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Math department announces inaugural Distinguished Lecture Series

Thursday, March 29, 2018

LAWRENCE — The Department of Mathematics will host a renowned academic and member of the National Academy of Sciences for its inaugural Distinguished Lecture Series, set for 4 p.m. April 12 in 120 Snow Hall.

Constantine Dafermos, Alumni-Alumnae University Professor in Applied Mathematics at Brown University, will present "Progress and Challenges in the Theory of Hyperbolic Conservation Laws."

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 solutions spontaneously develop singularities that propagate as shock waves. He is interested in the interplay 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. Dafermos is widely known for his book "Hyperbolic Conservation Laws in Continuum Physics" (Springer Verlag, third edition, 2010), which is renowned as the authoritative guide to the subject.

Dafermos received a diploma in civil engineering from the National Technical University of Athens in 1964 and a doctorate in mechanics from the Johns Hopkins University in 1967. He was an assistant professor at Cornell University from 1968-1971 before continuing his academic career at Brown University, becoming a full professor in 1975. In addition, Dafermos has served as director of the Lefschetz Center 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.

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