2.035 Special Topics in Mathematics with Applications: Linear Algebra and the Calculus of Variations

Spring 2007

Various microstructures in a Cu-Al-Ni alloy.
Various microstructures in a Cu-Al-Ni alloy. (Image courtesy of Prof. Richard D. James.)

Course Highlights

This course features a complete e-textbook by Prof. Abeyaratne, which can be downloaded from the readings page.

Course Description

This course forms an introduction to a selection of mathematical topics that are not covered in traditional mechanical engineering curricula, such as differential geometry, integral geometry, discrete computational geometry, graph theory, optimization techniques, calculus of variations and linear algebra. The topics covered in any particular year depend on the interest of the students and instructor. Emphasis is on basic ideas and on applications in mechanical engineering. This year, the subject focuses on selected topics from linear algebra and the calculus of variations. It is aimed mainly (but not exclusively) at students aiming to study mechanics (solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, energy methods etc.), and the course introduces some of the mathematical tools used in these subjects. Applications are related primarily (but not exclusively) to the microstructures of crystalline solids.
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Prof. Rohan Abeyaratne

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session