Undergraduate Student Seminar-Cars, Cartoons, and Cohomology

The GW Chapter of the Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society Lecture Series

Speaker:  Professor Elizabeth Drellich, Swathmore College
Date and time: Friday, November 3, 4-5 p.m.
Place: Duques Hall, Room 151
Title: Cars, Cartoons, and Cohomology
How do you program a 3D printer to get the sleek curves on your model of your favorite car?  How do animators make sure that complicated surfaces appear smooth on screen? And what do these questions have to do with algebra?

The surface of your model car or your favorite Pixar character's face is made up of a collection of polynomials that fit together smoothly called a spline. These splines are models, but they are also algebraic objects that can be added and multiplied.  Some splines contain deep information about the structure of groups and algebraic varieties.

This talk will introduce you to splines and show you some of their many wonderful uses.

Professor Drellich earned her Bachelor of Science in mathematics from GW in 2009 and her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2015.