Speaker: William Minicozzi

Title: Level set method for motion by mean curvature

Modeling of a wide class of physical phenomena, such as crystal growth and flame propagation, leads to tracking fronts moving with curvature-dependent speed. When the speed is the curvature this leads to a degenerate elliptic nonlinear PDE. A priori solutions are only defined in a weak sense, but it turns out that they are always twice differentiable classical solutions. This result is optimal; their second derivative is continuous only in very rigid situations that have a simple geometric interpretation. The proof weaves together analysis and geometry. This is joint work with Toby Colding.