Interfaces and Free Boundaries: Analysis, Control and Simulation

  • Charles M. Elliott

    University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
  • Yoshikazu Giga

    University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Michael Hinze

    Universität Hamburg, Germany
  • Vanessa Styles

    University of Sussex, Brighton, UK


The field of mathematical and numerical analysis of systems of nonlinear partial differential equations involving interfaces and free boundaries is a flourishing area of research. Many such systems arise from mathematical models in material science, fluid dynamics and biology, for example phase separation in alloys, epitaxial growth, dynamics of multiphase fluids, evolution of cell membranes and in industrial processes such as crystal growth. The governing equations for the dynamics of the interfaces in many of these applications involve surface tension expressed in terms of the mean curvature and a driving force. Here the forcing terms depend on variables that are solutions of additional partial differential equations which hold either on the interface itself or in the surrounding bulk regions. Often in applications of these mathematical models, suitable performance indices and appropriate control actions have to be specified. Mathematically this leads to optimization problems with partial differential equation constraints including free boundaries. Because of the maturity of the field of computational free boundary problems it is now timely to consider such control problems. In order to carry out design, control and simulation of such problems interaction is required between distinct mathematical fields such as analysis, modeling, computation and optimization. By bringing together leading experts and young researchers from these separate fields we intended to develop novel research directions in applied and computational mathematics. The aim of the workshop here was to focus on emerging new themes and developments in these fields and to establish and extend links between them.

Cite this article

Charles M. Elliott, Yoshikazu Giga, Michael Hinze, Vanessa Styles, Interfaces and Free Boundaries: Analysis, Control and Simulation. Oberwolfach Rep. 10 (2013), no. 1, pp. 867–950

DOI 10.4171/OWR/2013/15