2012 Niven Lecture: On growth and form: geometry, physics and biology

  • Date: 05/24/2012
  • Time: 15:00
Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan (Harvard University)

University of British Columbia


The diversity of form in living beings led Darwin to state that it is "enough to drive the sanest man mad". How can we describe this variety? How can we predict it?  Motivated by biological observations on different scales from molecules to tissues, I will show how a combination of biological and physical experiments, mathematical models and simple computations allow us to begin to unravel the physical basis for morphogenesis.


About the Niven Lectures: Ivan Niven was a famous number theorist and
expositor; his textbooks have won numerous awards and have been
translated into many languages.  They are widely used to this day. Niven
was born in Vancouver in 1915, earned his Bachelor's and Master's
degrees at UBC in 1934 and 1936 and his Ph.D. at the University of
Chicago in 1938. He was a faculty member at the University of Oregon
since 1947 until his retirement in 1982. The annual Niven Lecture, held
at UBC since 2005, is funded in part through a generous bequest from
Ivan and Betty Niven to the UBC Mathematics Department.


Abstracts / Downloads / Reports: 

3-4 pm, Thursday, May 24

Math 100

Other Information: 

Pre-lecture reception in Math lounge starting at 2:30pm.



Department of Mathematics at UBC