Events Content


TopicInverse Problems and Harry Potter's Cloak

Lecturer: Gunther Uhlmann, Walker Family Endowed Professor in Mathematics, University of Washington

Time: Mar. 3rd, 2017 10:30-11:30 AM

Add: 145 Academic Hall, Math Building, New Campus

Synopsis: Inverse problems arise in all fields of science and technology where causes for a desired or observed effect are to be determined. By solving an inverse problem is in fact is how we obtain a large part of our information about the world. An example is human vision: from the measurements of scattered light that reaches our retinas, our brains construct a detailed three-dimensional map of the world around us. In the first part of the talk we will describe several inverse problems arising in several contexts. In the second part of the talk we will discuss invisibility. Can we make objects invisible? This has been a subject of human fascination for millennia in Greek mythology, movies, science fiction, etc. including the legend of Perseus versus Medusa and the more recent Star Trek and Harry Potter. In the last 14 years or so there have been several scientific proposals to achieve invisibility. We will describe a simple and powerful proposal, the so-called transformation optics, and the progress that has been made in achieving invisibility.

Biography: Gunther Uhlmann, is a mathematician whose research focuses on inverse problems and imaging, microlocal analysis and partial differential equations. In 2001 he was elected a Corresponding Member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics since 2004. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009 and a SIAM Fellow in 2010. He was an Invited Speaker at ICM in Berlin in 1998 and a Plenary Speaker at International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics in Zurich in 2007. He was named a Clay Senior Scholar at the Mathematics Research Institute at Berkeley in the Fall of 2010. In Fall 2010 he held the Chancellor Professorship at UC Berkeley. He was named a Highly Cited Researcher by ISI in 2004. He was awarded the Bocher Memorial Prize in 2011 and the Kleinman Prize also in 2011. In Fall 2011 he was a Rothschild Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge,  UK. Uhlmann delivered the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Einstein Lecture in 2012. He was awarded the Fondation Math'ematiques de Paris Research Chair for 2012–2013. He was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2012 and is also an AMS Fellow since 2012. He was awarded a Simons Fellowship for 2013–2014. In 2013,  he was elected Foreign Member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. He gave a Plenary Lecture at the International Congress of Mathematical Physics in 2015. The journals professor Gunther Uhlmann published papers include: Annals of Mathematics, Inventiones Mathematicae, Journal of The American Mathematical Society, Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics,  Journal Functional Analysis, Inverse Problems and so on.