Constantine Dafermos Distinguished Lecture

Constantine Dafermos



Progress and Challenges in the Theory of Hyperbolic Conservation Laws

Constantine Dafermos 
Member of the National Academy of Sciences
Alumni-Alumnae University Professor Brown University

Thursday, April 12, 2018
4:00 pm
120 Snow Hall

The lecture will introduce the class of systems of partial differential equations termed “hyperbolic conservation laws”, with close ties to classical physics and technology. It will sketch the state-of-the-art in the area, attained through concerted efforts over the past years, and will emphasize the major challenges facing the future development of the mathematical theory.




Professor Dafermos received a Diploma in Civil Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (1964) and a Ph.D. in Mechanics from the Johns Hopkins University (1967). He has served as Assistant Professor at Cornell University (1968-1971), and as As- sociate Professor (1971-1975) and Professor (1975- present) in the Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown University. In addition, Professor Dafermos has served as Director of the Lefschetz Cen- ter of Dynamical Systems (1988-1993, 2006-2007), as Chairman of the Society for Natural Philosophy (1977-1978) and as Secretary of the International Society for the Interaction of Mathematics and Mechanics. Since 1984, he has been the Alumni-Alumnae University Professor at Brown.

Professor Dafermos works at the interface between continuum mechanics and the theory of partial differential equations. In recent years, his research has focused on nonlinear hyperbolic systems of conservation laws, whose solu- tions spontaneously develop singularities that propagate as shock waves. He is interested in the inter- play between thermodynamics and analysis, in the theory of these systems, and has been striving to elucidate the fundamental role of entropy as a stabilizing agent.

In addition to several honorary degrees, he has received the SIAM W.T. and Idalia Reid Prize (2000), the Cataldo e Angiola Agostinelli Prize of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (2011), the Galileo Medal of the City of Padua (2012), the Prize of the International Society for the Interaction of Me- chanics and Mathematics (2014), and the AMS Norbert Wiener Prize (2016). He was elected a Fellow of SIAM (2009), a Fellow of the AMS (2013), and to the National Academy of Sciences (2016).


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