SNP Meeting/IMA PI Conference: Mathematics and Mechanics in the Physical Sciences, A Tribute to James Serrin

University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN
Thursday, November 14 – Saturday, November 16, 2013


 We are pleased to acknowledge the support of the following institutions:

Society for Natural Philosophy;
Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Minnesota;
School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota;
Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, University of Minnesota;
Office of the Dean, College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota.

The Society for Natural Philosophy, founded in 1963 by the late Clifford Truesdell, nourishes specific research aimed at the unity of mathematical and physical science. It seeks to recognize and promote work of high quality. Additional information about the Society is available at

Scientific Program

This joint meeting of the Society for Natural Philosophy (SNP) and the School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota, is dedicated as a special tribute to the late James Serrin (1926–2012), a mathematician and natural philosopher whose deep and profound contributions in partial differential equations, calculus of variations, real analysis, fluid mechanics, and foundations of thermodynamics are works of the highest quality that exemplify the unity of mathematical and physical science. It will bring together researchers of international and national stature as well as recent Ph.D.'s and graduate students who either share the common experience of having been immensely influenced by Serrin's teachings, writings, and other scientific activities or deeply value the dialogue and interaction between mathematics and mechanics as Serrin did. It will emphasize the creation and development of new mathematical methods and rational physical concepts to address critical problems arising in the modeling, analysis, and prediction of material behavior.

More specifically, the objectives of the joint meeting are:

  • to highlight recent advances in the mathematical analysis and rational mechanics of materials,
  • to provide the opportunity for communication and collaboration between senior and junior investigators,
  • to educate young researchers and advanced graduate students and to expose them to the forefronts of current research,
  • to help shape new directions of research among investigators who value interaction between mathematics and mechanics and place emphasis on foundations, structure, and logical implication.

List of Invited Speakers

Name Affiliation
P. Bauman Purdue U.
L. Caffarelli U. Texas Austin
C. Calderer U. Minnesota
I. Fonseca Carnegie Mellon U.
E. Fried U. Washington
M. E. Jabbour U. Kentucky
C. Kenig U. Chicago
S. Mayboroda U. Minnesota
R. Paroni U. Sassari
L. A. Peletier Leiden U.
P. Podio-Guidugli U. Roma 2
P. Pucci U. Perugia
M. Šilhavý Akademie věd ČR
V. Sverak U. Minnesota
E. Virga U. Pavia

Schedule and Abstracts

All talks will be given in Keller Hall (map) 3-180, University of Minnesota.


Thursday, November 14
9:00–9:30 Opening
9:30–10:30 C. Calderer (University of Minnesota) James Serrin, The Applied Mathematician (abstract)
10:30–11:00 Break
11:00–12:00 P. Podio-Guidugli (University of Rome, Tor Vergata) Some Thoughts about the Format of Continuum Thermodynamics
12:00–1:30 Lunch
1:30–2:30 C. Kenig (University of Chicago) Soliton Resolution for Nonlinear Wave Equations (abstract)
2:30–3:00 M. Šilhavý (Mathematical Institute of the Czech Republic) Phase Transitions with Interfacial Energy: Interface Null Lagrangians, Polyconvexity, and Existence (abstract)
3:00–3:30 P. Belik (Augsburg College) Fractal Powers in Serrin's Swirling Vortex Solutions (abstract)
3:30–4:00 Break
4:00–4:30 P. Pucci (University of Perugia) Existence of Entire Solutions for Elliptic Problems Involving the Fractional Laplacian (abstract)
4:30–5:30 V. Sverak (University of Minnesota) On Serrin's Weak-Strong Uniqueness Theorem for the Navier-Stokes Equation (abstract)
Friday, November 15
9:00–10:00 E. Virga (University of Pavia) Curvature Potentials on Nematic Shells (abstract)
10:00–10:30 S. Mayboroda (University of Minnesota) Localization of Eigenfunctions (abstract)
10:30–11:00 Break
11:00–12:00 E. Fried (University of Washington) Stability and Bifurcation of Flexible Filaments Spanned by Fluid Films (abstract)
12:00–1:30 Lunch
1:30–2:00 I. Fonseca (Carnegie Mellon University) Variational Methods in Materials and Image Processing (abstract)
2:00–2:30 N. Kirby (University of Washington) The Gamma-limit of a Model for the Elastic Energy of an Inextensible Ribbon (abstract)
2:30–3:00 Break
3:00–4:00 L. Caffarelli (University of Texas at Austin) Homogenization of a Front Driven by Forcing and Curvature (abstract)
4:00–4:30 B. Seguin (McGill University) Stability of a Soap Film in a Cylindrical Tube (abstract)
6:00–9:30 Banquet Dinner Carlson Dining Room, Carlson School of Management (map)
Saturday, November 16
9:00–10:00 P. Bauman (Purdue University) Analysis of Defects in Nematic Liquid Crystals Described by Minimizers of De Gennes' Q-Tensor Energy (abstract)
10:00–10:30 M.E. Jabbour (University of Kentucky) Surface Instabilities during Step-flow Epitaxy. Adatom Electromigration and Elastic Step Interactions Revisited (abstract)
10:30–11:00 N. Admal (University of Minnesota) A Decomposition of the Atomistic Stress Tensor into an Elastic and a Plastic Component (abstract)
11:00–11:30 Break
11:30–12:30 L.A. Peletier (Leiden University) Rational Pharmacology (abstract)
12:30–1:00 R. Paroni (University of Sassari) Plate Theory for Inhomogeneous, Anisotropic, Linearly Elastic Bodies as a Variational Limit of the Complementary Energy Functional (abstract)

PDF iconAbstracts of talks

Registration and Banquet Dinner

To facilitate planning, all prospective participants are urged to notify Chi-Sing Man ( by e-mail, as soon as possible, of their intention to attend this meeting. There is no registration fee for current members of the Society for Natural Philosophy. Attendees who are not current members of the Society can pay their registration fee either by joining the Society at this link or by sending a check of $30, made payable to "Society for Natural Philosophy", to Man (Department of Mathematics, University of Kentucky, 715 Patterson Office Tower, Lexington, KY 40506-0027, USA) by October 31, 2013. The registration fee is waived for students.

A banquet dinner will be held in the Carlson Dining Room in the lower level of the Carlson School of Management (map) on the West Bank campus on Friday evening, November 15. The cost is $45 per person, including wine which will be served during the half hour before dinner and during the first half hour of the dinner. There will be a choice of salmon, beef, or vegetarian and the choice can be made on the spot at the dinner. Those (including spouses) who wish to attend the banquet should send a personal check of $45 per person made out to "School of Mathematics", no later than October 31, to the following address:

University of Minnesota
School of Mathematics
127 Vincent Hall
206 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

ATTENTION: Harry Singh

The Carlson Building is an easy walk across the Mississippi River from The Commons Hotel. Transportation will also be arranged from and to the hotel.