Rice Header
CAAM Header

Graduate Seminar - 10/18, 12:00PM Duncan Hall 1064

Richard A. Tapia

"Using Mathematics to Enhance my Personal Life"

For many years the speaker was involved in BMX bicycle racing as a supportive father for his son. In the first part of this talk the speaker uses several lively videos to identify and illustrate what he calls the Curse of Lane 8 or The Fair Lane Assignment Problem in BMX Bicycle racing. He then uses his mathematical training to formulate the problem as a mathematical problem and solves this problem using the computer. The solution technique will be described.

In the second part of this talk the speaker will show and describe the making of an exciting video that was made with the assistance of a Rice undergraduate art-math major to accompany the showing of his 1970 Chevelle Malibu SS at various car shows across the country. Both the car and video are entitled "Heavy Metal". The video attempts to depict the time period of the late 1960's and early 1970's in terms of muscle cars, heavy metal music, and social rebellion. The psychedelic video images are constructed entirely using mathematics. Numerical simulations of fluid in and around the car are obtained using numerical methods to solve the Navier-Stokes partial differential equations that govern fluid flow. By being creative with the mathematical parameters and solution techniques some very interesting images and patterns are obtained. In this way the video demonstrates that mathematics can take us places where physics can't. The video sound track adds to the excitement of the video.

Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics
6100 Main MS-134   Houston, TX 77005   713.348.4805

Rice University   |   School of Engineering   |   J. Joyce Young Memorial Fund   |   Pearlman Memorial Fund   |   Weiser Memorial Fund   |   Contact