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Algebraic Combinatorics Seminar - Steve MelczerExport this event to calendar

Thursday, January 14, 2021 — 1:00 PM EST

Title: Analytic Combinatorics, Rigorous Numerics, and Uniqueness of Biomembranes

Speaker: Steve Melczer
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Zoom: Contact Karen Yeats

Abstract:

Since the invention of the compound microscope in the early seventeenth century, scientists have marvelled over red blood cells and their surprising shape. An influential model of Canham predicts the shapes of blood cells and similar biomembranes come from a variational problem minimizing the "bending energy" of these surfaces. Because observed (healthy) cells have the same shape in humans, it is natural to ask whether the model admits a unique solution. Here, we prove solution uniqueness for the genus one Canham problem. The proof builds on a result of Yu and Chen that reduces solution uniqueness to proving non-negativity of a sequence defined by an explicit linear recurrence relation with polynomial coefficients. We combine rigorous numeric analytic continuation of D-finite functions with classic bounds from singularity analysis to derive an effective index where the asymptotic behaviour of the sequence, which is positive, dominates the sequence behaviour. Positivity of the finite number of remaining terms can then be checked computationally.

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