Inaugural Lecture - Professor in the Analysis of Partial Differential Equations

  “Partial Differential Equations: Origins, Developments and Roles in the Changing World”

The Inaugural Lecture of Gui-Qiang G. Chen, Professor in the Analysis of Partial Differential Equations is being held at 5pm on Thursday 11th November 2010.


While calculus is a mathematical theory concerned with change, differential equations are the mathematician's foremost aid for describing change. In the simplest case, a process depends on one variable alone, for example time. More complex phenomena depend on several variables – perhaps time and, in addition, one, two or three space variables. Such processes require the use of partial differential equations. The behaviour of every material object in nature, with timescales ranging from picoseconds to millennia and length scales ranging from sub-atomic to astronomical, can be modelled by nonlinear partial differential equations or by equations with similar features. The roles of partial differential equations within mathematics and in the other sciences become increasingly significant. The mathematical theory of partial differential equations has a long history.  In the recent decades, the subject has experienced a vigorous growth, and research is marching on at a brisk pace.


In this lecture, Professor Gui-Qiang G. Chen will present several examples to illustrate the origins, developments, and roles of partial differential equations in our changing world.