Farhan Abedin smiles

I study: “The quantitative properties of solutions to nonlinear elliptic partial differential equations (PDEs). Such equations can be used to determine the optimal way to transport resources from one location to another, design reflector surfaces with prescribed optical properties, analyze the shape of the interface between two immiscible fluids, and identify the equilibrium configuration of elastic membranes resting on an obstacle.”

Why?Though I am a theoretical mathematician by training, I prefer to work on mathematical problems that arise from concrete scenarios in the physical world. However, the equations I study can rarely be solved exactly, so it is somewhat of an art form to develop indirect methods of understanding how the solutions of such equations look and behave. I find this to be an intriguing and inspiring mathematical problem.”

This fall I’m teaching: “Calculus III”

What students can expect from me:I like to challenge my students but also keep the material accessible and have fair assessment criteria. This is certainly a balancing act, so students can expect that I will try my best to find the right balance.”

I’m excited to be here because:Being a Lafayette alum, I am happy to be back on campus, this time as a member of the faculty. I hope I can inspire my students to find beauty and value in a liberal arts education the same way I did as a student here.”

Getting to know me:I shared an apartment with three Italians while I was in graduate school. I have been partial to Italian cuisine ever since.”

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