the calculus of variations, and mathematical physics. Elliptic PDEs often arise as stationary equilibria in physical problems or in describing curved surfaces in differential geometry. The calculus of variations is concerned with extrema (critical points) of functions defined on infinite dimensional spaces. For example, solutions to the Dirichlet problem minimize an associated integral among all functions with the given boundary data ("Dirichlet's Principle"). This observation, known to Gauss and Riemann, introduced variational methods as a tool in studying elliptic PDEs. Today we use a combination of classical variational techniques, real and functional analysis, and topology to study existence, multiplicity, smoothness, stability, and other qualitative properties of solutions to PDEs. Of particular interest are those problems (arising in physics and geometry) where minimizing sequences may not converge, due to the natural symmetries of the problem.
Nonlinear partial differential equations, mathematical physics