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Series: CDSNS Colloquium

Fourier's Law assert that the heat flow through a point in a solid is proportional to the temperature gradient at that point. Fourier himself thought that this law could not be derived from the mechanical properties of the elementary constituents (atoms and electrons, in modern language) of the solid. On the contrary, we now believe that such a derivation is possible and necessary. At the core of this change of opinion is the introduction of probability in the description. We now see the microscopic state of a system as a probability measure on phase space so that evolution becomes a stochastic process. Macroscopic properties are then obtained through averages. I will introduce some of the models used in this research and discuss their relevance for the physical problem and the mathematical results one can obtain.

Series: CDSNS Colloquium

We study the behavior of the asymptotic dynamics of a dissipative reaction-diffusion equation in a dumbbell domain, which, roughly speaking, consists of two fixed domains joined by a thin channel. We analyze the behavior of the stationary solutions (solutions of the elliptic problem), their local unstable manifold and the attractor of the equation as the width of the connecting channel goes to zero.

Series: CDSNS Colloquium

The Bendixson conditions for general nonlinear differential equations in Banach spaces are developed in terms of stability of associated compound differential equations. The generalized Bendixson criterion states that, if some measure of 2-dimensional surface area tends to zero with time, then there are no closed curves that are left invariant by the dynamics. In particular, there are no nontrivial periodic orbits, homoclinic loops or heteroclinic loops. Concrete conditions that preclude the existence of periodic solutions for a parabolic PDE will be given. This is joint work with Professor James S. Muldowney at University of Alberta.

Series: CDSNS Colloquium

In the talk I will discuss the periodicity of solutions to the classical forced pendulum equation y" + A sin y = f(t) where A= g/l is the ratio of the gravity constant and the pendulum length, and f(t) is an external periodic force with a minimal period T. The major concern is to characterize conditions on A and f under which the equation admits periodic solutions with a prescribed minimal period pT, where p>1 is an integer. I will show how the new approach, based on the critical point theory and an original decomposition technique, leads to the existence of such solutions without requiring p to be a prime as imposed in most previous approaches. In addition, I will present the first non-existence result of such solutions which indicates that long pendulum has a natural resistance to oscillate periodically.

Series: CDSNS Colloquium

I will discuss new computational tools based on topological methods that extracts coarse, but rigorous, combinatorial descriptions of global dynamics of multiparameter nonlinear systems. These techniques are motivated by the fact that these systems can produce an wide variety of complicated dynamics that vary dramatically as a function of changes in the nonlinearities and the following associated challenges which we claim can, at least in part, be addressed. 1. In many applications there are models for the dynamics, but specific parameters are unknown or not directly computable. To identify the parameters one needs to be able to match dynamics produced by the model against that which is observed experimentally. 2. Experimental measurements are often too crude to identify classical dynamical structures such as fixed points or periodic orbits, let alone more the complicated structures associated with chaotic dynamics. 3. Often the models themselves are based on nonlinearities that a chosen because of heuristic arguments or because they are easy to fit to data, as opposed to being derived from first principles. Thus, one wants to be able to separate the scientific conclusions from the particular nonlinearities of the equations. To make the above mentioned comments concrete I will describe the techniques in the context of a simple model arising in population biology.

Series: CDSNS Colloquium

I will speak on the dispersive character of waves on the interface between vacuum and water under the influence of gravity and surface tension. I will begin by giving a precise account of the formulation of the surface water-wave problem and discussion of its distinct features. They include the dispersion relation, its severe nonlinearity, traveling waves and the Hamiltonian structure. I will describe the recent work of Hans Christianson, Gigliola Staffilani and myself on the local smoothing effect of 1/4 derivative for the fully nonlinear problem under surface tension with some detail of the proof. If time permits, I will explore some open questions regarding long-time behavior and stability.

Series: CDSNS Colloquium

Allocation of service capacity ('staffing') at stations in queueing networks is both of fundamental and practical interest. Unfortunately, the problem is mathematically intractable in general and one therefore typically resorts to approximations or computer simulation. This talk describes work in progress with M. Squillante and S. Ghosh (IBM Research) on an algorithm that serves as an approximation for the 'best' capacity allocation rule. The algorithm can be interpreted as a discrete-time dynamical system, and we are interested in uniqueness of a fixed point and in convergence properties. No prior knowledge on queueing networks will be assumed.

Series: CDSNS Colloquium

In this talk we will review results on local entropy theory for the past 15 years, introduce the current development and post some open questions for the further study.

On the theory and applications of the longtime dynamics of 3-dimensional fluid flows on thin domains

Series: CDSNS Colloquium

The current theory of global attractors for the Navier-Stokes equations on thin 3D domains is motivated by the desire to better understand the theory of heat transfer in the oceans of the Earth. (In this context, the thinness refers to the aspect ratio - depth divided by expanse - of the oceans.) The issue of heat transfer is, of course, closely connected with many of the major questions concerning the climate. In order to exploit the tools of modern dynamical systems in this study, one needs to know that the global attractors are "good" in the sense that the nonlinearities are Frechet differentiable on these attractors. About 20 years ago, it was discovered that on certain thin 3D domains, the Navier-Stokes equations did possess good global attractors. This discovery, which was itself a major milestone in the study of the 3D Navier-Stokes equations, left open the matter of extending the theory to cover oceanic-like regions with the appropriate physical boundary behavior. In this lecture, we will review this theory, and the connections with climate modeling, while placing special emphasis on the recent developments for fluid flows with the Navier (or slip) boundary conditions

Series: CDSNS Colloquium

Motivated by Smale's work on smooth dynamical systems, David Ruelle introduced the notion of Smale spaces. These are topological dynamical systems which are hyperbolic in the sense of having local coordinates of contracting and expending directions. These include hyperbolic automorphisms of tori, but typically, the spaces involved have a fractal nature. An important subclass are the shifts of finite type which are symbolic systems described by combinatorial data. These are also precisely the Smale spaces which are totally disconnected. Rufus Bowen showed that every Smale space is the image of shift of finite type under a finite-to-one factor map. In the 1970's, Wolfgang Krieger introduced a beautiful invariant for shifts of finite type. The aim of this talk is to show how a refined version of Bowen's theorem may be used to extend Krieger's invariant to all (irreducible) Smale spaces. The talk will assume no prior knowledge of these topics - we begin with a discussion of Smale spaces and shifts of finite type and then move on to Krieger's invariant and its extension.